What is Hydroponics? What is Aeroponics? What is Aquaponics?
Hydroponics as the word suggest is a technique of growing vegetables and plants in water when the roots are submerged in water mixed with nutrients required by the plant to grow. The water is being pumped at regular intervals onto the roots of the plants.
In Aeroponics the roots are sprayed/Mist/Fog with water and nutrients at regular intervals. In this the roots grow in Air till they are long enough to be submerged in Hydroton layer.
In Aquaponics there is no requirement to add nutrients as the water is coming from a Fish pond which is highly rich in nutrients. This is most organic way of cultivation.
Which is better Hydroponics or Aeroponics or Soil?
Basically it depends on your climate, water purity and diseases which may arise due to stagnancy of the water. All the techniques are good and give high quality production.
Why is hydroponic gardening better than soil gardening?
· In Less space you can grow more vegetables
·Water saving is upto 95% as compared to Soil.
·Less labor intensive
·No pesticides used when done in a closed set up.
·Production is more as compared to soil as soil borne diseases are not present.
·Usage of fertilizers also reduces drastically as compared to soil
Can I grow hydroponically outdoors?
Yes you can totally grow vegetables outdoors; the only issue is you will need to control pest attack. There will be also issue in controlling the temperature of the water and nutrient mix.
Can I grow organically with hydroponics?
Yes either by using organic nutrients or having an Aquaponic set up.
Are all types of plants suitable for hydroponic gardening?
Yes all plants can be grown hydroponically depending on the difficulty level. Generally all the leafy vegetables, Vine plants grow very well. There are various systems for growing various vegetables please refer to link below:-
Can I grow different plants in the same hydroponic system?
Yes you can grow different plans in the same Tower system for example where the cycle of the plants should be similar so that for fruiting and flowering same nutrients are required.
What is EC, TDS and PH?
EC– Electrical Conductivity of water. An EC meter measures the potential for an electrical current to be transported through water, the higher the concentration of ions, the greater the flow of electrons and Vice versa. Pure water is a very poor conductor of electricity, which is why an EC meter will read 0.0 in rainwater, reverse osmosis water or de-mineralized water. Salty seawater, on the other hand, is a much better conductor. The electrical conductivity for various crops is different; it should be below 2.2 for majority of the vegetables.
TDS– Total Dissolved Solids in water. This decides how much minerals are able to dissolve in the water.
PH– Expresses the Acidity and Alkalinity of the solution on a logarithmic scale on which 7 is neutral, lower values are more acid and higher values more alkaline. The pH is equal to −log10 c, where c is the hydrogen ion concentration in moles per liter.
What is the ideal pH level for growth of the Plant?
The ideal PH for the growth of the plant is between 6-7. Though there are various plants which require low and high PH depending on the Alkalinity/Acidity of the plant requirements.
What are the reasons for pH fluctuating, what do I interpret from it?
After you have set your PH to 6.5 for example and after 1-2 days you see that it has raisin to 7.5. The first question in your mind will be how did this happen and why is it not constant. To understand this, we need to know that nutrients are basically acidic in nature and when plants consume these nutrients there is a rise in PH. This is a normal situation as there is nutrients consumption taking place by the plant. It is much better than your pH dropping, which would indicate that you have added too much nutrient in your solution and the plant is not able to absorb it.
- PH goes up, EC goes down = Plants are feeding.
- PH goes down, EC goes up = Plants are putting nutrient into the water rather than taking them out. Nutrient levels are too high.
- PH stays stable, EC levels stay stable = Equilibrium. Plants are taking equal parts nutrients and water. Maximum growth is occurring.
Is it required to aerate my nutrient solution?
Yes absolutely in commercial set ups we need to aerate the solution in the Tank using an Aeration motor pump (similar kinds used in Fish Tanks). In Tower systems and Aero Buckets (used domestically) a lot of natural aeration also occurs due to the movement of the water while irrigating.
Do I need to use distilled or RO water for hydroponics?
No distilled water or Aero water is required for Hydroponics until and unless the water has impurities/salinity/Fluoride basically unfit for drinking. What Humans can drink plants can also drink that. We suggest you to use Aero water so that you basically get pure water and you can add Nutrients to it to make it fir for plants. In certain demographics places without Aero water it is not possible to do farming.
Is my Tube-well water okay for growing plants?
It may be depending on the hardness of the water. Rainwater is also very suitable for Hydroponics as it is pure and has good PH. The Tube-well water needs to be checked for its EC,PH and TDS.
Do you have good fertilizer to use for growing plants?
Yes we do and we even have tie ups for providing best nutrients for the growth of your plants.
What should be the concoction for different stages of plant growth?
Please refer us once you have started the cultivation, we will provide you a chart for various nutrients at different stages of the growth of the plant.
Are organic fertilizers better than synthetic fertilizers?
The most organic way of doing Hydroponics is by using Fish( Aqua-ponics) which supplies nutrient rich water to the plants. Basically the organic fertilizers are derived from natural, organic compounds such as compost, manure and worm castings which get broken down to produce elements which are absorbed by the plants. This requires enzymes and bacteria to break it down.
Inorganic fertilizers are created using inorganic compounds made through chemical processes. As far as your plants are concerned, organic and inorganic nutrients are relatively the same. The plant is unable to differentiate between Organic and inorganic nutrients.
They can have virtually the same nutrient levels, and at a molecular level these nutrients are the same. Many organic fertilizers need symbiotic fungi and bacteria to break them down before the fertilizer is readily available, while others are pre-digested and instantly available to your plants. Some people find that organic nutrients allow more sludge to build up in their reservoir. FYI. It is not safe to use hydrogen peroxide with organic nutrients, as it will kill off all the beneficial fungi and bacteria.
Why is 2 part nutrient better than 1 part?
Two part nutrients are superior to one part nutrients because they have separate NPK’s and Micro nutrients which would otherwise bind to form sediment in the tank. This binding of minerals permanently bound up and makes nutrients unavailable to plants. Keeping these nutrients separate when in concentrated form ensures a virtually unlimited shelf life and that 100% of the nutrient is available to your plants.
What is the desired temperature range for the nutrient solution?
The Nutrient solution temperature should be in the range of 24-28 degree Celsius (75-80 degree F)
How often should I change my nutrient solution?
It depends; basically first op up your tank with fresh water without any nutrient added. This is because you will lose water to evaporation and plant uptake but the strength of the solution does not necessarily drop with the level of the water. So, in some cases as the reservoir water level drops the solution concentration actually goes up or gets stronger. So, add only fresh water and then adjust your pH accordingly.
Try and keep a record of how much water you are putting in the reservoir to top it off and once the amount of water added equals half of the reservoir capacity it is time to change the solution and rinse the reservoir and growing medium. For example if you have a 20 liters reservoir and over the course of 12 days you have added 10 liters of water, then it is time to change your solution.
Can I transfer plants from soil/coco peat to hydroponics?
Yes, you can all you need to do is wash the roots of the plant by dipping in water and try to remove as much of the soil matter as possible. In case of coco peat do not irrigate the trays 1 day before transplantation. This will make coco peat loose and will be easily washed off.
Do plants grown using hydroponics taste better than plants grown in soil?
Yes plants grown under soilless medium with nutrients directly being supplied to them taste better have good nutrient value, color and size.
Do we need a Polyhouse to set up a commercial hydroponic farm or can it be done indoors ?
Hydroponics/Aeroponics is a way of growing it can be done either in a protected cultivation environment or in open. Protected cultivation means a set up using a Poly sheet, Poly carbonate sheet, Shade net where we can control the temperature and grow vegetables. Protected cultivation helps in controlling the environment for Temperature and humidity moreover helps in controlling pests and other insects which harm the crops. Here natural Sunlight is being used for Photosynthesis.
Depending on the feasibility of the commercial vegetable we can also grow indoors using RGB lights or Full spectrum lights. The only limitation is it is easy to grow leafy vegetables which do not require pollination as against Pollinating vegetables such as Tomatoes, Capsicum etc.