Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hydroponics

This method is where you grow the plants in a nutrient rich water solution, which is given directly to, and absorbed by the bare roots. hydroPlants grown in hydro systems soon develop strong healthy roots, have easy access to oxygen, water and nutrient, and therefore overfeeding and underfeeding is prevented. Plants grow a lot faster with this method than they would in a normal soil bed. They are also healthier, making them more resistant to pests and diseases. There are no soil-borne diseases, no weeding and the plants can be placed very close to one another, this will allow for a large amount of chillis to be produced in a small amount of space. In this method of growing the soil is replaced with an inert substance such as vermiculite, perlite, clay granules, gravel, coir fibre, or cocoa bean shell, which is there just to support the plant. Nutrients, mostly combinations of nitrogen, potassium and phosphate with other trace elements such as calcium, magnesium and sulphates, are delivered as a solution directly to plant roots. Hydro systems can be active or passive, (i) active systems are where the water and nutrient is automatically pumped from a reservoir, around the plant roots. Nutrient film technique (NFT) is where the plants grow in a plastic tray which is gently sloping, a constant flow of nutrients is maintained along the tray, and the roots grow into dense mats, with a thin film of nutrient passing over them, the nutrients the plant does not take, is drained back into the reservoir, and circulated around again via a small submersible pump, the tank is then periodically changed with fresh nutrient solution. In an Ebb & Flood system growtips14nutrient solution is pumped at pre-set intervals from the reservoir over the roots and back into the reservoir over and over again. (ii) Passive systems are much simpler, your plant is placed in a container (pot or bag) of growing medium, and the container stands in a tray of nutrient solution. For more information on the system we used,which can be seen on the 2004 growing diary visit, www.greenhousesensation.co.uk or for a more overall picture of complete hydroponic with a range of systems visit, www.greenshorticulture.co.uk. http://www.chillisgalore.co.uk

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