There are many hydroponic growing techniques to choose from, so how is one to determine which one is best for their particular grow? We’ve created this blog post to outline two of our favorite growing techniques, Deep Water Culture, and Ebb and Flow/Flood hydroponics We published this posting outlining these growing methods to help guide you on the path towards your next superior yield.
Deep Water Culture DWC Hydroponics
Deep Water Culture Hydroponics is a technique common to commercial hydroponics, it involves the practice of suspending the roots of the plant directly into the reservoir or nutrient solution at all times. The reservoir requires the constant use of an air pump that injects and oxygenates the nutrient solution that’s directly in contact with the plants roots to avoid starving the plant of oxygen. Deep Water Culture DWC Hydroponics has many benefits including the option to use or completely exclude a growing media. Other techniques require the use of a grow media to prevent the roots of the plant from drying out between watering cycles. However, since the roots are suspended directly into the oxygenated nutrient solution at all times, the plant is able to avoid this problem completely, without the need for a growing medium.
Another benefit of Deep Water Culture Hydroponics is the increased oxygen levels provided to the plant because of the constant supply of oxygen being injected into the reservoir. This allows plant roots to absorb large quantities of oxygen while also allowing the uptake of nutrients leading to rapid growth throughout the grow cycle.
Ebb and Flood / Flow or Drain Sub-Irrigation Hydroponics
Ebb and Flood Hydroponics involves the use of a tray, commonly placed above a separate nutrient solution reservoir, that is periodically flooded with the nutrient solution directly from the reservoir. This directly supplies the roots of plant with nutrients while the hydroponic system is in operation. The tray is commonly filled with a type of growing media, such as expanded clay aggregate or rock wool, to anchor and supply structure to the plants growing inside. When the system is not in operation, the nutrient solution in the tray drains back into the reservoir to allow the roots of the plant access to much needed oxygen, otherwise the roots of the plants would rot and die.
Ebb and Flood is known for its reliability, low cost of investment, and simplicity of operation.
The Negatives of Ebb and Flood hydroponics include:
1. Pathogens and contaminates develop in the reservoir, or flood tray due to uncirculating water during drain time which can contaminate the reservoir.
2. Oxygen levels are limited during the flooding of the tray