Is it possible to provide members of your family with fresh greenery at any time of the year? Thanks to modern technology, the answer to this question sounds very optimistic. With the help of such technology as hydroponics at home, herbs, parsley, celery, basil and other crops will decorate your dishes and make them different every day without looking at the season.
What is it - hydroponics?
Even from the very name it becomes obvious that using this technology, the plants will live in water. Forget about the need to cultivate the beds, to protect your plants from numerous pests! Hydroponics - the cultivation of vegetables and herbs by immersing their root system in an aqueous solution of nutrients. With this solution, you will be able to ensure that each plant receives the optimal amount of microelements necessary for its full development, formation and ripening of fruits.
Rate the beauty and power of basil varieties of bushes grown with this technology.
The root system of such plants in the degree of branching and power is several times higher than the characteristics of their "brothers", grown in the soil.
So, we figured out that this is hydroponics and what it is used for. Now let's find out why it is worth to abandon the traditions in favor of this method of cultivation.
Benefits of Hydroponics
Every gardener knows how dirty and tedious work on the ground can be. Plowing or digging, planting, hilling, weeding, loosening, watering, processing from pests, shading - this is not a complete list of the work to be done to get a decent harvest.
In turn, how to grow hydroponics? The algorithm is not the most complex:
- choose the plants you need;
- determine the type of artificial substrate: expanded clay, perlite or others;
- purchase special "wicker" pots;
- plant seeds;
- choose the right concentration of fertilizers, focusing on the needs of your chosen plants;
- install an air-compressor sprayer on the bottom of the tank used; aquarium can be used;
- set pots with future plants in a special stand;
- immerse them in water;
- regularly monitor the level of fluid, as needed topping up or replacing it;
- timely cut off the grown greens. Thus, you stimulate the growth of new leaves and twigs.
Thus, this technology allows you to forget about a broken back, dirt and fatigue - constant companions of earthworks. The ease of obtaining nutrients provides the plants the opportunity to direct all their strength to growth. They develop in conditions of optimal illumination - thanks to the use of special phyto-lamps. The root system receives an optimal set of trace elements. All these factors provide the plants with not only rapid development, but also excellent taste. Thanks to the ability to independently regulate the composition of the nutrient solution, you will be able to saturate your harvest with the beneficial substances necessary for your beauty, health and activity. In addition, due to such techniques as hydroponics at home, the greenery will be safe. The absence in the aqueous solution of parasites that multiply in the ground, makes it possible not to be afraid of infection with helminths and pathogens of dangerous diseases.
You can grow fragrant herbs in your mini-greenhouse: mint, lemon balm, thyme, and others. When using such a technique, basil, parsley, dill, various types of lettuce, sorrel, onions on the feather, celery leaf, coriander develop excellently. The only plant species that is unlikely to grow on water is root crops.
How to create optimal nutrient solutions?
To fully appreciate the benefits of hydroponics, pay maximum attention to the study of the composition of nutrient mixtures for the future harvest. Take into account the needs - both plants and your body. In particular, to increase the nutritional value of greens, it is worth adding cobalt and iodine solutions to water. No less important components of the nutrient medium - nitrogen, phosphate and potash, N-P-K.
All these components should ideally be dissolved in distilled or purified water using a filter. Using pH tablets, you can reduce the stiffness of the solution. And special litmus papers allow you to control the level of its acidity.
Do not forget about the electrical conductivity, that is, the concentration measured in milliSiemens (mS). This indicator depends on the type of plants and ranges from 1.5 to 3.0 mS. As plants grow and nutrients are consumed, the solution should be updated or replaced.
Full fluid replacement is usually performed once every 3 weeks.
The optimal ratio of salts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is 0.5x1x2. Additionally magnesium is added - 0.3 gr. Each element dissolves separately in a small amount of water. Then they are mixed and diluted. On average, 1 liter of liquid should be about 5-20 grams of salt. Preparing a concentrated solution, you can organize a full care of your plants. The main thing is to ensure that the substances used do not precipitate.
How to grow greens in hydroponics, in the simplest settings?
To grow greens, it is not necessary to purchase a special installation (although there are some). You will need small "perforated" plastic pots with a diameter of up to 5 cm. You can replace them with plastic cups in which a maximum of holes should be made with a hot nail. In these containers, seeds are planted in perlite.
Then the compressor is laid in a long pallet with high sides. It prevents the precipitation of salts, ensures the saturation of the solution with oxygen and its uniform distribution between the roots of plants. The pots are installed in the lid of the foam, in which pre-made holes of suitable diameter.
If you properly done hydroponics at home, greenery with your own hands can be obtained quite quickly.
The main thing - do not forget to timely add the nutrient solution and turn on the compressor installation
Watch for the acidity of the solution, which should be 2.8-4.0. The concentration of nutrients in this case should be 0.5-2.5 mS / cm.
To simplify the task, you can buy ready-made concentrates for feeding plants grown in hydroponics. If you wish, you can create a whole multi-level garden with different varieties of greenery!
If hydroponics is mastered at home, greens — fresh, tasty, and healthy — will be part of your diet at any time of the year and with minimal labor. For this, it is really worth mastering the unique technology. Especially since this is not difficult, and in your agricultural experiments you can go ahead and start growing vegetables.