Indoor Hydroponics Systems
Hydroponics techniques have been successfully used to cultivate a wide variety of plants even in places with climates that do not support plant growth like deserts and Polar Regions.
Growing plants indoors with hydroponics is basically all about simulating the natural growth environment indoors, usually in specially designed grow rooms or grow chambers. The plants can then be supplied with the essential growth inputs in a controlled manner to stimulate and regulate growth. Hydroponics often gives results far superior to conventional cultivation due the fact that it offers a measure of control over factors like nutrition, lighting etc.
Unlike conventional cultivation, hydroponics cultivation does not use soil, instead it uses other grow media to serve the same purpose. The material may be water, gravel, sand or vermiculite; even bran and coconut fiber can be used. The medium serves to hold the plant and also facilitates the supply of nutrients in the form of a solution. The solution is then added to the grow media; the plant roots are thus bathed in a solution which is rich in nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and trace minerals. Additionally, since the medium is highly porous, it is ideally suited to ensure the supply of oxygen to the roots.
Plants make their own food and for this they need energy, which they get from the sunís radiation. Instead of sunlight, indoor hydroponics systems make use of the radiation from grow lights that are artificial light sources. These can be incorporated in the grow chamber and controlled with suitable control systems to provide the type and pattern of lighting in line with the plantís requirements. The energy requirements of plants are not constant; they differ at different points of the plant growth cycle. Artificial lighting and control systems offer optimal usage of energy which enhances growth to the plantís full potential.
Plants also need air and carbon dioxide and these are supplied in various ways using oscillating, fans, pumps, cylinders etc. With the basic systems in place the indoor grow room provides all the essential growth factors needed to support plant growth. There are several systems that are all essentially based on the same basic considerations but differ in some respects of detail. In some systems, the plant roots are constantly in contact with the nutrient solution while in other systems the solution is supplied and drained at intervals. In some systems the roots are not bathed in solution, but are held exposed to air and the nutrient solution is misted around them. In some systems growing trays are used to support plants while in others the plants are supported in tubes.
Four Season Crops
Hydroponics systems can be built using commercially available components or they can be built using available material; they can also be obtained as kits from the market. With several options now available to him, the gardening enthusiast can put his ingenuity and imagination to good use for growing plants all the year round rain, hail or snow.
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Growing plants indoors with, hydroponics is basically all about simulating the natural growth environment indoors, usually in specially designed grow rooms or grow chambers.
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