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|Types of Hydroponic Systems|
Uses a timer, pump and plumbing to deliver nutrients via a tube to each plant. Growing medium, usually rockwool,Hydroton or perlite, allows plenty of oxygen to the roots. A favorite system of commercial growers and home hobbyists. Our Living System? pages 4 and 5, is an example of a top-feed, recirculating drip system.
A pump circulates water from a reservoir to the plant roots. Large gardens are especially for active systems
Relies on a special growing medium or wicking system to draw water and nutrients into the plant roots.Works well with small scale gardening or growing single plants such as orchids, African violets or foliage.
Ebb and Flow System:
Also called flood and drain, this system uses a pump to deliver water from a reservoir to growing medium.The Pump is controlled by a timer that activates to flood the medium with solution and then shuts off, allowing it to drain back into the reservoir. Good for a starter or large hobby garden.
Nutrient Film Technique:
NFT systems have nutrient solution flowing on a thin film of plastic that the roots grow next to. No growing medium means roots get optimum oxygen exposure. Requires a continuous flow of nutrients during the daylight and at least one exposure at night to keep roots from drying out. Preferred by lettuce and herb growers.
Uses no growing medium other than a seed cube. Spray fittings produce a fine mist of nutrient solution for the suspended plant roots. This is an excellent method for establishing roots from cuttings. Also ideal for lettuce, spinach and basil.
That may be over simplified for some but it's a good place to start.