The use of Hydroponics is an ever developing way for people to grow their crops and plants without the use of soil. Without the use of soil, growers now have to consider among other things what type of system they are going to use. A gravity fed system however, is one of the most popular and is commonly used due to a variety of features. At MEGAPot we are specialists in the world of hydroponics with a vast amount of knowledge within the industry. In this latest article we take a look at 7 tips for getting the most out of your gravity fed system.
Gravity fed systems are an easy to use nutrient delivery system. Plants are gravity fed from a reservoir and unlike their counterparts there is no electrical equipment needed. Instead they use a valve which helps to distribute water and feed the roots of crops and plants when they need it.
If you are new to using hydroponics and its associated systems, it is always good to have some tips to help you along the way. When it comes to using a gravity fed system there are a number of elements you can affect. The 7 tips for getting the most out of an gravity fed System include the following:-
Hand watering the plants within your system may seem somewhat counter productive, however there are many benefits associated with it. When a new plant is placed into the system naturally its roots have not been developed yet. This could cause it to have issues taking on the nutrients it needs to grow. This is very prevalent as each plant in the gravity fed system is individually planted.
By hand watering plants until their roots are developed you can ensure that they receive all of the nutrients they need to begin a healthy growth phase. All of the same standards apply that you will need to check the pH levels of the solution in which you use. If you are growing using a medium like rockwool or coco then you will most definitely need a weak nutrient solution.
To help drainage within the pots your plants or crops sit in then you need to consider what you can line them with. Adding clay balls and gravel ensure that you can soak up any remaining substances such as salt, or increase the drainage as they are also soaked into the gravel. Ensure that you wash the gravel and clay beforehand so that it does not affect the pH levels of the nutrients during the process.
Even though you are using hydroponics you need to ensure that the systems are maintained and looked after. During the process of growing, and the passing of nutrients, many lines will become clogged with algae and also contain other by products. Ensuring the lines you are using are clean and free from substances will help the overall process.
There are two things which could happen without the use of a line cleaner. The first thing is that lines could remain blocked which would stop the system from work. Ultimately stopping the growing process. The other side of this and the second thing is that the debris or chemicals within can affect the pH of the growing nutrients. Which can affect the overall process.
Cleaning your whole system between each harvest is really important. During the growing process there will be byproducts from the plants as well as left over nutrients. Ensuring that you clean the pipework will mean that it will not have an effect on the new plants and crops growth process. Leftover substances can also have an affect on the pH of other solutions. This can sometimes be detrimental.
It is also recommended that you clean and scrub the valves and remove all silicone before cleaning. Only replace them when dry to ensure no left over water passes into the system. It is also necessary to use sterile equipment which will not have a harmful effect on any phase of the plant’s growth lifecycle.
During the growing process and the use of the system there is a chance that sediment will settle in. The best way to prevent this is to drain the solution away. If you do not commit to draining your plants you will see a buildup of salt. Salt can stop solution passing to plants and also affect the pH levels of your system.
Selecting the correct nutrients is vital for all methods of hydroponic growing. Nutrients are so key due to the way in which they react with the plants. For an autpot system it is advised to not look at non-mineral based solutions. This is due to that type of nutrient potentially causing bloakages when oxygenrated.
It is also advised to avoid using any solutions that are thick. This is because within this system you are solely reliant on gravity and specific elements to pass this onto the plants. Anything too thick may have trouble passing through the system itself resulting in a lack of nutrients being passed.
Getting the gravity pressure correct for this type of system is what it is all about. Luckily gravity fed systems make no noise so are great for those that are growing indoors. Making sure that your reservoir is at least six inches higher than the top most valve. Without this height clearance you may find that the circulation is decreased and overall functionality is not great.
The 7 tips for getting the most out of a gravity fed system is a real key starting point for those that are considering using this type of system. Moving from a generic way of growing to hydroponics can be a big shift. However, the benefits it can bring are great. At MEGAPot we are a group of industry experts when it comes to hydroponics. For more information on our products and service please Contact Us.