For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

Homemade Hydroponics

Homemade hydroponics wick system

Water works/wick hydroponics systems are probably the most basic form of hydroponics kits available. The way they function is fairly simple to understand. The roots of the plants are constantly submerged under water and a pump is used with an airstone to provide aeration.

Water works systems do not provide proper aeration of the roots. To allow roots to breath, a pump must be used, usually an external one connected to an air line running into the reservoir. At the other end of the tube is an airstone that gently diffuse oxygen into the reservoir tank.

Water works usually utilize grow rocks, rockwool or a combination of both mediums to grow plants and keep them up-right and sturdy. Water works can be classified as a wick system because wick strips are generally placed in the planters (net pots) to pull nutrient from the reservoir to feed the upper root system. When you submerge the planter into the reservoir, the wick strip will transport water from the reservoir to feed the part of the roots that is not submerged under water or the roots growing at the top level of the root system.

Water works hydroponics systems, such as, Emily's Garden kit is a good choice for beginners and hobby gardeners'. The system is easy to use and maintain. Simply fill the reservoir with nutrient solution, plug in pump and your all set. The only thing you need to do periodically is replenish the reservoir once the nutrient solution falls below the water lever indicator.

Water works hydroponics systems are not the most advanced, however, it will get the job done and the system is great for beginners and hobby Gardeners. Water works may cause root rot and other problems because the roots are in water for longer than they need to be and is not recommended for large or long term plants.

Submerging plant roots into water for a long period of time will usually kill the plant or slows growth. Air stones will aerate the roots, but some plants may still die because of soaking up too much water.

One of the few crops that would be "perfect" for water works hydroponics systems is lettuce. Lettuce is a crop that loves water and plenty of it. Lettuce growers should have great results using this hydroponics technique.


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