The following extract is from a series of gardening articles and tips on hydroponics …
Possibly the easiest method for a hydroponic gardening system, or raised gardening, is the Wick method. With this hydroponics gardening system, there are no moving parts and no expensive equipment to buy. The landscaping Lincolnshire gardener simply places one end of the wick into a solution rich in nutrients and the other end of the wick is inserted into the growing medium, where the plant roots are. The nutrient solution is then transferred into the growing medium. For free plans and diagrams about how to build this type of hydroponics grow system, search online for “free hydroponic gardening system plans”. One disadvantage of this hydroponic gardening system though, is that it is not suitable for large plants, as they use up the water and solution faster than the wicks can supply the nutrients.
Using the water culture method provides the perfect amount of nutrients, water, and oxygen to your hydroponics grow system. This popular raised gardening method uses plants floating on top of a sheet of Styrofoam while a pump adds oxygen and nutrient filled water to the root systems of the plants. Lettuce and other water-based plants are ideal for this hydroponics grow system and other plants should be grown using other methods that are more suitable for them. Teachers also use the water culture method in their classroom as a teaching Tool for their students.
Many indoor gardeners use the Ebb and Flow method (also known as the Flood and Drain method). With this hydroponics gardening system, a submerged pump floods the grow tray with a nutrient rich solution at regular intervals. A mechanism monitors the surrounding environment to help determine the quantity of nutrients to provide to the plants for optimum growth. With this hydroponics grow system, gardeners can use a number of different growing mediums.
Grow rocks and gravel are also helpful when placed in the bottom of the grow tray to help the plants intake of the nutrients provided by the solution. Or, for smaller plants, gardeners may choose to use individual pots that they can easily relocate if needed. Beware of power outages, though. Since some equipment runs on electricity, a power outage can cause the roots to dry out quickly.
Hydroponic gardening systems and other raised gardening methods provide many advantages to gardeners. If you want a hydroponic gardening system, you can choose between some that are practically maintenance free or others that require more maintenance for the gardeners who enjoy hydroponics gardening as a hobby. Many online hydroponics web sites offer landscape gardeners Perth various methods and diagrams for building their own hydroponic gardening system that will best suit their needs.