As a beginner in the field of hydroponic gardening, you might get overwhelmed with the various types of hydroponic garden system.
The following article takes into account the functions and the advantages of the three of the most popular types of garden systems. The following systems are: NFT or Nutrient Film Technique System, Ebb and Flow System, and the Drip System or Top Feed System.
NFT or Nutrient Film Technique System
This first system is popularly called the NFT or the Nutrient Film Technique. The garden system was first introduced by Dr. Allen Cooper in 1970s in England. Dr. Cooper was very interested in the once remote technology of hydroponics due to its demand in many parts of the world where land is not arable.
Thus, this interest drove him to build an inexpensive, large-scale garden system.
In the NFT system, there is a continuous flow of nutrient solution over the root system of the plants, thus feeding them constantly.
This consistency results in accelerated productivity. The NFT system utilizes little or no growing medium at all, making it an inexpensive system to maintain.
The disadvantage with this lack of medium is that the plants may suffer with a long-term power failure due to the absence of a medium acting as a buffer.
Moreover, trellising is needed with larger plants due to the lack of support from a medium that will supposedly hold the plants.
Ebb and Flow System
The next common hydroponic system is the Ebb and Flow system. The Ebb and Flow system is low in maintenance while supplying a reliably high productivity output. Due to consistent results and proven ease of operation, this makes it one of the most popular hydroponic systems for those beginners in this type of gardening.
It has individual containers with the medium inside it and these are laid in the growing beds. The growing beds are periodically flooded to provide water and nutrients to the plants.
Furthermore, it is allowed to drain to provide oxygen into the root system.
Because of the presence of a medium, the plant’s root systems are supported and held in place. And also because of the presence of a medium, there is an acting buffer which holds the nutrients and water to be available for the root system’s consumption. This system reduces the risks of damages to the plants due to power failure.
Drip System or Top Feed System
The third garden system is the top feed or drip system. It delivers the nutrient solution by using a pump and tubing. The nutrient solution is directly delivered just above the medium, letting it to trickle through the medium before returning to the reservoir.
It can utilize a variety of growing media and is suited for various types of plant growth because of its versatility. In addition, it is also proven low maintenance and reliable.