Hydroponics is a way to grow plants without using soil. The use of this method allows the vegetative organs to receive all the necessary nutrients from the solution in exact proportions and the right quantities, which is practically impossible with soil cultivation.
The advantages of this method are obvious:
- constantly receiving the necessary substances in the required quantities, the plant grows healthy and strong and much faster than in the soil, while the flowering of ornamental and the yield of fruit species increases several times;
- the root system never suffers from drying out or lack of air when moistened, which is inevitable in soil cultivation;
- much easier to control water consumption and there is no need for daily watering;
- there is no problem of overdose or lack of fertilizers, and the possibility of soil diseases and pests is excluded;
- the transplantation of perennial crops is greatly facilitated, since it is not necessary to free the root system from the old soil;
- hydroponics pots are lightweight, which is very convenient, and since they do not contain soil mixture, the plant does not accumulate substances harmful to human health over time that are present in the soil.
To grow flowers in this way, special hydroponic pots are needed. There are two options: purchase a product in a specialized flower shop or make it yourself.
Plant pots for hydroponics are products of various sizes made of plastic, which are a container consisting of two parts with or without an electric aerator (a device that supplies air to the solution).
Plants are planted in a special insert with a drainage hole and many small side holes, equipped with a liquid level indicator. The insert is filled with substrate. Usually it is coarse-grained sand, granular expanded clay, vermiculite, small pebbles and other materials that do not enter into chemical interaction with substances dissolved in water. The task of such a substrate is to securely hold the plant in an upright position and place it in a larger pot, and fill the space between them with a nutrient solution. In this case, the roots of the plant should be immersed in the solution by 2/3 of the part. When the liquid level drops to a minimum, it is necessary to add a nutrient solution, and every 2-3 months it is necessary to remove the insert and rinse the substrate with water, clearing it of accumulated salts.
Self-watering hydroponics pots are a very easy-to-use product that comes with a container for solution and a pump that automatically replenishes the required level of liquid in the pot. This design allows the plant to exist independently, without human intervention, for 6-8 weeks.
There are also hydroponics systems that allow you to grow several plants at the same time from one installation.
Since hydroponics pots are not cheap, you can easily build such a pot from improvised materials. To do this, you will need two pots made of chemically inert materials, selected in such a way that a smaller container is inserted into a larger one. The inner pot should have several drainage holes and holes in the side walls 1-1.5 cm in diameter.
The inner vessel with the substrate and the plant is inserted into the outer one in such a way that the distance between their bottoms is 6-10 cm. It is advisable to choose an outer spherical vessel for a larger supply of nutrient fluid. A glass or plastic tube of small diameter can be used as a liquid level indicator.