In the simplest terms, Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using a nutrient rich solution, without the use of soil. The plants receive all the nutrients they require from the nutrient solution. These systems can be completely automated or even manually watered.
Hydroponics offers the following advantages:
There are many different methods of Hydroponics. Some types use a grow media in place of soil, such as cocopeat, rockwool, expanded clay etc while some types use no media at all, with the roots directly in contact with the nutrient solution. Hydroponic systems can be either recirculating or non-recirculating. With recirculating systems, the nutrient solution is sent to the plants, then back to the nutrient tank in a continuous cycle. Non-recirculating systems (Drain to waste, DTW) use a timed watering to deliver a precise amount of nutrient solution to the plant a couple times per day, just a few excess drops of solution should leave the system. Please see our article on the DTW versus Recirculating Hydroponics for more details.
At Green Age Farms our focus is on DTW Hydroponics. We have tried a lot of other systems over the years but found that DTW best met our needs, provided high yields, high quality produce and took very little time and maintenance from us. We have lots of hands on experience from personally operating these systems and are well able to provide you with any guidance you may require. We can help with the design, supplies, installation and training required for you to be successful at running your very own system.