Herbs, flowers, and other plants are becoming increasingly popular to grow at home. Hydroponics is a fantastic alternative for people who want to try something new other than growing plants in soil.
Deep Water Culture systems are an excellent method to begin your hydroponics journey. This way of growth may be as basic or complex as you choose, and it can be ramped up as you acquire expertise.
Deep Water Culture Hydroponics: What Is It?
Deepwater cultivation hydroponics is a method of growing plants in which the roots are suspended in a solution of water and nutrients that is actively oxygenated rather than planted in soil.
It overcomes many of the disadvantages of soil-based plant cultivation, resulting in quicker plant development and higher agricultural yields.
There are various techniques to construct a deep water culture hydroponics system, each with benefits and drawbacks for the user based on their objectives.
The simplicity of this agricultural approach is that plants may be cultivated successfully with considerably less work than soil-based cultivation by utilizing an appropriate well-oxygenated water solution.
So, what is the significance of the term “deep water culture”?
In contrast to other hydroponics systems (such as the ebb and flow system), DWC keeps most of the root mass immersed in water at all times.
The setup is built in a big (or deep) body of water. Deep Water Culture is the term given to the process because of these two characteristics.
In addition, this system frequently includes an airstone and an air pump to guarantee that the water is oxygenated, which is healthier for the plant.
We’ll look at what Deep Water Culture hydroponics is all about, see how it works, and point you in the right direction for building your own system so you can grow plants at home.
Why Deep Water Culture Systems?
Deep Water Culture systems are an excellent method to begin hydroponics. It’s a step up from wick systems in terms of intricacy, but it’s still easy enough for anybody to use. The following are some of the most significant benefits of deepwater cultivation systems.
1. The setup is simple.
Deep Water Culture systems are simple, requiring just a few pieces that can be assembled in a short amount of time. The only moving component is an air pump that is simple to set up.
2. Monitoring is straightforward
Monitoring is pretty straightforward as long as it is done on a regular basis and you are familiar with the fundamentals.
3. Minimum expenditure
Once the system is set up, maintenance expenditures are minimal.
4. Plants develop at a much quicker rate.
When compared to soil-based growing, this results in bigger plants with higher yields.
Hydroponic Plants for Deep Water Culture
Plants that do not require flowering are the best to thrive in Deep Water Culture systems. Lettuce and other herbs are especially well-suited due to the significantly faster growth rates that may be obtained than soil farming. Tomatoes, peppers, and kale, chard, collard greens, are all good options.
Deep Water Culture Hydroponics Components
To ensure that plants receive all of the required nutrients for development and nourishment, the solution in which they grow must be supplemented with particular components. These elements can be highlighted in the following way:
Oxygen: Plants require oxygen for their respiration because they are living creatures. For example, plant roots in soil receive oxygen through the spaces between soil particles.
Water: Water is abundant in a Deep Water Culture system, and it is required for a plant to develop and thrive. The difficulty is ensuring that the huge amount of water in the system does not obstruct the plants’ supply of oxygen and nutrients.
Nutrients: Nutrients necessary for plant development must be added to the water in Deep Water Culture systems. The plants are well-nourished and able to flourish to their full capacity when the right amounts of nutrients are added to the water solution.
Creating a Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System at Home
To create a Deep Water Culture system, you’ll need the following items:
- Container or reservoir for water
- Pump for air
- For bubble creation, use an air hose and air stones.
- To keep the plants in place, grow netting or baskets.
- To support the plant in the basket, use a growing medium.
- Nutrients for hydroponics
- pH and EC of the nutrition solution monitoring equipment
Step 1: The air pump, tubing, and air stone must all be connected first. Place the airstone in the reservoir’s bottom, with the tubing leading to the pump.
Cutting a piece of Styrofoam to the size of the top of the reservoir is an excellent technique to suspend the grow nets or baskets. The net pots may then be secured in these holes by cutting holes in them.
After that, prepare your seeds by placing them in grow nets or baskets and securing them with your preferred growing medium.
Step 2: Germinate the seeds. You can proceed with germinating standard seeds using germination trays or net-pots. The advantage of using net-pots is that you will not need to transplant the sapling (and hence minimize the chances of damaging roots or transplant shock) while shifting it to the grow bed.
Step 3: As directed by the manufacturer, make the nutrient solution by mixing the nutrients with water. If you’re using our supplements, follow the instructions that come with them.
Finally, position your plants so that their roots are completely buried in the nutritional solution. To prevent the possibility of the stems being buried in the water over time, leave approximately 1.5″ of the roots exposed to the air.
The solution should have enough bubbles to mimic boiling water; these bubbles are needed to oxygenate the water and provide enough oxygen to the roots to keep them healthy.
Step 4: The system will need to be closely monitored for several days after installation to ensure that the roots are getting enough water, and the pH and EC of the nutrient solution will need to be constantly checked and adjusted as needed.
DWC System maintenance is required on a regular basis.
The system will require little maintenance once it is up and running. The following are a few things to keep an eye out for on a regular basis:-
- Plant roots can only absorb nutrients if the pH of the nutrition solution is within a certain range (between 5.5 to 7.0 for the majority of plants, depending upon plant variety and species).
- Periodic oxygenation of nutrition solution is needed. As mentioned previously in this essay, healthy growth will need periodic oxygenation of nutrient solution.
- If your air pump fails or your power source goes out, the plant roots will rapidly become oxygen-depleted and die.
- The water temperature is difficult to maintain within the intended range since the ambient temperature of the growing environment affects it fast.
- Last but not least, keep an eye out for pests or any other signs of suffering in your plants.
Some tips to follow in a DWC hydroponic system
When employing the Deep Water Culture hydroponic method, there are a few things to bear in mind.
1. Don’t let the roots burn.
Make sure you’re not exposing your plant’s roots to too high a nutrient concentration, especially because they’ll be sitting in the hydroponic fertilizer solution at all times. A high concentration might fry the roots, resulting in a nutritional lockout.
2. Have a strategy in place in the event of a power outage.
The air pump in DWC systems requires continual power to operate. Chances are there that your power might go off and if you are unmindful, blunders can happen! Your plants will be harmed if the electricity goes off. So have a backup plan in such a case.
If the power goes out, lower the reservoir’s water level halfway so that more roots are exposed to oxygen while still having access to the nutritional solution. This will not prevent the plants from being stressed, but it will help them live longer.
3. Make preparations for water fluctuations.
Another little difficulty is monitoring the plant’s roots particularly as the plants become larger. To drain the water from the reservoir, go for installing a drain system. It’s also a good idea to have a location to lay the system’s lid so the plant’s roots may dangle and not be crushed. Having an additional reservoir to place your plant on is the best method to achieve this.
Deep Water Culture hydroponics is not just popular among home gardeners; many commercial organizations utilize Deep Water Culture systems to efficiently and sustainably cultivate a range of fruit and vegetable crops.
Many of us reside in urban areas. We don’t even have access to a tiny plot of land where we could start a garden. Deep Water Culture allows us to grow something and get the benefits in a very small amount of area inside.
Some gardeners utilize elaborate greenhouses for their hydroponic projects, but you can get started with only a corner of a room. Switching to deep water cultivation has several advantages, including increased yields and simplicity.
Q1. How can I tell how much oxygen my nutrition solution contains?
The simplest approach to “monitor” your dissolved oxygen levels is to simply do what you can to maintain the stability, such as keeping the solution at the proper temperature and operating your air pump.
Q2. In my DWC reservoir and nutritional solution, how much of the roots should be submerged?
First and foremost, ensure that just the root matter is immersed in your nutrition solution, with no stems or plants.
You also don’t want to fully bury the roots.
Q3. In a DWC system, how much quicker do plants grow?
Plants cultivated in a DWC system will grow at least 15% quicker if everything is done correctly.