Systems & Set Up: The #3 Factor In Maximum Yield
THE SYSTEM/THE GROWER/CULTURAL PRACTICES/MISTAKE/ACCIDENT
Many gardeners think that there is one particular system that is going to lead them down the path to success. I always say to people: I’ve seen great yields out of every system there is and I’ve seen poor yields out of every system there is. What it really comes down to is; understanding how plants grow and applying that knowledge to your system. You need to know the ins and outs of the particular system that you choose.
For example drain to waste gardens are very common and allow great flexibility in medium and nutrient choice and plant size. A major advantage of the drain to waste system is that fresh nutrient solution is applied every irrigation and we can catch the runoff and track the ppm and ph.
This article is only an overview of systems that can be chosen, in order to properly run any chosen system we must take the time to investigate the potential pitfalls. For example in recirculation systems flood and drain gardens can be low risk and low labour. You can definitely load a lot of plants into a table with 4 inch Rockwool cubes on slabs. NFT systems – nutrient film technique, where a thin film of nutrient passes over the roots can also be low risk and low labour. Aeroponic gardens deliver a fine mist of nutrient solution to the roots. Top feed drip systems can be utilized with many different mediums and container sizes. If we are moving to larger plants like trees, we might consider a system that allows us to space the plants accordingly. In the case of growing larger plants an appropriate vegetative system must also be considered to obtain efficient flow between vegetative and flowering stages of growth. Deep water culture systems offer good flexibility for different plant sizes.
The word “hydroponics” means to work with water; ultimately we are limited by our understanding and imagination. Having said this do not feel like you need to reinvent the wheel. Often a good way to proceed is to follow the system of a gardener who consistently obtains bountiful yields of the same strain you are growing.
As long as you chose a system that supports the genetics you’ve chosen, then you can build the rest of your environment around the system and you will be well on your way to getting good yields. Again I can’t emphasize enough developing the knowledge that you will need to work the ins and outs of the particular system that you chose. So once you have focused your attention on the genetics that you need, identified where you can get them and what their important characteristics are, you can move forward on selecting a system, talk to your local hydroponic retail professional to receive guidance in using that particular system, or consult the Grower’s Handbook, Teachings of the Garden Sage, which tells you all the ins and outs of each particular system.