Hydroponic Sytems Component two — Nutritional Movie Method NFT

How does it work?

The equipment includes long shallow trays which feature a long lid keeping the device enclosed. There are cut outs in the lid which is where the plants are placed. The plant sits in a plastic pot with slits allowing the roots to grow through them. They seem like a smaller version of the inner pot used in flood and drain systems.

The trays are put above a water tank and a pump connected at one end to pump water to the trays. There must be a great gradient in the trays so the water flows shibo NFT  down the tray and back to the water tank. Often the gradients used are 1:30 or 1:40 this stops water pooling in the depressions brought on by uneven surfaces and roots. The theory is that the roots of the plants are continuously bathed in a nutrient rich water supply and produce healthy, linear growing plants.

The name nutrient film is in reference to the thin film of roots that may eventually form on the underside of the tray. It takes to be a very shallow stream of water with only the root of the roots submerged; this allows the remaining portion of the root to be ready to accept the air and get the required oxygen required for growth.

The systems can be found in different lengths which can take different numbers of plants. Essentially you could have any period of NFT system, nevertheless the longer the device the more chance that flow could be interrupted. Systems more than 12 metres tend to obtain less growth in plants towards the conclusion because of the nutrients in the water being taken up by the plants closer to the reservoir. However this dilemma can be overcome by creating another water supply along the length of the channel.

Pump Breakdown

As NFT systems only demand a small, shallow water delivery the pumps used are not very powerful. They’re also on all of the time meaning that they get lots of action on the span of the grow. This in conjunction with possible salt precipitation from the dissolved nutrients (especially in hard water areas) means that sooner or later the pump probably will break down. If you’re able to catch this quickly then apart from the cost of a brand new pump, there is no real problem to the plants. However if this goes unnoticed it indicates that the roots will dry rapidly and this will affect growth.

Disease

The plant roots are constantly submerged in water and this could cause bacterial infections such as pythuim. Pythuim is much better referred to as root rot and can decimate your crops if it is not detected early. There are products in the marketplace that can eradicate this if you’re unlucky enough to obtain it, but the best way is prevention. This can be achieved by changing the water reservoir periodically and adding preventative additives to the nutrient solution.

Stability

Heavy fruit yielding plants can become unstable in an NFT system. This really is because of the roots growing long and flat and lacking any a great deal of purchase. This causes the plant to become top heavy and they fall out from the trays – not ideal! This can be overcome by supporting the plants by utilizing yo-yos, string or canes. This can give some stability to the plant and let it continue growing and bearing fruit without toppling over.

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