Getting fresh vegetables without pesticides is one of the dreams of how to grow your own vegetables. The problem is, not everyone has enough land to grow these vegetables. As a result, one way out is to grow vegetables using water as a soil substitute or commonly known as hydroponics. In origin, hydroponic farming methods have existed since thousands of years later (± 2600 years ago). Hanging Gardens Babylon is one of the 7 wonders of the earth. This page is an early application of the hydroponic methods listed in the origin.
Hydroponic farming methods began to enter Indonesia in the 1970s and became a lecture module at major academies. The hydroponic system can be one solution for the development of fruit and vegetable plants with various advantages over conventional farming systems.
For those whose hobby is farming, growing vegetables using the hydroponic method can relieve stress. But not everyone is aware of simple hydroponic growing methods for newcomers. No need to be afraid, Qoala will discuss simple hydroponic growing methods.
What is Hydroponic Farming?
As it is known, hydroponics is a method of planting that uses water as a tool so that it does not require large soil or soil. Simply put, hydroponics is a method of cultivating plants by using water as a substitute for soil enriched with nutrients. This makes matters of nutrition, planthopper management, and lighting easier to manage.
One of the added points of hydroponics is that it does not require the consumption of toxic herbicides and pesticides, so it is more environmentally friendly and the vegetables obtained will also be fresher. Planting with hydroponics will produce good quality and chemical-free plants.
As data, all tools for growing crops using this hydroponic method are widely sold, either online or directly to agricultural equipment outlets. You can use the hydroponic method to grow various kinds of vegetables, such as: kale, pakcoi, chili, shallots, to celery.
Advantages of Hydroponic Farming
After mastering the hydroponic related explanation, you also need to master the advantages of hydroponic methods. Especially at this time the hydroponic method is widely seen from the side of the eye, so it means to pay attention to what are the advantages that can be received from this hydroponic method.
Don’t want a ground tool. This makes the planting area always clean because it does not use soil at all.
Plant development appears to be faster. Because the nutrients needed by plants will be absorbed in a better way considering the tools used are liquid, not solid.
No need to do watering plants like farming in general. Because, the tools used have been wearing water.
Less power is required. Because, there is no need to carry out earthwork, planting and harvesting. The method is more efficient and also efficient.
How to harvest plants the next day will be easier when compared to farming methods that use soil.
Yields from hydroponic procedures also lead to more. The advantages of hydroponics on this one are not widely recognized as a result many people are doubting it.
Planting using the hydroponic method will actually save space. We don’t need up to a few hectares of land to grow crops. In fact, the hydroponic method is more suitable to be tried on small land, especially in urban areas.
Fruits and vegetables obtained from the hydroponic method the next day are purer because they are free from harmful pesticides or herbicides. This is definitely much more profitable than vegetables and fruit grown on plantation land that is using pesticides.
Maybe the plant is affected by leafhoppers and the disease will be smaller.
How to grow crops using hydroponics will not be related to the weather. You can always cultivate crops at any time, even if the weather is hot or cold.
The last advantage of hydroponics is that the use of fertilizers in this method is more efficient and efficient.
Disadvantages of Hydroponic Farming
Not only advantages, there are also disadvantages when farming using hydroponic methods. You also need to recognize the disadvantages of this hydroponic method. This is due to not only be lulled by the advantages mentioned above but also to be prepared to experience the shortcomings in this basis.
The initial drawback of hydroponics is that this method leads to the need for large capital. Hydroponics is very suitable if we are going to do plant cultivation in large ratios, so that the large capital spent will also return more quickly.
Because the hydroponic method is still relatively rarely used, features for hydroponic treatment are also very rare. Special equipment is still difficult to find and obtain, especially because there are at least hydroponic experts in Indonesia. This makes it difficult for you when you want special equipment maintenance.
Another drawback of hydroponics is that this hydroponic farming method requires extra accuracy. Because in farming with hydroponic methods, we must really pay attention to and control the nutrients that are given to the shrubs, including the pH acidity content. If you do not have an agricultural background, it will be quite difficult to grow crops using the hydroponic method.
The next drawback of hydroponics, the capital needed to grow sow in a hydroponic way is also quite large. This is especially important for purchasing equipment, tools and maintenance fees.
Lastly, hydroponics also requires special expertise in its field. You are also required to have great creativity in making various kinds of hydroponic equipment yourself so you don’t have to buy the ones that are quite expensive.
Simple Hydroponic Farming Method at Home
One of the advantages of the hydroponic method of farming is that it reduces the risks or problems of cultivation related to the soil, such as insects, fungi, and germs that live in the soil. This method is also easier to maintain as there is no need to associate weeding and earthwork methods. After that, the cultivation method was tried in a cleaner situation without using animal manure fertilizer.
This is what makes the simple hydroponic growing method so popular that it is applied in people’s homes that have little soil. Next is a hydroponic growing method that can be applied at home.
Hydroponic Farming Method with NFT System
The method of farming with hydroponics has many advantages. Although relatively new, there are simple hydroponic growing methods. This simple hydroponic growing method can certainly be tried in our environment at home. One of them is the Hydroponic Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system. This system is a hydroponic method that uses a flat motion technique. In a sense, this hydroponics only uses the movement of water (nutrients) as a tool.
The advantages of the NFT hydroponic system include that the water required is not very much, the content of dissolved acids in the nutrient water is quite large, water as a tool is easy to obtain at an economical price or even free, the pH of the water is easy to regulate and the hands can finally be supported with gutters.
NFT hydroponics is generally suitable for short mature vegetables, such as pakcoy, caisim, lettuce, kailan, spinach, and kale. Tomatoes and peppers. There are also cucumbers that are cultivated with the NFT system but one bed is only filled with 2-3 rows of gutters so that the plants can grow widely.
As a fork of plants, NFT hydroponics uses ties tied to wires at the top of the greenhouse. It should be noted that the biomass weight of fruit vegetables that are still producing is approximately 3-5 kg or plants. Generally, biomass exceeding 5 kilograms can cause the wire stretched upwards to bend. Gutters can also bend so that the movement of nutrients will no longer be normal.
As a substitute for mattress ties, you can use a 3 meter high bamboo section that is plugged into the part of each plant. This part of the bamboo is used as an upward propagation. After that, the weight of the plant biomass will rest on the soil through the bamboo. Gutters are not burdened by biomass so they are always flat and do not bend.
The method of making a simple hydroponic installation with the NFT system is also not complex. To grow vegetables with this system, the next steps are:
NFT Hydroponic Framework Making
Create an architectural framework made of aluminum or wood
The size of the frame is reduced by 5cm per meter so that the gutter placed on it will have a 5% slope.
Next, install the paralon rain gutters made of PVC in the form of a U with a distance of 4m, 12cm in size, 11cm in base area and flat.
The two ends of the gutters are covered with a PVC cover.
After that, cover the top of the gutter with a hole for an 8mm dimension PE hose as an inlet or the entry of water into the gutter. Don’t forget that the cap at the end is given a hole for a 13mm dimension PE hose as an outlet or the excess water comes out.
The PE hose is connected to a paralon which empties into the reservoir pond.
Finally, in the pool there is a submersible pump or a drain pump that pumps water back into the gutter inlet as a recirculation activity or reverse cycle movement. With a slope of 5% the flow of nutrient water that enters through the inlet into the gutter is 1.5L per minute and the water will flow to the end of the bottom. Make the thickness of the movement only 3-4mm so it is called film (flat arrangement). With this large discharge, the plants at the end of the bottom will always get water movement so that the growth of plants along the gutter will be the same.
How to plant begins by placing the seedlings in the middle of the paralon.
If the seedling does not hold the nutrient water, then the title of the piece of newspaper paper is as wide as the bottom of the gutter and as long as the gutter. Newspaper here serves as the axis of water delivery to the base of the seedling.
As a fork of plants, take advantage of Styrofoam with dimensions of 100cm far, 11cm wide, and 1.5cm thick.
So that the styrofoam does not lie under the gutter, it is given a split stone fork. Split stone can be 2-3cm in dimension which is placed in a zigzag way under the gutter with a close distance of 25cm. With the dimensions of the split stone, it means that there is a 2-3 cm thick air vent between the bottom of the gutter and the Styrofoam sheet.
The 2-3 cm sized split stone used to support the Styrofoam strands can be enlarged to 3-4 cm for kailan vegetables. Kailan has hypocotyl or stem roots that are far away.
The styrofoam part that is superimposed on the split stone is given a sowing hole with a diameter of 1.5cm every 15cm.
In the styrofoam hole, the seedlings are plugged with or without being wrapped in foam.
In hydroponic fruit and vegetables, it is necessary to provide a bamboo fork so that the weight of the fruit does not bend the paralon. This matter is free from the jam of the movement of nutrients in the paralon.
Wick System Hydroponic Farming Method
Not only NFT, one of the hydroponic farming methods is the wick system or axis system. The Wick system is a hydroponic sowing method with a cool system. Parts of the system include nutrient storage media, urn net, urn net media, and wick or cloth.
On the other hand, the wick system is a very simple hydroponic system. Wick itself in Indonesian means axis. This farming system can use leftover bottles of mineral water as a place to plant it. The wick used is usually a flannel or other type of material that easily absorbs water. Meanwhile, nutrient water is placed in media in the form of a plastic pond or plastic bottle. As a result, the base is not directly in contact with nutrients but through the intermediary of the wick and the fabric.
Plants that are suitable for using this hydroponic system are generally leaf vegetables, such as kale, spinach, lettuce, and celery. For sowing tools, it is suitable for rockwool and foam. The advantage of this wick system is that it is simple, economical, and easy to make. So it is suitable for newcomers as a hydroponic training tool.
Not only that, it can be made with leftover materials such as plastic bottles, and there is no need to wet the plants every day. For those of you who are newcomers, you can definitely try it. However, this system also has weaknesses. The system is carried out according to the manual, so there must be regular stirring of the nutrient water, so that the nutrients do not settle under the media. After large plants and certainly require more water reserves than the absorption axis of energy, because hydroponic plants can face shortages of water and nutrients. So don’t let the shortage fill the water.
Furthermore, this is a hydroponic farming method with a fairly simple wick system. You can apply it at home.
Materials and Equipment for Making Hydroponic Wick Systems
Bottle of leftover drink dimension 600ml
Scissors, knife or cutter
Wicks, leftover cloth, or flannel as a nutrient diverter (wick system)
Plant seeds that have been raised in rockwool tools
Fertilizer A& B (in the form of liquid or powder). You can make them in special plant or agricultural outlets. Match the type of nutrition with the plants you choose (vegetables or fruit).
For plant seeds, you can easily get them at specialty agricultural outlets or online. Note that, before being transferred to the hydroponic sowing device that you want to make, first develop the seeds using rockwool. Rockwool is also a sowing tool but only suitable as a seed nursery until it develops into seeds.
Simple Hydroponic Growing Method Wick System
Cut the remaining drink bottles in half using a cutter, knife, or scissors. Make sure the bottom dimension of the bottle is bigger than the top dimension.
Pour water into the bottom of the bottle then add the A& B matched the dose. In comparison, every 5 ml for every liter of water. Set aside.
Punch a hole in the neck of the bottle using a small fern at several points. Also make a hole in the bottle cover as the entrance route for the next wick.
Insert the wick, leftover cloth, or flannel into between the bottle caps that you want to make. Make sure the wick is far enough in both parts so that it can absorb the water to be poured as well as the parts of the plant seeds. Then put it in a pinched position into a bottle that already contains water.
Insert the seeds that are stuck in rockwool into the bottle that has been turned over.
Make sure the seeds are infected with the wick that has been moistened with nutrient water and water. You can also use sowing tools such as burnt husks, crushed red coal, and sponges to protect the shape of the plant so that it doesn’t break easily.
Place the bottle in an area that is warm to the sun but not prone to rain so that the seeds develop well.
Follow that method to make another sowing tool.
Hydroponic Farming Method with Used Bottles
Farming with hydroponic methods has indeed become a well-known farming method. Quite with the medium of water and a place that is not very large, the simple method of growing hydroponics with leftover bottles does not really want to make people bother.
By practicing the method of growing hydroponics with leftover bottles, so that you can also share the benefits in the area. Next is an easy method of growing hydroponics with leftover bottles.
Prepare used bottles
First, prepare the leftover bottles. Then, cut the bottle into 2. Place the cap part into the bottom of the bottle. The position of the bottle cap will appear to be squeezed.
The top bottle will be a place for sowing tools, while the bottom bottle will be a place for water that is nutritious or contains nutrients.
Connect the two halves of the bottle
Connect the two halves of the bottle using a cloth. The cloth used can be in the form of a stove wick. If you don’t have a stove wick, you can also use unused socks or flannel cut to the size of the stove wick.
Give a hole in the bottle cap that is enough for the cloth to pass through so that the cloth can dangle at the bottom of the bottle. It should be known, the cloth serves to link the nutrients of the water with the sowing tool.
Loading nutrient water
After the whole system can work, then pour the nutrient water at the bottom of the bottle before the limit holds the bottle cap tightly. Nutrient water is highly nutritious water that contains the minerals that plants need for photosynthesis.
Prepare planting tools
Provide a sowing tool on a jammed bottle. Fill it with plant seeds or vegetables. Hydroponic sowing tools can be in the form of roasted husks, rockwool, or cocopeat.
Change nutrient water regularly
Nutrient-rich water will gradually decrease because it is used by shrubs. After the water is reduced, replace it with the new water. Also place the sowing tool in a suitable position regarding the desire for the sun. Some plants want more sunlight, while others just need less sunlight. Don’t forget to pay attention to the plants and add humus fertilizer to keep the harvest fast.
Efficacy of Hydroponic Farming
Farming and growing vegetables with hydroponic methods are indeed suitable for modern people who live within all their limitations. The benefits that can be received from this procedure are also many. The following are some of them.
1. Hydroponic Farming Saves Land
Planting vegetables or growing crops with hydroponic methods doesn’t need to worry about big land questions. Especially if you don’t have a home page, this farming method can always be applied. Because, farming with hydroponics uses water culture or sand culture as a planting tool. You can also put it at the end of the house.
2. Stay away from the use of pesticides
As is well known, the cultivation of plants by conventional methods is very rare that does not use pesticides. But by using the hydroponic method, plant owners can reduce the use of pesticides.
3. Creating Good Plant Quality
Not only effective in terms of duration, fruit and vegetable products obtained from the hydroponic system will also develop more productively so that the nutritional quality listed is also better maintained.
You also don’t have to bother with washing the umpteenth time because hydroponic vegetables have actually been free from the soil so they are cleaner and more hygienic to eat.
4. Plants Grow Faster
With the presence of a water irrigation system that directly distributes nutrients to plants, the development method is also faster than conventional tools. Not only that, the longer it takes from planting to harvesting, the profit earned by cultivators will automatically increase sharply.
5. Greater Yield
The hydroponic system also creates harvests with dimensions up to 75% larger than products grown in conventional ways. Not only a lot of nutrients, hydroponic vegetables are also fresher because they are free from chemicals that are often used to prevent plants from planthoppers.
6. Make the House More Beautiful
Farming with hydroponic methods is also useful for the area. Not only look more beautiful, these vegetables can also produce acid. The house also feels more beautiful and cool.
In its progress, this simple hydroponic growing method began to be liked by many people. Some of them are people who are willing to spend their time on useful things. Not only sharing the benefits of stocking vegetables from growing your own crops, this activity also provides other positive effects such as the house looking fresher and more beautiful. However, there is one important thing that needs to be known, especially if you have an effort in this aspect of hydroponics. In farming, of course there is some risk of loss involved, especially for business people. It could be that there is a defeat when the harvest is quite bad.
The perceived loss is often not small and of course there are other costs that need to be incurred. To overcome this, you must minimize the financial risk of failing crops by having agricultural insurance. This insurance will cover all the risk of loss that is felt especially in the agricultural aspect.