Hydroponics

"If there ever was a means to end world hunger and save the planet, this would undoubtedly be it." Farming hydroponically is an innovative, efficient and by far the most beneficial way of growing produce; from herbs, vegetables to livestock.

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Our consultancy:

We provide practical advice and information pertaining to growing herbs and vegetables through hydroponics. Furthermore we adviseyou on how to setup and run commercial hydroponics systems. Our consortium of consultants has more than 30 years of cumulative international experience. Our team has developed hydroponic systems for government authorities and educational institutions; and designs customized Hydroponic System solutions and Livestock Fodder Systems for commercial enterprises, farmers, livestock & agricultural organizations.

We specialize in the following areas:
  • NFT & Channel-Based Systems, large or small.
  • NFT Trouble-Shooting.
  • Hydroponic Farm Evaluations.
  • Environmental Control Systems.
  • Making the Right Hydroponic Choice.
  • On-Site Consultancy.
  • Hydroponic Fodder Production.
What exactly is hydroponics

Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants without soil, by means of technological systems that feed nutrients and water to the roots and are usually accompanied by other technologies that control the temperature and humidity of the environment surrounding the plants within a conservatory or greenhouse.

What makes it so great is the fact that, after having read the previous paragraph, it should be quite evident that many problems are eliminated instantly with this method of agriculture. If you control the nutrients and the water, you effectively have ultimate control of the health and – more importantly – yield of the plant in question. If you control the temperature of the environment, then despite what Mother Nature intends on doing, you will have the power to create any crop you choose at any given time. So this means that areas that have either in-arable, arid or otherwise unsuitable land now have a very viable means of growing food at a fraction of the resource cost it usually takes.

Benefits
  • Far less water usage, as a hydroponic system uses about 1/10 the water that conventional farming requires.
  • Less fossil fuels consumed, as the only usage of fossil fuel pertains to the cartage of either the produce or yourself. No tractors, harvesters’, etc.
  • The ability to produce much higher yields than traditional, soil-based agriculture in a fraction of the space.
  • Maximum yields are possible, making the system economically feasible in high-density and expensive land areas.
  • Allowing food to be grown and consumed in areas of the world that cannot support crops with conventional farming methods.
  • Eliminating the need for massive pesticide use (considering most pests live in the soil), effectively making our air, water, soil, and food cleaner.
  • Lowering production costs for private and commercial growers alike.
  • Increase in quality and nutritional value of produce, due to the nutrient compound used in the hydroponic solution.
  • Labour for tilling, cultivating, fumigating, watering, and other practices in conventional agriculture is largely eliminated.
  • Conservation of water and nutrients is a feature of all systems. This can lead to a reduction in pollution of land and streams because valuable compounds are constantly recirculated.
  • All of the nutrients supplied are readily available to the plant and are in their purest soluble form.
  • Complete control of the environment is generally a feature of the system (i.e. root environment, timely nutrient feeding or irrigation), and in greenhouse-type operations, the light, temperature, humidity, and composition of the air can be manipulated.
  • When coupled with a proper greenhouse or conservatory it enables growing of any crop at any time of year, regardless of specific season the crops usually are grown or not available in.
  • Plants grow faster in a hydroponic system, shortening the periods between harvests.
Disadvantages
  • Initial construction cost per acre is high.
Types of systems

Roots that are suspended in the air in an Aeroponics system..

  • Nutrient Film Technique or NFT is a hydroponic technique whereby a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients is passed through a channel in which the plant roots are suspended.
  • Ebb and Flow - is a form of hydroponics that is known for its simplicity, reliability of operation and low initial investment cost. Pots are filled with an inert medium which does not function like soil or contribute nutrition to the plants but which anchors the roots and functions as a temporary reserve of water and solvent mineral nutrients. The hydroponic solution alternately floods the system and is allowed to ebb away.
  • Aeroponics – is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium. Unlike hydroponics, which uses water as a growing medium and essential minerals to sustain plant growth, aeroponics is conducted without a growing medium.
  • DWC – Deep water culture - is a hydroponic method of plant production by means of suspending the plant roots in a solution of nutrient rich, oxygenated water. Bubbleponics is a related method of plant production that involves a top-fed Deep Water Culture system. A more accurate definition for the acronym DWC is Direct Water Culture. Direct Water Culture can be performed in deep or shallow water.
  • Passive hydroponics - semi-hydroponics or passive sub-irrigation is a method of growing plants without soil, peat moss, or bark. Instead an inert porous medium transports water and fertilizer to the roots by capillary action
  • Drip hydroponic system - the plants are in their own tray, separate from the nutrient reservoir. A pump pushes nutrient solution through many small tubes, which feed each plant from the top and the excess is allowed to flow back to the reservoir directly below.
Some Interesting Facts
  • Hydroponic technology is over 2500 years old! Many different civilizations have utilized hydroponic growing techniques throughout history like the hanging gardens of Babylon, the floating gardens of the Aztecs of Mexico and those of the Chinese are examples of ‘Hydroponic’ culture. Egyptian hieroglyphic records dating back several hundred years B.C. describe the growing of plants in water.” Hydroponics is hardly a new method of growing plants.
  • During World War II, troops stationed on non-arable islands in the Pacific were readily supplied with fresh produce grown in locally established hydroponic systems.
  • Hydroponics was integrated into the NASA space program, as the practicalities of locating a society on another planet or the Earth’s moon were considered, hydroponics easily fit into their feasibility and sustainability plans.
  • Probably the most famous hydroponic system in the world belongs to the creations of Architect Patrick Blanc and his “Living Walls” in Paris. The entire facade of the building is covered with poly amide felt and then hydroponic solution is pumped from the top and drains out the bottom, leaving the plants to absorb as much as they need from their vertical habitat.
Kruger Micro Hydroponics systems:

These systems were engineered using commercial equipment but built specifically for the hobbyist. They are miniature versions of commercial systems allowing you to grow lettuce, herbs and multiple vegetables and fruit, hydroponically at home or office- even indoors with our LED systems. They are cost effective means of procuring food cheaply as well as bestowing upon the grower a great sense of achievement. Kruger consulting in collaboration with Peter Doyle Consultancy in Australia has co-developed these systems to suit a wide range of budgets, environments and personal requirements.

 

Systems available:

  • Lettuce and Herb Systems – NFT Sunlight
  • Vine Crops Systems- NFT Sunlight
  • LED Powered Indoor Grow Systems
  • Micro Fodder Systems

All equipment purchased is completely assembled, ready to be used, with all accessories.

© 2013 Kruger Consulting Pvt Ltd.