GROWING IN DEEP WATER CULTURE (DWC) – A-Grade Hydroponics

WHAT IS DEEP WATER CULTURE?

Deep Water Culture – or ‘DWC’ –  is a singular rising methodology involving nearly all of the plant’s root mass being completely submerged in a nutrient resolution. 

No different hydroponic rising methods (like NFT, aeroponics, flood and drain) contain the foundation mass being completely submerged.

IS A DWC A GOOD SYSTEM FOR BEGINNERS?

If you might be new to hydroponics, A-Grade Hydro recommends beginning in a smaller system just like the 19L single Oxypot earlier than graduating to a bigger system. 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GROWING WITH A DWC?

  • Accelerated development.
  • Superior plant well being.
  • Produce is bigger and extra flavoursome.
  • Less vitamins and components required.
  • System will be set and left for a number of days.

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF GROWING WITH A DWC?

  • More components. Equipment equivalent to air pumps, water heaters and pH testers are required, growing start-up prices.
  • Daily pH testing and upkeep will be troublesome.
  • Weekly tank cleansing and resetting will be bodily prohibitive.
  • If gear fails, there’s a small window to repair and proper earlier than crops are affected. 

 

HOW DOES A DWC WORK?

The crops or seedlings are potted right into a mesh basket and supported with an inert rising media like clay pebbles or TetraBase™. The use of an inert and hydrophobic develop medium is vital because it encourages the foundation mass to develop downwards in direction of the nutrient combination under.

clay pebbles
  

Tetrabase pieces

 

The DWC tank (or reservoir) is full of nutrient resolution and fitted with air stones. The air pump sits outdoors the tank, related to the all-important air stones. 

A mixture of heat and aeration will create a moist setting above the floor of the nutrient resolution. Eventually, the roots will discover their option to the nutrient resolution under.

A-Grade Tip: Top-feed newly transplanted seedling/crops with a small quantity of nutrient resolution till roots are seen. 

CAN I USE ANY TYPE OF NUTRIENT SOLUTION IN MY DWC?

Most mineral vitamins are appropriate to be used in all kinds of hydroponic techniques and rising strategies. Nutrients like MILLS and CYCO can be utilized when rising water, coco coir and soil (all the time learn the directions fastidiously earlier than use). 

Nutrients stocked at conventional backyard centres and nurseries usually are not all the time appropriate for hydroponic techniques and can trigger many points if not used fastidiously.

WHAT ELSE DOES THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION NEED?

The nutrient resolution have to be aerated (oxygenated) for it to be a really efficient DWC hydroponic system. This is normally achieved with using an air pump and air stones, which is provided with most high-quality DWC techniques

WHY DOES A DWC SYSTEM NEED TO BE AERATED?

white and healthy root mass

Most of the plant’s root zone shall be suspended within the nutrient resolution for 8-12 weeks. The fixed aeration through air stones permits the roots to kind rapidly and accurately.

The plant makes use of capillary motion to move vitamins from the foundation zone by means of the stem and into the leaves, the air contained inside the nutrient resolution is important for the foundation zone to develop correctly and to forestall pathogens forming.

WHERE CAN I SET UP MY DWC SYSTEM?

DWC’s carry out finest in indoor develop rooms and greenhouses. Any house the place the DWC tank will not get too sizzling or chilly, and the place you’ve gotten secure entry to electrical shops.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL WATER TEMPERATURE FOR DEEP WATER CULTURE GROWING?

  • The very best vary is 18C° – 22C°
  • Temperatures under 15C° will trigger a plant’s metabolisms to shutdown compromising oxygen absorption and nutrient uptake.
  • Temperatures increased than 22.5C° could cause pathogens and root illnesses to quickly kind.

 

DWC & PH: IS IT IMPORTANT?

Maintaining the pH of nutrient resolution is important for plant well being.

Most hydroponic crops will develop fantastically between the pH vary of 5.5 – 6.5. Don’t stress if the pH studying will increase by 0.1 from someday to the following; this signifies a traditional cycle of nutrient uptake. 

Any vital will increase or decreases in each day pH readings are trigger for concern, and must be corrected instantly.

SHOULD I BOTHER GETTING A PH METER?

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

If you are a long-term hydroponic gardener, a pH meter is a worthwhile funding so as to add to your instrument field.

For newbies, we advocate a cost-friendly pH testing package. 

WHAT ABOUT AN EC METER?

Short reply: Get one.

Daily readings of EC ranges will inform you of how a lot meals (vitamins) your crops have out there to them through the nutrient resolution you’ve gotten simply blended collectively. 

Different crops have totally different EC necessities, so following the directions on the nutrient bottle will not all the time provide the appropriate EC degree in your crop. 

If the EC vary of your nutrient resolution goes above or under the advisable quantity, then some vitamins will turn into “locked out” to the plant, leading to poor development, deficiencies and/or toxicities.

We advocate the Apera EC60 Pocket Tester Kit or the Apera PC60 Multiparameter Pocket Tester Kit  for twin pH and EC testing.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CHANGE THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION?

Generally, it is best to change the nutrient resolution and clear the DWC tank, also referred to as ‘resetting’, as soon as each 7-10 days.

At the beginning of any hydroponic challenge when the crops are a lot smaller and devour much less, the preliminary nutrient resolution can run for as much as 14 days earlier than it wants resetting.

As your crops and root system develop bigger and require extra feeding, you will want to reset the DWC tank each 7 days or so. 

HOW FAR UP DO I FILL THE DWC SYSTEM?

Never fill your reservoir proper as much as the bottom of the mesh pot. Roots want water and oxygen to kind so totally submerging them in water will solely suffocate the plant.

Ensure the nutrient resolution is a minimal of two inches under the bottom of the mesh pot. As the foundation mass grows, increasingly more shall be submerged within the nutrient resolution (that is okay). As lengthy as roughly 10% of the foundation mass sits above the floor of the nutrient resolution, the plant will get sufficient oxygen

6 week previous jalapeno chilli crops grown in Nutriculture’s Oxypot XL

Happy rising! Let us understand how you go! If you’ve gotten any questions ask us through the remark field under.