Now that you’ve decided on the perfect growing system for your hydroponics garden, it’s time to set it up. The Nutrient Film technique (NFT) is not a beginner system, but highly productive and used by some of the most experienced gardeners to create some of the most robust plants around. However, don’t let that intimidate you. Take the time to learn how to build a NFT hydroponic system and with a little patience, you can be watching your plants flourish like the pro’s in no time.
Before even beginning to construct your NFT hydroponic system, you should gather all the necessary tools and materials you’ll need. Don’t skip this step regardless if you think it’s a waste of time. If you don’t prepare ahead of time, you may find yourself missing something important and having to stop mid-stream, or worse, not knowing you’re missing something and having your system not work.
The following are the materials you will need:
- A reservoir
- 2 pumps (air and water)
- Grow tray with lid
- Air tube and air stone
- Growing media
- Net pots
Constructing a NFT Hydroponics System
Begin by tracing the net pots on the lid of your grow tray so you will have the perfect sized holes for the pots to sit. Install your water pump at one end of your reservoir and place the submersible pump (with air stone and air tube attached) directly into your reservoir at the other end. If this is done correctly, nutrient solution should be able to travel into the grow tray on the higher end. This is an important point- make certain you purchase a pump with enough pressure.
When your NFT system is set up, run it with water to make certain the pump action is working efficiently and with no leaks. Next, create a drain hole by drilling a 3 inch hole and fit PVC piping directly into the reservoir. Make sure the rubber end is in the grow tray. Now put the net pots with plants onto the grow tray lid. Through the initial grow stages, you will most likely need to water your plants from the top until the roots are long enough to touch the water in the grow tray.
Benefits of an NFT Hydroponic System
While it takes a little skill to build fully functioning NFT hydroponics systems, once you do, the benefits are worth it. For one thing, the materials are inexpensive, making the system a cost efficient, effective solution for any hydroponics growing system. Plus, plants thrive easily in this type of system, making it super simple to use. And maintenance is relatively low, just make certain to keep the pumps functioning and the tube clear of debris.
On the negative, your NFT system is completely dependent on power to work. In other words, if you lose power, your pumps will not carry the nutrients to your plants and after a short time, they can easily become nutrient deficient. Make sure to check the pumps periodically to ensure they’re working effectively and you’ll be fine.
The NFT hydroponics system is one of the oldest, most efficient techniques for growing big beautiful hydroponics plants. Take a little time to learn how to build a highly functioning NFT Hydroponic System, sit back and relax and let mother nature do her thing!