4 Rules of Flood and Drain Hydroponics to Increase Your Yield
As with anything you do in the effort of growing quality crops and maximizing yield, it’s important to understand the basics of your flood and drain hydroponic system. While there is much to know about hydroponics particularly regarding hydroponic grow supplies or hydroponic cloning machines, the entire system can be broken down to a few basic rules.
Rule #1: Use the Right Grow Media
There isn’t one grow media that is better than another really and it ultimately comes down to which you prefer. However, you should be sure that your chosen media has a low to medium water holding capacity and a high air-filled porosity. If you flood often, then you might want to use clay pebbles due to the absorptive nature of the media. If you want to flood less often, then add in some coco with your clay pebbles.
Rule #2: Keep a Base Layer of Clay Pebbles
Even if you’re mixing in coco, you still want to keep a five to 10-centimeter layer of clay pebbles at the bottom of your pot. This is to ensure that there isn’t too much water sitting at the bottom.
Rule #3: Nail Your Flood Cycle
With any flood and drain hydroponics set up, you want to ensure that you get the flood cycle correct. It essentially boils down to three considerations: duration, frequency, and height. The duration refers to how long each flood lasts, frequency refers to how often you flood, and height refers to how high the water level gets during flooding. Figure out the best flood cycle will depend on a lot of other factors, such as your growing media, climate, and other factors but you should never flood higher than your growing media and each flood shouldn’t last longer than 10 minutes.
Rule #4: Ensure a Clean System
Cleanliness will ultimately prevent any issues from occurring during a flood or drain cycle. Tips for keeping your system clean include ensuring all switches are unclogged, rinsing your reservoir, and removing any debris or sediment.
Of course, there are other helpful rules regarding flood and drain hydroponics but these four can take you a long way. If you aren’t using a hydroponic system for your crop, consider doing so. You can plant 4 times the amount of crop using a hydroponic system than you could using traditional methods, such as soil farming.
If you’re running a flood and drain setup and need supplies like nutrients, plant support, and more, check us out today.