All About Deep Water Culture – Keeping Roots Aerated
Deep Water Culture is a fantastic method of growing crops, it’ll give you incredible yields times and time again. For those of you who are new to hydroponics, Deep Water Culture involves submerging your plant’s roots in a nutrient-rich and highly oxygenated solution. Its most commonly used with one or two pots and requires frequent nutrients. R-DWC is a very similar method, however, this constantly recirculates the solution and is better suited to more pots.
It is often quite difficult to understand what nutrients to use, and when to use them. To get the best results from your DWC system its important that you keep pH levels between 5.7 and 6.4 throughout both the grow and bloom stages. Normally, when your getting started you should make sure you adjust the electrical conductivity of the solution. We suggest you use a small dosage of root stimulant. There are plenty of root stimulants available on the market, such as Plant Magic Root Stimulant, Dutch Pro Take Root, Atami B’Cuzz Root Stimulator and many more! These will help to provide your plants with strong roots and speed up the growth process.
A water tank can be connected to both DWC and RDWC systems. This tank should contain pH and EC adjusted solution. Therefore we recommend that you invest in a pH & EC meter, to make this process a little easier. This solution will then get drip fed into the system and between the pots. Likewise, it’ll maintain the perfect solution levels so you don’t under or overfeed your plants. Plus, you can also increase or decrease dosages dependant on your plants feeding requirements.
Keeping the temperature of your nutrient solution accurate is also a major factor for achieving phenomenal plant growth. The ideal nutrient solution temperature is between 18-20 degrees. This will reduce the chance of your plants developing root diseases. This is because your plants will struggle to intake oxygen above 20 degrees. Furthermore, this could also lead to root rot. A great way to combat this is to use a nutrient chiller, connected to your nutrient reservoir.
When placing your young plants into the system you should use a net pot as they give your plant’s roots easier access to the nutrient solution. The net pot should hold a small amount of medium or clay pebbles to prevent constant moisture uptake from the nutrient reservoir. Ultimately, it should act as a barrier between the roots and the solution.
It’s also important to flush your system, especially when using organic nutrients. We recommend flushing after every complete harvest. This may also involve replacing pipework, you’ll need to make sure that your system is clean and free from any pathogens.
One of the main things you should look out for when using a DWC system is brown slimy roots. You’ll notice that they’ll have a slimy appearance and an unpleasant smell. This will signify that you have a root problem, which will affect your plant’s health incredibly quickly.