Expert Tips On Growing Herbs With Nutrient Film Technique

As a gardener, you may not yet have heard the terms hydroponics or nutrient film technique. This post will explain what this is and how it’s useful for the vegetable gardener.

What is the Nutrient Film Technique

The Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is a hydroponic method in which a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is constantly recirculated past the bare roots of plants in a growing medium. 

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The roots of the plants are exposed to nutrient-rich water, allowing them to absorb all the nutrients they need to grow. NFT is considered one of the most efficient hydroponic methods, requiring less water and nutrients than other methods. Additionally, NFT systems are relatively easy to set up and maintain.

The water should cover the roots, and a small amount of air should be bubbled through the water to provide oxygen to the roots. A float valve keeps the water level constant, and the nutrient solution is continuously pumped through the system and then returned to the reservoir. 

The main advantage of the NFT system is its very efficient use of water and nutrients. There is little or no wastewater produced, and the roots are constantly supplied with fresh oxygen and nutrients. The NFT system is also very versatile and can grow various plants including herbs and vegetables. It is, however, not suitable for all plants, and some plants may require a different type of hydroponic system.

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Benefits of The Nutrient Film Technique

The nutrient film technique (NFT) is a hydroponic system that involves suspending the roots of plants in a shallow stream of water enriched with nutrients. The benefits of this system include increased oxygenation of the sources, which leads to healthier plants, and the ability to precisely control the nutrient levels in the water, which leads to more consistent growth. 

NFT is also a relatively low-maintenance system, which makes it ideal for commercial growers who need to produce large quantities of plants. The nutrient film technique (NFT) is a hydroponic growing system that is highly efficient in delivering nutrients to plants. 

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An NFT system constantly flows a skinny layer of nutrient-rich water over the plants’ roots. This allows the roots to absorb the nutrients they need quickly and efficiently, allowing for excess water and nutrients to be rapidly removed from the system.

NFT systems are highly efficient in water and nutrient usage and can be easily scaled to accommodate any number of plants. They are also relatively easy to set up and maintain, making them an excellent option for commercial and home growers.

Building Your Own!

A nutrient film technique (NFT) is used to grow plants in a controlled environment. It is a hydroponic system that utilizes a shallow, recirculating water film to provide nutrients and support the plant roots. 

NFT systems are often used in commercial greenhouse operations, as they are efficient and allow for a high density of plants to be grown in a small space. However, NFT systems can also be used on a smaller scale, making them a popular choice for home growers. 

Building an NFT system is relatively simple and can be done with easily sourced materials. A basic NFT system consists of a growing tray, a reservoir, a pump, and a delivery system (either a drip line or a sprinkler system). The grow tray is where the plants are placed and should have a slight slope to allow the nutrient solution to flow evenly across the roots. The reservoir is where the nutrient solution is stored, and the pump circulates the solution through the delivery system. 

If you are interested in trying out NFT growing, many resources are available to help you get started. Once you understand how NFT systems work, you can start experimenting with different designs and configurations to find what works best for you and your plants.

Tools needed for Nutrient Film Technique

NFT is a popular hydroponic growing method because it is relatively simple to set up and does not require much expensive equipment. NFT systems can be easily scaled to accommodate any size operation, from small home gardens to large commercial farms. This method grows plants in a controlled environment, such as a greenhouse. To set up an NFT system, you will need the following tools:

  1. A water pump: This will be used to circulate the nutrient solution through the system.
  2. A timer: This will control the pump and ensure that the solution flows over the roots at the correct time.
  3. A reservoir: This will hold the nutrient solution pumped through the system.
  4. A growing tray: This is where the plants will be placed. The tray will need holes in the bottom so the nutrient solution can flow through.
  5. An air pump: This will be used to provide oxygen to the roots of the plants.
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You will also need to purchase a nutrient solution specifically for NFT systems. This solution will contain all the nutrients the plants need to grow.

What Crops Can You Grow With NFT? 

Plants grown with this technology can be healthier and more resilient than traditional soil-based growing methods. Before using NFT, it’s essential to learn about the different types of plants that can grow with this technology. 

1. Herbs 

Herbs are among the most popular types of plants that you can grow with NFT. They are typically small plants that have a high concentration of nutrients. For this reason, they are commonly used to make a variety of medicines and food products. 

In recent decades, herbs have become increasingly popular as sources of natural food additives and supplements. People around the world are eating more herbs and spices than ever before. As a result, many herb growers are turning to NFT to help boost production and reduce crop losses. Today, thousands of commercial farms worldwide are using NFT to increase the production of their crops. 

2. Microgreens 

Microgreens are another popular plant that can quickly be grown with NFT. These plants are like miniature versions of adult plants and are usually harvested before they reach full maturity. Because of this, they have higher levels of nutrients than other plants in their early stages of growth. 

Some experts believe that microgreens can be even more potent than mature plants because they contain a higher concentration of critical nutrients. If you are interested in growing microgreens with NFT, starting with the appropriate seeds is essential. Tiny sprouts can be created directly from the source, but for larger plants, it is best to use seedling plugs or young seedlings from a nearby garden center. 

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Growing microgreens is relatively easy because there is no need for elaborate irrigation systems or fertilizers. They can be planted in any type of nutrient-rich substrate, and the grower can monitor them closely to ensure they grow to their full potential. Once the plant has reached the desired size, it can be harvested and enjoyed. 

Do hydroponic pumps need to run continuously in NFT?

No, hydroponic pumps do not need to run continuously in NFT. However, they should be run for a few hours daily to keep the water moving and aerated. If the pumps are not operated regularly, the nutrient solution can become stagnant and cause problems for the plants.

Conclusion

The system is designed so that the roots of the plants are constantly in contact with the water, allowing them to absorb the nutrients they need. While NFT systems are typically very efficient at delivering nutrients to plants, they can be vulnerable to problems if the water level in the system drops too low. 

If the roots of the plants are not kept moist, they will quickly begin to die off, leading to a decrease in plant growth. The Nutrient Film Technique is a versatile and effective hydroponic growing method that can grow various plants successfully.

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