What Is Hydroponic Deep Flow Technique (DFT)?

The deep flow technique is a type of hydroponics farming. It is made using a container that is filled with a solution of nutrients.

The solution is always around 10cm to 20cm deep. There are panels that are put to cover the surface of the solution with nutrients.

The DFT method works by keeping the plant roots in the hydroponics system in the nutrients solution.

This system is not made with a slope because the solution with the nutrients is not pumped up.

In this system an air pump is used. The use of the air pump is to increase oxygen flow in the water solution.

There are some countries like Japan and Indonesia that have embraced this kind of system for their plant industry.

This kind of system is more efficient to plants that have short roots or rather plants that do not have deep long roots.

The plants that have fast grow cycles are also favored for this hydroponics system. This system favors plants that can tolerate drying out slightly between watering.

The deep flow technique is majorly used for aquatic crops since it ensures they take in and receive enough nutrients.

Plants that mainly benefit from the deep flow system are like the water chestnut, tomatoes, lettuce, watercress and also rice.

The deep flow technique can be used where there it is hard or rather impossible to grow leafy and fresh vegetables.

This system is among the many kinds of hydroponic methods of growing crops without the use of soil.

This method depends on the water solution with nutrients then it ensures that the plants receive enough oxygen and nutrients. This method is suitable enough for delicate plants and indoor growing herbs like cilantro and also basil.

It is suitable to grow these crops because the deep flow technique is well capable of distributing nutrients such as potassium and calcium. In this method most farmers choose to grow their crops in around 3 inches of the fertilized water.

These nutrients move around the plant roots with the help of an air pump or even the gravitational pull.

As much as this method is used it has its pros and cons. We have highlighted major benefits and disadvantages of the deep flow technique.

Benefits of using deep flow technique (DFT method) 

  • It is safe

The deep flow technique is a safe method of a hydroponic gardening.

This is because this system ensures the plants supply of nutrients and water even in the case of a power outage or failure or even a pump issue.

In case of a power outage or even a pump irregularity the plants supply of nutrients is not cut short but the plants are still catered for.

This method is safer because the roots remain sorted out even in case of an irregularity.

  • Helps maintain adequate temperature

The deep flow technique assists to preserve and maintain the temperature in the system for the crops.

It helps keep the required temperature that the crops are most comfortable in.

  • Suitable for areas leafy plants cannot be grown

The deep flow technique method of hydroponics farming is suitable and well capable of growing leafy vegetables or leafy plants where it might seem impossible to do so.

This is because of the constant supply of water with the nutrients to the plants.

  • It is reliable

This method is very reliable since no matter what it is always supplying nutrients to your plants.

You do not have to bother to keep thinking about your crops and their nutrients supply because your crops will still be supplied to the nutrients they require.

  • It is cheap

This hydroponic garden system is easy and cheap to build and also maintain.

The method offers a lower investment since the deep flow technique does not require extra water pumps or even extra containers for the fertilizer solution.

Disadvantages of the DFT method

  • Hard to control nutrients

The deep flow technique makes it hard to control the amount of nutrients to be used by the hydroponic plants that are in large numbers.

  • High stem plants need extra support

As much as the deep flow technique is a method that is reliable for plants with short stems, the plants that have high stems will actually need extra support.

For the DFT method to work out for plants with long stems they need to find extra support which leads to an extra expense.

  • Frequent nutrients check

It is not very healthy for plants to use water for a long time without a change in the water.

This is because even in case the water is infected with something the DFT hydroponic method may not be able to rescue the plants because the water is not checked frequently.

  • Inadequate oxygen

This hydroponic method of farming may cause lack of oxygen for the plants.

It may cause lack of oxygen to happen very easily which may disadvantage the crops and their growth.


For deep flow technique in hydroponics it is less hectic since it can use the same water for a longer period of time. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.

It is also cheap but it depends also with the types of crops that are planted in the hydroponics garden system.

This system is however simple and even pocket friendly. It does not involve a lot of expenses. The deep flow technique is a technique that can be used for passive hydroponics.

Passive hydroponics is the kind of hydroponics that does not take so much of your time.

This is because the deep flow technique can use water and same water in the system for a longer period of time than the other hydroponics farming methods.

It is best to keep checking up on your plants even when you grow them in such a system like the deep flow technique.

It is advisable to be aware of whatever situation your plants are in at all times. It is actually a nice method of hydroponics farming and you can try it out.

It does not have too many limitations. With the above information you can practice DFT method with your crops.