Other Materials You Can Use For A Sturdy Hydroponics Setup
Hydroponics may be part of a solution that helps revolutionize farming.
While the science itself is hardly new, the way that people are developing it may make it more useful in the future.
However, one of the minor problems of hydroponics is how to set it up so that there are limited accidents, easy to clean, and make it more attractive to homeowners.
By dealing with these three problems hydroponics may go from being something limited to urban farmers and doom preppers to finally go mainstream.
Hydroponics in a Nutshell
The concept behind hydroponics is pretty straight forward: by eschewing the use of soil in farming plants, one is no longer limited to straight acreage, and by raising larger plants faster and more efficiently.
The general hydroponics setup is to grow plants so that the roots are in a liquid growing medium of some sort; the nutrients are thus taken directly to the plant’s system and able to be absorbed faster by the plant.
That is, rather than being absorbed by the soil around them, the plants draw their nutrients directly. This not only encourages faster plant growth, but also larger plants.
Part of the problem with mainstream acceptance, however, is that the system itself tends to be a little messy and requires delicate setup.
Most of the setup in use today are essentially wireframe which barely holds the required tanks and pumps in place.
These also tend to be difficult to clean, making spills a lot messier than they need to be.
Lastly, there is an all-too-obvious do-it-yourself element as the setup is usually chaotic and cheap-looking, even in the best setups.
As such, those interested in the potential of hydroponics are generally dissuaded from investing in it, simply because there is just no real elegance to it and it is hard to maintain. This makes the search for a sturdier solution imperative.
Microcement and Structure
Microcement may be the best option for a hydroponics station.
As per the blog post, “What Is Microcement? Let Us Explain What Microcement Is”, it is essentially a cement paired with a resin of some sort and then applied in layers.
The resin alone gives it a stronger tensile strength than regular cement, while the cement is designed to lock with other layers; this gives it amazing tensile strength.
It also gives it a rather pleasing plaster appearance when applied correctly.
While it is usually applied in layers, it generally takes a very short period of time to apply.
It can also be easily supported by a frame, making it into whatever shape is necessary for the use in question.
All of this makes it an excellent material to make any sort of hydroponics structure out of, such as tank housing or pump stations.
It also means that, when applied to the floor, it reduces most cleanups to “just use a water spray”.
Given that the microcement itself is non-reactive to most chemicals this means that it can be expected to see years if not decades of use with little maintenance itself.
For those looking to create a sturdy yet an attractive setup for their hydroponics station, this makes a viable option.
Plaster Has Its Moments
For most people, plaster is going to be the default. It is simple to form into structures, cheap, and easy to pour.
While it may not be one of the sturdiest materials out there and is usually used on top of something else, for an indoors garden setup, it should do fine. However, given how easy it is to color and decorate, this allows you to better organize things by color and design.
It can definitely help keep the hydroponics room well organized and looking good.
Using A 3D Printer to Effect
Plastic will also tend to be used in a lot of setups. Using a 3D printer, it is possible to create almost any structure that is needed to whatever specifications are required; this ensures that the holding structures are made for maximum sturdiness.
Plastic also has some use to it, helping to act as a shock absorber. It can also be printed out in a number of different colors, helping to ensure that the place is well organized. However, plastic does tend to degrade over time, becoming more brittle and ragged, possibly creating its own risks unless it is maintained and replaced on a regular basis.
There is also the issue that it uses a petroleum-based product at its core, making it a less-than-acceptable material for more ecologically-minded urban farmers.
The Use of Metal Frames
Metal obviously should be considered. Although it may not be one of the easiest materials to work with, there is no questioning that it can create sturdy housing for the hydroponics setup.
The optimal situation is having access to a forge of some sort so as to create the best possible housing, even having access to a torch can allow for the creation of some pretty impressive structures.
The biggest problem will be making sure that the metal is stainless as even the slightest bit of rust or patina could have a negative effect on the plants it was designed to hold.
Thus, if you use metal, make sure that you have some sort of glass or plastic plant container between it and the plants you wish to cultivate. Regardless of what you decide to use for your hydroponics station, you should be happy with it.
Hydroponics gives you a way to grow the herb plants you want without having to worry about if they are in stock or not. As long as you make sure that you have the outlets for all of the electrical equipment that you will be using, any substrate should do fine.
The main issues are making sure that you have plenty of water, plenty of fertilizer, and plenty of light; take care of those issues and the rest are relatively easy to deal with.
Putting it into a pretty appliance may be gilding the lily a little, but it is well worth the time and effort to make your setup clean and economical in the long run.