With heavy yields and explosive growth, hydroponic gardening has become a very popular form of horticulture. One hydroponic method that is becoming increasingly popular is the Under Current style deep water culture system (DWC). In it’s simplest form, a deep water culture hydro system consists of individual buckets (that contain the nutrient solution), an air pump with air stones (to aerate the nutrient solution), and mesh pot bucket lids (to hold your grow medium and anchor your plant). These buckets operate as single sites, and are not connected to each other.
In an Under Current DWC, the buckets (or sites) of the system are arranged in pairs, or rows, that are all connected to each other. Lengths of pipe are plumbed between each bucket, creating a shared nutrient solution throughout all the sites. An external water pump is connected between the rows of buckets. This pump pulls the water down a single return line, and back into the top of a return bucket. As the solution collects in the return bucket, gravity adds to the peripheral negative pressure, and the solution is quickly fed back throughout the system.
This continuous recirculating action, along with numerous air stones throughout the system, keeps the nutrient solution exceptionally well aerated with plenty of dissolved oxygen. This dissolved oxygen creates a very aerobic condition in your nutrient solution, perfect for explosive root growth. An added benefit of creating such an aerobic environment, is the ability to have a true organic hydro grow. Typical hydro set ups don’t aerate the solution enough to keep beneficial bacteria alive and well. This almost always results in complete root rot, and a failed crop. An Under Current system can not only keep that bacteria alive and well, but allows it to reproduce and flourish!!!
Other benefits of UC style systems include:
- Larger yields from larger, healthier roots!!!
- External water pump creates less water heat than systems requiring submerged pumps,
- Constant nutrient circulation and aeration, eliminating anaerobic pockets or “dead zones”
- Water conservation and less frequent nutrient change outs
- Low power consumption
To see, or order, an Under Current style deep water culture hydroponic system, stop by our locally owned and operated store, Garden Doctor. We’re located just outside of Grand Rapids, MI, in Grandville. We also carry a full line of hydroponic and organic nutrients, grow lights, and everything else needed to build and maintain an incredible garden.
2974 28th Street SW
Grandville, MI 49418