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Nutrient Film Technique in a Hydroponics System

Today, we are here with discuss the term "Nutrient Film Technique", "how it works" pros and cons of Nutrient Film Technique and several other important details. So, let's begin the reading!

Aarushi Chadha
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) used in hydroponic system to deliver nutrients to plant
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) used in hydroponic system to deliver nutrients to plant

The nutrient film technique is a type of hydroponic system that uses a thin film of nutrient solution to deliver nutrients to plants. This system is very efficient and can easily be set up.

What is Nutrient Film Technique and how does it work?

The nutrient film technique is a type of soil-less cultivation method that involves growing plants that are suspended above a stream of continuously flowing nutrient solution that provides the plant with water, nutrient, and oxygen for sustainable cultivation and rapid healthy growth.

In this system, the roots of the plants hang down and bathe in nutrient-rich water. It is commonly used for growing smaller quick growing plants like herbs, microgreens, and lettuce. Although NFT hydroponics systems come in a variety of shapes and designs, they follow the same characteristic.

This system contains a reservoir that is filled with the nutrient solution. A pump is used to circulate water from the reservoir through the growth tanks. The plants are kept in containers with slots in grow trays filled with the growth medium. The roots of the plant hang in the water flow to absorb the nutrients. Once the plant has absorbed the nutrient solution, the nutrient solution is returned to the reservoir via a hose.

What plants can be grown in NFT Hydroponics System?

When choosing plants to grow in the Nutrient Film Technique Hydroponics System, choose plants that are lightweight and fast-growing that can be harvested quickly like different types of lettuces. If you choose to grow larger plants, you’ll require to put in certain stabilizing precautions so that they enough hold.

Avoid planting plants like carrots or turnips that have taproots because there is usually no room for them in the growth container. Plants like cabbage, which are heavier and take longer to grow are also not suitable for an NFT system. You should also choose plants that grow in the same pH-value range and that the nutrients are correct.

The Growth Tray and the Reservoir

The nutrient Film Technique uses tubes or channels instead of flat trays. These tubes make it easier to set it at an angle and to make sure that the nutrient solution flows directly to the roots without wasting it. The reservoir is placed in the grow tray, connected to the channel by a pump on the high end and a drain tube on the low end.

Pros of Nutrient Film Technique

  • The nutrient film technique prevents localized salt build up thanks to regular feeding.

  • This hydroponics system doesn’t require a lot of growth medium.

  • The plants grown in the NFT system can maintain a uniform pH level and conductivity.

  • It is very easy to assemble a nutrient film technique system.

  • The nutrient film technique hydroponics system is an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to traditional agriculture as it minimizes the risk of contaminating localized groundwater with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

  • It is also very easy to check the health of the plants, as roots are easily accessible.

  • The tools and equipment used in the nutrient film technique hydroponics system are relatively easier to disinfect in comparison with other system types.

Cons of Nutrient Film Technique

  • Direct and high levels of sunlight can warm up the growing containers and damage the roots.

  • The roots are at a high risk of drying out and become stressed very quickly when the follow of nutrient solution stops.

  • The channels can become blocked by the roots of vigorous-growing plants.

  • In hot weather, pump failure can cause the death of crops.

  • The nutrient film technique hydroponics system is not suitable to grow plants with large tap-root systems like carrots.

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