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Hydroponic System: A Step by Step Guide to Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

The Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is a popular and versatile hydroponics system. Keep reading the article to know more about the working principle and advantages of this easy hydroponic system.

Shivani Meena

An NFT hydroponic system is quite similar to a hydroponic system that uses the Ebb and Flow technique. Both methods entail the use of water pumps to supply nutrients to plants. However, there is one important distinction. Unlike the Ebb and Flow technique, which relies on flood and drain mechanics, NFT hydroponics uses a constantly flowing system. 

Other hydroponic systems, such as the Wicking system and The Kratky Method, are sometimes cited as better. That is correct in the sense that they are passive, less complex to build, and easier to operate, but the circumstances they generate are typically not as favorable to plants as NFT. 

It is popular among home hydroponic farmers because it is ideally suited for smaller and faster-growing plants, such as lettuce varieties. Commercial producers, on the other hand, have successfully grown various plants such as herbs, baby greens, and strawberries. 

Things Required to set up Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) 

Here are the components you'll need to develop an NFT system: 

  • A channel for the plants

  • A reservoir for the solution

  • A nutrient pumping system

  • Water-distribution tubes 

  • Net pots for plants and growth material to start seedlings in

  • A method for returning the used nutrient solution to the reservoir.

Working Principle of NFT System

The reservoir and the growing channel, also known as the grow tray, are the two essential components of an NFT hydroponic system. 

The grow tray is a channel that is enclosed. It contains small holes where plants can be inserted. These plants are often kept as seedlings in small net pots with growth material. The roots drop down to reach the floor of the channel 

A water pump propels nutritious water from a reservoir into the channels. As a result, a thin layer or film of this nutrient travels through every channel, supplying nutrients to each plant. 

These channels are normally slightly slanted to allow the solutions to flow smoothly from one end to the other. Excess nutrition pours out of one pipe and into another. Thus, recirculating water in this manner saves a significant amount of water that would otherwise be wasted. 

Advantages of NFT system 

Because of the numerous advantages it offers, the method has quickly acquired popularity among commercial and hydroponic farmers. 

  • Beginners will like the basic yet effective design.

  • Because the water is recirculated, it increases efficiency and reduces waste.

  • Because the roots are not entirely immersed, it is simple to check for disease symptoms.

  • It is quite simple to disinfect the equipment and roots in this system.

  • In contrast to static systems, there is less possibility of localized salt build-up, therefore plant roots normally maintain their pH level.

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