When we discuss hydroponics, there is this one technique that we cannot miss. It is the DWC or deep water culture. Deep water culture is very effective and easiest hydroponics systems. It makes it to our favorites because this technique encompasses the most common setups you will ever encounter.
Fun Fact:This approach includes suspending the plants in a system of nutrients and waiting for magic to take shape. Quite similar to the Kratky method, as the seedling roots and sprouts, the plant sucks up the nutrients. What happens next? There is an extensive growth spurt.
DWS is best because it sustains the plants’ roots. If you want to experience hydroponics in its truest form, then you have to try DWC. Direct water culture is a growing method in hydroponics that sustains the roots of the plants in a well-oxygenated solution. This solution has nutrients in the water 24/7.
Things to know: This hydroponics technique is different from the other techniques because here, plants are not watered constantly. In fact, here, you submerge the roots deep within the water.
Your reservoir that will contain the plants must have water in good amounts. The more the water, the more will be the stability in the nutrient water. Thus, it’s good news for you because you do not have to monitor or maintain a lot.
The exception: In all the other systems, you will find the roots of the plants hanging or exposed in the air while being watered continuously. However, with DWC the plants’ roots are sunk in oxygenated water 24/7.
Encouraging results with DWC
The DWC trails continue to provide encouraging and exciting results. Everything – from snack peppers to strawberries and cherry to standard tomatoes – grows great. Against the conventional agricultural systems, DWC has fared really well for cherry and round tomatoes.
Minimal tools needed with DWC
What really appeals to us about DWC is the fact that you can design it all by yourself. All you need is:
- pH kits
- pH meter
- Some expanding clay/rockwool or any growth media of your choice
- Air pump
- A 10-inch pot
- A reservoir to hold water
All the above tools are easily available and can be bought from your online garden supply store or a hydroponics store.
Pro Tip: Just keep in mind that you are not getting a lighter color reservoir in plastic. That is because light-colored surfaces permit light to pass through and encourage the growth of algae. You must, thus, prevent such a disaster because we do not want our plants’ roots to suffer.
An easier process to follow
The DWC process is known for its ease.
The very first step involves filling the reservoir with a hydroponics solution just above the net pot’s base.
Check the system’s pH level. Try to keep it within the range of 5.5-5.6. If the pH level drifts from 5.6, you must adjust it using the pH kits.
Connect the air pump to the airline. Connect the airline to the airstone within the reservoir. Place those plants that have roots showing and growing out of the rockwool.
Pro Tip: You can choose to surround the plants with the growing media (expanding clay) or any growth media you find worthy.
You will turn the air pump on as the rockwool needs to mingle with the nutrient water. The mingling will result in the absorption of nutrients from the water. Your plants derive the vital nutrients, and the root system develops like a dream, absorbing more nutrients.
Every 1-2 weeks, you must remove the plants from the reservoir. You will do this step to refresh and replace the nutrient solution.
The multiple PROS
- DWC ensures superior oxygen and nutrients uptake from the nutrient water. This uptake results in accelerated growth.
- The system guarantees maximum aeration from the air bubbles that form from the airstone and air pump. This aeration of roots enhances the plants’ cell growth and absorption rate.
- No need to invest in any fertilizer because you submerge your plants in DWC nutrients.
- Once the DWC setup is done, you can do it without a lot of maintenance. That is because this hydroponicS system has no water pumps, feeder lines, or nozzles to clog.
- DWC is not complicated at all because it has minimal assembly and moving parts.
Things to know: The DWC system has negligible disadvantages. The benefits outweigh the cons by a large margin.
A boon for beginners
The DWC system is an ideal practice to grow plants in aerated water. If you are a newbie to hydroponics then this is one of the cheapest methods that both established growers and beginners appreciate. With the right temperature and enough aeration, the roots of the plants thrive, and you achieve phenomenal yields. So, grow those peppers, squashes, and tomatoes super fast!