Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain) System Explained
Hydroponics gardens are so versatile that you can set up a small hydroponics system on your kitchen counter, a decorative display in your living room, or dedicate an entire room to your hobby. Ebb and flow is one of the most popular growing systems, and is also perfect if you’re on a tight budget.
Where Did the Term “Ebb and Flow Originate”?
Ebb and flow is also called ebb flood or flood drain It is in reference to how the ocean tides drain away from the shore, and then how they flow back in again.
What’s a Hydroponics Ebb and Flow System?
This is a different method of growing your plants hydroponically. The words “ebb and flow” are in reference to how you’ll irrigate or water your plants. The set up is simple. Plants are placed in individual containers that sit in a tray. Each container is filled with a growing media, instead of soil, that helps to support the plants’ roots and keep the plants upright.
There are other types of hydroponics systems, such as deep water culture, that constantly keep the plants’ roots suspended in the nutrient solution, but in ebb and flow that doesn’t happen.
With ebb and flow, water and a nutrient solution mixture are sent to the plants a set number of times per day. This helps to provide the food and moisture the plants need, but during dry times, the plants can absorb oxygen. During the draining phase, the pump (on a timer) will turn off. Gravity will drain the solution back down into the reservoir. Basically, your plants won’t drown, nor will you need an air pump such as in deepwater culture.
Why Should I Choose Ebb and Flow Over Another Hydroponics System?
The ebb and flow hydroponics system is perfect if you’re just starting out in hydroponics. You can easily build it and maintain it. It’s also good for a smaller garden, or for when you want to add to your garden. Commercial growers also use it for starting plants. They can easily be removed and then transplanted into a deep water culture system, or even into a soil-based garden or other type of hydroponics system.
The ebb and flow system is great for growing lettuce, herbs, and smaller flowers. It’s set up on a horizontal surface which is great for a decorative display too.
Is an Ebb and Flow Hydroponics System Easy to Maintain?
It will take a small amount of effort to unpack your Kushy ebb and flow system, but once you set it up, it involves minimal maintenance. Be sure to fully follow installation instructions. The main thing you must know is that your plants must get their nutrients, which are provided through your irrigation timer. You’ll want to ensure you set up your timer properly, otherwise, your plants may die from lack of nutrients. And you’ll also need to check on your plants frequently, to ensure that they are growing well.
What Benefits Can I Expect from Ebb and Flow?
Ebb and flow is simple to maintain as long as you follow the instructions. While there are easier systems to maintain, such as deep water culture, ebb and flow does have some other advantages. This type of system is set up horizontally, so you have more surface area for plants.
Ebb and flow is also flexible. You can add more plants by increasing the size of your flood table. Your reservoir of nutrients is independent of this system in ebb and flow, whereas in deep water culture (DWC), you are confined to the reservoir you’re growing your plants in, so you’d have to buy a bigger one. Deep water culture can involve a bigger setup, whereas ebb and flow takes up less room.
It’s also easier to control the temperature in an ebb and flow system. This is because your nutrient system is in a different container than where you keep your plants, unlike in a DWC system where the reservoir and the plants are in the same part.
And since the temperature can be better controlled in an ebb and flow system, you can set it up in your home, down in your basement, or even outside, without having to worry about the reservoir drawing in too much heat from the sun, or too much cold from the air.
Since temperature can be better regulated in an ebb and flow system, you’ll have fewer plant pathogens to deal with.
Where Do I Buy a Hydroponics Ebb and Flow System?
If you’re interested in buying one of the most popular hydroponics systems, you can buy an ebb and flow hydroponics kit here at Kushy. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance at any time.