What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics literally translates to ‘water-working’. It’s a soil-less method of of growing plants with systems that work with recirculating nutrient water.

Is Hydroponics the next big thing in the world of Urban Farming?

Yes, Hydroponics offers numerous advantages over traditional farming methods in terms of operation as well as production output.

What is LECA?

Light Expanded Clay Aggregate or LECA is a popular grow medium for Hydroponics. The clay pellets are heated at around 1200*c (2100*f) and are virtually weightless, highly water absorbent and ph neutral. These also have the added benefit of evaporative cooling for the roots.

What are nutrients?

Plants absorb a multitude of nutrients from the soil. Primary among these are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, hereafter referred to as NPK. These elements are delivered via water in Hydroponic systems.

Why not soil?

70% of the most common plant diseases are soil borne. Further, by eliminating soil, you’re eliminating water wastage and agricultural run-off.

How much power do these systems use?

Very little. In fact, our home units use less energy than a standard issue tube light. We use low energy consumption motors that range between 3W-30W for home units and 1.5 HP upward for entire large scale installations.

What kind of plants can be grown on hydroponics?

Theoretically, any plant can grow hydroponically, given suitable climates and temperature. Currently, Future Farms manufacture systems that let you grow:
Most leafy-greens and herbs; on our Leaf Station and Leaf Pyramid systems.
Fruiting vegetables and flowers; on our Air Bucket systems.

How much sunlight is necessary?

Sunlight is essential for healthy plant growth – the more the sunlight, the better the growth. Regardless of whether the plant is growing in soil or in Hydroponics, we recommend 6 hours of sunlight/day.
*with hydroponics, plants can also grow with artificial lighting

How long do your systems last?

Our systems are highly durable, using the best materials. The primary component of our systems is uPVC, which research indicates is long lasting, regardless of climate or condition.

How much nutrient needs to be added?

The amount of nutrient to be mixed with the water depends on what stage of it’s growth the plant is in. We provide a nutrient feeding chart, on request.

Are these nutrients organic?

Organic nutrients have unrefined minerals. Semi-Organic nutrients have refined minerals, tested to be 100% safe and toxin free. Future Farms have both types, we recommend semi-organic for better results

What is NFT, why use it?

Nutrient Film Technique is one of the base Hydroponic technologies that some of our systems are designed to utilise. Ideal for growing leafy greens and herbs. Allowing for greater water saving, the smaller root systems are kept in constant contact with a layer/film of the nutrient enriched solution which is recirculated through the system

What is DWC, why use it?

Deep Water Culture is another of the base Hydroponic technologies that some of our systems are designed to utilise. It allows for larger plants to be grown as the roots are fully submerged in nutrient water. With more water and nutrient available to the plant, and a larger reservoir area, most common fruiting vegetables, some fruits and flowers can be grown successfully.

How fast do the plants grow?

You’ve heard that plants grow faster when grown in water. As the plants expend less energy for absorbing nutrients, more energy goes towards the plant growth. The difference in growth rate varies according to the type of plant being grown, but studies and evidence suggest that a 2-3x increase can be expected.

How much space does this need?

Space saving is one of the key benefits of Hydroponics, owing to vertical farming. Our systems occupy different areas, but the amount of space used will be more optimal than a traditional soil garden. For example, our Leaf Station One lets you grow 20 plants in 10sqft.

What are the main advantages of Hydroponics?

Compared to traditional farming, 85%+ water saved with 0 water wastage. 100% clean produce with no harmful toxins used. You can expect incredibly healthy and consistent results.

What water should be used?

We recommend clean (R/O or Distil) water for best results

What is the minimum space required to grow?

To familiarise yourself with the technology, you can start growing from your own window sill or balcony. For people who are looking for commercial viability, we recommend a 5000 sqft + sized installation.

What if my home has no access to direct sunlight?

6 hours of direct sunlight would be required for healthy plant growth. However, we do have indoor lighting solutions as well. Ask us more!

What if there are (frequent) power outages?

Our advances in tropical Hydroponics have led to all our systems being designed with power-cuts in mind. Your plants will be fine, even with no power for as long as three days.

How often should the water be changed?

Our systems ensure 0% water wastage. The water in our systems will only have to be topped up if water evaporates or is absorbed, usually once every 2 weeks.

How often should the nutrient be replenished?

We include grow chart information, as this might differ from plant to plant. Generally, once every 10-15 days is recommended.

Are the materials used for the systems food safe?

Yes, we use premium, food grade material for our systems.

How viable is it for commercial farming?

Being technology centric, the initial expenditure to set up one of our modular farms can be high. Thereafter, the running costs are minimal compared to soil – due to 85%+ water saved, no pesticide and limited labour requirement. The advantages keep piling up: reduced harvest time, increased, consistent yield and increasingly scalable vertical farming options.