This is page 12 of our twelve page series on nutrient film technique. Click any of the below pages to jump to that page.
Another variation on the nutrient film technique theme, this time with horizontally oriented channels stacked on a narrow A-frame. This allows a much higher density of plants to be grown per square foot of growing space. Since many greenhouses have quite a bit of vertical space, this is a very potent way to get as much production out of that protected environment as possible. Photo courtesy of www.indiamart.com/techxellancesolutions.
Nutrient film technique systems are extremely common in both research and commercial applications; as such there is a tremendous amount of published information about these systems. Here are only a few:
The University of Florida has a wonderful 39 page PDF devoted to various aspects of nutrient film technique systems. This particular PDF is heavy on the pictures, and a tad skinny on text for my tastes. But it gives a wonderful overview of the various system options, examples of particular pieces of equipment, photos of crops in different stages, photos of different growing media and short descriptions of individual crops which are commonly grown in NFT. That PDF can be downloaded for free here: https://www.uaf.edu/files/ces/sare/conference/presentations/2015/Preconference_Workshop___Hydroponics/5-Nutrient-Film-Technique-COOK.pdf
While nutrient film technique does offer many advantages, the channels offer an almost ideal environment for some root diseases to flourish. Many sources of information skip over this topic, but the folks at New Zealand’s Greenhouse Vegetable Information website dive into detail on this particular topic. One of the few sites I’ve ever found which addresses diseases specific to the NFT system, and how to deal with them. That site can be viewed at http://www.ghvi.co.nz/NFT/Disease_in_Hydroponics.html. Growers should be advised that some chemical treatments which are advocated in other countries may not be legal in the US, so verify chemical treatment legal issues prior to application.
This research paper looked at using two different hydroponic systems, namely drip irrigation and nutrient film technique, in a unique vertical growing system. Normally NFT is a specifically horizontal system with plants laid out in horizontally oriented channels. That takes up a lot of area. For those growers who are interested in this technique and want to “grow up”, this research paper talks about the details of how to do exactly that, with a variety of crops. Intriguing idea. The research paper appears to be the work of a graduate level student and was conducted at California’s Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) in San Luis Obispo. The document is in PDF format and can be read and/or downloaded from here: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1108&context=braesp
One of the world’s NFT experts, Dr. Lynette Morgan, wrote a book specifically about NFT production of lettuce in 1996. The University of Vermont received permission to post a three page synopsis of this book on its website, and make it available as a free PDF download. That document is available here: http://www.hort.vt.edu/ghvegetables/documents/Hydroponics/Nutrient%20Film%20Technique%20Lettuce_LMorgan.pdf For readers who are interested in more information from Dr. Morgan, her original book is still regarded as one of the go-to sources for NFT lettuce production. That book is available for purchase from multiple sources, including our very own bookstore here.
Crop King is a major provider of commercial NFT systems, supplies and equipment. They have an entire section of their website devoted to this system and the related components. Keep in mind that this is a commercial website and their primary goal is to sell you something. However, they do offer a very good look at the “latest and greatest” in terms of NFT equipment and supplies. If you’re shopping for an NFT system or related components, this would be a good place to at least review some options. https://www.cropking.com/catalog/nft-systems-supplies
The above sources give a variety of different in-depth looks into different aspects of NFT production. As we become aware of more sources, we’ll post them here.
This is the end of our twelve-page series on NFT systems. We hope that you have learned a great deal about this powerful and flexible hydroponics system. If you have any questions, and/or would like to make suggestions about the materials that we've covered here, please Contact Us. We'd love to hear from you!
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