Hydroponics is the method of gardening in which plants are supplied with nutrients through the water solution. Hydroponic systems vary in their complexity and the amount of care that they require.
Gardeners have a choice of systems to accomplish this. Deep Water Culture (DWC), Drip Systems, Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain), Nutrient Flow Technique (NFT), Reservoir and Wick Systems are all considered hydroponic gardening.
Systems fall into one of two categories : Passive Systems or Active Systems.
Passive Hydroponic Systems use capillary action to draw water through the planting medium. As water is used it creates “tension” which pulls water molecules up. It supplies plants with as much water as they need. Passive systems include reservoir systems, wick systems, and capillary mat systems.
Active Hydroponic Systems use pumps to move fresh water/nutrient solution to the plants so that the environment is refreshed by a solution on a timed schedule. Active hydroponic systems include deep water culture (DWC), drip systems, ebb and flow systems and aeroponic systems.