Substitute for Net Cups in Hydroponics Systems

Written by lawrence harris
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Net cups are containers for hydroponically grown plants (grown without using soil). A net cup, riddled with slots or holes through which roots may grow, holds the growth medium (such as perlite) in which the plant is rooted. The net cup is suspended over a reservoir of nutrient water so the roots are partially submerged.

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Significance

A net pot's main function is as a container to keep the plant's roots from being totally submerged, thus robbing them of sufficient oxygen to survive. As such, it doesn't matter what the net cup is made from, as long as the material is inert.

Types

Net cups come in several different sizes. A 1-inch net cup can be made from a plastic 35-mm film canister with slots cut in it; 2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch net cups can be made from various sizes of plastic disposable drinking cups with numerous holes made in them using a drill or soldering iron. A larger net cup can be made from the lid of a "cake box" spindle of 50 or 100 blank optical discs such as CD-Rs or DVD-Rs.

Benefits

Research has shown that plants grown using hydroponic methods will produce about five times the yield of the same plants grown in soil under the same conditions of feeding and lighting.

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