Top Harvest uses Nutrient Film Technique for the cultivation in our greenhouses.
Nutrient Film Technique (or NFT) is a hydroponic technique where in a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is re-circulated past the bare roots of plants in a watertight gully, also known as channels.
Growing plants with NFT system requires:
- lightweight plants The nutrient film technique uses narrow pipes to grow plants, so you should only consider growing lightweight plants.
- minimal root system The plant’s root system should be small enough to absorb all the nutrients for their growth.
- short harvest period The plants should be fast-growing and harvested quickly (plants should mature within three months starting from the seed sowing period).
Which plants are the best for the NFT system?
Leafy green vegetables such us:
Hydroponically grown Spinach is a leafy vegetable that can be grown all year round except in winters with very slow growth when temperatures are as low as 5-10 degrees Celsius and in extreme heat with temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius.Hydroponically grown Spinach is usually ready for harvest within 35-60 days a little earlier than soil grown spinach depending on temperature, management of nutrient solution being fed to spinach plants, etc. Some varieties are harvested within 35-40 days while others take as long as 60 days to be ready for harvest
Benefits of Hydrophonic Grown Spinach
- Hydroponic Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A,Vitamin C, Manganese, Magnesium, etc.
- It is a great source of Iron especially for those who require more Iron in their diet as only 100 grams of spinach provides around 20% of daily requirement of Iron
- It is an amazing source of Vitamin K which helps in blot clotting as it provides 400% of daily Vitamin K requirement
- It contains lots of fiber which aids in digestion and keeps guts healthy
- Growing Hydroponic spinach in NFT enables growers to get even more nutritious spinach as growers can control and modulate nutrients being given to plants for their growth
Hydroponically grown lettuce is a leafy vegetable that can be grown any time throughout the year if the climate is controlled. It grows up to 30 cm tall and 5-30 cm wide.
Benefits of Hydroponic grown lettuce
- It’s a good source of vitamin K, essential for bone strength.
- Since it’s up to 95% water, it can have a hydrating effect
- Its vitamin A is good for the eyes.
- In addition to these benefits, hydroponic lettuce is far less likely to suffer contamination.
- Lettuces, in particular, are highly susceptible to dangers like e.coli.
The NFT is a popular hydroponic system for growing herbs.
the best herbs to grow with the NFT system are:
- The herbs that belong in the Mint Family (Basil, Mint, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage)
- The herbs that belong in the Carrot Family (Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley)
With the use of the NFT system, it is possible to cultivate fruits that grow in small bushes. The perfect example for these, are strawberries.
It takes anywhere from 90 to 120 days for hydroponic strawberry plants to produce fruit.
Strawberries are typically ready to harvest 60-70 days after planting
Hydroponic strawberries need at least 8 – 12 hours of direct sunlight each day.
Benefits of hydroponic strawberries
- Hydroponic strawberries can produce up to 30% more fruit than traditional soil-grown strawberries.
- Strawberries grown hydroponically can be harvested up to 2 weeks earlier than traditional strawberries.
- Since hydroponic strawberries are grown in a controlled environment, they are less susceptible to pests and diseases.
- Hydroponic strawberries can be grown year-round, regardless of the outside temperature.
- Plants of hydroponics strawberries take up less space than traditional strawberry plants.
- Strawberry hydroponics systems are relatively easy to set up and maintain.
- Hydroponically grown strawberries are typically more nutrient-rich than soil-grown strawberries.
Cherry tomatoes are juicy, bite-sized fruits that are prized all over the world for their many uses in the kitchen. Instead of buying them from grocery stores, you can grow fresh tomatoes in your own home to get the most of their flavor and nutritional value, using the NFT system.
Benefits of hydroponically grown Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are a great source of:
- Vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision
- Vitamin C, which helps the immune system and keeps it strong
- Lycopene, which is an antioxidant that is protecting the consumers from cancer.
- Potassium, which helps the proper muscle function.
- Folate, which is essential for pregnant women as it helps prevent congenital disabilities.