Deep Water Culture Our System and Innovative Approach

Phytoponics has taken an ancient hydroponic method and we have adapted and evolved it for use at scale by designing a range of Deep Water Culture (DWC) growing modules (patent pending) containing nutrient solutions which are kept oxygenated by built in aerators.
Plants are nourished by the growing module, where the roots of the plant are suspended in the water which has the crop specific nutrient recipe and a healthy amount of dissolved oxygen.
The growing modules are serviced by an automated nutrient control system that maintains the nutrient and pH at optimum levels whilst irrigating the r plants according to crop specific closed loop recirculation cycles.
Deep Water Culture Hydroponics for Dometica Tomatoes, Stockbridge Technology Centre 2019
Phytoponics DWC Systems are specifically designed for soilless, substrate-less growing of nutrient intensive vine crops, soft / exotic fruits and high value crops such as medical grade cannabis.

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The Key Benefits of our DWC Systems

Crop roots grow in a large volume of agitated nutrient solution that enables consistency in rootzone conditions that can be controlled e.g. nutrient levels, pH, oxygen aeration and temperature. Depletion zones are minimised through agitation by aeration, increasing root health and reducing the need for roots to grow longer and search for nutrients.
A wide range of stresses can be induced in the rootzone to influence and produce desired crop physiological traits. At high EC, fruit quality is improved, whereas at a lower EC, yield is higher. We find the sweet spot between these EC’s for our target crops and enable both high quality and yield.
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 Tomato Deep Water Culture roots 2 weeks into planting.
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Our ability to control or influence nutrient and energy distribution throughout a plant enhances the yield and quality of the produce grown in our systems. With proprietary DWC agronomy and plant physiology developed by co-founder Adam Dixon behind our growing system, we are designing technology that will change the landscape of commercial horticulture.
Rootzone management and horticultural innovation is at the heart of every Phytoponics system and it’s where our core R&D activities are focused. With this, we are solving many longstanding issues in commercial horticulture and at the forefront of yield & quality enhancement, and can bring new crops to protected horticulture, such as dragon fruit, vanilla and rambutan:

 

Yield Enhancement

Less energy is expended by a plant’s roots in adapting to the fluctuating rootzone environments seen in other less controllable hydroponic growing methods and this results in yield enhancement. Furthermore, aerobic control in night time can reduce excess root metabolism in periods without photosynthesis, reducing wastage of assimilates and boosting yield.
Yield is key in making commercial horticulture profitable. Our deep water culture system minimises growth disruption that is often seen in substrate, NFT and aeroponic growing systems with lower buffer capacities on hot days, temporary outages or component failure. A fully configured Phytoponics system is resilient and reliable by holding up to 7 days worth of nutrient solution, and can produce among the highest yields possible, and our R&D is focused on pushing yields higher and higher.
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Dubbo Tomatoes grown at Stockbridge Technology Centre, 2020

No Need for Substrates

Peat has been the basis of horticultural substrates for decades and is known to be highly unsustainable. Other commercial hydroponic approaches e.g. rockwool and coconut coir fed by drip irrigation, have sustainability issues largely derived from the sourcing and disposal of non-recyclable substrates and high water consumption during processing and manufacture. Our DWC approach uses no substrate, as it uses the aerated nutrient solution as a substrate alternative.
Cucumber roots
Deep Water Culture allows freedom to grow crops with controllable root-zone management
rockwool
Rockwool substrate constrained growth with little or no root-zone  management

Environmentally Sustainable

Phytoponics’ DWC approach produces less waste than other methods of hydroponics e.g. rockwool substrate and therefore we believe we offer a far more sustainable means of growing produce for the future benefit of the planet and its inhabitants.
Designed by United Nations Young Champion of the Earth, Adam Dixon, our patent pending growing module is inert, food safe and a fully recyclable or reusable one piece of material that is recycled with ease at its end of life for a sustainable circular economy. We avoid the use of endocrine disrupting materials in our systems by focusing on Polyethylene based materials.