Look, no soil! People are so used to plants, growing in fields and gardens buried into the soil. But we find anything else completely extraordinary.
And it is true. Not only plants will grow without soil, they often grow a lot better with their roots in water or in a very moist air instead.
This method of growing plants without soil is known as hydroponics.
It might sound weird, but many of the foods we eat including tomatoes on the vine,lettuces, onions and other herbs are already grown hydroponically.
Let's take a closer look at hydroponics and find out how it works!
Hydroponics come from the Latin word that means working water. It is the art of growing plants with out soil.
Most people think that hydroponics is that plants who are grown with their roots directly suspended in water without growing medium,then this is just one type of hydroponic gardening known as NFT or Nutrient Film Technique.
There are so many variations of NFT used around the world as it is the most popular method of growing hydroponically.
As we go on, you will encounter the most common, such as the pros and cons of each along with the abundance of great and so the information about hydroponics.
Plants grow through a process called photosynthesis, in which they use sunlight and a chemical inside their leaves called chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide (a gas in the air) and water into glucose (a type of sugar) and oxygen. Write that out chemically and you get this equation:
Soil was not mention of anywhere in there and that's all the evidence you need that plants can grow without it.
What they will need is water and nutrients?,
Which can both easily obtained from soil?.
But if they can get these things somewhere else, for example, by standing with their roots in a nutrient-rich solution.
Plants will grow with that without any soil. That's the basic principle behind hydroponics.
In theory, the word "hydroponics" means growing plants in water but because you can grow plants without actually standing them in water, most people define the word to mean growing plants without using soil.
The benefits of hydroponics have sometimes been doubted,they say that there seems to be many advantages in growing without soil.
Some hydroponic growers have found they produce yields many times greater when they switch from the traditional methods.
For the reason that hydroponically grown plants dip their roots directly into nutrient-rich solutions, because of this, they get what they needed much more easily than plants growing in soil, so they need much smaller root systems and can divert more energy into leaf and stem growth.
With smaller roots, you can grow more plants in the same area and get more yield from the same amount of ground which is particularly good news if you're growing in a limited area like a greenhouse or on a balcony or window-ledge inside, for one of a kind hobby greenhouses and other garden needs visits gardensonata.com.au.
Hydroponic plants also grow faster. There are many pests that are carried in soil, by doing it hydroponically it generally gives you a more hygienic growing system with lesser problem with pests.
Since hydroponics is ideal for indoor growing, you can use it to grow plants all year round.
Automated systems controlled by timers and computers make the whole thing a breeze. In doing hydroponics, it's not all good results their are also few drawbacks that can happen inevitably.
One thing to consider is the cost of all the equipment you need:
Another disadvantage of hydroponics is the “ponic” part: there is a certain amount of toil involved.
While with traditional growing, you can sometimes be quite offhand about how you treat plants and if the weather and other conditions are in favor your side, your plants will still survive.
In hydroponics is it more on scientific and the plants are much more under your control. You need to check them constantly to make sure they are growing in good conditions.
Although automated systems, such as lighting timers, make things quite a bit easier. Another disadvantage of hydroponics is that, hydroponic plants have much smaller root systems, they can't always support themselves very well. Heavy fruiting plants may need quite elaborate forms of support.
Some of the advantages of growing hydroponically are they are grown in a growing medium and it will be added a perfectly balanced,ph adjusted nutrient solution is delivered to the roots in soluble form.
This will help the plants to get its food with a very small effort unlike in soil where the roots must search out for the nutrient and then they should also extract them.This is a fact,even you use highly organic soil with top of the line nutrients.
When you use soil in growing two genetically identical plants for one and hydroponics for the other you will easily witness the difference.
This is the reason why hydroponics is being adapted around the world for commercial food production as well as at home for hobby gardeners. Hydroponics is faster, better and produces greater yields than growing in soil.
By practicing hydroponic gardening, gardeners don’t have to worry about weeding, soil borne diseases, when to fertilize, spraying pesticides, labors of cultivation, tilling, soil texture, and more.
It offers an easy way of growing fruits and vegetables that are healthier and have more nutritive value.
With hydroponic gardening you can expect big, better results in short span of time, as nutrients are dissolved in water and directly fed to roots.
Hydroponic gardens are simple to maintain both indoors and outdoors.
You can relish fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables that will bring you happiness and peace of mind while saving some money.
Read more to explore other detailed advantages and some disadvantages of growing hydroponics:
Plants can be grown anywhere as long as you provide their growth requirements.
Compared to soil based gardening it uses only 1/20th of water.
Hydroponics technique does not need pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals, as there’s no chance of damage due to soil-borne diseases or pests And you plants will be securely hygienic.
It occupies less space than that of soil based gardens, as plants with small roots can be grown closer to each other.
Residue in traditional gardening can lead to environment degradation due to high proportion of calcium, phosphorous and potassium content dissolved in it. But in hydroponic systems; water can be re-useable many times leading to water conservation with less expense occurred in it.
Hydroponics involves less labor. Maintenance is also minimal.
Nutrient balance can be simply control by using solutions.
No testing and setting up of soil.
Hydroponically grown plants are more healthy and have much higher nutritional value than traditional gardening. It is also proven that vitamin content is much by 50% when using this method.
Harvesting is very easy.
Changing seasons can not affect the crops,as it can be grown all year round.
Hydroponic gardening is stress-relieving and a relaxing hobby.
It can also be a way for your family to bond.
Hydroponics initial set up are costly.
It also requires continuous supervision.
Water-based microorganism can be easily initiated.
Technical knowledge is required for growing plants through hydroponics.
Hydroponics can also become susceptible to power outtage; when this happen plants will dry out. You should have to manually water your garden if their is no power supply.
When it comes to gardening, you have so many choices, you can have your plants inside your house, you can put it outside like setting up your hobby green house or you can extend into a lean-on green houses.
With this you can visit gardensonata.com.au for your garden needs. One of the best way of gardening aside from the traditional one is by using hydroponics systems. There are six main types to choose from.
In a DWC hydro system, you simply fill up a reservoir with your nutrient solution. You then dip your plant’s roots in that solution so that it may put on firm hold, supply of water, and nutrients should be continuous...
Then uninterrupted oxygen supply is added to the water. Usually, the most common way that growers oxygenate the nutrient solution reservoir is with an air pump and airstone to pump bubbles into it.
This keeps your plant’s roots from “drowning” which — while it sounds weird — is a real concern because your plants will suck the oxygen they need out of the water. It’s very easy to set up and at low-maintenance making it perfect for hydroponics beginners.
Flood and Drain (Ebb and Flow) systems are very popular with home hydroponic growers for the reason that it is to build for anyone, you can use any materials you have seen around to build them, so you don't need to spend much money to grow plants hydroponically.
Also it is space friendly (both indoors or outdoors), and no limit to the different and imaginative ways to design them. With this, plants grow very well in flood and drain systems.
The flood and drain system works basically like it sounds, by simply flooding the plants root system with nutrient solution.
It is the simplest of all six types of hydroponic systems.
For the reason that traditionally it has no moving parts, thus it doesn't use any pumps or electricity.
But some people still like using an optional air pump in the reservoir. This is useful in places that has no electricty available.
The wick system is an easy type of system to build when first learning about hydroponics. This type of hydroponic system is also often used by teachers in classrooms as experiments for kids.
Both to help explain how plants grow, as well as getting them interested in hydroponics. It operates by basically just wicking up nutrient solution from the reservior to the plants using the capillary action.
Drip systems is one of the most commonly used types in growing hydroponics around the world, both at home as well as commercial growers. For the reason that it is a type of hydroponic system that only uses few parts but still very effective.
It is simply dripping the plant into the nutrient solution to keep it moist.It can be design in so many ways but it is more useful for larger plants with bigger roots.
What you'll need to build a drip system is:
Container for the plant's roots to grow in.
A reservoir to hold the nutrient solution.
A submersible fountain/pond pump.
Light timer to turn the pump on and off.
Different sizes of PVC tube to be use in running the pump to the reservior. As well as for the return line for the nutrient solution.
Growing media for the plants roots to grow in and to support the plants weight.
This is the most technical type of hydroponic even though it is quite simple. However it's still easy to build your own basic aeroponic system, and many home growers uses this.
You can also use different kinds of materials in hydroponics and many kinds of set up.
One of the advantages of aeroponics is that it only need a little or no growing media at all.
Because the roots get much needed oxygen that plant grows faster This system use less water and harvesting is easier especially on root crops.
Aeroponic system operates an easy concept. The roots are in the mid air for the reason that they can get the maximum amount of oxygen. The main advantage of aeroponics is that because of the high volume of oxygen that it will by hanging the plant will grow faster so it will result to more harvest.
The N.F.T. system (Nutrient Film Technique) is quite popular with home hydroponic growers. For the reason that it has fairly simple design. This type of hydroponic systems are best suited for, and commonly used for growing smaller plants but quick growing like different types of lettuce.
Along with growing lettuce, some commercial growers also grow different types of herbs and baby greens using N.F.T. systems. You can also check this book: (Hydroponics for Beginners;Kindle Edition-amazon)