Hydroponics farming system seem a bit like farming technology from the future.
Hydroponics provides an answer to the world’s growing concerns: diminishing soil quality, and water scarcity. Due to these growing concerns, the world’s interest in hydroponics has increased greatly.
Hydroponics is a soil-less, water-conserving, and high-density production technique.
Hydroponics is a unique kind of farming that uses limited resources to achieve high productivity. It uses less water, less land and less nutrient. Growing crops in open fields uses more water, more land and destroys more natural habitat.
Using hydroponics system, you can grow tomatoes organically with 4 to 7 gallons of water as opposed to growing tomatoes in open fields, which can use anywhere from 28 to 42 gallons of water”.
Consequently, hydroponics reduces waste and pollution from soil run off, which makes it better for the environment.
In a well-maintained, well-integrated indoor horticulture practice, this kind of farming does not require pesticides or herbicides. The enclosed environment makes it easier to keep insects out. Many growers even introduce natural predators into the enclosed systems to weed out any pests.
Hydroponic environments are indoors so weather changes do not effect them.
A container in which hydroponic plants grow in is called a hydroponic unit. A hydroponic unit can be made in different ways;
The first method is by neatly scraping a circle indentation in the cork and then a hole in the middle where the indentation was. Then the simple plant is placed through the hole. The plant is then secured by cotton wadding and is placed in a container of water or a nutrient solution.
The second method is to take a container and fill one third of it with water or nutrient solution. Then, leave a small space above this and place wiring above it. Then place aggregate or sand above and plant the plant(s).
The third method is to fill a container with sand or aggregate and make a hole in the bottom of the container. Then, place a wick through the bottom of the container. Next place the container on two blocks in a tray of nutrient solution.
These are how hydroponic gardens are made.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is the growing of plants in a soil less medium, or an aquatic based environment. Hydroponic growing uses mineral nutrient solutions to feed the plants in water, without soil.
Hydroponics does not use soil, instead the root system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite.
The basic premise behind hydroponics is to allow the plants roots to come in direct contact with the nutrient solution, while also having access to oxygen, which is essential for proper growth. Consequently, this leads to high and fast productivity as the plants do not have to work hard to get nutrients.
Normally, plants grown in soil extends downwards to build a strong root system. However, in hydroponic, the plants are more focused with growing vertically upwards.
Not all crops can be tailored to hydroponic and container growing, as some crops are better grown in the ground. But when it comes to very perishable crops, growing them locally may be the best option.
The main components of a hydroponic farming systems are sump tank, plant production apparatus (grow bed, rafts, towers, etc.), and plumbing (with a pump, tubing, filters, and a drip system).
There is another method of farming called aquaponics, which bears great similarity with hydroponics. In fact, they are same.
The only major difference between the two is that aquaponics uses primarily fish waste to supply the necessary nutrients to grow plants, while hydroponic production uses a nutrient fertilizer which is added to the water at specific levels (depending on the crop).
Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (fish production) and hydroponics (soilless plant production).
In a nutshell, “All aquaponics is hydroponics, but not all hydroponics is aquaponics.”
Growing with hydroponics comes with many advantages, one of which includes increased rate of growth in your plants.
The plants will mature up to 25% faster and produce up to 30% more than the same plants grown in soil.
Climate is no longer a limitation in the pursuit of high productivity. We can now grow virtually any plant at virtually any time of the year – the only limitation is our imagination.
Hydroponics can be a potential solution to both the water scarcity and food scarcity issues in the world.
If you want to grow the biggest and juiciest plants that get people longing for more, then hydroponics is the right choice for you.
With hydroponics, you and I can provide a cleaner and safer world for humans, animals, and plants to live in.
Iyanuoluwa Olamide Aliu