What is Hydroponics?
Simplified, Hydroponics is growing plants with water, nutrients and oxygen in a controlled environment.
The word hydroponics is derived from two Greek words: ‚hydro‘ meaning water and ‚ponos‘ meaning labor. Hydroponic production can be with or without the use of an artificial medium (such as perlite, sand, gravel, peat, or sawdust) to provide mechanical support.
If you have ever suspended the pit from an avocado over water in a glass, or grown a sweet potato plant in water as part of a classroom experiment, you were using an elementary hydroponic system! Although you may have only used water, a true hydroponics garden combines the use of water, a substrate, and a nutrient solution to grow plants quickly in far less space than a traditional garden. The majority of hydroponic gardens are used to grow vegetables. However this gardening method is also a great solution for creating unique flower gardens indoors or outdoors using a variety of container options.
The main benefits of hydroponic cultivation are
- More efficient use of water and fertilizers
- No soil is required
- Nearly everything can be grown locally
- Space requirements (greater return per square meter) and growing time are lessened
- Year-round production
- Heavy work is reduced
- Pest and disease problems can be better controlled without harsh chemicals
- Nutrients are recyclable
- Weed problems are lessened
- Crop rotation is not necessary
- No water needed to clean up plants before consumption
- Lower costs in production process per plant
Vertical farming is basically the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers. This helps to solve the problem of missing spaces, indoors as well as outdoors.
The technique of vertical farming is a future technology which can be used in urban spaces like warehouses or shipping containers as well as balconies or kitchen spaces, to grow vegetable produce in any agglomeration throughout all seasons.
98% of vertical cultivation uses hydroponic systems, as growing plants in a nutrient solution root medium, is a growing area of commercial food production.
The main benefits of vertical farming are
- a maximum crop yield, due to neither being weather dependent nor day or night times.
- the reduction of transportation costs and therewith a reduction of CO2
- the use of very minimal water as it is used in a controlled circulating environment
- only few space is needed
- food is always organic, as there are no pesticides required
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What can be grown with Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the latest technology used worldwide to grow plants without soil in nutrient-laced water. It can be used at home, in shops, supermarkets, restaurants, garden stores as well as commercially.
But what can actually be grown with a hydroponic system?