For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.


It’s all about marketing. That’s what local growers say about hydroponic gardening. In a time when water and fertile lands to farm are scarce, hydroponic or soilless gardening is considered as a some kind of mana form heaven. Where before farmers where completely at the mercy of the seasons, now they can grow crops throughout the year and yield good harvests no matter the season. That is most direct effect of hydroponics. The possibility that plants could survive and grow without soil as the nutrient source was first described historically by Woodward in 1699, though the technique has been in practice since the time of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
However, it was only in the 1840s when the principle was applied in modern agriculture. Researchers discovered that by developing a formula containing all the essential nutrients that plants need for growth – nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen dioxide (H20) – the need for soil in growing them may be completely eliminated. Adopting this idea, a number of German botanists soon developed the basic nutrient formulas and growing techniques which are in use today. With hydroponic gardening, the growing of crops requires as little as 10% as much land as regular farming, and less than 10% as much water. And sometimes, the water used may be even dramatically lessened further if the water is recirculated.

One key advantage of hydroponic gardening is that the produce is less affected by insects thriving in soil or diseases caused by soil microorganisms. This, of course, means that farmers are less inclined to use insecticide to keep these pests away. The overall result therefore is that you have yourself crops that do not carry traces of insecticide, and can be picked ripe just before eating so preservatives are not required. Produce such as broccoli, cabbage, celery, chard, cucumbers, eggplant, flowers, grapes, lettuce, melons, onions, peppers, pole beans, radishes, strawberries, and tomatoes have been grown hydroponically.Another attractive feature of hydroponic gardening is water economy. In arid areas, where precious water must be re-circulated, hydroponic systems may help improve harvest yields. A large volume of hydroponic food can be grown rapidly in a small area. In fact, it has been reported that four heads of lettuce can be raised in the same amount of space required to grown one head of field lettuce. There are various techniques to hydroponic gardening. In water culture, the roots of the plants are held in a large waterproof tank.

The plants are supported by mesh or string, and they get their food from the nutrient formula contained in the tank.Another form of hydroponics is gravel culture. Considered a more costly system to install and maintain, gravel culture involves a waterproof bench which is filled with inert pea-sized gravel. These are used to support the roots f the plants. Then, a solution containing all the essential nutrients required by the plant is pumped into the gravel from a holding tank. When the bench is full of the solution, the pump is turned off and the solution drains back to the holding tank.The solutions for both systems are replenished periodically. And for lighting, a number of grow light devices are available used to automate lighting for plants.


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