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.

Hydroponic Sea Oats

By Arian Osch

Hydroponic Sea Oats – How They Help the Florida Coastline
Sea oats, vital for preventing coastal erosion, have been raised in Allentown, Florida, which is more than thirty miles from the nearest beach and without a grain of sand. These sea oats are being grown hydroponically with their roots dangling in the nutrient-rich water. This method is applauded for saving energy. The sea oats have been grown in nurseries and transplanted to beaches, where they trap sand and help restore the dunes and have done so for over three decades. Hydroponic sea oats need less space and water and require fewer chemicals while generating no pesticide runoff. The process saves the energy it would normally take to make the chemicals and pesticides. With this process, there is also no need for tractors, which require a lot of fuel.

Hydroponic Book

Hydroponics date back over 5,000 years when the Egyptians made paper from papyrus grown in water. Thousands of hydroponic tomato growers went out of business in the 1950s, as they were unable to compete with low prices for conventionally grown varieties. By growing sea oats, the ecologically friendly cultivation method employs few resources and reaps tremendous results. Hydroponics is revolutionizing the way environmental managers repopulate Florida’s critical natural resources.

In the natural environment, one of every 10,000 sea oat seeds will germinate. When grown using hydroponics, one out of every 10 seeds will develop for transplantation to the beach as a mature plant. Hydroponics is often defined as the cultivation of plants in water. Research has since determined that many different aggregates or media will support plant growth so the definition of hydroponics has been broadened to read the cultivation of plants without soil. Growers all over the world are using hydroponic techniques due to the lack of a large water supply or fertile farmland. Home gardeners have used hydroponics on a smaller scale to grow fresh vegetables year round and to grow plants in smaller spaces. Greenhouses and nurseries grown their plants in a soil-less peat or bark based growing mix. The nutrients are then applied to the growing mix through the water supply. This is also a type of hydroponics.

Hydroponics is a technology for growing plants in nutrient solutions with or without the use of an artificial medium to provide mechanical support. Hydroponic systems are further categorized as open or closed. The definition of hydroponics has been confined to liquid systems only, which changes statistical data and leads to the underestimation of the extent of the technology and its economic implications. All hydroponic systems in temperate regions of the world are enclosed in greenhouse-type structures to provide temperature control, reduce evaporative water loss, and to reduce disease and pest infestations.

Hydroponics is a relatively new technology and has evolved rapidly since its inception over 70 years ago. It is a versatile technology and is appropriate for both developing countries and high tech space stations. Hydroponic technology can efficiently generate food crops from barren desert sand and desalinated ocean water. The economic prospects for controlled environmental agriculture and hydroponics may improve if governmental bodies determined there are politically desirable effects of hydroponics and those merits subsidizing for the good of the public. The benefits of this may include the conservation of water in regions in which it is scarce or food production in hostile environments.

Another desirable social effect could be the provision of income producing employment for disadvantaged segments of the population entrapped in economically depressed regions. Hydroponics has fast become a technical reality. Such production systems are producing horticultural crops where field grown fresh vegetables and ornamentals are unavailable for most of the year. The development and use of controlled environment agriculture and hydroponics have enhanced the economic well being of many communities throughout the world.


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