What is Hydroponics ?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, Clay pebbles, rockwool, or coconut husk.
There are 5 basic types of hydroponic systems, Wick, Water Culture, Ebb and Flow (Flood & Drain), Drip (recovery or non-recovery) and N.F.T. (Nutrient Film Technique). There are hundreds of variations on these basic types of systems, but all hydroponic methods are a variation (or combination) of these five.
What Are The Advantages of Growing Hydroponically ?
- Optimal utilisation of the plant’s genetic potential.
- Better control of the plant’s nutrition
- A visible improvement in quantity and yields
- A significant shortening of the growth / production interval for a large variety of species.
- A more efficient use of space
- An excellent propagation success rate.
- Huge savings on fertilisers, and most important, of water, in a situation of ever increasing global scarcity.
- The strength and vigour of plants started in hydroponics then transplanted in soil is such that it opens up enormous commercial perspectives, especially for potted plants.In the field of education, at all stages, hydroponics fills children and adults withwonder. Several countries already introduced it in their school or university programs.
- Last but not least, hydroponics was, and still is, used for research purposes. For the last 50 years this method has been applied in most important research centres because of its reliability, its precision and the broad spectrum of its applications. Thanks tohydroponics enormous leaps forward were made possible in the understanding ofplants and especially their nutrition. * GHE article *