Hydroponics is a type of farming technique that uses water instead of soil to grow plants. By using this method we can save a lot of water. Hydroponic plants are planted in a inert media exposing their roots to nutrients rich solutions. Plants commonly grown hydroponically, on inert media, include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce and marijuana.
HYDROPONICS- REVOLUTION IN FARMING
The idea of growing terrestrial plants without soil was first published in the book Sylva Sylvarum or ‘A Natural History’ by Francis Bacon, in the year 1627. Growth of terrestrial plants without soil in mineral nutrient solutions was called solution culture. Later William Frederick Gericke created a sensation by growing tomato vines twenty-five feet (7.6 metres) high in his back yard in mineral nutrient solutions rather than soil and named it as hydroponics in 1937, proposed to him by W. A. Setchell, a phycologist with an extensive education in the classics.
The origins of hydroponics can be traced back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is the first known example of soil-less growth of plants. This was around 600 BC. Later on, around 1100 BC, the Aztec Indians got creative with their growing techniques and created gardens that seemed to be floating. These “floating gardens” were called ‘chinampas’, which had a strong combination of roots and lashes, laden with sediment from lake-bottoms, providing nutrients to the crops and plantations. Similar floating plantations were discovered by Marco Polo on his visit to China, which left him surprised as he hadn’t seen anything like this ever before. In the 1990s, NASA grew aeroponic bean seedlings in zero gravity aboard a space station, opening up the possibility of sustainable agriculture in space.
ADVANTAGES OF HYDROPONICS
• Hydroponics plants can be grown anywhere even in small rooms. Since the plants roots don’t have to expand in search of oxygen and water it can be grown much closer to each other. And instead of putting its energy in its roots growth it can invest its energy into the growth above ground. Through this we can save a lot of space and get higher growth.
• Many diseases are soil-born. And it effects the plant growth in soil based agriculture whereas in hydroponics since weeds, pests and plants diseases are highly reduced and less chemicals are used. It helps the plant to grow cleaner and get healthier foods.
• Hydroponics systems can be built indoors, so there is no need to adapt to outside climate.
• Here, one can grow each crop simultaneously all year round.
• Because of their very less water usage this can be done in countries which have scarcity of water.
• Many organisms depend on plants for their food which disturbs the plants growth whereas in hydroponics since no soil there is no organisms.
• Weeds which grows with plants in soil based agriculture takes up the nutrients from the soil making it hard for the plants to get adequate amount of nutrients. This case is not seen in hydroponics since no soil so no unwanted growth of plants.
DISADVANTAGES OF HYDROPONICS
• For a large-scale hydroponic system proper facilities are required and it is not cheap.
A large field where you can pour a tons of
water is cheaper than building large
• If a disease occurs it spreads very fast in water as compared to that in soil.
• Expect knowledge is required in this field.
• Proper maintenance of the plants is required.
• Not all crops can be grown here. Some roots based vegetables like potatoes and carrots does better in soil.
Hydroponics is a revolutionary change in farming technique. If it is implemented with proper knowledge and constant monitoring it can yield to a better harvest. We can get healthier food and can save a lot of water. You can start doing it even in your home now. The thing is we have no idea about it. So let’s put our hands together for this new technique which can help us in our long run.