Growers all over the world are using hydroponic techniques for food and ornamental plant production. Hydroponic growing is attracting much attention due to the lack of a large water supplies or fertile farmland. Hobby farmers and home gardeners have used hydroponics on a smaller scale to grow fresh vegetables year round and to grow plants in smaller spaces, such as the basement or an apartment balcony. Many greenhouses and nurseries also practice hydroponic techniques by growing their plants in a soilless, peat- or bark-based growing mix and supplying nutrients through the water supply.
Soilless gardening offers many advantages to the home gardener or part time farmer. Since a sterile medium is used in hydroponic systems, there are no weeds to remove, and soil-borne pests and diseases are minimized, if not eliminated completely. Properly grown and adequately nourished hydroponic plants are normally healthier and more vigorous because all of the necessary growth elements and nutrients are made readily available during growth
Hydroponic plants grow and mature faster, yielding an earlier harvest of vegetable, herbal and flower crops. Hydroponic gardens use less space since the plant roots do not have to spread out in search of food and water. This small space requirement makes hydroponics ideal for limited space home gardeners, small scale and commercial farmers also benefit from better and more productive use of greenhouse space.
The big advantage to hydroponics is the ability to automate the entire system with timers and remote monitoring equipment. Automation reduces the time it takes to maintain plant growth requirements and the growing environment. Automation also provides flexibility to the grower as one can be gone for longer periods of time without having to worry about watering the plants.
Hydroponics offers many advantages for commercial agriculture. Cultivating plants without soil eliminates the need for vast farmland and allows crops to be produced in greenhouses or even in the desert sands. Properly run farms produce more food with less overall fossil fuel costs than most forms of agriculture. Hydroponic farms can be located closer to markets, ensuring fresher produce with reduced transportation costs
Hydroponic techniques also allow for precise water and nutrient application directly to the roots of each plant saving on costs. Water is reused in these systems and less is lost through evaporation or via field run-off.
Hydroponics technologies are effectively used in arid lands, such as deserts, transferring areas into productive lands while using limited amounts of water. Growing plants hydroponically is not difficult if one understands the basic principles. As long as plant growth requirements are met, there are numerous hydroponic systems that can be used.
• A hydroponic acre can yield as many as ten thousand plants whereas an acre of
The bottom line
dirt can only raise one third of that.
• Can use 1/30th the amount of water.
• Hydroponics allows for the possibility of the growth of crops outside of their
• Crop rotation is unnecessary because there is no depletion of nutrients because
there is no soil.
• Growing is not regulated by seasonal changes. Hydroponics allows for continual
growth throughout the year.
• There is little to no risk of weeds or parasites in controlled systems.
Has been successfully used to grow crops outside of our atmosphere.