HYDROPONICS

HYDROPONICS

Hydroponics is a way of gardening without soil. Hydroponics is derived from Latin words, hydro, meaning water, and ponds, meaning labor, in simple words “Working Water.” In the absence of water, all the functions provided by soil like delivering nutrients, hydration, and oxygenation is facilitated by water. Many of the fruiting plants and vegetables are being grown in hydroponics; by this technique, we can minimize water consumption.

Though the technology seems to be the invention of the modern era, the history of hydroponics dates back to Babylon’s famed Hanging Gardens. In the 13th century, Marco Polo had witnessed the hanging gardens of ancient china in Kublai Khan. In the 1990s, NASA used the technique to grow plants in space and ensured the possibility of sustainable agriculture in space for astronauts. This technique requires less space and resources than traditional agriculture with an overall enhanced yield.

What is hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a technique of gardening without soil. In these techniques, nutrient-rich water media is used to grow the plants. The nutrients are readily available in this technique because they are already dissolved in water. On the other hand, in the soil, the nutrients have to be dissolved in water, and then the plants can uptake them. Moreover, many microbes residing in the soil can utilize the nutrients, leading an overall reduced amount of nutrients to plants, and the availability is also slow. When a plant is growing in soil, its roots continuously keep looking for water and nutrients. The plant utilizes most of the nutrients in the development of roots. But, in the case of hydroponics, nutrients are directly available to the plant roots dissolved in water, and the plant doesn’t have to put its enormous energy to the root growth. As a result, plants grow more efficiently and yield better than the conventional gardening system.

Components of the Hydroponic System:

To grow the plants in a hydroponic system, there are some crucial components to sustain the system and meet plants’ requirements.

Growing media:

Growing media is like soil in which plant anchor to support its weight. However, growing media doesn’t contain any nutrients like soil. Instead, this porous media can store water and nutrients absorbed from the nutrient solution and then provide it to the plant.

Air Stones and Air Pumps:

Without the proper aeration of water, the submerged plants can drown in water. Air stones act as oxygen reservoirs, but they can’t produce oxygen. They have to be attached to an external source which can provide oxygen, air pump serves the purpose.

Net Pots:

They are like tiny pots that hold the plant and allow to roots to grow out of the sides and bottom. In this way, they provide a greater surface of the roots exposed to oxygen and nutrients.

Fertilizers:

hydroponics

In a hydroponic system per Acre:

Benefits:

  • This system ensures the conservation of land, soil, and water.
  • In a hydroponics system, less water is used as compared to the flooded field.
  • The crops will grow in controlled environmental conditions.
  • The crop will not face any environmental stressors, for example, abrupt climate, temperature extremes.
  • One can easily provide accurate pH to the roots of the crop to thrive.
  • Fewer chances diseases, no weeds growth or insects attack

Limitations:

You need to be an expert to handle different types of equipment.

  • It requires more time and attention to install the system.
  • If a disease attack, it will spread all over the crop very fast.
  • It requires more capital as an initial investment.

Types of hydroponics:

There are six types of hydroponic systems currently being used, each of them has its benefits and drawbacks. These are stated as:

  • Drip
  • Ebb & Flow
  • Aquaponics system
  • Water culture
  • Wick system
  • Nutrient film Technology

 

  • Research done by Aqsa Munawar for MaxGrow agrochemicals.

Leave a Reply