The idea of not necessarily requiring a cultivable land to grow plants might seem far-fetched to some, but with advances in hydroponics this is a reality today. Hydroponics, a simple method that enables plant growth using water and essential mineral nutrients, is fast becoming a prevalent option. Hydroponics is essentially a branch of agriculture where you grow plants without soil. In place of soil you can use a nutrient solution which is prepared by dissolving the nutrients in water. The nutrient solution gives your plants the nutrients that they would otherwise derive from soil..
Etymologically, ‘hydroponics’ comes from the Greek words ‘hydro’ – water, and ‘ponos’ – work. Hydroponics is a technique of plant cultivation that primarily uses water as a base; or in other words, it is a soil-less cultivation process. In the absence of soil to source nutrients from, hydroponics uses methods like the nutrient film technique (NFT) to gather plant nutrition. Hydroponics does not mean your plants are left completely at the mercy of water. There are, of course, growing media that you can use in place of soil, and tested hydroponics nutrients developed by companies who have years of proven success in making hydroponics nutrient formulae. You can use hydroponic growing media like perlite, gravel, sand, coir among other materials in place of soil, depending on the crop you choose to grow hydroponically..
With the population soaring and arable land becoming more and more scarce and costly, this revolutionary technology is becoming increasingly popular. Plants can be grown in greenhouses, multilevel buildings, basement or rooftops. Rooftop gardening using hydroponics system is also becoming prevalent in bigger cities where the cost of procuring land is very high..
Hydroponics being an easy and convenient technique to adopt, it is increasingly becoming easier to become an amateur grower. You grow more plants in the same surface area as compared to what you could grow using soil-based cultivation techniques. This is an eco- friendly technique which will help save water and you can even recycle it if you are conscious about the consumption of this priceless and limited resource. You can use hydroponic growing media like perlite, gravel, sand, coir among other materials in place of soil, depending on the crop you choose..
What you get out of hydroponics is much more than what you could ever hope to get out of soil-based cultivation and traditional agricultural techniques. The yield from hydroponics is much higher – almost 30-35% more. With increasing food shortage crises plaguing the world, hydroponics could be the solution to food scarcity. Since hydroponics takes up less space, it won’t interfere with existing green cover by decreasing forest space that might be converted to agricultural zones. Hydroponics is not climate dependant and is most effective when the plants are grown indoors. You will have several options to grow your hydroponic plant – from a simple grow room to a climate controlled greenhouse.