Hydroponics Imagine being able to grow plants and/or crops everyday of the year in smaller spaces without the use of any soil. Hydroponics is a soiless agriculture that does just this. The idea for the use of plant growth without any soil was developed in the eighteen hundreds. Hydroponic gardening is an old idea yet new methods have been formed to give you three hydroponic gardening options. These three options are defined by uses of different mediums.
Fifteen to twenty minutes of care per day can produce beautiful plants and enough food to feed one family a day. Hydroponic environments are indoors so weather changes do not effect them. All mediums use certain solutions which vary with different types of mediums. Hydroponic environments are easy to build and easy to take care of and the advantages are great. This form of agriculture is one of man’s simple yet helpful ideas that can better the earth and it’s people. Hydroponics is a soiless agriculture that was originally used for growing plants in the winter.
Hydroponic agriculture is also known as soiless agriculture, nutriculture, or chemical culture. Hydroponic plants can be gardened in several different ways. Hydroponics uses different nutrient solutions to ensure better plant life. Plants need nutrients and moisture to survive and soil provides this. When hydroponic gardening is used these necessities increase and the plant lives a fuller and more beautiful life. As it was already mentioned, the advantages of hydroponic gardening are great.
It was also already mentioned that hydroponic gardening reduces the amount of space used and can be grown all year long. But this is only the beginning of the advantages of hydroponic gardening. People who have hydroponic gardens don’t have to put up with soil-borne pests and diseases and they don’t have to pull any weeds. Food crops grow and mature at a much faster rate in non-soil mediums than in soil mediums ( a medium is any surrounding substance or environment ex: soil, dirt, sand, or water ) this produces greater amounts of produce or surplus. Fertilizer and water are saved with the use of a non-soil medium because they can be reused.
Also the competition between roots is eliminated. All and all the plants energy is spent more on the vegetation and flowering process because the mediums provide more air. The concept of Hydroponics was originally retrieved from the ancient civilization called the Aztecs. The Aztecs’ had floating gardens which circled their great city. These rafts were called chinampas which grew vegetables and flowers.
In the sixteen hundreds early scientists tried to copy this idea and were only some what successful but found that the purpose of soil was to hold plants upright. Soon scientist in the eighteen hundreds modernized these old ideas. In 1860, Professor Julius von Sachs discovered ways to make a nutrient solution that could be dissolved in water and plants could live in successfully. Only until 1936 did the first hydroponic garden grown become grown. It was grown by W.F. Gericke and J.R.
Travernetti of the University of California. There are three methods used to grow hydroponic gardens. These methods are separated by which medium growth occurs in. The first method is called water culture. Water culture is a method where plants grow in water or in water and a nutrient solution.
The next method is called sand culture. Sand culture is the growth of various plants in sterile sand using water and a nutrient solution. The last method is called aggregate culture. Aggregate culture replaces sand and uses gravel, vermiculite or other such substances to grow plants also using water and nutrient solutions. All of these methods can grow almost any type of plant.
Other substances that are used in hydroponic growth include perlite, rockwool, geolite, crushed rocks, bricks, shards of cinder blocks, and Styrofoam. Currently new methods are being formed to grow plants in different hydroponic environments. Some new forms of hydroponic gardening include suspending the roots of a plant in the air of an enclosed chamber. The plant is then misted every day with a nutrient solution. Hydroponic plants require very minimal care.
To build a hydroponic environment takes a little more work than the care of these plants, but not much. A container in which hydroponic plants grow in is called a hydroponic unit. Almost any container will do to make a hydroponic unit. One can make a hydroponic unit, basically, in three ways. One can make the first hydroponic unit by neatly scraping a circle indentation in the cork and then a hole in the middle where the indentation was.
Then the simple plant is placed through the hole. The plant is then secured by cotton wadding and is placed in a container of water or a nutrient solution. The second way is to take a container and fill one third of it with water or nutrient solution. Then leave a small space above this and place wiring above it. Then place aggregate or sand above and plant the plant(s).
The third way is to fill a container with sand or aggregate and make a hole in the bottom of the container. Then one should place a wick through the bottom of the container. Next place the container on two blocks in a tray of nutrient solution. One must be sure the wick can absorb the solution. These are how hydroponic gardens and/or environments are made. Their are many different variations in the mixtures used to make nutrient solutions.
Most nutrients are in a commercial salt form which can be dissolved in water to form solutions. Some people just don’t want to bother with the hassle of creating their own solution so they just buy a pre-made nutrient solution. For example many people buy a solution called earth juice. Earth juice is a plant diet used in sterile mediums. Nutrient solutions are extremely important in the growth of a hydroponic plant.
The nutrients provede, mainly, growth and structure for a plant. This is exactly why one cannot go and plant a plant in plain old sand or rock. These mediums don’t have any nutrients they just proved support for the plant. There are several different types of nutrients used in the growth of plants in regular soil that are essential to a plant. These nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, magnese, zinc, boron, and copper.
Each nutrient a plant uses is essential and has a purpose usually different than another nutrient received by a plant. Nitrogen is essential in building the composition of the plant by growing leaves and thickening stems. Phosphorus is much like nitrogen because it helps the growth of roots and stem but, more importantly it helps in the growth of flowers and fruits. Potassium is used by a plant’s cells when energy is being absorbed during photosynthesis ( photosynthesis is the process in which plants convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into energy ). Potassium is helped in absorption by calcium.
Calcium also helps the growth of roots. Magnesium also helps the calcium distribute the phosphorus among a plant and it is a component of chlorophyll (chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plant cells and is essential the photosynthetic process). In the production of energy sulfur is used and it joins the nutrient phosphorus to heighten that nutrient’s effectiveness. Iron is also another nutrient important in the production of chlorophyll. Magnese aids in the plants absorption of nitrogen.
While energy is transferred in a plant, the absorption of zinc is necessary to help this process. Boron is important the growth of a plant but scientists are stumped as to what it does exactly. Copper is the last nutrient a plant needs and is used in the production of chlorophyll. Hydroponics is a method of gardening people are now finding very useful and effective. It is easier to manage and costs less than the usual garden price.
Hydroponics is almost and ancient idea that could be the future of gardening and/or agriculture. Although this idea is simple, it can better the world encouraging more plant growth in smaller spaces. Many people like to grow their hydroponic plants from seeds. This can work but, if you want your fruit or vegetable ( if that’s what you grow ) to retain more nutrients and be a healthier plant, you should transfer soil-born plants into hydroponic environments. This provides for a cleaner and safer world for humans, animals, and plants to live in. With scientists still working to better this method even more, the opportunities for gardening in this method will become greater. This also ensures that diseases or infestations do not harm those people who eat hydroponic plants. People who now practice this technique of gardening usually produce cleaner and healthier plants which can better the lives of many.