Have home gardeners ever wondered that they could grow their beloved plants without soil? Actually no, before they heard about the term 'Hydroponics'. Hydroponics is not any machine, but rather it is a technique to grow plants without any soil, especially vegetables.
Growing plants without soil don't fit the right places, correct? But many of us do not know that soil is not for providing nutrients to the plants or trees, rather it is there to provide roots with a structure so that they can hold the plant upright. Soil is just a medium that provides nutrients to the roots, although the nutrients are present in the components that mix up with soil such as compost, fertilizers and broken-down plant waste.
The plants which are grown hydroponically do not require soil rather they can be grown in water along with the nutrient solutions, which is a medium to provide basic support to the plants and their roots. A plant needs only three things: water, air, and food. This system makes it very easy for the plants to obtain these three without needing to fight any soilborne diseases.
The plants or crops need not be grown in a very large area, they just need some space made in rows or trellises. They can be grown very easily in the greenhouses where the area is comparatively less than an open garden. Along with the advancement in techniques, nowadays a lot of do-it-yourself kits and automated growing tables are available for the home gardeners.
Advantages of growing plants Hydroponically
Some of the major advantages of using hydroponics are listed below:
- The crops have their own nutrients supply and do not need to compete for root space so, per square yield outputs are high, per unit of time when compared to normal gardening techniques.
- The plants grow comparatively fast because they get all the essential nutrients easily and in proper quantity.
- Each plant can concentrate on growing the plant mass rather than spreading its roots for the nutrients.
- Cultivation/ farming can be done by any home gardener because growing plants hydroponically doesn't require high land capitals and ensuring soil quality services.
- The major advantage is there is no weeding in this method. The gardeners need not worry about the intruder weeds stealing their plant's nutrients and the plants are also competition-free in case of nutrients absorption.
Choosing the correct Hydroponic System
The first step to a successful hydroponic garden is directly linked to choosing the correct system for the plants that suit them best. The aspects that need to consider are space available, lighting, time constraints, type of plant and budget before setting up any hydroponic system.
The simplest to use system is known as the Passive system. This system uses a wicking material to take up the nutrients to the roots or the tips of roots are suspended in the solution with the mail root part hanging in the air. The passive system is immensely affordable for beginners who don't want to invest much in these systems. The system can be made at home and is best suited for small plants. Large plants can be grown using the Active system which includes pumps and timers for the nutrition supplement. The active system is more costly compared to the passive system but is more efficient and requires less attention. After the consideration of choosing between the passive or active system, the gardeners need to look upon the water-culture and media-based systems.
The Media-based systems are based on providing the medium to support the plants and hold nutrient solutions around their roots. Most of these systems operate on timers and nutrients replenishing systems, and systems to drain the water so that the plants can draw in the atmospheric oxygen. But these systems need to be safeguarded from power outrage which can lead to dryness when pumps don't work. Although these systems are super-efficient because the nutrients are replenished back in the reserves and then supplied to the plants which lead to needing less attention from the gardeners.
The home gardeners need to look upon the lighting condition for the indoor hydroponically grown plants. Majorly the technology revolves around providing a better method for farming which yields a high output in the same area. The lighting intensity and requirements are according to the plants in the area, these lightings are needed basically in the greenhouses which encourage 100% indoor farming.
These hydroponic systems not only rely on water-based cultivating media, coconut coir, mats, pea pellets, and rock wool starter cubes are majorly used. These all are an organic medium that provides all the essential nutrients to the crops.
In the daily changing advancing world, people need to adapt to new reliable techniques for farming. The Hydroponic system of growing plants is an ultimate technique for the home gardeners which were seeking high yield in a small cultivating space. With numerous boons, the Hydroponic system can be a farmers' or gardeners' best friend!