Hydroponics is the future of farming! Considered as a great solution to urban farming, Hydroponics has been a successful and sustainable alternative to the traditional and conventional methods of farming. Statistics show that more than 85% of India’s vegetable consumption is imported from various countries. Hydroponics in India could be a perfect start for the self-reliance of our country.
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a type of Hydroculture, in which the cultivation of plants is carried out using nutrient rich solution, instead of water. This soil-less, water-less gardening is called hydroponics. The solution contains all the minerals and nutrients required for the particular plant. These nutrient solutions are available based on the specific needs of each plant species. The nutrients for Hydroponics in India are currently in demand as many startups have taken up this eco-friendly and sustainable farming.
The main constituents of the nutrient solutions are primary nutrients like potassium, nitrogen and magnesium; secondary nutrients like calcium, phosphorous and sulphur; and micronutrients like copper, iron, zinc, manganese, boron and molybdenum.
Advantages of Hydroponics:
With the growing interest of organic farming throughout the world, hydroponics is a fast-growing sector. The following advantages add up to the appeal of hydroponics:
- Reduced Gardening Space – the main advantage of hydroponics is that you will not need acres of land to get a good harvest. Need a garden in your apartment balcony? Growing veggies on your office rooftop? Hydroponics will serve you the best!
- Pesticide-free fresh produce – the plants of a hydroponic garden grow 50% faster than the plants that grow on soil. This allows multiple harvests within a year. This gives a pesticide-free and fresh harvest, which is definitely an added advantage of hydroponics.
- Water-less gardening – the water consumption in hydroponics 80% lesser than the traditional farming methods. The 20% water that is used in the hydroponic garden can also be recycled and reused. Hydroponics is an efficient and water-conserving farming method
Homemade Hydroponic Gardens:
The soil-less and water-less hydroponic gardens can be crafted at your homes! These gardens can be designed based on the garden space available, size and the root development of your target plants. There are 3 different significant types of systems in a hydroponic garden that can be easily built in your homes:
- The Raft System
This system of hydroponic garden is comfortable for beginners. This cost-effective system can be made with the relevant and available items at your home and with ready-to-use nutrient solutions. This system is preferred for a small-scale cultivation of crops, especially for cooking purposes at homes or at office rooftops.
- The Vertical System
The vertical hydroponic systems could be built in narrow spaces, yet they can accommodate a relatively large number of plants. This system can be built from scratch using recyclable materials. Even PVC pipes could serve as perfect raw materials for building a vertical hydroponic system. This system is apt for a large-scale cultivation in a small area.
Aquaculture + Hydroponics = Aquaponics
Aquaponics refers to the symbiotic environment, where the water from the aquaculture is used for the hydroponic garden and vice-versa. The water containing the excretion of the aquatic animals (fish, snails, prawns) is used for the hydroponic system and the used- water is fed back to the aquaculture system. The plants serve as bio-filters and the excretion of the aqua species serve as nutrients for the plants. This system can be doubly profitable both from aquaculture and hydroponics.
With these many advantages and such simple ways to build a homemade system, hydroponics is easily the one-stop farming solution to various problems. Hydroponics in India is a sustainable and fast-emerging farming method. This organic farming can grow the healthiest crops as well as yield a huge profit. Simply put, hydroponics is the future of farming!