Hydroponic Gardening is a method of growing plants by using nutrient solutions in water without the use of soil. Plants that are terrestrial can be grown with just their roots in the solution of mineral nutrients only, or they can be placed in gravel, perlite, mineral wool, clay pebbles, or coco husks.
In the 18th century it was discovered that mineral nutrients are absorbed into the plants as inorganic ions in water. Under normal conditions, when plants are actually anchored in soil, the soil itself will act as a reservoir for mineral nutrients, but with the hydroponic method, soil is actually not required for the process to take place.
The roots of the plants are able to absorb the mineral nutrients when they are dissolved in water, such as in the case of Hydroponic Gardening, where the nutrients are artificially introduced into the plant’s water supply. So it is, in this case the soil is not required for the process to work and the plant to thrive.
The two main advantages of this type of plant growth and gardening is that crops can be grown in areas where the soil in the area does not allow the growth of plants, such as deserts and rocky areas. Also, the propensity of larger yields is possible due to the intensity of the nutrients being give to the plants.
A couple of disadvantages are rapid plant death should any mechanism that provides the nutrient fail, and a condition called pathogen damp-off. The high moisture level can cause over watering. A well-designed system can override these conditions, as they are entirely controllable with the proper equipment and monitoring procedures.
For hydroponics in Metro Vancouver, BC and all across North America – the long time trusted choice has been Jon’s Plant Factory. http://jonsplantfactory.com They are experts in all types of hydroponic growing.
There have been many advances that have come about by the use of hydroponics such as vegetables that have been grown and have enhanced nutritional value. A Virginia hydroponics farmer has developed potassium and calcium lettuce that is called a “super nutrient,” and takes 90% less water to grow, than does a regularly grown lettuce in soil.
The word hydroponics itself is an indication of its function. The word “hydro” in Greek, means water, and “ponics” means labor. So the concept of growing plants by “water labor” has caught on. The growth rate of a hydroponics plant is 30 to 50 percent faster than a soil grown plant, and the yields are generally greater too. Reason for that seems to be the extra oxygen that is supplied, plus a constant flow of water and nutrients. The plant does not have to search for the food like it does in the soil, thus uses less energy in that regard.
Hydroponics gardening uses less water than does gardening in soil, and much lower amounts of pesticides are needed. The erosion of the soil is not an issue with this method, as no soil is used. The plants can be grown in just about any well-controlled environment and monitored in any weather condition. Hydroponic gardening is growing, and will continue to grow as new methods of monitoring and controlling the procedures are developed.