Hydroponics: The Future Of Farming
Hydroponics is the method of growing virtually any plant without embedding it in soil. A few centuries ago, botanists realized that plants absorb nutrients via the water that soaks the soil around their roots. The soil acts only as a reservoir for nutrient material and as a medium in which the plant can stabilize itself. If the water supplied to a plant already contains the necessary organic material and the plant is secured or suspended by some other method or material, then soil becomes unnecessary.
This discovery excited botanists and interested people who were involved in agriculture but it did not cause an immediate revolution in farming. In the 20th century, as people became concerned about the presence of pesticides and other toxins in crops produced by large-scale agricultural operations, interest in hydroponics suddenly increased. Crops produced by hydroponic methods do not need any pesticides and pose no threat to humans.
Advantages In Hydroponic Methods
There are several other advantages to hydroponics besides this lack of toxins. Hydroponics improves on standard agricultural practices by using less space, less water, less nutritional matter and provides a stable source of food that is not subject to limitations caused by drought or other disasters.
Local or home-based hydroponics centres can grow large amounts of food on small plots of land. Since hydroponic methods produce faster growing plants, these smaller areas produce more food per square acre than an average farm. Protection from animals and the elements, provided by the structures under which hydroponic farms are built, allows these operations to produce food on a year-round basis.
Hydroponics uses less water than traditional farming methods because the water is easily recycled and reused within the enclosed hydroponic environment. This also lowers water costs for the farmer. The saved money can be spent on more seeds, space or other necessary supplies.
The flow of fertilizer into river systems and oceans around the world has created oceanic dead zones in which most sea life cannot thrive. Furthermore, incidents of over-farming have caused ground salinization in certain areas, making them unusable for agriculture. Hydroponic agricultural projects use less nutrient matter to feed their plants and exist within self-contained environments that can easily control waste products. This is superior to traditional farms coco coir which allow wastes to flow into rivers and ground water supplies.
Hydroponic farms maintain steady production rates because they operate in closed and controlled environments. This allows them to produce year-round because the changes in temperature and moisture levels that affect the outside world do not impinge upon their plants’ health. Each year is essentially one long growing season for the hydroponics farmer.
The steps to growing plants using hydroponics are simple. You must first choose a medium in which the plants will sit. Clay pellets and rock wool are examples of such mediums. Then you must choose one of two ways to supply nutrient-enriched water to your plants. The passive method requires watering by hand. This is useful for very small operations. The active method, geared toward larger hydroponics farms, uses pumps to deliver this nutrition.
Many people consider hydroponics to be the future of agriculture. It gives a greater return for the invested water and materials. It also has a much less harmful impact on the environment.
Hydroponics is the method of growing virtually any plant without embedding it in soil. A few centuries ago, botanists realized that plants absorb nutrients via the water that soaks the soil around their roots. The soil acts only as a reservoir for nutrient material and as a medium in which the plant can stabilize itself.…