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Hydroponic Gardening

Hydroponic Gardening

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Published by: Dilip Sankar Parippay Neelamana on Nov 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Hydroponic Systems
Hydroponics is defined as growing plants, using mineral nutrient solutions, without soil.Although hydroponic systems do not involve soil, they may involve a wide variety of growingmedia, such as perlite, gravel, peat, sand, rock wool and others.Typical hydroponic crops include lettuce, strawberries, hebrs, tomato, cucumber and flowers.In hydroponic systems which do not involve any growing medium, roots are immersed in anaerated nutrient solution.In hydroponic systems, most of the plant nutrients are supplied by the nutrient solution, rather than by the media in which the plants are grown.Unlike soil, that stores nutrients, the growing media used in hydroponic systems have a littleeffect, if any, on the nutrition of plants. As a result, the only source of nutrients is the nutrientsolution, and therefore you have total control over your plant nutrition.While soil allows more tolerance for inaccuracy, hydroponics leaves very little room for errors.Because changes are rapid and mistakes can be very costly, hydroponics growers should makehighly educated and accurate decisions.
What Is Hydroponic Gardening?
Jan 2, 2012If you break down the word “hydroponics” in the Greek, (which I’m sure most people don’t do before asking the definition of a word), you will find that it comes from the root words “hydro”which means “water”, and “ponos” which means “labor”. People have the choice to plant their gardens in soil, or they can plant their gardens in water. Those that do decide to grow in water are practicing the art of hydroponic gardening. Hydroponics is also commonly taught inUniversity Biology centers for research and study.Just as much as plants use their roots to search for nutrients in the soil during traditionalgardening, the water you are using to grow in hydroponics requires a nutrient rich water solution.The plants are also placed within a pot with a growing medium, which is essentially areplacement of the soil creating an environment your plants can grow in. Special growingmediums provide your plants with a dark environment and an anchor point to stabilize the plant
to ensure proper plant growth. Some examples of growing mediums would include Rokwool(mineral wool), perlite, gravel, or coconut husk.Depending on the growing medium you use, some are inert, which means they do not have anynutritional value for your plants. This allows the gardener to have complete control over thenutrient levels during the growing process.
Advantages of Hydroponics:
Hydroponics is being adapted all around the world as an efficient method of food production.The reasons for this include:
 No soil is required for hydroponics
Water used within a hydroponic system can be recycled and reused which allows for water conservation and lower water costs
A hydroponic gardener or farmer has complete control of their plants nutrition levelswhich allows for lower nutrient costs and bigger produce yields
A controlled hydroponic system allows the blockage of nutrition pollution that is releasedinto the environment through traditional gardening or farming due to the controlledenvironment within the system
Hydroponics allows for stabilized and higher growth rates and yields
The mobility of the container offers the luxury of getting rid of pests and diseases muchmore easily.Hydroponics has also been recognized as an establish branch of agronomy. Agronomy is basically the technology and science of completely using as many elements that we can of the plants we grow. This includes using plants for food, fuel, fiber and reclamation.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics:
The only disadvantages of hydroponics that we have identified would be the initial cost of set up.Traditionally, if a home hydroponic gardener opted for the easier method of hydroponics, knownas ebb & flow, then depending on what you are growing, like vegetables or herbs, etc., you couldrecoup your costs in anywhere from 12-24 months and have your own quality, home grown food.Any other disadvantages would result from human error in hydroponic growing. Just be smart,ask questions and follow the basics of hydroponics and you shouldn’t have anything to worryabout.
The basic Hydroponic System types
Their are six basic types of hydroponic systems and there are hundreds of variations (andcombinations) of these hydroponic systems, but all hydroponic systems are based on these sixsystem types. By understanding what makes these systems work you can understand how allvariations of hydroponic systems work. These Hydroponic systems are fairly simple in concept,

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