Hydroponics, the technique of farming without soil and its benefits
‘Hydroponics: The technique of farming without soil’: The art of farming/gardening without soil is known as Hydroponic. The term “hydroponic” is derived from the Latin phrase “working water”. In this technique, the nutrients, oxygen and hydration are provided to the plant by water alone. A variety of plants, fruits and other foods are grown by the careful regimen of hydroponics.
Hydroponics uses minimal water and space as compared to traditional agriculture techniques. In some cases, water consumption is 90% less as compared to traditional methods. Another benefit associated with the technique is that, with its ingenious design, it helps the plants to grow in half the time.
Hydroponics – How does it work?
In this technique, the herbs, flowers and vegetables are planted in inert growing media. They are then supplied with water, oxygen and other nutrient-rich solutions. The system of agriculture promotes faster growth among the plants and gives out higher yields. The harmful bacteria and other germs that develop in soil are avoided and thus various plant diseases can be avoided. The good health of the plants avoids the need for pesticides and other harmful substances.
In traditional plantation methods, the roots of the plant grow under the ground, deep into the soil. The roots of the plant have to exert a lot of energy to look for nutrients. Hydroponics provides useful nutrients to the plants, without exertion, to sustain themselves. This saved energy is redirected into the plant’s maturation and the plant flourishes, blooming flowers and fruits.
Sustenance of plants in Hydroponics
In traditional farming, plants are sustained by the process called photosynthesis. The sunlight is captured by the chlorophyll present in the leaves of the plants and water molecules are split, using the light’s energy. The water molecules are absorbed by the plants through their root system. The plants nourish themselves using hydrogen molecules, combining them with carbon dioxide, to produce carbohydrates. This process releases oxygen into the environment, which is a crucial factor that preserves the habitability of our planet.
During the research related to hydroponics, it has been discovered that plants do not need to depend on soil to support the photosynthesis process. The soil is merely a medium to support the supply of nutrients and water. The nutrients are dissolved in water and it is directly supplied to the plant’s root system by various techniques such as misting, flooding and immersion.
It is proven by the Hydroponic innovations that the sustenance of plants is better in these techniques and it is more effective than the traditional methods.
Benefits of Hydroponics
- This technique uses lesser land area
- No soil is required
- It helps in water conservation
- It sustains micro-climate
- It produces high-quality food
- Lesser labour input is required
- This method is highly predictable
- It solves the supply-chain issue related to food transport in traditional agriculture
- The growth of crops is faster with this technique