Hydro means water and Ponos means labor. And hence “water working” is its raw meaning. To put simply, Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without using soil.
Instead, the plants are placed afloat circulating nutrient rich water.
In the traditional sense of growing plants, the soil is one major way that plants get the nutrients they need to grow, along with the sun & water. With hydroponics, alternatives to those nutrients are directly fed to plants instead of being absorbed by the plants through soil. This way, the use of soil is able to be completely erased.
Interesting Right? But why to pick hydroponic farming over traditional agriculture?
Lets have a look at some of the reasons for it.
Less Land Is Needed
Commercial hydroponics tend to consume only 1/5 of the land needed for the same amount of plants being cultivated on farmland. Why so?
With traditional farming, you cannot be as compact as you would like because every plant into the ground occupies a fixed space that doesn’t change throughout the maturation period of the plant. This is different when you are using hydroponics. Grow pots can be placed closer together, without causing any problems in the growth rate of plants as nutrients in the growing solution are distributed differently in water. One-way is also by structuring systems in such a way that some of the plants can be suspended in mid-air to save space. Thus, with commercial hydroponic farming, there is less of a demand to clear the environment (like forests) for farmland. Infact it can be placed right inside the urban area.
Hydroponics Saves Water
Hydroponic growing uses only 10% of the water than that would be needed to grow plants in traditional soil. Wondering how can any method reliant on water can actually save water?
Fact is crops need to be constantly hydrated, and they will easily dry out if there is no sufficient watering.The problem with soil is that once the water is applied, it is absorbedby the soil and the excess sinks past the roots.Therefore, we have to continually replenish the supply of water to keep plants hydrated and alive.
With hydroponics, there is a central nutrient reservoir, and the water in this reservoir iseither circulated or fed directly to the plants. Much of the water is retained for days andweeks. For the most part, hydroponics systems are maintained by adding nutrients to the water. There is no need to continuously pump new water into the system. Less use of water makes this method ideal for arid region.
Reduced Use of Chemicals for Cleaner Food
Herbicides are sprayed to kill off unwanted plants or weeds, while pesticides are applied to control pest insects.
However, with hydroponics, there is no weed growth so there is no need to use herbicides. For the most part, crops will be protected by indoor environment.
Less use of herbicides and pesticides is good for the environment as this will mean drastically reduced runoff, which affects both soil and bodies of water. This also helps you to grow cleaner and healthier foods.
Reduced Fossil Fuel Use with Flexible Growing Locations
Just imagine: how much fuel do we consume on a daily basis to ship food long distance to markets? With hydroponics, commercial growers have the option of establishing their greenhouses in locations that are closer to their intended markets. You can grow crops anywhere whether in areas with harsh climate and little fertile soil, like in the desert, arable or heavily contaminated places, or even in your apartment as it does not depend on climate.
Essentially, this cuts down the need for expensive transportation. This improves the profit of themhydroponics grower and also cuts down the pollution associated with the transportation of goods. The flexibility of hydroponics helps the environment by reducing emissions and the overall carbon footprint associated with food production and market transport.
High Yield Accelerated Growth
It is observed that Hydroponically grown plants than enjoying a 20-30% better growth rate than those in the soil, grown in the similar conditions. This is because plant roots directly contact with the nutrients rather than searching for food in the soils. All of these energies will be instead consumed in its growth, and in producing fruits and flowers with high productivity rate.
All nutrients are added to the solution, and you are 100% controlling giving the specific amounts of nutrients that plants need. Unlike the soil, nutrients are not lost because they are held in the reservoir.
Whether you’re an experienced farmer or just thinking about working on your green thumb, hydroponic farming offers plenty of benefits for you and your growing efforts. Thes are just a few!
Visit www.eponic.com.au for a complete solution for industrial, commercial and residential growing. Eponic offers Mini Farm, Little Farm & Autocrop for small and large scale growing.
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