What is Hydroponics:
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the nutritious liquid, or the roots may be physically supported by an inert medium such as perlite or gravel.
Advantages of Hydroponics:
- The increased control over growing conditions makes it easier to provide the best possible environment for plant, leading to better quality produce and high yield.
- The production in hydroponics may be increased approximately two times as compared with soil cultivation in a comparable area with correct management practised because the plant does not have to compete for moisture and nutrients.
- Hydroponics garden can provide plants with optimum qualities of the necessary nutrients during the different seasons. This will enable maximize growth to be achieved.
- A small hydroponics garden can be set up almost anywhere even in upstairs balconies and open area and protected structures because the land is not necessary.
- Hydroponics produce generally tastes better and is higher in nutritional value than field-grown crops.
- Plant grow 50% faster than soil has grown under the same condition because of they easy access to food and water.
- Continues cultivation and off-season production throughout the seasons.
- The occurrence of soil born disease and nematode damage is not possible, so hydroponic production is exported safely.
- Vegetable cultivation can be done with leisure sense.
- Water wastage reduce to the minimum’
- There is no need for crop rotations as growing media can be reused continuously or replaced.
- The plants are uniform in growth and maturity.
History of Hydroponics:
William Frederick Gericke working at the University of California, Berkeley, he began to popularize the idea that plants could be grown in a solution of nutrients and water instead of soil. He decided to call this growing method hydroponics. W. F. Gericke successfully growing 25-foot tall tomato plants in nutrient-filled solutions.
W.A. Setchell recommended the term “hydroponics” to Gericke in 1937. The word hydroponics comes from the roots “hydro”, meaning water, and “ponos”, meaning labor, in this method of gardening soil are not used.
Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop delivered the first standard formula for the nutrient solutions dissolved in water, in which plants could be grown. This is the origin of “nutriculture”. Today, it is called Water Culture. By this method, plants ‘roots were totally immersed in a water solution that contained minerals of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S) and calcium (Ca). They are now seen as the macro elements or macronutrients (elements required in relatively large amounts).
Time Travel of Hydroponics:
1600: Belgian Jan Van Helmont
1699: John Woodward
1804: De Saussure
1860 & 1861: German botanists, Julius von Sachs, and Wilhelm Knop
1930: W.F. Gericke
1937: W.A. Setchell
1938: Agriculture bulletin published titled “The Water Culture Method for Growing Plants Without Soil”
1950: adopted by England, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the USSR, and Israel.
1960s, Allen Cooper of England developed the Nutrient film technique.
1982: The Land Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center opened and prominently features a variety of hydroponic techniques.
2007, Euro fresh Farms in Willcox, Arizona, sold more than 200 million pounds of hydroponically grown tomatoes. Recorded in 1st on list of export.