Mineral Requirements of Plants: In 1860, Julius von Sachs, a prominent German botanist, demonstrated, for the first time, that plants could be grown to maturity in a defined nutrient solution in complete absence of soil. This technique of growing plants in a nutrient solution is known as hydroponics.
The method of growing plants without soil is called hydroponics, aquaculture, or soilless culture. For example tomatoes, Strawberries, and many other plants can grow through hydroponics techniques. In a growing population, scientists believe hydroponic technology may be able to reduce impending food shortages. The hydroponic farming method is used to identify the signs of various nutrient deficiencies in plants and to identify crucial nutrients for the growth and development of the plant
Advantages of Hydroponics
- Plants grow more quickly, increasing the yield.
- Where traditional farming is not feasible, plants can be grown.
- Recycled and utilized nutrients and water.
- It is possible to grow organic food without using pesticides or fertilizers.
- A lot of space research programs use hydroponics.
- When there is no access to soil, food can be grown hydroponically away from the earth.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics
- Costly to set up. A hydroponics system is more expensive to buy and construct than a conventional garden.
- At risk from power outages.
- Needs ongoing maintenance and monitoring.
- Quicker effects on plants.
Types of Hydroponic Systems
- Ebb and Flow System: To provide stability, a medium like a perlite is needed. The tray containing the plants is periodically pumped with water and mineral solutions. The residual solution drains back into the reservoir after being absorbed by the plants. This straightforward approach is employed in backyard gardens. It is used to grow herbs.
- Drip Systems: Similar to ebb and flow, but with smaller tubes that drain onto the tops of the plants. Using this technique, little plants with less established root systems are cultivated.
- Nutrient Film Technique: The hydroponics system known as Nutrient Film Technique, or NFT, is well-liked and adaptable. In that the system uses a pump to feed fertilized water to the grow tray and a drain pipe to recycle the used nutrient solution, it is comparable to the Ebb and Flow method. The nutritional solution flows constantly over the roots in NFT, which is the difference. Gravity is employed to do this. A fresh solution is continuously poured into the high end of the tube, and the grow tray is angled to let the water flow down towards the drainpipe. The thin film of nutritional solution that flows over the roots ensures that they are adequately nourished and moistened without drowning them. The thin film makes sure that the tops of the roots are dry and may access the air’s oxygen.
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