What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics: A technique of growing plants (without soil) in water containing dissolved nutrients
Conventionally grown plants obtain water, nutrients and oxygen from the soil. Because of the physical characteristics of soil it is likely that one or all of these essentials is in limited availability to the plant roots. When plants are grown in water i.e. using hydroponic techniques, provided the system is set up correctly, the plant roots have access to an unlimited supply of water, nutrients and oxygen. This is because all of the right nutrients are added directly to the water that the roots have access to. Roots growing using hydroponics, are always in direct contact with oxygenated water. It follows that, contrary to some expectations, roots of plants growing in hydroponics are not usually completely submerged in water.
Hydroponics is undoubtedly the most efficient means of plant production, giving crop yield of an average one third greater than soil reared plants. It is only as complicated as you make it. A beginner has only a few simple rules to adhere to, while the enthusiast can always be assured of new techniques. Hydroponics is rapidly gaining new fans with its grow anything, anywhere, anytime philosophy. You can have strawberries picked from your loft, basement or broom cupboard, fresh on Christmas day.
Advances in horticultural lighting mean anything is possible. Hydroponics is really easy. It is often compared to photography where the rank amateur with inexpensive equipment often achieves better results than the enthusiast, with all the gadgetry at his disposal.
Hydroponics can help to bring self sufficiency in many forms of fruit and vegetables to many peoples in many parts of the world, even those places with poor soil structure and limited water supplies. Hydroponics has the potential to play a major role in feeding the worlds hungry in the 21st Century.