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What is Hydroponic farming and how does it work


Revolutionizing Agriculture: Unveiling the Innovations and Benefits of Hydroponic Farming

If i had ever concocted a story about growing plants in water without soil, i would have (surely) heard my grandmother comment on my newfound fantasy. But, honestly, there is a concept of this sort that goes by the name of hydroponics. 

Yes, such is the name behind this practice. To define, hydroponics is a revolutionary force, with a process of growing plants in a water-based nutrient solution without the assistance of soil, but accompanied by various substances or materials, ranging from perlite, vermiculite and coconut coir. Additionally, the plant's roots are dug and dipped in the water-based solution, with the addition of the minerals and nutrients vital for the plant’s growth. To further uplift their weight, the medium is created to hold them upright in all forms and ways. This very medium is permeable which is what the oxygen and plants would require. 

But before we discuss the knowledge with you. Let us dwell on and trace the origins of hydroponics, and discuss the flashback to the ancient city of Babylon, also called Iraq today. As per the reports, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is considered among the seven wonders of the ancient world, with soil-less growth of plants being the first ever example of hydroponics. Isn’t that quite historically interesting?

I am sure it is.

Now, as we become aware of hydroponic farming, it becomes evident that the agricultural revolution is not just a glimpse into the future, but a tangible and impactful shift towards sustainable and high-yield crop production. 

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What is Hydroponics farming?

If we had to give a name to the process of cultivation of plants in nutrient-rich water, which is either with or without the assistance of medium such as perlite, sand or gravel, then it goes by the name Hydroponics farming. The term hydroponics is derived from the Greek word Hydro meaning water and ponos, called labour. Together, they come to form a culture, which supports the plant's growth in the upright position, while holding the moisture and oxygen the plant would require. 

Different Types of Hydroponic Farming 

We understand the power hydroponic farming holds, but little do we know the types it has and how greatly it impacts agricultural activities. Besides, let us have a look at the other forms of the Hydroponic it has- 

  • The ebb and flow System

The ebb and flow is one of the famous hydroponic systems, especially one that is utilized by passionate gardeners in growing such plants at home. In this form of hydroponic system, the plants are placed within spacious mediums, such as perlite or rock wool. Now, once we have planted them well, it is introduced to the nutrient solution, that penetrates deep down in the layers of the carved medium, making sure it does not leak. 

  • Wick System

The wick system is one the prominent types of the hydroponic system, especially in the sense of growing plants. Surprisingly, it does not employ the use of electricity but is the only system, where the plants are positioned within the absorbent substance like perlite or vermiculite.

  • Water culture 

The water Culture System is yet another well-known hydroponic system, which positions the roots of the plant in the nutrient solution directly. Within this system, the placement of the plant’s roots is mainly found in the nutrient system, which can be absorbed by plants. With exposure to oxygen and nutrients, sown plants will grow rapidly in the water culture. Also, the wicks are positioned in a way that they get mixed up with a nutrient solution. 

Benefits of Hydroponics Farming

Hydroponic farming being an exceptional method for growing plants without soil, consists of rich water solutions instead. This innovative approach in turn gives you multiple advantages, which make this type of farming more preferable over traditional farming while shaping the future of agriculture. Nonetheless, let us have a look at the benefits it has-     

  • Water conservation 

Hydroponic farming is one of the solutions to the pressing issue of water scarcity. Unlike the forms of traditional farming requiring large amounts of water to irrigate the crops, hydroponics uses 90% less water. Like this procedure, the system usually recirculates the water, minimizing the waste and this resource.

But with hydroponics to your rescue, you can easily contribute towards sustainable farming practices, while combating water scarcity. 

  • Consistent Crop quality 

In hydroponic farming, you must have full control over the growing conditions, contributing to enhancing the crop quality. It is by providing the plants with the balance of nutrients, water and light that you can ensure that each harvest meets those standards. However, what is even more crucial for commercial farmers is to focus on delivering consistent quality for the customers wanting to enhance the crop produce.             

  • Less involvement of Pesticides and Herbicides 

When we walk about the concept of traditional forms of gardening, hydroponic farming minimizes and scraps the need for pesticides, while endorsing the idea of organic growth, as it becomes an environmentally-friendly alternative.                                                                                       

How to start hydroponic farming?

If you are a passionate gardener, carrying a keen interest in agricultural farming, then you must prefer hydroponic farming, involving steps that are as follows- 

  • Choosing the type of plants and crop type 

The first step in beginning hydroponic farming is to decide what type of plants you wish to grow. It is only then you can choose the forms of hydroponic farming you can use, while keeping in mind the other factors, such as providing enough lighting and adequate space. 

If you are growing a vegetable for the first time using Hydroponics, then you should opt for leafy vegetables with enough nutrients, such as lettuce or broccoli. 

  • Decide on your hydroponic system 

The next step in maintaining your hydroponic garden is to choose from the various kinds of hydroponic farming while educating oneself more about its types. 
For instance, it is vital to acknowledge that hydroponic farming comes with a multitude of factors, concerning the space requirement, the budget constraints along the quantities you wish to grow as per the Hydroponic system. 

  • Look for the light source 

Just as with any other factor, adequate lighting is an essential contributor to determining the development of a plant’s growth. Alas, if you do not have ample natural light inside your home, then you may need to grow the light for your hydroponic system, to ensure photosynthesis is conducted rightfully with the required intensity. 

To do so, you may need to have the right light setup for your hydroponic garden and make sure, you do not falter in considering points such as light intensity and costs, coverage area and whatnot. Look for what seems necessary and then take action accordingly. 

  • Choose the Hydroponic medium 

To grow your hydroponic garden is to realise the ABCs that come with it. Be it looking for the right light or choosing the suitable hydroponics system, you must be aware of choosing a hydroponic medium for your garden, while knowing what will work the best for you. It all depends on the plants that you choose to grow along with the certain type of hydroponic system. 
You must consider various factors taken into consideration before you invest your efforts into something like a hydroponics garden. 

  • Seek Hydroponic Supplements and Nutrients

It is essential to note that we must employ the usage of nutrients in contributing to the plant’s growth for a hydroponic garden. Look for yourself whatever suits your needs and then implement the same accordingly.

  • Monitor the pH of your nutrient solution 

In the next step, you must fix the pH of your nutrient solution by having a pH Meter that helps you adjust to it. You may even continue monitoring its levels to balance it well at all times. 

  • Add nutrients and water to it 

In the last step of hydroponic farming, you must see if everything is on the right track or not. To ensure that, you must finish the process by adding water to it suitable medium and ensure that you do not witness any such leaks.

Therefore, such is how you must begin with hydroponic farming.

Final Thoughts 

We understand that somehow we get tired of the traditional farming methods, and anticipate those production methods that are not dependent on factors, such as ample light, resources and whatnot. This is why we have concept of the hydroponic farming, which is not a newly birthed concept but was introduced long ago. Guess what. Not only is it a suitable method, but known by a few, that does wonder when initiated. 

Additionally, hydroponic farming is deemed to be a method of growing plants without the soil, using nutrient-rich water solutions instead. This innovative approach has indeed provided various benefits over traditional farming, securing a future in agriculture.

Moreover, hydroponic farming can maximise crop yields, which is by providing the plants with precisely measured nutrients and optimal growing conditions, hydroponics allows for faster and more abundant harvests. The records by several studies even prove how hydroponic systems carry the ability to produce as much as 30% higher yields compared to conventional forms of farming methods. Accordingly, it even pimples that more food can be grown in less space, making hydroponics an ideal solution for urban areas or regions having limited arable land. 

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.


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Hansika Bhardwaj is a versatile writer, editor and poet.  She is a graduate of the University of Delhi with a specialisation in English Literature. As a cherry on the cake, she has worked with various companies dealing with various types o...

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