Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in the absence of soil, by providing it with its food directly through water, by making nutrient rich water available to the plant’s roots. It’s a really simple concept – don’t let it’s technical sounding name intimidate you.
Many of us have grown up knowing that plants grow in the soil, that the soil provides the plant with the nourishment it requires – the more fertile the soil, the better for the plant. In addition to soil, we have also been taught that plants need sunlight and water to grow.
Soil as we know it serves two purposes, nourishment and support for the plant. But what if we were able to support the plant using an inert medium and provide the plant with its nourishment directly through water? What if we completely eliminated the requirement for soil? Well, people have done this – and it’s called hydroponics!!
By providing the plant with its nourishment through its water supply, we can determine exactly what kind of nourishment it receives and in what quantity as it is easier to measure these quantities in water than in soil. Moreover, the nourishment is provided immediately when done so via water rather than soil, as soil requires time to break down organic matter to a form edible by plants.
Hydroponics is by no means a new technology – it’s been around for donkeys years. Here’s a nice light article I came across about evidence that suggests that this method was around in ancient Egypt!
Hydroponics lets you play GOD to your plants. Since you are providing the plant with its essential nourishment through water, you don’t need soil and you can use something inert like coconut fibre, perlite or expanded clay pellets to support the plant. Since these mediums are light (not heavy), you can start growing plants indoors, effortlessly. You can make use of artificial lighting to ensure that your plants get the right kind of light to suit the nourishment, all culminating in an outburst of vegetation.
Hydroponics can triple your produce because the plant is getting exactly the right mineral it needs, when it needs it, without foraging for it.
All in all, the plant grows healthier, with less risk of soil borne pests.