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Introduction to Hydroponics 1 - 1
Introduction to Hydroponics
Hydroponics by definition, means 'water-working." In practical use, it means growing plants in a water and nutrient solution, without soil. Hydroponics allows a gardener to grow plants in a more efficient and productive manner with less labor and time required.
The science of hydroponics proves that soil isn't required for plant growth but the elements, minerals and nutrients that soil contains are. Soil is simply the holder of the nutrients, a place where the plant roots traditionally live and a base of support for the plant structure.
In hydroponics you provide the exact nutrients your plants need, so they can develop and grow. The hydroponic nutrients are fed directly at the root base, never stressing the plant due to lack of nutrients or water.
Virtually any plant will grow hydroponically, but some will do better than others. Hydroponic growing is ideal for fruit bearing crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, leafy crops, like lettuce and herbs and flowing plants. Most hobby hydroponic gardeners plant crops similar to what they would grow in a soil garden
Most commercial hydroponic growers combine hydroponic technology with a controlled environment to achieve the highest quality produce. Within a green- house structure you can control the ambient temperature, humidity and grow light levels allowing you to grow on a year- round basis.
Advantages of Hydroponic Growing
There are many advantages of hydroponic growing. These include:
Most hobby hydroponic gardens are less work than soil gardens because you do not have soil to till or weeds to pull.
By eliminating the soil in a garden, you eliminate all soil borne disease A hydroponic system uses a fraction of the water that a soil garden does because no water is wasted or consumed by weeds. In hydroponics, plant spacing can be intensive, allowing you to grow more plants in a given space than soil grown produce. A small hydroponic garden can be set up almost anywhere. By providing the exact nutrients your plants need, they will grow more rapidly and produce bigger yields. In studies it has been proven that hydroponic produce is higher in nutritional value than field grown crops. Hydroponic produce generally tastes better than field-grown produce. If you are growing indoors in a grow tent, grow box, or in a greenhouse, you can grow your hydroponic plants on a year-round basis.
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