What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the art of gardening without soil. The word ‘hydroponics’ is derived from two Greek words: ‘hydro’ – meaning water, and ‘ponos’ – meaning labour. Translated directly, hydroponics means plants working (growing) in water.
Hydroponics is a system where plants are grown in growth media other than natural soil. In the absence of soil, water goes to work providing nutrients, hydration, and oxygen to plant life. Hydroponics continues to be a timeless and dynamic method of water conservation and crop production.
Growth medium is the substitute for soil in hydroponic systems.
The functions of growth medium are:
• To provide the roots with oxygen
• Bring the water and dissolved nutrients in contact with roots
• Anchor the plants so that they do not fall over.
Many different materials can be used as long as they provide the roots with oxygen, water and nutrients.
The nutrients used in hydroponic systems can come from many different sources, including fish excrement, duck manure, chemical fertilizers, or artificial nutrient solutions.
Plants commonly grown hydroponically include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuces, cannabis, and thale cress, which serves as a model organism in plant science.
Since hydroponics takes much less water to grow produce, it could be possible in the future for people in harsh environments with little accessible water to grow their own food.