When we think of gardening, we envision sunshine, fresh air, and dirt. But not all gardening happens outside and in the ground. In fact, one interesting gardening technique allows us to grow plants indoors, year-round, and without using any soil at all! The name of this type of gardening is called “hydroponics.”

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics, by definition, is a method of growing plants in a water based, nutrient rich solution. Hydroponics does not use soil, instead the root system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite. The basic premise behind hydroponics is to allow the plants roots to come in direct contact with the nutrient solution, while also having access to oxygen, which is essential for proper growth.

Growing with hydroponics comes with many advantages, the biggest of which is a greatly increased rate of growth in your plants. With the proper setup, your plants will mature up to 25% faster and produce up to 30% more than the same plants grown in soil.

Your plants will grow bigger and faster because they will not have to work as hard to obtain nutrients. Even a small root system will provide the plant exactly what it needs, so the plant will focus more on growing upstairs instead of expanding the root system downstairs.

    Hydroponics vegetables are grown suspended in a liquid solution containing elements that plant needs to thrive. There have been rumours that hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables have a build-up of harmful chemical they absorb from the solution. These rumours are false. Firstly, plant needs 17 elements to grow, three of which (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) are obtained from air and water. The other three (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) are the major fertilizer elements commonly known in any system of plant growing. The rest are the elements that plant gets from soil namely calcium, magnesium, sulphur, iron, zinc, copper, boron, manganese, nickel, molybdenum and chlorine. In hydroponic, there is no soil to supply these elements found in soil so they have to be added into the growing solution.

This makes it look like we add a wide variety of chemicals into the solution. We add these elements to make our solution comparable to a solution from fertile soil, nothing more and nothing less. All the elements added to the growing solution are essential elements of human as seen in the label of standard vitamin-mineral supplement tablets, Centrum for example. Hydroponics is just a different way of providing what a perfect soil would provide namely air, water, support and nutritional.  Hydroponics actually grows vegetables with higher nutrients value because of the optimum growing conditions.
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Hydroponics – The Soilless Way of Gardening

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