What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants, produce or flowers in a water based, nutrient rich solution without soil. In hydroponics, the root system of the plant gets support from an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite. The basic idea behind hydroponics is to allow the roots of the plant to come into direct contact with the nutrient solution, while also having access to oxygen, which is key to proper growth.
We chose to offer hydroponics not only for the enhanced flavor and health benefits but because of the advantages it offers as opposed to traditional farming techniques. While still in the development stages, hydroponics is considered the future of farming, being able to grow food for astronauts in space.
- No Soil Needed
Hydroponics allows farmers to grow produce in areas where there is no fertile soil or very arid areas. Hydroponics is also a great option for places where land is limited and heavily contaminated (big cities, heavily populated areas, etc). It is a very clean method of growing produce where the soil is not needed at all, but rather a nutrient solution. And who wants to get dirty anyway?
- Hydroponics is a Space Saver
With hydroponics, all that plants need for their growth are provided and maintained in the hydroponics system. This means you can grow in small spaces, such as apartments or spare bedrooms. Instead of growing in the soil where the roots expand and spread out in search for food, the roots are submerged in a tank of oxygenated nutrient solution. This allows the plants to have direct contact with the necessary minerals for growth, and grow in much smaller spaces.
- Water Conservation
The method of growing plants in a hydroponic system use only 10% of the water in comparison to field grown plants. The water is recirculated. The growing plants take up the necessary water and the runoff is returned to the system.Statistics show that regular agricultural practices use up to 80% of the water in the US. Hydroponics is a hopeful solution to the increasing population and the need for future food production on a large scale.
- Better Growth Rate
Hydroponics plants grow faster than soil grown plants. Because you control the environment of the plants, such as temperature, lights, moisture and nutrients, the plants have an increased growth rate placed in ideal conditions. Nutrients are provided in sufficient amounts and come into direct contact with the root systems. They are no longer wasting valuable energy searching for nutrients in the soil, but instead can focus on growing and producing fruit.
- Quick turnover. With hydroponics, there are no seasonal limits or restoration periods required for the farm. As soon as a plant is harvested, the next can be planted in its place allowing for maximum yield per square foot.
- No Weeds
Hydroponics eliminates weeds and weeding of your plants, and no longer exist to choke out the growth of your plants, saving farmers the need to till, plow or hoe the soil.
- Reduced Pesticides and Herbicides
Because hydroponics grows plants in a controlled environment sans soil, weeds, pests, and plant diseases are greatly reduced, eliminating the need for chemicals. This results in a cleaner, healthier and safer food product.
- Year Round Production
Hydroponic allows the grower to have total control over the climate including temperature, humidity, light, the air composition. Because of this, you can grow foods all year round regardless of the season. This helps farmers to maximize their business profits.