Surely you have heard of hydroponics one time or two but do you know what is it? Hydroponics originates from the Greek words “hydros” and “ponos” which mean water and work respectively. Taking the definition from Wikipedia, Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Although as intimidating as it sounds, hydroponics is in fact as very simple concept which is using water added with nutrients to grow healthy plants. Really simple isn’t it? In fact, you may have tried hydroponics sometime in your life. If you tried to placing a plant clipping in a glass with water hoping that it will grow roots then there it is. You certainly have practiced hydroponics.
Brief History of Hydroponics
It may sound new but hydroponics and soilless gardening has been practiced hundred years before. It was believed that Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the floating gardens of Aztecs used the principles of hydroponics. In 13th century, There were also found records of floating gardens in Marco Polo’s writings. It was only in 17th century that formal researched and publications on hydroponics take place with Sir Francis Bacon and John Woodward. On 1938, William Gericke promoted the use of hydroponics in agriculture. In fact, he coined the term “hydroponics”. Later that years, two scientist, Dennis Hoagland and Daniel Arnon, expanded the researched made by Gericke and published “The Water Culture Method for Growing Plants without Soil”.
Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
What made these people crazy about hydroponics? Here are the advantages of this gardening system:
- Hydroponics people to grow crops in place where traditional farming is not possible. In urban area where land is at a premium, traditional farming might be too expensive for gardeners. With hydroponics urban gardener can grow their crops indoors, in their sheds and in rooftop.
- This gardening system allows people to grow crops in areas that don’t receive sunlight and areas where space available for planting is too small like remote island.
- With this system, requires low water than traditional farming which saves the water and help environmentally. It also allows recycling and reuse of water.
- Hydroponics also ensure a stable and high yields unlike traditional farming.
Although the benefits of this farming system is really great, some people are still not using this system due to the following reasons:
- The capital requirement is really high compared to traditional one.
- Power interruption might cause to stop the pumps thus ruin the crops.