Agripedia

Grow Plants and Vegetables without Soil; Know How?

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

The process of growing plants without soil is called Hydroponics and it is a branch of hydroculture. In this method water solvents are used instead of soil which consists of minerals nutrient solution. Plants of third category i.e. terrestrial plants can be grown with their roots and it should be exposed to the nutritious liquid. 

Plants are also grown through a process called photosynthesis, in which they use sunlight and a chemical inside their leaves called chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen, as shown in reaction. 

6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6(Glucose)+ 6O2 

The other thing that comes in mind that how crops are grown without soil and what all is included in that solvent. So, the nutrients we use may come from different sources, such as  fish excrement, duck manure, or chemical fertilisers that we use in this system.

Can vegetables be grown through this method? 

With this method, vegetables can be produced without any disease. This technique can be beneficial in areas with inaccessible geographical conditions and lack of irrigation, but for this, farmers will have to spend good amount of money. It would cost about two lakh rupees to arrange this technique for a common polyhouse. But later they will be able to earn big profits by growing spinach, cabbage, capsicum, tomatoes and other leafy vegetables without soil. Plants will also not be at risk of soil-borne diseases. Once the plants are watered, there will be no irrigation system for 10 to 15 days. 

Advantages of Hydroponics 

1.Plantation without soil

We can grow plants in places where the land is limited, or is contaminated. In the early days, this system was successfully used to supply fresh vegetables for troops in Wake Island. The scientist of NASA has considered this system as the future farming to grow foods for astronauts in the space. 

2.Better use of space and location

Through this method you can grow plants in a small apartment, bedrooms or kitchen as long as you have some space. This means you can grow your plants closer, and consequently with huge space savings. 

3.Water saving

This method is water saving in which plants will take up only required amount of water. So, there is less water loss in hydroponics.

4.Better growth rate

Do hydroponic plants grow faster than in soil? 

First of all let me tell you that a plant can grow faster only if it has favorable conditions. So, it is true that a plant can be grown faster by hydroponic method because here we can set conditions according to growth like temperature, lights, moisture, and especially nutrients.  

Another important thing that a plant needs is nutrients, and in this method nutrients are provided at sufficient amounts and come into direct contacts with the root systems.  So, the energy which gets waste in search of valuable nutrients in the soil is conserved and used for the growth. 

Disadvantages and Challenges 

1.System failure threats

If you are using electricity to manage the whole system, you have to take care of the power blackout because this system will stop working if there is no supply of electricity and plants will dry out quickly or even die in several hours. Hence, keep a backup power source. 

2.It requires your time and commitment

Plants grown in soil can be left on its own for days and weeks, and they can survive in a short time. Nature and soils will help in regulating things if something is not balancing. But it’s not same in hydroponics. Plants will die more quickly, if you will not take proper care of them because plants are depended on you for their survival.  

3.Knowledge and Experiences

It is not easy at all to set up this system because this it runs on many types of equipments which will require expertise for the use of device. It is very important to have knowledge about this system like what plants you can grow and how they will survive and flourish in a soilless environment. If you make even a small mistake while setting up the system, it will affect your  plants growth. 

4.Water and electricity risks

In this system, mostly water and electricity is used. so, Beware of electricity in a combination of water in close vicinity. Ensure safety precautions first when working with water and electric equipment. 

So, these were the advantages and disadvantages of hydroponics system.

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