1. Agripedia

Grow plants without soil

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Dr. Sangeeta Soi

Hydroponics, not a new technique but still a curious subject to go through as the agriculture advancement is entering the scientific interventions or one can say that agriculture is no more a culture in India but  a science with ample number of ideas that can bring better productivity, eradicate malnutrition and increase farmer’s income. 

As the name suggests ‘hydro’ stands for water so as the production which depends on water instead of soil.  It is the branch of hydroculture where plants are grown in soil less medium, or in aqua based environment which uses nutrient solutions to provide nourishment to plants with no soil contents at all. 

This is the most advanced way of growing plants where the grower does not have to worry about the weather conditions or climate changes. In fact, he doesn’t have to depend on rainfall which has been an obstacle to the conventional farming methods since decades. The simple yet effective method coupled with modern horticultural lighting, has brought a drastic change in our gardening as well as agriculture practices and has made us capable enough that we don’t need to depend on land and nature. 

Types of hydroponic system 

One thing that comes in our mind when we think of hydroponics is that lands are suspended into water with its roots submerged and the leafy portion exposed to air. But to clarify it is just one type of hydroponic system which is commonly known as N.F.T.(nutrient film technique). Still there are many variations of N.F.T. and several ways of hydoponic system which are applied throughout the world for better growth and productivity. 

Water culture 

This is the active system with moving parts. One of the simplest hydroponic system in which the roots are totally immersed in water with an air pump attached which continuously provides oxygen to roots and allow them to breath. Specific growth technology solutions are present in water which provides nutrients to plants. But the drawback is that very few plants other than lettuce can survive. 

Aeroponic system 

It is the advanced form of N.F.T where roots hang in the air and misted with nutrient solution. The difference is that the air pump is not regular but provided in intervals in order to provide oxygen along with water supply. The misting of roots is done in specific intervals. If misting cycles is interrupted, roots will dry out rapidly. The reason it requires a short cycle timer. 

Wicks system 

The simplest form of hydroponics wherein there is no use of pumps but wicks are used with a water tank below and plant roots are submerged in perlite, soil or coco. Water is drawn up to provide nutrition to plants. It can be called as passive system as it has no moving parts. 

Drip system 

It comes in two types - recovery and non recovery systems as it is the most advanced form of hydroponic system. A timer will control a water pump which pumps water through the irrigation points displayed on the top of plants. The pH needs to be monitored as it can harm the plants which is controlled by the network of elevated water jets.  

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