Hydroponics is the method of growing plants using minera nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, mineral wool, expanded clay or coconut husk.
Advantages and disadvantages
Some of the reasons why hydroponics is being adapted around the world for food production are the following:
• First, hydroponics may potentially produce much higher crop yields.
• hydroponics can be used in places where in-ground agriculture or gardening are not possible
• No soil is needed for hydroponics
• The water stays in the system and can be reused - thus, lower water costs- as low as 2%.
• It is possible to control the nutrition levels in their entirety - thus, lower nutrition costs
• No nutrition pollution is released into the environment because of the controlled system
• Stable and high yields
• It is easier to harvest
• Pests and diseases are easier to get rid of than in soil
• No weed control needed
• Eliminates ecoli and salmonella
Today, Progress has been rapid, and results obtained in various countries have proved it to be thoroughly practical and to have very definite advantages over conventional methods.
Without soil as a buffer, any failure to the hydroponic system leads to rapid plant death. Other disadvantages include:
• Need special nutrients
• Lack of failure buffer
• Special tanks and circulating equipment. Also electricity.
• Some plant diseases could be encouraged by high moisture (damp-off, Verticillium wilt)