We have been used to the concept of soil gardening since we were young but over the years, things have changed. The process of growing plants have progressed into using different media such as sand, gravel, or water but without using soil at all. Hydroponics is now being adapted all over the world for food production because of the disadvantages that it brings to the producer. But before we discuss things further, let us try to look back to where hydroponics began.
Hydroponics in Latin literally means “water working” while in Greek, it is a combination of two words which are “hydro” meaning water and “ponics” meaning labor. According to review of related materials, the concept of growing plants without the use of soil has been around for thousands of years already. In fact, hydroponics was used to develop the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Floating Gardens of China. Several countries such as Holland, Germany, and Australia have begun using hydroponic for food production, probably brought about by the results of experiments conducted by scientists in as early as 1950’s.
As mentioned earlier, hydroponics has been gaining popularity because of the advantages that it has compared to soil gardening. Compared to plants grown in soil, a hydroponic plant grows 30-50% faster because the extra oxygen in the hydroponic system helps in stimulating the growth of the plants’ roots. Because of this, the plants are able to absorb the nutrients faster. With the absence of soil, the nutrients in the water are sent directly to the root system. This delivery of nutrients occurs several times a day and the plant does not have to consume a lot of energy in finding food and breaking it down. As a result of conserved energy, the plant can grow faster. It is actually safe to say that plants grown using the hydroponic system are healthier and happier plants.
In the hydroponic process, water is constantly reused because of the nutrient solutions. Thus, there is conservation of water which also benefits our environment. Aside from water conservation, pesticides are seldom used on hydroponic plants because pests, bugs, funguses, and other diseases are almost not present in the hydroponic system.
Hydroponics will probably gain more popularity in the near future because since the 1950’s up to the present time, scientists and horticultural societies have been and are still studying about the innovation in horticulture. People who love plants have actually considered hydroponics gardening as a hobby because it is fun, exciting, and innovative.