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What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics by Greek definition, Hydro ("water") ponos ("labour"), literally means “water-working." In simple terms, it means growing plants in nutrient enriched water without the use of soil(As the structure). As there is no soil, plants are therefore placed in other mediums such as a Hydropan for support. As the roots are kept out of soil the chance of the plant dying from a soil born disease is nil! There are four main methods to grow your hydroponic crop:
Ebb and Flow
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
The roots grow either in air, which is kept very humid; in water, which is well aerated; or in some solid non-soil medium, which is kept moist.
Hydroponics allows a gardener to grow plants in a more efficient, convenient and productive manner with less time and manual input than is needed in conventional gardening. The science of hydroponics proves that soil isn't required for plant growth but the elements, minerals and nutrients that soil contains are. Soil is simply the holder of the nutrients, a place where the plant roots traditionally live and provides a base of support for the plant structure.
In hydroponics the grower provides the exact nutrients the plants need, so they can develop and grow. The nutrients are fed directly at the root base, never stressing the plant due to lack of nutrients or water, therefore providing more plant energy to produce bigger yields!
Virtually any plant will grow hydroponically, but some will do better than others. Hydroponic growing is ideal for fruit bearing crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, leafy crops, like lettuce, spinach and herbs and flowering plants. Most home hydroponic gardeners plant crops similar to that which they would grow in a soil garden.