Most of us grow plants using soil. It’s just normal because it is the traditional approach of growing plants and the majority of growers used such method. However, little did many of us know, we can actually grow a plant without planting them in a soil. How? By implementing a system called hydroponics. Hydroponic system or simply hydroponics is a method of growing plants which uses mineral nutrient solutions in water in replacement of soil. Hydroponic system was introduced in the 19th century but the first known work about growing plants without soil was that of Sir Francis Bacon’s book Sylva Sylvarum, published in 1627.
Scientists have found out that the essential mineral nutrients needed by plants are being absorbed in the form of inorganic ions. These inorganic ions are present in water. It goes without saying that soil is actually a nutrient receptacle and is really not necessary for a plan to survive. Plants are only able to absorb the mineral in the soil when it dissolves in water. Once the plants have absorbed the right nutrients, soil becomes totally redundant to the plant’s existence. Almost all of terrestrial plants could grow using hydroponic systems. Through hydroponics, terrestrial plants can grow with their roots just planted in the mineral solution only. For mechanical support, medium such as coconut husk and gravel are used.
Hydroponic systems come with many benefits. The technology makes it possible for people who don’t have suitable soil to grow their plants. Hydroponic plants grow up 50% faster than those plants in soil. This makes sense because the soil itself is at risk of diseases, poor structure, pests and salinity among others, thus pest and disease infestations as well as weeds are reduced. Hydroponic plants easily absorbed the proper nutrients they need. No risk of plants over absorbing nutrients.
Hydroponic system is a system that isn’t really harmful on the environment as it only requires reasonable amount of water as well as fertilizer application. Fertilizers in the system are recycled. Pollution caused by pesticides is lessened since the usage of pesticides is reduced as well.
While Hydroponic systems seem to be a perfect system for growing plants, it is actually not. Implementing the system can be expensive at first. It may take a lot of hard work as well. The environment that the system requires is known to be stimulating for salmonella growth. Plants are also aid to be susceptible to pathogen attacks. Plants’ roots are at risk of burning when the solution used is too concentrated. Hydroponic system is not for everyone to use. One needs to be knowledgeable to its in and outs first before its actual implementation otherwise, success can’t be guaranteed. Without the knowledge, there’s really nothing to look forward to.