Hydroponics is the farming technology where we control the growth and productivity of plants by controlling the water and its nutrient level.The word Hydroponics means 'Water Related'.Here in this technology we are replacing soil and its functions with water and technology.So it is also called Soilless farming.This farming technology has greater applications in modern farming practices.So lets have a study of this technology.
In Hydroponic system,water is enriched with nutrients which are essential for plant growth and productivity. PH level also will be maintained within specified range.Plants are considered as great factories,where the inputs are nutrients,light and outputs are its leafs,fruits etc.So in this factory,we input nutrients through water medium and plant use these nutrients with the sunlight to produce output.
As early said,we are replacing Soil.While doing it we have to ensure that our system provides all the basic functions of soil even in the absence of soil.So lets check which are the basic functions of soil and what are the alternative ideas in our hydroponic system to replace soil.
1) Support for the plant root system:In hydroponics,we use some inert medium like sand,gravel,rock wool to support plant root system or plastics are used to provide the support for the plant
2)Supply of essential Nutrients:Soil provides essential nutrients to the plant from its organic contents.In hydroponics we are adding fertilizers in water to provide essential nutrients.
3)Supply of Oxygen:Plants use Oxygen present in soil for their metabolic activities.We can supply Oxygen through water in the same way as we do to supply oxygen in Fish tank.
4)Supply of water:Soil provides enough water to plant root system.we can directly give water to plant root system in Hydroponics.
Thus we are replacing soil without affecting plant functions.
- Less pollution: Hydroponic setup use almost all Nutrients in the water which result no wastage of Nutrients and no pollution to the environment
- Require Less Water:As we are utilizing water and nutrients in optimized way,Hydroponic system require less water compared to traditional farming practices.
- Faster growth and high production:We are supplying all essential nutrients to the plant in optimized way.So the growth rate and productivity are high.
- Ease of management: the whole system can be automated easily and managed effectively
- Less Herbicides and pesticides: Soil is the main source of weeds.We are avoiding them by hydroponics.By utilizing other technologies like greenhouse farming,we can avoid pests completely.
- Require Less farming space:Any space where we can hold plants and hydroponic system can be utilized for farming.
- Quality products: The output of hydroponic system is quality products.
- This technology can be easily applied with Greenhouse Technology to get better result.
High initial cost for the Hydroponic system setup is the main drawback of this technology.However this technology is being utilized in many Greenhouse farms and will be one of the key technologies in farming industry.
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