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Hydroponics

ritau
02-18
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil, by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the nutritious liquid, or the roots may be physically supported by an inert medium such as perlite, gravel.Despite inert media, roots can cause changes of the rhizosphere pH and root exudates can impact the rhizosphere biology.

The nutrients used in hydroponic systems can come from an array of different sources, including (but not limited to) fish excrement, duck manure, purchased chemical fertilisers, or artificial nutrient solutions.

Plants commonly grown hydroponically on inert media include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuces, marijuana, and model plants like Arabidopsis thaliana.

Hydroponics offer many advantages, one of them being a decrease in water usage for agriculture. To grow 1 kilogram of tomatoes in Intensive farming requires 400 liters of water, in hydroponics 70 liters of water, and only 20 liters of water for aeroponics.Because of the lack of water needed to grow produce, it would be possible in the future for harsh environments which don’t have much accessible water, to be able to grow their own food.



The earliest published work on growing terrestrial plants without soil was the 1627 book Sylva Sylvarum or 'A Natural History' by Francis Bacon, printed a year after his death. Water culture became a popular research technique after that. In 1699, John Woodward published his water culture experiments with spearmint. He found that plants in less-pure water sources grew better than plants in distilled water. By 1842, a list of nine elements believed to be essential for plant growth had been compiled, and the discoveries of German botanists Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop, in the years 1859-1875, resulted in a development of the technique of soilless cultivation.Growth of terrestrial plants without soil in mineral nutrient solutions was called solution culture. It quickly became a standard research and teaching technique and is still widely used. Solution culture is, now considered, a type of hydroponics where there is an inert medium.

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