What exactly is hydroponics? Simply put, it is the art of growing plants without soil. The word originates from Greek and translates to working water. Hydroponics employs plants to grow in water. The roots of the plants are submersed in water, sometimes including the use of mediums such as sand or gravel. A hydroponics system is a closed-loop system, that can be basically placed anywhere. Nearly any plant can be successfully grown using hydroponics.
The key to successful plants grown hydroponically is ensuring the correct nutrients are maintained in the water supply. Plants really only need oxygen, water, and various nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, to grow. So, what are the benefits? The added nutrients are directly delivered to the roots in the water supply. This means plants grow faster and roots tend to be smaller. This in turn means each individual plant takes up less space, allowing for more plants. The threat of pests is much less prevalent than in soil. Hydroponics systems are perfect for indoor use and great for smaller spaces.
There are numerous ways to design and build a hydroponics system. A system needs a few specific components, including lighting, a container, hoses, air stone, and a pump, amongst others. Each system requires limited maintenance, comprising of water changes. One common method is using a container or trough, with an air pump and stone, and hoses to deliver nutrients through the water and to the plants at the surface. Another method includes growing plants using a nutrient-rich medium, such as sand or vermiculite. With ample options, Advanced Gardening Solutions can create a hydroponics system that can be catered to fit your individual needs!