The way that we grow and harvest food is changing. Hydroponics has been around for a while, but it has only recently come into the spotlight. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Floating Gardens of China were some of the earliest examples of hydroponics, which humans used thousands of years ago. However, modern technology has enabled us to grow plants faster with stronger roots than ever before!
In addition, when we talk about modern hydroponics, William Frederick Gericke is one man who takes most of the credit. In the 1930’s he proved doubters wrong when he used a mineral and nutrient solution to grow tomato vines that reached 25 feet in height. The remarkable results of this experiment sparked more inquiry into this field, leading scientists to uncover the untapped potentials of this new way of planting.
Over the years, more and more people have embraced the use of hydroponic systems to grow their plants, some of which have never seen soil before! This system has many benefits, including less water needed, higher yields per square foot, fewer pesticides used, and an increased ability to control the nutrient levels of your crops.
In this piece, we will dissect hydroponics as a whole and lay bare the mind-blowing benefits that make this system the future of farming and crop production.
What is hydroponics, and how does it work?
The word “hydroponics” is derived from two Greek words – hydro and ponos. The first, “hydros,” means water, while the second, “ponos”, means labor. This term was coined by Dr. William Gericke, who himself experimented with this system of farming.
Hydroponics is a technique for growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in water instead of earth to give the roots what they need to grow. The plant absorbs its nutrients through the root system, and it has been found that hydroponic systems require less space than traditional farming methods because there are no clods of dirt weighing down the plant’s stems or large amounts of weed-destroying chemicals needed.
The system includes a large container (usually made of PVC pipe or plastic) with holes in the bottom to allow excess water and nutrient-rich runoff from the growing medium. Holes are also cut into the sides for planting seedlings inside, and an overflow drain hole in case there are spills or too much water is added at once.
Advancement in technology has brought about the likes of automated grow cubes, pro shelves, hydro towers, among others, that make using this system even more effective.
A hydroponic system is an excellent solution for growing plants in a small space since the lack of soil allows the roots to grow more efficiently. It’s also much easier to harvest them, and there is no need to worry about weeds as they won’t be able to survive without their own dirt or water source nearby.
Why is hydroponics important for farming?
The advantages of this system are vast, and the research into hydroponics is still ongoing. It is an important tool for a wide variety of reasons, one of them is that we can grow food faster and with stronger roots than ever before! This efficiency means that there’s less water needed, higher yields per square foot, and fewer pesticides used on the crops.
In addition, it provides us with total control over nutrient levels which helps us get better tasting produce without relying on fertilizers or chemicals in our soil that can take away from its natural flavor. Soil-grown plants have varying mineral content, which also changes their taste – imagine how much more flavorful tomatoes would taste if they were grown hydroponically! Plus, when you harvest them in this system using scissors instead of shears (although both work), the plant is not disturbed at all, meaning that they have a much longer shelf life.
This system also reduces the need for tillage, which helps keep our soil healthy and intact by preventing it from being broken up each year.
Hydroponics is an excellent solution for those living in tightly packed urban settings because their plants can grow without worrying about over-fertilizing or spreading weeds to other people’s yards. The lack of space needed makes this is ideal for city dwellers with limited outdoor space as well! We’re most likely going to see more hydroponic setups popping up on balconies as we continue into the future, showing just how important this growing technique has become in modern times.
It’s easy to see that hydroponics is a serious contender when it comes to the future of farming. It provides us with an increased ability to control our nutrient levels, as well as more space for crops and easier harvesting in urban settings! With these benefits combined, it doesn’t seem like there are any downsides at all – this system has proven itself time and time again.
Hydroponics is changing food production worldwide
Of course, with the rapid change in our food production system as a whole, one of its most important aspects is how it impacts us directly: what we eat. Around 70% of all the calories that Americans consume come from plant-based foods, a lot of which are grown through hydroponic farming methods for greater yield and faster growth. It’s not just about where your produce comes from anymore, but how it was grown too.
This also means that there are fewer imports coming into this country since so many vegetables can be grown domestically instead for nearly zero cost.
This system will also continue to change the global food production landscape, as it is a more efficient method and has been shown to have fewer risks when using pesticides. Many countries are already starting on small-scale hydroponic systems in order to be prepared for this shift; by 2025, we’ll likely see many parts of Europe with large-scale operations that provide fruits and vegetables year round, even during winter times!
It’s hard not to imagine what our world will look like 20 years from now – but fortunately, things seem very promising, thanks largely in part due to advances made in farming techniques such as hydroponics. It seems only natural that we would move towards these methods after seeing how much they’ve improved upon traditional soil-based growing practices over the years.