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Know how to farm without soil
Agriculture has undergone a lot of changes in the recent past. Gone are the days when ploughing and harvesting on large tracts of land alone was the source of food. Technology has changed the way of the traditional farming also with the availability of self-driven tractors, GMO seeds, drones and advanced calculations to derive and compare production data. The latest in the line of advanced farming techniques is the growth of vegetables and fruits indoors without soil or sunlight. This process is called hydroponics. It involves growing plants vegetables and fruits in water that is mixed with solutions containing all the ingredients required for the development of a plant. According to research, plants require five basic things to grow which includes food, light, oxygen, support, and water. If all of these conditions are present a plant can thrive both indoors and outdoors. The presence of these conditions does not include soil. Therefore, plants can grow without soil as well. Scientists have now worked on this and figured out the hydroponic system which works without the presence of soil.
How does hydroponics work?
Hydroponics involves growing plants in water according to statistics with nutrients. This water is soaked by plants with their roots which remains submerged in the same. Food can be grown in less space which is perfect for cities where space constraints are huge. You can grow almost any herb or smaller vegetables in tubs. According to statistics, it is yet to be decided who is the inventor of hydroponics but there is no doubt that hydroponics is and really useful science. The word hydroponics was first coined by a scientist from California in 1936. He had apparently grown a tomato plant in his home which grows almost 25 feet. This, given the concept of hydroponics, can be used for growing an indoor farm even in the absence of soil.
Hydroponics is an amazing science because it can help you produce fruits and vegetables that are without pests of the soil, viruses, bacteria, or even weeds. The plants grown with science are much healthier as they also grow much faster than fruits and vegetables produced using traditional techniques. This is because the plants, in this case, are receiving the required nutrients without any hassle since it is already present in the liquid in which the roots are submerged. Also, the plants get sunlight throughout the day and night in a controlled atmosphere. In hydroponics, even the light from which the plants make food is not always sunlight. Most of these plants grow under the LED lights which provide light throughout the day and night thus hastening the process of photosynthesis and the production of food.
Hydroponics also allows the amount of nutrition in each of the fruits and vegetables produced to be controlled. This is because the nutrition required is provided through the nutritional solution added in the water of the plants. So, you can produce lettuce with low potassium levels which are perfect for a patient with a kidney condition.
Growing your own hydroponics Garden
If you are feeling very encouraged to take up hydroponics and produce some fresh fruits and vegetables here are a few pointers for you:
- Hydroponics is not very difficult and you don\'t need an abandoned factory to get started. You can try growing Herbs that are required on a daily basis in small pots in your house only. Nowadays, a lot of hydroponic kits are available with instructions on top which you can easily read and get started. If you are unwilling to buy the kit just yet, you can try using aquarium stones, net tubs, plastic containers, and air pumps to create the setup.
- Get the seeds of some of the vegetables and fruits that you want to grow.
- You will need an aquarium air pump for airing the water.
- Ensure that the storage containers are colored black to prevent the entry of sunlight which causes the growth of algae. Algae are very harmful to hydroponic plants.
- You will need an air stone to aerate the water. It provides the roots with the required oxygen. It is usually a chunk of lime wood or stone attached with the small tube to an air pump. You will need to determine the size of the stone in order to understand the number of bubbles required.
- You will need a lot of tubes.
- Add to your shopping list a tester kit for measuring the pH level in the water.
- The nutrient solution required for the plant needs to be bought.
- You will need seeds in an inert medium so that they start sprouting. You can use Rockwell or perlite for the purpose. Place the seeds in the cubes in some water for germination. When the seedlings are about two to three inches you can shift them to the hydroponic setups.
- You will need to place net pots inside the containers all at the same level so that the plants get the same amount of water. Color the storage containers black so that sunlight does not enter the container. Place the container where it gets a lot of natural sunlight for the plant.
- Fill the tub with water so that only the bottom of the neck part is submerged.
- Make a small pole on the top to connect the air tube with the air stone. Put it at the center of the tub.
- Connect the top with an air pump. Ensure that the amount of air released is neither too much not too little.
- Keep the tub prepared till the time you are ready to transfer the seedlings. Empty the tub for now and refill when you have placed the seedlings.
- Once you have transferred to the netpot cover the bottom.
- Your seedlings should be placed at the center of the net pot if there are any routes try to thread them out through the bottom. If required you will have to use a bit of growing medium around the seedlings to make it stable inside the pots. Now place the net pots inside the hydroponic tab.
- The pH level of the water has to be monitored every day.
Your very own hydroponic garden is now ready.