There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding the term ‘Hydroponics’.
So, before defining what hydroponics is, it is helpful to define what hydroponics isn’t.
- A ‘catch-all’ term for indoor gardening – although it is a superior indoor gardening method
- Growing plants under high intensity lights – but it is certainly suitable for this
- Genetically modifying crops – although crops will yield significantly more than with traditional growing methods
- Growing plants without using soil.
- The word hydroponic can be roughly translated as water-works, because water is doing the work. In hydroponic grow kits the plant receives its macro and micro nutrients and trace elements from nutrients that have been dissolved in the water instead of taking if from the soil. Roots find it easier to take up the nutrients when supplied in water than when they have to source it from the soil.
- This leaves the plants to concentrate energy on foliage, flower growth and fruit development.
- Growers that cultivate hydroponically have full control over their plants development. By feeding different levels of essential elements at different stages in the plants life cycle it is possible to accelerate root development, stimulate – or slow – vegetative growth, and then trigger and enhance flowering.
- As well as constant availability of water and nutrient, plants grown hydroponically also have an abundant supply of oxygen to their roots.
- Hydroponic growing medium such as clay pebbles, coco or rockwool have an open structure that provides a highly oxygenated root zone and hydroponic techniques such as NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) and aeroponics are essentially ‘bare rooted’, leaving plant roots open to absorb as much oxygen as possible.
- This constant supply of oxygen, nutrient and water accelerates plant growth and leads to increased plant yield.