Authors: Vora Zarna N.1 and Parmar Harshil V.2
1 Ph.D. (Scholar), Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh, Gujarat-362001 (India)
2 Ph.D. (Scholar), Department of Plant Pathology, Anand Agricultural University, Anand, Gujarat-388001 (India)
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Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is the growing of plants in a soil less medium, or an aquatic based environment. Hydroponic growing uses mineral nutrient solutions to feed the plants in water, without soil. This technique instead uses a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent, allowing the nutrient uptake process to be more efficient than when using soil. Hydroponics is a viable method of producing vegetables, foliage plants and other crops. The demand for locally grown produce has risen dramatically. Growing these crops hydroponically is a very efficient means of meeting that demand.
Materials used in hydroponics
- Coco coir: Has an excellent air to water ratio with great water retention.
- Rockwool: A fibrous material made from melted rock
- Not biodegradable
- Must be pH balanced
- Excellent water retention
- Expanded clay Pellets:
- Most popular media
- Drain quickly and pH neutral
- Used in ebb & flow water culture
- 50:50 mix of clay and coco creates a breathable medium
- Potting soil (Perlite):
- Perlite + coco coir + vermiculite
- Synthetic materials
- Heated to produce light and porous material
There are six basic types of hydroponics system. Wick, Water Culture, Ebb and Flow (Flood & Drain), Drip (recovery or non-recovery), N.F.T. (Nutrient Film Technique) and Aeroponic. There are hundreds of variations on these basic types of systems, but all hydroponic methods are a variation (or a combination) of these six.
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