Harvesting From the Water
Conventional farming makes people plant crops over a field of land, give it water to help it grow then harvest it when the time comes. This was practiced for many years until the demand for food increased which made scientists rely on other techniques to increase production.
Such practices made the use of pesticides and herbicides, fertilizers, contaminated sewage sludge and irradiation. Since these methods are harmful to the health, people have gone back to organic farming that does not use any of these methods.
Technology has found another way to increase crop production without jeopardizing the health of people and the environment. This can be done by hydroponics farming.
Plants need water to survive but this is only one ingredient. The other and most important are the nutrients. Scientists have discovered that it is only when this is diffused into the water system that the roots of the crops consume it making it grow.
By doing this in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse, the nutrients can already be mixed into the water system allowing the crops produce more yields which is what hydroponics gardening is all about.
To prove how effective it is, scientists made a comparative study on the growth of tomatoes. One batch used soil and was able to produce ten tons. The other batch used hydroponics and was able to produce 60 tons. This shows that this method can produce 6 times more than traditional farming.
Almost any type of plant that is grown using this manner will product high yields. Though some crops will be able to produce more than others, the length of time to harvest it is still faster than the old method which gives a faster turn around for farmers.
The farmer does not have to check and pull out weeds, till the land or look for diseases that normally happen during soil cultivation since there are none. Some people might think that this will consume a lot of water but it doesn’t since it is reused which also consumers less than traditional farming.
The problem with a controlled environment is that the plants may not be able to get the proper sunlight and carbon dioxide that to help it grow. This problem can be addressed by installing lights and infusing artificial CO2 into the air.
There are other ways to cultivate crops while inside a green house. One method is called deep water culture. The roots of the plants are raised in the air and a pump releases air out to make it grow. This is ideal for grapes and other crops that grow in this manner.
Another method very similar to deep water culture is aeroponics. The plants are also raised in the air and nutrients here are mixed in the form fog or mist which also reaches the crops so it could grow.
In flood and drain, a tray is used to hold the nutrients. The roots of the plants are held by foam chips or clay pebbles then at certain times of the day, this is flooded so that the plants are able to receive the proper requirements for it to grow. Afterwards, this drains itself out.
Plants can also be grown using films. This technique is called nutrient film technique where light proof plastic is used. This flow along the passage way giving the crops the essentials it needs to grow.
There are many techniques to employ hydroponics in the farm or in the household. The person just has to check what is needed and to think about what plants to grow.
One of the nicest things about hydroponics gardening is that it does not take a lot of space. This allows the person to set up a greenhouse in the backyard. The only things needed are water in containers, tubes to reuse the water consumed by the plants, strong lamps to be used as artificial light and some organic nutrients that are available at the gardening store.
Hydroponics has been around for almost 30 years. By getting some information and the proper materials, the person can soon plant vegetables and fruits instead of buying it at the local grocery or supermarket.