What is Hydroponics

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Growing with Hydroponics

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. When dealing with natural conditions, soil acts as a nutrient reservoir. However the soil is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients dissolve in water the plants are able to absorb them.

Soil is no longer required for the plant to survive when the nutrients are being added into the plants water supply. There are two main types of hydroponics used to grow; the first is solution culture which is just the nutrient solution with no medium for the roots. The second is medium culture in which there is a medium for the roots such as gravel, sand, or Rockwool.

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Advantages of Hydroponics

• Soil is not required for hydroponics

• Lower water costs as water is reused in these systems

• Less water is lost through evaporation and runoff

• No scope of pesticide damage

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Disadvantages of Hydroponics

• Initial setup cost is high; due to price of equipment

• Technical skill is required to maintain the equipment

• No soil buffer. If the hydroponics system fails, plants will die much faster.

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Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

Controlled Environment Agriculture is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponics-based agriculture. It allows for plants to be studied by affecting one variable in one test environment to the other. This allows scientist and botanist to find answers for the questions of how does changes in light and air quality effect a plants growth as well as many other questions.

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