Hydroponics, as the name implies, is a gardening system that revolves around water. Plants don't grow in soil. Instead, they are anchored in a growing medium or suspended so that their roots can reach down into water. The nutrients that the plants ordinarily would derive from the soil come from enriched water.
Less Water Used
Hydroponic systems vary, but many, especially those used by commercial growers, recycle water. The recycling means that hydroponic gardening uses less water than conventional gardening--up to 90 percent less.
Where Soil Is Poor
For gardeners in environments with meager or difficult soil--sandy, depleted or rocky--hydroponics offers a no-soil solution.
Because hydroponics is carried out in a controlled environment, the isolated systems can potentially eliminate the need for pesticides.
No Herbicides Needed
There are no weeds to worry about in hydroponics, since there is no soil for weeds to take root in. Without weeds, herbicides are eliminated.
Opportunity to Grow Food
Traditional gardening is out of reach for some, including apartment dwellers and those living in places where water is a precious resource or where outdoor conditions aren't temperate enough. Hydroponics makes crops possible under these conditions.
Grow Things Out of Season
Since hydroponics is carried out in containers and indoors, produce can be grown year-round.
- Microfarm Sustainable Research and Education
- Hydroponics for Home Gardeners
- Hydroponics as a Hobby: Growing Plants Without Soil-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Hydroponic University
- Hydroponics as a Hobby; AgriLife Extension-Texas A & M System
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About this Author
S. Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media who specializes in making the complex clear. A freelancer for over 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover many topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews, learning a lot and talking to many interesting people.