Hydroponics – Questions and Answers

What is hydroponics?

Hydroponics is most commonly referred to as “the cultivation of plants in water.” However, studies have shown that various inorganic media, such as Rockwool, vermiculite, gravel, or sand which allow the liquid nutrients to circulate the plant roots, can also support the plant’s growth. As such, the definition of hydroponics has more recently been broadened to “the cultivation of plants without soil.”

What are the advantages of hydroponics?

There are numerous advantages to hydroponics, the most apparent of which is its ability to provide a controlled environment for plant growth. Some of the other benefits of hydroponics include:
• Reduced water supply
• Minimal labor costs
• Lower fertilizer cost
• Greater certainty of plant production and quality

What is aeroponics?

Aeroponics is a form of hydroponics where the roots of the plants are kept moist either continuously or intermittently with liquid nutrients supplied in the form of a fine mist or aerosol.

How much time does a hydroponic garden require?

Starting a hydroponic garden requires a finite amount of time, commitment, and dedication if you wish to ensure that the plants are in good condition at all times. Once established, the time requirements are limited to mixing the nutrient solutions, assuring correct operating parameters, and checking for pests or diseases. The actual time involved will depend upon the kind of hydroponic garden you plant, how big and complex it is, and the type of plants you grow.

Are there different kinds of hydroponics?

There are several different types of hydroponics. The major divisions are either media-based or water culture.
Under media-based hydroponics are:
Ebb and Flow
Flood and Drain
Drip Feeding
Wick Feeding
On the other hand, water culture hydroponics involves:
• Raft Cultivation
• Nutrient Film Technique
Still, other techniques, such as aeroponics, would also fall into the water culture category.

Do hydroponic plants grow faster than the plants in soil?

Plants grown in a hydroponic environment grow as quickly and as effectively as possible in any well-controlled environment, both in plant size and fruit quality. However, it is significantly easier to maintain ideal growing conditions provided by an indoor hydroponic system, thereby allowing a more predictable quality and harvest when compared to plants grown in less perfect or less controlled environments.

What should I use as a light source?

Adequate light is one of the primary requirements for plant health, especially in a hydroponic system. Most cultivated plants require either direct or indirect sunlight to maintain health and productivity. However, wherever light is insufficient or when plants are grown indoors, artificial light must be provided to supplement growth. A variety of lamp types and bulb formats demonstrated effectively support plant growth are easily obtainable.

Can I grow hydroponic plants indoors?

Absolutely. Plants adapt well to the growing conditions provided by an indoor hydroponic system. An indoor hydroponic garden can be very prolific with adequate control over temperature, humidity, light, aeration, and nutrition.