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About Hydroponics:hydroponic growing strawberries

Hydroponics is defined as the science of growing plants without the use of soil, but by use of an inert medium, such as gravel, sand, peat, vermiculite, pumice or sawdust, to which is added a nutrient solution containing all the essential elements needed by the plant for its normal growth and development. Since many hydroponic methods employ some type of medium, it is often termed "soilless culture," while water culture alone would be true hydroponics.

As we have just read, hydroponics is the growing of plants without soil. This development has been around since the early 1600s. It is know that plants were being grown in a soilless culture earlier than this. Hanging baskets in the gardens of Babylon and the floating gardens of the Aztecs of Mexico are other examples of the world of hydroponics. There are records of Egyptian hieroglyphic that date back to several hundred years B.C. that describe the growing of plants in water.

The word hydroponics is derived from two Greek words. The Greek word hydro ("water") and ponos ("labor") - literally "water working." W.F. Gericke of the University of California, while doing laboratory experiments in plant nutrition termed this nutriculture systems hydroponics. This was the beginning of hydroponics on a commercial scale.

Gericke's application of hydroponics proved itself by providing food for the troops stationed on nonarable islands in the Pacific in the early 1940s. In 1945 the U.S. Air Force solved its problem of providing its personnel with fresh vegetables by practicing hydroponics on a large scale on the rocky islands normally incapable of producing such crops.

After the war commercial use of hydroponics expanded throughout the world in the 1950s to countries such as Italy, Spain, France, England, Germany, Sweden, and Russia and Israel. Today more countries are using hydroponics as a way of producing quality food for people.

Today with the new technology in pots and nutrients being development, hydroponics is taking another new step forward. This is new science and the process is being developed for both inside and outside growing.

There are quite a few benefits that comes with growing plants in soil-less culture.
For example:
  • Less space & growing time required
  • Labor and garden maintenance is reduced
  • Water conservation Nutrients are recyclable which saves money
  • Pest, weed, and disease problems can be controlled easier
  • Plants grown hydroponically avoids soil borne pests
  • More control over the plants rooting environment (Easily manipulate the root zone's temperature, humidity, darkness, etc.)
  • Higher and better quality Yields

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