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Hydroponics

Uploaded by icer37 on Mar 05, 2002

I decided to research Hydroponics, which is the growing of plants without soil in water to which nutrients have been added. Hydroponics has been used for over a century as a research technique, but not until 1929 were experiments conducted solely to determine its feasibility for growing commercial crops. There are now hydroponic home gardens and commercial cropping operations in the United States and many other countries. Under hydroponics, plants can be grown closer together than in the field, thereby increasing yields, and multiple cropping (the growing of several crops in the same tank) can be practiced. In addition to conserving space, hydroponics almost eliminates weed and pest problems. The cost of equipment is high and personnel must be trained.

There are 6 basic types of hydroponic systems: Wick, Water Culture, Ebb and Flow (Flood & Drain), Drip (recovery or non-recovery), N.F.T. (Nutrient Film Technique) and Aeroponic. There are hundreds of variations on these basic types of systems, but all hydroponic methods are a variation (or combination) of these six. Below I will briefly describe them, and how they function.

The Wick system is by far the simplest type of hydroponic system. This is a passive system, which means there are no moving parts. The nutrient solution is drawn into the growing medium (which is the matter, surrounding the roots) from the reservoir with a wick. This system can use a variety of growing medium. Perlite, Vermiculite, Pro-Mix and Coconut Fiber are the ones that I founds that people recommended on their websites. The only set back that I found with this system is that the plants that are large or use large amounts of water may use up the nutrient solution faster than the wick(s) can supply it, thus not delivering a fully nourished plant.

The second method that I found is the water culture system. It was the simplest of all active hydroponic systems that I found. The platform that holds the plants is usually made of Styrofoam and floats directly on the nutrient solution. An air pump supplies air to the air stone that bubbles the nutrient solution and supplies oxygen to the roots of the plants. Water culture is the system of choice for growing leaf lettuce, which are fast growing water-loving plants. The one drawback with this system is that very few plants other than lettuce will do well in this type of system. The biggest...

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Uploaded by:   icer37

Date:   03/05/2002

Category:   Science And Technology

Length:   6 pages (1,397 words)

Views:   2139

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