A Comprehensive Guide
At present, our society is facing the challenges of environmental conservation and some particular forms of agriculture are threatening as well.
We need to conserve soil for agriculture, and this is resulting in deforestation to a large extent.
It has been asserted by the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation) that environmental conservation is one of the main reasons for polluting the soil right now.
Nevertheless, it is now possible for us to make use of other alternatives such as hydroponic planter systems which we can use in urban conditions since it is a more sustainable type of cultivation.
Table of Contents
What do you mean by hydroponic planter system?
While using this process, we do not use any soil for the development of plants, and the plants are usually grown indoors.
It is possible to supply nutrition to these plants by means of a nutrient solution rather than pulling mineral nutrients from the soil.
It might be that you do not have enough outdoor space to accommodate an outdoor garden, and in that case, you will find a hydroponic planter to be extremely useful.
It’ll be possible for you to grow a large number of plants or you can also develop only a few herbs in your kitchen. The choice is entirely yours.
The hydroponic system will support plants such as lettuce and greens, peppers, herbs, tomatoes, and strawberries to develop hydroponically.
Make sure to stay away from tall plants such as corn to grow in this type of setting.
Sustainable agriculture and hydroponics
Hydroponic planter systems will encourage the rational usage of water which is already scarce on this planet.
It likewise aids in minimizing damage caused by the elements, combatting climatic changes, as well as minimizing the extinction of species due to factors like intensive farming and over exploitation.
You will also find it easy to control the hydroponic plants and it is lucrative as well.
This will be useful in developing nations since it will enhance food safety.
It is a fact that hydroponics helps us to achieve better yields of crops and it is amongst the most recent trends in smart farming comprising the usage of technological devices such as AI, big data, drones, and the Internet of Things.
How is hydroponic farming going to work?
It is possible for hydroponic plants to receive all the required nutritional elements by means of a solution reaching the roots via different sorts of equipment.
Water, sunlight, and nutrients will be required for plants to develop properly.
Here, we like to mention that, unlike a hydroponic planter, a conventional setting will help the plants to develop in the soil which is the source of the required water and nutrients.
Hydroponic planter types
• Active system – This particular system happens to be somewhat complicated in the long run.
Being more intricate, it is a system where it is possible for the roots of the vegetation to gain access to the nutrients directly by means of a water solution.
In case there is any excess solution that cannot be absorbed by the roots, it will travel back once again into the reservoir.
Incidentally, pumps are used in this kind of system for moving the nutrient solution to the roots of the plants from a reservoir.
• Passive system – This type of hydroponic planter system is uncomplicated since there is no usage of pumps for circulating the solution.
On the contrary, the plants will be suspended in the solution that will make use of different methods to get to the roots depending on flooding, capillary systems, or gravity.
Nevertheless, one drawback of this system is that water has to be changed at regular intervals.
Apart from this, the conditions are favorable for the development of algae since there are no pumps, and this can result in poor water quality.
What are the characteristics of a hydroponic planter?
It is a fact that hydroponic planter systems, unlike the conventional form of agriculture, will give us the opportunity of controlling the development of plants in the best possible way.
Let us try to explain this further in the following paragraphs:
Despite the fact that nutrients are drawn by the plants in a hydroponic planter system from a solution, they nevertheless require some kind of support.
Here, we have mentioned several most common substrates out there:
• Wood fiber, rice husk, or wool:
These are extremely effective for aerating plants despite the fact that they tend to break down slowly.
• Pumice, perlite, or vermiculite: These are actually stones containing lots of pores that enable the circulation of air through the roots.
• Rock wool:
It is possible to get rock wool when basalt rock is melted and we get filaments forming a sort of unbreakable sponge.
2. Nutrient solution
Nutrients can be derived from organic compounds like grain scraps or fish-meal.
Even though we also get many nutrients from salts, it is possible to substitute them for supplementing them with organic fertilizers.
Nutrient solution composition needs adequate concentrations of potassium, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium as well as sulfur, plus some other elements too.
3. Hydroponic technology
As compared to traditional technology, a crop in a hydroponic planter system will be in need of more accuracy and technology.
Here, we have mentioned several necessary equipment:
• pH meters:
The optimum level will not be the same for all the crops, and therefore, you need to regulate the substrate and the solution’s acidity.
• Conductivity meters:
It is indicated by the nutrient solution’s electrical conductivity what quantity of dissolved nutrients will be needed and whether one should replenish them.
• Air control:
It will be feasible to increase carbon dioxide concentration in the environment in closed settings for enhancing fertility.
It will be possible to make use of artificial light, sunlight, or their combination for maximizing the yield of crops in a hydroponic planter setting.
LED lights are used in recent times on an increasing scale due to their low consumption.
Hydroponic plants types
Despite the fact that it is possible to grow virtually all types of plants with the help of the hydroponic planter system, only some particular types of plants will develop in a better way.
These are as follows:
• Vegetables – beetroot, carrot, cucumber, courgette, aubergine, pepper, onion, radish, and tomato.
• Greens – cauliflower, lettuce, green beans, cabbage, broccoli, celery, pea, leek, as well as spinach.
• Aromatic plants – basil, tarragon, mint, thyme, coriander, sage, and rosemary.
• Fruits – strawberry, cantaloupe blueberry, melon, raspberry, grape as well as tree fruits like apple or lemon.
Advantages of hydroponic planter system
By now, it must be clear to you that the hydroponic planter system is becoming more and more popular at present.
These types of systems will be beneficial for the plants and they will also offer ways to provide food to the increasing population on the planet.
Let us describe some of the most notable benefits of the hydroponic planter system.
1. Does not require any soil
Probably the most important advantage of the hydroponic planter system is the fact that it does not require any soil for the development of plants.
We find it extremely difficult to produce crops in degrading soil.
At present, we are facing the serious problem of land degradation on a wide scale.
The degradation of land can take place by means of chemical as well as physical methods.
Different types of pollution and contamination will result in chemical degradation.
On the other hand, physical disturbance as well as natural erosion can lead to physical degradation.
Because of these types of degradations, it is possible to have soil with fewer nutrients which will not be ideal for the development of healthy plants.
The plants which are grown in a hydroponic planter system will not cause any degradation of the soil.
Therefore, we need not be concerned about the threats of soil degradation while making use of a hydroponic planter setting.
2. Conservation of water
It is a fact that approximately 40% of the water across the globe is lost because of poor management of water.
As a matter of fact, approximately 70% of the water consumed every year is used by farms out there.
The major part of the water cannot be used because of evaporation and other reasons that can result in a significant amount of waste in the long run.
One beneficial thing about the hydroponic planter system is that it will help the farmers to control the delivery of nutrient solutions to the plants effectively.
It is a fact that hydroponic farming is going to utilize approximately 10 times less water compared to conventional methods.
It’ll be possible for the farmers to minimize the wastage of water easily by circulating the nutrient solution once again through the system on a regular basis.
3. Lesser chemical substances
There is no need of using any insecticides in a hydroponic planter system which can have a negative effect on farmers.
In spite of not getting rid of pest problems, it is possible for hydroponic systems to minimize the possibility of infestation.
You do not need to make use of any insecticides since most of the hydroponic systems are secure so there is no possibility of weeds growing in your backyard.
4. Encourages a micro climate
Since the hydroponic planter system is an enclosed one, the farmers will be able to program appropriate micro climates around every single type of crop grown by them.
It is a fact that the technology utilized in a hydroponic setting will allow the farmers to create the best conditions for all the plants growing there.
It might be possible for a part of the hydroponic greenhouse to encourage the development ofromaine lettuce in temperature conditions which is near 70⁰ F.
On the other hand,another part might facilitate the growth of spinach at a temperature of 55⁰ F.
It’ll be feasible to grow an increasing variety of plants within a single system since the farmers will be able to regulate micro climates around every single plant.
5. Control of nutrients
It’ll be possible for the farmers to have more control over the nutrients that are going to be absorbed in a hydroponic planter system.
Here, we like to mention that a nutrient solution combined with water will be given to the plants in this kind of system.
Additional fertilizers might be required by the cultivators which are developed in soil for survival.
However, it is not the case when it comes to hydroponics, and here, the vegetation will receive all the required support in the proper quantity beforehand.
6. It is possible for the plants to grow virtually anywhere
An outdoor space will be required by the conventional gardens for the development of plants.
However, it’ll possible for many households to include a hydroponic planter system indoors irrespective of their location or size.
7. Improved development and yield
In a hydroponic system, the amount of oxygen levels present in the nutrient solution will be in greater amounts, and therefore, it’ll possible to grow plants quickly right here and also with much more yield.
One can easily encourage the uptake of nutrients and the development of roots by increasing the oxygen levels of a plant.
It will result in less stress on the vegetation in the long run, thus encouraging better produce.
Will it be a good idea to try hydroponics at home?
The answer to this question will be yes. It is a fact that plants developed in a hydroponic planter system will provide you with lots of advantages and will also have better yields.
Hydroponics will be a fantastic way to develop plants without using any soil at your own residence.
Frequently asked questions
Why would I make use of hydroponics?
Hydroponic systems will provide us with healthy and fresh food in some locations where it might be difficult to find these types of products. In this way, it’ll be feasible to provide food to individuals residing in a desert as well.
What kind of plants can be grown in a hydroponic planter system?
It’ll be possible to grow virtually every kind of vegetable and flower in a hydroponic system although some particular plants such as lettuce, peppers, spinach, cucumbers, and strawberries will be able to grow better.
3. What is the historical background of hydroponics?
It is widely believed that the Egyptians were the first to make use of hydroponics. In fact, hydroponics was started approximately 2,000 years ago. Apart from the Egyptians, it is also possible to trace hydroponics to the Roman Empire and Asia. One glaring example of a hydroponically-grown garden is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.