Hydroponic gardening has become an extremely popular hobby as well as a very profitable business when all aspects of the methods are carried out correctly. Hydroponic gardening can be a very simple and easy way of growing plants once the basics are clear.
As opposed to growing in soil, Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants using minerals and salts in a water based solution either in the solution alone or planted in an inert growing medium. When the general basics of Hydroponics are learned and a correctly working Hydroponic system is set up, Hydroponic gardening can become a very productive method of growing almost any plants as well as being a profitable income producing business when undertaken on a larger scale.
The various Hydroponic systems that are used for Hydroponic gardening are all based on the basic same plant physiology. Plants grown in soil must send out an extensive root system to search for the much needed minerals and nutrients that they need to survive and grow and produce flowers and fruit.
In Hydroponic gardening this is not the case.In Hydroponic gardening a constant supply of Hydroponic nutrient solution is available to the plants at all times so they can concentrate on top growth and not necessarily on root growth. Hydroponic gardening not only supplies all the needed nutrients that makes the plants thrive but also supplies increased levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide that helps speed up the uptake of nutrients but also none of the bad things that soil can create like viruses, diseases and insect problems.
These are essentially eliminated in Hydroponic gardening methods when done correctly.
There are several Hydroponic systems in use today for Hydroponic gardening depending on how and what you grow. There is NFT, Ebb and Flow, Top Feed, Aeroponic and others. Each Hydroponic system is a variation of the basic principles of Hydroponic gardening. A further look at the different hydroponic systems available can be found in another section of this site.
The word "HYDROPONIC" is derived from the Greek words "HYDRO" which means water and the word "PONOS" which means labour or work. In that sense it translates to "WATER WORK" which is an accurate description of what this method of plant growing really is.
Research has shown that Hydroponic gardening was practiced between 1200 bc and 1521 and by the ancient Aztec people at the Floating Gardens of Lake Tenochtitlan, Mexico. Research also shows that Hydroponic gardening was also practiced around 550 bc by the ancient Babylonians at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Of course they did not have the modern nutrient solutions that are available today but they used similar basic methods of Hydroponic growing of plants.
The first book ever written on soilless plant growing was in 1627 by Sir Francis Bacon and then again in 1699 by author John Woodward. The first hydroponic nutrient solutions were perfected in Germany in 1860. It was not until the early 1900's that plant physiology had further evolved and it was discovered that soil was not needed to sustain plant life.
Researchers found that if the correct amount of mineral nutrients were to be supplied as a constant liquid solution alone plants would thrive. In many cases plants grow many times faster and larger with Hydroponic gardening that when grown in soil. NASA has conducted much research on the possibilities of growing plants in outer space.
Hydroponic gardening methods today have been perfected to the point where fruit production has been increased immensely. Enormous crop loads have been produced over and over again commercially and at the hobby level with Hydroponic gardening. A large reason for this success is when Hydroponic gardening is used; the ability to re-create the same perfect growing conditions and effects can be carried out. Hydroponic gardening utilizes controllable nutrient solutions, carbon dioxide introduction, light and weather, all elements that cannot be controlled in old style conventional farming methods