Hydroponics could be our best option to food security.

With the unpredictable weather conditions and a decline in arable land, it is clear that people need to become more innovative so as to produce enough food to sustain an increasing population. That notwithstanding, food prices are increasing, persuading households to grow their own cereals, fruits and vegetables.

One way of meeting future food needs could be hydroponics.

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture where crops are grown without soil – using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. The water is enriched with well-balanced nutrients which are essential for plant growth and better yields.

In this farming, plants absorb the nutrients from the water and using sunlight, they produce the output. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel.

Hydroponics can play a vital role in changing the way we think about plant growth and may well be the future of gardening and farming. Hydroponically grown crops use up to 90% less water and 50% less land than traditional farming for the same crops with a yield of four times the amount of crop. 

The crop growth is two times faster than soil based plants as they are fed with the right amount of nutrients, water and oxygen.

Benefits.

The system offers an easy way of growing fruits and vegetables that are healthier and have more nutritive value. With hydroponic gardening you can expect big, better results in short span of time, as nutrients are dissolved in water and directly fed to roots. Gardeners don’t have to worry about – weeding, soil borne diseases, when to fertilise, spraying pesticides, labour for cultivation, tilling, soil texture, etc.

Until 1936, hydroponics was practiced primarily in labs to research plant growth and how the root develops.

There are numerous benefits of hydroponic gardening. Its practice can yield excellent results in short span of time with proper knowledge and techniques. Various environmental concerns, reduction in arable land, and scarcity of water can be easily conquered with the use of hydroponics. It is extremely beneficial for commercial farmers and home gardeners alike.

Hydroponic gardens are simple to maintain both indoors and outdoors. You can relish fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables that will bring you happiness and peace of mind while saving some money.

Its high water efficiency makes hydroponic farming possible in arid environments. Hydroponic growing trays can be stacked on top of one another, and plants can be placed closer side by side than they can in soil, making it vastly more space-efficient than traditional farming.

Key Considerations

While you can grow almost anything hydroponically, some vegetables thrive more in hydroponic systems than others. Choose plants that don’t mind moisture and that don’t get too big for their set up, such as cucumber, tomato, capsicum, strawberry, lettuce and leafy greens.

Also, when setting up a hydroponic garden, depending on the size, sturdiness and root development of the plants to be grown and the structure of the system, one needs to decide whether to use only a solution culture or some sort of a growth medium.

Increasing the use of hydroponics could solve future food problems.

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