Modern Farming

Topics: Hydroponics, Soil, Plant Pages: 12 (3553 words) Published: December 6, 2012

The daily pleasures of gardening are simple, inexpensive and profoundly satisfying. But in the ever-increasingly dense and sprawling cities, gardening on rooftops, patios and balconies is the only way to transform them into livable spaces that are lush, productive and purifying. Imagine picking a head of lettuce that was cultivated in your rooftop, or taking in the morning perfume of a flower in your balcony, or biting into a strawberry warmed by the sun…. Although, many of us in cities nurture this dream but gardening is a very time consuming activity and due to our fast paced and busy lifestyles there is not enough time in our daily lives to realize this dream.   Rooftop gardening through hydroponic technique is a veritable way of life and enables you to take pleasure in new, green spaces that meet the needs for relaxation and leisure… more What is Hydroponics?

Plants are Nature’s greatest factories. Powered by light from the sun, plants combine the earth’s most basic chemical elements with water and gases in the air to create food and energy for growth. Water is the basis of life; every living plant depends on it to thrive. In nature, water acts to recharge the soil with nutrients. When it rains, lifeless plant and animal matter decay. Microorganisms, insects and animals hasten this process by their consumption of plants and excretion of organic wastes. Organic wastes in the soil are biologically decomposed into the basic nutrient salts that plants feed on. In Hydroponics, this natural process is bypassed by providing these basic nutrient salts in a balanced solution form directly to the plant roots. Hydroponics is about enriching water with the very same nutrient salts as found in nature. It is about creating and maintaining a “nutrient solution” that is perfectly balanced for your plants. Why Hydroponics?

Imagine growing a vegetable garden without having to fight the soil. No more worries about too much water; or too little water; or how much fertilizer; or when to fertilize; or the labors of cultivating and weeding to provide just the right soil consistency and texture; and how much space to give each plant to avoid competing for food and water; etc. There are many advantages of growing plants hydroponically;

1. Hydroponic gardens produce the healthiest crops with high yields and are consistently reliable 2. Gardening is clean and extremely easy, requiring very little effort 3. Due to nutrients fed directly to the roots, plants grow faster and with small roots plants may be grown closer. In general hydroponically grown garden needs 1/5 of the overall space when compared with soil gardens 4. Hydroponically grown plants do not come in contact with soil borne pests and diseases thus saves costs of soil preparation, insecticides, fungicides 5. Since the amount of nutrient solution is fed directly to the plant roots, there is no wastage of water due to run off or evaporation Overall, the main advantages of hydroponics over soil culture are - more effectient nutrition regulation, availability in regions of the world having nonarable land, effecient use of water and fertilizers, ease and low cost of sterilization of the medium, and higher density planting, leading to increased yields per acre. Soil and Plant Interrelations

Soil provides four needs to the plant; 1) A supply of water 2) Supply of essential nutrients 3) Supply of Oxygen, and 4) Support for the plant root system. Optimum soil composition must be 25% water, 25% air, 45% mineral matter and 5% organic matter. The soil water is held within the soil pores and together with its dissolved salts makes up the soil solution which is very important as a medium for supplying nutrients to the growing plants Plant rootlets and root hairs are in intimate contact with the soil colloids (particles) present in the soil solution. Ions are exchanged between the soil colloids and the soil solution. Nutrient uptake by the plants’...
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