What exactly is hydroponics farming and how does it differ from traditional crop farming methods? In short, a hydroponic system requires no soil whatsoever, as water supply directly provides nutrition to plants.
The absence of soil not only takes out any need for tilling but also eliminates weeds from sprouting up in your crops. This system works by flooding roots with nutrient-rich water and supplies a steady flow of oxygen via a pump to keep these roots healthy.
What is hydroponics?
As the name suggests, hydroponics farming is about raising crops in water. You may ask how can you farm in water? The answer to this question lies in understanding the difference between hydroponics and aquaponics.
Aquaponics is nothing but growing plants using fertilizers dissolved in water collected from fish tanks. Hydroponics farming, on the other hand, allows you to grow your crops without using any fertilizers or any other chemicals at all.
Types of Hydroponic Systems
There are several types of hydroponic systems and each type uses different growing mediums and delivers nutrients to plants in different ways. Let’s take a closer look at each type of system
In one-stem, or monster, systems, a single stem is used to grow multiple branches with both leaves and flowers from one central point. Plants can be trained onto stakes or allowed to run along with tables.
This kind of system is ideal for lettuce crops because they don’t require pruning before harvest. Because there are no true tops or bottoms, these models must be turned periodically for even exposure to light and temperature regulation.
These compact setups make them perfect for indoor operations, where space is an issue. For example, strawberries are grown on only one stalk (pictured) occupy just 2% of traditional production space without sacrificing quality or yield when compared to conventional production methods!
These multi-branch systems use plastic material that has been etched into channels that hold net pots full of growing media where plant roots can develop. When you first see multi-leaf systems, they may remind you of topiary bushes! They are perfect for tomato or pepper growth—especially if your operation will have thousands of plants to care for.
Growers find it easy to adjust lighting as well as airflow through these kinds of units.
Different from other kinds of hydroponic systems, aeroponics doesn’t involve a growing medium; instead, nutrient solution drips directly onto plant roots suspended over the air without growing medium.