Researchers discovered in the 19th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water.
In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil dissolve in water, plant roots are able to absorb them.
When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant’s water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive.
Almost any terrestrial plant will grow with hydroponics. Hydroponics is also a standard technique in biology research and teaching.
Some of the reasons why hydroponics is being adapted around the world for food production are the following:
* No soil is needed
* The water stays in the system and can be reused- thus, lower water costs
* It is possible to control the nutrition levels in their entirety- thus, lower nutrition costs
* No nutrition pollution is released into the environment because of the controlled system
* Stable and high yields
* Pests and diseases are easier to get rid of than in soil because of the container’s mobility
Today, hydroponics is an established branch of agronomy. Progress has been rapid, and results obtained in various countries have proved it to be thoroughly practical and to have very definite advantages over conventional methods of horticulture. The two chief merits of the soil-less cultivation of plants are, first, much higher crop yields, and second, hydroponics can be used in places where in-ground agriculture or gardening is not possible.