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A Guide to The Secret World of Hydroponic Cultivation

By: Carl Formby

So you're interested in hydroponics but aren't quite sure where to start? Here's a little guide to give you the basics, including the meaning of the word "hydroponics" so that you know what you're doing when you go online to order your first hydroponics kit. Essentially there are four main elements to hydroponics, which are water culture, aggregate culture, continuous flow systems and aeroponics. This article will give a quick overview of these elements and look at the main advantages to growing via a hydroponics system.

So what is hydroponics? Hydroponics is derived from the Latin words "hydro" and "geoponics" meaning water and study of agriculture respectively. Hydroponics as a method of cultivation follows a very radical approach in that it believes that soil is inessential for cultivation of crops, and all that is needed is water and a non-soil base for the plants to grow in, or in some cases just water in total. With this system plants can be grown by this method in arid areas and in large cities where there is very little land by using alternative mediums to provide the necessary nutrients and minerals to the plant.

The different types of hydroponics system of cultivation are as follows:

1. Water Culture or Aquaculture. In this system the roots of the plants are immersed in water, which has a mixture of various nutrients.

2. Aggregate Culture. In this system the plant is supported by some material like sand, marble or gravel and the required nutrients are supplied from time to time. It is important to remember here that unlike soil these materials do not absorb nutrients from the roots of the plants.

3. Continuous Flow Hydroponics System. This type of system is used in commercial cultivation. Here water and nutrients are continuously supplied to the plant with the help of a tray and also a timer that fixes the amount of time for which the required materials will be given to the plants.

4. Aeroponics. This is a very interesting method as here the roots of the plants are made to hang in the air and they are misted regularly with a solution that is composed of minerals and nutrients.

So what are the benefits of this method of cultivation? Many researches and studies have already established that the hydroponics system of cultivation is more effective and has many advantages. The first advantage is that plants grow much faster under this method as compared to the soil system. The yield of the plants from hydroponics is higher than other methods of cultivation. This method also uses much less water, and so in arid areas and wherever there is a shortage of water this method is a huge success. Further there are also fewer cases of insects and other pests damaging the crops in this method of cultivation. This is something covered in more detail at the website http://www.gardenhydroponics.com.

But the greatest advantage of this system of cultivation, especially when done in greenhouses, is that there are no growing limitations caused by weather. Weather is the huge factor that determines the growth of a crop. But in the hydroponics system of cultivation weather has almost no role to play.

As you can see, the basics of hydroponics are not that complicated. With its ability to grow plants with little water supply and with practically no reliance on the weather, hydroponics is a great way to cultivate whatever crop you fancy. And the great thing is that a hydroponics kit is enough to get you started and these are readily available at many online retailers. As the process of hydroponics growing becomes more well-known, it seems certain that more people will turn to this radical method of cultivation.

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