Hydroponics is a system of growing plants without soil, it uses nutrient rich solutions to feed the plants in water. They are often grown with the use of some form of growing medium such as sheep's wool, rock wool, gravel, wood fibre or recycled shredded clothes. There are various ways that you can do this, often it is with the roots of the plant placed into the water but here are some other systems,
Wick System - This has no moving water. From the bottom of the reservoir the nutrients are drawn up through a number of wicks that are placed into the growing medium in order to feed the plants.
Water Culture - The roots of the plant are totally immersed in the nutrient enriched water. An air pump oxygenates the water.
Ebb and Flow System - The growing tray is temporarily flooded by water and nutrients and then drained away and the re-flooded.
Drip System - Plants are grown on a growing medium but are sprayed from above with water and nutrients with the over flow being recovered and recycled.
Nutrient Film Technique - This has a reservoir of water and nutrients which constantly flows through the plant roots.
Using hydroponics especially coupled with the use of specialist lighting means that plants such as salads, tomatoes and peppers can be grown all year round without the limits of climate, or environmental change. It is also proving useful and popular in living walls that can be used in cities to help combat pollution. There is now also a hydroponic farm in tunnels in Clapham, London(www.growing-underground.com). It can also be used in areas such as roof tops, where conventional gardens cannot be used due to the weight of soil.
Do you have an opinion on this subject? Find a question to add your contribution to or ...