Intensive and profitable cropping in a greenhouse condition is possible after the advent of hydroponics. Hydro-water and pones labour literally meaning water working.
Definition: Science of growing plants without the use of soil, but use of an inert medium such as gravel, sand,
peat, vermiculite, or sawdust to which is added a nutrient solution containing all the essential for normal growth and development
Soilless culture: By W.F. Price in USA in the year 1930
Advantages of Hydroponics Production
1.Much higher yields than those grown in the soil.
2.It can be used in places where ordinary agriculture is impossible.
- Quality of the produce is always superior
Freedom from soil-borne diseases and weeds.
Less cost of management.
Essentially there are three methods by means of which plants may be grown without soil.
(1) Water Culture (Plant root in solution)
(2) Drip Culture (Sand culture, watered with nutrientsolution)
(3) Gravel Culture (Most widely used). It needs the
following accessories of Hydroponics Production:
(1) Nutrient tank : Made of concrete, wood or metal
(ii) Benches: Gently sloping benches made of concrete or wood.
(ifi) Medium: Crushed graphite of irregular shape
(iv) Solutions : Different chemical solutions
Recent improvements in soilless cultures are Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), Tube culture and Aeroponics.
(NFT) is a water culture, plants grown with roots in plastic film through which nutrient solution is constantly circulated.
Tube culture is developed NFT where the nutrient solution is constantly is pumped through PVC dress pipes through which for seedlings are set into the solution flowing along the bottom of PVC
Aeroponics is growing of plants in an opaque trough or supporting containers in which the roots are suspended
and bathed in a nutrient bath mist rather than solution.
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