Growing Plants Without Soil: the Practice of Hydroponics

The growing of plants without soil is called Hydroponics. It is widely used to grow lush, healthy indoor plants and good quality vegetables, fruits and herbs. Plants absorb nutrients as simple ions in water. The nutrients in the soil dissolve in water and the plant roots absorb them. When the plants get adequate nutrients, the soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive. With the use of proper nutrients and the right artificial light source, an indoor gardener can achieve amazing results. A complete controlled environmental agriculture system should have controlled light, temperature, water, CO2, oxygen, pH and nutrients.

Hydroponics is simple and efficient. On alternate days a pH check is done and the water level is topped up. The nutrient is changed every 7 – 12 days. To turn the light and garden on and off automatically, a timer is often used. Amongst the different forms of Hydroponics, deep water is the purest form since the roots are directly exposed to the nutrient solution. “Deep Water” systems use a small air pump to keep the solution well oxygenated.

Another method of Hydroponics is the Ebb & Flow or Flooding & Draining systems. The root system and growing mediums like Rockwool are soaked at specific intervals. The Ebb & Flow method makes it easier to cultivate plants in minimal space. In Deep Water Culture (DWC), the roots are allowed to drop down into an aerated nutrient solution. This solution is aerated with the help of standard aquarium pumps and sir stones. The solution must be topped up from time to time. Drip feeding is similar to Ebb & Flow, except that the pump delivers a continuous tickle of nutrients and water. The emitters run 5 to 10 minutes every hour.

Another method of Hydroponics is Wick feeding, where the plant draws water with the help of a wick which runs from the base of the plant container to a bottle of nutrient feed solution. Through capillary action, the solution travels up to the plant through the wick. In Raft cultivation, plants are inserted inside sheets of expanded polystyrene with the roots hanging down through the holes. The sheet is then floated in a shallow tank of nutrient solution. In Nutrient film technique (NFT), the plants grow through light-proof plastic films placed over shallow, gently sloping channels. The roots grow into dense mats with a thin film of nutrients passing over them. Aeroponics is a class of Hydroponics where the roots of a plant are suspended in a midst or fog of nutrient rich solution.

Different media are used for Hydroponics. Expanded clay, Rockwool, Coco coir, Perlite, Vermiculite and Oasis root cubes are some of them. Due to constant problems of chemicals and other contaminants in the food supply, people are looking for a safer alternative. Hydroponics fits the requirement appropriately.

In What Ways Led Lights are Superior to HID Lights?

In those days, sodium vapor lamps and metallic halide bulbs were largely used in houses. Nowadays, these lamps have been replaced by led lighting which is durable and affordable. When it comes to indoor equipments, still people use sodium bulbs in bathrooms and kitchen. Led lights are extensively preferred form of lighting in industries and factories at places where clear light effect is required. That apart, these white lights found its usage in vehicles as beam lights, in signboards and signals in roads and hospitals, and also in airports in the runway and many other places.

What is LED
Switch to LED lighting and light a healthy environment
Using light emitting diode lamps it is possible to create beautifully colored lamps emitting particular frequency of color shade. In other words, the required intensity of lighting is previously programmed into the light, thus saving more energy. Ultimately this would drastically reduce your monthly current bill. You can now use minimal lighting at places where you do not require much lighting such as garden, toilet and kitchen. This method of utilizing minimal energy is not possible with high intensity diode lamps. Hence it can be said that HID lamps will automatically consume more power, contributing to increased electricity usage.

Though it is true that light emitting diodes are expensive when compared to the traditional HID lamps, still it is a onetime investment, and it can bring down your monthly current bills drastically. If you compare the figures of monthly usage of both the bulbs for a year, then you will understand the advantages of light emitting diode lamps and fittings.

The usage of powerful lights is not limited to just home alone. In most of the offices you can find current saving bulbs and lamps. In a typical corporate sector, these lights would create the required ambience of lighting by its resourceful powering capacity. Several hotels and restaurants also use the LED lights at various watts for highlighting the environment thereby improving the sales and profit. Some business depends entirely on these light emitting diodes for enhancing their sales. You can find different colors of the lighting effect in aquariums, in jewelry shops, in apparel stores and in several other retail outlets. In mining industry, workers have to ultimately depend on powerful lights which are capable of producing enough heat and warmth required for sustaining life.

In addition to this, Led lighting is visually quite appealing for us. In addition, it can be used in gardens as well, for providing optimal lighting required for photosynthesis to take place, in poor weather conditions.

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