Hydroponics: The Future Of Crop Cultivation
With the accelerated depletion of soil fertility and productive land availability, there comes shortage of obtainable agricultural produce to feed the growing population. What might be the possible solution? Emerging problems require smart and feasible solutions and in here one could choose the novel method of growing crops in water smart solution, namely ‘Hydroponics’. Now the question arises what's hydroponics? it's the longer term of crop cultivation during which hydroponic system utilizes the facility of water to grow food where, there comes no need of soil for the age old practice of farming as just in case of traditional cultivation.
Hydroponics are often defined as ‘Growing plants in water smart solutions in place of soil, meaning: soil-less cultivation of plants’. Here, soil doesn't function an anchor to the plants; the roots are brought in direct contact with the nutrient medium. The plants are given enormous oxygen so as to lock the expansion of the plants. And this characteristic of hydroponics, that is, quick growth of plants is the foremost remarkable benefit for adoption. This cultivation offers various other advantages over the normal method which are as follows.
- Uses scientific and calculated methods for growing crops.
- Considers the precise requirements of single plant.
- Controls the nutrition profile of the plant.
- Eliminates use of pesticides.
- Hydroponic farms are located near large cities, providing the consumers with fresh produce.
- Eliminates all soil-borne pests thanks to its characteristic of soil-less nature
- Use of top quality , pre-treated purified water, the produce is safe for consumption in every single way.
- Offers completely residue-free produce to the consumers.
There are various sorts of hydroponics systems available supported simple setting-up, of which seven are commonly used commercially. These systems are:
1. Wick System
Wick system remains the only system of hydroponic production technology which will be wont to grow plants; it are often practically employed by anyone. The wick system eliminates the utilization of aerators, pumps, or electricity. It are often said that it's the sole hydroponic system that doesn’t require the utilization of electricity. The plants are placed directly in an absorbent substance like perlite, vermiculite etc. Nylon wicks are wont to cover the plant before being sent into the nutrient solution. this technique is best for little garden plants and herbs. Plants requiring comparatively less water requirement is grown using this technique .
2. Deep water culture
Deep water culture system may be a simple hydroponic system that places the plant directly within the nutrient solution. this technique makes use of diffuser or air stone to pump oxygen into the nutrient medium.
The best a part of this technique is that the plant roots are directly in-tuned with the nutrient medium making easy absorption of nutrients by the plants leading to quick growth. The system is suitable for any quite plant regardless of their size.
3. Recirculating trouble System
Recirculating trouble system covers the shortcomings of the normal or normal system. this technique doesn’t drain out the nutrient solution, meaning , the answer keeps on circulating throughout the structure. Buckets or containers used are linked to an outsized central reservoir and therefore the nutrient media is circulated from one bucket to a different . The system requires simple addition of water, oxygen followed by calibration of the reservoir.
4. N.F.T. (Nutrient Film Technology)
NFT is that the widely used measurable method of hydroponics system and it contains tubes of channels arranged side by side in rows.It includes an outsized central reservoir containing nutrient solution from where the contents are pumped into slightly slanted channels. This helps within the flow back of excess solution into the reservoir. The nutrient solution flows over the roots of every plant, thereby providing required amount of nutrients.
The system is typically utilized in the cultivation of lettuce and it gives best results for light-weight, fast growing crops.
Flat Bed NFT System
In this sort of NFT, the channel is placed parallel to every other with same elevation from the bottom .
A Frame System
In this type, the channels are arranged during a structure resembling ‘A’ where plants are placed in channels one upon the opposite . this technique accommodates more plants than flat bed type at same space.
5. Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain)
The Ebb and Flow system is usually used for home gardens. Here, the plants are kept in large grow beds made from growth medium like rockwool or perlite. After planting, the grow bed is flooded with nutrient-rich solution till the answer reaches a couple of inches below the highest layer of bed preventing the overflow of the answer .
The pump is fitted with a timer which ensures switching on and off of the pump at regular intervals. After flooding the bed with nutrient solution, the water is
drained out from the bed reverting it back to the pump. this technique is applicable to most sorts of crops including root crops.
6. Drip Systems
Drip systems are highly effective and easy-to-use hydroponic systems that are capable of creating alterations suiting differing types of plants. Here, the nutrient media is circulated to a drip system and is pumped into a tube which directs the answer to the plant base. A drip emitter placed at the top of every tube which controls the quantity of solution supplied to the plant. The flow of the answer are often adjusted consistent with individual plant requirements.
Drip systems are often of circulating or re-circulating type. Circulating systems drip almost constantly and additional solution are going to be sent back to the reservoir. thanks to possibility of alteration, these systems are wont to grow any plant.
7. Dutch Bucket System
In Dutch Bucket system, plants are lined during a row placed in buckets with 1-2plants in one bucket. Drip hoses connected to the water line which runs throughout the length of the system from the pump are placed at each plant using drip emitters, creating a continuing drip.
The system is particularly useful for the cultivation of vine plants also as large plants.
8. Vertical Hydroponic System
Here, the plants are grown in stacks or towers. one tower can easily hold dozens of plants, stacked one on top of the opposite , and every one being fed nutrients through an equivalent system. during this method farms take up 99% less land, making them easier slot in greenhouses.
In vertical hydroponic systems up to 90 percent water is saved effectively. The closed system prevents draining and indoor cultivation in greenhouses can reduce pests, diseases, and issues associated with fickle weather. The system could use natural light or LED lights during a greenhouse.
The technology of Hydroponics suggests a bright the longer term for crop cultivation which at the present , is facing various challenges including pest resurgence, pesticide resistance, poor soil fertility, desertification, unavailability of water for irrigation and degraded arable land. the foremost notable problem faced by the farming community is that the ever changing and unpredictable weather. Taking of these concerns under consideration , the beat one solution remains the adoption of hydroponics since the crops in here are grown in controlled, soil- less environment eliminating the probabilities of climatic challenges, pest attack (soil-borne) and unavailability of land. The technology could also reduce the incidences of soil and pollution to an outsized extend. this technique is also proven to be highly efficient in saving water, thus giving new dimensions to farming, revolutionizing the traditional ideology of agriculture.