Hydroponics is a type of cultivation without using soil which is increasingly in demand by lovers of botanical art, instead this system uses water as a planting medium. For the fulfillment of sources of nutrients, this type of plant cultivation technique usually uses organic fertilizers derived from manure.
A Brief History of Hydroponic Planting Systems
The soilless planting system was originally published in a book entitled Sylva Sylvarum by Francis Bacon in 1962. After that, the hydroponic planting system became increasingly popular with various kinds of further research.
In 1699 a British geologist, John Woodward discovered that plants that use less pure water sources grow better when compared to the use of pure water.
Then in the years 1859 to 1865, Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop who were two botanists of German origin developed a soilless planting system along with its nutritional formula.
In 1937, William Frederick Gericke of the University of California Berkeley coined the term hydroponics on the advice of an American botanist William Albert Setchel. After that, this water-based planting system is also growing with various kinds of innovations to date.
How Hydroponic Systems Work
The planting system, known as soilless culture, has a simple way of working, just provide the basic needs of plants such as planting media, temperature, light, nutrients and environmental conditions. This planting technique provides nutrient water that can be adapted to a particular type of plant and allows all processes to be well controlled.
Tools and Materials For Hydroponic Systems
There are several tools that need to be prepared in this soilless planting system, including:
- Plant Seeds
Plant seeds are the main material needed, make sure to choose quality but economically valuable plant seeds for good and fertile plant yields
Some fertilizer options that are suitable for this type of plant cultivation technique include organic fertilizer derived from livestock manure such as fish, chickens or goats. Organic fertilizers from animal manure contain many elements phosphorus and sodium which play a role in accelerating the process of growing plants. In addition, the use of ABmix nutrients is also very suitable for planting systems without soil.
The container serves as a place to collect water and nutrients for plants. The containers used are usually made of plastic materials, such as tubs and paralon pipes
Netpot is a small-sized plant pot and has holes in its lower part. In addition to using netpots, used cups or bottles made of plastic that have been cut down can also be used as a planting medium
Rockwool is made of volcanic rock that is processed into foam with wool-like fibers. Compared with other growing media, rockwool can store water and air in a more suitable composition ratio.
- PH Meters
The PH meter serves to check the acidity level of the nutrient solution so that plants can grow vigorously.
- Panel Axis
The axis of the panel can absorb large amounts of water so that it can be used as a nutrient channel for plants
7 Types of Hydroponic Techniques
There are 7 types of soilless planting techniques that need to be known, namely:
- Teknik Wick
The Wick technique is a planting technique using a high absorbency axis that serves as a link between plants and nutrients
- Fertigation Technique
This technique is a way of planting that focuses on the fertilization and watering process that is carried out at once for a certain period of time
- Technical Aeroponics
Aeroponic Technique is a farming technique that is carried out by spraying a nutrient solution onto the roots of plants that are left hanging in the air
- Teknik NFT
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is a type of hydroponic system that flows nutrient solutions through plant roots with a flow thickness resembling a roll film.
- Technology Ebb Flow
This tana technique is carried out by draining nutrient water and oxygen from the reservoir to the roots of the plant using a pump equipped with a timer.
- Teknik Floating Raft
The planting technique, better known as the floating raft technique, uses stereoform base materials that function to float plants on top of the nutrient solution.
- Teknik Dutch Bucket
The Dutch Bucket technique generally uses a pot or bucket to drain the nutrient solution from the top of the pot to the root part of the plant with the help of a pump. For circulation of the flow of nutrients, the side of the pot is hollowed out and installed with a pipe as an intermediate medium.
Some Factors Supporting the Fertility of Hydroponic Plants
Basically plants and grow anywhere as long as their needs and environmental circumstances are favorable. Here are some factors supporting plant fertility in planting techniques using water:
- Water Conditions
Before mixing with nutrients or organic fertilizers, the water used for this soilless planting system should have a PPM (Part per Million) size below 100. To measure it requires a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter tool. Water sources can be obtained from wells and rainwater.
- PH balance
In order for the nutrient solution to be optimally absorbed by plants, a PH meter tool is needed to regulate the PH balance. If the ph of nutrition is not balanced the plant will experience slow growth.
- Ideal Temperature
The ideal temperature to increase the productivity of plant growth ranges from 23 to 26oC.
During the rainy season the light required for the growth of plants in the room will decrease, for which it is necessary to adjust the light by using LED lamps with an electrical power of at least 13 watts. Put the LED lamp 30 cm away from the plant.
- Air Change
In addition to requiring carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis, plants also need oxygen for the respiration process, therefore it is necessary to make good ventilation so that air exchange occurs both for day and night.
- Mineral Content
In order for the plant to flourish requires certain minerals that are absorbed through the roots. Minerals that are good for plants can usually be obtained from compost or manure.
Advantages of Using Hydroponic Planting Methods
The planting technique using water has several advantages when compared to other types of planting techniques, namely:
- It can be done indoors, as it uses water as its growing medium
- It does not require a large quantity of water because it uses a nutrient circulation system.
- It is suitable to be applied in narrow fields
- The resulting plants are healthier because they do not use chemicals such as pesticides
- Faster and lush plant growth
- The crop is easy to harvest at any time.
- Plants free from pests
Suitable Plants Using Hydroponic Systems
Some types of plants that are suitable for using a planting system without using soil include:
Strawberries, blueberries, watermelons, melons, grapes and others
Lettuce, mustard greens, kale, chilies, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and many more
Sunflowers, keladi, sri fortune, orchids, daffodils, freesia, and other types of flowers
- Herbaceous Plants
Basil, mint, chamomile, celery and others.
Thus the explanation of the hydroponic planting system that can be a consideration for lovers of botanical art. In addition to being more practical, this type of cultivation of plants does not require large areas of land.