When visiting your relatives or neighbors’ homes, have you ever seen in their yards plants that are cared for without using soil as a planting medium? That’s what hydroponics is called. Or even you yourself have started farming with this technique?
In terms of language hydroponics is a combination of two origins of the word from Greece. Hydro which means water and ponos which means to work with water. In terms of language alone, the technique clearly emphasizes the role of water or nutrients in its application to replace the soil as a planting medium.
The cultivation of this aquatic plant was first popularized by Dr. William Frederick Gerickle in 1936, he is an agronomist of the University of California. Although he initially gave the name to the plant cultivation technique with the term aquaclture but it was changed to hydroponics.
The basic idea is an emphasis on nutrients or those that function as nutrients for plants. Nutrients can be absorbed by plants if there is water that functions as a solvent for these nutrients. Meanwhile, the soil only acts as a planting medium to support growing plants.
However, because the soil is increasingly limited, this hydroponic cultivation technique is one of the solutions in overcoming this problem. For those of you who want to grow crops but do not have enough land to grow, then hydroponics is the right choice. That is why in the yards of houses there are often found plants that are cultivated with hydroponics.
Types of plants that are often cultivated using hydroponics include vegetables such as celery, spinach, kale, lettuce, tomatoes and so on. Even the first experiment from Dr Gerickle was a tomato. With hydroponics the use of pesticides that have a bad effect on the environment can also be eliminated.
In addition, hydroponics is also a practical scientific breakthrough that is important for the advancement of research in space. This is because the soil out there is not as good as the soil on the earth, it can’t even be planted with anything because there are no nutrients in it.
Steps in Plant Cultivation Using Hydroponic Techniques
If you are new to hydroponics and want to learn to do it, here are the steps you can follow and what ingredients to prepare.
- Ingredients that need to be prepared
The material is simple, namely plant seeds, husk charcoal, polybags and trays for seeding.
- Stage 1: Hatchery
The steps are as follows:
- Use the prepared tray as a container for husk charcoal
- Then put the seeds of plants one by one into the planting pit
- Then cover the seeds using husk charcoal by sprinkling them
- To prevent the growing medium from scattering everywhere, water the seeds using a spray
- After that wait until the seeds of the next 2 weeks
- Stage 2: Plant removal
If the seedling is already bi-weekly old, it will usually be characterized by the appearance of complete leaves. If that’s the case, it’s a sign that the seedlings are ready to be transplanted into hydroponic racks. For the process, do it carefully so that the seedlings that have been waiting for two weeks are not damaged and fail to grow.
- Stage 3: Plant Enlargement
After successfully transferring to the hydroponic rack, for the next thing that needs to be done is care for enlargement until it is ready for harvest. Take it easy in hydroponic techniques the treatment of plants is not as difficult as using conventional techniques. What you need to do is pay attention to the availability of water and nutrients in the hydroponic rack which usually uses paralon pipes as a planting medium.
Do at least a routine check once every 3 days. Refill water when it is almost gone and refill water that has been given nutrients or nutrients when it runs out. Keep in mind that raw water or those that already contain nutrients have certain criteria. Among them is the pH of the water is about 5.5 to 6.5, the amount of solid substance dissolved in it is maximum at 150 ppm, and the water temperature ranges from 23-30 degrees Celsius.
In addition to the technical factors already mentioned above, some other factors that greatly influence the success of plant cultivation using hydroponic techniques are the nutrients used, sanitation or cleanliness of the environment in which the plants are cultivated, the type of plants grown, the availability of sun exposure and so on.
Planting medium soil replacement
If previously in the steps of planting using hydroponics the planting medium was husk charcoal to replace the soil, there are actually other planting media that you can use as an alternative solution. Here are some of them that can be used as a planting medium to support plants:
- Husk Charcoal
- Expanded Clay
- Sawdust that you usually find in furniture used furniture making
- Rock wool
- And so on
Types of Hydroponics
Hydroponics itself has several different types, including:
- Static water culture
- Run to waste
- Passive sub irigation
- Deep water culture
- Bubble ponic
- Flood and drain sub irrigation
Advantages of hydroponic growing techniques
Hydroponics certainly has several advantages over cultivation in a conventional way. Here are some of its advantages:
- Definitely do not need soil as a planting medium. This is very helpful in an era that is already very difficult to find vacant land to cultivate crops. You can grow crops in your yard with hydroponic techniques without thinking about expanding the yard land.
- The water used can be useful for other things, for example for an aquarium. This is because the water in the hydroponic system will circulate continuously so it is suitable for aquariums as well.
- The nutrients needed by plants with hydroponic techniques are relatively simpler than the usual method. This also makes the provision of nutrients can be done more effectively, efficiently and of course more environmentally friendly because it does not produce too much pollution or adverse impacts.
- The resulting harvest can be more
- It is easier when harvesting
- More cleanliness and sterilization than using soil media
- The planting media used can be used repeatedly, in contrast to soils whose nutrients are getting thinner and thinner so that the quality decreases
- Relatively free from weeds or parasitic plants that can make plants fail to harvest and harm you
- Plants can grow faster, especially if the nutrients and sun exposure in can be sufficient and ideal
- Make the environment cleaner. Compare if you use soil as a planting medium that can make your yard environment dirty or look messy if the soil is scattered everywhere.
Those are some things you need to know about hydroponics.