The roots of the plants are grown in an inert medium such as gravel, clay or pebbles.
In the 18th century, they discovered that plants can be grown without soil by absorbing essential mineral nutrients in water. The plants will naturally grow roots! The mineral nutrients need to dissolve in water and so that plant roots can absorb them. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant's water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for almost all plants to thrive.
Factoid! The word "hydro" derives its name from the Greek word "ύδορ" (hudor) meaning water, hence hydroculture = water culture, just in case you were wondering!
Advantages include easy maintenance since watering and feeding involve just topping up the reservoir of the growing solution and some plants will be resistant to types of soil-borne insects.
Some systems contain more air space than more traditional potting mixes, which allow air to reach the roots. This is key in preventing root rot. Another key advantage, is that in our dry winters, a passive hydroponic system will add humidity through evaporation, a much needed relief for nasal passages and dry skin conditions.
For your Home
Light, the amount is important.
water, pebbles… Your indoor garden can be amazing, so you have to choose what plants, herbs, or food will be grown indoors. This will help you decide what type of growing media to use.
Water and Nutrients:
Providing the water and nutrients (fertilizer) for your plants is your last step and the easiest. Just water your plants and watch them grow!
If you live in a cold climate, it is only the summer months that you can use your balcony or garden if you own a house or share a community plot.
Local solutions will help as the population on our lovely planet continues to grow.
It will also help your wallet!!
Since land is at a premium, we now have rooftop gardens and greenhouses using hydroponic methods in many cities around the world.
Hyrdoponics is alive and well. This photo shows the farmers from Myanmar's Intha tribe picking tomatoes from a floating garden in Inle Lake. These gardens are probably similar to the ones cultivated by the Aztecs on Lake Tenochtitlan.
During the 10th and 11th centuries, the Aztecs developed a system of floating gardens based on hydroponics. Unable to grow crops on the lake's marshy shore, they built rafts out of reeds and roots. These rafts were topped with a bit of soil from the bottom of the lake, and then floated out to the center of the water.
The famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, are largely believed to have functioned according to hydroponic principles. The area was dry and the arid but the lush gardens were watered using a chain pull system, which carried water up from the river and allowed it to trickle down to each step or landing of the garden structure.
Grow it Yourself: Hydroponic Gardening in Your Home And as Martha Stewart says, You can build your own hydroponic garden using recycled materials or purchase a kit from Windowfarms, an organization that was featured at the recent World Maker Faire in New York.