Hydroponics is a term used to describe growing plants which are rooted in an artificial medium as opposed to soil. Over the past few decades, gardeners at both commercial and amateur levels have become interested in using this method to grow their plants, which is also sometimes known as nutriculture, soilless culture and water culture amongst others.
Despite an increase in popularity in recent years, the idea of growing plants this way is not entirely new. It is thought that the first experiments in hydroponics are rooted in England in 1699. A gardener known as Woodward attempted to understand whether water or solid soil was responsible for the growth of plants, and by the mid-19th century a method for growing plants without soil had been pioneered and further developed by Sachs and Knop.
The term ‘hydroponics’ was first coined during the early 1930’s, when a scientist called Dr. WF Gericke successfully devised a method for successfully growing plants on a large scale via laboratory techniques of solution culture. Hydroponics is witnessed today on a large scale in commercial plant production, although it is generally employed in areas where the soil is unsuitable for the growth of plants.
There are many reasons why people find hydroponics so fascinating as a hobby. In built up areas where space is scarce, not everybody has the room for a garden area. Hydroponics essentially allows gardeners to grow plants in almost any location and climate. Plants also tend to grow quicker in hydroponic setups, allowing for quicker yields for those growing tomato plants for food purposes, for example – it’s possible to grow mature plants in less than a month. What’s more, feeding plants with plenty of nutrients provides a nutritionally superior crop.
Hydroponics needn’t be an expensive means for the hobbyist horticulturist to grow their plants, either. Simple, effective grow systems can be purchased in our online store at reasonable prices. For those new to growing, our products come with expert advice over the phone and in our Stoke-on-Trent store.