Hydroponics is booming, so it is not unusual that, lately, you have heard about it in different ways. If you still don’t know what this method is, or if you already have certain clues, but want to dig a little deeper and get all the juice out of it to produce your own 100% natural food, we address all the keys, or the 5 W, of hydroponic cultivation: what it is, how it works, when to create your hydroponic garden, who can do it, where and, crucially, why opt for this growing system over the traditional one.
What is hydroponic cultivation.
So as not to get involved with overly technical explanations, we’ll get to the point. Hydroponic cultivation is one that totally dispenses with the land to grow food. Why? You may be wondering. Well, because it is not necessary, and because doing so avoids some of the classic problems of traditional cultivation, in addition to the need to use pesticides.
Thus, a hydroponic garden will work with the roots in suspension and with varied supports that can go from the bark, to the gravel or the foam. To the above, of course, is added the water that, in this case, is accompanied by the nutrients necessary for the crops to prosper.
How is a hydroponic garden.
To say that there is a type of hydroponic cultivation in every garden created from this technique is an exaggeration, but not so much. The options are really open and, in addition, they do not stop growing with new proposals. However, it is possible to speak of two clear typologies.
On the one hand there is the method that simply uses water and the nutritional elements that crops need, such as Deep Water Culture. In the latter type, one of the cheapest and easiest to enable at home, the roots are suspended in an oxygenated solution of water and nutrients.
On the other hand, there are the techniques that do rely on a solid medium. If you choose this route, you can choose from many alternatives. There are those that go to substrates of organic origin, such as bark or moss remains and, also, those that are inclined towards inorganic options such as foam or sand.
When to go for hydroponics.
Basically anytime you decide. In addition, as you will see when you get to why choose this method, one of the strengths of this type of cultivation compared to the conventional one is that the season extends throughout the year.
Who can dare with hydroponics.
The range in this sense is so wide that it goes from professionals to any ordinary citizen. In addition, for this type of crops, the options are open to people who, due to the lack of space in their homes, could not even consider creating their own urban home garden.
In relation to the how, but more in practice, anyone can set up their DIY hydroponic growing area or, if they prefer, search the market for the alternative that best suits them. And they are not few. The hydroponic gardens Household IKEA, the krydda / VÄXER series offer one of the possibilities that fit all those who want to embark on growing their own food, even without any experience in this field.
Nano Garden, launched by Hyundai Engineering, is another option that enables cultivation in the kitchen of virtually any home. To the above are added many more, such as Niwa OWE, a completely automated system designed by a Spanish startup . With this alternative, greenhouse technology is made available to any home, to enable a smart growing area in it.
Where to create a hydroponic garden.
If you have taken a look at the previous proposals you will see that the answer to this question has few limits. Virtually any site is good and offers enough room for a hydroponic crop. In the case of Niwa OWE, for example, the mini option allows you to stock fresh and safe products only with a space of 68 centimeters high, by 49 in length and 35 in depth.
If you don’t even have that free hole, even urban windows are good. One sample is offered by the Windowfarm project, which promotes the ‘ if you have a window, you have an urban garden ‘. However, not all hydroponic growing has to be vertical, indoors, or in tight spaces. Proof of this is offered by this home hydroponic system with 168 plants, which will give a lot of play for healthy and safe food.
Why go hydroponic?
Reasons, of course, are not lacking. Some of the most outstanding, in addition to the greater efficiency regarding the necessary space, are the following:
– Stability of productions throughout the year.
– Saving of resources, mainly water thanks to the reuse of it.
– Safer food due to the absence of chemical products and risks of diseases that occur on earth.
– More chances of success of the crops due to their lower vulnerability to external elements such as, for example, inclement weather.
In addition to the above, the regeneration of the soil and the advantages of having a home garden are added, which are not few. The reunion with nature, saving and, fundamentally, the guarantee that the food you eat is healthy and safe are aspects that make the difference between those who have a garden at home, both on land and hydroponic, an option each more and more widespread.