Friday, June 12, 2009
Hydroponic Growing Media
Hydroponics is often defined as "the cultivation of plants in water." Research has since determined that many different aggregates or media will support plant growth; therefore, the definition of hydroponics has been broadened to read "the cultivation of plants without soil."
Growers all over the world are using hydroponic techniques due to the lack of a large water supply or fertile farmland. Home gardeners have used hydroponics on a smaller scale to grow fresh vegetables year round and to grow plants in smaller spaces, such as an apartment or balcony.
Greenhouses and nurseries grow their plants in a soilless, peat or bark-based growing mix. The nutrients then are applied to the growing mix through the water supply. Therefore, this is also a type of hydroponics. Soilless gardening offers many advantages to the home gardener. Since a sterile medium is used, there are no weeds to remove, and soil-borne pests and diseases are minimized, if not eliminated completely.