Thursday, July 16, 2009
Hydroponics is a technology for growing plants in nutrient solutions (water and fertilizers) with or without the use of artificial medium (e.g., sand, gravel, vermiculite, rockwool, peat, coir, sawdust) to provide mechanical support. Liquid hydroponic systems have no other supporting medium for the plant roots: aggregate systems have a solid medium of support.
Hydroponic systems are further categorized as open, where after the nutrient solution has been delivered to the plant roots, it is not reused; or closed where surplus solution is recovered, replenished, and recycled. The definition of hydroponics has been confined to liquid systems only, which blurs statistical data and leads to underestimation of the extent of the technology and its economic implications. All hydroponic systems in temperate regions of the world are enclosed in greenhouse-type structures to provide temperature control, reduce evaporative water loss, and to reduce disease and pest infestations.