With the first successful application of hydroponics techniques in the 1930s the stage was set for a paradigm shift in crop production from conventional geoponics or cultivation in soil to hydroponics or soil less cultivation. The first crops to be commercially harvested with hydroponics included tomatoes and peppers, but the techniques were soon successfully extended to other crops such as lettuce, cucumbers and others. It was not long before hydroponics techniques were successfully adapted even to cut flowers production; in fact any plant can today be grown hydroponically.
Commercial Systems Overview
Commercial hydroponics systems can be classified into bare root systems comprising nutrient film technique (NFT), deep flow and aeroponics systems and substrate systems.
Bare root systems do not use media to anchor the plant roots; the roots are left bare while in substrate systems plant roots are anchored in media such as perlite, vermiculite, sawdust, peat etc. Hydroponics is basically all about growing plants in a controlled environment and this is best provided outdoors in greenhouses that can incorporate several means to monitor, regulate and control the environment inside them. For instance, the air entering the greenhouse can be filtered to exclude entry to pests and parasites that can harm plant growth. Such means help provide optimal conditions for plant growth both in and out of season. In fact, hydroponics allows cultivation throughout the year which makes for year round availability of hydroponically grown produce at all major supermarkets across North America. Valued at 2.4 billion dollars … Read More