I first bumped into hydroponics some years ago and became really interested about it. Hydroponics combines my passions for tech and plants. I read a lot about it and learned that the hydroponics is used from greenhouses to NASA spacecrafts, it is an evolving technique that can have a huge impact on how food is produced in the future.
Here is why: hydroponics uses 80 % less water and nutrients and grows up to three times faster than soil-grown plants.
At first, I was wondering how is it possible for hydroponics to do all of this? But it is quite simple. Hydroponic method uses water-nutrient solution instead of soil to provide plant substances needed for its growth.
The system uses water and nutrients efficiently because the nutrient solution circulates. The hydroponic system pumps the same water and nutrients to the roots, over and over again. The hydroponic systems are also usually covered so that the water can’t evaporate away.
Fast growth of the plants is also explained by the use of the nutrient solution, it provides a direct way to plants to get nutrients and water. With hydroponics, we can guarantee that the plant has everything it needs, and this makes it easier for the plant to get all the crucial nutrients from liquid medium than from soil.
Knowing the wonders of the hydroponic method, it didn’t take long until I started to build my own growing systems. There are multiple different ways to do hydroponics and some of my experiments were simply bad and some of them were OK.
Plantui Smart Garden uses so-called Ebb and Flow technique, which is an active form of hydroponics. Ebb and Flow, this refers to the tides of the ocean, the water rises and goes down. Roots are not submerged in the water all the time and this provides oxygen to roots. Plant roots need oxygen to stay healthy and to gather water and nutrients for the plant.
However, in my experiments creating my own hydroponic systems, the biggest problem was usually the user experience … to say in other words, they were too complex and hard to maintain and use, exactly opposite what hydroponics is meant to be.
The word Hydroponics comes from, Greek words ‘hydro’ meaning water and ‘ponos’ meaning work. Simply put, the water does the work! Hydroponics should be easy. You should be able to let the hydroponics do the work and just enjoy the results.
Now all the hydroponic systems I build, have been decommissioned. And it’s because of Plantui. The simplicity and ease of use of Plantui Smart Garden was superior to my own versions of hydroponics. It really does the work! But still, I’m proud of all my experiments, sometimes we learn the best by experimenting, through trial and error :)
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Additional material: How Hydroponics work
Khan, F. A. A Review a Hydroponic Greenhouse Cultivation for Sustainable Agriculture. J. Agric. Environ. Food Sci. 2, 59–66 (2018).
Drew, M. C. Soil aeration and plant root metabolism. Soil Science, 154(4), 259-268(1992).