Although hydroponic greenhouse gardening may have many benefits for individuals and food producers, the term may not be familiar to the public in general. Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants and vegetables in water, fortified with inorganic nutrients. The greenhouse would be the environment and shelter for your hydroponic gardening. In a controlled, greenhouse environment, you can optimize the nutritional value and yield of the garden.
For a bit of perspective, farmers practicing conventional methods of farming first prepare their fields, and then they grow their crops in the fertilized soil. Typically it would take enormous amounts of water as well as chemical pesticides. Science constantly came up with new ways to produce higher yields, but the lowered nutritional value and chemicals in the produce, made it less desirable for public consumption.
The negative effects of herbicides, pesticides, and other toxins in the produce, caused the public to become much more interested in the methods of organic farming, which produces food in a healthy way. Soon, grocery markets would have organic produce available for consumers. In many cities throughout the United States, communities have farmer’s markets, where consumers can buy super-healthy, super-delicious fruits and vegetables.
But in addition to the methods of organic farming, the emerging technologies of hydroponics began to emerge. And over a period of several decades, stores providing gardening supplies began to also carry a wide variety of products for hydroponic gardening.
One of the goals of hydroponic gardening was to maximize the nutritional value of the produce, and at the same time, increase the yield producible within a certain amount of area. Within a short period of time, it was demonstrated that the yield as well as the nutritional value could be greatly increased. And the only basic requirements needed to get optimal results were water with inorganic nutrients dissolved in it. This environment was perfect for the root system to receive its nourishment, and for the crops to flourish.
With hydroponic greenhouse gardening, all of the supplies and equipment are stored in the greenhouse for convenience. It is set up to facilitate the preparation of the nutrient solution fed to the plants. It is also a controlled environment where the temperature and other factors can be optimized.
In order to demonstrate the production capability of hydroponic gardening, a study was conducted to compare the growth of tomatoes against conventional methods. The tomatoes grown in soil were able to yield roughly ten tons. But the tomatoes using hydroponics was able to produce more than 60 tons. This conclusively demonstrated that hydroponic gardening yields more than 6 times the amount produced by conventional growing methods.
Hydroponics is capable of growing any type of plant. And certain types of vegetables will yield a higher crop than others. But the amount of time required to reach harvesting is much shorter with hydroponics, compared to the conventional method. And that huge time savings translates into many economic benefits for the farmer and the consumer.
And because the water environment is free of unwanted or nuisance plants, like weeds, etc, or plant diseases, it’s a huge time saver, which increases the ability of the farmer to make a profit, and the consumer gets a better price as well. Surprisingly, hydroponic gardening does not use a great deal of water, because most of it is reused.
In regards to the hydroponic greenhouse, because it is an enclosed shelter, the plants must be supplied with proper sunlight and carbon dioxide, for maximum growth. The way this condition is solved is by having grow lights and conditioning the air with carbon dioxide.
Another method of cultivating crops in a hydroponic greenhouse is called deep water culture. It is implemented by raising the roots of the plants in the air, and a pump releases air out to help it to grow. For grapes and other crops, this method of growth is very effective.
Aeroponics is another method, very much like deep water culture. The only difference is that the air and nutrients a blended and delivered in a foggy mist, which also effectively nourishes the plants.
As you can see, there are many possibilities for hydroponic greenhouse gardening. Like most things, if you’re interested, just start out small. Find a few plants that you really like, and discover the best practices for growing them all the way to harvest. And finally, share your experiences. Let’s change the world, one gardener at a time.