Hydroponic farming is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. The hydroponic gardener regulates the composition of nutrients in the liquid solution used to water the plants. He/She also regulates the frequency of supplying the nutrients to the plants. Simply, the hydroponic gardener controls the growing environment of the plants. The system is highly automated, of course, but still requires to be well managed.
As stated above, the process is managed, not simply controlled. Therefore, it is water efficient and nutrient efficient, both of which are delivered directly to the plant’s root structure. Because the levels of water and nutrients are monitored, these elements are supplied as and when needed at the required levels. Together, water and nutrients contribute to the success of and rate of growth.
The lighting factor is also critical in crop production. This is achieved by planting out in vertical structures where lighting is maximized while plant density, crowding, and shading are minimized. Present day hydroponic farming embrace the 3-D approach and are grown vertically in multilevel growing beds.
So now we have ideal growing conditions in terms of nutrients, water, and light, plus the ability to grow in the vertical. This adds significantly to the yield per unit area as the growing area is no longer 2-dimensional (2-D) but has become a 3-D concept and design. This maximizes the actual growing area and uses what could have been unutilized areas in enclosed gardening environments.
With a multi-level bedding structure that is movable, plants can now be exposed to ideal lighting at all times throughout the growing period. This controlled and managed growing environment also has significant advantages over traditional farming techniques.