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Oberlin, Ohio 44074
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What is hydroponics?
The word hydroponic comes from Latin and means "working water." It is the art of growing plants without soil. It really is that simple!
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil. Plants may be grown with the roots in the mineral nutrient solution or only in an inert medium, such as gravel or perlite.
Want to learn more about hydroponics?
Below are some resources and links Tyler recommends (these links to external websites will open in a new window and are not owned by Tyler's Farm LLC):
How does it work?
In a traditional soil-based garden, a plant wastes most of its energy developing a huge root system. Why? Because it has to search far and wide in the soil for its food and water. In hydroponics, it is all delivered directly to the plant's roots. This allows the plant to bypass the soil completely, which is slower and more unpredictable at providing food.
Since it no longer has to search for its food, a plant's growth and energy is redirected to the production of foliage, flowers, fruit or vegetables. The root systems of hydroponic plants are much smaller than those planted in soil, so they can be planted much closer together and a much larger harvest will yield from a smaller space.
The Nutrient Film Technique is the system in which a shallow stream of water flows along the bottom of food-grade tubing providing a water supply that contains oxygenated water and all of the dissolved NPK nutrients needed by the plants.
Is hydroponics natural?
In hydroponics nutrients are provided directly to the plant roots; roots can only take in the purest elements. They don't take in soil, just nutrients. It doesn't matter to the plant where the necessary nutrients and minerals come from, whether it's from the soil or from a hydroponics solution.
In hydroponic gardening, plants are provided with everything they need in all the right proportions and at just the right time, in the most efficient way possible. This is an attempt to grow the "perfect plant," allowing it to reach its full genetic potential. With proper equipment, supplies and dilligent work, the hydroponic plants will come pretty close.
Hydroponics may seem futuristic, but it is not artificial and does not alter nature. It works with nature and helps the natural growing process along. In addition, Tyler's Farm uses no GMO seeds for its produce.
What are the benefits?
Hydroponics is a type of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), defined as a combination of engineering, plant science and computer managed greenhouse control technologies used to optimize plant growing systems, plant quality and production efficiency. CEA systems allow more stable control of the plant environment, inlcuding temperature, light and CO2. CEA also provides separate control of the root-zone environment. CEA provides secure, healthy and cost effective year-round production of many premium edible, ornamental and high value plant species.
Biological control of pests and diseases is a benefit of hydroponic growing. It is a method of controlling pests and diseases in agriculture that relies on using other living organisms rather than introduced chemicals.
Hydroponics offers sustainability through water conservation because the water is constantly recirculating and it uses 70-80 percent less water than traditional soil farming methods. There is also no water run-off produced from hydroponic farming.
Being grown in a hydroponic greenhouse facility allows for consistent sunlight, temperature and humidity--giving ultimate control to year-round higher yields. There are no soil-based contaminants and no animal based fertilizers are used, and the bare-root plants in a hyrdroponic greenhouse are less susceptible to pests, weeds and fungi.