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Hydroponics Department Technological Studies High Point Regional High School

What is Hydroponics • Hydroponics comes from the Latin language and it means working water. • "hydro" means "water" • "ponos" means "labor". Soil less growing!

Plant Needs What is needed for a plant to survive? • Water • Sunlight • Air • Nutrients (usually soil) • Anchorage (root system)

Soil Less Growing? What is used as a growing media is soil isn’t present? - Gravel -Rockwool - Sand -Styrofoam Vermiculite - Anything Inert!

History The process of hydroponics growing in our oceans goes back to about the time the earth was created. Hydroponic growing preceded soil growing.

History • One of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. • Hanging gardens of Babylon, somewhere in (Iraq) The gardens were built in 604-562 BC by Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife who grew up in the mountains.

History Floating gardens of the Aztecs of Mexico A nomadic tribe, Roughly treated by their more powerful neighbors, denied any arable land, the Aztecs survived by exercising remarkable powers of invention. Since they had no land on which to grow crops, they determined to manufacture it from the materials at hand

History • Egyptian hieroglyphic records date back several hundred years B.C. describe the growing of plants in water." Hydroponics is hardly a new method of growing plants. However, giant strides have been made over the years in this innovative area of agriculture.

Why????? Q. Why have scientists and horticulturists experimented with different methods of hydroponics? A. It is a simple fact that some people cannot grow in the soil in their area (if there is even any soil at all).

Advantages Faster GrowthGrowth- Hydroponics works by automatically getting the complete nutrient mixture and water to the roots without drowning the plant. Plants get everything they need all the time, so they do not waste growing a lot of roots or searching for nutrients.

Advantages No Weeds or PestsPests- Gardening without soil eliminates the weeds do you do not need weed sprays. Also, because there are no weeds, there will be no backache from a hoe or rototiller. Since most pests live and breed in the soil, you do not need to use pesticides or other toxic chemicals.

Advantages Great Plant Quality and TasteTaste- Since the plants get everything it needs, all the time, it will reward you with great taste, strong and fast growth, and overall plant quality.

Advantages Grow in Any ConditionCondition- Systems may be constructed and used in any location from space to under water exploration. Smaller Growing Area

Disadvantages • Cost of initial investment on hydroponic systems is high. • Hydroponic production is management, capital and labor intensive. • A high level of expertise is required. • Daily attention is necessary. • Specially formulated, soluble nutrients must always be used. • Pests and diseases remain a big risk. • Some water born diseases can spread rapidly in recirculation system.

Passive vs Active • Passive systems (no moving parts) are great for beginning hydroponics gardeners because they are inexpensive, portable, and simple to set up. • Active systems employ pumps and other devices to deliver nutrient solutions to plant roots.

Plant Tissue Culturing Process Capillary System (passive) The capillary or wick system do not use pumps or timers. Water and nutrients are drawn up to the roots by capillary action. These systems may be important when designing a system to operate in a space station where gravity is nonexistent.

Plant Tissue Culturing Process Flood and Drain System (active) Most versatile. Each time the water floods from the lower reservoir into the upper growing tray, the roots are bathed in the fresh nutrients. When the nutrient drains back to the reservoir, fresh air is drawn through the root system refreshing oxygen to the roots.

Plant Tissue Culturing Process Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) The NFT systems provide a constant film of water and nutrients along the bottom of a channel. In effect, part of the roots grow down in the water/ nutrients and parts of the roots above the water line getting fresh air and oxygen

Lighting Lightening determines what you can grow. Some plants such as vegetable require direct sunlight. Plants such as violets need indirect sunlight. High Intensity Discharge (HID) Most cost effective to operate and have an extremely long life. -High High Pressure Sodium Provides more of the red/orange spectrum, great for flowering and fruiting. -Metal Metal Halide Provides more blue/green spectrum for vegetative growth Fluorescent very inefficient and must be kept close to the plants.

History of Hydroponics