Hydroponics saves between 70-90% more water than soil, as water is recirculated and reused. There are additional benefits: Crops may yield up to three times that of traditional gardening.1 For nutritional value, hydroponic vegetables may contain up to 50% more A, B, C and E vitamins than conventional crops.2 This indoor method is not seasonally-dependent, eliminating weather concerns. Of additional benefit, as there are no soil-borne pests, hydroponics reduces the need for pesticides. It also uses 60% less fertilizer than traditional methods.

Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants in water rather than in soil. Conditions for growing rely on a controlled environment for temperature and lighting. Hydroponics can grow many things, from fruits and vegetables to herbs and flowers; however, tomatoes, herbs and leafy greens, such as lettuce, are the most popular.

The history of hydroponics can be traced back thousands of years. The hanging gardens in Babylon were believed to be a soil-less system.  The Aztecs made advancements to hydroponics when they were forced to relocate to Tenochtitlan, built on the islands of Lake Texcoco. Out of necessity, they learned how to grow food directly in the water surrounding their city.

There are six different types of hydroponic systems: wick system, water culture, ebb & flow, drip systems, aeroponics and nutrient film technique. To learn more about each system, please visit www.simplyhydro.com.

Hydroponic systems may be developed for home use. The link below provides step-by-step instructions: www.jasons-indoor-guide-to-organic-and-hydroponics-gardening.com/homemade-hydroponics-2.html

As with dryland farming, hydroponic growing invites an environmentally-friendly approach while providing nutritious crops. Both techniques help to overcome the challenge of volatile weather conditions. Environmentally sound, they allow the grower to make a vital contribution.

1-    FAQ. “Myth: Hydroponics is bad for the environment.” Web. 7 Dec. 2015. www.simplyhydro.com/f_a_q.htm#hydroponics_is_bad_for_the_environment
2-    HWP Insurance. “Conserving Water with Gardens of the Future.” 31 Oct. 2014    .  Web. 7 Dec. 2015. http://hwpinsurance.com/conserving-water-gardens/


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