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Spotlight On: Hydroponics

Scientists are always looking for new and innovative ways to grow plants and cultivate crops that can help to feed a growing population. With this in mind, the science of hydroponics seeks to allow for the cultivation of plants without the use of soil. Read on for everything you need to know about hydroponics.

The History

While it may seem like a relatively new technology, hydroponics can be traced back thousands of years. The famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Floating Gardens of China are early examples of hydroponics. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s when scientists started to experiment more with growing plants and crops without the use of soil.

Research has come a long way since these older techniques were first used, and scientists are now looking to how they could use the technology in space, with NASA extensively researching for its Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS). The hope is that this research will help to further space exploration as it becomes possible to grow plants in space and possibly even on other planets.

Hydroponics

The Way it Works

There are a number of different ways in which hydroponics is used to grow plants. Systems such as the wick system are simple and basic, requiring no moving parts. However, there are other, more sophisticated methods that use parts such as pumps to ensure that the roots are constantly supplied with the nutrients they need to survive.

The Benefits

Through the use of hydroponics, food and other plants can be grown in unlikely conditions that may have previously proved unsuitable for growing.

As soil is not used in hydroponics, this means that there is no risk of the transmission of soil-based organisms which could cause disease.

Plants grown using hydroponics have a much faster growth rate – around 30-50% faster than a soil plant. In addition, the yield of the plant is greater. This has exciting implications for the way we farm and cultivate crops and food, particularly in the developing world where growing conditions may be difficult.

Organic hydroponic vegetable garden

The Use of Gas

Food-grade Co2 can be injected into sealed greenhouses which are growing plants through hydroponics. This gas helps to increase the yield of the plants by improving growth and plant fertility.

At Adams Gas, we stock a range of bottles of Co2 for hydroponics, including plant and aquatic plant growth. We provide these Co2 gas bottles rent free, so if you are interested in this service, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

You can call us on 01843 220 596, email us at sales@adamsgas.co.uk or fill out our online contact form and we will be more than happy to advise you further. In the meantime, make sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter where you will be able to keep up to date with all our latest updates.