The Science of Hydroponics
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- The Importance and Science of Hydroponics Presentation by: Sherry Anne Pancho and KaMele Sanchez
- What are hydroponic systems? The name "hydroponics" derives from the Greek words "hydro," meaning "water," and "pono," meaning "to work." The literal meaning is roughly translated to "working with water." Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants with their roots suspended in water containing mineral nutrients, or simply, growing plants without soil.
- History of Hydroponics 600 BC Hydroponic principles used in the creation of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon 900 & 1000 AD Floating Gardens of the Aztecs in Lake Tenochtitlan Late 1200s Marco Polo records sightings of floating gardens in China 1620s Francis Bacon, British scientist, studies soil-less gardening. Publication of his work sets of a wave of hydroponic research 1699 John Woodward, British scientist, concludes plants grow better in water with nutrients, opposed to distilled water. 1930s William Gericke, Berkeley scientist, demonstrates the benefits of soil-less gardening. Credited for giving hydroponics its name. 1938 Two other Berkeley scientists, Dennis Hoagland and Daniel Arnon, publish "The Water Culture Method for Growing Plants Without Soil," most important text regarding hydroponics. Developed three nutrient solutions that are still used today.
- Main Parts of Hydroponic Systems Hydroponic systems are made of 7 main parts; the growing chamber, reservoir, delivery system, submersible pump, lighting, simple timer, and air pump. Growing Chamber Holds the root system. It can be made from many different materials and can be designed in various ways. Reservoir Holds the nutrient solution that feeds the plants.
- More Parts to a Hydroponic System Submersible Pump Lighting Waters the plants Delivery System Helps plants to Gets water/nutrients from the photosynthesize. pump in the reservoir to the plants, Lighting systems can and back to the reservoir again. be used, or regular sunlight. Air Pump Simple Timer Along with the air stone, Used to turn the pump (and helps to oxygenate the light systems) on and off. If nutrient solution. It is not you are using light systems, needed, but is highly two timers are needed. recommended because it helps give the root system the oxygen it needs since water moves continuously. The pump cuts down on algae growth and keeps nutrients fresher.
- Perks Downfalls A controlled and stable growing environment for the plants. Water and nutrients can be reused, with low cost. Convenient, mobile, and does not use farmland Easier to control pests and weeds. No tilling, minimal weeding, no hand watering, and easier to harvest. Reduces runoff and soil erosion caused by regular soil farming. Some diseases may be able to spread quicker, with the water flow. The system may require a decent amount of care to be maintained and kept up to par. May have a high starting or maintaining cost, depending on how it is made. Some plants may require specialized systems. The plants may be susceptible, a malfunction of the pumps, can force a chain reaction and cause all of the plants to die.
- The Different Types Ebb and Flow ~ Using a submerged pump with a timer, water will temporarily flood the plant's medium, then be collected and the leftover nutrient solution will be recycled. Nutrient Film Technique System (NFT) ~ Nutrient water travels from its reservoir to the growing tray to cover the plants roots, then back into the reservoir to be used again. Wick System ~ The simplest of them all, the solution is released through a wick located under the water to the plants.
- More Types Aeroponic Growing System ~ Plants are hung, with roots dangling, and are sprayed with nutrients every few minutes. Barrelponics ~ Fish, located in a barrel, produce waste water that is pumped up to fertilize and water the plants. The water filters through the plants and returns to the fish. Water Culture System ~ An air pump fuels an air stone with air, and the stone releases nutrients to the pants that are floating above on a styrofoam platform.
- So what is the point? On our island, many of our public schools have a school garden that their students work in. This gives the students an opportunity to experience the outdoors and sustainability. Introducing these students to hydroponics could open doors to a new career that one of them may be interested in. It would also give them new opportunities and experiences for them to use in the future. It also provides a different option for students that do not like the get "down and dirty." Most students have classes after they work and do not want to go back dirty. Or they just may not be "outdoorsy." They would still be able work, but will not feel out of place.
- Our plan of Action The Goal: To educate the public, mainly local school gardens, on the usefulness and efficiency that is hydro-farming. Our steps: 1) Create small, sample devices of several of the types of hydroponic systems. 2) Give presentations to other schools, or a public audience on the way hydroponics works and its benefits. 3) Harvest the plants that we grow, then give and/or sell to the community.
- References http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroponics#Advantages_and_disadvantages http://voices.yahoo.com/five-disadvantages-hydroponic-gardens-621454.html http://www.hydroponics-simplified.com/disadvantages-of-hydroponics.html http://www.crescent.edu.sg/ipw/2000/sec2/22g1-hydroponics/ad_dis.htm http://simplyhydro.com/freesys.htm http://berkeleyssecretgarden.com/?page_id=116 http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-assemble-a-homemade-hydroponic-system/index.html http://gardenpool.org/online-classes/getting-started-in-barrelponics http://transitionanchorage.blogspot.com/2010/12/aquaponics-experimenters-kit.html ag.arizona.edu/hydroponictomatoes/history.htm home.howstuffworks.com/lawn-garden/professional-landscaping/alternative-methods/hydroponics1.htm http://www.getbluelab.com/Articles/Brief+History+of+Hydroponics.html http://www.boswuckfarms.org/history http://www.homeydrosystems.com/hydroponic-systems/systems.html