Hydroponics is a method of growing plants where the nutrient is provided in the water. This type of gardening is most often soillless and provides more efficient way to get water and nutrients to plants. Soil's job is to act as an anchor to support plant roots and provide nutrients and water for plant growth. Soil can often be lacking in many crucial nutrients and well as an appropriate pH level to promote quick nutrient uptake in roots. Many soils are also hard and create a difficult path for roots to grow through. This uphill battle drains the plant of resources it needs to grow above the surface. On the other hand, hydroponics mostly uses inert growing mediums such as rockwool, hydroton, or coco coir which are easier for roots to grow through and provide an adequate anchor for plant roots. These mediums also hold more oxygen then typical soil gardens. This increased oxygen along with specially prepared nutrient solutions make all the necessary elements readily available to the plant.
In soil, plants must grow a large root system to find food and water. In hydroponics, food and water go directly to the roots. This enables the plant to spend less time on growing roots and more energy growing above the surface, quickly producing more vegetation, larger fruit, flowers and vegetables. Because of this ease of growth that hydroponics provides, plants can grow up to three times faster and with much larger yields than with conventional soil gardening methods.
Because hydroponic root systems are compact in size, plants may be grown closer together. When you add to this the fact that there is no weeding, fewer pests and lower water requirements, it is easy to see why home hobbyists, schools and research institutes, as well as commercial growers around the world use hydroponics.
Hydroponic gardens can be used anywhere as long as sufficient light is provided with ample ventilation. Outdoors, much of the work associated with conventional gardening can be eliminated. With the addition the proper growing lights, you won't be limited to particular growing seasons.
It's very easy to maintain a hydroponic system vs. a conventional soil garden. Simply add water to the reservoir tank, add the proper ratio of nutrients and keep the pH at the proper levels (between 5.5 and 6.5) Change out the solution every 2-3 weeks depending on water consumption. That's all the basics! With a little experience you can enjoy fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers year-round.