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Hydroponic gardening and farming

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Hydroponic farming and hydroponic gardening take place in enclosed structures where temperature, light and nutrients are closely monitored and delivered by a variety of systems. Some hydroponic systems may be more suitable for home-based, hydroponic gardens than others. This kind of farming and gardening has numerous environmental benefits because no herbicides are used. Hydroponic farming also plays a major role in global health initiatives.

Biological chemists know that plants need nine basic elements to thrive. They also know that plants need seven specific elements in trace amounts. The elements necessary for plant growth are carbon (C), hydrogen (H), nitrogen(N),oxygen (O), potassium (K), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S) and magnesium (Mg). The trace elements are iron (Fe), copper (Cu), chlorine (Cl), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn), boron (B) and zinc (Z). All of these elements are found in nutrient solutions and are delivered to plants no matter what delivery system is used. On occasion, carbon dioxide added to increase crop yields.

In addition, certain requirements are necessary for water used in hydroponics. The water must be pure rainwater or filtered, municipal water. Water taken directly from lakes, streams or rivers cannot be used for fear of contamination by harmful microbes. The pH balance of the nutrient solution must be carefully monitored. Water used in hydroponic gardening and farming is recyclable, which is an important positive, environmental benefit.

Hydroponic farming is a global enterprise that requires adjustments to be made to accommodate geographical differences. Artificial light may be needed in areas that cannot offer at least sixteen hours of sunlight needed by plants. Adequate humidity must be provided in arid and semi-arid locations. Heat or air conditioning may also be required depending on the region.

To be continued…

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