Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without the use of dirt. Everything that the plant needs to grow and thrive is provided to it through it’s roots by being dissolved in a nutrient water solution. The seed is grown in a non-organic medium so that the plant can establish some support. This is usually done using rockwool which is molten rock spun in to strands like cotton candy which is then treated to be PH neutral. Other popular mediums are Perlite, Vermiculite, and expanded clay balls. All of these have the ability to hold and wick water while also providing air gaps and support for the roots to grow.
A Recirculating hydroponic system has a reserve solution tank that is also aerated. This solution is then pumped past the plants roots and back into the solution tank. Careful attention to the solution has to be made to ensure it remains in balance so that it maintains the proper mix of nutrients, PH, and dissolved oxygen.
A Feed to Waste system periodically pumps a freshly mixed solution into the support medium and roots of the plants after which it drains away and is not reused. The video to the right is a tour of the feed to waste hydroponic setup that I have constructed.
An Aeroponics system holds the plant so that its roots are hanging in the air. The roots are then continuously or periodically sprayed with the nutrient solution to feed the plant and keep the roots from drying out.
Why am I talking about hydroponics? Well, I have a hydroponic based product that I am going to be releasing soon but you don't need to know anything about hydroponics to use it.