Hydroponic History


Hydroponics, the science of growing plants without soil, is far from being a new concept. The hanging gardens of Babylon, the floating gardens of the Aztecs of Mexico and those of the Chinese are early examples of ‘Hydroponic’ culture. The growing of plants in water is described in Egyptian writings dating back to several hundred years before Christ.


In the 1930’s scientists were experimenting growing plants without soil using nutrients dissolved in water. They found the soil is not necessary except to anchor the plant’s roots.

It has been popularized in Western Europe and is now used extensively in Holland for commercial food products. Canada is now second to holland in hydroponic food production.


Although Hydroponics has been around for many years it is still a young science which has progressed quickly within the past forty years. Hydroponics has been adapted to many situations from outdoor farming to greenhouse and now in-home gardening. Specialized cultivation has been adapted for growing vegetables in submarines to feed the crews, and the space program is experimenting with the use of Hydroponics in space!


Hydroponics may be used in underdeveloped countries for food production in limited space. It is even feasible to grow Hydroponically in areas of poor soil conditions such as deserts. The desert sand serves as a good growing media and seawater can be used to mix nutrient solution once the salts have been removed.

The popularity of Hydroponics has increased dramatically in a short period of time. Experimentation and research in the area of indoor and outdoor Hydroponic gardening is an ongoing process. NASA has started to experiment with growing plants in space!


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