Hydroponics: Everything you need to know about innovative tomato production
Hydroponics is an innovative production using state-of-the-art contemporary technology that enables the cultivation of natural fruits and plants in protected areas with partially or completely controlled conditions in a greenhouse. This mode of production provides protection from external, climatic and mechanical influences. Controlled conditions such as ours in Rajska mean that we are able to control almost all the conditions inside the room except for the light and high temperatures in the summer period.
Some experts call hydroponics the art of planting water from plants – so-called. soiless culture because this kind of cultivation does not use soil. The word ‘hydroponics’ comes from the Greek word hydro, meaning ‘water’ and the word ponos means ‘work’. Namely, hydroponic cultivation is characterized by growing plants whose roots develop in nutrient solution. In this way plant growth is stimulated while controlling the amount of water, minerals and oxygen in nutrient solution to make the yield top quality.
The difference between hydroponics and growing in soil
The quality of the product and its health-worthiness is the same in hydroponics and in soil cultivation, while economic cost-effectiveness on the side of hydroponics is significant. Hydroponics have high initial costs and continuous investments are needed to ensure the quality of these systems: greenhouse, seed, fertilizer, biological protection, pollinator, automation software and other. But the benefits are numerous and long-term economically viable.
There are several key advantages of hydroponic production in the substrate compared to production in the soil:
- Less pollution of soil from waste water coming from production because water in hydroponics is sterilized and returned to production.
- There is no pollution of the environment or humans and animals because we do not use pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemical protection in Rajska, but only biological protection.
- Due to growing in a sterile substrate, plants can not intake harmful substances from the soil such as mineral fertilizers, chemical agents and heavy metals.
- The appearance of pests and herbs is reduced to a minimum due to controlled conditions where the plants are not exposed to bad weather.
- The conditions are controlled; allowing for almost ideal nutrition, humidity and temperature ratio.
- Production is ongoing throughout the year.
Method from the era of Babylon
Although this method sounds futuristic, it really is not. Of course, with time, hydroponics improved and modernized and enabled faster, better quality and healthier breeding, but the earliest examples of hydroponic breeding can be found 600 years BC. in Babylonian gardens where plants were grown on the surface of water.
The earliest modern Hydroponics references in the last 100 years are associated with William Frederick Gerichke of the University of California (Berkeley) who in the 1930s began to popularize the idea that plants can be grown in soluble nutrients and water instead of soil. The public and William’s colleagues doubted this claim. But he quickly won them over when he successfully cultivated tomatoes using only water and nutrients. He called this method hydroponics.
Today Hydroponics is a fast-paced trend in the world: from the United States, Canada, Australia to Japan; the Netherlands are the most successful hydroponic manufacturers in the world. Apart from the Dutch, some of the largest hydroponics manufacturers are: Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Poland and Turkey. The hydroponics method ensures controlled production, continuous yield, pest control whose impact is reduced to a minimum, resulting in a quality and nutritionally rich product – tomato.