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The Past and the Present of Hydroponics

From the beginning of time, plants have grown in our lakes and oceans. However, many believe hydroponics started in the ancient city of Babylon as a system of growing plants. It is believed that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are the first successful attempts to grow plants using the system of hydroponics.

Out of necessity, in 11th century, a nomadic tribe known as the Aztecs of Central America practiced the methods of hydroponics. Due to absence of land to cultivate for plant growth, they were forced to find ways of producing crop to support their needs. Hence, “Chinampas” were developed. These are floating rafts of the Aztecs where in soils from the bottom of a lake were placed and on top of the soils, plants were placed. Since the rafts were made of reeds, weeds and rushes, the roots of the plants grew through the soil down into the water below.

Another example of hydroponics in history was illustrated by Marco Polo in his renowned journals. His writings about floating gardens of China were evidences that practice of hydroponics is not a new concept at all but can be considered as very old system of plant growing. hydroponics wholesaler

Many scientific experiments were conducted that led to the introduction of the term “hydroponics”. These experiments can be traced back as early as 1600s. However, it was between the early 1800’s and the 1920’s when phenomenal discoveries and developments were accomplished. The greenhouse industry expressed interests in the newly acquired knowledge called “Nutriculture,” as hydroponics was labeled at that time.

Dr. William F. Gericke of the University of California at Berkeley centered his research on practical crops growing for large scale commercial purposes. At this point, he created the term, “hydroponics”, which was originated from the Greek words, hydro (meaning water) and ponos (meaning labor). Literally, hydroponics means “water-working”. His work and research is regarded as the basis for all forms of hydroponic s although his works were principally limited to water culture without the use of a medium.

The Present

As an idea, since the beginning of time, hydroponics has been around. As a science, it is relatively new.

Nowadays, hydroponics has been applied to both indoor and outdoor farms to growing quality crops, to provide food for third world countries and even to applications in the space program.

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