IS HYDROPONICS AN ESSENTIALLY INORGANIC BASED TECHNOLOGY?

Hydroponic technology began in 1680 when John Woodward cultivated mint plants in various aqueous solutions, enriched with different kinds of soils bearing decomposed organic matter.

In truth, these experiments were the embryonic stages of Hydroponics, and the aqueous solutions used contained nutrients of organic origin.

Today we can consider three types of hydroponics: - Inorganic, Organic-Inorganic and Organic.

In Inorganic Hydroponics, plants are fed with an aqueous solution containing highly soluble and extremely pure mineral salts, like those for pharmaceutical or laboratorial use.

This aqueous solution is called the Nutrient Solution or Solution of Nutrients, and the mineral elements that constitute it are dosed in a balanced form according to the plants’ needs and their stage of development.

Up to a certain point the nutritient solution reproduces artificially the Soil’s Solution provided by Nature.

Today, in fact, we can say that Inorganic Hydroponics does not exist.

On looking at and touching the roots of plants cultivated in inorganic hydroponics one can notice a slimy, jelly-like film on the surface which is a part of the residues emitted by the roots.

Under microscopic observation, one finds colonies of bacteria living off these residues by breaking them down and in turn emitting other organic and inorganic compounds.

The majority of these new compounds are in turn dissolved in the water that makes up the nutrient solution.

The inorganic compounds are ionized and are reabsorbed by the plants and presumably some very small chains of organic compounds are also absorbed.

Organic-Inorganic Hydroponics is essentially a form of inorganic hydroponics where one adds to the nutrient solution some mineralised organic compounds extracted from Nature in order to increase productivity as well as improve the nutritive value of  the plants.

This practice is one of several that are researched and applied in Bioponics.

Organic Hydroponics is a very recent technique with scientific research still in its initial phases.

Nevertheless, its use is widespread with excellent results and, within its technical limitations obviously, often much better than those obtained in inorganic hydroponics.

In a nutshell, in Organic Hydroponics the nutrient solution is obtained from biologically decomposed organic matter through a system of conventional composting or through Biodigestion in Biodigestors and Biofilters.

Organic Hydroponics proves to traditional farmers, especially to those that practice conventional organic agriculture, that Hydroponics is not an essentially inorganic process.

Organic hydroponically cultivated crops present a marked difference when compared to those of conventional organic agriculture.

With regards to eventual contaminations by patogenic bacteria, they are extremely clean and asseptic, and can be freshly consumed by people or animals.

Finally, we can conclude that Hydroponics is not an essentially an inorganic based technology. 

SETA