Variations on the idea of growing plants in water, or in other media that don't involve soil, have been around for thousands of years. There are some real advantages to this method of growing, as long as you do it correctly.

Benefits of hydroponics:

The plant doesn't need to expend a lot of its energy growing a large root base. This allows more energy to be put toward growing stems, leaves and fruits. Vegetables are grown hydroponically consistent, reliable, and healthy, as long as they are treated properly.

This type of gardening is also relatively low maintenance, and does not require pesticides, because the plants are not exposed to the outside. Less water is used than when gardening with soil, too. That's because the nutrient solution continuously recycled through the system. You can also learn more about how hydroponics works by clicking at

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So what are the downsides?

Well, a hydroponic system is expensive to set up, and require periodic attention. The nutrients need to be purchased, rather than being available in the ground. However, for people willing to deal with these factors, hydroponic production can be really useful.

There are two basic kinds of systems – active and passive. Active systems use a pump to move nutrient solutions through the system. Passive systems use a wick or the capillary action of the medium in which the plants are grown.

These systems can also be characterized by whether or not they recirculate nutrient solution – not all do. Recovery systems use the same solution again and again, adding more nutrients when necessary, while non-recovery systems discard the used nutrient solution.

Technological advances are making it easier than ever to use hydroponic methods to grow vegetables at home. It's an interesting and effective way to grow, and worth checking out.