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Becoming Successful Growing Plants without Soil.

The world is changing, technology is driving through the global space at the speed of light and things are just moving fast. As technology grows, so is agriculture. Remember those years when there were no or scarce telephony, when your close relative lives, you only contact through letters sent by post office and takes weeks to get response? Now, you can get a response at an instance. Remember when animals are used to plough lands for cultivation and it takes weeks to achieve? Now, you can even plant without soil. Surprising?

In this article, we present to you Oyebode Michael, the Regional Director of – BIC FARMS CONCEPTS, Abuja. An entrepreneur who is basically into agriculture in Nigeria, West Africa. Maybe it would be best to call him ‘Agricpreneur’ as he discusses how he goes by this innovation of doing agriculture without soil – Soiless Farming.

INTRODUCING HYDROPONICS

 

Hydroponics originates from the ancient Greek, from the words “hydro” which means water and “ponos” which means work. Therefore, hydroponics system farming is an agricultural practice where the cultivation of plants is done without the use of soil.

oyebode-michael-hydroponics

We do this type of farming without the use of Soil. We don’t plant inside soil. We only use mediums and water solutions

Growing with hydroponics comes with many advantages, the biggest of which is a greatly increased rate of growth in your plants. With the proper setup, your plants will mature up to 25% faster and produce up to 30% more than the same plants grown in soil. Your plants will grow bigger and faster because they will not have to work as hard to obtain nutrients. Even a small root system will provide the plant exactly what it needs, so the plant will focus more on growing upstairs (above the spoil) instead of expanding the root system downstairs (below the soil).

All of this is possible through careful control of your nutrient solution and pH levels. A hydroponic system will also use less water than soil based plants because the system is enclosed, which results in less evaporation. Believe it or not, hydroponics is better for the environment because it reduces waste and pollution from soil runoff.

oyebode-michael-hydroponic-2What you grow on a hectare of land can be grown on just 1 plot using hydroponics because we grow vertically.

You grow any vegetable hydroponically, it comes out 25% faster than on soil, You worry less about pests etc

Another great thing about hydroponics for livestock farmers is you can grow grasses otherwise called fodders for all livestock.

 

oyebode-michael-hydroponic-3 Fodders are grown and ready within 7-9 days the animals do better when fed with fodders. Fodders save up to 40% on the cost of production of live stocks when your animals eat fodder, they convert at least 90% of it, when you feed them with grains, they only convert about 30%. Fodders just like the veggies are life plants and livestock eat them all with the roots. Another great thing about fodder is you can grow with hydroponics 1 kg of grains which will be converted to 5 kg of fodder in about 7 days.

You are able to do this all year round. A hydroponic system consists of three essential components namely:

  • Light
  • Air
  • Water (nutrient)

Note however, that hydroponically grown plants are done in a Controlled environment called a Greenhouse. Anyone can have a greenhouse on his farms or in his compound. The advantages of hydroponics farming includes but are not limited to

  • Hydroponics uses less nutrient material to feed their plants; these exist within a self contained environment that can easily control the waste products. This is much better, as prevents excessive use of fertilizers unlike in the traditional farming where more fertilizers are used, and end up flowing into the rivers and spoiling the water to be used by the humans and the animals.
  • Hydroponics calls for less amount of water and nourishment; in the hydroponics system less water is used since the required water is supplied in fixed proportions and a controlled environment, furthermore, water is recycled in this system. This is very advantageous compared to irrigation where much water is wasted without recycling or in the traditional farming methods. This also reduces the farmers water cost hence lowering the production costs.

oyebode-michael-uses-hydroponic

  • No soil is needed in this system; gardening is done without any soil and it only uses 10 percent of the water used on the ordinary planting. Furthermore, the plants grown on this method have a higher growth rate compared to the normal planting. The faster growth is contributed by a highly controlled environment with the availability of more oxygen, water and nourishing substances for the plants.
  • Large amounts of foods can be grown in small plots of land; this system requires only a small plot of land since the hydroponics produce faster growth of plants. The areas produce more foods per acre plot of land than the normal farming. Hydroponics can be produced at any season since they grow into their own controlled environment which is controlled and protected from predators like plant eating animals.
  • Less amount of time and work is required in hydroponics gardening; the amount of work needed is very little due to the absence of the weeds that would require time to pluck them out. This method is time saving since no weeds are present only some few minutes are needed to check the nutrient levels and the harvesting processes.
  • Hydroponic is easy to develop in strategic places; this means that the hydroponic crops can be grown close to the market area; therefore, reducing the cost that could have been used in transportation and these automatically reduces the production cost, hence increasing the gardener profits.
  • Hydroponics provides the exact needs to the plants appropriately; this means that plants will grow fast depending on their genetics and compared to a plant grown to the normal soil, hydroponic plants grow faster and they appear to be much healthier.

oyebode-michael-uses-hydroponic-2

  • Hydroponic plants will grow larger; this is because you have full control over the plants environment to the optimal. However, plants access all the nutrients that they require and in the right proportions. Hydroponic plants are also said to grow 50% faster, this is because plants do not need to expand their roots to look for nutrients; they are already there in abundance and home hydroponics are said to grow extremely fast.
  • Hydroponic plants can be grown everywhere; it is said to convert any terrain into fertile farming land. With the normal farming or the soil farming, there are multiple problems such as pest, climate and soil diseases. With hydroponics, you have full control over your garden together with more optimal results. The earlier products of hydroponics did not have a perfect taste, but thanks to the nutritional departments that the taste of the vegetables has become much more appetizing.
  • Gardeners can use a variety of different growth mediums in which to place the plants; many gardeners use Rockwool, gravel, sand, or even coco coir instead of soil. Unlike the soil that supplies nutrients to the plants roots, these growth mediums only provide room and support for the roots to grow.

Your comments are welcome.

More pictures

oyebode-michael-hydroponicoyebode-micheal-hydroponic-concept oyebode-micheal-hydroponic-concept2

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