Large scale cultivation of plants in water culture is called hydroponics. Some vegetables (tomatoes, carrots) and ornamental plants (ruses) are grown by this method. Plants are raised in small tanks of concrete or metal. The tanks are covered over by wire netting or gauze. They are filled up with a water solution containing appropriate quantities of all mineral elements. The solution is changed from time to time. It has a mechanism for aeration and circulation. pH is checked from time to time and corrections are made. As the plants grow in size additional supports are provided. Hydroponics is employed for the commercial production of greenhouse crops like out of season vegetables and flowers.
- It is useful for raising out of season commercial flowers and vegetables like lettuce, seedless cucumber and tomato.
- Hydroponics may be used as a kitchen garden.
- It is useful in infertile and dry soils.
- The plants grown are free of soil pathogens.
- Problems of weeding are absent.
- It gives a better yield.
- The technique involves high cost.
- It requires technical expertise.
- Chemicals used in the preparation of nutrient solutions often contain toxic impurities.