Definition - What does Soilless Growing mean?
Soilless growing is a term used to refer to any sort of growing operation in which natural soil is not used as a growing medium. This includes hydroponics and aquaponics systems, as well as hybrid systems. Soilless growing offers many advantages, particularly for growers in areas where plants could not survive in the natural world.
Hydrolife explains Soilless Growing
Soilless growing refers to any growing method in which natural soil is replaced with some other medium. For instance, some systems rely primarily on a raft to which plant roots adhere, and a nutrient/water solution that keeps those plants nourished. Other systems use different growing mediums, ranging from clay pebbles to various types of foam to keep plant roots anchored, and nutrients are delivered through watering systems.
There are quite a few advantages to soilless growing. The primary one being that growers are able to produce crops in an area where those plants would not naturally be able to survive, even with the aid of a greenhouse. For instance, it allows plant growth in very arid areas, in very hot areas, in very cold areas, and in regions where annual rainfall would be too much for most plants to endure.
Soilless growing setups are typically indoors, whether in a private home, or in a commercial operation. They can be installed in a greenhouse, but this is not necessary, as artificial lighting systems can be installed above growing areas to provide all the light required at each stage of plant growth and development.
Indoor, soilless growing setups can be virtually any size, from just a handful of plants grown in a closet, to massive commercial operations that span acres. However, the underlying concepts and growing techniques are similar for all of them.