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A Brief History of Hydroponics

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Hydroponics might seem like a brand-new phenomenon, but it actually is one with a rich and varied history.

According to a lot of sources, hydroponics goes back to some of those ancient societies, such as those in areas like Mesopotamia that cultivated hydroponic hanging gardens centuries before Christ.

Fast forward to the first century under the Roman Emperor Tiberius, and you have certain greenhouses practices – these may not be classified as hydroponics, but as early precursors - where agricultural workers stored plants such as cucumbers in interior chambers.

Throughout the last four centuries, people experimented with different methods of greenhouse cultivation but eventually, these culminated in hydroponic solutions in the mid-1920s. Throughout the early 20th century, there was a lot of research into hydroponics and different types of irrigation systems. However, modern hydroponics didn't take off until around the 1970s in many senses.

Now, with today's focus on automation, the last two decades have seen enormous advances in hydroponics. Everything from digital light timers to temperature and humidity handling controls have decreased the labor that it takes to administrate a hydroponics project, while helping human growers to fine-tune plant conditions.

The advent of smart home or remote facilities monitoring solutions has brought even more functionality to hydroponics. You might say that the revolutionary activities in Silicon Valley have delivered vastly superior solutions for growing plants without soil. While there's also than conventional research on nutrient packages and other aspects of a grow project, one of the biggest advances is in automation and automated plant handling tools.

You also have other kinds of science that some people might see as more gimmicky -- although many people swear by the biowave machine as a way of stimulating plant growth, it's not something that is really supported by conventional scientific research. There have been studies that show or indicate its efficacy, but it's not established in the same way that some of the chemical nutrients are.

The bottom line is that today's manufacturers and retailers are giving growers a full suite of solutions to help them succeed in hydroponics and grow healthy, mature harvests. Things are a lot different than they were even 10 years ago, when some of the first consumer product kits started appearing on store shelves. For more, take a look at what's possible now to really understand how far hydroponics has come in the 21st century.

 
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