Senin, 20 Januari 2014

Home grown hydroponic fresh vegetables!

Take a good look around at the vegetables sold in the market nowadays, aren’t they beautiful?  Indeed. But to preserve the beauty of the fresh produce, pesticides were sprayed on them. That is the main reason why people preferred to plant and cook their own vegetables at their backyard or garden as it is a healthier choice. An alternate method of getting your own vegetables is by planting it on a non-static hydroponic system.
The word ‘hydro’ stands for water while ‘phonic’ deprived from a Greek word which means work. Therefore the word ‘hydroponic’ itself means work dealing with water. Hydroponic is a method for growing plants that use mineral nutrient solutions in water instead of soil. Plants grow when their roots absorb essential components of mineral nutrients that are added to the water.

There are many modern variations to hydroponic farming but the two common ones are static flow or continuous-flow in which the water used is either static (kept in a container, often for home-use) or flowing (part of a system where water is circulated continuously).
Here is a view of how home grown hydroponic(static flow) produce looks like:
Full-grown sawi ready to be harvested.

The static flow hydroponic system in Malaysia was initiated by Madam Lau Kam Lin in 1989. She got the idea when all the vegetables exported to Singapore were rejected because of over dosage of pesticides. At the meantime, Pengarah Pertanian Negeri (PPN) started hydroponic planting using circulating system. The structure is expensive and it has disadvantages. If there is no electricity supply, all the plants will get dried up and if root rot occus, all plants will be affected. On the other hand, non-static hydroponic system doesn’t require any electricity supply and only one takung is affected if root rot occurs. The requirement of water in the hydroponic takung is all calculated until harvest.
Sawi planted on static flow hydroponic system.
The procedures of planting using a static-flow hydroponic system is as simple as P.O.H.:
P- Plant. (Start planting by setting up the hydroponic set which includes preparing the water with the recommended nutrient solution and sowing the seeds)
O- Observe (Make sure the seeds germinate and no insects are attacking the plants)
H- Harvest (Harvest at maturity or whenever needed)
All ready to harvest!

What are the benefits of using Static Flow Hydroponic System?
Especially for those who have insufficient land to grow vegetables, hydroponic comes in handy because it takes up minimum amount of space to grow vegetables. Despite the fact that you can have fresh produce vegetables, they are also pesticides-free because it is for own consumption. Hydroponic planting is so much easier to handle than growing on soil because it doesn’t require watering and weeding. And the best part is you can plant a variety of vegetables such as kai lan, sawi, lettuce, bayam, kangkong and etc. or even flowering plants e.g rose, petunias, japanese rose, marygold and etc. 
A lady holding the Senposai plant planted on a static-flow hydroponic set.

As for me, the main reason why I like hydroponic is because the harvest are pesticides free and I can have instant fresh vegetables anytime at the side of my house. 

Shared by Ruby.
Intern at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre

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