This is a method of farming where you avoid using soil as your medium of support and nutrients supply for your plants. Instead, you only use water or hydroponic nutrients as the only medium of nutrients supply, and then use river sand, gravel or a similar medium to support the plants.
According to Wikipedia:
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only, or in an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel.
Hydroculture is the growing of plants in a soilless medium, or an aquatic based environment. Plant nutrients are distributed via water.
The word “hydro” derives its name from the Greek word ὕδωρ (hudōr) meaning water, hence hydroculture = water culture. Hydroculture is aquatic horticulture.
In basic hydroculture or passive hydroponics, water and nutrients are distributed through capillary action. In hydroponics-like hydroculture, water and nutrients are distributed by some form of pumping mechanism.
This method of farming not only saves you on costs, but it also saves you on time, energy and diseases, while also increasing your production many times over. Combined with a green house setting which brings in controlled climatic conditions, hydroponics farming can be a very profitable venture.
There are several ways of setting up hydroponic structures, with each structure set up being ideal for certain plant types. Here are a few examples:
Dutch Bucket Hydroponics Farming
In this method, you plant your seedlings in a bucket filled with your support medium (river sand is best). Then in each bucket, you have one plant. You can then align the buckets in a way that you have the hydroponic nutrients flowing across all the buckets easily. This method is best for tomatoes and pepper.
Using this method, you get rid of diseases and pests.
This method uses the PVC pipes which are modified to form your planting ground. It is very ideal for kales and spinach. You use less water and very little space.
This method, which is perfect for leafy plants like lettuce is simply amazing. You simply water your plants once in their lifetime and the plants mature in only 30 days.
In all these systems, your plants grow faster, you use less water, you get more produce than in a conventional setting and there are no diseases.
Note that hydroponic nutrients are different for different plants. Some nutrients are made for fruiting plants, others for flowering and others for the leafy plants. Make sure you get the right hydroponic nutrients for your choice plants.
Note that you can also build a fodder hydroponic structure for growing your fodder. This is done on non-rust trays. The fodder grown this way, normally with water only and without the need of any hydroponic nutrients addition, can be fed to the animals from day 2. Chicken feed on it on day 2, pigs and rabbits feed on it on day 4, cattle on day 8. The reason for the variation in days across various animals is because of the cumulative fiber content in the fodder. Chicken have a crop which is not as powerful in digestion as the one stomach in rabbits and pigs. Cattle on the other hand, can be able to digest tough fiber across their four stomachs.