History of Hydroponics and Soil-less Gardening

In the year of 1627, a book named ‘Sylva Sylvarum’ was published where the author Francis Bacon first mentioned about hydroponic, after that the research work started. In 1699, John Woodward published his research work on ‘Spearmint’ where he highlighted the fact that plant in slight salty water grows better than that in distilled water. Later research lead to the invention of nine most important elements required for the growth of the plants in the year of 1842.

1859-1875 has been great years in hydroculture field as the two great minds, Julius Von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop came up with the developed technology of soilless cultivation. This was the turning point for hydroponic technique. The nurturing of plants in mineral solution without soil was then known as soilless cultivation which later was added under hydroponic. There are other different types of hydroponic present there that we will talk about later.


In 1929, Frederick Gericke worked on the tomatoes in his garden where he used nutrient solution rather than soil. This was a great invention for hydroculture science. Later in 1937 he named this process Hydroponic because aquaculture was already in use. Hydroponic was proposed to Frederick Gericke by W.A.Setchell.

After this the university authority wanted Frederick Gericke to publish his work but due to some dispute he couldn’t use the university greenhouse. The political influence made the situation worse when two other scientists named Hoagland and Arnon came in action to prove Frederick Gericke wrong with a theory called Hoagland Solution which says there is no advantage of hydroponic over soiled cultivation. In 1940, Gericke eventually terminated his carrier but published his researches in ‘Complete Guide to Soilless Gardening’.

Hoagland and Arnon claimed that there were no good yields of hydroponic crops over normally cultured crops. They declared that the soil or the nutrients ae not the most important thing for the plants, according to them that role played sunlight. They ignored the fact that in hydroponics the roots always be in contact with oxygen unlike the soiled culture and the water that they don’t use can be replaced and recycled anytime. This way we can eliminate the anoxic conditions that is an important thing for plants. When plants are rooted into soil it is very difficult to process how much water they exactly need because excessive amount would lead to inability of absorbing oxygen and less amount would make them disable of getting nutrients from the soil. Those two scientists made some modified laws of required nutrients for plants that are still in use.

In 1930, hydroponic was used in Wake Island to grow vegetables because there was no soil and importing fresh vegetables were not allowed at that time.

In present years NASA is working on hydroponic system on Mars using some Led light to grow plants in a different wavelength and color with less heat.

This is pretty much a brief history you need to know about hydroponic grow system and where it stands in today’s research field.

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