Skip to content
Save Up To 35% Off Mars Hydro!
Save Up To 35% Off Mars Hydro!
Where Did Hydroponics Come From?

Where Did Hydroponics Come From?

What is the story behind Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is simply growing plants without soil. It traces back to ancient Babylon, present-day Iraq. Here, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon which is the first known example of soil-less growth of plants are located and this was around 600 BC.

By 1100 BC, the Aztec Indians created their own version of  'floating' gardens called 'chinampas,' these had a solid combination of roots and lashes, laden with sediment sourced from lake bottoms, which nourished crops and plantations. Marco Polo later writes about seeing similar floating gardens during his travels to china late 13th century.  Leonardo Da Vinci was the first to give a scientific persepective to hydroponics. He reported that plants only needed nutrients to survive.

The word "hydroponic" was first used in 1937. It was used by Dr. William Frederick Gericke, considered the "father of hydroponics." The two words are "hydro" (water) and "ponos" (labor). While at the University of California, Gericke wrote and published 'Complete Guide to Soil-less gardening' in 1940. He later boasted about growing 25-foot-high tomato vines using only water nutrients. But it was however Dennis R. Hoagland who created a nutrient formula that provided the plants with all the nutrients essential for growth across diverse plant species.

To date, the Hoagland solution is used to make most of the nutrient solutions used today. Together they published 'The Water Culture Method for Growing Plants without Soil,'- an essential text in hydroponics culture. Hydroponics was used on Wake island to grow fresh vegetables which were an important food source for troops. Other countries picked up on hydroponics and used it to feed their armies.

Technology was introduced and commercialization kicked in. One of the new age pioneers was Lawrence Brooks, who founded General Hydroponics in 1976. He is regarded as one of the leaders of continuously expanding the market of hydroponic mineral-nutrient solutions.

Present-day Hydroponics

Hydroponics is booming. It has a growing following with numerous applications. The Hydroponics industry is forecasted to be worth more than $25 billion by 2022. As the world's population keeps growing and water scarcity looms, hydroponics becomes a more viable substitute for traditional farming as a source of fresh food.

Thousands upon thousands of acres have been set aside by countries purely for hydroponics and large-scale greenhouses. Several startups have pushed the hydroponics debate with the adoption of intelligent technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), data analysis, etc., to perfect the procedure and make it as efficient as possible.

Previous article A Complete Nutrient Kit for Starting Hydroponics
Next article What is Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)?