IN SCHOOL

Plant without soil?

Lettuce being grown under banks of coloured LED light panels in Taiwan.Photo: AP

Lettuce being grown under banks of coloured LED light panels in Taiwan.Photo: AP  

When we tried our hands at Hydroponics and grew coriander and tomato under CFLs and coloured bulbs....

Hydroponics is a branch of biology which deals with growing plants without soil and with added nutrients. Through hydroponics, essential elements and their deficiencies are identified. This process is already employed for the commercial production of crops such as seedless cucumber and lettuce.

We, the students of class XII, tried growing plants in nutrient mediums prepared by us using water of Ph 6 and nutrient solutions with a fixed ratio of essential elements. We tried the experiment under altered conditions of light using CFLs and coloured bulbs (thereby altering the wave length). The results were very encouraging. We chose plants such as coriander and tomato which have short lifecycles. We feel that this technique holds promise for the future, allowing us to grow plants in areas lacking fertile soil or countries that are short on land resources. This experiment was truly enriching for us.

Vinay Reddy and Dheeraj,

Class XII

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