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Hydroponic means growing without soil. From there, several different systems have been put together since the early sixties, starting mostly in England and Israel.

Early systems were very basic, replacing soil by a growing media like sand, peat moss or rockwool. Why does it work?

Because plants are not feeding on soil but on minerals hidden in the soil. The purpose of hydroponic agriculture is to make those minerals avalaible to the plants directly through water.

Modern hydroponic growing systems are using more and more water as a growing media, preventing depletion of natural resources such as peat moss for example and accumulation of residues like rockwool and other fibers.

The ultimate hydroponic growing system will combine water conservation, zero media residue, biological fertilization and water revitalization.

HydroNov's deep pool growing system is very close to that.
Greenhouse’s Hydroponic Agriculture