Select Your State

Highlights Of The History Of Hydroponics


Hydroponics has a lengthy history, having been used all over the world, for centuries. Scientists believe that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were in fact one of the first uses of hydroponics. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were build around 600 B.C. along the Euphrates River. It is safe to assume that the use of hydroponics to grow plants is as old as the pyramids of Egypt.

Other early uses of hydroponics can be found across the globe. Hydroponics was used to grow crops by the Chinese and the Aztecs. The Aztecs, of what is now Mexico, created farmland in the large Lake Tenochtitlan. They built floating rafts of reeds and added soil to the tops of the rafts. This way the crops grew on the rafts, with roots growing through the rafts, and down into the lake. These rafts were sometimes built large enough to make huts to protect the farmers. Marco Polo described similar types of floating gardens when he traveled through China in the 13th century.

In terms of academic research and modern day technologies like plastics, hydroponics is considered relatively new – being less than a century old. Researching growing plants in water was not started until the 1600s when different scientists, most notably Sir Francis Bacon, researched ‘growing plants without soil.’ As scientists began building on Bacon’s research, our understanding of plants growth increased.

In the 17th and 18th centuries advances in the field of chemistry aided research in hydroponics as we gained a better understanding of how plants access nutrients in water and soil. In early 1900s William Gericke, of the University of California, extended his research to growing crops for commercial applications. Dr Gericke is credited for giving hydroponics its name. According to Time Magazine, the first noted commercial use of hydroponics, also in the early 1900s, was by a commercial airline who grew food in a water tank on the small Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean as a way to feed the airline’s staff and crew. Now, hydroponics is being applied to long term space travel and might one day be used on the moon.

Grow Guide

Your Comments

Social Media

Like GreenBookPages on Facebook!  Watch GreenBookPages Videos on YouTube  Follow GreenBookPages on Twitter