If you are into gardening, chances are you are most familiar with soil gardening – as it is the conventional method to grow plants. However, hydroponics gardening does not require the use of soil and instead relies on water to deliver nutrition to the plants. Hydroponics has several benefits compared to soil growth.
Worry Less About Plant Disease and Pests
By replacing soil with water, you remove the possibility of the plants getting many soil based diseases. As such, it will also remove a lot of pests typically associated with conventional gardening.
Weeding is Not Required
Without soil, you will not have weeds. When you do not have weeds, you don’t have to spend time weeding the garden.
Plants need lots of room for the roots to spread when you grow them in soil. Because the hydroponic method gives plants more efficient nutrition, their roots are shorter. Therefore, the plants do not require as much as space to grow. This is an ideal set-up for people who have limited to no gardening space available.
When grown in conventional soil, plants require a lot of water. Some of the water seeps into the ground. Some water evaporates out the soil. In other words, not much of the water is actually used by the plant. With hydroponics, a recirculating nutrient reservoir ensures the plant only takes what it needs at the time and leaves the rest in the reservoir for later use. The reservoir is covered so no evaporation can occur or seep from the bottom. As such, the same amount of water used to water a soil plant for a day can last for weeks in a hydroponic system.
When in control of the hydroponic environment, you can speed up the plant growth. For instance, conventionally grown lettuce takes about two months to grow in conventional soil, while it can be grown in a month with a hydroponic system. Not only this, but you save time from not having to weed the garden, not having to focus on the time it takes to water and deal with pest control.
With soil growth, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature to help your plants grow. In some climates where growing plants is difficult and limited, hydroponics can add variety to the possible crops you can grow. With hydroponics, you become the master of your plant environment. You are in control of the temperature, nutrient solution, humidity, and growth schedule. You are in control of when and how long your plants receive light. You are in control of when and what the plants are fed – and that control can make all the difference in the final harvest.
When you’re just getting started with hydroponic gardening, you don’t have to grow an entire food supply. Start with a few plants, maybe an herb garden, until you feel more comfortable with the idea. Research the requirements for the plants you are most interested in growing, and move on from there.