Hydroponics is growing in popularity. Many gardeners have switched to this method of planting. However, is it worthwhile trying this new way of gardening and extend your comfort zone? Let’s get to know if hydroponic systems are better than growing crops in soil.

Most people learned to plant in soil. It is the traditional and the only way to grow non-aquatic plants until hydroponic innovation came. Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without soil. Instead, plants are placed in nutrient-rich water solution. This technique makes it easy for plants to absorbed their needed nutrients and water with minimal effort. This way, plants devote their resources to develop leaves and fruits rather than developing larger root systems to search for moisture and nutrients. As a result, plants grow faster and bigger. Hydroponics are usually used in growing crops because they allow growers to have early and larger harvest.

Growing plants in soil requires the roots to expand in search for nutrients and water. This is why it takes longer for them to grow than hydroponic plants. In some cases, soil-grown plants are leggy (have long root systems). This happens when they have to work hard to fulfil their needs. They search the ground to thrive. Leggy plants are unhealthy because their energy is diverted to growing roots instead of leaves, stems, and flowers.

In hydroponics, plants root systems are smaller than soil-based plants. This allows growers to save space and have better yields. Plants can be placed close to each other and even in a vertical setting. There is no competition in absorbing water and nutrients unlike in conventional gardening as their nutritional needs are given directly in the roots.

Hydroponic systems allow gardeners to have full control of their crops. They can give the precise amount and composition of nutrients to the plants without worrying of nutrient toxicity. This is because they know the exact nutrient content in the water. Unlike soil in which it is difficult to determine the nutritional content. This ensures that crops get sufficient nutrients to grow healthy.

Controlling pests, bacteria, and weeds is much easier in hydroponics than in soil-grown plants. Planting in water is clean and uncontaminated. It does not attract bacteria and pests unlike soil. Grasses grow and multiply fast in soil but they rarely grow in water so you don’t have to deal with them in hydroponics. Moreover, hydroponic systems can be placed indoor since there is no need for soil. This makes it simple to protect your crops from bugs and microorganisms which are common outdoor.

Growing plants indoor has many benefits. Aside from protecting your crops from diseases caused by insects or bacteria, it lets you grow plants all year round. You don’t have to worry if it’s stormy or snowy outside as your crops are secure under a roof. Growing indoor saves you money on pesticides. It also helps you avoid consuming chemically sprayed produce which can cause health issues.

Cost is an important factor to consider when deciding on whether to switch to hydroponics or remain on soil-based gardening. The cost of installing hydroponic systems could be relatively high especially if you aim to mass produce. You have to invest for large pipes and water pumps to have more efficient systems. If you plan to grow indoor then HID lights must also be installed to supply the needed light energy of plants for photosynthesis. These expenses can be offset by the systems’ efficiency in the use of water, pesticides, fertilizers, and a wide land to sow crops. In addition, you’ll have more and bigger harvests. For home-use, you can use recyclable containers to grow as much crops as you want. You can buy hydroponic nutrient solution in garden shops to ensure you have the right nutrients for your plants.  

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore loves plants and gardening. She has a small hydroponic garden at home in which she grows herbs and vegetables. She works at https://electrickettlesplus.com which helps people find the perfect electric kettles for them.