15 Advantages of Hydroponics Vs Soil Farming
Hydroponics is the art of growing crops without soil or any artificial media like perlite or clay pellets. Instead, you’re using water infused with nutrients. Modern science began studying hydroponics in the 1950’s, and this helped the practice catch on in Europe and the USA. However, hydroponic farming is ancient. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the floating Aztec gardens are just two examples, If you’re wondering whether to grow your crops using hydroponics vs soil, keep reading for a thorough comparison.
15 Advantages Hydroponic Farming Has Over Soil Systems
Water requirements for hydroponic depend on the crop you’re growing. Hydroponic vegetables, on average, need 10%-16% of the amount of water required to produce the same yield with soil. Cannabis plants may fall somewhere in that range, depending on the hydroponics system and the strain. In a study of lettuce crops in the Yuma, Arizona area, conventional growing methods required more than 10 times as much water as hydroponic methods. Keep in mind that hydroponics isn’t one growing method, but a whole category. Some systems re-use and re-circulate water and nutrients and therefore require less water.
Without soil, you don’t have to worry about pulling or killing weeds.
With all factors other than growing medium being equal, hydroponic crops typically grow 25%-50% faster than soil crops. Some outlier crops may grow twice as fast. Using hydroponics, expect more harvests.
The yield per area (square feet or square meters) of hydroponics systems is normally far higher than what you get from conventional soil systems. So is the yield per plant.
Farmers like to boast an overall yield increase of 300%-1,000%. Hydroponics eliminates the struggle plants normally go through to seek and absorb nutrients. The plants do not need to compete with each other for nutrients either. They use the energy they save to produce more food/medicine - and more quickly - because they’re less distracted.
Even if you have a tiny yard, you can use a vertical hydroponics system with stacked levels. If you don’t have a yard or balcony, grow indoors.
You can buy or create a system that doesn’t make you bend over to harvest your crop. Some rigs are made with specific ergonomic concerns in mind.
If you’re a minimalist type who uses only buckets and fish tank accessories, then it’s pretty easy to move your crops inside if the weather reports predict below-freezing temperatures. There are more sophisticated systems that allow you beat the frost as well.
Indoor growing requires some know-how and proper lighting. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
If you’re growing outdoors and the growing season ends, you can take your whole hydroponics setup inside if your system allows you to.
If the soil sucks on your property, don’t worry about it. Try hydroponics instead.
Hydroponic crops are less vulnerable to disease. However, there is a chance of water contamination and root rot. Overall, it’s still far less of a hassle than soil farming.
A lot of pests won’t be able to reach your crops, even if you’re growing outdoors. If you elevate the plants, the critters won’t reach them. Most of the usual insects will need to learn how to swim. Your greenhouse may possibly draw some pests, but some natural “biopesticides” have been proven effective at keeping them out.
You won’t have weeds. There’s no soil to prep. You’ll likely have less bugs, and you can use natural pesticides for the ones that do show up.
It’s easier to check the pH of your hydroponics system than it is to test soil. To raise the pH, all you may have to do is add some water.
Monoculture won’t deplete your soil because there is no soil.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics
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