Hydroponics is the growing of plants in a liquid nutrient solution with or without the use of artificial media. Commonly used media include expanded clay pellets, peat coir, perlite, vermiculite, brick shards, polystyrene packing peanuts and wood fiber. Hydroponics is a viable method of producing vegetables, foliage plants and other crops. The demand for locally grown produce has risen dramatically. Growing these crops hydroponically is a very efficient means of meeting that demand.
The earliest food production in greenhouses was possibly the growing of off-season cucumbers under “transparent stone” for the Roman Emperor Tiberius during the first century.
When it comes to setting up a hydroponic system there are many key factors that should play into your decision. That’s because there are pro’s and con’s to different systems. To help you decide whether or not you should have a hydroponic system, we have listed some advantages and disadvantages. Take a look and see if it’s for you.
- You can grow anywhere.
- Uses 20 times less water than soil based gardening.
- Your environment is sterile, which means no pesticides.
- You’ll use 20% less space for growing.
- The system water can be reused, allowing you to conserve water.
- You can have complete control over nutrient balance by using Dyna-Gro Nutrition Solutions.
- No soil setup and testing hassles.
- Harvesting is easier.
- No mulching, tilling, changing of soil and weeding
- You can grow year round if indoors.
- Putting together a hydroponic system isn’t cheap.
- Constant monitoring is required.
- Hydroponic systems are vulnerable to power outages. In the event of a power outage that outlasts your generators you will be manually watering your garden.
- Micro-organisms that are water-based can creep in rather easily.
- Growing a hydroponic garden demands technical expertise.
- Production is limited compared to field conditions
- If a disease appears, all plants in the system will be affected.
- Without soil to serve as a buffer if the system fails plant death will occur rapidly.
There are numerous benefits of hydroponic gardening. Its practice can yield excellent results in short span of time with proper knowledge and techniques. Various environmental concerns, reduction in arable land, and scarcity of water can be easily conquered with the use of hydroponics. It is extremely beneficial for commercial farmers and home gardeners alike.