A hydroponics system has many advantages over traditional soil-based gardening. You can grow plants in a smaller space because roots don’t have to spread out in search of water and nutrients. Hydroponics involves the growing of plants without soil. Mike Straumietis, the founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrients, shares that you can use water, gravel, perlite, or sand in place of traditional soil. Growing plants hydroponically follows a different feeding plan from traditional gardening. Since these systems have no soil, you’d have to compensate for the lack of mineral nutrients. Failing to do so puts your crops at risk of wilting.
Are you on the fence about whether or not to build a hydroponic growing system? Don’t worry! Most growers accustomed to soil-growing methods have doubts about hydroponics. To help you reach an objective decision, we looked into the most crucial pros and cons, which include:
Pro: Requires much less space
This makes hydroponics ideal for urban gardens or indoor growing. Hydroponic growing systems require half as much space as traditional farming methods do. Moreover, you can place them anywhere since they don’t use soil.
Con: Building hydroponic growing systems takes time
Mike Straumietis shares that even simple hydroponic growing systems take at least a few days to build.
Pro: Plants absorb nutrients more quickly
Hydroponic systems can also be designed to be very efficient, using less water and fewer nutrients than soil gardening. And because hydroponically grown plants are not dependent on soil, they are less likely to be diseased or infested with insects. Plant roots absorb vitamins and minerals more quickly when submerged in water, especially if they don’t have competition.
Con: You need to compensate for the absence of soil nutrients
Without the help of soil microbes, plants grown in a hydroponics system may be less healthy than those grown in soil. Water doesn’t contain nutrients. You’d have to compensate for the missing vitamins and minerals through fertilizers.
Pro: Hydroponics produces more crops per square foot
A sophisticated hydroponic system can produce two to three times more crops using significantly less space.
Con: Hydroponics costs a lot
Of course, there are also some disadvantages to using a hydroponics system.
For one, it can be more expensive to set up a hydroponics system than to simply garden in the ground. Expect to spend thousands on your crops between greenhouse construction and plant fertilizing.
Should You Try Hydroponics?
You might like hydroponics if you have limited space for your plants and don’t mind spending a bit extra on fertilizers. Alternatively, rural farmers selling their crops might lose profits if they switch to a hydroponic growing system. Unfortunately, large-scale hydroponics will set you back by thousands.
However, Mike Straumietis emphasizes that whether or not you’ll benefit from hydroponics depends on your specific needs. There’s no universally correct approach to farming. Explore different plant-growing methods and assess which ones suit your lifestyle best!
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