Do you want to grow higher quality plants faster, more sustainably, and save on space?
Well, you're in luck!
Hydroponics is a method of growing agriculture that helps you grow efficiently and sustainably.
This method of growing is especially ideal if you want to grow within a small space such as an apartment, or if you need to grow plants that require a specific type of climate.
How does it do this?
Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in an inert soilless growing medium. Examples of such mediums can include rock wool, coconut fiber, or other similar options.
Similarly to soil, these plant mediums help provide support for the plants being grown. However, they don't provide any of the nutrition.
Instead, all of the nutrition comes in the form of a nutrient solution which is often some sort of fertilizer mixed with water.
This solution is then filtered through the plant's roots, making it simple and easy for the plant.
Furthermore, the entire hydroponic system is mostly automated. Timers allow you to control factors such as the lighting cycle, watering cycle, temperature, and humidity.
Since this whole process is controllable, it's easier to create the most optimal conditions for your plant's growth.
This can lead to plants that are healthy and disease-free - without any of the mess!
Does that sound awesome? Well...it gets even better!
To get you even more excited, we've put together 6 of the top reasons why you should grow hydroponically below.
Reason 01: No Soil, No Mess
If you've ever grown using soil, you may understand how messy it can get.
Soil can spill, there can be insects to deal with, and it can be hard to switch plants out after their roots have spread.
Hydroponics is a completely different story.
First, the environment is much more sterile. The main organic materials that you'll encounter will be the plants that you grow, the nutrient solution used, and potentially the plant medium in use.
The rest of the system is often comprised of either plastic or metal, so there is less of a mess that you'll have to deal with.
Additionally, if you do live in a smaller space such as an apartment or want to grow indoors, then hydroponic growing can help keep your living areas cleaner with less effort.
Which brings us to our next point!
Reason 02: You Can Grow Anywhere
Hydroponic growing can be practiced almost anywhere!
Have you ever wanted to grow a large tomato plant in your closet? Hydroponic growing makes that possible!
If you want to grow in your garage, living room, or your kitchen, hydroponics has you covered!
Because you're using a system that can be set up in most places, you can control where you're growing and the amount of space that you want to use.
So hydroponics is clean, it can save space, and helps with...
Reason 03: Climate Control
Climate control can be a huge gamechanger for many home growers.
Different plants have different needs ranging from light through nutrition. For example, chilis tend to love having a lot of light since they're traditionally a tropical plant.
For those of us further away from the equator, this can make growing chili a harder process.
Hydroponics can take care of this problem.
Since you're often in control of factors such as lighting, temperature, and humidity, it makes recreating the optimal environment for plants such as chili much easier. If your plant is getting too much light, you can simply reduce the amount of light it receives.
On the flip side, if you're growing outdoors in the soil, then optimization of climate is often out of your hands.
Reason 04: You Conserve Water
Water is one of the world's most valuable resources, yet it has often been treated as though there is an endless supply.
Populations are on the rise, and with climate change occurring, many people are increasingly running out of fresh water. Already, more than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Even within the United States, many areas are low on fresh water supply.
So how does hydroponics help solve this problem?
In California, it's estimated that 80% of water used by humans is used agriculturally. When growing using soil, water will often evaporate, or be lost within the ground.
On the other hand, since hydroponics is an enclosed system, any water not used by the plant will be recycled thus reducing water waste by up to 90%! Plants soak up the required nutrient solution, and anything leftover is recaptured to be recirculated.
With that in mind...not only will you help contribute to saving one of our most valuable resources, but you'll also be able to reduce your water bill by a large margin!
Reason 05: Your Plants Will Grow Faster
Remember how we mentioned that you have almost complete control of the growing environment?
Well, because of that control, you're able to optimize the environment to best suit the plant of your choice.
If your plant likes to grow in a tropical environment, such as the chili plant does, then you can recreate that environment using a hydroponics system.
If your plant requires a lot of water for optimal growth, simply create an environment in which your plant will have access to water more often.
Growing hydroponically can help you grow plants much faster resulting in more produce for your family's enjoyment.
Reason 06: Pest And Disease Free Environment
If you've ever grown plants outdoors or in a soil based environment, you'll understand how troublesome pests and disease can be for your plants.
Because of all of the interaction with the outside environment, it's hard to control what pests may go after your plants, or what diseases attack them.
Although not completely pest and disease free, a controlled hydroponic environment puts the ball in your court.
Starting out, you should have a mostly sterile environment free of pests and disease. This is because your starting materials (pipes, pumps, fans, etc) are inorganic, and should be relatively clean.
Now, here's what's important for you to do to control pests and disease in your hydroponics system:
- Quarantine any pest or disease-ridden plants
- Keep the hydroponics system clean
- Ensure you don't bring in any pests or disease
Quarantining pest or disease-ridden plants at first-sight is extremely important to halting it from spreading. Although plants can recover, it can be tough to manage, especially when spreading.
For example, if you notice a leaf that appears to be pest-ridden, it'd be best to snip it off to prevent it spreading to other parts of the plant. Additionally, if you're growing multiple plants, separating the pest or disease-ridden plant from the rest would be best.
In addition to making sure you use quarantine methods when needed, you'll also want to make sure that you keep your hydroponics system clean. This can include your water reservoir, tools, plants, and other parts of your hydroponics system.
The biggest reason why a hydroponics system can help you prevent pest and disease from attacking your plants is that you have control over a large portion of it. If you allow the system to deteriorate and become dirty, then you're giving up the control that you have.
Finally, you'll want to ensure that you don't bring any pest or disease into the hydroponics system. Since the system starts out as a sterile environment, pest and disease have to be introduced in some way. That introduction could possibly happen through you.
Whenever you interact with your hydroponics system, there's a chance that some pest or disease has caught a ride on you, your clothes, or tools. And they're more than happy to take up residence within your hydroponics system.
What you can do to help prevent this introduction from happening is to make sure that you and the tools are as clean as possible. If you've just finished gardening outdoors, it'd be beneficial to first change clothes before interacting with your hydroponics system.
The more effort you put into maintaining your control over your hydroponics system, the less you'll have to worry about in comparison to traditional gardening.
Growing plants quickly, easily, and sustainably within a small space is now more possible than ever using an agricultural technique known as hydroponics.
Hydroponics involves the use of a plant medium in place of soil. Additionally, nutrients are mixed in with a reservoir of water, which can be fed to the plant's roots as needed through mechanisms such as a pump.
Many hydroponics systems also make use of lighting fixtures, fans, and other devices that can help control temperature, humidity, pH, and other factors that lead to healthier plants.
To reiterate, these are the top 6 reasons why you should grow hydroponically:
- No soil, no mess
- You can grow anywhere
- Climate control
- You conserve water
- Your plants will grow faster
- Pest and disease free environment
Hydroponics is an amazing solution to growing fresh produce sustainably in any location. And we've laid out some of the top reasons why you should be growing hydroponically.
If you've already tried growing hydroponically, what has your experience been like?
We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!