Growing with hydroponics can be very cost effective and efficient compared to growing in soil. But if done improperly, can end up costing much more.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a nutrient-rich water solution. As opposed to soil, hydroponic systems support the root system of plants via inert mediums such as peat moss, rockwool or perlite.
Hydroponic systems aim to allow direct contact between plant roots and the nutrient solution. These systems also allow better access to oxygen for optimal growth. Growing with hydroponics has many advantages when maintained properly.
Advantages of Hydroponics
Hydroponic systems allow for maximum nutrient uptake from your plants’ roots. This allows them to grow a much quicker rate compared to soil. When done correctly, plants in a hydroponic system can mature up to 25% faster and yield 30% more than the same plants grown in soil.
Also as hard as it may be to believe, growing with hydroponics can actually save water. Up to 20x less water is used in hydroponic systems compared to soil based growing. In fact, compared to soil, hydroponics is better for the environment because it reduces waste and pollution from soil runoff.
Disadvantages of Hydroponic Systems
The biggest disadvantage of hydroponics is the cost. While cost effective, the initial setup of a hydroponics system will be more expensive than soil. However, hydroponics is a more advanced, and much more effective growing system compared to soil. And you get what you pay for with both options.
Your plants’ roots will be in direct contact with the nutrient solution. So you need to monitor your plants much more closely than with soil. Which can become time consuming, and obsessive.
On top of that, should a pump failure happen when you aren’t there to fix it, the results can be disastrous.
In a hydroponic system your plants are used to having direct access to fresh water. Thus they cannot store nutrients like soil would. A clogged drip system pump or a timer malfunction can easily result in the death of your plants unless resolved as quickly as possible.
Should You Grow With Hydroponics?
Like everything when it comes to growing, it’s all preference. Hydroponics are expensive, time consuming and laborious. But when done efficiently, hydroponic systems are one of the most effective and highest yielding methods of growing out there.
It depends on your commitment, availability, and wallet-depth. But you can believe that a well-established and maintained hydroponic system will pay for itself in no time.
If you have more questions or want to share your experience with hydroponics, get in touch with us! We specialize in hydroponic systems, and can help you find the most cost-effective set up so you can start growing with hydroponics.