Hydroponics has been around for a while, but thanks to many technological advancements and economic factors, the market has grown to be a lot more popular today. However, many people still don’t actually know what it is! Here at ManoMano, we have crafted a small article to help guide you about what a hydroponic grow system actually is – water way to learn something this week. 🙂
If this article interests you, why not start your own hydroponics garden and keep us updated with how your seedlings come on?
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a way of growing plants in a water based solution filled with nutrients, rather than in soil. The method allows the plant roots to come into direct contact with the nutrients in the water whilst also having access to oxygen, which is another essential aspect to good growth.
Currently, the top 5 plants to grow in a hydroponic grow system are lettuce, spinach, strawberries, bell peppers and herbs – this tends to be because they are durable, fast growing, and don’t take a lot of of work to get started! Especially leafy greens because their shallow root systems match their short heights.
Advantages of Hydroponics
One of the main advantages is the increased rate of growth. Due to the plants not having to work as hard to obtain their nutrients, they can mature up to 25% faster and produce up to 30% more than the same plants grown in soil. This happens because the small root system provides the plant with everything it needs which allows the plant to focus on growing upwards rather than expanding the root system below it!
Another advantage is that for the humble gardener it can reduce the amount of labour invested into the planting, upkeep and harvesting required to produce the plants. It also takes up 20% less space in comparison to soil based gardens and uses 1/20th of the water compared to traditional gardens.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics
The initial cost to set up a hydroponic system can be very high and requires technical knowledge to ensure optimal growth of the plants. However, with the right work ethic this can be acquired with articles such as this one, but takes some self motivation!
Another disadvantage is that the hydroponic system relies on power to water the plants accurately as this is one of the reasons why it reduces labour for the average gardener. However, if there is an issue with the power then the system will stop functioning and the plants can dry out. Not only will this mean that you’ll have to manually water the plants yourself, but, it can also increase the risk of water-based microorganisms which is certainly not ideal!
Why choose Hydroponics?
Overall, with the proper knowledge and techniques, this method of growing plants can help commercial farmers and home gardeners grow plants quicker and in larger batches in all seasons. The plants have been found to have better nutritional value as the vitamin content is increased by 50%, and with a better impact on the environment through the reduction of the use of soil and water, surely it’s worth a try?
We have more leafy blog posts about hydroponics coming soon, but until then, why not read our other garden improvement articles?