Hydroponics is a technique of growing plants without soil and without the limitations of space and climate. In the traditional farming system, plants depend on soil to obtain all nutrients needed for their growth. In contrast, a hydroponic garden provides all of these nutrients without involving sunlight, soil, extra labor, allowing farmers to benefit from efficiencies and to reap large produce yields.
In traditional soil-based farming, nutrients bind with the soil particles. Roots extend to such particles for obtaining food under ideal conditions and uptake becomes possible by plants only in conducive environments. In a hydroponic garden, plants simply receive their nutrition from a nutrient-dense solution. Therefore, a hydroponic system allows plants to directly uptake nutrients with the benefits of water-based, nutrient delivery systems. The solution is thus absorbed by the plant’s root, making it very easy for the plant to utilize what it needs and grow well. This photosynthesis equation shows that plants don't need soil to grow. As long as these elements are present, your hydroponic garden will thrive! This photosynthesis equation shows that plants don’t need soil to grow. As long as these elements are present, your hydroponic garden will thrive!
Hydroponics is usually practiced in a controlled environment for cultivating crops as this system offers some great advantages. The added benefits of controlling and managing pH, CO2, heat, air movement, nutrients supply, water needs, temperature and lighting scheme, help farmers boost production of their crops. It is not otherwise easy to handle such parameters in traditional farming. In many instances, one can achieve a managed environment using turkey hydroponic garden systems, which allow farmers to grow produce smarter and more efficiently. Some of these systems also come with the added advantage of growing vertically, which further minimize the footprint required to grow produce, while maximizing crop yields.
To get you energized about hydroponics, we’ve assembled reasons why you ought to have a hydroponic garden or farm.
Irrigation is seen as a saviour by many a farmer all over the world. To be perfectly clear in our opinion, irrigation has allowed man-kind to scale food production and feed more people, but water conservation is also very important.
One of the great benefits of hydroponics is a fraction of a foot-print required to grow the same number of plants in caparison to traditional farming. Every plant grown using open agriculture farming, ties up a certain amount of land for a long duration (usually through the growing season). With hydroponics, one has multiple options of growing plants, which includes vertically, thereby drastically reducing the land requirements needed to grow crops. Crops can be grown in areas having limited soil, water-logged soils, snow-capped soil, nutrient-poor soil, contaminated soil or where the soil doesn’t exist at all
In a hydroponic system, the nutrients are supplied with precision and accuracy, thereby not only lowering the fertilizer requirements per plant, but also allowing the plants to uptake just what they need for the best performance. Plants don’t have to spend time developing their root systems in search of nutrients as they do in traditional farming, instead, they can focus on developing their vegetative growth and growing much faster and more efficiently. Fertilizer needs are calculated prior to planting and the plants automatically receive precise dozing at regular pre-established intervals. The nutrients are delivered into the water supply reservoir and are circulated around the clock allowing plants to absorb what they need effectively. Plants use nutrients efficiently and no waste takes place in the process. Constant intake of nutrients can be observed from the health and vigor of plants. Additionally, due to the balanced and well-delivered supply of nutrient-rich water, there is no competition between plants and all cultivars grow equally well and have the same chance of success.
pH determines the acidity or alkalinity of any media on the basis of concentration of hydrogen ions. All plants grow well in neutral or acidic media. For agriculture soils, pH control needs the addition of a number of acidic fertilizers and organic matter while in the hydroponic garden, pH can easily be controlled by adding some pH buffer solution to the reservoir. A simple and easy test can lead you to measure and correct the pH level required for better growth of your Hydroponic garden. This correction leads to the maximum nutrients uptake by the growing greens.
A hydroponic garden has minimal restrictions in terms of space and location due to its compact size and controlled growing conditions. You can grow a large number of plants in a hydroponic arrangement compared to the open field.
Growing hydroponically improves the quality and taste of produce, because the system utilizes quality of nutrients and clean water under controlled environment without pesticides or herbicides. In addition, because hydroponics drastically reduces the supply chain, the greens grown locally in a hydroponic system will often times taste much better than those that have travelled thousands of miles from a farm to the grocery store.
This difference, of course, is much more noticeable and pronounced in geographical locations farthest away from the point of production of food. For the same reason, hydroponic vegetables retain more nutrition as nutritional profile starts to degrade as soon as the vegetables are harvested. The produce you harvest from your hydroponic farm will always be fresh, healthy and delicious, clean and free of dirt, pests, and diseases. This makes hydroponic produce oftentimes not only fresher, but also safer to eat.
Hydroponic systems provide complete control over the growing climate, because you have the ability to adjust temperature, light, humidity, CO2, and air according to the needs of the plants. Concentrations of nutrients can also be adjusted according to the needs of different vegetables and greens for their optimal growth.
Yet another, extremely popular benefit of hydroponics is a fast growth rate – which means that you can put your hands on that harvest much sooner. Hydroponic indoor gardening provides you complete control on the use of resources for faster growth and a steady supply of many in-demand and trending crops. By creating an optimal growing environment, you can increase your vegetable production compared to soil cultivation in the same period of time.
A managed environment provides plants with sufficient moisture and nutrients, so they can focus on vegetative growth instead of competing for nutrients with the neighboring plants, which is observed in the soil environment. Many greens can grow twice as fast in a quality hydroponic system. Hydroponic plants can grow 40-50 percent faster and can produce 30 percent more than the plants growing in soil. A combination of fast growth rate and a controlled environment creates predictable harvests on a consistent basis. This lowers the price and reliability risk for the wholesale produce buyer and lowers the revenue risk for the farmers alike.
Conventional farming needs excessive use of insecticide and herbicides for successful crop growth due to their exposure to multi-climatic conditions that support different pests and weeds infestation. In the case of a hydroponic garden, no soil is used, so there are no flare-ups of weeds and pest attacks. As a result, hydroponic crops are grown without these harmful agents.
This is highly beneficial to the farmer that can sell produce without pesticide residue, which is otherwise seen as detrimental to consumer health. This is the real advantage for the people who want to eat healthy and clean food without pesticide residue. Likewise, farmers can easily grow non-GMO crops, because there is no need for pesticides and herbicides. Therefore, organic and non-GMO seeds germinate beautifully and grow into lush vegetables in a hydroponic system.
A large number of diseases and pests are soil born which tend to infest your garden during the process of growing. Therefore, in dirt farming, pests and diseases are major challenges that farmers face. Without the know-how or without resorting to herbicides and pesticides, famers may end up losing a large portion of crops. This can be very discouraging mentally and a big risk financially. Another sneaky thing that can happen using traditional farming techniques, is seeds of the weeds can remain dormant in the soil and re-grow on arrival of favorable conditions to compete with your garden plants. That’s basically an ambush! And pests and diseases can cause a lot of damages to plants and can render seeds less viable. Growing hydroponically (without soil) will reduce the stress of battling with pests and diseases. In soil-less conditions, there are no flare-ups of weeds and very little chance of pests and diseases.
As a note, while you’re planning to set up your hydroponic system, we recommend having a method in place for maintaining cleanliness in your growing area and using clean materials. This includes wiping down the surfaces and picking up organic matter to avoid any rotting. Also, check to make sure that you unknowingly don’t bring pests from the outside into your hydroponic environment.