Hydroponic planting is a method of growing plants that uses water instead of soil. The water contains solutions that provide the plant the nutrients it needs. While people may think hydroponics is a new farming method, its history dates back to around 600 BC when King Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
While King Nebuchadnezzar II built the garden to please his wife, hydroponics is more than just eye-candy. It offers many benefits that you don’t normally get with the traditional way of growing plants in a garden. Here are the benefits offered by hydroponics planting.
Low Space Requirement
One significant advantage of using hydroponics is the low space requirement. When used in a vertical planting method, it can save up to 90 percent of space compared to traditional planting methods. This makes it ideal for backyard or city gardens where space is limited.
It doesn’t use up a lot of space since the roots don’t spread out as much when it searches for moisture and nutrients. Hydroponics delivers the moisture and nutrients directly to the roots. Due to this, the root system of the plants is not spread out too much. This also means you can grow more plants in a small garden when you use hydroponics.
No Soil Requirement
A traditional gardening method requires soil to grow. This can be a problem if you’re living in an apartment building without any space for a garden. You can try setting up a garden on the roof deck, but you’ll have to bring soil to the top.
But hydroponics replaces soil with water. Due to this, you can easily set up a hydroponic garden on the roof deck of your apartment building. You can grow any crop there just as long as you get permission from the building owner or the landlord.
Lower Water Requirement
A hydroponics system uses less water since the system captures the water and reuses it. In comparison, a traditional planting method will see water draining off into the soil. The plant itself only takes in around 0.1 percent of the water it takes it. It releases the rest of the water through evapotranspiration.
In hydroponics, the water released by the plant is recirculated for the plants to absorb in the future. Due to this, hydroponics uses up to ten times less water than the traditional planting methods. This makes this planting method a good way to conserve water while growing crops.
Faster Growth Rate
Traditional planting methods allow plants to grow to maturity after several months. This is mainly due to the slow process for plants to take in nutrients from the soil. The maturing process also causes some of the nutrients the plant absorbs to become wasted.
On the other hand, hydroponic s allows plants to grow up to 50 percent faster than the traditional planting method. Since the nutrients are readily available, the plant can easily absorb them and hastens the maturing process. Additionally, controlling the light and heat can also aid in the growing process. This can streamline the growth cycle allowing the plant to grow bigger as well.
Higher Crop Yields
When the conditions are right, using hydroponics can result in higher crop yields. The right conditions require the grower to control the nutrients, heat, light, and hydration available to the plant. The grower should also ensure there are no pests on the plants. This will translate to up to four times the yield of traditional planting methods depending on the plant grown.
With a higher crop yield, you’ll likely end up with more produce than you can consume. This means you should prepare a couple of reusable produce bags if you need to give your friends some of your produce.
Growing plants using the hydroponics method allows growers to contain them in a hydroponic greenhouse. The greenhouse gives the plants micro-climates that protect them from issues that normally affect traditional planting methods. They are protected from pests and don’t require pesticides. Growers can also control the temperature allowing them to grow the plants all-year-round.
Low Labor Requirement
Since hydroponic growing doesn’t require soil or insecticides, it does not entail a lot of work to maintain it. Growers do not need to till or weed the soil. They also do not need to treat the plants with herbicide or pesticide to drive pests away. This reduces the cost of growing crops and makes it easy for roof deck growers to have a steady supply of fresh vegetables for their consumption.
Hydroponics offers a lot of advantages compared to the traditional way of growing plants. This makes it the best way for urban dwellers to start their gardens in their apartment buildings.