Is hydroponics right for me? Is it a healthy alternative to traditional gardening methods?
Both great questions to ask, in this article we tackle the topic – is hydroponics healthy? And reveal some of the advantages and disadvantages of hydroponics.
We will talk about nutritional factors and how they differ from soil-based growing as well. So if you have the burning question.
Is hydroponics healthy? Today you get your answer.
By the end of this article, you will know whether to start this method of growing or not.
Let’s dive right in.
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponic gardening is the growing of plants in water without soil.
The basic reasoning behind hydroponics is to allow the plant’s roots to come in contact with the nutrient solution. Also, the plant’s oxygen source is maintained throughout the hydroponic system, which is essential for proper growth.
The dynamic thing about hydroponics is that there are many different types of hydroponics systems you can try.
Some of the most common hydroponic systems used – combine different types of hydroponics into one hybrid hydroponic system.
Hydroponics is so unique because of the multiple techniques you can use to grow your plants.
What Are The Advantages of Hydroponics?
- No soil is needed – Finding safe and uncontaminated soil can be challenging, and expensive. With this in mind, you can grow crops in places where the land is limited, is not available, or is not safe to use.
Hydroponics has been referenced as the farming of the future to grow foods for astronauts in space (where there is no soil) by NASA. If it’s healthy enough for NASA that’s saying something.
- You control the nutrients delivered – When growing your plants in soil, it’s difficult to predict how much food your plants are getting.
But you know hydroponic is healthy when you grow plants using hydroponics because you control the nutrients your plants need.
Before you begin to plant, you can check what plants need and the specific amounts of nutrients needed at a particular stage, then mix them with water. The nutrients are preserved in the hydroponic system, so there are no losses or adjustments in nutrient quality like there are in the soil growing.
Hydroponics and Pests
- Diseases & Pests – Growing in soil leaves you vulnerable to more problems than just if your plants will grow. Getting rids of soil helps make your plants less vulnerable to soil-borne pests like birds, gophers, groundhogs, and other little critters that enjoy healthy food. Which prevents diseased plants as a result.
- No Pesticide usage – This is a powerful argument for why hydroponic plant growth is healthier.
Since you are using no soil, there are no weeds or pests, and plant diseases are heavily reduced, so fewer chemicals if any are used. This helps you grow cleaner and healthier foods.
The reduction of or total elimination of insecticide and herbicides is a firm point of Hydroponics when the criteria for modern life and food safety are more and more placed on top of consumers’ and farmers’ minds.
- Improved Growth Rate – Growing with hydroponics comes with many advantages, one of the biggest is an increased rate of growth in your plants. With a well-designed setup, your plants will mature up to twenty-five percent faster and can produce up to thirty percent more than the same plants grown in soil.
What Are The Disadvantages of Hydroponics?
- Time and Commitment – Some say this is a disadvantage but could be viewed differently. With anything worthwhile, effort and dedication are required to answer your question. Is hydroponic healthy?
Unlike soil-borne plants that can be left for days, or even weeks without attention. That is exactly the opposite of hydroponic systems. Plants will die quickly without proper care, depending on the method you decided to use.
Your plants are depending on you to survive, not the soil. It’s up to you to take good care of your plants. Some see that as a disadvantage.
- Initial Expenses – Whatever system you build you will need containers, nutrients and other pH equipment to properly take care of your plants. Depending on the scale of your garden it can add up quickly. Just something to be aware of.
- System Failure Threats – Remember, you are possibly going to be using electricity to manage your whole system. If you don’t plan for power outages, your plants will lose access to the nutrients immediately and could dry out quickly. Having a backup power source can help prevent this from occurring.
So is Hydroponics Healthy?
Absolutely, did you notice all of the disadvantages are time or money or hardware related?
Those are things that can easily be managed and fixed. And well worth it for the nutritional advantages you receive from growing using hydroponics.
Hydroponics has wonderful potential and healthy sources of food and a safer environment are top of mind for people nowadays, and that will only continue to grow.