Know what is hydroponics and how it has a beneficial impact on the environment plus other benefits and disadvantages.
This article throws light on what is hydroponics in a manner that is understandable even by a novice. In the deep water culture plants are held floating above the water with the plant roots partially submerged in water and this type of hydroponic grow method gives a good boost to the grow cycle.
There are many lucrative hydroponics benefits and it depends what one is actually looking for. In the nutrient film technique the use of organic fertilizers is possible and the hydroponic system is considered the most efficient for hydroponic plants as it gives faster growth.
After understanding what are the benefits of hydroponics you can proceed further with a clear mind. In the deep water culture besides the use of inert mediums like coconut coir or sewn plugs an air pump is necessary to generate oxygen in the liquid nutrients and the air is infused in the water normally using a submersible pump.
There are more interesting disadvantages of hydroponics which we have discussed in our other articles. The best part is the unbelievable environmental benefits of hydroponics. Tap water has to be aerated before mixing with the nutrient solution right from the seed pantry stage so that the growth of plant roots is not affected and the best grow cycle is achieved.
After understanding what is hydroponics clearly it becomes easy to proceed further with your plans. The use of advanced nutrients in the hydroponic system is usually done during the flowering stage. The nutrients in hydroponics can be basically classified as mineral nutrient solutions or organic fertilizers.
Even if you are thinking just at the hobby the hydroponics benefits are too awesome to ignore. The hydroponic system be it water culture hydroponics or aquaponics is more cleaner than traditional soil farming. A hydroponic garden for commercial products using organic material can be started to grow plants without soil and this is more interesting than traditional farming.
A thorough knowledge on what are the benefits of hydroponics will give a solid start to your endeavor to go in for this type of activity. To get the best results in deep water culture or other methods the hydroponic grow cycle has to be carefully monitored beginning in the seed pantry itself and the concentration of the liquid nutrients must be checked regularly.
And to add further fuel to your ambition the environmental benefits of hydroponics are just the boost in the plan. There are various types of hydroponics but the root growth in main types is better as the flow rates can be managed from the reservoir of nutrients right from the vegetative growth stages.
The disadvantages of hydroponics though are very much a reality can be still taken in the stride as they can be compensated by the vast benefits. A soilless environment with just nutrient tubes, clay pebbles or wood fibre and whether it is vertical hydroponics or passive hydroponics is the greatest incentive for beginners.
It is a smart idea to start with passive hydroponics as this is the simplest way of growing plants in water. You can use wood fible or clay pebbles as long as the nutrients level is maintained as required by the plant. In the ebb and flow method supply of water from the nutrient tank is done using a submersible pump and the nutrient levels depend on the initial design.
It is found that oxygenated nutrient solution gives higher plant production and this has to be borne in mind while dealing with plants from hydroponics. The plants from hydroponics have a better life cycle and this helps to scale commercial production.
A grow lamp giving the necessary light spectrum helps in optimal growing as it satisfies the requirements of plants generously. Plenty of light at the growth stage could be detrimental in hydroponic farming. Some technical knowledge is handy for using indoor grow lights.
Normal nutrients for beginners are available online in the simplest form but commercial growers better prepare their own advanced nutrients to increase the final yield.
Since total control is possible over the nutrient solutions pest infection can be minimized and stunted growth can be avoided. To acquire the perfect technology has been the most common limitation of hydroponics for a lot of growers.
Hydroponics is an innovative modern technique of growing plants directly in water without the use of soil. The plant is kept in still or flowing water in which the essential plant nutrients (fertilizer or chemicals) are mixed in required proportion.
However some medium is required to hold the plant in a steady position. Commonly used mediums are coco peat, pebbles, clay balls, rock wool, perlite, sponge, grow cubes etc.
Plants can be directly placed in water but this exposes the water to direct sunlight which may create problem of algae growth.
The foremost hydroponics benefits are that it does not require soil and hence can be practiced in any place and even a balcony or building terrace will do. It is clean and does not require handling of dirt causing materials.
Other benefits of hydroponics include absence of hard work of digging, weeding, timely daily watering etc. One can grow varieties of vegetable as well as flowering plants in a small place.
With a little bit of experience various types of fruiting vegetables and small plants producing fruits can also be grown.
The environmental benefits of hydroponics are varied and substantial. The fertilizers used are mixed in water and feed directly to the plants without dropping in the soil. Therefore there is no damage to soil. The seepage of fertilizers in the ground water is avoided.
In traditional as well as organic farming a lot of water is wasted. Hydroponics is even better than organic farming as it consumes 90% less water. This massive saving of water is one among the most outstanding environmental benefits of hydroponics.
In hydroponics pathogens like bacteria, fungus, etc. from soil do not come in contact with plants. This eliminates the use of harmful pesticides.
As hydroponic systems use vertical space plants can be grown in multiple layers. Hence output of produce can be 5 to 7 times more in the same area than traditional or organic soil farming.
It is possible to control individual plant nutrients to an accurate level. This helps in producing very healthy plants with optimum nutritious value.
Farm products like leafy vegetables and fruits grown hydroponically have a better market demand and sell for a higher price.
Hydroponic cultivation does not require any special type or size of place and hence can be adapted anywhere as per the availability.
The requirement of special systems makes the initial investment substantial compared to soil farming. Special instruments are also required to keep track of nutrient concentration, pH value and temperatures.
Systems have to be shielded from rain, snow and even too much sunlight. Readymade nutrient packs are fairly expensive and not readily available everywhere. A basic correct knowledge has to be acquired.
Continuous monitoring of the various parameters like PPM and pH has to be done every few days if not on a daily basis.
After knowing what is hydroponics and understanding all hydroponics benefits it a good idea to get hold of more information available on this site.
The environmental benefits of hydroponics far outweigh all other types of farming. The disadvantages of hydroponics are few and can be easily overcome.
Back to: Hydroponics Guide
Keeping track of the solution level is not an issue in top fed deep water culture method of growing. Isaiah Rawa, Egypt.
The coconut coir is inert to liquid nutrients and the concentrations of advanced nutrients are not affected by this medium. Sonia Magdelene, Toronto.
A submersible pump is not required in the seed pantry and grow cycle can be enhanced by using organic fertilizers. Joseph Auguiar, Costa Rica.
In the top fed deep water culture the food production is done in a controlled environment producing faster grow cycle and more nutritious products. Ivana Rabzoky, Russia.
The submersible pump circulates the nutrient solution and keeps the TDS at levels that produce best plant growth and this in turn produces faster grow cycle. Rafael Soares, France.
The hydroponic solution in deep water culture gives better plant growth as the TDS remains more or less constant for long durations. Jenny Shrivers, Kentucky.
The nutrient solution in deep water culture hydroponic grow produces plant growth as desired as the hydroponic solution concentration does not vary too much. Ashley Murray, New Zealand.