Okay, let me get it out of my system…it’s eating me alive!!! Hydroponics has been termed as a breakthrough technology in the future of gardening. But there are few who would like to oppose, me being one of them. I am not calling hydroponics a bad decision but if you are not certain about it and jump with both feet you will find yourself in a complete mess. You will know why I am saying like this when you read this whole article.
Today, I am listing out all the reasons why hydroponics is good for you and why you should not consider hydroponics. (Confused, read again!!!). Nothing is “perfecto” in this world so why should hydroponics be any different? Let’s take a look at the good, bad and the ugly side of hydroponics.
There are many who would love to have their home filled with essential herbs, blooming flowers and much needed veggies and fruits. So why not indulge in hydroponic gardening? Hydroponic is currently one of the most sought after gardening methods especially after the brouhaha over toxic pesticides and fertilizers that are used for soil gardening. But does that mean hydroponics does not use toxic chemicals? Hmm…Read on to know about it.
Note that soil is not the necessary for growing plants but minerals and water are. They are crucial for your plants so make sure you introduce necessary minerals to the water rather than soil. They mesh well with water quite quickly than soil. The best thing about hydroponics is that you can grow any kind of plants using the unit.
- The biggest advantage of hydroponics gardening is they consume only little space and can grow indoors or outdoors happily. They also take less time than traditional gardening to grow.
- The best way to grow plants is by using grow tent or grow cabinets that create the perfect home for your plants. Plants also need a calm and serene atmosphere so ensure that you place them well and provide necessary ambience for better yields. There are lot of grow tents and cabinets available in market at an affordable price. This will help you to control the inside temperature, watering, lights etc. at your discretion.
- You will be cutting down a lot on labor costs that you shell out for maintaining an outdoor garden.
- If you are doing everything right, then you may find higher yields at a faster rate.
- Nutrition costs are also curbed as you can control the amount of nutrition fed.
- You need not worry about pests or soil borne diseases or your neighbor’s pet chewing up your hardwork.
- Weeds is another factor you need not worry about because there is no soil included.
I agree hydroponics offer a lot of benefits, but then just like any other products, they do come with certain con side. Few negative aspects include high costs, expensive equipments, maintenance, disease and so on. Let’s have a look, shall we?.
- Price: There is no such thing as free lunch. One of the biggest drawback of hydroponics gardening is the price especially the initial set up for purchasing all the necessary equipment. In fact the setup procedure costs more than traditional gardening.
- Maintenance: Unlike soil gardens, you need to constantly keep you hydroponic system in check rather daily. Of course, it depends on the system you use such as active or passive but then you need to be there everyday.
- Diseases: Many people seem to think that hydroponic plants are free from diseases. But it is not entirely true because many plants share the same nutrient water. This means water borne disease spread easily throughout your garden and the chances of contacting disease are more than compared to those in conventional gardening.
Are you willing to face the ugly side of hydroponic gardening? Well, ready or not, here it is.
Few people opt for organic hydroponics thinking that finally a system that brings pesticide free food to the table. But there is more than what meets the eye. As a matter of fact, organic hydroponics is not just nutrient dense food as you think. Though hydroponic gardeners may claim that the mineral based solution works equally in providing nutrition, the claims are shortsighted. Can you imagine that an artifical growing environment would ever equal the power of nature is simply frivolous.
The truth is no “nutrient based solution” can take the place of black, worm friendly soil worked up by farmer every cycle.
Another thing to note is the fact that organic hydroponics come with very low brix (basically a nutritionless and blatant plant) which can be verified with the help of an instrument called the refractromer. Simply put 2 drops of liquid from the produce to read the results. Note that you need to take the liquid from the part of the plant you are gonna eat and no the stem or roots. Stating the obvious, high brix yields not only taste better and last longer as well that are delivered by traditional gardening methods and not hydroponics as claimed.
Secondly, many say that hydroponics does not use toxic chemicals. You will add few dollops of nutrient solution and if you check the label clearly they contain ingredients that replicate soil fertilizers. However, there is a silver lining. The use of chemical nutrients is minimal since the plants feed only on water and hydroponics does not welcome diseases and pests unlike soil gardening. But if you are looking for toxic free food, hydroponic is not the answer and you are better off growing plants on tiny pots filled with water in windowsill that is purely simple and basic hydroponics.
Third and the last one. Hydroponic systems work with the support of power so you need constant power supply. These units use power to feed nutrient filled water, necessary light for the plants etc. Unpredictable power outages can switch off the hydroponic system and your plants will be easily damaged due to lack of nutrients. If the issue is not resolved they might die within a few hours. This means you need to be on constant alert and have to manually fix such situations that calls for more time and energy on your hydroponic garden.
If you want to maintain a hydroponic garden, you need to be well informed about the whole concept. You should have more of a technical knowledge to support the hydroponic system such as lighting, circulation fan, right amount of water, nutrients and so on. I say start with hydroponic gardening only when you are actually sure about it so that you have the confidence to fix any difficulties when need arises.