Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil. The plants are grown instead in water amended with essential nutrients, or they may be grown in gravel or perlite saturated with this nutrient solution.
Nearly any type of plant can be grown using this method. If you are looking to benefit from hydroponic indoor gardening for your own vegetables, flowers, or other plants, consult the guide below to learn about the numerous advantages of this system.
- Take advantage of the precise control you will have over your plants’ nutrients. When gardening hydroponically, you will be preparing the nutrient solution yourself. Because of this, it is very straightforward to minutely adjust the levels of any given nutrient in your growing medium. It is also much easier to adjust the pH of a water solution than soil. These factors will allow you to tailor your growing medium to your plants’ specific needs and monitor it easily.
- Enjoy the reduced risk of soil-borne pests and diseases. Many insects and microorganisms that can harm plants rely on soil to proliferate. These pathogens and pests have a much harder time living in a water solution, and therefore will pose a much lower risk to plants grown hydroponically. This will keep plants healthier as well as reducing the need for expensive and dangerous chemical pesticides.
- Utilize only the amount of water that is needed for your gardening. In both commercial agriculture operations and backyard vegetable gardens, most of the water applied to the plants will never be absorbed and used in their growth. Hydroponic gardening corrects this problem because the plants are grown directly in a water bath, and excess water is lost only through evaporation.In fact, hydroponic gardening setups can use as low as 10 percent of the water requirement of a traditional, soil-based setup. This can save you money and reduce strain on the environment.
- Grow more plants in less space using hydroponic gardening. When plants grow in soil, they grow long, extensive root systems to help them seek out the nutrients in the soil. When the nutrients are provided directly to the roots, however, the plant will focus its energy instead on growing foliage and will maintain a minimal root system. For this reason, hydroponic gardens can pack plants together very densely.
- Gardening in water versus soil allows you to fit as many as 5 times the amount of plants in the same space. This makes it an ideal solution for cramped indoor growing. If implemented on a large scale, this makes hydroponics ideal for feeding densely populated urban areas.
- Enjoy faster harvest times when growing fruit or vegetables. Since you control your growing conditions you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor much quicker than traditional gardening. By giving your plants the optimal blend of nutrients and light, harvest times can be reduced by 50% or more!
- Reduce the strain on your own body when gardening. A hydroponic garden can also reduce the fatigue produced through various gardening activities. Bending over to dig up weeds or harvest the plants is no longer required. Working with compacted, difficult soil is also no longer an issue. Hydroponic growing bins can readily be placed at a convenient height for working with the plants without bending over.