There are so many misconceptions about the advantages and disadvantages of hydroponics. Learning the facts can be very helpful in determining whether or not this type of farming is right for you. There is no doubt that the advantages of hydroponics are numerous, but it is also important to understand some of its disadvantages.
Photo By Jatuphon Buraphon
Most environmentalists love hydroponics, but it’s not without its detractors. The appeal is that it’s more efficient in terms of water and energy usage and doesn’t require much in terms of land. But there are plenty of people who worry about the chemicals in the water or the potential environmental impact of these greenhouses if they were to grow on a larger scale.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is the method of growing plants without soil. In this method, all essential nutrients are provided in a solution. The solution is usually nutrient-rich water that contains all the water-soluble nutrients required by growing plants, either in a hydroponic system or in a soil-less medium such as a clay pebble medium. Basically, it’s a tool for growing plants without soil, and it’s an alternative to the traditional farming methods that have been used for centuries.
What are the advantages of hydroponics?
There are a number of benefits associated with hydroponic farming.
It saves water
The use of hydroponics in the agricultural industry is becoming increasingly popular. This is because it saves water and chemicals, which in turn preserves the environment. Because hydroponics does not need soil to grow plants, less water is needed for irrigation. This makes hydroponics the environmentally friendly way to farm. Hydroponics has been proven to be one of the most efficient methods of growing plants or crops for consumption.
It uses less space
Hydroponics doesn’t require that much space. Depending on the type of system, they can use up to 99% less land compared to traditional farming techniques. A major advantage of hydroponic plants is that the roots never have to spread out to search for nutrients or water.
Crops grow faster
Growth rates for hydroponic plants are up to 60% higher than those of soil-grown plants. Hydroponics allows for tighter control over all aspects of the plant's environment, meaning that growers can stimulate faster growth rates and a higher yield.
A hydroponic system gives you a one-up with the elements, and there’s no need to worry about soil quality, wind, and rain. It also gives you more control over your farming and produces constant results.
Photo By Iamareri on Pixabay
What are the disadvantages of hydroponics?
Expensive to set up
There is a high upfront cost that comes with hydroponics, and you’ll need capital to purchase a number of things. You can either buy the parts for your hydroponic system individually or purchase the whole, complete hydroponic system on AgriMag. Depending on your knowledge of the system, you might need to pay for installation.
Power outages can be an issue
With the current load shedding crisis, you might need to find alternative methods to power your hydroponic system while the power is out since different components of the system depend on electricity, lights, fans, and water pumps. Load shedding and power outages can affect the system.
Vulnerable to waterborne diseases
Water-based microorganisms can creep into and affect the entire system. Since these plants are grown in water, there is an increased chance of waterborne diseases. In the most extreme cases, the waterborne disease can kill plants in just a few hours.
It needs constant maintenance
Hydroponic farming requires a level of responsibility for it to be successful. Unlike traditional farming where you can go a day or two without watering, this new form of gardening needs constant attention. While the system can be automated, you may still need to oversee it.
Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Yes! Hydroponics is environmentally friendly and it saves water and chemicals, which in turn preserves the environment. Find hydroponic systems for sale on AgriMag.