Friday, January 23, 2015

Why Chose Hydroponics Over Dirt.

So you might ask yourself, why would I ever stray away from the conventional, proven technique of growing plants.

Well, we figured we would continue from  an older post, and go more in depth this time from the older post found here. That blog was just a general overview of Hydroponics.

Why would you want to go the way of what seems to be a very complex way of growing plants?

Well here are some of the benefits to growing Hydroponically:

  • Just as enjoyable as traditional gardening is, and can become so much more satisfying. 
  • You will no longer have to take time to pull out weeds, use weed killers, pesticides, etc. 
  • No tilling dirt, plowing dirt, pouring manure, and sometimes no animals to keep out. 
  • You are controlling even more of the process, how much oxygen hits the roots, how much nutrients the plant will receive, 
  • No more soil born illnesses, 
  • You can recirculate your water, which means you are conserving 90-98% more water over traditional gardening. 
  • Usually you can get more per harvest compared with soil, but you get yields 20%+ faster than soil. Your plant will use it's energy towards growing above the roots in a Hydroponics setup since it does not have to waste energy making a giant root structure to get the adequate amount of nutrition. 
  • You can automate you setup as much as you would like. You can place an arduino controller for PH testing / EC / and TDS. These three things test water PH levels, water quality, and nutrient levels to make sure that you are in the correct ranges. You could then even setup email alerts, or text message alerts for when they hit certain levels. This is only the tip of the iceberg of automation. 
  • You can combine your traditional methods of pruning to get an even larger yield. 
  • Building your own system, automating it, and getting more crops out of less space is extremely gratifying. 
  • Great project for adults, and kids. You will both learn a large amount of information. Even if it does not work out, you may learn how to become better at growing in soil from this knowledge. 
  • Every time you buy soil, whether it be cheap soil, or super expensive soil you are potentially introducing new pests, mites, etc into your environment. 

You will want to remember, the above list seems like it makes perfect sense, and lets go get started on your Hydroponic garden right now! Let's take into account some of the disadvantages: 
  • Cost, upfront it will be much larger. You will have to purchase equipment. Some equipment you can scrounge, or barter/bargain for such as buckets. Other equipment you will more than likely have to buy, such as a water pump. 
  • When your system goes south, your plants go south with it, super fast. Depending on your system you may have hours, or minutes to fix your issues and get your setup back up and running. Otherwise, your crops will be gone in that time frame. 
  • Your crops can be tasteless, and bland, if you do not give them the proper nutrition. If you skimp on the nutrients, your plants will be lacking. Do remember that if you over do it though, your plants roots may get "burnt" by the nutrients. 
  • You may end up putting in more time for gardening. You will more than likely put in more time upfront at least. But on the counter, we did find it more enjoyable, and you learn so much more than with dirt. 

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