Hydroponics is a unique way of growing plants without soil. You can grow with hydroponics indoors or outdoors. It’s perfect for people who don’t have much space or the right conditions to grow their own produce simply. So without further ado, let’s dive into some of the most common questions about hydroponics.
What Is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil, using water as the base instead. The roots are suspended in an inert medium, like gravel, clay pellets, or expanded clay chips. Hydroponics is an attractive way of growing plants because it has many unique benefits.
What Can You Grow With Hydroponics?
You can grow almost any type of vegetable, herb, or flower in a hydroponic system. However, the key to growing plants successfully is working out the required environment of your plant. Once you know this, you can optimise your hydroponic system to maximise your plant’s growth. This is one reason why hydroponics is so appealing to plant growers. It allows you to adjust your environment and control it precisely. Once you know what plant you want to grow, you can research factors such as light levels, nutrients, and pH levels.
For example, tomatoes need more water than other vegetables. So, you need to create a system enough water is available. On the flip side, you don’t want to drown the plant with too much water. Overwatering your plant can be just as bad as under-watering it. You can set up your hydroponic system so that it delivers the correct amount of water each day.
Why Can Hydroponic’s Be Expensive?
The two most considerable costs that separate hydroponics from traditional growing are electricity and equipment. When compared to conventional farming, it makes more sense to use natural sunlight. This is especially true for farmers on a commercial scale. Most hydroponic systems are set up indoors and use lights from grow lights to feed the plant energy. This is a recurring cost; however, there are some advantages to this. Your sunlight might be too intense or not strong enough for the type of plant you want to grow. Hydroponic grow lights allow you to solve this problem. You can set them to produce the amount of daily light needed. In addition, hydroponics grow tents have mirrors that reflect light, which means you are not wasting power. You can also provide your plants with more light than they would usually get to make them grow faster. (Be careful not to outdo this).
The other significant cost is equipment. If you want to begin growing in your backyard, very little equipment is required. With hydroponics, it can seem like a large cost because of the amount of expensive equipment. But, most of this is a one-time cost, so it’s not that much more costly in the long run. The reason why grow lights, in particular, are expensive is because you need high-quality, powerful lights that are built to last.
Hydroponics can actually save you money by allowing you to reduce the space needed to grow. Hydroponics is the most space-efficient method of growing plants. For most people who live in cities, land is expensive. Hydroponics is a great way to be able to grow many plants in a small amount of space. The cost of buying more land to grow the same amount of produce would be significantly more expensive.
Are Hydroponic Grown Plants Healthier Than Soil Grown Plants?
This depends on how you define healthy. It’s impossible to make a blanket statement on this because it depends on many factors. For example, the quality of nutrients and the quality of the seed significantly impact healthiness. If you’re concerned about the quality of your plants, focus on these two variables before the growing method. It’s impossible to grow high-quality plants without these two variables.
Generally, hydroponically grown crops are more nutritious. This is because they contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. The reason for this is less there’s less oxidation as there’s no soil used. Also, you can control your nutrient content more and feed more nutrition. (Again, make sure not to overdo this).
One of the most significant factors of nutrition content is how fresh the produce is. This is one reason why growing with hydroponics is healthier than buying your produce from a supermarket.
As well as this, there are no impurities found in their food like herbicides or pesticides.
What Are The Different Hydroponic Systems?
The simplest systems to get started with in my opinion is the Run-to-waste system. In a Run-To-Waste system the nutrients aren’t recycled and they generally use an inert medium that has similar fluid retention rates to that of soil. This system is used in our beginner grow kit range.
Another hydroponic system to use is the ebb & flow or flood and drain. This consists of a water container at one end with holes in it that allow nutrient-rich water to be poured over your plants, while an area below drains excess water back into the outflow tank – this means you have more control over how many nutrients are available for plant growth as well as reducing any chance of flooding from drainage overflow.
Another option that will make things even easier for beginners is the Drip Systems, where you can also grow on top of the soil. This still offers all the benefits of hydroponics because these systems involve placing small amounts of the nutrient solution onto each plant every few days – if you need to water the plants manually, this is still a great option.
Is Growing With Hydroponics Worth It?
In my opinion, it’s a definite yes. When it comes to hydroponics, you can grow plants much faster than in the soil. They also produce a lot more fruits or vegetables at one time. Because there is no competition for nutrients, all plants grow at an optimal rate. It’s not just about saving money on labor either. With hydroponics, you can avoid any of the pesticides since pests won’t bother your plants.
If you want fresh organic plants grown at home, hydroponic gardening is a great solution.
What Are Hydroponic Nutrients?
Hydroponic nutrient solutions are used in hydroponics to feed plants without access to fresh air, soil, or rainwater. This is done by dissolving a controlled combination of minerals and chemical compounds into the water to be absorbed through the plant’s roots. Hydroponic nutrients are usually classified as either soluble or insoluble (dissolved) based on solubility properties under average concentrations for pH, dissolved oxygen levels, and other factors.
- Soluble: These dissolve easily and include potassium nitrate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate.
- Insoluble: These do not dissolve readily, including iron chelate complexes such as ferrous sulfate persulfates such as manganese bicarbonates like sodium bicarbonate or sodium carbonate, and also includes calcium.
What Are Hydroponic Grow Lights?
Grow lights are a type of artificial light used to help plants grow. These can be fluorescent, LED, or incandescent, and they emit various wavelengths ranging from infrared through red and blue, with the spectrum gradually increasing in wavelength towards the ultraviolet end. Plants use visible light for photosynthesis (the process where energy is produced). Most grow lights will provide an adequate amount of UV-B radiation, which is necessary for vitamin D synthesis.
Grow Lights are also known as supplemental lighting, artificial illumination, industrial lamps, plant growth bulbs.
Is Aquaponics Better Than Hydroponics?
With hydroponics, you are cutting out the need for soil and gardening. This is an excellent option for those who don’t have much time or space to spend tending to their gardens but still want fresh produce!
Hydroponics can be more eco-friendly than traditional farming methods because there’s less chance of contamination with water waste like pesticides and herbicides that would destroy plants in regular soil conditions.
It really depends on what your needs are – both hydroponic and aquaponics systems offer benefits that make them worthwhile investments depending on how serious you’re about getting into urban farming!
Aquaponics: If you love fish as well as planting things, aquaponic systems are a great choice! Aquaponics combines two sets of plants, with one set providing the water for the other, recycling nutrients, and making it possible for you to grow your own produce even if space is limited.
Hydroponics: Hydroponic systems involve growing plants in nutrient-rich water instead of soil or dirt – this means that they have higher yields per square foot than traditional agriculture because there’s no need to use up any ground elsewhere on your property.
If you’re just starting out in hydroponics and want a beginner’s kit with all the equipment you need, check out our Hydroponic Grow Kits.
If you’re looking for hydroponic equipment in Australia, Adelaide Organic Hydro has the most comprehensive range of supplies, and we ship Australia-wide.
See some of our featured product collections below: