Though the practice has been around for thousands of years, hydroponic gardening has regained popularity in recent history. With the need for sustainable management of our fragile planet staring us in the face, hydroponic gardening has emerged as one of the practices that can help towards this end. Besides the fact that it is eco-friendly, people realize the several other benefits of this practice. Here, we will briefly discuss a few hydroponic gardening benefits and disadvantages.
This list of the pros and cons of hydroponic gardening is not all-encompassing but will serve to help you assess whether this gardening technique is right for you.
5 Benefits of Hydroponic Gardening
Clever Use of Space and Location
This is one of the first benefits of this system of gardening. Since the plants do not need soil to grow, they can be grown closer together. You have the option of growing indoors or outdoors, and the system needs considerably less space than what is obtainable with soil-based gardens. While soil-based gardens need land with nutrient, any location is ideal for hydroponic gardens.
Hydroponic Gardening Produces Healthier Plants
If you are mindful of the quality of vegetables you eat, hydroponic gardens will be the best option for you. The plants grown through this system have better nutritional value than those produced conventionally. Vegetables grown under the system, for instance, have as much as 50% more vitamin content than those grown in soil-based gardens. There is also fewer chances of contamination in this system.
Mess-Free and No Back-Breaking Labor
To take care of a traditional garden, you have to get your hands dirty most often. It can be messy as other organisms that you did not plant or want to see in your garden can always be found in the garden. It is not the case with hydroponic gardening. It is a very clean method of gardening. The system also doesn’t demand so much regarding labor. Tending to the soil can be very tedious, which is not necessary for hydroponic gardens. There is no tilling involved, no pushing of wheelbarrows, no pulling of weeds and other such back-breaking labor. All you need to do is provide the right nutrient for the water, and your plants will perform excellently.
Enjoy Year Round Produce
Unlike in traditional gardening where seasonal variations will constrain you, hydroponic gardening is an all-year-round affair. The seasons of the year and environmental conditions do not have any meaningful impact in the timing of your gardening practices. You can modify the environment to suit the needs of the plants and have them yield bountifully. You can make use of any space at all; adjust it according to what the crops need and grow your garden with less worry.
Hydroponic Gardening Gives You More Control
While you can control the condition of the soil sometimes, you do not have full control over it. There are lots of factors that are beyond your control. Even the ones you can control can be time-consuming and expensive. With hydroponic gardening, you will have more power of the growing medium. You are in charge of the nutrient balance and can easily alter things according to the requirements of the plants. Deficiencies are much easier to correct in the system, and it is also easy to flush and start over again.
5 Disadvantages of Hydroponic Gardening
Hydroponic Gardening Requires Experience and Technical Knowledge
With the many benefits hydroponic gardening offers, many will want to embrace the system. The problem, however, is that it is not a simple system. Gardening generally demands some level of knowledge, but hydroponic gardening requires so much concerning technical expertise and experience. You will have to learn the rudiments of this system of cultivation and gather some knowledge before you can successfully manage it.
There Is High Possibility of System Failure
The chances of system failure in hydroscopic gardening are very high. This is a real threat that faces anyone in the system. Any real technical glitch can have dire consequences on the plants, and this can be devastating when you have a large scale garden. Pump failure, for instance, can kill off your entire plants within hours since the growing medium doesn’t hold water as the soil does. The plants depend so much on a fresh supply of water and your ability to maintain such water in the state that supports their growth.
Waterborne Diseases Can Spread Faster Under Hydroponic Systems
Hydroponic gardening depends so much on water, and there is a high risk to the plants if the water gets contaminated by any means. You need to be vigilant and take proactive measures to avoid any incidence of waterborne disease as it can have a very devastating effect on your crops. Once any of such conditions are introduced into the system, it can spread very fast and cause lots of damages. The hazardous ones can kill off your plants quickly.
It Requires Time, Commitment and Supervision
One of the benefits of hydroponic systems is that it gives you more control with the growing medium of the plants. This control comes with so many responsibilities that will consume so much of your time. You also need to be fully committed and ready to supervise endlessly for the system to work well without any glitch. You need to ensure that the nutrients are balanced at all time, and the water pH is at the right level. You will have to check all the essential parameters on a daily basis, and this can be daunting.
Setting up Large-Scale Hydroponic Garden Can Be Very Expensive
Hydroponic systems are expensive, in no small extent. Setting up the system can be quite costly, and when you are looking at doing it on a large scale, it can be expensive. Even though it maximizes the use of space, you will still need a considerable area and supply of clean, fresh water. You will also need to provide all the nutrients the plant needs and all the equipment to check their levels and maintain the water in the right condition.
Hydroponic gardening is a sustainable system with massive potential for those that can manage it well. We have discussed hydroponic gardening benefits and disadvantages and hope this piece helps you to make the right decisions about your gardening practice.