If you enjoy gardening at home, you’ve probably heard of hydroponics. Contrary to popular belief, this technology is far from modern. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, according to historians, were created using a variety of hydroponic farming techniques.
There are many advantages of hydroponic growing. Nutrients and water are delivered precisely to the plants to help them flourish in improved environments. This results in better yield and high efficiency. Hydroponics is more eco-friendly as it allows the conservation of water and other resources through recycling. With reduced costs and improved efficiency, farmers can generate better profits.
Benefits of Hydroponic Farming
Hydroponic farming is a method of growing crops that eliminates the need for soil. Essential nutrients are dissolved in water and delivered to the plants in controlled environments to improve yield and production. The nutrients comprise essential minerals required for the plants to grow.
Advantages of Hydroponic Growing
Hydroponic gardens have numerous advantages. They can provide a good yield of crops without needing too much water or space. The controlled nutrients ensure that the product is of high quality, and it allows you to harvest fruits and vegetables in the most extreme weather conditions.
1 – Maximum Space Utilization
When planting crops on open land, they need to be adequately spaced out to ensure that all plants get the required nutrients without having to ‘fight’ with one another. This method means that there are fewer plants per unit of space.
The combination of hydroponics and vertical farming can result in minimal usage of land. Vertical farming can be carried out in any vacant space, such as abandoned warehouses, old buildings, or even scrapped shipping containers. The goal is to provide the plants with a controlled and healthy environment with ideal nutrients, light, and temperature. The plants can then be placed above one another in stacks multiple stories high.
In controlled environments, the plants are well-nourished with the required nutrients and do not need to expand or stretch their roots to maximize resource intake. Therefore, they grow well in confined spaces.
2 –Water Conservation
It might sound incredible, but plants that grow in water use less water than those growing in the soil. According to National Park Service, hydroponics use up to ten times less water than traditional farming. This is because, in controlled environments, we can recover the unused water and then use it again.
Plants lose most of the water they absorb from their surroundings. According to a study by the Colorado State University, plants only use 0.1% of the water they absorb and lose the remaining 99.9% through evapotranspiration. In a closed environment, evapotranspiration rates can be significantly reduced as the air becomes saturated with water; it will not absorb more water from the plants.
3 – Controlled Climates
Hydroponic gardens allow a large number of plants to be contained in a greenhouse. The climate in the structure can be controlled to ensure close to perfect humidity and temperature. The plants remain safe whether it is baking or freezing outside.
These controlled climates allow the farmers to produce most seasonal crops all year round and even in locations not suited for agriculture, such as deserts or tundras.
4 – Higher Yields with Better Quality
With nearly the perfect amount of nutrients and reaching the roots, the right amount of light hitting the leaves, and a carefully controlled environment ensure that the plants produce better. According to Green Hour Planet, production from hydroponic greenhouses can be up to ten times what a traditional farm of the same size would produce.
With traditional farming, many fruits and vegetables need to be picked before they are ripe and ripen during their stay at warehouses or while being transported. Sometimes, farmers use ethylene gas from Calcium Carbide to ripen the fruits and vegetables.
With hydroponics, you can grow all kinds of produce in every climate. The produce will not have to travel over long distances and naturally ripen while on the plant. This means that your produce will be healthier and free from hazardous chemicals.
5 – Faster Growth
On traditional farms, plants need to take in nutrients from the soil, which takes time. With the proper nutrients sitting at their roots, plants in hydroponics quickly absorb them and get to work. A hydroponic plant can grow up to 30% faster than one grown in traditional soil.
Another reason for faster growth is controlled temperature, humidity, and lighting. The plants have access to proper nutrition and hydration and are safeguarded from pests.
6 – Reduced Labor
Farming is an intensive labor job. Everything from tilling the soil, planting the seeds, weeding, and pesticide application requires human resources and equipment. Hydroponics makes the laborer’s jobs easier and allows the farmers to achieve more during fewer hours.
7 – All-Year-Round Production
If we buy strawberries in the summer, they are cheaper and taste much better. But try to purchase them during off-seasons, and you might end up paying the price of three pounds when purchasing only one.
Unpredictable weather can cause far more severe problems for farmers than for urban citizens. Droughts, fires, floods, and even pests, can bring months’ worth of farmer’s work down to zero in a matter of hours. They can happen anytime and anywhere, so no farm is safe from them.
But in hydroponic greenhouses, the risks are significantly mitigated. Weather and climate have little effect on production, thanks to the controlled environment. This means that you can harvest all fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
Last Few Words
There are numerous benefits to hydroponic growing. They allow for year-round production and higher yields of higher quality produce than traditional farming. They ensure that resources such as water and nutrients are used to their full maximum potential by recycling.
Nowadays, many nations without agricultural lands can grow their own food. Hydroponic technologies ensure maximum utilization of space and thus maximize profits. You can learn more about hydroponics and the benefits associated with it through this short video, which discusses how hydroponic farming is better than traditional farming.