Hydroponics is the sustainable gardening craze that is growing nationwide and can be spotted on rooftops, greenhouses, hospitals, urban communities, classrooms, apartment patios, food banks and even commercial farms. And, lucky for us, as more people have delved into hydroponic gardening to grow their own veggies, fruits and herbs, the methods and means surrounding it have become more efficient, effective and easier to set up and maintain.
But what is hydroponics? Simply put, it’s the process of growing plants in water rich nutrients without the use of soil. Contrary to popular belief, soil isn’t actually needed to grow plants. Soil only acts as a medium for plants to absorb nutrients.
There are many benefits to using the hydroponics method versus the traditional soil-based gardening method.
- Hydroponics requires no soil. As stated before, hydroponics eliminates the need for soil. Instead, hydroponic gardening uses water enriched with liquid nutrients (such as Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro 9-3-6) to grow plants. In a hydroponic garden, a neutral medium (such as Growstone GS-1) is used to help support the plant’s weight as well as its roots. This medium is usually porous so it is able to hold the moisture and oxygen needed for plants to grow.
- As a whole, hydroponics is a more efficient method. By removing the need for soil, plants grow 2 X as fast which greatly increases harvest opportunities. The plants aren’t forced to grow convoluted, long roots in search of nutrients in the soil. With hydroponics, the nutrients are readily available so roots tend to be smaller.
- Hydroponically grown plants require less space than soil-based plants. Without the need to search for the nutrients in soil, plants can grow smaller roots that lead directly to nutrients. Smaller roots eliminate root competition, allowing more variety of plants to be placed in shared areas. This method makes the option of growing plants viable for the city or apartment-dweller.
- Hydroponics reduces the risk and volume of pests. Soil is number one contributing factor to the presence of pests in gardens. Pests can hinder and harm the growth of your plants. To stave off pests, most people generally invest in pesticides that are often harmful to the environment. With hydroponics, ground pests are eliminated along with the need for pesticides, further reducing the negative impact on the environment.
- Hydroponics promotes the full growth potential of all your plants. Much of a plants time and energy is spent developing roots to sift through soil for nutrients. With hydroponics, that time and energy is saved by removing the soil and making the nutrients readily available to the plant. This allows plants to grow larger and healthier as they absorb nutrients at a faster rate.
A simple way to experience all the benefits of hydroponics can be done through the Grow Up Hydrogarden. The Grow Up Hydrogarden uses the hydroponic method to make growing easy, no matter where you live. With its efficient sizing and all natural filter system, it’s an ideal system for any new or experienced gardener. And, you can grow up to 20 different crops in just one unit, feeding an entire family with just one or two units saving you thousands of dollars each year.