Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants, flowers, and vegetables with no soil. It’s not a recent discovery, in fact hydroponic gardening was practiced by the Aztecs and Babylonians. Hydroponics seems to be having a resurrgence among hobby home gardeners nowadays.
Many people look upon hydroponic gardening as raising plants in water rather than soil, but that’s not quite true. In reality the plants are grown in a liquid mineral nutrient solution. Occasionally different mediums are utilized for growing hydroponics, including clay, sand, gravel, and vermiculite.
A lot of people feel that hydroponic gardening is a healthier alternative, since the plants receive continual access to the nutrients they need. Hydroponic plants also have uninterrupted access to water, so they can take in as much or as little as the need without worrying about over or under watering them.
Why Grow Hydroponically?
There are many other obvious and not so obvious reasons for growing plants hydroponically. The type and quality of soil does not need to be considered for instance, so it doesn’t matter how poor your local soil might be if you’re growing hydroponic vegetables. You’ll also benefit from the plant receiving many more nutrients, and thus theoretically the vegetables and fruits should provide you with much more nutrition than standard soil grown versions.
Generally there are no weeds to worry about, nor soil born viruses or infestations either.
People who live in areas which are primarily rock are unable to have gardens unless they bring the soil in themselves. With hydroponic gardening of course, this is no longer an issue. It’s also the reason NASA has been experimenting with hydroponics, because someday it may be a way for people to live on the Moon or in space stations where there is no soil naturally.
When plants are removed from soil based growth they die. This is why many fruits and vegetables are harvested early when they need to be shipped long distances to retail outlets, because the fruits and vegetables will not die off and rot as quickly during shipping. Hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables however, do not die when they’re removed from their growth system. They continue to live and grow, which means they’re fresher when delivered to retail outlets.
The Downside To Hydroponics
On the downside however, hydroponic gardening requires more technology and technical knowledge to accomplish. Hydroponic gardening requires specialized tanks, lights, pumps and other devices that can are expensive up front investments. And if any part of the system fails of course, the crop could be quickly lost.
If hydroponic gardening sounds interesting to you, or you live in an area where it’s very difficult to grow gardens in soil, you might want to explore some of the growing body of information on hydroponic gardening which can be found online.