Conventional Gardening or Hydroponics? The Advantages and Disadvantages


After our last article on hydroponics, we thought we’d look at why choose hydroponics over the conventional gardening methods using soil and composts etc.? There are several reasons for considering hydroponics or Aquaculture and these are listed below.

 

Time

The most obvious benefit of Hydroponics is the saving in time and effort. You do not have to spend as much time attending to the preparation and maintenance of your garden on a regular basis, so a simple Aquaculture system can be much more time efficient than a conventional soil based one.

Weeds

Growing in soil involves keeping your planting area weed free. In order to give your plants the best possible chance of thriving, they must be able to absorb their optimum nutrition from the surrounding soil. If the area has lots of weeds then your plants have to fight for their place, their roots competing with those of all the weeds.

Using Hydroponics, because the growing medium is sterile, there should not be any weeds appearing. This means that your plants can devote all their energy to production and not have the stresses of competition.

Health

No soil and sterile growing media coupled with the correct nutrients means healthier plants. The absence of parasites and pathogenic bacteria in the growing media ensures that your plant roots stay healthy and disease free. Any infections or pests above ground can be monitored and treated quickly and efficiently because the growing area is more compact.

Light

Outside, in the conventional garden, the sunlight is never predictable in either intensity or duration. Inside, under lights you have complete control and can supply your plants with a constant unchanging environment.

Growth

Optimum nutrition and water requirements having been satisfied, your hydroponically grown plants will develop a massive but compact root system. This means that your plant will not have to use extra energy either searching for sustenance or transporting nutrients and sugars long distances. The net result of this is quicker growing, faster maturing and greater yielding plants.

Stress

Your plants will not be stressed through changes in conditions of light, temperature or water as is the case with plants grown by conventional methods. This in turn will lead to stronger more resistant plants.

Yield

Your plants will yield considerably greater crops than conventionally grown ones because of all of the above factors. The greater storage capacity within the root system and the shorter stems give rise to an increase in plant efficiency of up to %30, with a corresponding increase in crop.

Cleanliness

Hydroponics is, in essence, a clean occupation. There is no soil, so very little dirt. For this reason it is ideal for indoor gardening, utilising the spare room, or perhaps a conservatory. On top of this, there are no more grime encrusted fingernails!

Ozone Layer

Most people do not realise that growing plants using conventional means can actually damage the environment. Advice from garden centers and even expert gardeners rarely covers this topic. Of course hydroponic systems add to the problems as well because of the energy used for lights and other essential equipment. You will, I am sure be surprised to learn that a huge percentage of the Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere actually comes from the soil.