What are Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a plant growing method that uses no soil, but rather a water-based solution of nutrients. Instead of soil, the root system is supported by an inert substance such as perlite, clay pellets, vermiculite, rock wool, or peat moss. The plant's roots will have direct access to the nutrient solution, and they must also have access to oxygen in order to grow properly.

Advantages of Hydroponics

The biggest advantage of using hydroponics to grow your plants is that their growth rate is greatly increased. You can expect them to mature as much as 25% faster and yield up to 30% more than their soil-grown counterparts.
The reason the plants grow bigger and faster is that they do not have to work as hard to get nutrients. Since a hydroponically-grown plant will be able to get all it needs with a small root system, it can focus on above-ground growth.
The nutrient system and pH levels must be carefully controlled. A hydroponic system actually uses less water than it takes to grow plants in the soil because there is less evaporation. Surprisingly, hydroponics is also better for the environment because it reduces pollution from soil runoff.

Disadvantages of Hydroponics

Although there are many advantages to growing plants with a hydroponic system, there are disadvantages as well. For one thing, a hydroponics system will cost more than growing plants in the soil.
It can take a lot of time to set up a large hydroponics system. It also requires a lot of time to maintain the system. You will have to monitor the solution's pH and nutrient levels every day.
Hydroponics systems can also be risky. If there is a pump failure, it can kill all your plants in only hours. The plants are completely dependent on a steady supply of water because the growing medium cannot store water the way soil can.

Hydroponic Growing Tips

• It is best if the nutrient solution in your reservoir is changed every two to three weeks.
• The temperature of the water in your reservoir should be kept between 65 and 75 degrees. The temperature can be maintained through the use of a water heater or water chiller.
• You can increase circulation and keep the nutrient solution oxygenated by using an air pump with an air stone.
• If your plant looks sickly and is distorted or discolored, the first thing you ought to do is check the pH. If pH is not the problem, you should flush the system with Clearex or a similar solution.
• After you finish a growing cycle, you should flush, clean, and sterilize your entire system. First, drain the reservoir and remove any debris. Then run the system for a day or so with a mix of non-chlorine bleach and water. You should use 1/8 of a cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Lastly, drain the system and flush it with water to remove any residual bleach.

Why Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a great choice for all sorts of growers. It allows you to meticulously control the variables that affect plant growth. If a hydroponic system is fine-tuned, it can yield more produce and higher quality produce than a soil-based system.

Do you want to grow big, juicy, delicious plants? If so, hydroponics is probably the right choice for you. Although the equipment and work required can seem intimidating at first, once you get the hang of it, it will seem simple. Start with a small setup and keep it simple, and you are on your way to an amazing hydroponic system.

Article: A History of Hydroponics