Soil Vs. Hydroponics

Soil Vs. Hydroponics

There are several significant advantages that a hydroponic growing system offers compared to a soil-based environment.  With a hydroponic system, plants are grown without any soil in an environment that is artificially controlled. Hydroponic plants can grow abundantly and very quickly, and a hydroponic system is able to use resources efficiently.  However, the grower must make a significant financial investment and have specialized skills.

Control of the Growing Process   When a hydroponic growing system is used, it provides the grower with a high level of control over the cultivation process compared to the traditional soil-based growing environment. When hydroponics are used, a grower can precisely control the composition and amount of nutrients that the plants have access to.  The access that plants have to soil nutrients are a lot harder to regulate, and it can also be hard to determine what the exact makeup is of the nutrients in the soil. Hydroponics also enables a grower to protect plants from being exposed to pollutant and pests and to control the growing environment's pH level. A hydroponic system is also able to use water more efficiently; it is also possible to recycle irrigation water.  

Growth Of Plants   Plants that are grown hydroponically tend to grow more quickly than soil-grown plants do since nutrients and oxygen are intensively and directly delivered to the roots of the plants.  This fast growth results in shorter times before harvest, and allow for more growth cycles within a certain time frame. In general, plants in hydroponic systems also have higher yields since plants don't need to work nearly as hard to locate nutrients and can devote more of their resources to the development of vegetables and fruits.

Plant Placement   Since a hydroponic system doesn't rely on external condition, you can set one up in almost any location, even in an external environment that is completely inhospitable for plant growth.  Also, hydroponic systems use space more efficiently compared to soil growing environments. That makes them very well-suited for urban environments where there are limited amounts of cultivable soil and space.  Artificial light can be used in an indoor environment which makes it viable to use a hydroponic growing system in places where access to sunlight is limited or problematic, either due to the surroundings or seasonal conditions.

Setup Cost   The one area where hydroponics are at a significant disadvantage compared to soil growing environments is cost. There is a higher initial cost for setting up a hydroponic system compared to setting up a soil-growing operation that is comparable, and hydroponic system operations are labor-intensive.  A hydroponic system's ongoing costs are also relatively high. Some hydroponic system costs may be offset by the efficient use of pesticides, fertilizers, and waters.

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