For city dwellers, people who don’t have access to an outdoor space, or who live in regions with long and harsh winters, growing plants indoors can be extremely appealing. There are two main methods of cultivation to choose from—growing plants hydroponically or in the soil.
How do you decide whether hydroponics is right for you? Below are seven advantages hydroponics has over soil:
- Space Savings. Because a plant’s roots are submerged in nutrient-rich water calibrated to its growth phase, its root system does not need to expand to seek out nutrients like it would in the soil. Roots can grow without becoming rootbound, meaning that they require smaller containers and can grow in close proximity to one another allowing you to grow more plants using less space.
- Controlled Environment. You can have control over your plants’ environment because you can monitor the temperature, lighting, and water and control the nutrients, you can maximize growth and grow year-round.
- Better Growth Rate. Hydroponically grown plants grow 20-30% faster than those grown in soil because the root system is in direct contact with nutrients and the plant is growing in a controlled environment. This accelerated harvest cycle means you can troubleshoot issues quicker and adjust accordingly to improve growth earlier on.
- Water savings. Plants grown hydroponically can save between 70-90% more water than those grown in soil as the water can be reused and recirculated in a reservoir.
- Less Maintenance. With soilless gardening, many routine gardening tasks such as weeding, mulching, and fighting soil-borne pests become unnecessary.
- Fewer pests and disease. By using no soil, you eliminate many of the soil-borne pathogens and insects that often plague gardeners, which reduces the need for insecticides and chemicals.
- Less Labor and Time Savings. When you combine plants’ accelerated growth rate with the time you save on not having to weed, water, and apply insecticides and herbicides, and a programmable nutrient delivery system, you can spend more time enjoying the fruits (or veggies) of your labor and less time laboring over them.