I am sure all of us have approached someone with a new idea, or a plan to change some process to make it better, or have tried to explain a new system that would improve production, advertising, and delivery, and have been told “but that is not the way we have always done it,: or, “if it was good enough for my father, it is good enough for me,” or “it will never work!” Change is difficult, such as embarking into unknown waters, but the successful entrepreneur in the business world is usually the one willing to listen to ideas from someone else, and anxious to take a risk if it improves a product or its delivery.
Hydroponics is not a new system for growing crops, in fact it was used in ancient times going back to the middle ages and was practiced by many civilizations such as the Babylonian, Aztec, Egyptian, and Chinese. Just as desalinization was a break-through process affording arid coastal portions of the world the technology to change salt water into potable water, hydroponics furnishes everyone the ability to grow herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers in areas where the cultivation of any flora has been heretofore avoided for obvious reasons…limited availability of space, lack of fresh water, and absence of arable soil. .
If you are considering obtaining a hydroponic system for growing plants, either as a home hobby, or for profit, or for a teaching opportunity in an educational setting, following are some of the reasons why hydroponics should be considered as an alternative to the usual family garden plot.
While removing soil-grown crops from the ground effectively kills them, hydroponically grown crops such as lettuce, basil, etc. can be packaged and sold while still alive, thus prolonging its effective marketing.
Solution culture hydroponics does not require disposal of a solid medium or sterilization and reuse of a solid medium.
Solution culture hydroponics allows greater control over the root zone environment than soil culture.
Hydroponics is often the best crop production method in remote areas that lack suitable soil.
In solution culture hydroponics, plant roots can be seen.
Hydroponics is excellent for plant teaching and research.
Soil borne diseases are virtually eliminated.
Weeds are virtually eliminated.
Fewer pesticides may be required because of the above two reasons and also it results in making our air, water, soil, and food cleaner and providing safety for fauna.
Edible crops are not contaminated with soil.
Water use can be substantially less than with outdoor irrigation of soil-grown crops.
Hydroponics cost 20% less than other ways for growing certain food products.
Many hydroponic systems give the plants more nutrition while at the same time using less energy and space.
Hydroponics allow for easier fertilization as it is possible to use an automatic timer to fertilize the plants.
It provides the plant with balanced nutrition because the essential nutrients are dissolved into the water-soluble nutrient solution.
The plants will be healthier and the yields will be higher.
Hydroponics also saves an incredible amount of water. It uses as little as 1/20 the amount as a regular farm to produce the same amount of food.
Plants can be grown in smaller areas, and can be stacked vertically, horizontally, and in many configurations that make the most efficient use of available space.
Hydroponic systems can flourish in greenhouses, outdoors with certain protections, indoors, on patios and porches, and are not limited by space.
Most growing mediums can be used more than once, thus lowering the cost of components of the system.
Temperature fluctuations, wind damage, over and under watering, excess sunlight, and lack of sufficient light can be managed in hydroponic growing systems.
Shade cloth can easily be installed with special clips, and removed at will thereby totally managing the light source to the plants.
For very ambitious gardeners, the hydroponic mechanical components can be operated by using solar energy; therefore, the cost of operation is only for the nutrients and obtaining water.
Hydroponics can be done on a commercial basis, or can be a hobby and is a flexible method of growing easily adaptable to your personal space and/or to accomplish your project goal.
The only maintenance required to manage hydroponic systems is to check the values of the nutrients on a regular basis, make sure the solution is at the proper level.
If timers or electric pumps fail or the system clogs or springs a leak, timely attention will preserve the integrity of the plants.
Hydroponics, except for commercial applications, usually does not require great technical knowledge.
Multiple crop availability, overcoming “seasonal” crop requirements.
Quicker and more vigorous growth;
Gardens and growing systems that are portable;
Ease of harvesting resulting in less need for labor;
You can automate the system so that you will not have to worry about watering your plants while you're on vacation.
It is fun, a learning experience, and an enjoyable family project.
Check it out for yourself!