Many gardeners are asking if they should switch or attempt setting up a hydroponic system in gardening. It is understandable that many gardeners may feel quite intimidated by the hydroponic system in gardening. I mean, the name alone is quite intimidating. At first glance, hydroponic gardening seems like a complex and labor-intensive project. The fact is, hydroponic systems are designed to improve efficiency and help gardeners save time and money. This article will help you understand how installing a Hydroponic System on your farm can help you save time.
What Is Hydroponic Gardening
There are different types of hydroponic systems. Some have very sophisticated systems that also involve some special specifications such as water tanks with live fishes. Weekend Gardeners list down the best hydroponic systems available for amateur and professional gardeners today. Check out the list and learn more about these systems.
In a nutshell, hydroponic systems are systems for cultivating plants without the use of soil with heavy reliance on self-sustaining water-based systems. Nutrients are incorporated in the water which freely flows beneath the crops. The water and nutrients are absorbed directly by the plants. The water flows throughout the system, perpetually nurturing the crops.
Hydroponic systems are usually constituted of tubes where water flows and special racks that hold individual plants in place.
How Does A Hydroponic System Help Farmers Like You Save Time?
I am sure you have heard a lot of the benefits in using a hydroponic system in a farm. But I bet, you have not heard why it can help you save time. If you are wondering how exactly a hydroponic system of gardening increases efficiency in farms, below are three explanations how.
- Removal Of Soil Also Removes Tasks That Involves Soil – It is a common belief that in order for plants to continuously grow and live, soil is important. Thus, when people think about traditional soil-based gardening or farming, the first things that come to mind are activities such as tilling of the soil, watering of crops, cultivating greens, and fumigating out of weeds and other types of pests. Hydroponic gardening challenges this view. With hydroponic garden, soil and all the activities that come with it including tilling, fertilizing, weeding and other tasks done on the soil are removed from the equation. When you remove these activities, you save time.
- Saving Water Also Saves Time – A common misconception about the hydroponic system of farming is that it uses a lot of water. In fact, this is not the case at all. A study done on US agricultural practices found that agriculture uses up to 80% water of the ground and surface water in the country. In a separate study, it was found that crops planted through a hydroponic system only consume 10% of water compared to the volume of water consumed by field-grown soil-based crops. In a hydroponic system, no water is wasted. A farmer can fill up the tank of water and it will perpetually recirculate in the system. Plants will only take up the necessary volume of water. So how does this help with saving time? As you save your water, you also save with the daily task of watering the plants. As mentioned, the excess water remains in the system. Given this, there are no water run-offs like in soil-based farming. The excess water will just be recaptured by the system. Imagine the time a farmer spends in watering their crops. With hydroponic gardening, there would be none of that. You save water. You also save time.
- Plants Grow Faster So There Is Less Time Spent In Waiting – In traditional farming methods, farmers wait for their plants to grow. Most crops take at least three to six months to fully grow into harvestable produce. With a hydroponic garden, the waiting time for growing plants is cut exponentially. How does this happen? Like water, all of the excess nutrients for the plants are recycled back into the system. The water becomes a medium for essential nutrients and minerals needed for the plants to grow. Without nutrients run-off, the plants are never without nutrients. This way, the plants achieve optimal growing conditions and are able to mature at an earlier time. Thus, cutting the waiting time by a few days or even weeks.
Other Advantages Of A Hydroponic System For Farming
Aside from saving time, there are other benefits for farmers with installing a hydroponic system in their garden.
- Better Management Of Farms – Hydroponic gardening is best suited for people who wish to be their own boss. With this system, farmers are able to command greater control of the environment by which the plants are growing. As such, factors such as temperature, lights, moisture, and nutrients are easily tweaked for optimum growth of the plants. With so much control on the environment, farmers are able to control and manage their farms and gardens freely.
- Hydroponic Systems Are Environment-Friendly – Much of the pollution coming from soil-based farms are due to the run-off of water and fertilizers. Because water and nutrients are continuously being recycled, there is no run-off to pollute the rivers and water tables. Aside from this, water consumption and use of pesticides and fertilizers are decreased. Ultimately, these all help in the conservation of the environment.
- Farmers Can Diversify Their Production – In a single hydroponic system, a farmer can plant multiple species and varieties of plants. The plants can be stacked after one another. So, strawberries can be planted above the cabbages, and cabbages above the tomatoes. Farmers also can stock their water tanks with fish and other shellfish like clams and shrimps. It could be a whole farm in just one roof.
Indeed, hydroponic seems like a complicated system for gardening or farming. However, once you learn the ropes, you will find that this is a very rewarding endeavor. Hopefully this article has helped you decide to finally make the jump and start setting up your very own hydroponic system.