The Myths of Hydroponics
New technologies or products got easily misunderstood by peoples, and hydroponics is one of them. The hydroponic growing method involves the use of the formulated nutrient solution in place of soil for growing plants. Being different from traditional soil-based growing, it's natural that peoples will have misconceptions about hydroponics.
Today, we will try to bust some of the most common myths that peoples have nowadays about hydroponics.
Myth 1: You will need a lot of space for hydroponics.
Reality: There are examples of peoples growing more than 5000-6000 plants in less than 100 sq ft (9.29 square meters) area, and that means space is not an obstacle in your path of growing healthy food.
With the help of the vertical hydroponic farming method, you can also grow such a large number of plants. This method utilizes the vertical space of the farm where the plants are grown in different growing channels at different levels placed upon each other.
In vertical hydroponic farming, plants have the requirement of nutrients and water, just as if you grow them horizontally. Only the setup has changed in this method.
Myth 2: In hydroponics, plants grow huge!
Reality: Plants grown hydroponically are indeed comparatively bigger than traditionally raised plants, but they are not huge in any aspect.
Every living being on this planet, including plants, have their genetic limitations which determine their growth and development. That's why the cherry tomato will not grow like the beefsteak tomato in hydroponics, but it can be the best cherry tomato genetically possible.
The soil has different variables like pH, percentage of organic matter, soil density, etc. All these factors influence plant growth, but you can control and optimize these variables in hydroponics according to the plant's specific needs.
Myth 3: Hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables are watery in taste because they grow in a liquid solution.
Reality: One can hardly tell by tasting that which one is grown in soil and which one in hydroponic.The taste of any vegetable or fruits depends on the nutrition provided to them during their growth period.
In hydroponics, plants absorb their nutrition from a formulated nutrient solution tailored according to their specific requirement, which makes them taste even better than soil-grown crops.
You can also control things like nutrient solution pH and temperature in hydroponics, which makes the essential macro and micronutrients much more available to the plants for absorption.
Myth 4: You should use only one nutrient formulation.
Reality: Every plant has its specific nutrient demands in different growth stages like some plants require more nitrogen, while some need less of it. Using only one nutrient formulation for the whole time can affect the growth potential of the plant.
For every growth stage and every crop type, the formulation of the nutrient solution needs to be changed accordingly. By doing this, the plant can get the nutrients it needs for proper growth and development during a specific growth stage.
Scientists found in research that strawberries that are grown in hydroponics contain a higher amount of vitamin-E and vitamin-C because of the efficient supply of nutrients.
Myth 5: Hydroponic gardening is expensive!
Reality: Hobby growers can start hydroponics at their homes at a cost less than a new air conditioner. A whole range of affordable hydroponic home-kits is available in the market, and you can install it all by yourself.
Even if you want to grow crops for commercial purposes, with the use of locally available material, you can reduce the setup cost of your hydroponic farm.
Some types of equipment indeed have high costs, but with their long operational life, they can surely return the initial investment in one or two years.
There can be more myths about hydroponics in the community of growers as this technology is still developing, and the growers are experimenting with things every day. Knowledge is the only thing that makes a difference between myth and reality.
There are numerous benefits that hydroponics offers to us and the environment. The eco-friendly approach of hydroponic can be a solution to the increasing urban food problems. The water table is going down year by year, and agriculture production is affecting by the changing climate around the world.
Hydroponic uses 80-90 % lesser water than traditional farming making it a highly sustainable practice.