Hydroponic Growing

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil.  Plants may be grown in a variety of growing mediums; perlite, coco fibre or rock wool because all nutrients are added to grow the plant.

Plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water. In conventional growing,   soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When mineral nutrients are added to  water plant roots are able to absorb them. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant’s water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive. Almost any plant will grow hydroponically.

Advantages of choosing hydroponic growing over soil cultivation:

No need for soil; alleviates many pest and disease problems, those that do exist are easier to eliminate because of the containers mobility.  Topsoil erosion is not an issue.

Conserves water; uses much less water, up to 90 percent less than soil gardening to produce a greater amount of food.

Lower nutrient costs; nutrient minerals can be used more efficiently since it’s possible to control nutrition levels entirely.

Higher crop yields; (see chart below) plus produce is more uniform in size and can be harvested at the peak of its taste and appearance.

Clean food; less contamination in a controlled environment.

Weather immunity; the controlled environment insures an optimum growing climate that is not subject to weather-related problems and a grower can produce crops all year round.

Eliminate herbicides; can potentially eliminate the need for pesticides.  It does eliminate the possibility of fertilizer runoff into water supplies that occur with conventional gardening.

Growth rates; plants grow 30-50% faster, the extra oxygen in the growing mediums help to stimulate root growth.

Opportunity; allows a wider range of people in a wider range of environments the chance to grow their own food, and a practical alternative when in-ground agriculture or gardening is not possible.

Space; grows a far greater amount of food in a considerably smaller space.

The demand for hydroponically grown produce has rapidly increased in the last few years by consumers who want fresh, high quality produce year round.

Higher Yields

Yield results obtained in various countries have proved it to be thoroughly practical and profitable with very definite advantages over conventional agricultural methods.

Hydroponic averages compared  to ordinary soil yields:

Crops Hydroponic
equivalent per acre
Agricultural
average per acre
Wheat 8,000 lb. 5,600 lb.
Oats 3,000 lb. 1,850 lb.
Rice 12,000 lb. 750-900 lb.
Cannabis 8,000 lb. 1,500 lb.
Soybeans 1,500 lb. 600 lb.
Potatoes 156,000 lb. 18,000 lb.
Beets 20,000 lb. 9,500 lb.
Cabbage 18,000 lb. 13,000 lb.
Peas 140,000 lb. 25,000 lb.
Tomatoes 400,000 lb. 12-22,000 lb.
Cauliflowers 30,000 lb. 15-35,000 lb.
Lettuce 21,000 lb. 9,000 lb.
Okra 19,000 lb. 5-10,000 lb.
Cucumber 28,000 lb. 7,000 lb.