Soil or Hydroponics?

Which is better - soil or hydroponics?

Soil or Hydroponics – It’s Better to See Once

To understand the situation, you can simply look at the photograph illustrating this article. It shows two plants planted at the same time - one was planted in standard potting soil in a small pot, and then transplanted into a slightly larger pot. It grew on a windowsill and was regularly watered with settled water. The second plant was planted in a coconut substrate and watered with a specially prepared hydroponic solution, the composition of which was adjusted depending on the stage of plant growth. The second plant was grown in a homemade grow box under several types of phytolamps at different stages of its development. Someone else has a question - what is more effective, ordinary soil and sunlight or an LED phytolamp with the correct spectrum and hydroponics?

Growing Plants in Greenhouses

Since ancient times, people have grown various vegetables, fruits, herbs and other plants in open ground under sunlight. In some regions this made it possible to obtain fairly good yields, but in some the plants lacked soil fertility, length of sunny days and light intensity; sometimes climatic conditions prevented the cultivation of plants. Additionally, in any region, plant growth was hampered by various diseases and pests. To solve this problem, at least partially, people began to use organic and mineral fertilizers, as well as chemical means of controlling pests and plant diseases. In addition, plants began to be grown in greenhouses and other indoor spaces; in many cases, plants were planted not directly in the ground, but in special boxes filled with prepared soil. Growing in greenhouses partially solved the problem of pests and diseases, and also provided an acceptable temperature regime for growing plants. And if you additionally use artificial lighting for plants, the efficiency of growing in a greenhouse is significantly higher than in open ground.

Using Soil for Growing Plants

When plants planted in the ground grow, they receive useful substances from the soil itself, gradually depleting it, for which it is necessary to restore its fertility by introducing organic and mineral fertilizers. But the soil contains not only nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and microelements necessary for plants, but also many different inclusions, which may include pathogens, fungi, pest larvae and much more. In addition, for normal plant growth a certain acidity of the soil is necessary, but not all types of soil meet this requirement, and this soil parameter must be adjusted by introducing additional chemicals. The only advantage of soil is that it initially contains a certain amount of substances and microelements necessary for plant growth, and also that the soil plays the role of a buffer, softening the impact on plants of the application of various types of fertilizers and other substances. The question arises - if the soil contains many negative factors and it still needs to be fertilized and acidity adjusted from time to time, maybe it’s worth abandoning the use of soil for growing plants altogether?

Using Hydroponics to Grow Plants

The idea of abandoning the soil and introducing the necessary substances led to the emergence of hydroponics. If someone thinks that hydroponics is difficult, then this is not at all true. Anyone can try their hand at hydroponics; this does not require expensive and special equipment - you just need desire, a few simple materials and mineral fertilizers, which can be bought in the form of ready-made solutions, or you can prepare them yourself from available mineral fertilizers.

Hydroponics at Home

The simplest type of hydroponics is growing plants in coconut substrate, agroperlite and other inert fillers placed in pots instead of soil. Since there is no soil, there are no problems associated with it - no diseases, no pests, and there is no need to treat the plants with chemicals. But in this case, the plant needs regular watering with solutions of substances necessary for its normal growth. But this is not a disadvantage, but an advantage of hydroponics - each type of plant requires its own combination of minerals and trace elements, which also changes depending on the stage of plant development. For seedlings, one solution is needed, for the development of a plant - another, and for flowering and fruiting, hydroponic solutions of different compositions are also needed. Having tried hydroponics with inert fillers, you can turn your attention to more complex hydroponic systems that allow you to automate most growing processes and increase productivity in hydroponic conditions. The most effective is the use of hydroponics in combination with modern LED phytolamps - this way the plants will be provided with the most comfortable conditions for growth, flowering and fruiting.

Industrial Hydroponic Farms

Naturally, growing plants hydroponically on an industrial scale is significantly different from growing plants at home - no one uses coconut substrate or waters the plants. In large hydroponic farms, most processes are automated, from the supply of hydroponic solutions to maintaining the optimal spectrum, intensity and duration of light. But it’s worth it - a modern hydroponic farm produces environmentally friendly products, and the efficiency of growing plants in hydroponics is several times higher than not only the efficiency of open-ground farming, but also the efficiency of growing vegetables, fruits, berries and various greens in greenhouses.