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Hydroponic Overview - Agriculture - Nairaland

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Hydroponic Overview by atnerjennac24(f): 3:28pm On May 21, 2019

The most fundamental question that indoor gardening enthusiast need to answer is whether to grow using soil or to attempt growing using hydroponic techniques. Many beginning gardeners choose soil gardening simply on the grounds that it is familiar territiory. Hydroponics on the other hand is more equipment and technique intensive and therefore requires a stronger foundation in the minds eye of the gardener to be successful.

The primary motive for the transition from soil to hydroponics is the perceived potential of increased production. This motive is valid and can be expressed using the following statement: A well managed system of hydroponic gardening will out produce a well managed system of soil gardening. The key point in this statement is the concept of "well managed" A well managed soil garden is easier to attain in that the soil being used is usually adequate to bring the target crop to fruition without the use of supplemental fertilizer or additives.

A well managed hydroponic garden on the other hand requires a considerable amount of user input in terms of systems and equipment monitoring. It should be noted that once the hydroponic system is established and operating that routine maintenance will become somewhat simplified although it will never be as simplistic and carefree as a soil based garden.

Why are hydroponic growers willing to tollerate a system that requires more scrutiny? The answer, as previously mentioned, is increased production. Most indoor gardens utilize a relatively small area and growers want to maximize production within the alotted space. Growers using modern HID or LED lighting, as applied to the latest developments in plant breeding, are experiencing growth rates that have surpassed all expectations.

This means that the lighting systems must be adjusted vertically on almost a daily basis which means that growers must be routinely present. It is for this reason that the hydropnic grower does not feel overly burdened since their presence in the garden is already mandated. A typical daily visit to a hydroponic garden will include a quick light adjustment along with a check of the various monitors and pumps that maintain optimal conditions.

Once established and operating it should be pointed out that the only supply inputs into a hydroponic gardening system are the nutrients necessary for plant growth. In contrast soil gardening will require new soil each and every crop which can be quite labor intensive. This need to replace the soil stems from the idea that once nutrients are depleted from the soil they will need to be replaced by using supplemental fertilizer. The use of fertilizer, however, insures an eventual build up of soil salts which will inevitably lead to a decrease in production.

It is for this reason alone that some growers with long term aspirations have turned to hydroponics. Taking the above analysis into consideration it can be seen that hydroponics may not be for everyone. Although the initial cost and skill level associated with this style of gardening may be higher the rewards can be higher as well...
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