The size of the typical residential backyard continues to get smaller, and as cities expand every year, it leaves relatively little space for those who enjoy growing fruits, vegetables, and other plants to do so. This is why vertical hydroponics is taking off as an alternative approach to gardening, which has the advantages of saving money, work, and water and ultimately produces superior crops.
One of the main differences between hydroponic growing and traditional gardening is that soil is not needed. Instead plants grow in a water-based solution of nutrients or another substrate such as gravel. This permits year-round cultivation with no need for crop rotation and it is free of destructive pests. Space is efficiently utilized as plants are stacked in vertical columns and nutrient levels are carefully managed by the grower.
Most plants that can be grown in soil, can also be grown hydroponically. The grower is totally responsible for providing the plants with the nutrients they need to grow and does not have to depend on nature as they must with traditional gardening. It takes less money and work to grow in this way, and often produces a better quality crop.
The need for such tiring tasks as fertilizing, tilling, mulching, and weeding is eliminated with this gardening method, as is the need to worry about the crops receiving too much or too little water. Weather and ground conditions also play no role with hydroponic growing as they do with traditional outdoor soil gardening. Grow lights can be used to allow round-the-clock, year-round gardening.
Poor quality soil in a particular area does not matter either when plants are grown using this technique. The lack of a need for weed killers and pesticides means that fruits and vegetables will be grown organically which makes them healthier than those grown with chemicals. As the plants grow they are able to extract all essential substances they need including carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from the air.
Crops produced hydroponically are usually more abundant and of higher quality than their soil-grown counterparts because the nutrients they need are consistently delivered to them by the grower. The threat of weeds and insects, sunlight or nutrient deprivation is eliminated, and the gardener saves money because there is no need to buy pesticides and herbicides.
Less water is needed for hydroponic gardens than those which use soil, since the plants are continually submersed in a solution rather than needing to be regularly irrigated. Some growers will also install a timer system to provide automatic fertilization at specified intervals to the crops, which helps to further limit water consumption.
The quality of hydroponically grown produce is generally higher because the plants are able to conserve energy that would normally have to be spent to ensure uptake of minerals and water through their roots. Produce also ripens more quickly and possesses better health value and a better taste when it has been grown using hydroponics.
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