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Plants Grow Better in Hydroponics or Soil?

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Hydroponics vs Soil
Hydroponics vs Soil

Hydroponic Farming has been much in news these days. But it’s not fully sure that whether this technique really contributes to the sustainable agriculture & food security or not? Debating on soil vs hydroponics can be a contentious issue. 

Here we are going to explain the difference between hydroponics vs soil and compare them on the basis of certain factors:

What is Hydroponics?

  • It’s the process of growing crops in water in place of growing them in soil. Here, roots are usually exposed when the plant grows as the roots are either fully or partially immersed directly into the water or nutrient mixture, or are sprayed daily in some niche cases. 

  • Nowadays these nutrient mixtures are becoming increasingly available to buy as related companies have started manufacturing formulas in varied proportions. On alternate basis, you can always try mixing your own.

  • In hydroponics, plants are generally grown indoors, sometimes in vertical farms. In this kind of atmosphere, most external factors such as temperature, lighting, and humidity can be controlled with laser-precision. 

What is Soil Farming?

  • It’s just what we think of a traditional crop field. It includes any plants that are grown for consumption in soil. The requirements of soil farming are pretty much the same as in hydroponics. Soil based crops still require adequate nutrients, light, water, and oxygen to thrive. 

  • In the soil farming, crops are planted in the ground, usually in regular, spaced-out intervals. The primary method of delivering nutrients to the roots is via mineral fertilizers in conventional farming, or compost and mulch in organic systems. 

Why to Choose Hydroponics over Soil?

Saves Space:

Growing vertically is the easiest way to extend your ‘acreage’ 3x, 5x, or even 10x depending on how many levels you prepared into your vertical farm. Even in horizontal, hydroponics still on the top in terms of space efficiency as its roots don't need to spread out in search of nutrients the way they do in soil farmed systems, so plants can be planted much closer together.

Saves Time:

There’re many advantages when it comes to time saving with hydroponics. Firstly, hydroponic farmers don’t have to deal with weeding, pest control and watering. Secondly, plants have been shown to grow 30- 50% faster in water than in soil. This means you can fit in more harvest cycles every year, so not only will your profits rise, but you’ll learn faster as a farmer too, since you gain more experience in a shorter time frame.

Saves Money:

Hydroponics allows your crops to grow fast and better along with to grow crops all year round. This results into both lower costs of production with higher profitability. 

Water-Saving:

Hydroponics takes significantly less water than the soil farming. This makes hydroponics the more feasible solution for farming in arid environments, or in areas where excessive salinity in the soil has made the ground infertile for planting.

Less Disease:

As soil farming happens out in the open, exposed to all kinds of pests, weeds, and diseases beyond your control while hydroponic farming system is running indoors, the environment is totally controlled, so pests and disease are a negligible issue.

Higher Yields: 

Because of the possibility of farming vertically as well as more closely together in a hydroponic system, the yields per square foot being immensely higher in a well-managed system than in a soil-based farming system. 

Builds Hyper-Local Food Systems:

As hydroponics are so highly productive and do not require a lot of space, it makes them the ideal contender for a hyper-local food movement. In highly populated urban areas, food deserts, or any other areas where people do not have easy access to healthy food, hydroponic, indoor vertical farms could build community, resilience against food insecurity, and economic prosperity into a locality.

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