Hydroponics Facts And Demystifying The Myths

cucumber plantBefore looking at the different purported myths about hydroponics systems, it is essential that you first of all understand what a hydroponics system is and what it is all about. A hydroponics system is a system that allows gardeners to grow and cultivate plants without using soil. The name quite literally means working water and comes with plenty of benefits to the user considering that it easily eliminated the problems that are synonymous with traditional gardening.

Often, these systems are associated with the cultivation of vegetables. However, they can be used to grow all types of plants, including ornamental bloomers and flowers. Considering that these systems do not use any soil, plants that are grown hydroponically never experience most of the issues soil-grown plants experience like infestation by pests that thrive in the soil, poor drainage or salt build up. At the same time, these systems provide gardeners with environments that they can grow specific plants that would have otherwise not grown under their normal conditions.

The great thing about hydroponic systems is that the user is given the power to carefully control the environment in which they plant their produce. With such a system, gardeners are able to grow plants in and out of season allowing them to enjoy flower and vegetable yields all year round. At the same time, you can easily eliminate temperature and lighting issues by regulating these aspects to your specific liking.

Basically, there are 6 types of hydroponics systems. These include:

1. The Wick System – This is the simplest hydroponic system there is. It is a passive system; meaning there are literally no moving parts. A nutrient solutions is placed in a reservoir where it is drawn using a wick into the growing medium.

2. The Water Culture System – Of all active hydroponic systems available, the water culture system is by far the simplest. It is made up of a Styrofoam platform which holds the plants directly above the nutrient solution. Air is supplied using an air pump. The bubbles created push the nutrients and supply oxygen to the plant’s roots.

3. The Ebb & Flow System – This hydroponics system works through temporarily flooding the grow-tray with the nutrient solution before draining the solution back to the reservoir. The system usually employs a timed pump submerged in the reservoir.

4. The Drip System – Drip hydroponic systems are probably the most commonly and widely used hydroponic systems. Basically, these systems use a timed pump that is submerged in a nutrient solution in the reservoir, the timer pumps small amounts of the nutrient on to the growing medium up top providing the nutrients required.

5. The Nutrient Film Technique System – This system features a constant flow of nutrients to the roots of the plants via the nutrient solution that is pumped on to the grow tray and slowly flows to the other end where it drains back into the reservoir.

6. Aeroponic System – This system is without a doubt one of the most high-tech hydroponics system you will find out there. Like the NFT, plants in this system basically hang in the air but unlike the NFT system where the nutrients flow past the roots, in this option the roots receive the nutrients via a mist of the nutrient solution created by a timed pump that is submerged in the water.

tomatoes in a greenhouseThere always has been a lot of controversy and myth surrounding hydroponics systems. However, most of these myths are misconstrued perceptions about these systems. This article will now be looking at demystifying some of these myths allowing you to better understand this systems, what they really are and how they truly are.

Myth #1: Hydroponics Systems are a New Technology

Nope! The interesting thing is that this technology has been around since the days of the Pharaohs of Egypt who enjoyed vegetables and fruits grown using this system. Ever heard of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? There is reason to believe that these were actually hydroponic gardens. As such, hydroponics systems are not that new, but just a bit different.

Myth #2: Hydroponics are Unnatural and Artificial

Plant growth in a hydroponics system is very much natural and real. All that a plant requires to grow are the basic things, and these are light, water, air and nutrients; things that a hydroponics system supplies to the plant when it needs it. There are no genetic mutations taking place within the equipment nor are there mysterious chemicals being added or introduced to the plants.

Myth #3: Hydroponics is Bad for the Environment

Not true. As a matter of fact, hydroponics is safer and kinder to the environment than most cultivation options available like traditional gardening approaches. For instance, a hydroponics system uses about 70% to 90% lesser water than traditional gardening approaches. At the same time, any chemicals used within the system like fertilizers are held within the system. There are no runoffs meaning that chances of water pollution are lower.

Myth #4: Hydroponics are Too Expensive

This is another lie that you should not believe. Yes, there are things that you will need to buy and things that you will need to get to upgrade your system as you grow and expand. But, most of these expenses are a onetime cost. At the same time, most of the things required are not that expensive and you would be surprised that you could create a thriving hydroponics garden using a sizeable budget.

There are many more myths that accompany the use of hydroponics. However, it is important to note that most of them, if not all of them, are never true. If you are a person that is in to gardening, this is one gardening option that you should consider trying out.

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