For beginners just starting to dabble in the realm of hydroponics, it’s important to have a working knowledge of the science of soilless growing. If you’ve already read about the many benefits and advantages of hydroponic growing over soil-based growing, you’ll see that one point that is often emphasized is that hydroponic yields produce faster and in greater quantities. Internet feedback from growers indicates that their hydroponic crops grew anywhere between 20 and 50 per cent faster than the same crops grown in soil.
4 Reasons Why Hydroponic Plants Grow Faster
There are several reasons why hydroponic plants grow faster but many of these reasons are largely dependent on the type of hydroponic system being used, and of course the care that’s being provided by the grower. Here are four main reasons why hydroponic plants grow faster (potentially) than plants grown in soil.
1. Improved Nutrient Uptake
The main reason why plants may grow faster in a hydroponic system is because the growers can create the ideal blend of nutrients. This gets delivered directly to the plants’ root systems via a continuous flow of nutrient solution. Because these nutrients are received directly by the roots, the plants aren’t forced to expend energy in search of nutrients as they would in soil, where plant food becomes diluted. As a result, the root systems in hydroponically-grown plants don’t grow out and so this growth is now realized in the form of upward growth.
2. Limited Exposure to Pests, Diseases and Elements
With hydroponic systems a sterile medium is being used. This eliminates the risk of pest infestations, which occurs in soil as bugs naturally live in this medium. Additionally, if the hydroponic system is indoors, there won’t be any exposure to the elements such as rain, wind, and the cold. By eliminating these risks, it increases the efficiency of plant growth because they aren’t hindered by these challenges. They are free to grow without these crippling conditions.
3. Controlled and Automated Systems
Depending on the specific system being used, hydroponic gardens provide a more stable growing environment for plants. Thanks to automation and controlled monitoring systems, plants can expect a consistent feed of nutrients directly to their roots, as well as the stability in all other growing conditions.
4. Maximized Growing Space
In a hydroponic garden, more plants can grow at once. This is because their root systems aren’t fighting for the space required to find enough nutrients as they would in soil. An even distribution of nutrient solution eliminates the need to compete meaning the grower is able to place plants in the system at a higher density.
As mentioned at the top of the article, these results are all conditional. Likely, if plants are being grown using both hydroponic and soil-based methods in the same environment, there might not be a vastly noticeable difference in the amount of time it takes to produce the crops. The main difference of course is that automated hydroponic gardens make it easier for growers to eliminate the common risks of soil-based gardening. Not to mention it’s a great hobby to try if you’ve been thinking about starting your own vegetable garden but are waiting for “the perfect time”