HYDROPONICS VS. SOIL – ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by Urban Garden Supply, Feb 5, 2015.

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    The concept of soilless farming has been around since the 1940's, but thanks to recent advances in 

    technology, growing vegetables hydroponically is becoming a more viable option. Conventional, soil-
    based farming is still the dominant form of agriculture, but environmental problems could change that 

    in the near future. There are pros and cons for both hydroponic and conventional farming. 

    Before the introduction of energy-efficient LED grow lights, hydroponics was not a very practical means 

    of growing produce in large quantities. The energy costs of running a greenhouse were just too high 

    for farmers to make any kind of profit. While it still takes a considerable amount of energy to keep a 

    greenhouse running, it has gotten to the point where it is actually economically viable to grow produce 

    hydroponically. Hydroponics offers a number of advantages over conventional farming that are making 

    it a more and more attractive option for the agricultural industry.

    One obvious advantage is that no soil is required in a hydroponic system. That means that you can 

    grow vegetables anywhere, even in a desert. Not only can you grow crops in areas where soil-based 

    farming is impossible, but you can also grow them closer to market. This cuts down on the energy and 

    transportation costs that come with getting produce to consumers. In a hydroponic setup, plant roots 

    get their nutrients directly from a nutrient solution. In soil, plants have to expend energy to develop 

    complex root systems. In a hydroponic setup, the roots don't have to exert as much effort to absorb 

    nutrients, so more energy can be devoted to plant growth. Some hydroponically grown plants, such as 

    lettuce, can grow twice as fast as soil-based plants. 

    A lot of water is wasted in traditional farming. In fact, according to a UN study, about 70% of all global 

    fresh water usage goes toward agriculture. One significant advantage that hydroponics has over soil 

    farming is that it uses about 80-90% less water. It is a closed system, and water can be reused over and 

    over again. You only need to replace water that has evaporated or been absorbed by the plants, which 

    drastically cuts down on water waste. 

    In New York, rooftop greenhouses are becoming a more and more common sight. Gotham Greens is 

    one such greenhouse, and it sits on top of a warehouse building in Brooklyn. According to the owner of 

    Gotham Greens, the hydroponic farm produces about 100 tons of vegetables and herbs every year on 

    just 15,000 square feet of land, equivalent to about six or seven acres of conventional farmland. Another 

    advantage; unlike conventional farms, Gotham Greens can produce vegetables year-round. 

    If the global agriculture industry began to use hydroponics instead of planting mostly on farmland, it 

    could drastically change the future of farming and produce production. With the ability to grow year-
    round, we wouldn't have to worry about seasonal produce and the costs associated with inflated prices. 

    With the abundance of fruits and vegetables, along with lower prices, Americans would have more 

    access to healthier food, leading to a decrease in obesity and related health problems.

    In areas of the world where useable farmland and access to fresh water is scarce, hydroponics could be 

    the solution to ending hunger and starvation. Places like Africa, where fruit and vegetables are hard to 

    grow, could use hydroponic systems to feed the local population. 

    With the ability to decrease the world's fresh water usage by up to 65% and allowing plants to be 

    harvested up to four times per year, the use of hydroponics could be a huge step in solving water 

    shortages and world hunger. 

    Thanks for reading, if you have any questions for us please don't hesitate to ask!  Only at Urban Garden Supply!
     
  2. I harvest dirt more than 4 the times a year. And i would rather a plant grow with more water than chemicals.

    Unfortunately hydro is not the way of the future. ...low cost organic is.
     
  3. #3 lotek590, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2015
    yeah, except, I'm not trying to feed the world, just one man. There's quantity and quality. I like quality of life. For me it is more enjoyable to be the alchemist and build my perfect soil, than it is to be a chemist mixing chemicals. I have no idea what the ppm of my soil is, and I don't really care. There is probably some microbe in there very happy to live it's life making me and my plant happy.
     
    But yes, If I was trying to grow enough pot so everybody in the world could have a toke, I would probably have to resort to hydro. But I wouldn't be as happy as I am now.
     
  4. Well said..
    I am a newbie in this but fro what i learned...hydro is more for manufacture type...larg scale and soil, at least for me is nature way.
     
  5.  
    How many times you harvest a year has nothing to to with it. I harvest every 4 weeks, and I've done it with soil and with hydroponics.
     
    People who make the "i would rather a plant grow with more water than chemicals" comments apperantly have have no idea 1. how the root system's osmotic mebrane works or how the roots absorb nutrients through osmosis, and 2. how complex organic compounds (not available through osmosis) break down over time into the same simple compounds that are in hydroponic nutrients (that ARE available to the plant through osmosis).
     
    Everybody thinks their method is the best, their buds are great; bob loblaw
     
    Plenty of people are growing mediocre buds who believe they are great buds, and they grow both in soil, and hydroponically.
     
    The best system is the system that works best for you.
     
    The biggest difference is you don't find successful hydroponic growers going around preaching 'hydro buds are better than soil grown'.
     
    Where on the other hand, there are plenty of pompous soil growers going around touting that soil grown buds are just plain better than hydro buds, and a lot of them don't have a clue what a good organic mix is, or how much work is is to do 'organic' properly.
     
    A lot of soil growers put the same 'chemicals' (simple compounds) or more, in their soil as what are in hydroponic nutrients.
     
    Growing good buds is NOT about the medium, it's about keeping a plant healthy and happy.
     
  6. First im not even talking weed....im talking food

    Second....how many poor people in africa you think can afford a hydro tray? Airstones, chemicals on and on...NOW..how many you think can shit in a bucket....add dirt, soil and a seed and some nasty water.....and feed themselves?

    Youre right....i have no clue LMAO!!!!
     
  7. I have friends that work in Costa Rica. They teach families how to set up hydroponic gardens because the soil around their house is crap. And they use all recyclable materials for the medium. I guess it is all gravity because electricity for pumps is hard to come by. No, one is not better then the other. My only point was, one is more enjoyable for me than the other. And enjoyability is the reason I grow pot.
     
  8. #9 greenthumbs21, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2015
    Now that is the way of the future! A gravity drive or a wick system.how do they keep water from not going stagnate? Goldfish?...certainly not aero/ebbflo trays...No one can afford to operate with out a solar panel.

    i bet if they neutralized the soil it would work...pure sugar sand is horrible to grow in.....did it.

    This is why modification to the seed is done by big companies not changing medium....not sustainable.

    I guess i quit thinking enjoyment and started thinking sustainability....since i started macroeconomics classes
     
  9.  
    Talking food or or buds, the statement "i would rather a plant grow with more water than chemicals" when referring to growing in soil vs grown hydroponically portays a significant lack of understanding of how roots work, how organic compounds break down into the same 'chemicals', or even that hydroponic solution IS "more water than chemicals".
     
    Large scale hydroponic farming IS being implemented in poor 3rd world countries all over the world and it IS helping to feed more people by growing food in areas where conventional soil farming is not possible. Maybe you should research that before you make uninformed statements like "how many poor people in africa you think can afford a hydro tray? Airstones, chemicals on and on...NOW..how many you think can shit in a bucket....add dirt, soil and a seed and some nasty water.....and feed themselves?"
     
    There are a lot of ways to grow hydroponically.
     

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  10. That is amazing and dont doubt it. I try to look to the future. ...the future of water shortage
     
  11. It takes me 140 gallons of water to grow 1 lb of good and lb of crap from CLONE with VERY LITTLE chemicals.

    How bout hydro? How bout chemicals? .....not everyone has fish swimming in their res.
    Lo didnt start it
     
  12. I like organic gardening and hydroponics.

    I dont feel the need to choose, i do both simultaneously when i have the health.
     
  13. no man, I am a soil grower, I just did some business with that company and came across the DWC pre made 5 gal buckets. No ad, only bought one thing so far, just a customer. But the simplicity got me to thinking about hydro. I kept aquariums for years and don't think I ever want to check a level again. No my post wasn't a spam, but thanks for protecting the integrity of this site.
     
  14.  
    Large scale systems are being setup that are cheaper to maintain and use less water where conditions make conventional farming more dificult or nearly impossible. Yes, a solar panel to run the pumps the circulate the water (to keep if from going stagnate).
     
  15.  
    So you believe that growing hydroponically uses more water than soil growing?
     
    That is absolutely incorrect, especially when you're talking hydro vs conventional (even the most modern and efficient) soil irrigation methods.
     
    In container growing, most growers have a lot of waste runoff when they water and a lot is evaporated from the medium. A good (efficient) hydroponic system can produce more yield (food or buds) with the same amount of water used over all.
     
  16. That same water can easily be captured with a dehumidifier, fwiw.
     
  17. I can recycle 5 gallons of water every 30 hours With a dehumidifier and the waste run off can be put through a ro also....i do neither because i live a block from a spring and run well tap

    Hydro may use less water but what about chemicals or some kind of living breathing craping thing in the water?
     
  18. Nm....you answered it....solar panel for air pump.....like led lights.....i just have not figured out the cost/value or how to utilize both affordably
     
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