Hydroponic refers to a method of growing plants without the use of soil but by using a nutrient rich medium. Some examples of nutrient rich mediums commonly used are perlite, gravel, peat moss, vermiculite and rockwood. The basic concept of hydroponic is to enable the plant roots to directly receive nutrients from the medium. Oxygen and carbon dioxide, as other important supplements, are obtained naturally from the surrounding.
1) Increased growth rate of plants
Plants that are hydroponically grown are able to mature at a rate of 25% to 30% Faster than plants grown in soil medium. This is because, enough amount of nutrients are already provided to the plants.
2) Plants grow bigger and faster
Since hydroponic system provides plants with the nutrients needed, there is no need for the plants to grow their roots long as in soil to search for nutrients. Therefore, hydroponic plants focus more on growing upwards rather than expanding their roots downwards.
3) Use less water
Hydroponics plantation uses less water in comparison with soil grown plants. This is due to the closed systems of the hydroponic method. Water does not evaporate or at least evaporates at a very slow rate, compared to soil.
1) Higher cost than the soil counterpart
For high quality hydroponic system, the maintenance cost is much higher compared to soil based system. The nutrients used cost much higher than soil.
2) Large scale is harder to maintain
A large scale hydroponic plantation is difficult to maintain and is time consuming. The pH and nutrient levels of the medium must be checked on a daily basis
In conclusion, if one wishes to start hydroponic plantation, care must be taken of the system to avoid failure and loss that can kill the plants if not attended to properly. Hydroponics is beneficial for a longer run with proper care.