There are many advantages to growing your plants at home with hydroponics. Besides being fun to do, hydroponics is also a method of growing food at home sustainably. In this blog we will discuss some of the advantages of hydroponics compared to buying your food in the supermarket or growing it outdoors.
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is growing plants such as fruits and vegetables without the use of soil. Normally the plant gets its nutrients from the soil from which it absorbs them. In combination with light and water ensures that a plant has everything can grow. In Hydroponics the nutrients are absorbed directly from the water resulting in a fast and efficient way of growing plants. Besides being faster hydroponics has several other advantages.\
In hydroponics, the plant is grown directly on the water without the intervention of the soil. The nutrients are dissolved in the water so that they can be absorbed efficiently and plants can be grown in locations that are less suitable for traditional agriculture. Besides the fact that plants grow faster in a hydroponics system, there are a number of other advantages in terms of sustainability that are discussed below.
1. Less water usage
If you want to use hydroponics growing your food at home sustainably, the total water consumption is of course an important aspect. Especially in countries where water is scarce, it is important to use the available amount of water sparingly.
Fruits and vegetables need water to grow. In traditional agriculture or gardening, plants are supplied with water by nature in the form of rain or by watering systems. Part of this water is absorbed by the plant and part of it disappears into the soil or evaporates directly from the soil or later through the leaves of the plant. In hydroponics the water is in a closed system so there is no loss of water through the soil and the loss through evaporation is also greatly reduced.
Studies have shown that hydroponics uses about 90% less water than traditional agriculture or gardening with soil.
2. Shorter farm to fork, low food miles
Fruits and vegetables you buy in the supermarket have got there by means of transport with trucks or cargo ships in case of products coming from further away. Whether it’s cauliflower from Spain or lettuce from a local greenhouse, it has always been transported, generating emissions. Hydroponics ensures that plants can be grown closer to the supermarket.
When you grow your own vegetables at home with hydroponics indoors or on your balcony, you naturally have no transport emissions to get your products into your own kitchen.
3. Less land usage
Agricultural land is scarce worldwide and the demand for new farmland is the main cause of deforestation worldwide, including of the Amazon rainforest. Growing your own food at home means that there is no need for farmland for everything you grow in your hydro system! Hydroponics can be used anywhere from the desert, up to the 20th floor of an apartment building. So there will be much less land use than with traditional agriculture.
4. Better for the soil
In traditional agriculture, there is a lot of discussion about soil depletion and the use of artificial fertilizer which makes the soil less fertile after a longer period of time. Hydroponics separates the growing of plants from the soil so that the fertilizers no longer end up in the soil, but all benefit the growth of the plant. In this way, the environment is not burdened and the plants can still grow optimally.
5. Less Pesticide usage
In traditional agriculture, various products are used to protect the plant against pests such as insects, weeds or fungi. These pesticides and herbicides are then released into the environment so that they not only combat the plants and animals they are intended against, but can also cause damage to nature. With hydroponics, herbicides are completely unnecessary because there are no other plants growing in the system and insecticides are often not needed because the plants grow indoors, which protects them from pests in the form of insects. Especially when growing at home, the majority of hydroponic growers choose not to use any form of pesticides and herbicides.
If you have become enthusiastic about hydroponic farming at home get started now by checking out our shop page for the latest hydroponic products!