What are hydroponic gardens?
Creating a hydroponic garden is the easiest thing for those who lack a patio or garden but do not want to miss the opportunity to have their own crops at home. Does this scenario sound like? If it is your case, watch our post today.
There is much to talk about with hydroponic gardens; for that reason, today we are going to give you an introductory semblance of them and in future entries, we will go deeper, since it is an exciting subject. The first thing is to be clear that these orchards are also known, within the world of the garden, as “orchards without soil”. A name undoubtedly curious, since it is difficult for us to imagine that we can grow plants without having them in the ground … In fact, it refers, as we have said, to the fact that it is not necessary to have an area of land specially prepared for it. We can create our hydroponic garden in nurseries or flower beds indoors, pots placed vertically on a balcony … The really important thing is that we know how to create a substrate that provides the right nutrients to the plants we want to grow. And, of course, maintain optimal conditions of light and water. In this sense there is not much difference with the garden that we could have in a garden; saving space is undoubtedly the greatest advantage of choosing this possibility, so widespread today in our urban world.
What type of substrate do we use?
We can consider three types of substrate: organic, inorganic and synthetic. Although many shops specializing in garden products sell us the first two already prepared, another advantage of this type of garden is that we can manufacture them with elements that we surely have at home, or that it is not difficult to get in nature: from gravel or pumice to coconut fiber, sawdust, coffee husks … Synthetics, like gel or polyurethane, we will have to acquire them expressly, of course.
Grow in water
The name itself – hydroponic cultivation – already gives you a clue about hydroponics, which despite what many assume is not a modern practice, but very old, which basically consists of growing plants in water.
There is not one, but many techniques and different methods, in reality depending on the volume of the crop and its destination, that is, on a personal or industrial level. In short, the idea is to promote conditions for seeds to be able to germinate in water or unconventional substrates – such as sand – with the possibility of later supplying, through water, the same nutrients that they would take if they were in full earth or in a pot with conventional earth, this is: iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, among other elements.
What kind of plants can we grow?
The variety that supports a hydroponic garden is very wide: it is used very often for the massive production of lettuce, for example, but we can also grow tomatoes, celery, rosemary, parsley, strawberry … Many plants that will help us maintain a healthy diet, with the satisfaction of having seen them grow and develop in our own home.
Advantages and difficulties
As with any alternative method, this option will have advantages and disadvantages that we must analyze next.
Dosage and specificity of nutrients; this is an advantage that means that unlike the traditional soil where the plant absorbs what it finds without discriminating, in a hydroponic crop it is possible to give the plant exactly what it needs; no more no less.
Higher yield in production; In relation to a traditional crop on land, there are three notable advantages that are: higher production, faster and better quality.
There is less risk of diseases in a hydroponic crop compared to traditionally grown plants. Actually, the biggest advantage lies in the fact that for this reason the use of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides is totally restricted or avoided, so we can say that the vegetables obtained as a hydroponic crop are free of chemical products.