Why does Hydroponics work so well?

That's simple. If you give a plant exactly what it needs, when
it needs it, in the amount that it needs, the plant will be as healthy as is
genetically possible. With hydroponics this is an easy task; in soil it is far
more difficult.

With hydroponics the plants are grown in an inert growing medium
(see below) and a perfectly balanced, pH adjusted nutrient solution is
delivered to the roots in a highly soluble form. This allows the plant to
uptake its food with very little effort as opposed to soil where the roots must
search out the nutrients and extract them. This is true even when using rich,
organic soil and top of the line nutrients. The energy expended by the roots in
this process is energy better spent on vegetative growth and fruit and flower

you grow two genetically identical plants using soil for one and hydroponics
for the other, you will almost immediately see the difference this factor
makes. Faster, better growth and much greater yields are just some of the many
reasons that hydroponics is being adapted around the world for commercial food
production as well as a growing number of home, hobby gardeners.


What is "growing medium"?

medium is the material in which the roots of the plant are growing. This covers
a vast variety of substances which include Rockwool, perlite, vermiculite,
coconut fiber, gravel, sand and many more. The growing medium is an inert
substance that doesn't supply any nutrition to the plants. All the nutrition
comes from the nutrient solution (water and fertilizer combined). You can
therefore, easily control everything the plants receive. The strength and pH of
the nutrient solution is easy to adjust so that the plants receive just the
right amount of food. The watering/feeding cycles can be controlled by an
inexpensive timer so that the plants get watered on schedule, as needed.






What is the difference between hydroponic, organic and "regular" fertilizers?

hydroponic fertilizers and those intended for use in soil contain the three
major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The major difference in
hydroponic fertilizers is that they contain the proper amounts of all the
essential micro-nutrients which fertilizers intended for use with soil do not.
The plants are expected to find these elements in the soil, assuming that the
trace elements are in fact present. Problems can arise for the plants if any or
all of the micro-nutrients are not present in the soil or are depleted by
successive (or excessive) plantings. Hydroponic fertilizers are usually in a
more refined form with fewer impurities making them both more stable and
soluble for better absorption. Organic fertilizers, in most cases, are very
different than either hydroponic or soil fertilizers both in composition and
how they deliver the nutrient to the plants. Organic fertilizers rely on the
synergistic action of bacteria and microbes to break down nutritional
substances for easier uptake by the plants. Hydroponic and soil fertilizers
provide nutrients in a ready-to-use form. While once, they were mutually
exclusive, in recent years a number of outstanding organic fertilizers have hit
the market in formulations refined enough for use in hydroponics




"Hydroponic or Organic-What's the Difference?" by Roger H. Thayer

What are micro-nutrients?

The micro-nutrients, also known as trace elements that are required for healthy
plant growth are calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, cobalt, copper, iron,
manganese, molybdenum and zinc. When deficient in any or all of these elements
plants suffer stress, disease, become more susceptible to pest, fungus' and
bacteria, and may have uptake issues with the N-P-K fertilizer they are being
fed. At best, they will never live up to their genetic potential in growth and
yield; at worst, they die. In the case of food crops, nutrient deficient plants
lead to nutrient deficiencies in the people and animals who consume them. Due
to years of over farming the same fields much of today's commercially produced
food has a nutrient level barely exceeding waxed fruit. No surprise that more
and more people are choosing to grow the food their families eat in their own
gardens. When growing in soil remember to renew the dirt between plantings and
when growing hydroponically know that it is absolutely essential to use a
hydroponic fertilizer that provides all the trace elements.




Is pH important in hydroponics?

The control of pH is extremely important, not only in
hydroponics but in soil as well. Plants lose the ability to absorb different
nutrients when the pH varies. 

The ability to quickly and easily test and control pH in
hydroponics is a major advantage over dirt gardening, where testing and
adjusting the pH is much more complicated and time consuming.

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