05 Apr 4 Common Misconceptions of Hydroponics Agriculture Debunked
Hydroponic farming is an alternative way of growing produce without any soil, just water. While this sounds complicated at first glance, it is actually straightforward. As a refresher, plants need water, light, nutrients, air, and time to grow. Hydroponics meets all those conditions by giving plants the three main macronutrients crucial to their growth: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, along with other essentials such as calcium and magnesium.
Since hydroponic growing requires a controlled environment, it is a perfect fit for indoor growing and can be done virtually anywhere. Although hydroponics is gaining traction in many parts of the world today, how it works and its advantages are not well-known to many, leading to misconceptions about its feasibility as a growing system. Below are some of the most common misconceptions surrounding hydroponics and the truth behind them.
1. Hydroponics can only grow lettuce
While this may have been true during the early days of hydroponic growing, the farming method has now progressed considerably so that it can grow more than just a single plant. Today, hydroponics is used to grow foods like kale, spinach, Asian greens, arugula, a mix of herbs, and so much more. The list of produce is mainly comprised of leafy greens because they can be grown reliably and quickly in this farming method.
It is important to remember that when it comes to hydroponic farming, the question is not whether it can or cannot grow something but whether it is the most efficient way to do so. Furthermore, the types of produce will not be limited to leafy greens for long. The scope of the controlled environment agriculture industry’s efforts covers the expansion of produce that can be reliably farmed via hydroponics. There has already been successful research on other crops, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, and strawberries.
2. It is too expensive to set up
Price is subjective from one person to another. In the context of hydroponic farming, the key question is whether it is worth it, given one’s circumstances. For instance, in places with limited land and water resources or regions with sky-high prices per acre of land, hydroponic farming is undoubtedly the better way of generating produce or even farming crops for personal use.
Thus, calculating the cost of starting a hydroponic farm should consider its spillover benefits in providing food sovereignty, nutrition education, local community investment, and reduced expenses in other areas.
3. It requires extensive agricultural experience
Growing produce only has one prerequisite: the will to accomplish it by any means. Thanks to the internet, anyone can learn about any topic imaginable, including farming and the many methods to accomplish it, such as hydroponics. With study and practice, it is only a matter of time before one gets the hang of growing plants and eventually moves on to building a hydroponic farm from scratch. Alternatively, you can buy a hydroponic system in Singapore and go for the plug-and-play route for a convenient setup that anyone can easily learn to use.
4. The produce comes with an odd taste
Similar to the proverb of seeing is believing, tasting the produce grown via hydroponics and letting your taste buds be the judge is the best way to verify this claim. These crops are typically sold as “hydroponic greens” or “living greens” in some grocery stores.
In hydroponic farming, plants are grown by providing them with nutrient-rich water instead of planting them in soil. One way of seeing it is like cooking rice in a rice cooker or a pot: the results remain the same despite being achieved through different yet equally valid means.
That said, there is still insufficient research on the quality comparisons of hydroponic produce and field produce to draw absolute conclusions. Thus, in the meantime, looking up customer reviews on hydroponic greens is the next best thing, which, in this case, some remark that they taste even better because of the freshness.
Given its exceptional benefits, people should learn more about hydroponic farming and how it works to avoid the many misconceptions surrounding it. Hopefully, the contents above have broadened your horizons concerning growing produce and how hydroponics can play a role in your plans.
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