Hydroponics is still a relatively new practice in agriculture, and only within the last few years has it become practical for home gardeners. This might be why there are so many misconceptions about hydroponic gardens. So, here’s the truth about the top hydroponic myths.
Myth #1: It's Expensive
In the early days of hydroponics, only universities and agricultural researchers could afford the required materials. But technology has come a long way since the mid-twentieth century. Today, systems range from $30 single plant systems to $400 home hydroponic gardens. In many cases, it will cost you less than building a raised bed.
Additionally, the ongoing costs for hydroponics are low. Hydroponic systems, net cups, and most growing media can be sanitized and reused for years. Because hydroponics uses less water and nutrients than soil, you’ll save money on fertilizers.
Myth #2: It's Hard
While some believe hydroponics is only for scientists, advanced gardeners, or the meticulous hobbyist. Hydroponics is really no more difficult than soil gardening, and many people find hydroponics easier. When leaves begin to turn yellow or brown, curl, or have spots, it can take some time to determine the cause. With hydroponics, plants react more rapidly to nutrient changes, so identifying and curing a deficiency takes less time.
Myth #3: Only Use Distilled or Reverse Osmosis Water
This one will depend on the quality of your tap water. For most people, as long as your tap water is contaminant-free and safe to drink, you can use it for your hydroponic system. Before use, allow your water to sit overnight in an open container to allow the chlorine to off-gas, you can add an air stone to speed up the process.
The one major caveat to this is if you have very hard water. If you have very hard water, typically over 150ppm you may want to use filtered, distilled, or reverse osmosis water. The dissolved solids in your tap water can interfere with how your plants take up nutrients. If your plants can’t take up enough nutrients, you’ll struggle with deficiencies.
Myth #4: It’s Only for “Hippies”
If the word “hydroponic” brings to mind clouds of smoke and black lights, you’re not alone. Hydroponics has become synonymous with everyone’s favorite plant. But the reality is that it’s a valuable tool in solving food insecurity around the world. Less water, nutrients, and land are needed to produce crops hydroponically.
Over the last year, the cost of food has practically doubled. Droughts, storms, floods, and war have put a strain on global agriculture. Having your own hydroponic garden means affordable, nutritious food grown in your own home.
Myth #5: Flush Your System Weekly
Many experienced hydroponic growers have developed a preference for frequent reservoir changes and system flushes. Some feel that this ensures a cleaner system and more accurate nutrient dosing. However, there is no evidence that completely changing your nutrient solution every week is necessary. Unless your roots or solution become brown, slimy, or stinky, topping off your reservoir is fine. If you want to ensure a clean system without frequent changes, FloraMax System Maintenance is plant-safe for regular use.
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