New hydroponics growers often have a lot of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Here at Pure Greens AZ, we try to answer as many questions as we can through our blog and social media.
Because we get so many, we thought we’d answer a few here.
In this article, you’ll learn the answers to 5 FAQs about hydroponics.
Will hydroponics replace traditional farming?
It’s no secret that hydroponics has a lot of great benefits!
Because it uses less water, less space and grows crops faster than soil, many people wonder if it’ll replace traditional farming.
However, some of the biggest commodity crops in the world, like corn, can’t be grown profitably in a hydroponic system (yet).
Plus, hydroponic farming costs a lot more to get started, than traditional farming.
So, it’s not always practical for farmers to switch to hydroponics.
On the other hand, soil is not always practical for indoor and urban farming, so hydroponics is a great supplement for traditional farms.
Can you use soil as a growing medium in hydroponics?
Using soil in a soil-less growing method is pretty contradictory, but we see this question a lot!
Technically, you can use soil as a growing medium for hydroponics.
But there are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t.
For example, hydroponic growing media do not contain any nutrients, because the grower adds them to water.
Using soil interferes with the amount of nutrients available to the plants, which reduces the level of control the grower has over the system.
As a result, you’re very likely to over fertilize your plants, causing nutrient burn, or under fertilize them, causing stunted growth.
Plus, hydroponic systems should be as clean and sterile as possible.
But soil often contains bacteria, insects and fungi that can easily spread through a hydroponic system and kill your plants.
If you want to use something soil-like in your hydroponic system, try coco coir.
Is hydroponics organic?
In order to be labelled organic, farms need to meet guidelines set by the National Organic Program and get an official certification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Without a certificate, farms cannot advertise themselves as organic, but they can say that they use organic practices.
In general, the USDA bans organic farms from using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
As long as the grower only uses organic nutrient solutions and no chemical pesticides, your hydroponic system can be considered for an organic certification.
How do I prevent root rot in my hydroponic system?
Root rot is an extremely common problem for soil and hydroponic growers alike!
There are a few tricks that will help you prevent root rot in your hydroponic system.
First, make sure you’re adding enough oxygen to your nutrient solution so that your plant’s roots won’t drown.
Additionally, replace your reservoir water at least every other week in order to prevent harmful bacteria from building up.
You should also sanitize any tools that come in contact with your nutrient solution and your reservoir before use.
If you’re still having issues, you can add two to three teaspoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water to your reservoir to kill any bacteria. This will not harm your plants.
What’s the easiest way to start hydroponic farming for fun?
The easiest way to start hydroponic farming for fun is to build a small DIY system!
This will help teach you about the basics of growing plants and managing nutrients.
If you want some ideas, check out our blog, “Easy Hydroponics Systems for Beginners.”
Did you enjoy these hydroponics FAQs and now you want to learn more about hydroponic farming?
Check out our website or call 602-752-3469 for more information.