The Effects of Hydroponics on Vegetables
The controversies surrounding the effects of hydroponics on vegetables rage on for decades and this article tries to pick out the real information.
Humans have a natural tendency to fear anything that is even slightly out of the way of tradition or what they consider “normal” at some point and applying hydroponics on vegetables is one of the fields that still have to fight this tendency. If you read around the Internet or in gardening related magazines, you probably noticed that there are split opinions on the effects of hydroponics on vegetables and on the way these differ from soil grown ones, both positively and negatively. It’s a bit of an informational mess and what I’ll be trying to do in the following paragraphs is clear some of the clutter surrounding this subject.
I remember some years ago, when I first heard of hydroponics vegetables gardening, I was slightly concerned about several aspects surrounding it, such as whether or not the fruits or vegetables grown this way are 100% healthy, whether they’re tasty and so forth. Obviously, back then, the entire hydroponics industry was at its beginnings so there wasn’t a lot of information floating around. Today, things are slightly better, as the Internet contains several sources of information on hydroponics gardening, however in many cases this information is ambiguous or confusing, so I decided to try and clear things up myself.
What is Hydroponics Vegetables Gardening?
The science of hydroponics refers to the process of growing vegetables or fruit, without using actual soil. Despite the fact that all plants grow in soil naturally, it’s actually not the best environment for them. Soil can lack nutritious substances, water, it contains all sorts of pests that put the vegetables health in danger and so forth. Using a hydroponics vegetables gardening system on the other hand, will eliminate most of these problems, since you won’t be growing these vegetables in soil, but in a nutritious substance that may vary with each system.
Benefits of Hydroponic Vegetable Gardening
Besides the actual benefit of eliminating all the problems that occur when a plant grows in soil, hydroponic vegetables gardening has a couple more aces up its sleeve. For example:
- A hydroponics vegetable system is easy to set up and even create from scratch
- You will produce extremely nutritious vegetables
- Oftentimes, the size of the vegetables grown in a hydroponic system is increased in comparison to vegetables grown in soil
- Besides being a nutritious source of food, a hydroponic vegetables system can also make a great landscape décor
- It’s a very rewarding and satisfying occupation from a personal and spiritual point of view
The fact that you can grow your vegetables indoors is a tremendous benefit in its own. Plants grown using hydroponics vegetable gardening systems don’t even need sunshine, they can use the system’s own light source for photosynthesis. So basically, your veggies will grow by their own life clock, regardless of the season or the time of the day outside. Besides allowing them to grow off-season, your system will also help the vegetables grow a lot faster then if they would be out in their natural environment.
Are There Any Negative Effects Related to Applying Hydroponics on Vegetables?
First thing’s first, we’ll begin by answering the “negative effects” question, because it’s the first one that the above mentioned fear urges us to ask. Hydroponics gardening has been around for quite a while now, if we consider its modern birth the first use of mineral nutrient solutions in 1860. So we had time to study whether or not this way of growing vegetables has any negative effects on the plants themselves, subsequently passing them on to their consumers: us.
Probably the first argument someone will have against hydroponics is that the vegetables are grown in “chemicals” and we’re thought to believe that everything that’s chemical is bad. Well, medicine and body fortifiers are factory-made chemicals and no one minds them. Besides, it was scientifically proven that plants suck up minerals and other nutrients from the soil or solution they’re grown in only after decomposing them into basic states. So in truth, it doesn’t really matter if you grow your tomatoes in manure, fertile soil or a nutrient solution. The only thing that differs is how much nutrients they get and this is where applying hydroponics on vegetables has an edge.
The only negative effect that has been proven when it comes to using hydroponics on vegetables is that they lack the effects that bacteria apply on similar soil-grown vegetables. It seems that as bacteria engulf a plant’s roots, they also apply several immune factors that get passed on to whoever eats them. So in the long run, eating soil-grown vegetables over hydroponic ones may give you a stronger immune system.
What about the Positive Effects of Using Hydroponics on Vegetables?
Well, for one thing, plants grown in hydroponics vegetable gardening systems end up larger in size and more nutritious. That however, is not a 100% certainty. You only have so much control over size and nutritious values and sometimes they simply don’t end up the way you would have hoped. But with the increasingly perfecting technology in hydroponics, it’s almost certain that vegetables and fruits grown in such a system will have the above mentioned qualities over their soil-grown sisters.
Hydroponic vegetable gardening systems also have the advantage of not worrying about pests, which in turn eliminates the need for pesticide solutions being applied on them. Pesticide solutions are considered a controlled risk with soil-grown vegetables, but it’s still a risk. Many scientists and nutritionists believe that pesticides have a lot more negative effects on our bodies than the chemically enhanced solutions in which hydroponic vegetables grow in.
As you can see, we’re still some ways to go before bringing hydroponic science to a perfect state, but fortunately we’re making big leaps towards this goal.
Eliminating the slight negative effects and emphasizing the positive ones will soon become a reality and hydroponic vegetable gardening will undoubtedly become a standard for all nations across the World.