Select The Best Garden Method for Beginners To Choose At Home

     Most people consider Hydroponics as a hobby. Hydroponics is a soil-free method to learn more about growing selective fruits/vegetables. First, ask yourself these questions starting a garden: What are the advantages and disadvantages of going soil-free? How much space to meet the living requirements between these gardening methods?  Depending on the location, which gardening method could benefit your lifestyle to grow nutritious ingredients? Each will be discussed further in the article. As a gardener, I share with a community that gardening isn’t for everyone; however, it can help us reflect on our relationship with our home environment.

Homes reflect how we grow in our health as our gardens. 

Everyone has a home with exceptional lawns and landscaping. On the other hand, some homes may refuse any living thing entering their land. For example, a yard or garden can deteriorate due to natural causes or garden bugs or not watering the plants. Trees can struggle due to a lack of water or too much moisture. There may be pests or fleas that attack the tree. Maybe the soil is not suitable for what the owner wants to plant. It can take responsibility and research when applying the wrong fertilizers or pesticides.


Sometimes none of these things are to blame, however, leaving gardeners in complete awe of what might happen. Those who struggle with keeping a green lawn or growing the perfect flowers or tomatoes can take comfort in knowing that it can be more than just a lack of experience, knowledge, or even color—the color of their lawn.

Your house may be killing your lawn and/or garden. More than two-thirds of residential land is devoted to single-family homes in California. And a New York Times analysis found those results to be reasonably consistent nationally, with an average of 75 percent of land devoted to single-family homes in 10 major US cities. We place our desired plants and artistic views around our house to create a pleasing effect. But our homes, building materials, orientation, drainage, and other factors often cause problems and challenges. Knowing, recognizing, and addressing these challenges can help prevent our homes from killing our gardens.

The lifestyle to grow food?   

     Growing quality food is a personal goal because grocery shopping can get expensive for more than two people. The challenge is living in an urban community, minimal soil surface to grow fruit trees, poor soil quality, and long season. With AmHydro plus multiple ventures, capitalists invest billions of dollars in the Agricultural IT industry. Everyone seems to be talking about Hydroponics (AmHydro). However, as a resident, can a homeowner start their garden at a reasonable cost to replace buying groceries? Maybe not with a small parcel of property.

Nevertheless, the idea is to grow a selected fruit/vegetable with limited space with complex environmental challenges. It is an ingredient for multiple uses that could grow in these selected methods to prep for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. A fresh basket/crate of produce from the backyard could substitute a standard grocery list to be checked off. It is not a realistic long-term lifestyle. However, to grow a delicious single primary ingredient could introduce multiple opportunities.

As a chef, add just one ingredient to make each bite better than before, healthy and delicious. This is an opportunity to inspire the community to eat local foods rather than eating commercial products offered outside of the state and country. This topic will be discussed separately in a future blog post. Let’s start.

Soil-Free Gardening Vs. Soil Gardening

Starting your garden can be a huge challenge but also a great reward. More and more people are attracted to the benefits of homemade foods because of their convenience, freshness, and taste.

Choosing between hydroponics and soil gardening is a personal preference. Hydroponics is excellent for growing plants indoors and saving water, but it is more expensive and harder to learn. On the other hand, land gardening is an affordable and entertaining way to grow plants, but it has the downside of pest control and climate reliability.

There is no right or wrong answer for your gardening trip. However, below, I found some surprising facts that might change your mind on the subject. Read more below about Hydroponics versus soil gardening.

If you’re ready to experiment and feed your plants in a unique way, give Hydroponics a try. If you consider your food sacred and a tradition that can only come from one place, the soil, then probably don’t change something that works and keep gardening in the dirt. In addition, Hydroponics, or “wet farming,” offers many benefits that can truly transform gardening as we know it.

Gardening Needs Space

Growing plants in the traditional way can be challenging for people living in apartments. Gardening is messy and requires much space. Balconies can accommodate a handful of herbs, but if you want to get serious about gardening, you’ll be forced to explore community gardening. Nevertheless, one of my top recommendations is the seven gals Grow Bags.

Planter bags are lightweight canvas bags, usually made from polypropylene, designed to hold growing media such as potting soil or Promix and plants. Planter bags come in various sizes and provide good drainage and excellent aeration for the plants growing in them. This aeration offers another advantage, which is the size of the roots. Unlike plastic pots, fabric pots encourage healthier roots with more nutrients to form. These are the best growing bags that can be easily moved and have convenient handles. Garden bags can be used throughout the growing season as they are a great choice for protecting plants from dormancy during the colder winter months. Check out Planter Bags and Plastic Pots for more reasons I use growing plants in grow bags.https://johnsmealticket.com/bootstrapfarmer

According to researchers at the University of Arizona, plants are grown in hydroponics use about ten times less water than grown in soil. If this challenge suits your resolution goal, let’s review two recommended popular methods.

 

 

Photo Source: BootStrapeFarmer 

Pros and Cons using Hydroponics

 Pro

  • Hydroponics Provide Year-Round Production
  • Hydroponics Deliver Shorter Harvest Time
  • Hydroponics Use Less Water
  • Hydroponics Bring More Yield
  • Hydroponics Do Not Need Pesticides
  • Hydroponics Lower Plant Cost Over the Long Run
  • Hydroponics Allow Gardening Anywhere Anytime
  • Hydroponics Provide Opportunity for Experimentation
  • Hydroponic Vegetables Taste Better
  • Hydroponics Require Little Maintenance

Cons

  • Higher Startup and Energy Cost
  • Requires attention to detail and commitment
  • Hydroponics Not Any Healthier than Soil Gardening
  • Higher Technical Skill for Growing Plants Hydroponically

Whether you choose a hydroponic system or a soil system, you’ll get the benefit of locally grown herbs, fruits, and vegetables, and that’s all that matters. Here shown below, are my two top recommended hydroponic garden systems.

Aeroponic vs. Hydroponics

What exactly is an Aeroponic garden?


An Aeroponic garden is a form of Hydroponics. The plants’ roots are in the air sprayed using high-pressure mist inside an enclosed environment in Aeroponics. Spraying their roots with nutrient-rich water solutions allows a level of oxygen high in the water by the constant circulation of the water to grow strong and healthy.

Advantages:

• Three different available approaches are possible with modern Aeroponics

• Requires very little space

• Mobile.

• It produces healthier root systems for plants to grow up to 50% faster than regular hydroponic systems and boosts health.

• The maintenance requirements for Aeroponics are minimal.

Disadvantages:

• It relies heavily on automatic systems

• Constant monitoring to be successful

• Highly susceptible to power outages

• Require regular disinfection of the root chamber

What is a Hydroponic Garden system?


A Hydroponic system is where the plants are in a growing tray with a nutrient-rich water solution flowing through the bottom of the tray area, providing food and nutrients to promote the growth of the plants. Due to the ban on methyl bromide in soil culture, the demand for hydroponically grown produce has rapidly increased in the last few years.

Advantages:

• It can be suitable in dry desert areas or cold climate regions).

• Complete control of nutrient content, pH, and growing environment.

• Lower water and nutrient costs associated with water and nutrient recycling.

• Faster growth due to more available oxygen in the root area.

• Much higher crop yields.

• No weeding or cultivation is required.

• Crop rotation/fallowing is not necessary.

Disadvantages:

• Initial and operational costs are higher than soil culture.

• Skill and knowledge are needed to operate correctly.

The cost of the systems?

Aeroponic systems can have a much higher initial start-up cost than Hydroponic systems. However, this is partly because Aeroponic systems depend on machinery to keep the plants alive and healthy.

  1. Aeroponic systems consist of high-pressure pumps, automatic mist nozzles, and timers. With no growing media to hold any moisture, the roots can dry out very quickly in these systems. Watering cycles need to be frequent, and it will be up to you to determine what that takes.
  2. The plants in this system need to be in an enclosed environment because they recommend enclosed dark environments, turning carbon dioxide into oxygen. This process is called photosynthesis. However, low-energy lamps should help supplement photosynthesis.

If the machinery fails and the plants go without the needed nutrients, the plants in an Aeroponic system will fail to survive within just a few hours post malfunction. This fact causes the Aeroponic system to have a more substantial cost than Hydroponics when first starting.

When starting an Aeroponic system, make sure to have a backup solution that is ready to use, just in case the machinery fails. It is a recommended precautionary measure to ensure no loss of plants goes into shock within just a few hours. Hydroponic systems still can come with a hefty initial cost.

     In conclusion, what you are trying to achieve will decipher which method is best for you. If you have limited funds and want to keep the cost as low as possible, then Hydroponic takes the win.

Hydroponic Growing Setup

In a Hydroponic system, the plants are positioned in a growing tray to keep them stable and in place while water flows through the bottom of the tray, delivering the needed nutrients that the plants need to survive.

Have a water supply, such as a storage tank nearby, and a line or inlet hose connected to the water supply. This will deliver the aqueous solution through the bottom of the tray and feed the plants. Additionally, provide an overflow drain to return the remaining water to the water tank.

Both Aeroponic and Hydroponic systems have a substantial upfront cost compared to the traditional soil gardening option.

However, hydroponic systems require less equipment than the Aeroponics system, which needs extensive equipment to make it a viable option, especially since acquiring a quality backup system in Aeroponics.

The cost of each setup will be dependent on the goal. Hydroponic systems are usually self-sustainable enough not to require more substantial costs to keep the system up and running.

Overall, if looking for a cost-effective option, Hydroponics is the best way to achieve that goal.

Plants growing setup

When utilizing the Aeroponics system, plants can be stacked close to each other and on top of one another, and the plants require no growing medium. It means that plants do not take up a large amount of space and share the alternative to maximize the plant production in limited areas.

Aeroponic systems also share similar mobility options to move plants around and switch out nursery plants and old plants with new plants.

In Hydroponic systems, the space utilized is a bit more than the Aeroponic system but takes up 20% less space than the traditional plants grown in soil, so in this system, the opportunity to grow more plants in a confined space.

Roots of plants grown in a Hydroponic system are easier to monitor, resulting in the roots being more compacted and closer together.

In conclusion, both systems utilize less space than traditional soil growing. However, Aeroponic methods will take up slightly less space when compared to Hydroponic systems. 

Growth of plants in each system

In Aeroponic setups, plants rely primarily on the moisture and oxygen in their controlled environment. This system promotes fast, massive growth and healthy plants because their roots are exposed to oxygen non-stop and at less risk of encountering a disease since growing in a highly controlled and regulated environment is recommended.

Roots of a plant grown using the Aeroponic System

Aeroponic systems allow the plants to maximize their nutrient absorption due to having no growing medium, causing produce more plants than in a different setup. Using the Hydroponic system is an efficient method to grow larger and healthier plants than the traditional soil method because the tubes directly direct the nutrient-rich solution to the plant roots.

Both Aeroponic and Hydroponic systems have complete control over the environment, the nutrients delivered to the plants, the pH levels, light exposure intensity, and duration, which will help promote optimal plant growth. In addition, in both setups, as a friendly reminder to protect the plants from external factors such as the wind and unpredictable weather conditions.

If plants quality is the main focus or concern, Aeroponics is the best option due to the amount of aeration the plant’s roots are exposed to, causing them to produce a higher quality plant.

If you are looking to grow the maximum amount of plants in a smaller environment or are strictly looking to have the best quality of plant possible, then you would want to go with Aeroponics. Another reason you would like to choose the Aeroponics option is to be as environmentally friendly as possible due to the small amount of water it requires to operate. 

How environmentally friendly are Hydroponic and Aeroponic setups?

Aeroponic setups use considerably lower nutrients due to the quick nutrient absorption rates. This setup also uses significantly less water, which substantially helps out the environment.

Hydroponic setups offer a more energy-efficient setup than plants grown in soil, and many Hydroponic systems recycle water; this significantly reduces the amount of water wasted.

Although aeroponics and hydroponic systems are more environmentally friendly and simple, people without green thumbs can successfully grow flowers and vegetables in their homes. According to personal experience, the aeroponic system is the most environmentally friendly choice compared to the traditional soil system due to the low amount of water used.

Sources:

Learn Hydroponics with AmHydro! (2021, July 11). AmHydro. https://amhydro.com/learn-hydroponics/

Taghizadeh, Rouzbeh. “Assessing the Potential of Hydroponic Farming to Reduce Food Imports: The Case of Lettuce Production in Sweden.” (2021).

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