Hydroponics vs Soil: 6 Reasons Hydroponics Beats Soil Gardening

Thomas Angas by Thomas Angas | Last Updated: August 22, 2019

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Growing up, I was the kid who LOVED science.

It’s no surprise that when I learned about hydroponics something inside my brain instantly clicked and “just made sense”.

In this post, we’re going to have a fun grow media showdown – hydroponics vs soil!

Hydroponics vs soil image

Hydroponics vs Soil – The Modern Gardening Showdown

Hydroponics Saves Water

Maybe it’s the old hippy in us but the fact that hydroponics gardening uses water in a more efficient way just seems… right.

With traditional soil gardening, you water your plants but not all of the solution will make it to the plant. Some drips out the bottom of the container, some soaks deeper into the ground and some simply evaporates into the heavens.

In a hydroponics setup, nutrients are recycled through a process called a recirculating nutrient reservoir.

What this means in real terms is that your plant’s roots will only take what nutrients then need and the rest will go back into the reservoir to be cycled back through later.

It’s estimated that a hydroponics system uses just 10% of the water that a normal soil systems does.

Also, an this might just be us but there’s something relaxing about the sound of your air stones bubbling away that’s extremely relaxing.

Space Savings

Traditional soil gardening requires an enormous amount of space.

True, you can soil garden indoors using pots and window boxes but these limit the size of the plants you can grow.

Hydroponics allows you to produce a larger yield per square meter than soil gardening. For instance, with vertical hydroponics you can stack rows of plants on top of each other without taking up more surface area.

You also have the advantage of giving your system more exact levels of nutrients meaning plants can be grown closer together as there isn’t a battle for food.

No Weeding Necessary

I’ve got to admit, this one is possibly one of the most appealing things about a hydroponics setup – no weeding is necessary!

Do I need to say any more?

Less Pests and Diseases

One of the biggest causes of pests and plant diseases often come from the soil or grow media.

With no soil in your hydroponics system you reduce the chance of soild borne disease.

Faster Plant Growth

With a properly optimised system your biggest advantage is that your plants grow bigger and quicker.

For example, you can often take vegetables such as lettuce from seed to harvest in just over a month. This is almost twice as fast as regular soil gardening.

You Get To Experiment

Okay, for me this is one of the most appealing parts of hydroponic gardening – getting to experiment and refine my setup over time.

With shorter grow times, you can make changes and see what impact it has on your plant growth in weeks rather than months.

There’s also something quite fun about playing with pH meters, nutrient solutions and plumbing – you often feel like a mad scientist!

The Bottom Line

So there you have it, in the battle of hydroponics vs soil, you’ve now got 6 reasons why you should consider your own hydroponics setup.

Thomas Angas, the founder of Authority Gardening lives with his wife and two darling pups. He spends his free time writing, hiking and learning how to become a better gardener. He launched Authority Gardening in 2017 to help people all over the world their gardens grow.