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8 Pros & 4 Cons of Using Hydroponics in Greenhouses

Lettuce growing in a hydroponic system inside a greenhouse with the text: Pros & Cons of Using Hydroponics in a greenhouse

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You’ve probably been hearing a lot about hydroponics and you’re wondering if it’s a good option for you. Hydroponic growing in greenhouses has been becoming increasingly popular.

A lot of people are looking out for a healthier, stress-free, gardening experience. Hydroponics is a great answer to all of these desires. It has even been proven to increase plant yields and reduce waste significantly.

Here, I’ll be giving you full details on the pros and cons of hydroponics in greenhouses. If you’re looking to ditch the soil hassle and switch to hydroponic systems, you’ll want to go through this article first.

Quickview: Pros & Cons of hydroponics in a greenhouse

Pros

  • More efficient water use
  • Better use of space
  • Year-round growing
  • Less chemical use
  • Faster and better nutrient supply
  • Stress-free growing
  • No weeds
  • Fast growth

Cons

  • High initial cost
  • Waterborne diseases
  • Requires expertise
  • Requires more supervision

8 Benefits of using hydroponics in a greenhouse

Hydroponics offers faster plant growth and an easier gardening experience. If you are looking to switch to hydroponics, here are the benefits of this system that’ll interest you.

1. More efficient use of water

Hydroponic systems are more efficient in the use of water in the greenhouse. Plants require enough water to grow well, but conventional methods cause excessive waste.

When compared to other growing methods, hydroponic systems are considered more water-efficient since water can be reused. They use 10 times less water than normal soil-based gardening.

Since you’ll be growing your plants in a greenhouse, you’ll be controlling your plants’ environment. This allows you to use the exact amount of water to get the job done.

2. Better use of space

Hydroponic systems help you grow your fresh fruits and vegetables without taking up as much space. This system requires 20% less space than soil-based growing. Some crops need a lot of space to grow and normal soil-based gardening is ineffective when it comes to managing space.

This is because the plants are fighting for root space. But with hydroponic systems, the plants grow upright and take less space. This means that you can grow more plants than usual at a time!

3. Year-round growing

With hydroponics, you’ll be growing your plants in a climate-controlled environment, and weather variations will not be an issue for you. Hydroponic systems in a greenhouse are not limited by harsh weather conditions. You’ll be sure to get higher crop yields despite the season.

You have full control of the system and you are several steps ahead of the weather. Plus, hydroponics can help to grow plants at up to 16 times higher density. It permits growers to achieve this without using extra nutrients or other inputs.

4. Reduced use of chemicals

Hydroponics doesn’t require many synthetic chemicals. You’ll be growing your plants in a greenhouse where pest attacks are minimal. Meaning you won’t be needing those synthetic pesticides.

Most pests thrive in soil. The fact that you won’t be growing your plants with soil is a huge advantage. Your plants will be free from pests. Hydroponics systems offer you a huge saving on pesticide costs and give you healthier and safer plants.

5. Faster and better nutrient supply

Hydroponic systems will save you money and time when it comes to nutrient supply. While it may be a bit difficult to work out the best combination of nutrients for your plant, once you figure it out, you’ll have full control of the nutrient balance.

With hydroponic systems, your plants’ root system is open. So nutrients and oxygen get into the roots directly. This prevents the need for plants to spread out to search for nutrients. The plants will grow up and not spread out. This is why plants grow faster with hydroponics.

You can even manually adjust the pH level of your nutrients. This will ensure that the plants receive optimal nutrient input. With this, there’s minimal nutrient sinking into the environment. So you get to save money and get your plants growing faster. Sounds good right?

6. Stress-free growing

Hydroponics is a doorway to the stress-free gardening life you’ve been looking for. You can say goodbye to hours of soil tilling, cultivation, mulching, and fumigation. And harvesting has never been this easy!

Gardening can now be more of a sweet hobby than a daunting task. I know you want fresh fruits and vegetables, but guess what? It doesn’t have to be hard and time-consuming anymore! Spend more quality time with family and friends when you switch to a hydroponic system.

7. No more weeds

Conventional gardening can be time-consuming and annoying especially when it comes to weeds. These pesky invaders also make your plants more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Hydroponics saves you from all these problems. There’s no space for weeds with this system. Soil-less gardening is the way to go if you’re done dealing with those irritating weeds that don’t just seem to die off.

8. Quick growth

Probably the most important benefit of hydroponics is that it ensures a faster growth rate. Here, you are controlling your plants’ environment entirely.

You can easily adjust factors like temperature, lighting, and nutrients to suit your crops. Your plants will simply spend their energy on growth rather than looking for nutrients within the soil.

Hydroponics shelving in a greenhouse and hands holding a plant with roots and the text in the middle: Pros & Cons - Using Hydroponics in a greenhouse

4 Disadvantages of hydroponics in a greenhouse

While hydroponics bring a good number of benefits to the table, there are a few factors that you may need to consider before installing them. Let’s quickly discuss them!

1. High initial cost

Installing a hydroponic system is quite expensive. You’ll need a good number of accessories to get it running properly. Whether you are growing just a few crops, the initial cost is still high.

Advanced hydroponic systems require the use of different types of equipment. You’ll need pumps, tanks, and some machines. Although a basic hydroponic system can be built with some storage containers, and the power to regulate the system.

If you don’t mind making an initial investment in hydroponics to get your plants growing faster, then this shouldn’t be a problem for you. You’ll end up saving costs on pesticides and nutrients in the long run.2.

2. Waterborne diseases are a concern

No doubt, hydroponics almost eliminates pest pressure. However, waterborne diseases become a serious concern with this system. Hydroponically grown plants are susceptible to waterborne diseases such as pythium.

These diseases attack the root structure of plants and they occur mainly due to poor hygiene. If you are going to ensure appropriate measures are met, waterborne diseases won’t be much of an issue for you. Simply practice timely cleaning tasks and you’ll reduce the risk of plant diseases.

Although water-borne diseases may be impossible to completely prevent when using hydroponics, many hydroponic growers include bio fungicides to avoid breakouts.

3. Requires a bit of expertise

Hydroponics is considerably more technical than other growing systems. If this would be your first hydroponic system, then you’ve got a lot to learn. It might feel like a lot at first, but with time you’ll get comfortable with hydroponics systems for your greenhouse.

From the setup to equipment monitoring, you’ll need to spend dedicated time to make sure your system works well. You’ll be having a lot of trouble if it doesn’t.

4. Requires more supervision

If a piece of this system, such as the water pump, fails you may lose your plants within hours if appropriate steps are not taken. So hydroponics require more supervision and care. There’s no soil acting as a cover or shield for plants’ nutrients and water.

And just like any normal greenhouse, power outages can be a serious problem for your plants. It’ll be smart to put measures in place to prevent this problem.

Should you install a hydroponic system in your greenhouse?

It’s up to you! There are mind-blowing benefits that come with this system, but it does take dedication. If you’re the type that consistently likes to grow fresh fruits and vegetables, then this could be a great one-time investment for you.

You’ll get to improve the standard of your greenhouse and enjoy a more convenient garden experience. There are several types available and although it may be a bit tasking at first, with time, you’ll master the use of the system.

Are you going to start your hydroponic garden in your greenhouse? Share it with us in the comments!
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