The Disadvantages of Hydroponics...

Okay, time for a reality dose. On this page, we give you a roundup of all the "cons" we could think of. We want you to know the disadvantages before you get involved. Is hydroponics right for you? You decide...


Hydroponic gardening requires some responsibility, diligence and "stick-to-itiveness" for success. Although this great new method reduces needed labor to about 5-10 minutes per day, those are essential minutes. Aside from the occasional absence due to vacations, your hydroponic garden will require some regular attention.

An outside soil-based garden can be left to its own devices for weeks without total demise. It may be a weed and bug infested mess of rotted fruit, but the plants, in general, can be revived.

A hydroponics garden is not that forgiving... it needs a little more TLC than that. Your plants are dependent on you for their very survival. Yes, you can automate a hydroponic garden nicely, but you still must oversee the whole operation and head off major trouble at the pass.

So, there you have it. You've been warned. One of the disadvantages of hydroponics. Don't get into this unless you are willing to put forth a reasonable amount of effort to learn the system, commune with your plants, and make it all work. But if you are willing to commit to this most noble effort, the rewards are great...


Disadvantages of hydroponics...

Okay, so I've "been there and done that". I'm going to save you lots of frustration and money by sharing my experiences with you in this website.

BUT, I must let you know up front... hydroponics is NOT an exact science. I could tell you step-by-step how to set this thing up, list every piece of equipment and all the supplies you will need, and post warning signs to watch for. But still... you will have to learn through trial and error on your own.

I'll be honest with you... with each hydroponic garden I ever planted, there were surprises. These are living creatures we are working with, and things don't always go as planned. One of the greatest benefits of hydroponics is that you can experiment with a huge species pool of seeds... even heirloom tomatoes! Some plants will flourish, while others fizzle...  and so it goes. That's just the way gardening is, whether hydroponic or traditional.

I once planted a Bato bucket summer garden. I had so many lovely cucumbers and peppers, I was giving them away (and man were they tasty). But my tomato plants... they bloomed like crazy, I was so excited... but never did a single fruit appear! No real reason that I could figure out.

I guarantee you will have many more successes with hydroponics than with soil gardening. But you WILL have some failures and disappointments along the way. Okay?


In our website, I will talk about three different levels of hydroponics setups for you to ponder:

  1. Homemade system,  "mini-farms" from our diagrams, great beginner units (cheap and do-able)
  2. Homemade larger setup, from plans and some store-bought components, large and prolific (mid-range cost)
  3. Turn-key kit system, ordered and delivered (most expensive but easiest to setup and learn, most consistent)

But, any of these options is going to incur some initial expense. Why? No matter which way you go, you must buy a light, containers, a pump and/or timer, solutions. And this will add up. So don't get into hydroponics unless you can afford to spend a hundred dollars minimum for the mini farms ($200-300 minimum for the larger gardens).

The light is the most expensive item, and you just cannot scrimp on that unless you plan to do all your gardens on a sunny patio.

So that's the bad news... one of the disadvantages of hydroponics... But once your have your system set up, the cost is minimal, really. You will not use very much electricity. We will teach you how to recycle and reuse the media (planting substances), and how to save that opened packet of seeds for a few years.

So really, once you are up and running, your only expenses will be minimal electricity and the nutrients.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Simon)

I'm going to tell you now the two major mistakes people make in hydroponics. These are the two main requirements for success, which are often overlooked:
* A cool spot
* The gumption to stay on top of the hydroponic solution

Hydroponics does better in a cool climate than hot. An air-conditioned bedroom is preferable to a hot corner of your patio in July.

Winter crops do very well if kept cool; summer crops need plenty of air circulation. The nutrient solution must be kept cool, or it will "cook" the tender roots. Read more about climate requirements here: Climate.

You also cannot neglect the vat of nutrient solution. You must do a couple of basic tests on your juice once a week, and alter or replenish it as needed. This is an important thing to do... your babies will not thrive on weak or unbalanced food. Read more about nutrient requirements here: Nutrients.

Return From Disadvantages of Hydroponics to Why Bother?


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