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Disadvantages of Hydroponics

Hydroponics - Hydroponics has gained popularity over the past decade, due to its many health benefits and environmental benefits. However, this trend shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, recent reports show hydroponic sales increasing by more than 200% in the last year alone! 

So why is this system still relatively new? The short answer is: Because it works! Unlike other hydroponic systems that rely on a soil-based medium, a hydroponic system can be used with almost any material.

There are many advantages to growing your own food. It offers you the opportunity to eat healthier, save money on food costs, and customize your diet to your individual needs. But there are also some disadvantages. To be clear, there are not problems with conventional agriculture per se -- indeed, human beings have been farming since time began. 

The disadvantages of hydroponics are pretty obvious, and can be easily overlooked. There’s no real downside to using a soil nutrient system for growing your veggies, but it can be more labor intensive and requires more attention to the weed area than something that's air-based.

Disadvantages of Hydroponics

Here are 5 disadvantages of hydroponics that you should think about before starting it.

1. Expensive to set up

A hydroponic system can be more efficient at growing certain types of plants. However, the cost of these systems also depends upon how well they are set up. Because these systems rely on artificial lighting and water supplies, they are more expensive than other types of gardening. I’ve heard some estimates ranging between $500-700 per square foot used for indoor gardening applications. That price certainly isn't cheap, but it does give you tons of bang for your buck when you are looking for higher quality growth than you’d get with a soil-based system.

2. Vulnerable to power outages

Hydroponics is based on the fact that it is possible to grow very healthy and abundant plants in a very small amount of space. This saves people time and money since they don't have to truck around large amounts of material like they would with indoor gardening. The main disadvantage of this method of gardening is that when there is a power outage, the hydroponic systems can be affected adversely as well since the lighting and pumps that are used for the lighting and nutrient transfer will be cutoff.

3. Requires constant monitoring and maintenance

Hydroponics relies on a complicated and sometimes risky process to produce its crops. So, it's requires a lot of monitoring and micro-managing than growing plants in the soil. To maintain a controlled  environment like Hydroponics, all components need extra attention —lights, temperature, and many aspects of the nutrient solution like pH and electrical conductivity. The nutrient solution needs to be flushed and replaced regularly, so we can prevent the system to buildup and clogging.

4. Waterborne diseases

Hydroponics are susceptible to waterborne diseases - particularly soil-based diseases that affect the roots of these plants and can cause them to be diseased or kill them if not treated properly. Because hydroponically grown plants are grown in water instead of soil, water circulating continuously through the system, infections can spread quickly throughout the growing system as a whole, affecting the whole collection of plants. 

5. Problems affect plants quicker

Soil protects the roots from extreme temperature changes, slows diseases and pests from attacking, and regularly releases and absorbs nutrients. Without soil to act as a buffer, plants grown in hydroponics systems react negatively to problems like nutrient deficiencies and disease much quicker.

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