For certain operations, converting over entirely to a hydroculture systems simply doesn’t make sense. Smaller enterprises and family run farms, can sustain themselves and thrive without ever making a serious investment in hydroponics. However, for a large amount of farmers and produce growers, the answer is a resounding yes.
The question of how and when to seriously consider hydroponics is outside the scope of this article. But there’s no doubting that some plants take to hydroculture like well, ducks to water. Here are three such plants.
The bright red fruit and popular shortcake filling ingredient simply flourishes through the use of hydroponics. The first and most obvious benefit of growing strawberries in liquid media is that it allows for harvesting all year round. An added benefit that might not be as apparent to growers unfamiliar with hydroponics is that strawberries grown this way are much more efficient in terms of their water consumption. One grower reported using nearly 85% less water than when they were growing strawberries conventionally in soil. Moreover, hydroponic growers report higher yields, as terrestrial pests are eliminated from the equation.
Spicy food aficionados and gourmands will be pleased to know that peppers grow like wildfire when grown through hydroculture. Much like strawberries, growers that make the switch to hydroponics for their crop of peppers can count on having a higher yield as the opportunity to grow their favorite varieties year-round. Additionally, growing peppers in this fashion allows species that are native to only small regions of the world to be grown anywhere; provided, of course, that they aren’t classified as an invasive plant species!
Like peanut butter and jelly, or peas in a pod, tomatoes and hydroponics make a great team. Most of the before-mentioned advantages of hydroculture growing apply to tomatoes too: increased growing speed, freedom from pests, higher yields, and more defenses in place against diseases. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about using potentially harmful pesticides to keep your crop of tomatoes healthy. Tomato growers that have adopted hydroponics have achieved larger sizes, higher yields, and use markedly less of their land compared to conventional growing methods for tomatoes.
When it comes to hydroponics, there are arguments both for and against.