A hydroponic garden can be a great way to cut down on food expenses. It may not be as expensive as you think to get a backyard hydroponic garden going, and the garden can produce healthy and robust organic produce year-round. Hydroponic gardens are one of the best ways to save money on food and have a fantastic experience at the same time.
Most people garden as a hobby and are not overly concerned about how much money gardening might save them. When saving money on food is a primary concern, then the costs of setup and maintenance and the garden's productivity are something that you must carefully consider. While hydroponic gardens may be slightly more expensive up front, they considerably save costs over the long term. They are also easier to maintain.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, plants grow much better without soil. A plant's growth and productivity are dependent primarily on the strength and size of the plant's root system. If roots are crowded and cannot find proper nutrients quickly, then the plant's health suffers. By contrast, if the roots are allowed to grow abundant and free and can easily find nutrients, then the plant benefits.
Soil serves the plant by providing stability, but in most other ways, it is nothing but an impediment to plant growth and root health. In soil, the plant’s roots are forced to expend a great deal of time and energy burrowing through the soil in search of nutrients. The roots must then laboriously extract these nutrients from the soil. Soil also tends to impede the vital flow of oxygen to the roots, which is why soil needs to be often turned and aerated.
Eliminating the soil frees the roots to grow fully and rapidly, so more of the plant’s energy can be concentrated up top. The roots are also able to extract nutrients and oxygen much more efficiently from the water. All of this serves to accelerate the plant’s growth and make it more productive. A more productive garden means more food for less cost.
A hydroponic garden needs, in general, less maintenance and care than a traditional garden, and creating one may not be as expensive as it seems. Hydroponic gardens need less water than conventional yards, but they may slightly increase electricity expenses because of pumps and grow lights. These costs are offset by increased productivity and less need for soil care, maintenance, and pesticides.
How Hydroponics Saves Money on Food
Organic food can be costly. It is often beneficial to grow your organic food at home. A hydroponic garden can be a completely natural process. The fertilizers used may be naturally sourced. Hydroponic plants are also much less prone to diseases and pests compared to other plants. That reduces the cost of the garden overall and allows for truly organic food.
The ability to grow food year-round is an integral part of cutting food costs. Most traditional gardens serve their owners in the summer and fall, but they are forced back to the grocery store during the winter months before the first spring crop is ready to harvest. A hydroponic garden is not bound by the traditional summer-winter harvest cycle. Plants grow continuously year-round, and since they grow more rapidly, a gardener can expect multiple harvests per year. They may also be able to stagger the plant growth so that fresh produce is always available. This level of control and continuous growing is not possible with other gardening methods. It is the key to providing affordable fresh organic produce year-round, which will dramatically reduce food expenses.
Considering the many advantages hydroponic conditions have on plants, it’s no surprise that hydroponic plants grown at home may be healthier than even the expensive organic produce in stores. Fruits and vegetables rapidly begin to deteriorate once they are picked, so no store-bought produce is good as freshly picked from the backyard. Even products labeled as organic can sometimes be accidentally contaminated by non-organic produce during storage, handling, and shipping. The only way to be sure that the product is clean is to grow it and pick it from your garden.
A hydroponic garden is a great way to save money on food overall. It provides fresh, healthy, and organic produce at a fraction of the cost of store-bought, and it provides these benefits year-round. Hydroponic gardening can be fun, engaging, and less of a hassle than traditional gardening for even better results.