Some people tend to think that hydroponics is something new and “trendy” for people who are fighting the system. The reality is that hydroponics has been around since 1600’s in Europe. I’m not here to talk hydroponics history because who cares, I mean most of the eyes that read me want me to get to the juice of things so I’ll go straight to the point.
So why hydroponics?
The advantages of hydroponics are many with very few negatives.
1.- Convenience: hydroponics are perfect for small spaces (unless you want to have a farm, in which case you move to Costa Rica to work the land). But if you live in the city in a small apartment like I did, hydroponics works wonderfully. The most important thing to keep in mind when doing hydroponics in a reduced place is to remember to use adequate lighting. Excellent lighting is essential to plants growing without soil because otherwise algae will grow in the water and we don’t want that to happen.
Methods: There are different methods to irrigate the plants. The most common methods involve wicking, where the nutrients of this solution are absorbed and transported from the roots to the top of the plants. There’s no pumping involver or anything and I would say this is the greenest way to go hydroponics. Since this is an ongoing process that requires very little maintenance it’s ideal for beginners. The downside of this is the plants may not get all the nutrients they need. The good side is cost, no need to buy expensive pumps and stuff. And like I said before, very little maintenance.
And the second technique is using a pump (how did you know? ha) where the solution is set on a timer to pump and irrigate water every so often. This as you can imagine as good and bad and it’s usually used by big farms (the previous method described is mostly for residential growing).
Costa Rica is known for it’s many hydroponic farms, climate here is a big factor, warm temperatures all year around making it perfect to grow most vegetables.