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Hydroponics Myths & Reality

Though, hydroponics is now an established method of plant cultivation certain misconceptions about it have worked against its wider acceptance among laypeople as well as gardening enthusiasts. Though associations and bodies representing concerned professionals, enthusiasts etc. have sought to dispel these myths, many of these have persisted through the decades and continue to bedevil the hydroponics industry. With the growth of the Internet and the easy availability of specialized information on the subject, however, one can expect much improvement in public perception of hydroponics. Here is a sampling of the more persistent myths, some amusing, some fanciful, but all of these are grounded basically in ignorance of the subject.

Hydroponics Isnít Simple, It Requires Special Expertise
It is quite true that once upon a time, hydroponics wasnít quite as simple as it is now.
This was especially so with regard to nutrient preparations that had to be mixed meticulously to ensure the nutritional requirements of the plants were met. The easy availability of pre-mixed nutrients that require only to be mixed in the right amounts of water has now simplified matters. Growers need only to add water and use grow lights.

You Need to be a Scientist
This one probably originates from the association of hydroponics with tubes, troughs, meters, gauges etc. Additionally since much scientific material is available in the form of lab reports, experiments etc. it creates a false impression of complicated lab procedures etc. Actually you donít need to be a scientist, nor do you need to have a lab in the house to grow plants indoors, all you need is interest and dedication.

You Donít Get the Taste, besides its all Water
With the right kind of nutrition that plants get in hydroponics they grow to their fullest genetic potential. They usually grow much faster, mature quicker and give higher yields but they taste just the same as normally grown produce. It is not possible to tell a lettuce grown hydroponically from on grown the normal way only by taste. Taste is basically determined by the nutrient elements plants absorb and as long as they get all the nutrient elements taste is not affected.

You get to eat Mouthfuls of Chemicals
The chemicals that a plant absorbs when grown in soil are not different from the ones that are used in hydroponics. With the rights amounts of chemicals it uses, hydroponics leaves nothing to chance, unlike conventional cultivation in which there is always a chance of under nutrition, nutritional deficiencies or uptake of harmful chemicals like lead that may be present in the soil. The chemicals used in both normal cultivation and hydroponics end up in the plant tissue as beneficial compounds and not as toxic or harmful chemicals.

Hydroponically Grown Plants Donít Taste Great Like Organically Grown Plants
Taste and flavor have much to do with our first impressions when we first tasted the plant. If the plant gets the all the elements it needs, it will taste great. The rest has much to do with other extraneous factors and subjective experiences. With the precise control over the nutrition that hydroponics offers, hydoponics growers have much better control over the flavor and nutritional value of the produce.

Hydroponics Doesnít Work Outdoors
Hydroponics is all about growing plants in a controlled environment. In the outdoors, growing plants in greenhouses offers a way to control the growth environment and even extend day length. Commercial hydroponics, which requires large areas for commercial scale production is best done in greenhouses. Greenhouse production allows year long growth and also helps control pest damage without the use of pesticides. With grow lights greenhouse production can be extended across seasons for best plant performance.

Grow Lights Ratchet Up Power Bill
Power is billed on kilowatt hours, which is1000 watts for one hour. Though power rates vary from state to state, in many parts of the U.S. a 1000 watt light will run for less than ten cents per hour. A 250 watt light will run for four hours on 10 cents. High intensity grow lights are exceedingly cost efficient lights as they give much higher illumination per watt of power consumed. High pressure sodium grow lights put out almost 10 times the light that incandescent grow bulbs produce, that is 10 times the efficiency of incandescent bulbs.

Grow lights must run 24x7
Plants adjust their growth cycle in response to the length of light and dark on which they determine the season. During fall, plants accelerate flower and fruit production to prepare for winter. Grow lights enable control over the light available to plants irrespective of the seasons outside. This makes it is possible to have long, long days in the winter and fall.

High intensity lights harm the eyes
While it is true that looking at a bright object will cause distress and even harm the eyes, and grow lights are no exception in this respect, would be indoor gardeners need not worry overmuch as simple precautions are quite adequate. Indoor gardeners learn quickly not to look directly at the lights, which suffices in most cases.

High Intensity Lights Tan the Skin
High intensity garden lights do not give off much light in the ultra-violet range, which is what causes burning of the skin. Plants do not need much light in the ultra-violet spectrum and with good quality grow lights there is no need to worry about getting a tan.

By: Richa

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