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Hydroponics Garden Testing: Soil Versus Hydroponics 2

Your hydroponics profits increase when you test your hydroponics garden. Your hydroponics profits increase when you test your hydroponics garden. © RosebudMag.com

In our last episode, we talked about a grower who set up a comparison experiment in his hydroponics garden.

He engaged the proper scientific methodological steps to determine how six clones grown in rich custom-mixed soil with no water-added nutrients would perform in comparison with six clones grown in rockwool and fed synthetic base nutrients and synthorganic supplements.

All 12 clones were of course from the same motherplant in the same grow room, and other than the root zone and whether or not the plants were fed nutrients, there were no other easily apparent variables that would affect outcome.

The experimenter was careful to observe and record details including:

  • Growth rate in height, circumference and ancillary branching per day
  • Color and health of leaves
  • Circumference and sturdiness of main stalks
  • Maturation rate in grow phase
  • Maturation rate in bloom phase
  • Plants’ vigor, sturdiness, resistance to pathogens, disease, stress
  • First onset of floral development after flipping lights to 12 hours
  • Floral maturation
  • Floral structure and aroma during bloom phase
  • Floral maturation
  • Harvest readiness
  • Drying and curing duration
  • Aroma, quality and taste
  • Total yield per plant
  • Total time spent tending each set of plants
  • Total cost of materials and inputs for each set of plants
  • Net profits per set of plants

As you can see, these details are useful for growers to record- regardless of whether they’re running a comparison garden test or not.

In this particular situation, the experimenter had several motivational factors and research questions to answer although the general question was to determine how plants grown organically in soil without added nutrient feeding would perform in comparison to plants grown in rockwool fed by hydroponics nutrients.

Noted previously, there are assertions among some in the indoor gardening community that you can get growth rates, yields and profits from soil-grown plants that are comparable to plants grown in a soilless hydroponics feed program.

Another assertion is that crops grown in soil without feeding nutrients during watering will have better taste, smell and other aesthetic characteristics when compared to crops grown with water-delivered hydroponics nutrients.

These assertions are based on valid concerns. For example, if a person was able to grow plants in soil buckets and provide the plants nothing other than water, light, climate control and the right atmosphere and get results that equal or surpass crops that are fed hydroponics nutrients, it would be a significant finding.

In our next episode, we will examine the specific results that our hydroponics experimenter found in his experiment.  Until then, one important thing you can take away from what you’ve learned so far is that keeping track of your plants gives you big insights into increasing the fun and profitability of your gardening.

Stay tuned for more hydroponics insights so you get more from your time and monetary investment in hydroponics growing.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:50

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