Hydroponic vs Soil
Plants can be cultivated using different methods. Hydroponics and soil cultivations are two different methods of cultivating plants in both small and large scale farming systems. Generally, all the plants have essential requirements to complete their growth, reproduction and other important activities. Water is a crucial factor for plant growth, whereas air, nutrients, and light are the other main requirements. Then the question “why we need a media to grow a plant?” is aroused. The simple answer is that plant needs media to anchor the roots and have their physical consistency; also, plants have to get their nutrients essential for the growth. Soil or any other media with nutrients will provide them to the plant, and the root system absorbs them. Not only that, but also media helps to dissolve gasses and facilitate the absorption. This article elaborates two basic cultivation methods according to the type of media named as hydroponics and soil cultivation.
What is Hydroponic Cultivation?
Hydroponic is also commonly referred as soilless cultivation. It is defined as a method of growing plants in a mineral nutrient solution. The composition of the solution is pre determinate and depends on the plant that is cultivated in it. The solution is usually composed with essential anions and cations namely calcium, magnesium, potassium, nitrate and sulphates. Some of the main types of hydroponics are solution culture and medium culture, which are again subdivided. Static solution culture, continuous-flow solution culture, and aeroponics are the main types of solution cultures, whereas the medium culture method is named according to the type of medium such as sand culture and gravel culture. Hydroponic system has several advantages. Due to no soil requirement, this method is suitable for cultivations in any urban area where in-ground agriculture is impossible. Nutrient loss and media loss will be very low because of all those are pre determined in this cultivation. This method is identified as an environmental friendly, less polluting one. When considering the yield, it is usually higher than normal soil cultivation due to intensive practices, and harvesting is very easy. Although this method has a number of advantages, there can be several disadvantages too. Pathogen attacks the plants due to high moisture levels. Susceptibility to a rapid death due to low buffering capacity than the soil can be identified as most common disadvantages in hydroponic.
What is Cultivation in Soil?
Usually plants are cultivated in soil. It means the media for those plants is normal soil. Soil cultivations again can be categorized into several other sub categories. They include field cultivations and potted cultivations. In field cultivation, agricultural lands are prepared for the cultivation by doing land preparation and other pre cultivation practices. The land can be modified as cultivation beds for the easiness of other management practices. In ancient agriculture, people did not use additional fertilizer for their soil cultivations. Instead of that, they changed their land on a rotation. However, with the limitation of agricultural lands, now people do not have enough lands to rotate. In other words, they cannot wait until land is rehabilitated. Therefore, to obtain more quick reactions, farmers tend to add chemical fertilizers to the field. That is how the soil becomes fertile, and those nutrients are available for the plants to absorb. Different soil types are used to cultivate different crops. As an example, root crops need fine soils for a better root growth, whereas the perennial fruit crops do not. Potted cultivations are mainly used for horticultural or exportation purposes. The media filled to the pot may depend on the plant that grows on it.
What is the difference between Hydroponic and Soil Cultivations?
• The simplest difference between the hydroponic and soil cultivations is the usage of soil. As the name indicates, soil cultivation requires soil, whereas hydroponic is referred as soilless cultivation.
• The yield obtained by hydroponic method is higher than soil cultivation and easy to harvest.
• Hydroponics is suitable for large-scale commercial cultivations and for urban areas, where ground cultivation is not suitable.