The field of hydroponic farming is a huge industry, and for a good reason. It can be extremely profitable if you have the right information to guide you. With some planning and research, you can increase your crop yield well beyond what would be possible in an outdoor setting.
Hydroponics vs. Soil Farming
The key to maximizing crop yield in a hydroponic system is growing your plants in optimal conditions. Of course, you can try and replicate this in an outdoor setting, but it will be very difficult and expensive without the proper equipment.
For example: If you wanted to grow corn in a typical outdoor field, you would need to plant the seeds about 6-8 inches apart. That interval is determined by the type of corn you plant and how it grows in the soil. On top of that, you would need to use fertilizer or manure to replace nutrients taken up by the plants as they grow.
If we wanted to cultivate the same amount of corn in a hydroponic system, we would need to invest in a lot of artificial lighting. Even with the proper equipment, it would be very difficult to get the same yield as what can be produced by simply planting them on an outdoor field.
The people at Progrow, a hydroponics supply company, have some good advice about maximizing crop yield in hydroponics. They say:
“You can typically expect a 10-fold increase in crop yield when growing plants hydroponically. This is because we can control the light, water, and nutrients very precisely.”
Setting Up Your Hydroponic Farm
When growing crops hydroponically, the first step is to choose which plants you want to grow. Some plants do not fare well when they are grown using this method, so make sure you know which ones will work ahead of time. After you have chosen your plants, you need to set up the system’s basic infrastructure. This includes placing the planter/grow tray(s), adding water and nutrients, installing lighting if necessary, and covering everything with a housing container.
Lighting and Temperature
One of the most important aspects of maximizing crop yield in a hydroponic system is adequate lighting. Plants use photosynthesis to grow, so it’s crucial that they receive enough light to do so. Some plants, such as vegetables and other annuals, only require about 12 hours of light every day. However, if you are growing perennials or flowering plants, they require additional light.
It’s important to understand how much light your hydroponic farm will need to provide if you want to maximize crop yield. According to experts, many of the vegetables and fruit commercially produced in hydroponics are grown using artificial lighting. If you don’t want to invest in artificial lighting, it may be a good idea to stick with annuals and vegetables.
The temperature of your hydroponic farm is also important for maximizing crop yield. Most crops grow well between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit (20-25 degrees Celsius). If the temperatures are too hot or cold, they will not grow properly. Make sure you have a thermometer in your hydroponic farm so you can check this from time to time.
The Final Word on Hydroponics and Maximizing Crop Yield
Hydroponics can be a very profitable business if you have the right information to guide you. Of course, if you want to maximize crop yield, you must provide them with adequate lighting and temperature. By taking care of the basics, though, you should see your hydroponic farm produce yields that are much higher than what conventional soil farms do.