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Article: Soil vs. Hydroponics

Discussion in 'Newbie Central' started by Spittn4cash, Feb 12, 2007.


    Spittn4cash Well-Known Member

    There has been a debate as to which growth medium is most beneficial for home- or commercially-grown plants. On one end there is soil, the traditional growth medium that has been used for thousands of years to grow plants, and on the other is hydroponics, a more recent practice of growing plants with water and nutrients but no soil. So the question remains, which process is more suitable for growing things?

    One of the most important advantages of hydroponics over soil growth is the absence of weeds and pests in hydroponic growth environments. Soil can play host to a variety of insect pests and plant parasites as well as competing weeds that can take away valuable nutrients or sunlight from your plants. Of course, if you are growing a small number of plants indoors in small pots, then chances are that you won't run into too many problems with weeds or pests that you can't handle as needed. However, if you're planning on growing many plants that require a good deal of nutrients and live in a pest-susceptible environment, then hydroponics may be the way to go in order to avoid spending money on pesticides and herbicides.

    Hydroponics also benefit the overall growth of the plant in terms of size. Root systems spread throughout soil in order to increase surface area and the chance that the plant will absorb minerals and water that percolate through the soil. However, with hydroponic plants, the nutrients are present all throughout the liquid mixture, so the root system does not have to be as extensive as with soil-based plants. This means that the plant can devote more nutrients and energy to growth above the root system, which is the kind of growth that people generally want. Furthermore, plants that are grown hydroponically do not need to be repotted in order to accommodate growing roots that might become too large for the initial pot to contain comfortably. The hydroponic plants are constantly supplied with a ready stock of water and generally reach maturity faster than soil-grown plants.

    It might seem as if hydroponics require more water than soil-based plants. The contrary is actually true in this case, as hydroponic systems generally use up to one-tenth less water than irrigated soil crops.

    Is there any way that soil is better than hydroponics? The answer is yes. Since hydroponics depends on adding balanced nutrient solutions at particular times during growth, it is quite possible to make mistakes when giving nutrients to the water-grown plants. With soil-grown plants, excessive nutrients can be more readily absorbed and carried away by the soil. Although hydroponics is not a particularly difficult system for growing plants, it is one that requires a good deal of attention, research, and care.

    In conclusion, hydroponics carries several advantages over soil-growing and could benefit the grower in a number of ways. However, soil-growing has been tried and true for centuries and is certainly not inferior to hydroponics so long as the grower is diligent and careful.

    Source: Hydroponics Vs. Soil Growing - Associated Content

    Spittn4cash Well-Known Member

    My question is which do U choose? which has given better yeild? most potent bud? which is easier? what would U reccomend to a complete n00b to start off with.

    only concern I have with dro is that the bubblers seem like they are too loud, so Ive stuck with soil growing just for its stealthness..plus being an electrian, electrical safety is my #1 concern, and with all that heat, humidity, water and electricity something is bound to go wrong..any ppl think otherwise?

    like the article says Id rather stick to the "tried and true method" unless there are significant yeild and potency advantages to switching over to a hydro system of growing..

    dankciti Well-Known Member

    tempermental versus lethargic>???

    um soilponics, bubblle jugs half filled with soil and clay balls. net baskets and hydro nuted watering intervals.

    thereare alot of crossovers blending characteristics of the both of them.

    hydroPRO = commercial
    homeGROW = soil for ease and stability.

    fdd2blk Well-Known Member

    i use dirt. so that is the way.

    dankciti Well-Known Member

    so that is the way huh. well i havemt had much argument with you so far, yet again golden,

    god made dirt and dirt cant hurt:joint::peace:

    (unless ure skydiving w/o parachute)

    :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    soil-less soil/ponics is the shit!!.....

    super airy custom soil blends make for the optimum grow medium w/o slowing growth rates.

    still there is hearty full heavy budz and rapid growth.

    statistic govern to do whatyou do best.

    grow that shit, smoke that shit, pass dat shit.:blsmoke:

    TillthedayiDIE420 Well-Known Member

    Soil is Natural... Weed is natural... Marijuana grown in Soil, with the help of Nutrients... Is the best way to grow premium marijuana, but you can turn your plant to rubbish by not using the proper care... if u use eny medium

    fdd2blk Well-Known Member

    it's a matter of opinion. wonder if i can figure out a way to grow in jello. pre loaded with all necessary nutes of course. i gotta go work on sumtin.....................

    Spittn4cash Well-Known Member

    thanks for the responses!
    I know soil is tried and true like u guys say, but doesnt growing hydroponically "speed up" the whole growth process?..and you can definately tell the difference in some "dro" and something that was soil grown...just like how theres a huge difference in something grown outdoors and some "indo"... does growing hydroponically make the weed more potent?

    SiLENT Active Member

    I Would say the easiest way for a noob to begin is with Soil.

    A Hydroponics setup takes up more room, Less stealthy, along with the noise, and the risks being involved, plus the care and monitoring of the sytem, and costs... I say wouldn't be a good start for a noob who doesn't know what he's doing.

    I Started off outdoors, which can be effected by random events, and carries risks as well with detection by others. (Unless you have a GOOD hiding spot) *Not for beginners, unless you have somewhere discreet... and are just expirementing with growing outdoors at first*

    I Moved indoors over winter, and started my own little grow space, inside a Dresser like, Storage cabinet thingy... lol.. Bout 6 ft long, 2.5 ft high, Growing with Soil, Using Air Filter, to remove the bad things in the air, and blow healthy air towards to the plants :) Using Floros mounted inside, reflected by aluminum foil, and insulated by some type of Plastic thread paper (VERY STRONG SHIT, VERY GOOD INSULATION)
    With it being in the basement, and it being so cold outside, and inside, the heat from inside the container will hardly make any difference to the temperature around it, and on the outside... Heat is not really given off... Which is awesome, because i'm stealth growing, and trying to avoid thermal... Which isnt of any concern at this moment

    The only problem with soil is it takes longer for a grow to begin growing...
    But For the nooby, and the person who wants to stealth grow... Soil is the way to go...

    Hydro for intermediate to pro growers.

    After my first few soil grows, i'm gonna move onto hydro grow :)

    videoman40 Well-Known Member

    Weed grown in soil tastes better, weed grown in soil can be grown organically, hydro cant, hyro pollutes the environment. Organic is good for me and the earth.
    Lets see how well your hydro weed fairs after a power outtage!

    Skynet Well-Known Member

    "Weed grown in soil tastes better, weed grown in soil can be grown organically, hydro cant, hyro pollutes the environment. Organic is good for me and the earth. Lets see how well your hydro weed fairs after a power outtage!"

    No offense to you Hydro growers, but id say Vid just owned this debate.
    I havent seen such a good respone that is virtually undisputeable. Kudos to you buddy.

    videoman40 Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm sitting here in pain, and you made me smile dude! I think I need some meds.......Cheers

    buddy1982 Active Member

    Soil versus Hydroponics

    In soil, bacteria have to break down the dirt into the basic elements of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as well as trace elements.
    Balanced plant food (the nutrient solution) is dissolved directly into water so the plant may receive perfect nutrition at all times.

    Soil is not able to produce as much nutrient per area as the root system is able to take up.
    Hydroponics takes the desired amount of food directly to the root rather than making plant's roots look for it.

    Soil loses its nutritional value and is difficult to measure in terms of pH and fertility.
    The pH and nutritional value of the water are easily measured and maintained, so plants always have enough to eat.

    Only when you water your soil plants, the basic elements can dissolve into the water.
    In a hydroponic system, moisture is present for extended periods of time or for all the time.

    Soil plays host to many nasty little creatures.
    Hydroponics growing mediums are inert and sterile making a very hygienic environment for the plant and owner.

    Soil requires a lot more watering, has a higher occurrence of pests, plants grow slower, need more space and constant maintenance.
    Hydroponics increases plant growth and yield per area, decreases pests and diseases and the need to water plants.

    Outdoors versus Indoors

    Outdoor conditions limit the selection of flowers, herbs and vegetables you can grow.
    Indoor growing conditions are determined by you. You can pretend to live in a tropical or cooler country year round.
    Outdoors you can have bad weather: too much or little rain, too much or little sun, too high or low temperature, etc.
    Indoors , all factors that limit plant growth, can be kept in check with hydroponics.

    mismos00 Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to figure out if the medium I have is consider 'soil' or a 'hydroponic soil-less medium'.

    I'm using something called Atami B'CuzzMixx - HydroMixx HP. It's a mix of Sphagnum peat moss and perlite.
    I've always thought this stuff was soil (just assuming that you can tell soil just by looking at it), but now I'm unsure if it technically is soil.

    Should I be using a PH between 5.5 and 6.1 (I normally give it 6.7)?

    I'm not running a hydroponic system - though I am using hydroponic fertilizers.

    dopeedogg Well-Known Member

    Actually it depends a lot an the nutrients u use. There are synthetic and organic nutrients, even for hydro. I have always grown hydro, with all organic nutes. Synthetic gets you fast, big buds, organic gives u more quality/ better tasting smoking buds.
    For noobies who want to start hydro, look into getting a single water farm unit and maybe try general hydroponic 3 part flora series. Only 3 nutes to mix. I started with one waterfarm, now I run 4. I love it. I yeild 2 - 2 1/2oz per plant using 400watt hps

    decrim68 Active Member

    Which ever grow method works best for each individual gardener is the best grow method.

    Me personally. I LIKE playing in dirt. Have since I was like 2 years old.

    smeengy Member

    This is the most ridiculous comment ever.
    I've been growing for 15 years and Hydro by far tastes better, yields bigger, veg's better, looks better, is way less heat score no mud to move in and out my waste on 100 plants is one garbage bag after cut down and if i wanted i could half that by washing my rock and reusing if i wanted.

    So environmentally better as well.

    Conditions are optimal with so much more you can do AND SEE RESULTS INSTANTLY.

    It seems like the same thing i always see people that have not tried hydro or have and failed always say the same crap. Get real hydro is it in every way. The only app for mud is outside of my house. Even my wife grows all her house plants in DWC pots i made for her out of fancy home depot pots.

    Now all that being said i have a buddy that loves his mud and everytime we finish we help eachother harvest and every time i go there his bud is good and tight and sticky but when he comes here he can't even believe it the same clones and type of main food and mine is tighter, heaver and stickier, as well as tastes better and looks better.

    I think people are scared to try something new and fail. If people are producing something good in mud and try hydro and fail they are scared to try again. Hydro requieres that you actually know what your doing and may take a while to perfect but after a few attempts and a lot of time reading and experimenting, people will find that hydro is actually easier and cleaner and produces bud that even the most stubborn people can enjoy.

    cannatari Active Member

    Nice first post. Welcome to RIU. If you add a nutrient to your water, thats hydro. If you ONLY feed plants with plain water, that is true soil. If you feed your "soil" garden with any type of nutrient added to it's water source, organic or not, you have a hydro garden. Sorry to burst your bubble hippies.

    gargantuanganja Well-Known Member

    I'm growing in DWC's but I'm not doing this for anyone but myself. I've spared no expense with any of the equipment, nutes, seeds, etc... The ONLY thing I care about it quality. I'm not interested in huge yields and I have heard from many different people that plants grown in soil have a better taste, but not always. For instance, if you're growing something like Sour Diesel or Super Lemon Haze, the terpines in the soil will magnify those flavors. I plan on growing pure sativas (Colombian Black & Colombian Gold) which take 8 weeks to veg and 14-18 weeks of flowering and I'm going to cure the buds for months to release the terpines. All I care about is having phenomenal bud for myself as I won't be selling a single gram of it. I feel as though a hydroponic system would have a far greater margin of error for over 6 months of growing, but that's a chance I'm willing to take if hydro produces more potent bud. If there's no difference in flavor or potency, soil would be the obvious choice for me. Does anyone besides "smeeny" have any experience growing clones in both mediums with the same conditions?

    senorfrisk Member

    I am just about done with my first grow and it was hydro ebb and flow(and LED, but that's another debate). I liked the control I had during the grow. It seemed daunting at first, but once I got it going, things just seemed to flow. RUI is an incredible resource. I learned a lot here, and I am still learning everytime I log on. I don't think I could go soil after growing hydro...

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