Although rainfall is abundant throughout most of Australia, some areas including southern Victoria and the northern and western coasts have recently experienced deficiencies in rainfall. Reminiscent of the 2015 droughts in southern and eastern Australia, these deficiencies underscore the need for thinking about how to sustain farming and gardening activities in the face of drought.
If you are trying to grow something in a dry climate, you may want to consider hydroponics. Here's a look at some of the benefits:
1. Hydroponics results in greater yields.
When plants are in soil, they essentially have to search for their nutrients in the soil, and that expends energy that could be devoted to growing. In a hydroponic environment, plants don't have to search -- they have access to all the nutrients they need in the water around them, and obtaining them is so efficient that the plants can put more energy into growing. That ultimately results in greater yields and a bigger harvest.
2. Hydroponics doesn't disrupt the topsoil.
When you grow your plants hydroponically, you don't have to disturb the topsoil. This reduces topsoil erosion, which is particularly important in a dry or drought-ridden area. During droughts, wind erosion is more likely to affect topsoil, and that can create dust storms. This is even more likely to happen if the soil has been disrupted for planting.
3. Hydroponics uses less water than growing in soil.
The biggest benefit to turning to hydroponics in a dry environment is that it saves water. With this type of growing, you reuse nutrient solutions, and you are also only adding water to directly affect the plant. Conversely, when you garden in soil, a lot of the water gets absorbed by the soil.
In fact, growing a kilogram of lettuce using hydroponic methods takes about 20 litres of water, while growing the same amount of lettuce using conventional methods takes about 400 litres of water. That means that by switching to hydroponics, you could reduce your water usage to 5 percent of its current levels. That is ideal for a dry area.
4. Hydroponic plants have fewer threats.
When you use hydroponic growing methods, your plants are out of the ground, elevated and protected from many threats. As a result, these plants are less susceptible to issues such as insects, fungi and diseases. This ultimately results in happier, healthier plants. In contrast, if you imagine the average plant in a dry, inhospitable climate, it usually looks wilted and potentially bug infested.
To learn more about the benefits of hydroponics, visit a hydroponics store.