Plants need macro and micro nutrients to grow and thrive. These nutrients are supplied to the plants whether it is grown in soil medium or in hydroponics. Just like any other living tissue, plants also have tissues and it is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen along with 23 other elements essential for biochemical reactions and structural biomass development. Plants can obtain elements like carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur from the air but calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus all add up to the soil from rock weathering processes. Physiologically, there is hardly any difference between hydroponics and soil-grown plants but it makes a difference in the output quality.
Disintegrated organic and inorganic components change into inorganic elements before they are available to the plant in soil. These elements hold fast to the soil particles where they are absorbed by plants. Plant root system goes to enormous length to get access to these soil nutrients but they waste lot of energy in this process. They may not get all of the required nutrients in adequate amounts through soil; this might lead to reduced growth and ultimately, unsatisfactory harvest.
In hydroponics, all the nutrients are in balanced ration which are directly supplied to the plants. Nutrient solution containing the vital elements dampens the roots but the subsequent processes of mineral uptake remains the same as in soil. Hydroponic nutrients contain all the components of normally available fertilizers but the trace elements are in higher quantity. Plants absorb these trace elements from soil naturally but in soilless environment of hydroponics, it is mandatory to supply them in the nutrient solution for optimum growth.
In hydroponics, you can actually customize your nutrient solution according to the plant’s need giving you better and faster yields, whereas in soil cultivation, plants need to look out for their requirements as soil constituents differ from place to place. Plants have to scan and absorb what they need. We have to add organic/synthetic fertilizers depending on the crop and soil type to fertilize the plants, which might prove harmful to crops if applied in excess, however, this is not in the case of hydroponics where nutrient supply is regulated and plants are rarely over-fed. Mostly good hydroponic nutrients are all organic compost teas, which pose no harm to your yields. Plants grown hydroponically thus grow faster, healthier, and more beautiful compared to soil gardening owing to better access to nutrients. So which one would you opt today—soil or hydroponic nutrients?