Tuesday, May 31, 2011
When I tell other gardeners that hydroponic gardening outperforms soil gardening; I usually get one of those looks. You know, the look that you give the fisherman holding out his arms and telling you about the one that got away.
When planting my cucumber seeds I only wanted two plants, but planted six seeds, just in case. Well, all six came up and were about equal. Two plants went into the greenhouse, two were given away, and two were planted in my soil garden. All of the seeds were started on the same day, so the comparison should be equal.
The greenhouse cucumbers, growing hydroponically, can be seen on the left side of the top photo. They are approaching six feet in length and will reach the peak of the greenhouse in a day or so. Also, they have several cucumbers forming on each plant.
On the other hand, the two plants growing in soil are just passing two feet, and have very few cucumbers forming.
When searching for Trust seeds I found this interesting notation on a commercial greenhouse seed supplier's site:
"YIELDS: A good grower who keeps it warm, fertilizes, pollinates and sprays properly should expect 7 - 10 lbs/4 kg per plant, depending on the spacing and light available during the growing season (hydroponically grown crops about 20 lbs./9 kg per plant.).
This statement acknowledges that hydroponically grown crops can expect TWICE the yield, but everyone should draw their own conclusions.