Hydroponic farming is rapidly gaining popularity among farmers all over the globe.
And this is hardly surprising because growing plants/crops hydroponically holds several advantages over traditional farming methods.
If you are not aware of hydroponic farming, a brief overview will help you understand this technique. It is simply a farming technique that uses water instead of soil.
It might seem like an innovation, but literature traces it back to the ancient civilization of Babylon.
So how is hydroponic farming different from traditional methods, and what are its various advantages? We will try to answer these questions in the following text.
Advantages of Hydroponic Farming
Hydroponic farming benefits farmers and the climate because of its utility in all aspects.
1) Requires Less Space
Growing crops hydroponically requires far less space than growing them in soil. This is because roots do not have to spread in hydroponic systems to acquire nutrients.
Instead, water and nutrients are delivered directly to the roots, saving precious space that can be used for various other purposes.
2) Water Conservation
We face a severe crisis in terms of drought and scarcity of water. With the increase in population and growth of cities, this issue will only worsen unless we actively do something about it.
Hydroponics is an excellent chance to go a long way in conserving water. In contrast to traditional farming methods, hydroponics employs a system where unused water is captured and reused instead of draining into the environment.
3) Better Yield
Microenvironment systems such as hydroponics allow farmers to create the perfect conditions for growth. They also make it much easier to control and modify these conditions, resulting in better yield.
4) Labor Efficient
Hydroponics does not need the application of insecticides, herbicides, and other labor-intensive processes. In this way, they are far superior to traditional farming as far as labor efficiency is concerned.
Can You Grow Carrots in Hydroponics?
Carrots are a perfect vegetable for hydroponics systems. They are rich in vitamins and potassium, calcium, and iron.
You can quickly grow carrots in hydroponics by carefully selecting the growth media, temperature, moisture, and other requirements.
Growing carrots in hydroponics is slightly different from other vegetables because carrots are produced in a nutrient medium instead of a solution.
Compared with traditional farming, growing carrots in hydroponics will save you a lot of time and resources.
There are specific systems that you can employ in hydroponics to grow carrots. These systems are ebb and flow, wicks, and drip systems.
How To Grow Carrots in Hydroponics
There are some basic requirements you need to address to grow carrots hydroponically.
You need to have a specific temperature, light, nutrient solution, growing medium, air, water, and supporting materials. Perlite and vermiculite are the most popular growing mediums.
1) You need to provide three basic things to your plant in a hydroponic system. These are water, oxygen, and nutrients.
2) For meeting the moisture requirements of the water, you can use tap water. Tap water has a temperature closer to the normal room temperature, which is beneficial for your plant.
3) Oxygen requirements are easy to meet because of the higher water efficiency of hydroponics. Plants not directly grown in standing water in a hydroponic system automatically supply the roots with ample oxygen for growth.
4) After taking care of the above requirements, you need to maintain the proper pH and strength of the nutrient solution.
For example, a pH of 6.3 is optimum for growing carrots in hydroponics, and the nutrient medium strength should be somewhere between 1120-1400 ppm.
5) For indoor hydroponics, 12-16 hours of light will optimize the growth of your carrots. This will simulate the natural day/night cycle and provide the perfect conditions for the carrots.
6) We have talked about the growth mediums before, but for a quick reminder, perlite and vermiculite are widely thought to be the best growth mediums for carrots.
7) Carrot roots need to be trimmed just like in traditional systems. If the container is not deep or spacious enough, it will start growing sideways, so selecting an appropriate container is necessary.
8) Make sure you do not grow your carrots directly in the water. Carrots do not grow well when immersed in water. They can rot quickly in this way.
The liquid level should not be deeper than about three inches to make it easy for your carrots to access nutrients without being immersed in water.
9) It would be best not to take carrots from outdoor gardens to grow them in hydroponics. Doing this will allow pests to infest your system and harm your crop.
10) You can use grow lights for your carrots. The best way to cater to the light requirements is to get a lighting system with a timer that will automatically simulate the natural day/night cycle.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Carrots in Hydroponics?
You can grow carrots in a hydroponic system in about 70 days. The key is to give the optimum conditions to your plant for growth.
Just like traditional farming, you will get good growth only if you tend to your plants with dedication and diligence.
How to Grow Hydroponic Carrots from Seeds
You can grow hydroponic carrots from seeds in the following way:
1) Mix two parts sand with one part vermiculite and create a mixture. Next, add a little bit of water to the mixture.
2) Fill your pot loosely with the mixture. Add water until water seeps down to the bottom. This is an indication that your mixture has settled in the container.
3) Sow your carrot seeds about half an inch into the mixture and then cover them again.
4) Make a concentrated nutrient solution and dilute it with water before using it on your plants.
5) Water your plants daily with a warm dilute nutrient solution. Then, save the drained solution and use it again the following day.
6) Provide your carrots with the ideal light, temperature, and pH requirements.
Make sure that you do not overwater your carrots. Again, using the correct strength of the nutrient solution is essential.
You can make your nutrient solution by mixing two teaspoons of water-soluble fertilizer and one spoon of Epsom salt into each gallon of water used in the system.
Hydroponics is undoubtedly the future of farming and gardening. They require much less effort in terms of resources and manpower and save precious space while giving a better yield than traditional farming methods.
Carrots are one of the most suitable vegetables grown in a hydroponic system with minimum fuss.
All you need is to take care of the basic requirements of your carrots and give them the optimum conditions for growth.
Follow these instructions, and you will have a great harvest with juicy and delicious carrots. Happy farming!
If you enjoyed this article, check out our article on how to start growing carrots from scraps.
About the Author:
Saad is an avid gardener himself and is a great lover of plants, animals, photography, & people. Currently, he is focused on photographing indoor plants & captioning beautiful outdoor sceneries. In addition, he writes and rewrites in-depth articles on nature and science.