Hydroponics VS Soil

I have two grows side by side to see which performs best. The seeds are a mix between Cress, Basil and to be honest a few unknown seeds.

Grow 1

This grow is hydroponics. I’m using a 2 litre bottle with the top cut off and filled with a SNAP mix (a liquid fertiliser). For the grow medium I’m using a fibre like material and I’ve added an air stone to increase oxygen to the roots.

Grow 2

This is a standard soil set up. The pot is a mix of old and new soil.

Time line

During the first week or two, a small halogen light was used, switching from one grow to the other each night.

8th Nov (4 days into the grow)

Hydroponics on the left. Soil on the right. Small halogen light above

Hydroponics on the left. Soil on the right. Small halogen light above. This is 4 days after planting the seeds.

11th Nov (7 days into the grow)

Here we can see that the grow is about equal between the soil and hydroponics. The plants in the soil are stretched towards the light (sun)

Here we can see that the grow is about equal between the soil and hydroponics. The plants in the soil are stretched towards the light (sun)

16th Nov (12 days into the grow)

Since I’ve removed the halogen lighting, I built a reflector using some reflective paper (PHP17) and a cardboard box. While it’s not reflecting as well as other materials would, it appears to be doing a reasonable job. You can see that the plants have become some what of a mess now. They’re inter-winding and having difficulties standing up because they’ve stretched so much towards the light but still have weak thin stalks. Hopefully the reflector will help balance the direction of the light.

A DIY reflector has now been added behind the plants, meaning sunlight is reflected back towards the plants.

A DIY reflector has now been added behind the plants, meaning sunlight is reflected back towards the plants.

21 Nov (17 days into the grow)

Since the plants are still having trouble standing up on their own (weak stalks), I’ve added an oscillating fan to the grow room. It does not run all the time. It’s on a timer to come on and off throughout the day for brief periods of time. This should help strengthen the plants.

A fan has been added to the grow room. It runs on and off through the day on a timer. It should help strengthen the plants.

A fan has been added to the grow room. It runs on and off through the day on a timer. It should help strengthen the plants.

25th Nov – Gave over

I decided to try an organic plant food (liquid) to promote growth in the plants. A small amount was sprayed on the plants growing in soil and those growing hydroponically. Unfortunately the hydroponic plants all died within 12 hours of being sprayed, the soil plants remain okay. I knew that plants grown hydroponically were sensitive (constant checking of water PH level etc) but didn’t really just how sensitive they were! Lesson learnt, only use solutions made specifically for hydroponics!

Posted in Mixed
2 comments on “Hydroponics VS Soil
  1. halogen lamp is not an ideal light for hydroponics. coz the spectrum is not the same as other light like metal halide, high pressure sodium, led light etc. with regards to reflector, they can use flat white paint for it reflects almost 80-85% of the light. mylar film is most advisable, it reflect almost 95% of light. while the worst is the aluminum foil. dont ever use this stuff, aside from being expensive you will be wasting ur pennies for this one. it also create hot spot. on long stemmed seedlings, it is best to start a seedling on a well lighted tray at the same time temperature must be consider.

    btw, i got good result on CFL as lighting for my indoor hydroponics. 55watts per square foot will do.

  2. Admin says:

    Hey Ray,

    Good advice, I’ve read similar on forums before. Although I read that flat white paint will actually reflect better than most of the mylar films available unless you go for the real high end expensive stuff. So for the average home user, it’s probably better to just go for the flat white paint than mylar or any other reflective surface!

    I’ve used CFL, fluorescent and LED lighting. I think they can all be used, just depends on when and what for. For example I found fluorescent is great for starting from seed, LED is fine for an adult plant and CFL can be used through the whole grow cycle if you’re willing to shell out for a decent bulb targeting the right light spectrum.

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