Soil vs Hydro – Which is Better?
This is a question we are asked almost daily. This question is a little complicated since one isn’t necessarily better than the other, it just depends on preference and what you are wanting to achieve. Our question back is – What are you wanting to achieve?
Quality or Quantity?
I know some growers aren’t going to like this over-simplified answer, but if you are looking for really good quality, soil is usually better (especially for beginners) and if you are after higher yields and faster harvest times, hydroponics is better. But like I said, this is very over-simplified. You can get a very high quality and tasty harvest from hydroponics but it is more difficult to get to that soil quality taste and may require some tweaking to your setup and/or nutrients.
Soil is very easy to grow in and produce great results. Because of everything that is in soil, especially living soil, your harvest develops more flavor, subtle nuances, and more oils/resins. Living soils with mycorrhizae and beneficials produce the best results.
Hydroponics produces great results and will beat soil to the finish line any day of the week. In most cases the amount of harvest yield is higher with hydro as well. A hydroponic harvest is very good quality as well, but may be missing some of those subtle nuances and smells the soil harvest has. However, with some tweaking and experience you can introduce beneficials into the system as well as carbs and other supplements to create a sort of living system as well. With high quality nutrients and beneficial supplements you can produce very high quality results with great flavor that rivals soil.
Which Should I Choose?
It is completely up to preference, but soil is the easiest way to start. However, hydroponics is easy to start as well. With standalone systems like General Hydroponics’ Waterfarm, you can successfully grow a hydroponic plant without and previous experience. Plus many commercial farms use hydroponics for a reason, as it is a great balance between yield, speed, and quality. It really comes down to what works best for you. If you not sure, try it each way!