Benefits of DIY Backyard Solar Power Hydroponic Gardening System
Whether you have a simple backyard garden or a more elaborate setup, keeping your plants irrigated is crucial to their well-being. The last thing you’d want is your plants growing poorly because they aren’t well-watered.
But, regardless of your backyard garden’s size, sustainability is important too. And irrigating your plants the traditional way may consume significantly more water than they need, contributing to water waste while increasing your utility bills.
In most cases, building a backyard solar power hydroponic gardening system is a much better home irrigation solution.
Below, we’ll walk you through how a hydroponic system works and why solar power hydroponic gardening systems can make your plant-growing project more sustainable and efficient.
What is a Hydroponic Gardening System?
Hydroponics is the mostly soil-free process of growing plants in water and supplementing them with added nutrients. This gardening system is typically more controlled than conventional soil gardening, and you retain tight control over how much water and nutrients plants receive.
Hydroponic gardening is mostly used to grow plants like leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery. However, that’s not the end of the list. You can grow most garden plants with hydroponics, provided you know the quantity and type of nutrients each particular plant needs.
Hydroponic gardening enables food growers to optimize how they scale up production. You can decide to grow just a few plants or go all out and expand your garden as much as you’d like.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroponic Systems
Although the method is especially suited in areas with space constraints or soil challenges, hydroponics still provides advantages and comes with disadvantages compared to conventional soil gardening.
Some of the advantages of using a hydroponic gardening system include:
- Hydroponics use available space much more efficiently, meaning that you can grow a lot more plants in a smaller area than you would with traditional soil gardening.
- Hydroponic gardening systems have been reported to produce higher crop yields with better quality than traditional soil gardening ones. However, crop yields depend on many factors and should not be used as the primary motivation for adopting hydroponics.
- Hydroponic systems also use less water to irrigate plants than conventional soil gardening systems. In hydroponics applications where the plant root system is enclosed, it is much easier to control the rate of evaporation and, ultimately, that of water consumption.
The “disadvantages” of hydroponic gardening setups aren’t substantial, but you’ll still want to keep in mind that:
- Hydroponic gardening systems may require expertise in plant chemistry or production to identify the appropriate concentrations of nutrients that will sustain healthy plant growth. So, having prior experience with hydroponics may also be crucial to achieving the best crop yield that your garden is capable of.
- Unlikely a conventional soil garden, the water in your hydroponic system will need to cycle through a filter or be changed out periodically. This requires manual effort or setting up a water pump, which will increase your electricity costs.
- Besides the bills you’ll incur if you choose to power your pump with electricity, some of the upfront setup costs include purchases of tanks and plant support systems.
However, the last disadvantage is easily overcome. That’s where a DIY backyard solar power hydroponic gardening system comes in.
DIY Solar Power Hydroponic Gardening Systems—Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
Hydroponic setups are perfect for home gardeners who want their hobby to consume minimal resources and be as environmentally friendly as possible. First, by keeping the minimal soil moist, you end up using much less water. Per the National Park Service, hydroponic gardening systems take up to 10 percent less water than traditional soil gardening systems.
Moreover, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), hydroponic gardening is classified as one of the most sustainable methods of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) because it uses low quantities of land and water.
And with a solar-powered hydroponic gardening system, you can take it a step further by limiting your electricity consumption from the local grid. An Innovation Analysis report from the WWF also mentions hydroponic gardening has the potential to decrease environmental footprints if gardens use renewable energy sources, such as solar power.
If you find the right type of solar-powered pumps to supply water to these systems, you will be able to grow thriving plants in your backyard (or inside).
How to Use a Solar Water Pump with a Hydroponic Gardening System
Whether starting a home gardening project or looking to scale one up to a commercial setting, solar water pumps can help you meet your water supply needs. These pumps can even be used in off-site locations where sourcing water from main supply lines might be challenging because they can be placed anywhere that receives enough sunlight.
Aside from needing sunlight and a spot to place the solar panel, there’s virtually no difference between solar-powered water pumps and those that plug into an outlet.
How do Solar-Powered Water Pumps Work?
For your solar-powered hydroponic gardening system to function, a cord must connect the water pump to the solar panel generating electricity. As long as there’s enough sunshine, your pump will function.
When rays from the sun shine on the silicon cells of the solar panel, they convert the heat energy into electricity that powers the water pump. So, direct sunlight is needed for optimal pump operations, which means your panel should face South year-round. Moreover, you want less tilt for your panel when days are long in the summer and more tilt to capture sunlight at dawn and dusk on shorter days.
But don’t fret if sunlight can be a bit spotty in your area. Solar-powered water pumps can still operate on overcast days, but they’ll collect less energy, leading to a slower flow rate. If sunlight is a concern, you may want to consider Solariver’s battery-assisted 35 Watt solar panel pump system.
Benefits of Solar Water Pumps for Hydroponic Gardening
Thinking in practical terms, solar-powered pumps can be placed anywhere in your garden setup without worrying about hooking up to your home’s electrical system.
Besides lowering your carbon footprint, solar water pumps are cost-efficient over their lifetime. By relying on the power provided by renewable energy, you’re eliminating the costs typically incurred with electric pumps.
Even then, why should you consider investing in a DIY backyard solar power hydroponic water pump?
If you take a solar water pump and optimize it to your needs, you could still achieve the benefits of hydroponic gardening with a DIY setup. However, you’d likely need to speak with an experienced solar water pump professional to select the right model and get things started.
Get Started with DIY Backyard Hydroponic Gardening Solar Power Pumps
Before you can reap the full benefits of a DIY solar power pump, you must figure out what’s right for your project. For example, a pump used in a simple backyard garden might not be as effective in a greenhouse garden.
Plus, you have to optimize the location of the solar panels and ensure that water is being delivered to the hydroponic gardening system at the right rate. The best way to figure all this out is by speaking with an expert at Solariver Solar Water Pump. We are committed to sustainable gardening and will help you find or build the right pump for your garden’s needs.
To learn more about DIY backyard solar water pumps, contact us today!