Growing rate of Plants Compared; one in a homemade hydroponics system and the other in dirt

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When I assembled my first homemade hydroponics system, I was not quite convinced with the claims that 'plants will grow faster, larger and bear more fruit'.

Actually I found this quite hard to believe because, after all, a plant has been hardwired with a certain rate of growth so how could something in the environment dramatically change this? Well, I was wrong....

seedling I decided to try an experiment. I bought a pack of 'small bush' type green string bean seeds and germinated 10 of them, transferred them to small dirt pots and when the second 'true' leaf appeared I planted 5 in my new ebb and flow hydroponics system and the other 5 I planted in the ground.

I faithfully kept a log of when new growth appeared on each plant all the way up to flowers and string beans. After 4 weeks from germination (a mere 2 weeks in the hydroponics) the beans planted in the ground, the dirt beans, were at the same stage of new growth that the hydroponics beans were a week earlier.

The hydroponics beans continued to outpace the dirt beans in growth and ended up yielding an easy 3 times the yield of the dirt beans. I was now 'sold' but I also had a problem...

I mentioned that I bought the 'small bush' variety, right? Well the hydroponic beans grew into 10 foot tall vines and the dirt varieties mainly stayed small but some also grew into vines. I had to madly scramble for a way to support my new, giant plants... But I did enjoy the piles of fresh string beans...


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