The never-ending debate about which type of crop is better, indoor or outdoor, has been argued for decades in the agricultural community. Growers who swear by indoor crops and hydroponic systems will argue that indoor crops are certainly superior, and traditional growers who grow outdoors will forever insist that sun-grown crops are the natural ideal.
So which is it? Are indoor crops better or are outdoor crops better?
The truth is that it depends on the location, plant, and grower. There are merits to both methods. So rather than trying to find out once and for all which crop is better, it might be more beneficial to list the pros of each. That way, you can make a decision about which is better for you.
Outdoor Crop Pros
For the purist and eco-friendly conservationist, outdoor planting seems to provide the best means of growth.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Since sun-grown crops are grown outdoors and with natural light, they require fewer supplies and resources to flourish. The natural light removes the need for high-intensity lighting that requires lots of energy to operate. That also goes for dehumidifiers, air circulators, flood and drain hydroponics, and most of the other energy consuming grow supplies. Outdoor plants don’t typically need as much fertilizer, pesticides, and fungicides either, making them better for some environmental conditions. Water consumption is also a plus, considering that natural precipitation can supply a source of water.
The other positive to outdoor growing, which is really just a byproduct of the last section, is that it is much more cost-effective — at least for smaller projects. Fewer supplies, equipment, supplemental nutrients, and energy consumption means you don’t spend as much per plant. Which, for the serious growers, can be a big positive. Although, an indoor grower will be able to plant four times the number of crops in a grow area using hydroponics rather than soil farming, so it’s a cost/product situation.
Indoor Crop Pros
Indoor plants provide a steady growth cycle for the year-round growers who like to control every aspect of their crop to get substantial yields.
A really nice aspect of indoor growth is the fact that they can be cultivated year-round, which means that an adept grower can essentially grow anywhere and at any time. Even in areas where growth would seem improbable, if not impossible, indoor plants could theoretically be cultivated by a skilled grower. Of course, these areas present more variables in the growth cycle and proper climate control.
In some limited scenarios, an outdoor plant may produce a higher yield than an indoor plant due to a more natural growth cycle and the inability for a grow light to duplicate the sun’s light. However, there are numerous other factors of growing conditions that can be controlled with indoor plants, and therefore adjusted to change the outcome. An indoor grower will need to closely monitor and adjust aspects such as humidity, air circulation, stalk support, lighting, nutrients, and watering, to name a few. Of course, if this is done properly, the yield for an indoor plant can be much, much higher. The more skilled the grower, the better the chances for a superior product.
Since there’s no one right way to grow, and despite those who may insist their way is best, it’s ultimately up to you. If you want natural crops with less work (less, not zero) and a better impact on the environment, then you might choose outdoor. Then again, you may not have the capability. So find the method that works best for you.
Whether you choose outdoor or indoor, you’re going to need nutrients and grow supplies. Contact us today for bulk nutrients and the best hydroponic grow equipment around.