It can be difficult for gardening lovers to keep up that luscious garden knowing that California is going through a serious drought…
Even the little things can help us save water. Meet the future of gardening: hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics that will help us do what we can to conserve water and help out California by gardening the smart way.
Tower garden at Get Smart WorkSpaces – before (left) & after (right)
“A subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel.” The word “hydroponics” is derived from the Greek words “hydro” meaning “water”, and “pono”, meaning “to work”, forming the literal meaning of “working with water”.
Benefits of hydroponic gardening:
•If you don’t have a patio or live in an apartment or condo, hydroponic gardening saves a lot of space since most smart gardens are set up in a vertical position.
•It has been proven that growing vegetables hydroponically can have up to 50% more vitamin content than conventional crops…. (particularly vitamin A, B, C and E).
•Easily accessible if you are confined to a wheelchair.
•You can expect 3 times as much produce from your hydroponic garden as opposed to soil gardening.
•Be one with nature: the sound of hydroponics is soothing and can help with emotional benefits.
•Fungi, soil-born insects, diseases and viruses are completely eliminated.
•No weeds: for those of you who have a soil garden, you can appreciate this. Also, no tilling, plowing, hoes, bags of manure or wheelbarrows.
•Control: You have much more control of the wind, weather, bugs and the quality of each plant. (Information Source)
“The process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium (known as geoponics). The word “aeroponic” is derived from the Greek meanings of aero- (air) and ponies (labour).” (Information Source)
Benefits of aeroponic gardening:
•The roots have 24/7 access to oxygen, therefore plants grow faster.
•Educational. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about plants.
•The system is easy to maintain. The container housing the roots only needs regular disinfecting and periodically the reservoir and irrigation channels.
•Space efficient. Aeroponics requires very little space.
•Uses less water. “Aeroponic plants need less nutrients and water on average, because the nutrient absorption rate is higher, and plants usually respond to aeroponic systems by growing even more roots.”
•The plants are easy to move, even if you have a large nursery. (Information Source)
See also: Easy Recipes for Cookout Side Dishes
There’s also another method of gardening which involves animals. Aquaponics is “a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water.” (Information Source)
Here comes the exciting part… You can grow just about anything!
While using a hydroponic, aeroponic, or aquaponic gardening system, you have the option to grow plants, vegetables, flowering plants, herbs, fruit and even melons.
Vegetables: lettuce, artichokes, beets, cabbage, celery, leeks, parsnips, radishes, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, peas, rhubarb, yams, beans, brussel sprouts, cauliflowers, eggplants, onions, potatoes, squash and more.
Fruits: watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, raspberries, pineapple and more.
Herbs: arugula, chives, lemon balm, oregano, spear & peppermint, thyme, basil, coriander, mache, rosemary, sage, chervil, dill, majoram, sorrel, tarragon and more.
Flowers: petunia, morning glory, marigolds, phlox, polygonum, poppy, ptilotus, salphiglossis, sunflowers and more. (Information Source)
This is the future of gardening. Whether you’re a garden lover just looking for a new hobby, the hydroponic, aeroponic gardening system is for you. It’s cost efficient, helps save water and face it, how nice would it be to have a whole produce aisle right at your home? So decide on which system works best for you, get your gardening tools, and ready… set… garden!