Is the Hydroponic Herb Garden for You?
If you like to garden but have little sunlight and limited space you might want to consider creating a hydroponic herb garden. What’s a hydroponic herb garden? A hydroponic herb garden is a garden that focuses on using water as the growing medium rather than soil. Many growers and environmental thinkers tout it as the solution to the problems having to do with topsoil degradation and breakdown.
Hydroponic gardening has gotten a little bit of a bad rep because of its association with marijuana growers. In an attempt to avoid police detection, some growers in the US experimented with using hydroponics to hide their marijuana gardens.
Hydroponic gardens, however, have some real positive aspects:
The Benefits of Hydroponic Herb Gardens
One of the great things about hydroponics is that, despite the name, it uses less water than a regular soil-based herb garden. Because you can get a system that recycles the water and nutrients used, you do not lose the majority of your water in the soil.
Because you are in control of the amount of sunlight your hydroponic herb garden gets, you are not at the mercy of the elements. This means that you can grow your herbs out of season and that the plants themselves grow more quickly.
Because you are growing your plants indoors this also means that hydroponic gardens are accessible to people in urban environments where they might not otherwise be able to garden. You don’t need a backyard or a flowerbed to create a hydroponic garden, so even if you live on the middle floors of a high rise, you can have your herb garden.
Another often overlooked aspect of hydroponics is that it is easier to keep pests out of hydroponic gardens. This is partly because the gardens are often indoors and partly because the gardens are water and not soil-based. What this means is that hydroponic gardeners will tend to use less insecticide than regular soil-based growers.
Drawbacks of Hydroponic Herb Gardens
There are three main criticisms of hydroponic gardens. The first is that many plants are simply not conducive to growth in hydroponic gardens, so their use is limited. Hydroponic proponents strenuously deny this is the case, claiming that almost anything you can grow in a regular garden, you can grow in a hydroponic garden.
The second criticism comes from gourmands who claim that hydroponic herbs lack the flavor of their soil-grown counterparts. Proponents dispute this claim and, because we are dealing with subjective notions of taste, we await a blind study to see if there is any noticeable difference.
Finally and perhaps most seriously, environmental critics point out that the extra energy involved in hydroponic gardening makes both the cost-prohibitive and its positive environmental impact suspect.
Can I Build a Hydroponic Herb Garden?
If you can put together a fish aquarium you can create your hydroponic herb garden. Maintaining a fish aquarium is much more like hydroponic gardening than traditional herb gardening is.
The principles are very simple. You simply take a large plastic container—to avoid algae problems you should make sure that sunlight cannot penetrate the container. You place your herbs in rows on the lid of the container hanging from nets filled with Rockwool and then attach a pump to the container that keeps cycling the nutrient-filled water supply to the plants in a tie-in, tide-out fashion.
As in maintaining an aquarium, the hardest part is keeping the pH levels within ideal limits. You do this by carefully monitoring the pH and then adjusting the levels by adding pH increasing or decreasing chemicals. You can buy an expensive pH monitoring system for this purpose or simply check the pH with cheaper disposal tests.
Hydroponic Gardening- What are the Benefits?
Gardening has been considered to be one of the most therapeutic rewards for North Americans. Gardening stimulates all of the senses, giving great satisfaction and pleasure. The growth of plants without the use of soil is the definition of hydroponics. Nearly all types of plants can be grown using hydroponics since multiple hydroponic gardening techniques exist. Many teachers use hydroponic gardening with their students when working on science projects since this type of gardening is considered to be very easy.
There are a variety of benefits associated with hydroponic gardening. The roots of plants do not need to search for the required nutrients when they are grown using hydroponics. The result of more abundant plant growth is that the nutrient solution is provided directly to them. Incorporating hydroponics into an outdoor garden can help add interest and intrigue. The right time to experiment with the various types of hydroponic cultivation is during the summertime due to the natural conditions available outdoors. Hydroponics benefits annual flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetables.
With hydroponics, important growing factors such as light, temperature, and humidity can be controlled. Hydroponics requires less work and care since no soil is involved. The concern over soil-borne diseases or pests is almost eliminated and weeding is not required. Not all soil cultures are considered hydroponics even though hydroponics is always a soilless culture. Many of these cultures do not use nutrient solutions, which are required for hydroponics.
Solution culture and medium culture are the two main types of hydroponics. Solution culture does not use a solid growing medium for the roots, but it does use a nutrient solution. The medium culture has a sound growing base for the roots such as perlite, gravel, or sand culture. The different ways that a nutrient solution is supplied to the plants create multiple ways that hydroponic plants can be grown.
You can use hydroponics to grow plants anywhere, from inside your home to your backyard. Anything can be grown for the use of hydroponics such as garden crops to flowers. Hydroponic gardening is considered to be a clean and highly effective method for growing plants.
There is less mess and less maintenance.No need for weeding and the decrease in the number of diseases and pests are just some of the benefits of hydroponic gardening. This form of gardening is also easily adapted to indoor environments, which means it can be used throughout the year to grow a gardener’s favorite plants.
With hydroponics, the biggest benefits are that your plants will much healthier and of better quality. Gardeners can give nature a helping hand while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of their gardens. Gardeners will be able to watch the spectacular improvements that growing hydroponically can bring to their gardens.
Hydroponics has always been an ecologically sound gardening choice. Hydroponic gardening will not add toxins to the environment or erode the soil, and it uses much less water than conventional gardening. To help alleviate environmental waste, soluble nutrient formulas are re-circulated and used by the plant’s roots.
Plants tend to be healthier in a hydroponic system than those grown in soil, which makes them more pest-resistant. Biological control agents are used as preventative measures. With a hydroponic garden, there is not any need for destructive pesticides since you will not have weeds to control Organic crop cultivation in hydroponics is the reason that many gardeners are beginning to choose to grow organically.
Gardening without the use of man-made chemicals or pesticides is organic gardening. The guarantee of no harmful fungicides or pesticides being used is what makes gardeners invest in the extras required by organic gardening. There are many organic nutrients and additives designed specifically for use in hydroponic gardens.
There are also several ready-made systems you can discover online. Just google “hydroponics” and you will find a stockpile of information just waiting for you.