Sustainable gardening is no longer a new craze or a passing trend. More and more growers and gardeners are coming around to the idea that hydroponics are an excellent alternative. Soil-less gardening technology expands with each passing day and those who are slow to warm up to the idea may get left behind in the next few years. From air to fish fertilizer to water, growing options are becoming more and more abundant and it’s time for all growers to begin determining what method could be right for them. Now, we must recognize the drawbacks to soil-less growing in order to make a fair assessment. Synthetically derived nutrients are new and thus not thoroughly tested. Only time will tell if refined mineral salts can really do the trick.
The ability to grow all year round and indoors is very attractive for all types of gardeners and growers. The following options are currently available for growing without soil:
Sylvia Bernstein, owner of The Aquaponic Source in Longmont, Colorado, shed some light on this new development in growing, stating, "The technology that is accelerating this (soil-less) trend is the proliferation of extremely effective and increasingly energy-efficient grow lights. With today's grow lights, any space can become a year-round garden. I've worked with people who are growing in basements, garages, laundry rooms, warehouses and classrooms." She continued to describe the ease of use and maintenance, "First, there is no weeding involved. And because you can set your grow beds at whatever height works best for you, stooping and bending can also be minimized.”
What do you think about growing without soil? Do you think this is a great alternative solution or something that will eventually cause problems? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment box.