Hydroponic gardening is a growing technique that uses water instead of soil to grow plants. The most famous example of hydroponic gardening is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Built by King Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife, who didn’t much care for the stark desert landscape of Babylon, the gardens contained every plant known to the kingdom. While this remarkable achievement of mankind brought great beauty and happiness to those of the ancient world, the system of hydroponic gardening has many more benefits for the inhabitants of our modern world. Here are the top 5 benefits of hydroponic gardening.
Better Use of Space
You don’t need an entire kingdom to grow plants using hydroponic gardening techniques. In fact, the beauty of hydroponics is that it can be done in small spaces, including patios, decks, rooftops or any other small corner you can find. It’s ideal for the urban or rural gardener in any climate.
Grow a Variety of Plants
There are many plants that can be grown hydroponically. Some plants include:
- lettuce (especially good for beginners)
- medicinal plants
- and more
Keep Pests and Disease Under Control
When you grow plants using a hydroponic system, you significantly reduce the amount of chemicals needed to keep pests and disease at bay. This is great for you as a consumer and for the environment as a whole – including the pollinators. This is because your hydroponic garden is like a controlled experiment. However, important measures must be taken to prevent the spread of pests and disease. Those measures include:
1. Wash your hands before you garden and between handling crops.
2. Be sure to do regular housekeeping. This includes removing all dead and decaying material where both pests and disease thrive.
3. Avoid contamination by using your gardening tools only for your garden. Don’t let the pests and disease hitch a ride into your hydroponic garden. Also, regularly disinfect your tools with a bleach/water solution.
Better Quality Food and Bigger Yields
When you choose to grow your produce using hydroponic techniques, you know whether or not and how much chemicals are being used and consumed by you and your family. Also, when the plants reach maturity, you pick them yourself, knowing they are as fresh as fresh can be while containing high nutritional value. Bigger yields are produced because you have complete control over your crops. Provided you manage them well with the right amount of nutrients, your plants will flourish and potentially produce bigger yields.
For communities living in poverty and where soil quality is poor – such as in Haiti – hydroponic gardening can change people’s lives. This will give people and communities more nutritious food packed with vitamins and nutrients and will provide a source of income through individual, family, and community owned hydroponic micro-enterprises.
It’s not surprising to see then, that this ancient technique of hydroponic gardening can be as beneficial today as it was thousands of years ago. And in a world where we sometimes don’t really know where our food comes from, what chemicals are being used to treat pests, and whether or not our fruits and vegetables are genetically modified, doesn’t it just make sense to feed our families organically grown, hydroponic food?