What is hydroponic gardening?
It all started on a dreary, Midwestern day, in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic that was making its rounds through the world like a wrecking ball. Masked up, I was on my weekly trip to a local grocer to replenish my supply of fruits and vegetables that I needed for the following week’s cooking, salad-making, and snacking. The layout of the produce aisle was as I remembered it, save for one exception – a small stand offering local, hydroponically-gardened, produce offerings. The curiosity in me needed to do my research and discover what this entailed. Here are my findings.
Hydroponic gardening describes a system whereby plants are fed using storage tanks that recirculate a water and nutrient-based solution at regular intervals (Steele, 1979). This solution is fed directly to their root systems, thus eliminating the need for soil, and all aspects, including lighting to stimulate photosynthesis in the plants, can be engineered to scale (Steele, 1979). Although traction for the method was slow to build in the United States, with the official patent for its system filed in 1979, its role locally and on a global scale has increased in recent years as a means for increasing the accessibility to fresh produce (“Future,” n.d.). It is particularly attractive to areas that cannot accommodate traditional gardening methods, such as urban environments, deserts, and other areas with little or no access to viable soil (“Future”, n.d.).
The Spruce has a beginner’s guide to hydroponic gardening. What have been your experiences with hydroponic gardening?
Future. (n.d.). Retrieved 18 April 2020, from https://cals.arizona.edu/hydroponictomatoes/future.htm
Steele, R. S. (1979). U.S. Patent No. 4,170,844. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.