You can smell it in the air and see it on the ground, winter is nearly gone and spring is literally just around the corner. As we dust off our spring jackets and willfully pack away our winter boots, thoughts of spring cleaning and DIY projects abound. This year, instead of the customary collection of clutter and neighborhood garage sales, why not focus on something that can benefit your family all year round?
Feeding our ever-expanding population has become a growing concern. Especially given the fact that most of our food crops are at the mercy of mother nature. So, what if there was a way that you could sustainably grow pesticide-free food for your family all year round regardless of the weather?
The answer to weather-proof, highly sustainable gardening lies in hydroponic technology, which grows plants without soil. Instead of soil, seeds are planted in either sand, gravel, or liquid that is infused with the necessary nutrients for growth. While it may seem counterintuitive to grow plants without soil it’s been proven to be more effective.
The problem with soil planted seeds is the amount of energy they must expend to seek out nutrients and extract them from the soil. This energy could be more efficiently used for vegetative growth and fruit production. Because indoor gardening with hydroponics provides all of the nutrients a seed requires in their very own pod, they don’t have to expend as much energy to obtain it. Given this energy surplus, identical plants will grow better and faster in a hydroponic environment than a traditional soil-based garden.
Another major benefit to indoor gardening with hydroponics is that plants require significantly less water to flourish since the water goes directly to the plant rather than absorbent soil. Using collected rainwater can take your sustainable gardening one step further. Simply place a few containers outside and you could be growing pesticide-free fruits and vegetables for your family using only recycled water!
While those of us who weren’t born with a green thumb may hesitate at the thought of starting an outdoor garden, let alone an indoor one, IKEA has made it nearly foolproof. IKEA’s indoor hydroponics kit is suitable for even the newest of newbies. The kit comes fully equipped with everything you need to get started with an indoor garden.
All you have to do is set up the easy-to-use kit, purchase your desired seeds, follow the directions, and wait! Moisture-sensing technology even takes the guess work out of watering your beloved plants, so there really is no excuse not to try it out. While most hydroponic set ups use LED lighting to simulate the sun, some ample time in a sunny window will also do the trick if you don’t want to make the extra investment.
Not only is indoor gardening a sustainable way to grow pesticide-free produce for your family year round and lessen the strain on our farmers, it’s also a great way to educate your children about where their food comes from. It can taste like spring all year round with hydroponic technology. So, why not make an indoor garden your newest hobby and teach your loved ones about sustainably-grown produce?
Kali Muir is an ambitious freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She was born in Canada but has since lived in Norway, Denmark, and England. Her work experience is as diverse as her past addresses, including roles in technical communication, corporate communication, marketing, and article writing. She has experience working in varied business sectors: Oil & Gas, Engineering & Technology, Clothing & Equipment Retail, and Creative Writing. Follow Kali’s professional and personal journey at www.kalimuir.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.