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Hydroponic gardens

By Ariel Lee Apr. 3, 2024


Amidst the constant development of new technology, hydroponic gardens have bloomed as a new form of gardening. Using scientific ideas, this new water-based method of growing plants without soil has been growing in popularity. 


Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil, but rather in water. Instead of drawing nutrition from the minerals in the soil, plants grown using hydroponics gain nutrients from mineral-rich water solutions.  Recently, hydroponic gardening has become a preferred method of growing plants because it enables year-round cultivation and uses less water than traditional soil-based systems.


Furthermore, hydroponic gardening is space-efficient; gardens can be kept either indoors or outdoors and utilize less space than traditional gardening methods. Different types of hydroponic gardening include the wick system, deep water culture system, vertical drip system, ebb and flow system and more. 


“Hydroponic gardens give people who have less space for planting larger, traditional gardens with an opportunity to grow their own food and have that same experience,” Sophomore Kelton Green said.

Additional benefits of using hydroponic gardening over traditional soil-based gardening include being locally grown, the elimination of weeds, and a greater crop yield due to their faster growth within efficient spaces, which becomes helpful for people in urban environments. Hydroponic gardens are also more high-tech than traditional gardens; they have sensors for the temperature and nutrient levels, which helps the plants grow more efficiently. However, there are still drawbacks: hydroponic plants can use up a lot of energy, and certain plants, such as potatoes or radishes, cannot be grown in this type of system. Since these plants are tubers, they develop within the soil of traditional agriculture, a key element missing in the hydroponic process.


Hydroponic gardens also have an impact on the health of people who use them. For instance, they are good ways to bring fresh food to urban residents since they can be grown directly in their homes. According to registered dietitian Liz Amission, fresher foods are healthier because fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked. Produce grown to be sold in grocery stores is harvested before it is fully ripe, allowing the food time to ripen while being transported. The food’s nutritional value changes because of the fluctuation in air, artificial light, and temperature changes during transportation. Alternately, hydroponic gardens provide fresh food in real-time, increasing the nutritional benefits.


“Hydroponic gardens are useful because they allow for more gardens to be produced in a smaller amount of land. This could potentially address hunger in third-world countries,” Junior Tommy Li said.

Hydroponic gardening has been on the rise and is the future of the upcoming generation, full of technology. With soil degradation threatening to devastate traditional agricultural yields, hydroponic gardening offers a unique solution to a growing problem.


 

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