Historians believe that hydroponics, a method of growing plants without soil, has been around for thousands of years. It’s likely that a type of hydroponic gardening was used in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as early as 600 B.C. Ancient Aztecs implemented a water-based system that involved growing plants suspended on reed rafts, which served them well when the soil was too wet for growing. Luckily, there’s no need to create a hanging garden or construct a raft because today’s hydroponic container systems are convenient enough to fit easily in a kitchen, including tabletop systems, shelf units and compact, countertop units such as those offered by Organiponic, Inc.
Hydroponics offer a number of significant advantages over soil gardening. Because nutrients are delivered directly to the root system, plants tend to be larger, healthier, and are ready for harvest much sooner. Gardeners appreciate the fact that there is no threat from soil-borne insects. Plants are highly resistant to viral or fungal diseases. It’s also important to consider the tremendous environmental benefits, as growing plants hydroponically requires less than 10 percent of the water necessary for in-soil gardening. Fertilizer is reduced by 60 percent, soil isn’t depleted, and there is no need to transport produce over long distances. Container systems are especially useful for apartment-dwellers, individuals who work long hours, or people who live in rural areas where costly vegetables are often wilted and nutrient-depleted by the time they arrive at your local grocery store.
Although nearly any plant can be grown hydroponically, kitchen units are perfect for leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale, arugula, romaine, butter lettuce, or leaf lettuce. The compact systems are also just the ticket for nearly any culinary herb, including basil, mint, oregano, marjoram, tarragon, chives or sage. Organiponic, Inc. notes that their systems are also appropriate for growing miniature fruits and vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, and strawberries, as well as certain types of flowers (and the list is growing).
Hydroponic container systems may be just what you’re looking for if you like the idea of growing herbs and salad greens year round, with very little investment of money or time. This is a sure-fire way to provide your family with freshly harvested, direct-to-your-table veggies that are totally clean, 100 percent non-GMO, and completely free of pesticides and herbicides.