For urban gardeners, working within the constraints of a city residence often means that soil-based projects are less than ideal. Apartment kitchens and balconies aren’t always equipped for the mess that can come with conventional methods of cultivation. Nonetheless, many people have a desire to grow fresh produce in a kitchen window, or even in the living room.
Emerging horticultural technologies–like aeroponics and hydroponics–provide soil-free solutions for an apartment-dwelling green thumb, or even for the gardener with space who is short on the time required to do things like weeding and watering outdoors.
Both systems–hydroponics and aeroponic–work by propagating and growing plants in soil-free, sterile media, feeding the roots with nutrient-rich water. In hydroponics, the roots are submerged in water, whereas in aeroponics, the roots are misted with water.
Small countertop hydroponics or aeroponics systems–like an aerogarden and similar products–can provide urban gardeners with the tools they need to bring the cultivation of fresh, home-grown produce into their day-to-day routine. Everything from fresh herbs, to flowers, to vegetables can be cultivated this way.
Indoor gardens improve indoor air quality, and numerous studies have shown that plants and gardening improve well-being, productivity, and mental health. Not to mention: people who grow food plants are much more likely to eat a diet richer in healthy, plant-based meals.
Gardening is–like many other hobbies–intrinsically social. Gardeners connect through social media and their local communities to share resources, knowledge, and sometimes just to show off. A home-based hydroponics or aeroponics system can be the pride of both someone’s instagram, and dinner parties.
Soil-free hydroponics or aeroponics gardens may very well be the future of indoor urban farming: for many, it’s easier to start off gardening in what is essentially an appliance that has measured all the inputs for you.