Can you grow a garden without soil? The answer is a resounding yes! Plants don’t actually need soil to thrive, as long as they have water and nutrients (along with sunlight and carbon dioxide, of course)—both of which are provided by a hydroponic garden. Even though the term “hydroponics” sounds a bit technical, growing plants in water (or a moist soil substitute) is actually one of the easiest ways to garden, and it offers a whole bunch of advantages over traditional soil-based growing.
Check out these benefits of hydroponic growing.
You can garden almost anywhere.
Hydroponics make it possible to grow plants just about any place you’d like—including indoors. Many systems have artificial lights that act as grow lamps, so your garden doesn’t even need to be near a window. And while some hydroponic gardens are large, others are just big enough to grow an herb or two. So whatever table, corner, or porch you have available, you can find (or make) a system to fit.
The Miracle-Gro® Twelve™ Indoor Growing System takes water-based growing one step further with a hydroponic system that looks and acts as a piece of sleek, modern furniture. While the top portion works like a side table, the bottom section is built to grow herbs and leafy greens. It circulates water and plant food to plant roots and provides plenty of light via a grow light. It's super simple to manage, too, as you can control the schedule, change the lighting, monitor the water level, and more with the Miracle-Gro® Twelve™ app. It's perfect for the living room, dining room, den, even your home office.
You’ll need less space.
Hydroponic systems allow you to grow plants in less space than you’d need for the same number of plants in an in-ground garden. Because the plant food supplies loads of nutrients directly where they’re needed, roots don’t require tons of room to spread out and look for food. Some hydroponic gardens even feature a vertical or tower-type arrangement, so you can grow even more in a tight space.
You can grow in the winter.
Because you can grow plants indoors with a grow lamp, there’s really no such thing as a “planting season” with hydroponics. You can grow just about anything, anytime—including in the dead of winter, when most outdoor plants are dead or dormant.
Your plants may grow faster.
Lack of water or nutrients can limit plant growth, but that’s not a problem when you’re growing them hydroponically. Plants grown in water always have plenty of both of these necessities, so their roots don’t have to syphon the plant’s energy reserves searching for them—which is why hydroponic plants may actually grow faster than those grown in soil. Plus, those lucky roots get more oxygen in water than in soil, and more oxygen means better nutrient absorption—and more nutrients equal more growth!
You may get a bigger harvest.
More growth also means that many types of plants will produce more—more refreshing mint, more crisp lettuce, more zesty chives—than they would if they weren’t grown in water. Again, it’s all thanks to those super-available nutrients that go straight to the roots with no soil to act as middle man.
You’ll probably use less water.
Water recirculates in most types of hydroponic gardens, which means the only moisture used up by these kinds of systems is the water taken in by the plant roots. In a traditional garden, some of the water you add to the soil will inevitably end up going where there aren’t any roots to soak it up, so that precious moisture ends up evaporating without doing your garden a lick of good.
You’ll fight fewer battles.
Once you remove soil from the equation, you also nix many of the pests and diseases that depend on soil to survive. The result? You spend less time fighting garden invaders and more time doing what you want to do.
Intrigued? We don’t blame you! Growing plants in water is a fun, efficient way to garden, and it’s something anyone from newbie to garden expert can do successfully. In short, it’s a great way to grow plants! With hydroponics, any day can be planting day—and that’s a beautiful thing.