Self Contained Hydroponic System, A Technology Trend?
Self Contained Hydroponic System. The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a renaissance in home gardening. Nearly 20% of Americans say they have started gardening as a result of the pandemic due to concerns about food security and the need for pastimes during quarantine. Sales of seeds have reached previously unheard-of heights.
The latest development in smart home technology is hydroponics, a technique for growing plants without traditional soil by using water-based, nutrient-dense solutions, as Covid-19 emphasizes the precarious supply chain that underpins our modern lifestyles and the benefit of greater self-sufficiency.
Smart devices can now replace some of the labor, space, and skill required for traditional gardening thanks to developments in LED lighting and hydroponic food production.
image of Self Contained Hydroponic System
To reap the nutritional and emotional benefits of “real” gardening, there is no doubt that extensive knowledge and work are required; however, technology now allows laypeople to experiment with growing fresh, nourishing food in their homes.
There is still a long way to go before the promise of sustainable, affordable food for all is realized, even though home hydroponic systems are more efficient, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing than ever.
How sustainable are these services, and who benefits and who loses in the smart food ecosystem? Let’s examine the layout of three of the most popular home hydroponics systems as well as the wider implications of such “smart growing”.
Hydroponics at Home is the Best
Up to 30 plants can grow simultaneously on each of the three vertical artificial “stems” that make up the Gardyn system. These stems are rooted in a strong, oval-shaped base reservoir that contains electronics, pumps, and water that are covertly tucked away.
Modern LED lights that effectively dissipate heat and focus on the plants are concealed behind two vertical aluminum bars. An AI assistant app that manages temperature, humidity, and light is included with Gardyn.
The Bace Rotofarm, the most sculptural of the top home hydroponic systems, is a breathtakingly beautiful item with an accompanying app. It shrinks 5.5 feet of growing space into just 15 inches and slowly rotates up to eight plants around an LED hub, eliminating gravitational penalty to encourage faster plant growth.
The Rotofarm will not go on sale until 2021, and its price is still unknown, despite the fact that it has won numerous design awards for its science fiction-turned-reality aspiration.
The Click & Grow Smart Garden is a more affordable home hydroponics system. The Click & Grow design concept has growing options for three and nine plants, and it resembles a carrying basket with an end-to-end handle that cleverly conceals LED lights.
Customers can stack Smart Gardens to make a small food growing system thanks to Click & Grow’s scaled design. The system has a companion app to track expanding schedules and aid in troubleshooting, just like the others.
Increasing Produce Access, but at a Price
For those who live in food deserts or do not have access to wholesome food, there is a great opportunity for home hydroponics to improve education and access to healthy produce. However, smart growing systems currently only appeal to wealthy, tech-savvy residents of densely populated urban areas.
Existing home hydroponics systems come with a hefty price tag, regardless of the brand. The price of the Gardyn kit starts at $799 for 30 plants, with the option of monthly seed deliveries for $29–$39 or a la carte purchasing. In contrast, the Click & Grow system starts at $99 for three plants and goes up to $599 for a 27-plant system. Up to five yields from each plant are possible before it needs to be replaced; that’s a lot of money for leafy greens, fresh herbs, and a few pieces of fruit.
These products make significant claims about sustainability, healthy living, and a stable food supply, but they don’t offer the communities that home hydroponics could help the most enough tangible value.
One hopes that the high startup costs of developing their business are reflected in the pricing of these new systems. Perhaps as has happened in the market for electric vehicles, subsequent generations and scale will allow the unit costs to decrease.
Environmental Impact is Reduced
In traditional farming, dirt and growing chemicals are largely to blame for the water pollution. Most home hydroponics systems require compostable refill cubes that resemble espresso pods in place of soil.
Each cube contains seeds that have been sown in the business’s patented “growing medium,” or synthetic soil made of natural materials that is intended to hold water and nutrients more effectively than ordinary dirt. These cubes, as opposed to espresso pods, are made of compostable corn-based plastic and can be dumped with the yard waste.
The main compromise in indoor hydroponics is giving up the sun, which is nature’s free light source. An LED hydroponic system uses a lot of electricity, which raises energy consumption and utility costs depending on how much natural light is present in a home.
But using hydroponics to grow food lessens the need for industrial agro-farming, which depends heavily on chemicals, fresh water, and the infrastructure needed to transport food from farm to table.
An Update on Victory Garden
Home hydroponics and smart growing are exciting new trends in consumer hardware. Although the market’s early entrants feel more like proof-of-concept than substantial goods or services, I believe that this class of goods will advance quickly and become standard in homes of all shapes and sizes, expanding into other types of gardening and food production beyond just leafy greens.
Smart gardens may not yet have the same impact as the victory gardens, which provided almost 40% of the vegetables consumed in the US during World War II, but there is still a great potential for home hydroponics to lessen reliance on a fragile global food infrastructure, as well as to reduce environmental impact and increase access to fresh, nutritious produce.
FAQ Self Contained Hydroponic System
What is the most efficient hydroponic system?
Aeroponics systems have a number of advantages over traditional hydroponics. This system uses 95% less water than traditional planting, and 20% less water than other hydroponic systems. The fine mist of the aeroponic system allows laser accuracy of nutrition application.
Can I build my own hydroponic system?
Hydroponic gardening is easy to start in your own home so you can grow it year round. There are many different styles of gardens you can build, the most common being wick systems, deep water cultivation, and nutrient film techniques. With a simple building, you can easily have a garden in your home!
Which hydroponic system is best for home use?
The Best Hydroponic System of 2022 AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Garden. Best Overall. AeroGarden Harvest Elite Indoor Garden. Runner up. Moistenland Hydroponic Growing System Beginner Kit. Increase Options. AeroGarden Bounty Elite Indoor Park. Best for Beginners. Best in Design. Best for Rooting. Best Large Capacity.
Can hydroponics work without electricity?
This is where Kratky’s method shines. This is a technique that allows you to grow hydroponically without any electricity, pumps or wicks. In fact, you don’t even need to change the reservoir or add nutrients. This is as close to a truly “hands off” growth technique as I’ve ever seen.
Is indoor hydroponics worth it?
Hydroponics includes better growth for plants than soil gardening, about 25% faster growth than soil. In addition, plants in hydroponic gardening generally produce up to 30% more than plants grown in soil. Hydroponics is great for accessing plants that you can’t grow in an area or at least don’t grow well.
How much does a good hydroponic system cost?
Depending on the size and features, a hydroponic system costs as little as $50 or as much as a few thousand dollars. Small, uncomplicated systems typically run between $50 and $500. Medium system at least a few hundred dollars. A large system costs several thousand dollars or more.
Is hydroponics cheaper than soil?
The cost of hydroponics vs soil depends on several different factors. However, most of the time, hydroponics will tend to be a bit more expensive overall.
What is the difference between hydroponics and aquaponics?
The hydroponic system focuses solely on plant growth, while the aquaponic system seeks to achieve a healthy balance of life between plants and fish. Aquaponics takes a more natural path, while many hydroponic systems rely on simplicity.
What size air pump do I need for hydroponics?
A better rule of thumb is to make sure that the pump you buy will supply at least 500-600cc of air per minute to your nutrient reservoir. 500-600cc per minute equals 500-600ml per minute, and even the cheapest air pump will provide more than that, so most indoor planters will be safe here.
What are the 5 disadvantages of hydroponics?
5 Disadvantages of Hydroponics Expensive to set up. Compared to traditional gardens, hydroponic systems are more expensive to acquire and build. Vulnerable to power outages. Requires constant monitoring and maintenance. Waterborne diseases. Problems affect plants more quickly.
How long can you leave the hydroponic system for?
The short answer is: hydroponic plants can live without water for three days to three months.
What is the best home hydroponic system for beginners?
What is the best hydroponic system for beginners? Deep Water Culture (DWC) is the easiest type of hydroponic system you can build and maintain at home. In this system, plants grow with their roots submerged directly in nutrient-rich water.
Does hydroponics need an air pump?
So do we need an air pump for a hydroponic system? An air pump is required for some hydroponic systems where most of the plant roots are submerged in water. However, hydroponic systems that expose more roots, such as the Kratky method or aeroponics, do not require an air pump to grow the plant.
Can you run hydroponics with solar panels?
Hydroponic growing systems can take up as little space as a small aquarium or fill an entire greenhouse. The addition of solar power to a hydroponic system makes it one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly ways to grow food.
How many hours of light do hydroponic plants need?
14 to 16 hours You should plan your system to have at least 14 to 16 hours of artificial light, followed by 10 to 12 hours of darkness each day for a year. Darkness is as important as light—just like animals, grow