Trends in Hydroponic Growing
Compared to any high- tech field, the hydroponic industry is constantly evolving. Knowledge of plant biology is increasing and this affects the ‘hardware’ used for indoor growing. We will continue to see advancements in all aspects of hydroponic growing, including lighting, nutrition, systems used and the applications.
Over the last 10 years the advancements of horticultural lighting have been amazing. For example, Double-ended lighting systems will continue to grow in popularity over the next few years. In addition, Sulfur plasma lighting, (sounds space-age doesn’t it?) is poised to become more common as a primary lighting source for indoor gardens and even LED lighting systems, which are considered old news, now have the capability to ‘tailor’ the light spectrum to meet the needs of specific plants.
Nutrients for Hydroponic Gardens
Hydro nutrients are also undergoing advancements. Specialty nutrients that can “self-buffer” to a desired pH range of plants for example. Those that manufacture these nutrients are getting much better at combining various elements into stable, one-part formula, offering novice gardeners a chance to try hydroponics and succeed.
Hydroponic Systems & Vertical Growing
Most, if not all, hydro systems are essentially nutrient delivery systems. Commercial vertical growing systems have revolutionized many hydroponic farms across the globe, increasing production per area. More importantly, as in the Lettuce Ladder, more hydroponic growing kits will be available that contain everything a would be gardener needs to begin growing any time of the year. These systems are already popular and many more people will try hydroponics for the first time.
Restaurants & Grocery Stores
While some of the latest trends in hydroponic growing are not directly related to the systems of growing, they are related to the application. More of the places we eat and purchase our food are starting to incorporate hydro systems into their business models. It’s a way to provide the freshest produce possible. Living salad bars allow businesses to provide fresh produce and set themselves apart from competitors.
No doubt, the farm-to-table movement is gaining in popularity. Not only is this a great novelty, but it also makes good financial sense. Especially relevant is the trend of roof top gardening which is already a consistent movement in many big cities.
Our health is directly related to our diet. Hydroponic gardening is a practical solution for providing fresh food in dense urban areas. Whether it is on a roof top or a vertical system that hangs in a window, hydro gardens are here. For many in the urban environment the only option is a space saving hydro system that can produce food. The benefits of growing without soil can offer gardening year round and will be a major part of society’s food production in the future!
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