By now, you’ve probably heard all about vertical gardening. If you were like me, it’s overwhelming to think of all the options and possibilities. I have read up on various hydroponic, aeroponic, soil-based, and aquaponic systems and of course every single one claims to be the best and “the easiest.” Here’s a rundown of different vertical systems – not by brand but by how the different systems work.
Hydroponics have become increasingly popular and this is probably the one that people are most familiar with. There are hundreds of different ways to set up a hydroponic system, and it’s very easy to find kits to get you started online, like here, https://paydaydeals.com.au/collections/hydroponic. The basic way it works is by bringing nutrients to plants with water and a nutrient solution. The real benefits of growing hydroponically are water savings and quicker plant growth. If you are new to this, why not do some research into something simple like organic hydroponics to find out more! Plants are grown in a soil-less medium such as perlite or gravel. Hydroponic growing methods almost always require electricity and a basic pump to keep water circulating through the system and monitoring to make sure that the nutrient solution is balanced.
This is a very similar to hydroponic growing. Like hydroponics, aeroponics do not use soil or traditional fertilizers but rely on a nutrient solution and water to keep plants happy. What’s different is that plants in an aeroponic growing system do not have a growing medium to root in but rather rely on increased air flow and a near-sterile environment to keep plants healthy. Aeroponic growing requires use of electricity and constant monitoring to ensure plants are getting the needed nutrients.
This is a sustainable way to garden by using fish droppings as fertilizer for your growing plants. Typically, a planter would sit above a fish tank and water would circulate from the tank up to the planter. Similar to hydroponics as it is a soil-less way to grow but aquaponics doesn’t rely on an outside source for nutrients. Just like hydroponics and aeroponics, this type of growing usually does require electricity. It would be beneficial for the plants if as much water remained in the tank as possible by reducing evaporation. Fish tanks can lose a large amount of water every day due to evaporation, but you can prevent excessive evaporation with a tank hood, so we imagine these tanks will have that in place to ensure this doesn’t occur within their set up.
This is by far the most popular way to garden in the US. You can grow in-ground, in containers, or in a gardening system that will help with watering. Some soil-based systems require the use of electricity but most do not. Soil-based growing has an advantage because you can grow anything using soil. Root vegetables and growing from seed can be a challenge when growing with hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic systems – but not with soil-based growing!
To decide which method is best for you, visit your local garden center or hydroponics store. They are a wealth of knowledge and can get you set up with the system of your dreams. Since GreenStalk is a container garden and doesn’t require any additional pumps, systems or set-ups, it can be a great base for trying different ways to garden. We are all about helping people have the best growing experience possible, so garden in the way that works the best for your family.
For me, it’s all about soil-based growing!
Cody Catherine Thomas