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Is Hydroponic Gardening Eco-Friendly?

hydroponic gardeningHydroponic gardening is a great option for many people.   It's awesome for urban gardeners with limited (or no) outdoor space.  It's also nice for people who live in cooler climates where you can't garden year-round.  

What is hydroponic gardening?  

Hydroponic gardening is the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid using added nutrients an no soil.  Hydroponic gardening is often touted as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional gardening.

Why is hydroponic gardening eco-friendly?

- Hydroponic gardening uses less land.  Less land also means less land erosion!

- Hydroponic gardening recycles water, so you use a lot less water than in a soil garden.  To grow a single pound of traditionally field-grown lettuce, it takes 71 gallons of water!  71 gallons -- yikes.  With hydroponic gardening, it will only take about 3 gallons to grow that same amount of lettuce.  That's a big diference.

- Fewer pests = fewer pesticides.  While you still can end up with pest problems in a hydroponic garden, it's usually less of a problem.

- Growing your own food lowers your carbon footprint.  And with being able to have a hydroponic garden year round, you're not tied to only have fresh produce a few months out of the year!

- You can reuse the same materials over and over again, use materials that you already have such as rocks, sand, or even air!

If you want to get started with hydroponics but don't know how to start, try Aerogarden.  I reviewed Aerogarden a few years ago and we love it. Setting it up is a breeze, it fits on your kitchen counter, and it grows awesome herbs!  (We've had less luck with vegetables)   We still love our backyard garden but fresh herbs in the dead of winter can't be beat!