There are a lot of things that make indoor gardening attractive: Year-round production of herbs and food plants, protection from natural disasters and weather changes, and a more efficient use of space are only a few. This trend toward indoor gardening is being fueled by a number of factors including climate change and the desire for self-sufficiency.
So what will indoor gardening look like in the future? There are a number of interesting changes happening, and these innovations will guide the indoor gardens of tomorrow.
Technology and Gardening Methods
Of course, technology makes growing plants easier in the field, in the garden, and indoors. Two fascinating methods have emerged though — methods that make growing indoors even more intriguing. They are hydroponics and aquaponics. What’s the difference, and how do they work?
Hydroponics is the science of growing plants in water rather than soil. You simply add nutrients to your tank, and you’re ready to go. However, the drawback is that these nutrients must be monitored and replaced often, and “root rot” is often a concern. Still, the system is usually sterile, and other than root rot, disease is not a problem.
Aquaponics is the practice of raising fish at the same time that you grow plants in the water they live in. The idea is to develop an ecosystem that is balanced and self-sustaining. The plants take nutrients from the water and, at the same time, filter it for the fish. Both take up quite a bit of room, and the right temperature is of utmost importance. Smart temperature controls and sensors that feed data to smartphones make it possible for this to be regulated remotely, at least to an extent.
Most indoor gardens of the future will contain one of these two growing methods, and this is expected to be a $1.98 billion industry by 2022.
Getting the Power
As you can imagine, managing an indoor growing operation takes a bit of power for grow lights, temperature controls, and environmental sensors. However, what matters most is where that power comes from, and many growers are using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
With the evolution of this sustainable approach, growers are reducing their impact on the environment in huge ways. Renewable energy also comes with other perks as well: Solar is a great source of heat for climate control in colder weather, and wind often generates enough power to share with the rest of the house too.
Looking at the indoor garden of the future, renewable energy will certainly be a part of the equation.
Sustainability and Climate Change
There is no denying that climate change impacts our health every single day, and indoor gardening can have a negative or positive impact. The smart use of water and energy is just one of the ways gardening is moving toward sustainability and having a positive impact on the environment.
This includes the fertilizers and nutrients used, especially those that are organically sourced; releasing the oxygen these plants create into the surrounding area; recycling water; collecting rain; and using other means to reduce pollutants.
The garden of the future will be one that takes climate change and sustainability into account.
Whether you are looking to grow plants indoors over winter or year-round indoor gardening, technology will impact how your garden looks and works. From using water instead of soil, using new technology, drawing on renewable energy for power, and taking other steps for sustainable gardening and to prevent climate change, the indoor garden of tomorrow will not only be a source of food, but a positive impact on the community around it as well.