Some organic gardeners consider hydroponic gardening to be non-organic because it does not use the soil. They believe that true organic gardening is impossible without a rich and clayey soil. After all, organic gardening is based on good soil. However, organic hydroponic gardening exists and also has some advantages over conventional organic gardening.
Using less soil
Organic hydroponic gardening is based on the same principles as normal organic gardening, but does not use the soil. Organic hydroponic gardening relies on water to provide the nutrients needed for plant growth. Organic hydroponic gardening still requires a growing medium, something solid in which to put the roots of plants. However, the culture medium is not the of nutrients; it is sterile as a chemically fertilized monoculture wheat field. The cultivation medium is simply a structure in which to root plants and retain water full of nutrients.
In organic hydroponic gardening the cultivation medium can be of any organic material. Vermiculite and perilte are often used. (Be careful when handling vermiculite, as it is a of asbestos.) Straw, cotton, vegetable fiber or any other organic material are also all good choices.
Water is essential
Organic hydroponic gardening relies on dissolving substances in the water to provide nutrients for plants. So everything that goes in the water must be organic to comply with the rules of organic gardening. The so-called compost tea is often used in organic hydroponic gardening. It is done by immersing the compost in water and filtering the solid material. The water is enriched with nutrients and is therefore used to feed plants.
Manure tea is also used in hydroponic gardening. Manure tea can be a of bacterial contamination of the product, including contamination with lethal varieties of E. coli. Therefore, manure must be well composted or sterilized before preparing manure tea. You do this in the same way you make compost tea, i.e. dissolving the manure in water and filtering the solid material.
Other organic choices include algae and fish emulsion. There are no special fertilizers because it continuously circulates and refreshes the mixture of nutrients.
Organic hydroponic gardening has a special niche in the landscape of organic gardening. Its biggest advantage is that it fits everywhere and requires no soil to support plant growth.
Organic hydroponic gardening is an excellent alternative that allows you to grow crops in parts of the world where the soil has been over-grown and is too depleted to grow food. Organic hydroponic gardening is used in life in space and will almost certainly be part of any attempt to colonize the moon or another planet. Organic hydroponic gardening is used for urban rooftop gardens, allowing city dwellers to grow healthy food in a wasted space. This is because not all roofs can support the weight of the soil for traditional organic gardening.
As you can see, hydroponic gardening can also be organic. Of course, it is different from traditional gardening, but it has numerous advantages. And last but not least, organic hydroponic gardening allows you to grow healthy, sustainable and organic food.
by John Wishley