Last year, IKEA released a line of indoor hydroponic gardening products in the UK. The process, for those unfamiliar, entails growing plants without soil. Will the technique take off?
In hydroponic gardening, a plant's roots are either suspended in a water solution or in an inert medium, like gravel. When using a hydroponic system, plants can be grown indoors year round regardless of climate and with limited space. This proves to be a useful tool for small space dwellers, those lacking access to outdoor gardening plots, and those who live in climates with short growing seasons. Plus, you can skip common beginner gardening problems, like over- or under-watering, root rot, pests, and insufficient fertilizer.
IKEA's KRYDDA and VÄXER collections debuted in the UK last November, essentially making the practice easy to start for even the novice gardener. Despite the upfront cost (IKEA's starter kits range in price from £59 to £189), fewer trips to the market, leaving a much smaller carbon footprint via your fresh veg staying put, and on-demand herbs and greens would be motivation enough to try it out.
If you've ever tossed a clamshell container of herbs you didn't get through in time, an easy-to-grow garden might be high on your list. The IKEA collection includes seeds for 18 types of herbs and salad greens, including varieties of lettuce, arugula, and chard, as well as slightly more exotic greens like chicory, amaranth, and mizuna.
While IKEA USA sadly will not be carrying the KRYDDA/VÄXER collections, that the retail giant is selling them at all "will likely bring hydroponics even more into the public eye," Business Insider muses. In fact, a smart herb garden reached triple its goal on Kickstarter last year, and Herbert is a vertical version that's at five times its goal with 8 days to go.
Have you tried hydroponic gardening?