State of the Art Indoor Gardening Systems

When I planted my AeroGarden on Sunday, I couldn’t help but think about the fabulous indoor, environmentally-controlled gardens I saw during the Garden Writers Association Symposium in August.

Starr Hawley (right), owner of Harvest Moon Hydroponics Indianapolis, hosted a party at her store to introduce garden writers to the newest innovations in indoor gardening with hydroponics.

The open house featured state of the art, commercially manufactured nutrient film technique (NFT) systems. Instead of planting plants in a growing medium, NFT systems constantly pump special nutrient formulas over the roots of plants that grow in tube-like trays.

We also got the chance to see fully automated, climate-controlled growing rooms with systems that can be used for food production or aquaculture.

This was my first opportunity to see an aquaculture system at work. It’s a closed biosystem that’s used to raise tilapia…

…and is also a hydroponics system for growing this blood orange tree.

In a separate climate-controlled room, Starr set up a Flo-N-Gro System. This easy-to-assemble, 12-site hydroponic growing system takes only one hour from assembly to planting. A special feature of this system is that gardeners can start small and expand as they grow.

Each of these innovative gardens has the same basic requirements: lighting, environmental controls, propagation, cultivation, and nutrition.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to have a state-of-the-art system for indoor gardening, but until then I’ll just keep busy in winter by planting and harvesting lettuce in my little table-top aeroponic garden.


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