There are numerous indoor gardening systems. Smart urban gardens come in many types and construction methods.
In this post, we’ll look at the most popular planting systems for your indoor herb garden. Find out which system is suitable for you.
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The difference between indoor gardens and smart gardens
In this context, a distinction is made, for example, between smart gardens and indoor gardens. Smart gardens are a type of indoor garden. The big difference between the two types is that smart gardens are intelligently operated.
In practice, this means that the plants are illuminated via LEDs and the nutrient supply and watering are automated without external intervention. Some smart gardens these days can be checked and maintained via app. Unlike many other indoor gardens, smart gardens allow you to harvest fresh herbs and vegetables all year round.
When you hear the term “smart”, you would like to assume that the garden works completely without human intervention. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case. Just about all smart gardens need regular help, whether it’s spacing lights from plants, watering, or removing dead shoots. Smart gardens are therefore not an option for those who travel a lot and may not be able to take care of the garden for weeks at a stretch.
When should you choose an indoor garden and when should you choose a smart garden?
Arguments for a smart garden
Smart gardens are especially worthwhile for people who want to grow crops all year round. In smart gardens, the plants are adequately supplied automatically and can grow exactly as you want them to.
If you’re setting up an indoor garden that doesn’t have smart controls, you have to make sure the plants get enough nutrients, water and light yourself.
If you have little time and a lot of stress at work, this solution could possibly be the best. Smart gardens are therefore
Arguments for an indoor garden
But what are the arguments in favor of the indoor garden? Why choose a pure indoor garden and not a smart garden?
Smart gardens take the joy out of gardening for many amateur gardeners. Many people buy an indoor garden to take care of it and maintain it. When you do all the work yourself, you often feel proud after the fact.
After all, you know that the plant has grown to full size solely through their own work. Without their own work, this would not have been possible.
With smart gardens, however, it’s different. By automating processes, you remove yourself from control of the garden. Although smart gardens do not function entirely without human input, some perceive them as rather unnatural and artificial. This fact is particularly well illustrated by the fact that more and more smart gardens have features such as automated LED water indicators. Instead of checking themselves to see if the plants have enough water, many smart gardens use an LED to signal that this is the case.
Many amateur gardeners see this as a helpful feature, others see it less positively.
Conclusion — Which Urban Indoor Garden suits me?
Ultimately, everyone must decide for themselves whether they prefer smart gardens or conventional indoor gardens.
It should also be noted at this point that not all smart gardens are the same. Every smart garden is different. There are particularly complex smart gardens that take care of almost the entire process for you. However, there are also smart gardens that perform only a few essential functions that make it easier for you to maintain the garden and take care of the plants.
Therefore, everyone can decide for themselves how much work they want to hand over to the smart garden and how much work they want to do themselves.
Hydroponic indoor gardens
What does hydroponics mean?
The term “hydro” comes from ancient Greek and means something like “water”. A hydroponic indoor garden is one in which the roots of the plants grown are suspended in water. The plants grown in a hydroponic indoor garden get their nutrients from the water.
In addition to water, nutrients, the seeds and an air pump, hydroponic systems require a substrate on which the plants can later grow. Expanded clay, lava stones, rock wool cubes and mats made of cellulose are particularly popular among amateur gardeners.
The roots of the plants are in a solution containing nutrients. The roots absorb these nutrients and the plant begins to grow with proper exposure. In addition to the proper nutrients, an indoor hydroponic garden needs one more thing above all else, oxygen. The plants are supplied with oxygen via the nutrient-containing solution through a connected pump and can thus grow in water without any problems.
However, why choose a hydroponic indoor garden over a traditional indoor garden?
One of the main reasons many choose not to use traditional indoor gardens is that they simply create too much mess. Anyone who has ever built an indoor garden will know that indoor gardens that rely on soil are often muddy. Fail to pay attention once and some soil ends up on the floor. However, you usually don’t notice this until you’ve stepped in the soil and spread it throughout your home.
In hydroponic systems, at most a little water can overflow, which can be quickly mopped up. Most hydroponic systems are also virtually sealed off at the top. This makes it highly unlikely that large amounts of water will leave the basin and cause problems.
In addition, do not forget that you need tools when working with soil. Many use small shovels, scissors and sticks for their plants. Every time you work with soil, you have to clean the shovel afterwards or have a separate area for these tools. No matter what perspective you look at it from, traditional indoor gardens create a lot more mess than hydroponic systems.
Moreover, not all soil is the same. Finding the right growing medium can be difficult. Especially if you plant a lot, you always expect the same quality characteristics from the soil. However, roots can start to rot in closed systems and this is especially true if the plants are watered too much. In hydroponic indoor gardens, this problem doesn’t arise because the plants only ever get the nutrients they really need.
In summary, both systems have advantages and disadvantages.
- Those who choose a hydroponic system will have an easy-to-maintain, highly efficient indoor garden.
- Those who choose a traditional indoor garden can watch plants grow as they would in nature and retain full control over the garden.
Vertical indoor gardens
If you do not want to plant horizontally, you can plant vertically. Unlike hydroponic systems and traditional indoor gardens, vertical gardens are much more space efficient. You can set them up in the middle of the room, or you can place them directly against a wall or upright on a balcony.
Vertical gardens, like conventional indoor gardens, can be used to grow vegetables, salads and herbs. However, you can also use them as decoration. Plant walls are very trendy nowadays and turn your home into a small tropical garden. Especially in living rooms, plant walls look modern and friendly. Many people build plant walls to regulate the humidity in the apartment or to filter pollutants from the air. So a plant wall is not only a smart idea visually, but can also help improve the indoor climate.
Plant walls are usually planted with non-edible plants. These plants are solely decoration or they are intended to improve the indoor climate. For plant walls are popularly used ferns, ivy or even moss. Plant walls made of moss are a separate subgroup of plant walls. Nowadays, this type of plant walls can be seen a lot in modern offices or sporadically in public facilities. Also in the living room of many people moss plant wall enjoys a place.
Those who prefer to plant vertical gardens with edible plants, of course, can do so at any time. This type of vertical gardens should be planted on balconies above all. Especially pole beans and other climbing plants are suitable for vertical gardens. Other climbing plants are zucchini or cucumbers. If you like to eat them more often, you should think about building a vertical garden on your own balcony or terrace.
Ready box smart indoor gardens
Many companies today also offer indoor gardens in boxes. These boxes can be purchased together with substrate and seeds. These gardens, also called “box gardens”, are available in conventional form with plant soil or also as a hydroponic system.
Many of these box gardens are also smart gardens. For this reason, box gardens are worthwhile for those people who want to garden on the side, but are not interested in investing a lot of time in caring for the plants. However, ready-made box gardens also come in simpler forms. Some companies sell gardens that only need to be opened and watered regularly.
Example Click and Grow Smart Garden
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Herbs are preferably planted in this type of ready box gardens. Many of these gardens are not particularly durable and can be used only a few times. More complex and usually much more expensive box garden solutions are designed to handle different types of seeds. Small, inexpensive box gardens, on the other hand, are geared more towards people who want to try out the indoor gardening system and can’t take care of plants long-term. In addition, such box gardens are suitable for parents who want to introduce indoor gardening to their children.
The yield of these box gardens is usually very low. Few of these gardens are comparable in size to most domestic indoor gardens. However, they are especially worthwhile if you want to plant herbs. Since these are usually not needed in large quantities, a small box garden is usually quite sufficient for them.
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