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Hi all! I am currently conducting research for my final year project surrounding the issue of waste in the horticulture sector and trying to encourage new, more sustainable and waste free home gardening methods for novice gardeners. I am focussing on hydroponics as it is a simple method and much easier to implement into the home with minimal space and skill. I was wondering if any experience hydroponic gardeners could give me some feedback on products like the ones I have listed below requiring no electrical inputs like pumps and LEDs and the potential impacts, negative or positive they have on the growth of the plants.
What is the benefit of a more advanced, electrical hydroponic system over a minimal device such as the one below? Is it possible to grow healthy plants with such a simplified system?
Any feedback and insight would be much appreciated!


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,833
    The examples in the picture look like fancier versions of the old growing a hyacinth bulb in a glass of water. Not sure how it would work for permanent plants (or bulbs for more than one season - I don't really see how they could build up the bulb for the next year with only water). Some of my houseplants, grown the conventional way in pots of compost, are over 30 years old and there's hardly any waste - outgrown pots get washed out and saved for reuse, any old spent compost goes on the borders outside, and dead leaves, prunings etc go in the compost bin.
    As @philippasmith2 says, there are lots of plants where cuttings will root in water (most of us just use an old glass jar of some sort, I find the narrow ones from herbs and spices work well) but at some point they need moving on into compost.
    I suppose short-term things like microgreens (modern take on old-fashioned mustard-and-cress on wet blotting paper) might work in just water. More-or-less anything else would need some way of delivering nutrients, as well as changing the water to keep it fresh and anchoring the roots of tall/bulky/heavy plants. Maybe the electrical systems deal with the first two of those.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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