Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Earlier this year, when my greenhouse dreams were just mental sketches, I had the notion that I would like to grow my plants in the greenhouse using some sort of hydroponic method. It was almost as much a part of the concept in my head as gardening right through the winter.
I went right out and bought books on the subjects of greenhouse gardening and hydroponics. As I looked through the greenhouse book (which I've since heard referred to as "the greenhouse bible"), I found only a couple of paragraphs devoted to hydroponics where the author explains that he does not use hydroponic methods, and is somewhat biased against them, but still throws in a good old Seinfeld style "not that there's anything wrong with that." He is careful not to discount hydroponics, but simply explains why he does not use those methods of growing plants. I remained open minded to both watery and dirty gardening, though.
Time passed, and I fully digested all 400+ pages of the greenhouse book. Then I went back to touch on a few areas of special interest. It's clear why this book is thought so highly of. Then I went on to read about hydroponic gardening. I quickly became aware that while gardening in soil has something spiritual about it, hydroponic gardening is all about sterility and automation. It's about carefully measured nutrients and pumps, timers, vials and vessels. I can't say for certain that the subject, and not the writing was the source of the dryness, but it seemed that most things that attract me to growing things are missing from hydroponics. That's my feeling on the subject. I have come to the conclusion that while it's interesting, and I may dabble in it someday, hydroponics are not my style. I've had jobs where I've worn a white lab coat, but when it comes to hobbies, I'm more the dirty t-shirt type.


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