Hydroponics is viewed as one very real solution to the food scarcity issues we are now facing. Hydroponics allows plants to access their nutrients via water instead of soil. Since the volume of water required to grow a plant is less than soil the ability to grow gardens vertically increases. As the weight of a vertical garden reduces the higher the vertical garden can go.
But not all in the vertical garden roof top industry are happy. “There is a whisper in the industry that no one else will expose. Hydroponic chemicals are dangerous and there is controversy about organic hydroponics because the derivatives of organic fertilizer means are not water soluble”. George Irwin from Green Living Technologies International (GLTi) is pessimistic.
“…..hydroponic growing lacks the natural processes found in compost such as the biological activity between plants and bacteria and the benefits of humic acid contributing to the nutrient quality and the increased brix levels of produce grown in compost. The Hydroponic technique requires a fertilizer solution that provides macro and micro nutrients required for plant growth. The fertilizer solutions are concocted from a myriad of chemicals derived from ammonium molybdate, ammonium phosphate, calcium nitrate, cobalt sulfate, copper sulfate, iron DTPA, magnesium sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium borate, potassium nitrate, potassium phosphate, and zinc sulfate”.
“What most do not realize is that fertilizer does not have to be ingested. Most of the damage for synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides comes from what is absorbed through the skin. In the case of utilizing hydroponic growing in the classroom the techniques should be treated as a chemistry class and not a novel indoor garden lesson………………….The biggest drawback to hydroponics is that the nutrients used in the solutions are most often made from synthetically derived, refined mineral salts. These fertilizers are commonly created through industrial-based processes. Therefore, most hydroponics cannot be considered “organic,” as USDA National Organic Program standards only allow for the use of unprocessed, mined mineral or animal-based fertilizers, such as rock dust, blood meal, bone meal and animal manures. Many organic fertilizers can’t be used in hydroponics because their nutrients are generally not water-soluble. Certain critical nutrients, particularly phosphorus and potassium, are typically absent in aqueous solutions. While there are hydroponic solutions marketed as ‘organic’ that contain a predominance of natural materials, they should be carefully checked to ensure that no synthetic ingredients are included…..
……..Organic hydroponic growing is virtually nonexistent”.