Sustainable gardening is becoming more and more popular among both hobbyists and commercial growers. Sustainable gardening is the process of growing plants without the use of many outside resources or chemical pesticides.
Not only is sustainable gardening better for the environment, but also, in most cases, sustainable gardening techniques bring forth a higher quality product.
Gardeners growing outdoors can implement various techniques to increase efficiency and sustainability. The first step a grower should take is to go all organic.
To garden organically, the crops must be grown without the use of any petrochemical pesticides and herbicides or inorganic fertilizers that pollute the soil and water.
Organic horticulture techniques also rely on beneficial insects, plant extracts, an assortment of plants, and the application of compost to supply the soil or medium with nutrients.
But what about an indoor horticulturist? Is it possible for him or her to attain a high level of sustainability within an indoor garden?
The answer is yes. Indoor gardeners who wish to have a low environmental impact but still get high-quality results must pay close attention while setting up a growroom to ensure that the products and techniques used are as eco-friendly as possible.
Sustainable Lighting Options for Growers
The horticultural lighting system is the most important component of an indoor garden. Unfortunately, artificial lighting is also what makes sustainability in an indoor garden difficult to achieve. It takes a lot of electricity—which comes from an outside source—to provide the energy needed to grow large, heathy plants.
One significant way an indoor gardener can lessen his or her impact on the environment is to maximize the efficiency of the artificial light source. This can be done by placing the light source as close as possible to the plant canopy without causing damage and by using reflectors and reflective materials to redirect the light energy back toward the plants. The better a grower can utilize his or her current lighting system, the less energy will be wasted.
Another way an indoor grower can increase efficiency and move closer to full sustainability is to invest in a high-efficiency lighting system. High-efficiency lighting systems offer a high ratio of usable light energy in relation to the amount of electricity consumed.
LEDs and induction lighting systems are two types of lighting technologies that offer promise in terms of sustainability due to their low power consumption and relatively high photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) output.
Of course, regardless of the efficiency of the lighting system, there is still the need to pull energy from an outside source.