Futuristic Gardening

April 20, 2016 by

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Our world is skyrocketing into the future, and the gentle, traditional discipline of gardening is not exempt. Some of these advances make for easier plant growth, help nurture more exotic or difficult blooms, and invent new ways to cultivate greenery. Others make the most of tiny spaces, utilizing vertical, balcony or roof gardens. Interesting ideas abound. The creative minds at ecoLogicStudio have designed a series of concept ‘gardens,’ including a photosynthetic ‘folly’ which produces Chlorella–a high protein, edible algae that could potentially replace meat in our diet.

Other innovations are more accessible and practical, but almost as exciting.

Self Watering Pots

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Self-watering planters are an exciting innovation, now so commonplace you can buy them at Ikea. This site explains in detail how they work, but it boils down to: “A self watering planter holds a reservoir of water and when the soil dries out it draws up more water till it is satisfied.” They eliminate the over-watering experienced by inexperienced gardeners and ensure a constant supply for thirsty plants. Saves time, hassle, and potentially, your garden.

Living Lights

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The light source for Michael Oechsle’s ‘Living Lights’ hanging symbiotic plant lamps is powered by moist soil which works as an ‘earth battery.’ The lamps operate with smart light tech, meaning they only switch on when natural light is low. Made from biodegradable materials, these lamps can grow anything from herbs to small vegetables. Being able to derive nourishment from your light source is incredible!

Zincalume Steel

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The standard for garden fixtures is to go for cheap plastic or wooden options, which disintegrate in a couple of years and require a ton of maintenance to get them that far. Zincalume steel is a surprisingly good (and futuristic) alternative. It’s an interesting combination of materials including zinc and silicon, which give the metal increased longevity, making it partially ‘self healing.’ Bonus: the material is also recyclable, giving it more sustainable credentials.

Smartphone Hydroponics

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Niwa is an exciting new hydroponics system which you control using your smartphone. This system is built to minimize the ‘time, knowledge and space’ often involved in gardening. Niwa aims to provide the optimal growing environment for your plants, with minimal input from you. The free app will ask you basic questions, such as “can you see flowers?” and use that input to adjust its watering and feeding cycles. It’s a space age leap forward, which could democratize and encourage gardening with people who would normally be intimidated by the process.

Aeroponics

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Aeroponics is a growing method that involves growing plants in air or mist, with minimal nutrient supply. Nutrient uptake is improved by this cost-effective and relatively easy method and the plants grow more quickly, reducing the possibility of disease and rot. There is potential for completely pesticide free growing, and the implications for space travel are phenomenal.

The future is now, and it’s pretty exciting.

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