Who doesn’t like a good salad? Some people like them so much, they actually grow most of the ingredients in their backyard. Unfortunately, this type of gardening just isn’t realistic for the majority of us. However, this could soon be changing. Thanks to innovations with LED technology, your next salad may come from indoors, yet still taste amazing and be perfectly healthy for you.
Why You Can Grow Greens with LEDs
Most of us are familiar with LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights from our cars and perhaps the bulbs in our home or business. This type of lighting provides huge energy savings, compared to incandescent or CFL lights. However, one the most unknown advantages of LEDs is that they can actually be used to grow fresh greens.
How is a man-made technology able to replicate a process that was previously only possible thanks to the sun? It can do so because LEDs are able to produce light on the blue and red spectrum which, in turn, gives the plants all the light-based support they need.
Don’t forget, too, that LED lights produce the same amount of light throughout the day. As long as they remain plugged into an electrical source, LEDs will keep plants growing. It’s as if the sun never sets, never moves further away from the Earth during the seasons and never gets obstructed by a cloudy day.
How Do You Do It?
You can purchase portable or stationary LED garden systems of various sizes or you can build your own. Read our review of the ingenious Miracle-Grow Aerogarden Ultra LED system.
It will definitely be a project to set-up your own indoor LED farm, but it’s far from impossible. Much of the construction will also depend on your personal preference as well.
First, you need the seeds or starter plants and the containers for each of them. For the lights, buy LED bulbs specifically designed for horticulture. The exact kind you need to buy will depend on the type of plants you wish to grow. You should also look to the manufacturer for guidance on how high the lights should hang above your garden.
If you have the chops, you can set up a watering system. Otherwise, you just need to handle the watering manually as you would any other garden.
Pest Free, Efficient, Year Round Growing…
There are countless benefits that come with this type of gardening over the traditional method. For one, as we touched on above, you’re in complete control. You never have to worry that your plants will suffer because they didn’t get enough exposure to sunlight.
Speaking of risks faced by plants, you won’t have any pests indoors. Outdoors, there are so many animals and insects trying to dine on vegetables that farmers and gardeners have to enlist an army of pesticides in order to fight them off.
Not having to worry about pests means you get to keep more of your harvest. However, it also means that all of your food can be labeled “pesticide free” which many people are willing to pay more for, if you decide to sell your greens.
Another reason you can always enjoy a better yield is because there’s no weather fluctuations indoors. There’s a climate you can perfectly control. This means your plants only ever get the best possible temperatures to grow in. There are never high winds or vicious rainstorms to destroy your plants either. Plants can also be grown in regions where the outside weather is too hot or too cold to support their growth.
Indoor farming has proven amazing for water conservation, too. Again, you get to ensure that your garden gets the exact amount of water needed. You can then siphon runoff and reuse that water. Some farms have been able to produce harvests with 90% less water, than traditional growing methods.
Lastly, no seasons means you can grow all year round. In the end, this will mean much more fresh food for you and potentially for our world’s growing population.
The future of salad lies in using super energy efficient LEDs and other technology to bring sustainable farming indoors, from outside under the sun. As a result, expect more vegetables at a much lower cost and with less waste. With companies like Green Sense Farms leading the way, you can expect this reality to arrive sooner rather than later.
You’ll also like: