Types of Indoor Gardens
There are two categories of indoor garden based on the type of growing medium they use: soil-based, and hydroponic. Each kind offers certain advantages for indoor gardeners. Some gardeners use both for different crops. Hydroponic and soil-based systems should both be supplemented with grow lights to provide adequate light exposure and intensity for healthy growth.
Soil-based container gardens deliver nutrients and water through potting soil in the same way as a conventional outdoor, in-ground garden. The soil serves as an anchor for the roots and a reservoir for the resources that the plants need. The gardener applies granular or liquid fertilizer to ensure proper plant nutrition; and waters as needed to keep the plant in good health. Soil-based gardens are inexpensive but more labor intensive to start and maintain.
Hydroponic gardens, like AeroGarden, deliver nutrients and water through a solution that is cycled around the roots. Plants are anchored in a porous substrate, as their roots grow into the liquid. The gardener only needs to monitor the nutrient solution level, and top it off to replace evaporation. Hydroponic gardens produce much faster than soil-based systems. They are easy to use and make excellent use of space, although they are more costly to start up.