All Women's Talk

Alternatives to Needing Dirt for Gardening ...

By Aprille

I remember the first time that I worked in a green house and found out that it wasn’t necessary to have dirt to grow plants. I thought this was a fascinating! I’ve always enjoyed having a garden, even when I used to live in the city. Thanks to the following alternatives to needing dirt for gardening that I’ve mentioned below, I’ve been able to have a garden no matter where I lived.

1 Clay Granules

People who grow plants with the hydroponic method already know how handy these clay granules are. They give the roots something to hold on to, which is one purpose of soil. Since they can’t get nutrients from the clay the way they can from the soil, the roots depend on an outside source of nutrients.

2 Gelling Powder

This is similar to the stuff found in baby diapers. Sometimes it is less of a powder consistency and more of a large granule. Whichever form is used, they all are capable of absorbing tons of water and holding onto it for many days. Each grain will swell to be hundreds of times its normal size.

3 White Styrofoam

Many orchid growers know how useful Styrofoam is as a growing medium. This is a common medium used with these fragile plants. It doesn’t hold any water, but allows the roots to pass through the pieces of crushed up foam for stability.

4 Sphagnum Moss

Sometimes this medium is mixed with Styrofoam to enable the moss compound to be stretched further and to aerate the medium. The pieces of foam keep the moss from becoming too compact and suffocating the roots.

5 Lava Rock

Hawaiians have been using this type of medium for ages, since the Hawaiian Islands are made up of volcanoes. It comes in tiny pieces for plants to easily wrap their roots around. Each piece is porous, so it retains water and the pieces never break down.

Each of these mediums needs an outside source of nutrients for the plants to grow successfully. Have you come across an alternative for dirt in your gardening ventures? I’m always looking for new and improved methods for gardening.

Top Photo Credit: claycraft

Please rate this article




Readers questions answered