The reason that hydroponic gardening has become such a huge trend in our society has a lot to do with the fact that it is hard to find good clean soil to use in gardening.
If you are looking to farm food and herbs without any pollutants, contaminants or pesticides, then there is pretty much no soils around at all that you can use to achieve this goal, hence the soil-free gardening option that hydroponics systems provide.
So, what are these nasty pollutants that make soil so gross? Here are just a few.
- Xenibiotic Chemicals: OK, that is really just a big word to mean human waste. Feces and urine and blood and all that other biological gross stuff that ends up seeping into our soil via outdoor excrement, sewage systems, pipe leaks, and water rehabilitation systems. These chemicals leach onto the soil and are hard to get rid of. They do no good for any plants, and actually do a lot of harm to the human body when ingested. There is a reason that stuff was flushed out of our system.
- Pesticides: Farmers have to keep the bugs off their crops, or so they say, and in order to do so, they poison them. Well, this poison isn’t just bad for the bugs. It isn’t good for us, and it certainly isn’t good for the soil that will certainly be polluted any time such things are sprayed. It’s not just farmers, either. Landscapers an even us as home owners can cause this kind of contamination as we try to make our lawns and other decorative accoutrements to our homes behave in the way we want.
- Oil: We know how BP messed up the ocean front in the Gulf, but think of what that did to the soil along there as well. Anywhere oil is drilled or used heavily is a place where oil is spilled. This spillage leaks into the soil and causes soil erosion and contamination problems. There is really no way to stop this without closing off all oil sites, which we know isn’t going to happen, so the only way to keep from ingesting said oil is to grow some crops without the use of the soil.
- Fuel: This is a lot like the oil problem. Gas lines, cars, fuel stations, and so many other things can leak gasoline and petroleum into our soil which then ends up polluting our food. A leaky car is all it takes to contaminate the soil at your own home, so imagine how polluted the soil is anywhere with high traffic, or that uses large trucks to ship the produce grown.
- Coal Ash: Many people don’t realize how often coal is used for the energy we use every day. My guess is that coal is what allowed you to log on to the interwebs today and read this fine article. Well, when coal has been burned and used, what is left behind is a very acidic ash. This ash is no good for the soil, but is dumped in landfills and other areas on a regular basis making the soil in those areas quite acidic and hard to grow things in.
- Industrial Waste: We don’t want to paint a big target on large business here, because the services they provide offer us a lot of things we couldn’t enjoy without them. However, the problems these facilities cause to our soil and air via their awful waste facilitation techniques is appalling. The waste they put off with high levels of acids, bases, metals, and other nasty chemicals can pollute the soil for hundreds of miles round them due to rivers and underground water deposits. One of the only sure ways to keep this kind of pollution out of your food source is to grow your food without the use of soil.
- Landfill Chemicals: The cause of this contamination source is obvious, but possibly more widespread than you might imagine. Did you know that when a landfill gets filled up, it is covered in soil? That’s right. All that gross garbage is left to decompose and leach in the soil that is placed on top of it. Many times parks and buildings are placed over the tops of these old landfills, and some even become farms and gardens. Also, I imagine your own garbage can is placed somewhere near soil. Any time this container leaks, those unwanted chemicals end up in the soil. Any time a garbage truck spills something- guess where those chemicals end up?
- Solvents: Acidic chemicals like paint thinners, nail polish removers, and other such solvents are used commonly, and once they are used up, they are tossed. These solvents leach into the soil very fast and not only pollute it by adding its own special brand of high acidic compounds, but also by taking away many of the nutritive items in the soil that we and plants need to thrive. Solvents are used everywhere, even in the making of concrete. Yes, concrete. Anywhere near a concrete slab will have soil contamination of solvents for sure.
- Medical Chemicals: You know those biohazard and haz-mat boxes seen in every doctor’s office. Where do you think those end up? A landfill somewhere. This is no good for our soil. If they are so dangerous as to have their own specialized place away from us, then they can’t be doing us any favors once they are put into our soil. Think of all the blood, infection, and medical waste that must come from every hospital every day. All of that will find its way into our soil at some point. It’s a harrowing thought, isn’t it?
This lists just 9 of the most commonly found pollutants in our soil. There are many more depending on where you live.
These contaminants are causing more harm than we even know to our bodies. Scientists are just now discovering some of the conditions that could be connected to these soil pollutants. The only way to avoid them is to simply farm without the use of soil.
This is a huge reason that hydroponic gardening has become so popular. Gardening without soil means raising food free of all soil pollutants.