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Swedish furniture company Ikea poises to release a new tabletop hydroponic unit. The first question to ask is if it’s as annoying to put together as their furniture.
To me, this just seems like another iteration of hydroponic appliances. And like what Dustin Betz of Living Table fame says, most are just poorly designed trend pieces. They’re selling because they’re novel.
However, we’re definitely getting closer to something that actually looks nice in your home with this Ikea version.
“The challenge was to make growing plants in a hydroponic system simple, so that anyone could succeed …” notes Helena Karlén from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and (a worse article than mine is the source of that quote) presumably part of the design team on the project.
So what do we actually have going on? We’re looking at a starter kit to go alongside Ikea’s other nursery products. This starter kit includes a shallow water culture system (good for the lettuce shown in the video below because the roots don’t have to grow so deep), lights, seeds, rockwool plugs, and pumice stone to serve as the neutral medium.* The kit can also switch into a 2 and 3 layer cultivation system as well, making this one of the earliest vertical hydroponic appliances I’ve seen.
Finally, what name has Ikea chosen for this new little gadget? A Swedish name of course: Krydda/Växer, which roughly translates to herb/grow. Watch the video below to check it out and let me know what you think about these hydro gadgets.
*As a side note, I haven’t seen many systems using pumice. It’s been described to me as a foamed stone that has great nutrient holding abilities, drainage, gas exchange, and stability. It looks like it’s more porous than hydroton or something comparative, but I haven’t seen a comparison in either price or performance. Is this another in a new wave of hydroponic media? I’ve also seen cool things Underground Greens in DC is using hemp mats instead of rock wool for microgreens that are changing how the medium is conventionally thought of.
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