I have been seeing a lot online lately about a wide array of alternative gardening techniques - straw bale gardening, raised beds - no-dig gardens, hydroponics, and aeroponics. While I plan on trying all at some point, Aeroponics caught my attention due to its relative ease. It allows you to grow plants without soil and very little water. Sounds good, right?

NASA is a proponent of aeroponics, and studies done in space showed that aeroponically grown beans grew better than their earthly counterparts. If you do an internet search you will find lots of websites devoted to aeroponics with instructions on how to build your own growing system as well as helpful hints. Another suggestion is purchasing a system ready to go. Shown above and below, the Tower Garden holds 20 plants with the roots hanging in the middle of the tower. Water and an all-natural nutrient-dense mineral solution are housed in the 20-gallon base and are pumped up the tower to cascade over the roots. You use less water because the nutrient rich water is recycled for use within the tower.

Aeroponic gardens allow for high density and thus, larger yields. Some growers have seen four crops of tomatoes per year versus one or two in a traditional garden. A tower garden is also a great idea for apartment or city dwellers who are short on space.

For more info on how the Tower Garden works, click here. If you'd like to contact a representative for further information, Elizabeth Conlon would love to share more with you.

For information on another vertical gardening system, check out the Garden Tower Projectas well! While not aeroponic, it's a unique, self- contained vertical gardening system and composter all in one.

If you've tried one or all of these alternative gardening methods, tell us what you think on Facebook! We'd love to hear your stories.