This article was last updated by on

Exclusive interview with Erinn Witz: Hydroponics and Sustainability

In a world where sustainability and efficient resource utilization have become paramount, hydroponics has emerged as a groundbreaking solution for cultivating plants without soil.

To explore the fascinating realm of hydroponics and its potential to revolutionize how we grow our food, we had the pleasure of interviewing Erinn Witz, a passionate advocate for this innovative gardening method.

In our conversation, Erinn shed light on the transformative power of hydroponics, inspiring us to reimagine our connection with plants and embrace a more sustainable future.

So, read on to grab all tips and tricks from her experience with gardening and learn how hydroponic gardening works.

Aaditya: Today, we are privileged to have Erinn Witz, the owner of Seeds and Spades, joining us for this interview. Let’s give her a warm welcome aboard!

Erinn Witz: Thank you for having me! It’s a pleasure to be here.

A: Would you briefly describe yourself to the viewers of Plants Craze?

Erinn: I am the co-founder of Seeds and Spades, a writer, and a chief editor. I’ve got a few writers under me that I edit and approve all their work. I also write a lot of content, which keeps me busy. We’ve also got an ever-expanding collection of garden beds around our house and indoor plants. We’re always doing some experiments and trying something new. So it’s fun, it’s good.

image shows a screenshot of seeds and spades website homepage cofounded by Erinn Witz
Seeds and Spades

A: Well, that’s interesting. Can you tell me about your website, Seeds and Spades? How it works for gardeners worldwide, and what is its current status?

Erinn: Okay! So Seeds and Spades is mainly an educational and informational website. Our primary goal is to encourage gardeners at any stage of their gardening journey. Be it beginners or more advanced people who maybe have been gardening for a long time and want to come to brush back up on some skills that have fallen by the wayside, we want to be there to serve and help all those people. We take our readers’ time very seriously, and so my readers are really important to me. I spend a lot of time researching and finding things that are actually helpful and relevant to people experimenting, finding things out from my own experience.

Also, I am trying to encourage people with whatever growing area size they have they can do with it. I think a lot of times, people like myself included, I’ve felt this way lots of times like, oh man, can I really call myself a gardener or a farmer? I don’t have this ample space to work with like all these people do. Yes, you can call yourself a gardener, even a farmer, even if it’s just some House plants or a small pot of herbs. You are a gardener. You are a grower. Be proud of what you have. We want to help you. We want to support you. I want you to learn from my mistakes, so hopefully, you won’t make them yourself. That’s really the heart behind Seeds and Spades.

A: Yes, gardening is pretty exciting stuff, isn’t it? So, can I ask you how you select the gardening tools for your website’s review section? What criteria do you use to evaluate their effectiveness and value?

Erinn: Well, first and foremost, we prioritize testing as many products as we can ourselves. This includes items I already own or ones I purchase to test firsthand and share my experience with readers. We also receive products directly from manufacturers for testing, which is great, but our reviews remain honest. I inform my readers if any aspects aren’t great about a product. I want them to have all the necessary information to make informed decisions; even if I don’t have the product physically, I treat my readers’ time and money with the same care as my own. Furthermore, I dedicate ample time to researching, delving into obscure corners of the internet, and seeking answers to questions. I take this responsibility seriously. Additionally, I consult with local professionals in the field to gather their input and opinions.

A: Tools are the primary gardening weapons, aren’t they? They play a vital role in gardening, especially for those who start young. People often make common mistakes in selecting and using these tools. Can you please discuss these mistakes and whether there are ways to avoid them?”

Erinn: Yes, one of the first things I suggest is not to rush into buying every tool immediately. If possible, try borrowing or renting tools to test if they suit your needs. For one-time projects, you might not need to make a purchase. However, for essential tools like a shovel, rake, or wheelbarrow, invest in the best quality you can afford. Cheap tools tend to be less effective, durable, and comfortable, leading to more discomfort.

Before buying, thoroughly research the products, especially since good quality gardening tools can be quite expensive. Seek advice from local gardening groups on social media, as they are a valuable resource. Gardeners are generally eager to share their knowledge and recommendations. Don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions and opinions on products, where to invest, and where you could potentially save some money.

A: Moving on! I found a unique section on your website dedicated to hydroponics that caught my interest. I’m curious, Erinn, if an average person new to gardening tries to establish a small hydroponic garden indoors or outdoors, what economic challenges and difficulties might they encounter?

Erinn: Yes, absolutely! You can have a home hydroponic system without needing a large amount of space. You can start with a mini hydroponic garden on your countertop using a glass jar. Remember that this setup will allow for growing one plant at a time and may have limitations in plant selection. Alternatively, you can connect small containers like five-gallon buckets or plastic totes to create a system where they all work together. Growing plants in buckets and totes, using a method like deep water culture, is an excellent starting point for beginners. You can even begin with just one five-gallon bucket to get started. From there, you can scale up your hydroponic endeavours.

While large-scale hydroponic enterprises may be beyond the reach of the average home gardener, the possibilities in hydroponics are fantastic. It’s a growing field, and I’m glad that more people are becoming aware of it. A hydroponic garden offers a great way to maximize any available space, whether indoors or outdoors, and you can even have a combination of both.

A: Indeed! Hydroponics is a growing field and a popular trend among gardening enthusiasts. So, how do you stay updated with the latest information and incorporate it into your content, especially regarding nutrients and trending gardening techniques?

Erinn: I find lots of my ideas honestly on social media. I follow a lot of gardening accounts, and as I said, these local groups of people love to talk and discuss them. And I’m like, oh, that’s cool! So I hear about something and search for it myself. I also follow other Garden bloggers, so I try to stay in the loop.

A: Erin, my next question is about planning for these trends and new gardening techniques. Is there a structured approach, or is it more of a trial-and-error process? How do you initiate the planning? Do you pre-plan specific actions or search for information and expand upon it for our website?

Erinn: Kind of both. When we come across something we want to explore on our website, we fully commit to it. We invest in seeds and plants to gain firsthand experience and knowledge, which requires advanced planning. As we know, gardening doesn’t yield instant results; it takes time for plants to grow and be ready for harvest. So, that definitely requires careful planning. However, I also come across a topic and think, ‘Wow, that’s cool. Let’s go for it right away!’ So, it’s a mix of both structured planning and spontaneous decision-making.

A: It’s fascinating to learn that people share their plant knowledge, which resonates with me as I hold a master’s degree in botany. Gardening has become a cherished hobby, influenced by my father’s passion. Whenever I come home, I feel immense joy while tending to my plants. Though initially uncertain, I gradually developed a deep connection with gardening, and it has now become an addiction. As a result, I have a prediction to share.

Erinn: I know I grew up helping my family. I’ve always had a huge Garden, and they still do. So I helped them with that a lot. Then I moved out on my own into a city and thought I was a study person. I’m not, you know, a country person anymore, but I lived that way for a while, like for a long time, a few years. I mean, you can’t get away from the roots right here, and then it just kind of blossomed from there. I feel like I’ve come full circle and now love it again. It’s in me, yes.

A: Thank you for sharing your journey with us. So, Erinn, what kind of advice do you want to give to our readers who are just starting their gardening journey and are novice gardeners? We want to inspire them and provide them with valuable information at Plant Praze.

Erinn: Yeah, definitely! Kind of what I was alluding to earlier is to start where you are. You can’t start anywhere else, honestly. Start with what you have right now, whatever space you have to work with. It’s excellent. As time goes on, you might find yourself thinking, like this happened to me, ‘Oh, I live on this small lot, I don’t have much space for a garden.’ Well, you know what? Once I got started at it, I started thinking, ‘Oh, I have to put something there. What about there? Oh, we could convert that space.’ You begin to see more opportunities and places where you could grow things.

So, whatever you have right now, start there, and you never know where things will progress from there. And just never be ashamed of where you are or the space that you have. Be proud of it. Like you’re nurturing some life here, right? So, take pride in that, be happy with it, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I mean, I’ve been responsible for more plant deaths than I care to recall, but you know, it happens. We never want it to, but it does. So, just learn from it, try to identify where the mistakes were, and don’t just think, ‘Oh, I’ve just got a black thumb.’ No, you don’t. So, you’ll see that.

A: Yes, it’s interesting how our interests grow as we delve into gardening. Learning from the experience is an integral part of gardening, and we gradually progress along the way. Moving on to the final question, how do you envision your platform meeting the evolving needs and interests of gardeners and gardening enthusiasts? How long do you anticipate it will take to enhance accessibility and introduce various projects for gardening ideas? What are your expectations for the platform’s future development?

Erinn: Well, we are planning to expand into video content, providing more how-to guides that walk you through the processes and demonstrate them on video. We recognize that video is the right platform for many people, and we want to meet that need. Our goal is to meet people where they are. As for the time frame, I can’t provide an exact estimate as it is a work in progress. There are various factors involved, but our intention is to move in that direction and, in doing so, establish a stronger personal connection with our audience. While written communication is valuable, there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with people on that level as well.

A: Yes, it’s like this: if everyone engages in gardening activities and establishes their own backyard or small garden, then we can find common ground to discuss plants. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a part of this community?

Erinn: yeah, I know, right? Yep, it’s so interesting!

A: Yes. So Erinn, we are at the end of the session. Thank you for being with us today. We greatly appreciate your willingness to share your expertise with our readers at Plant Praze. Your valuable contributions will undoubtedly inspire and guide our audience in their own gardening endeavours.

Erinn: You’re welcome! It was my pleasure to share my experiences and insights. Thank you for having me.

With a promise to meet again, the interview with Erinn Witz ended. It was a smooth and informative conversation that delved into the world of hydroponics and gardening. Erinn’s passion and knowledge shone through as she shared her experiences and provided valuable insights. We extend our sincere appreciation to Erinn for graciously joining us and sharing her expertise. Her dedication to educating and supporting gardeners at all levels is truly commendable.

We also express our gratitude for her willingness to explore future collaborations and work together to further promote the joy and benefits of gardening. We look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of Seeds and Spades and the positive impact it will have on the gardening community.

Thank you once again to Erinn Witz for being here and enriching our understanding of hydroponics and sustainable gardening practices.