Archive for January, 2011
Are you wondering how to convert that empty patch in your terrace or kitchen backyard into a green organic garden? This green patch will definitely lend an aesthetic touch to your house but also has other benefits. Small scale organic gardening or horticulture can help you eat fresher and healthier fruits and vegetables and it is definitely not expensive. With three seeds of tomatoes, you can produce more tomatoes than a small family will normally eat. With people becoming increasingly aware (more…)
ShoreGrow is manufactured using only organic and sustainable environment friendly resources with no artificial additives. Fresh brown seaweed (Ecklonia Maxima and Laminaria Digitata) harvested from unpolluted water is the primary ingredient used for producing ShoreGrow.
This natural seaweed gel can be used both in indoor gardening and outdoor gardening and is especially designed for plants grown hydroponically. It is not only a super permeable soil conditioner but is also a fantastic plant growth stimulant. The kelp used in the formulation when hydrated with water swells to almost sixteen times its original size and acts as nutrient and water retainer and retains up to 80% more nutrients and decreases the consumption of water. While ShoreGrow facilitates plant growth, mannitol – the chelating agent present in it ensures that nutrients are made available to plants in a form which they can utilize.
- Increases soil aeration: As ShoreGrow comprises of natural material which has the ability to swell and retain soil moisture, it decreases soil compactness by almost five times, thereby helping the plant roots to penetrate to greater depths. As a result of decreased compactness, soil aeration increases and thus facilitates water penetration easily.
- Prevents rainwater runoff: ShoreGrow’s unique property to retain water is due to the presence of Alginic acid which increases soil stability by 45%. Thus with ShoreGrow you can conserve rainwater and eliminate rainwater runoff completely
- Reduces soil salinity: Due to this unique property of water retention, salt in soil gets diluted reducing the soil salinity and therefore it works out to be less harmful for plants.
- Reduces susceptibility to pathogens like bacterial and fungal attack: ShoreGrow promotes plant growth and makes them healthy with well-developed root and shoot system. These healthier plants become less susceptible to disease causing pests and microbes.
- Improves seed germination and growth: With ShoreGrow you can improve seed germination, reduce germination time and have healthy leaves and flowers with improved lifespan.
- Increased root growth: Auxins and cytokinins in ShoreGrow induces hormonal imbalance within plant system. Auxin permeates roots and stimulate growth not only in the root zone but also induces the plant to produce cytokin which is essential for growth in the stem and leaves.
You must have come across many guidelines on the Internet regarding simple methods of building homemade hydroponic systems, but not all of them are really cost effective and efficient. The three main factors that you should consider while building a hydroponics systems are: cost, complexity of building the system and the system’s efficiency. These factors play a vital role during the planning stage of your hydroponics system.
The whole idea of making a hydroponic system at home is to save the overall cost of building a hydroponics system. In homemade hydroponic system you can limit the expense by gathering tools that are lying in your store. Regarding complexity of the system; cost and complexity are directly related to each other. The more advanced and complicated the hydroponic system is, higher is the expenditure to build it. Lastly, it’s the hydroponic system’s efficiency, i.e. the total number of plants you can grow and how well your system is capable to grow them.
If you are a beginner or an amateur in this field, one of the plausible options you can explore is developing a bottle hydroponics system. This is an excellent way to start off your career as a hydroponics grower. The advantages of this hydroponic system are quite obvious; it will be cheap and extremely easy to build.
How to Build a Bottle Hydroponics System?
This is the most common and simple form of growing plants hydroponically. As a beginner you should start bottle hydroponics system. Of course, once you gain interest, you can expand gardening skills and upgrade your hydroponic gardening with new tools. This hydroponics system also solves the problem of space for growers who live in small houses.
Here is a three-step method of growing plants with the help of bottle hydroponics system:
- Get a decent 0.5-1 gallon bottle; this is an ideal bottle size that will sustain one plant.
- The bottleneck needs to be adjusted properly to fit in your plant. For this you can either add an additional PVC pipe for stability or cut the bottleneck wider.
- Now you can add the growth media and nutrient solution to protect your plants roots.
The best part about this hydroponics system is you can easily provide natural light to your plants by simply placing them on a sunny spot. This saves a lot of money as in most advanced hydroponic systems the costliest part is the lighting equipment. Bottle hydroponic system is convenient to use and simple to build.
In this age of global warming, we all are aware of the importance of protecting our environment. This concept of eco-friendly movement is becoming popular among growers as well. Therefore, growing plants hydroponically is a preference among growers who find ways to protect the environment. Here are few advantages that hydroponic provides to the environment:
- First and foremost, one of the most important benefits of hydroponics is you can save water as this precious natural resource can be recycled or reused. There is no wastage of ground water here.
- The use of pesticides in hydroponics is comparatively less, almost 90% lesser than traditional plant-growing methods.
- The overall usage of fertilizers is 25% less than the amount used in soil irrigation.
- You can easily control the environment needed to grow plants in hydroponics therefore the risk of pollution and contamination is minimum.
- Hydroponics rarely uses anything that can contaminate the environment or surrounding unlike factory farms.
- Without much use of pesticides or insecticides hydroponics can successfully offer ten times more production than the natural growing environment.
- You can easily grow hydroponic plants in limited land available to you, i.e. either indoors or outdoors. The shortage of land doesn’t stop the crop production in hydroponics.
- In hydroponics there is no risk of destruction of your plants due to natural calamities like naturally grown crops.
- As hydroponics means controlled and sustained method of growing plants the chances of infestation are nil.
- There is nothing called land erosion in hydroponics as plants are grown without soil.
- The fruits and vegetables grown are tastier and healthier for consumers as there is minimum use of pesticides.
- Because hydroponic growing can be done anywhere and everywhere the total cost of transportation is radically reduced.
Hydroponics is an advanced method of growing plants. The progress of this method has been rapid with proven best results. It’s considered as the most practical method of growing plants with numerous advantages to the grower as well as the environment. It promises higher yields and possibility of growing plants where natural growing or gardening is out of question. It is guaranteed a controlled environment growing method and you can simply go green!
A hydroponic grower is only as good as their knowledge and skill. Besides, by knowing the best growing equipment and hydroponic supplies to use, they also have to know as much as possible about their grow room and its environment. If they don’t have the appropriate knowledge, they won’t be able to make the adjustments that help the plants grow the best. By arming themselves with all the best knowledge and measurements, they can very precisely control the factors that help their plants provide the biggest yields.
Here are just a few of the essential hydroponics supplies that every serious grower should own.
Thermometer – The thermometer is one of the simplest, but also one of the most important hydroponic supplies that you can own. Most plants favor growing in fairly warm temperatures and if the temperature drops too low, it can have terrible affects on your plants growth. A classic, simple mercury thermometer should do the job just fine, but if you want to get a little more advanced, there is a large selection of digital thermometers that can help you understand the temperature of a room at a glance. You should also have a separate thermometer for your reservoir, because the temperature of your nutrient solution can have an impact on how well the nutrients are absorbed.
Ph Measuring System – You want to make certain that the pH of your reservoir stays within the optimal range to ensure total absorption of your available nutrients. And this is why a good pH measuring system should always be among your hydroponics supplies. The easiest way to do this is through litmus paper, which comes in sheets that change color according the pH balance of your nutrient solutions. If you are willing to spend a bit more money, you can buy a “smart” pH meter that measures the pH electronically with the help of a metal probe. Many growers have also reported success using the same pH meter they use to measure the pH of their home pool.
EC Meter – A good electric current meter should also be an important part of your hydroponics supplies. These measure the density of the nutrients in your reservoir by measuring the conductivity. The more conductive the nutrient solution, the more dense the nutrients are. This is important because you don’t want your nutrient solution to become too dense, and therefore harm your plants. At the same time you don’t want it to be too thin, and therefore not give your plants all of the nutrients that they need to thrive.
Measuring Cups and Spoons – Measuring cups and spoons are very simple pieces of equipment, but they are essential for accurate measurement. Some of the best measuring cups for the purposes of hydroponics are clear and have markings that measure in milliliters. You should also have an eyedropper on hand for when you are supposed to make very small, very exact measurements of liquid. Being very precise in hydroponics for all of your measurements will help you find the mixtures and measurements that work the best for your plants.
When you start growing hydroponically, the very first thing you should do is make certain that you have a good nutrient solution for your specific needs. But after you have met this very basic requirement, what else are you going to do to get the most out of your plants? If you really want to experience bigger yields, you should look to hydroponic supplements. These products are designed to complement your hydroponic nutrients and help your plants grow to their full potential.
If you think have already perfected that balance in your hydroponic nutrients and are ready to take your plants to the next level, consider these popular supplements.
B Vitamins – One of the smartest supplements that you can purchase with your hard money is a good B vitamin solution. B vitamins can help make the most of your hydroponics nutrients in part because rapid growth can be very stressful for plants. These “growing pains” might cause plants to grow a little less than their full potential, even if your hydroponics nutrients are well balanced. A good injection of these B vitamins can severely reduce stress and cause your growth to skyrocket. Many hydroponics companies even give you the option of using hydroponic B vitamins that come from organic or synthetic sources, which allows you to benefit if you choose to grow hydro-organically.
Beneficial Bacteria – The natural growing environment for plants isn’t sterile, so neither should be your reservoir. Beneficial bacteria can help you make the absolute best use of your hydroponics nutrients, particularly nitrogen. Nitrogen by itself isn’t really all that useful to your plants. It first must be “fixed” into a form that your plants can absorb it. The best way to do this is by adding in some carefully chosen bacteria. These micro organisms have a ton of other benefits as well, such as making your plants less disease prone. By taking up all the resources that bacteria need to survive, it decreases the odds that your system will be infested by harmful fungi.
Beneficial Fungi – Another popular supplement is beneficial fungi. This is another biological agent that is naturally found in fertile soil. Certain species of fungi can help break down the nutrients that your plants use. In addition, the presence of beneficial fungi reduces the odds that harmful fungi will take root and harm your plants, much for the same reason that beneficial bacteria makes your plants safer from disease.
Kelp – If you are looking for a totally natural and organic way to supplement and help the effectiveness of your organic hydroponic nutrients, look no further than kelp plant food. Kelp, because it is forced to grow in one of the least hospitable and most volatile places one earth, has evolved a great number of ways to stay healthy and strong even in the worst conditions. By condensing all of the hormones and vitamins that make kelp grow at extraordinary rates in to a plant food that you can use with your hydroponically grown plants, you can help experience tremendous growth.
Onions are accepted as the most essential ingredient in the majority food recipes. They are rich flavonoids and antioxidants that protect human body from diseases like cancer and cardiovascular problems. Being an excellent source of Vitamin C they are easily grown vegetables. They can be grown with minimum maintenance in three different ways – seeds, sets and seedlings. The average time bulb onions take to grow efficiently is about three months. By late summer, July or early August, they are ready for best possible harvest.
With the help of hydroponics you can easily grow bulb onions in your house. Given below are a few tips to grow bulb onions hydroponically:
- You need 250 seeds per gram to begin the process of growing onions.
- The ideal space requirement is 0.5 cm (1/4”) and depth 1 cm (1/3”).
- The total time it takes for germination is about 10 days.
- The transplanting takes around 30-35 days.
- The final transplanting and harvesting time is about 80 days.
- The ideal pH level for the nutrient solutions to be used is 5.5 to 7.0.
- Maintain proper transplanting distance, i.e. distance between rows: 12 cm (5”) and between plants: 10 cm (4”).
It is advisable to harvest onions in the morning. Onions don’t need bright and hot environment on the day of harvest; therefore you should move your onions to the shady part of your yard to protect them from sunburn. You should dry the bulb onions thoroughly before storing them and don’t expose them to morning dews.
Ensure that the water level while growing bulb onions is lower in the tub or you can simply add nutrients in the tub where the roots can’t be damp. Bulb onions need good air ventilation otherwise they can get mildew from stale air. Remember, once bulb onions have matured, store them in an old orange or onion sack. You can hang them in a safe place where there is enough ventilation. With this you can grow bulb onions effortlessly and enjoy your meals!
Gardening can be quite tedious at times. You plants need good nurturing every day to stay healthy and active. To make gardening easier, here are few reliable and convenient ways that will help you grow a fantastic garden so that you can relax and watch your plants grow effortlessly.
- Weeds: Weeds usually suppress ground-hugging plants. To get rid of weeds you can grow aromatic, low-growing herbs like thyme, chamomile and periwinkle in borders and places where weeds grow. Remember, the smaller your borders are, the less room weeds will have to grow in, therefore reduce the size of big borders with paving or gravel.
- Use Containers: Consider replacing your garden by simply planting your plants in containers. This will help your plants roots to grow faster and will demand low-maintenance.
- Lighting: With the help of hydroponics lighting you can get ideal growth. This is because plants get adequate light in any season with the help of artificial lighting. You have full control over the intensity of your lights as you can adjust your lighting system.
- pH levels: The best part about hydroponics is that you can easily control pH levels. You can easily adjust the pH levels of your hydroponics garden. This will encourage your plants to grow faster and also will give you a wonderful looking garden.
- Pest-free garden: Hydroponic offers gardening with reduced pests as compared to traditional plant growing method. This factor helps you get clean and hygienic garden with strong hydroponic plants.
- Full control: You can change the quantity of nutrient solution, the lighting and you can provide them with protected shelter.
Hydroponic gardening is clean and effortless method that consistently gives healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables. You can enjoy growing plants with hydroponics, if you are a dedicated hobbyist. It can simplify growing with the help of easily accessible hydroponic systems and equipment to give you a fantastic looking garden. Hydroponics guarantees a very satisfying plant-growing.
Hydroponics is an excellent method of growing plants at any place during any season of the year. But, it can be costly if your garden is of more than average size. However, for getting it started, you don’t have to pay a fortune. Here are some simple tips that you might consider before purchasing hydroponics equipment:
Calculate Cost effectiveness: Most growers get carried away by the cheap price of the hydroponics equipment. But, not all hydroponics equipment that you buy, guarantee to save you money in the future. For instance, though second-hand equipment may entice you because it’s cheap, however used equipment easily breakdown and cause problems. This in turn requires more money in the form of either repairs or total replacement. Whereas, new equipment might come a wee bit expensive, but in the long run it works as a good investment for many harvest seasons and reduce stress and hassles.
Lighting Cost: Lighting equipment are the costliest in your entire hydroponic set up. Fluorescent lights may tempt you because of their low cost, but these lights are of very little use and have to be replaced frequently thereby increasing the overall expenditure on lights. While purchasing a grow light understand the cost per hour of each grow light and how frequently these lights need to be replaced. This can save you money and time you invest on lights.
Understand your needs: As a smart grower you should understand your growing needs and requirements, and then accordingly set your hydroponic equipment. For instance, it would be an unwise decision to invest on large lamps for just a couple of tomato plants; it’s a waste; and a weak bulb won’t work if you are planting rows and rows of roses. Therefore, it’s advisable for you to understand your growing needs and then set the best suitable hydroponics equipment in your garden.
Cross-check the costs: The Internet provides you the facility to purchase products from home. Also, the cost is comparatively lower than your local retailers. Here, it’s advisable for you to cross-check the cost of the product you want to purchase with the prices offered by local hydroponic store and then make your purchase.
Build your personal hydroponics system: If you are a beginner then you should consider building your own hydroponics system because readymade hydroponics equipment most of the time is costly.
Smart investment: The most crucial part of your investment is the money you spend on electric bills. Therefore, go in for high-end electronic ballasts that regulate the total amount of energy your lights need and therefore cutting down your electricity cost and efficiently cooling your grow room.
In traditional gardening, plants are directly exposed to pests and diseases. Here, Mother Nature plays a vital role in cleaning crops, for instance, rain washes off the insects and dirt from the crops and beneficial microorganism naturally gorge on the harmful pests. Similarly, even hydroponics, though one of the most advanced technique for gardening, comes with its own set of disadvantages. For instance, in hydroponics typically plants are gathered inside grow rooms which get infested by insects and pests.
To maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness is the only way to prevent development of pests and other disease causing germs inside the grow rom. As the old saying goes “Prevention is better than cure”, similarly, it’s much easier to prevent initiation of pests in your hydroponic garden than to get rid of them. Listed below are some preventive measures that you can take to help your plants stay healthy and strong:
- First and foremost, maintain your garden at regular intervals. Many commercial hydroponics growers follow strict preventive measures like special clothing and shoe cleaning mats.
- Adjust the humidity at a lower range, ideally 50-60% and keep the temperature to 75°.
- Keep proper arrangements for air circulation and ventilation to prevent your garden from harmful microorganisms.
- Avoid over-watering as damp growing environment leads to formation of algae.
- Never enter your indoor grow room after cleaning your outdoor crops, instead do it in reverse as this encourages quick transfer of bad microorganisms into your indoor hydroponic garden.
- Don’t make the mistake of bringing your soil-plants into your hydroponics grow room to share the grow lights.
- And, most importantly, don’t smokes inside your hydroponics grow room because tobacco can harm the leaves and destroy your plants.
With these preventive measures you can stop pest and insect invasions in your hydroponics grow room. It should successfully eradicate pests and diseases from your garden. Ensure you check your plants regularly to make them healthy. Fulfill their needs regularly and if you see any problem then attend to it immediately; don’t wait for long as that might destroy your plants!