Archive for February, 2011
Nitrogen, an essential element required by plant for making amino acids and proteins, cannot be fixed by plants independently. Nitrogen fixation essentially means converting the nitrogen present in the atmosphere to be converted into forms usable by living organisms. Nitrogen fixation in plants is typically done with the help of symbitoic bacteria. In a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, legumes form nodules on the roots to fix nitrogen into a usable form which can then be used by either plants or animals. Beneficial bacteria that fix nitrogen are called diazotrophs. The abundance of nitrogen in the legumes is beneficial not only for the legumes but also for the plants around.
Nitrogen fixation can be done either biologically or abiotically. It’s a process where nitrogen (N2) present in the air is converted to ammonia (NH3). Nitrogen fixation is a very important life process as it biosynthesis the building blocks of life, e.g., nucleotides for DNA and RNA and amino acids for proteins. However, nitrogen fixation can occur due to non-biological processes like lightning, combustion and industrially through Haber-Bosch Processes.
Biological nitrogen fixation happens when nitrogen present in the air is transformed to ammonia by nitrogenase (an enzyme). The ammonium generated with the help of nitorgenase is incorporated into glutamate through glutamine synthetase pathway. But, special care should be taken because oxygen can destroy the enzymes responsible for nitrogenase action. Most microorganisms either respire to reduce the oxygen levels or bind the oxygen with protein like Leghemoglobin.
Plants that help nitrogen fixation include the legume family — clover, alfalfa, soybeans, peanuts, lupines and rooibos. These plants contain symbiotic bacteria known as Rhizobia in their root systems that produce nitrogen compounds to encourage faster growth and race with other plants. Most of the time, when a plant dies, it releases nitrogen which is then available to other plants and this helps in fertilization. Beneficial microorganisms that efficiently fix nitrogen are Azotobacteraceae, Cyanobacteria, Rhizobia and Frankia.
There are also artificial ways of fixing nitrogen like the Haber process, dinitrogen complexes and ambient nitrogen reduction. Haber process works best in environment where there is high pressure and high temperature. Here natural gas is used as a hydrogen source and natural air as a nitrogen source. The dinitrogen complexes method is yet to be discovered full to gain complete benefits and ambient nitrogen reduction method is not reliable as it fixes few nitrogen molecules.
As demand for non-cryogenic gas separating system is increasing, oxygen adsorption plants and membrane technology are gaining popularity worldwide. It’s a known fact that oxygen is used as a main ingredient in numerous technological as well as non-technological procedures. It’s the essential part of atmosphere needed in most industrial processes. Oxygen is mainly used for sustaining burning process because of its excellent oxidant properties.
Oxygen is extensively used in welding, metal processing, cutting and brazing. It’s widely used in petrochemical and chemical industries; in oil and gas sector too oxygen is used in great volumes. Fish farming and glass industry are also not far behind when it comes to the use of oxygen. Because oxygen increases the flame temperature it’s considered as very cost-effective element.
Adsorption oxygen plants
The best feature of adsorption oxygen plants is that it produces oxygen of about 5 to 5,000 nm3/hr and is 93-95% pure. These systems are designed specifically for indoor operations to generate gaseous oxygen present in the air. It’s very cost-effective and can easily fulfill the rigid oxygen requirements. The adsorption oxygen plant works best with many adsorbers, pre-purifier unit, compressor unit, valve system and the control system. A basic oxygen adsorber is a column with layers of special adsorbents. You can also get purified oxygen by using systems that work best with cryogenic technology. But, cryogenic technologies are cumbersome in nature.
Membrane oxygen plants
Membrane oxygen plants are also specifically designed for indoor operation. This oxygen plant promotes air enrichment with oxygen production of about 30-45%. It produces oxygen of almost 5 to 5,000 nm3/hr. In oxygen generating plant, gas is separated by gas separation module made of hollow-fiber membranes. Besides gas separation unit there are booster compressor or vacuum pump, plant control system and pre-purifier unit, used in this plant. It’s simple oxygen generating system because it’s fully automated.
Membrane oxygen plants are more preferred than any other oxygen generating plants because of its simple and automated operating system. They are more economical as compared to adsorption system.
Membrane oxygen plants are increasingly finding broad application in various industries all over the world. With moderate requirements to oxygen purity in product – up to 30-45%, membrane systems generally prove more economically sound than adsorption and cryogenic systems. Besides, membrane plants are much simpler in operation and more reliable.
Mushrooms, if grown hydroponically are grown as fungi instead of plants. Hydroponically grown mushrooms have a unique appearance and are of superior quality. Hydroponics basically means growing plants in nutrient-enriched water solution instead of soil. Here are few helpful tips on how you can grow hydroponic mushrooms easily in your own hydroponics garden.
Suitable types of mushrooms to be grown hydroponically
Types of mushrooms you can grow hydroponically are: nameko, shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane, button, maitake, cinnamon cap and enokitake.
Easy method to grow hydroponic mushrooms:
How to start ?
Growing mushrooms is not a tough job as long as you’re clear about what you are doing. With the help of hydroponics, improved size and flavor is guaranteed. You can grow huge quantity of mushrooms even without having a proper hydroponics garden. Yes!! You read it right; you can grow mushrooms without a garden. The easiest way to grow hydroponic mushrooms is by using a mushroom growing kit. This kit is basically a square-shape block of compressed sawdust of size not less than 12 inches. You’ll get this block with inoculated mushroom seeds. However, you can build your own sawdust or seed block.
The most popular and convenient method to grow hydroponics mushroom is soak the sawdust block in cold and non-chlorinated water for few hours and then put them in dark place with temperature ranging between 60ºF and 75ºF. Mushrooms grow faster in cold water therefore you can get large amount of edible mushrooms in very less time.
After your first harvest of mushrooms, you can keep your sawdust block to rest aside for a week and then reuse it for another mushroom planting cycle. But, with every new cycle the size and number of mushrooms might reduce as the amount of hydroponic nutrients decreases as the same growing medium is used for many mushroom growing cycles. When the sawdust block is fully used and is of no use, you can add it in a garden compost pile.
Grow hydroponic mushrooms without the kit
If you wish to grow hydroponic mushrooms without a kit then you have to start growing some mycelium until it’s big and strong enough to support a mushroom reproductive cycle. For growing mushrooms you can use a fresh mushroom, a culture purchased from a culture bank or seeds. Now place mushroom, a culture or seeds on a Petri dish and allow mycelium to grow out.
After couple of weeks you’ll see formation of sterilized grain like wheat, rye or millet. And, after almost 4 weeks mushrooms will grow on the grain. You can use grain seeds to grow more grain. Carry out this process in a clean environment to avoid any contamination due to harmful bacteria or other molds. It’s advisable to clean the growing medium before using it. To use this method of growing healthy mushrooms it’s very important to clean the room and the filter carefully. Hydroponic mushrooms if grown carefully are easy to grow and can be delicious addition to salads, fries and curries!
Hydroponics is constantly gaining attention from growers all over the world, and it’s referred as the future of commercial food production. Due to improper land management and ever increasing population the availability of arable land is declining. Because of this, growers are turning to new methods and technologies that would encourage faster growth in smaller areas. Hydroponics is one easy way out to create more and more channels of plant production. Scientists predict, by 2050 Earth’s population will increase by 9.2 billion and there will be drastic decline in the availability of land for crop production. Therefore, hydroponics will be a smart replacement for traditional soil growing method.
In many countries, where land is very valuable and precious because of rising population, hydroponics is used for commercial production of crops like rice, thereby preserving land mass – a scarce natural resource. Without using soil as growing medium, rice is harvested in underground chambers. Because the growing environment is well-adjusted and controlled, growers perform four complete cycles of harvest in a year instead of single harvest done in traditional method.
Also, in many countries where there is ample land but the climate is dry and arid, hydroponic has successfully managed to provide optimum growth to growers of the region. With the help of large hydroponics systems, growing large quantities of citrus fruits, berries and bananas have been possible in such places. It’s proven, irrespective of the climate, hydroponics can easily produce yield which is 1,000 times more than any other plant-growing method. The process of growing plants is completely automated therefore making planting less stressful.
There has been a huge buzz in the scientific world for the benefits that hydroponics can offer to third world countries where the availability of water and land is very limited, e.g., Africa and Asia. However, the cost of growing plants hydroponically in such areas is the biggest barrier currently; in the future, with the help of advanced technology there will be decrease in the cost, making hydroponics more affordable.
Hydroponics is also said to be the future of space program. NASA has been constantly exploring hydroponics to gain benefits in the long-term from colonization in moon and outer space. Hydroponics will play a vital role in future space exploration because researchers are trying to use hydroponics to grow food in space.
Now it’s time to change from the old-fashioned gardening method to something that is eco-friendly and that meets the requirement of growing food in less-available land. Try hydroponics, it works!
Growth regulators, also known as phytohormones, are substances that act as hormones in plants to regulate faster plant growth. In general hydroponics most plants naturally generate growth regulators for various development processes, like formation of stems, leaves, flowers, shedding of leaves and ripening of fruits. They also help to shape the plant appropriately, affect the seeding phase, the right time of flowering, the sex of flowers and aging of vegetables and fruits. However, growers with the help of artificial growth regulators can push the growth of plants to get desired results. Growth regulators are produced in low concentrations and sometimes plants also produce regulators that encourage growth in other plants.
With the help of growth regulators plant can easily respond to environmental pressures. For instance, during the draught conditions, growth of a plant is suppressed because of less water. And, during the year where there is enough rain, the growth of a plant is triggered as the tree takes full advantage of different weather conditions. It’s very important to give your plants special attention while providing them water, growth regulators or fertilizers, as it damage your plants.
When people trick plants with applications of water, fertilizers, or growth regulators, sometimes they become unhealthy unless they are closely monitored. With the help of artificial growth regulators you can accomplish different goals, such as productions of healthy roots, encourage faster fruiting, reduce the number of suckers etc. Growth regulators are very helpful to grow ornamentals because they can efficiently prolong the flowering phase to give bigger and colorful flowers; they are also used for faster growth of vines, new leaves and fruits etc. These chemicals are easily available at nurseries and any local garden supply retailer. You can also purchase a natural product directly derived from plants mixed with synthetics prepared in the lab.
You can now get uniform development of crops with the help of growth regulators for quick harvests and you can control the overall development of your crops to carry out efficient farming on a large scale. Growth regulators simplify the whole process of cultivation by triggering the growth of flowers and fruits and they also ensure the right time for harvesting to the growers.
Are you wondering why the leaves are suddenly off-colored or what is slowing down the overall growth of your plants? Incidentally, most of these problems coincide with pH and PPM fluctuations. As most growers like you will agree, balancing the pH and PPM level is the toughest act as a grower and these pH issues are one of the biggest obstacles to your overall yield. Some professionals are so paranoid about pH levels that they keep checking and adjusting the levels at least two times a day to keep their plants’ growth stable.
Proper pH level in the greenhouse prevents any negative chemical reaction that might occur to your fertilizer. But, a high level of pH can lead to blockage within the lines and therefore cause severe problems to your hydroponics system. Potential Hydrogen (pH) basically means the concentration of positively charged hydrogen ions relative to negatively charged hydroxyl ions in a substance. Hydrogen ions are acidic in nature and hydroxyl ions are basic. The pH scale goes from 0-14 and ideal score is 7. If the score goes below 7 it indicates an acidic environment and a score above 7 indicates an alkaline environment. Acid commonly formed is either phosphoric acid or nitric acid, which when combines with water violently reacts and breaks the compound inside nutrients.
The scientists at Advanced Nutrients understood this challenge and after intense research and study, they have discovered this breakthrough technology – “pH Perfect technology” that will help growers to eliminate pH monitoring concerns permanently. You need to ensure that the pH levels of water fall between 4.5 and 8.5. This means that you don’t need to worry about pH levels as it automatically adjusts the pH levels and keeps it buffered through the plants’ bloom cycle.
Bigger Yield Flowering system from Advanced Nutrients has a built in proprietary technology – pH Perfect technology, will give you:
- Bigger yield
- Potent easy to mix formulae with 2in1 and 5 in1 product formulations
- By following the instructions that come along with each of the bundled growing levels, growers are guaranteed to supply maximum nutrition and vitality to their crop.
- Flower fattening formulae
- Specially designed for all hydroponics, soil and sphagnum medium
- Developed for use with all hydroponic, aeroponic, NFT and other growing systems
This pH Perfect technology is built into every growing level of the Bigger Yield Flowering system and therefore you don’t really need to bother about pesky pH meters and complicated ppm calculations. All the base nutrients have been standardized at 4ml per liter, so mixing and use is ridiculously easy.
pH Perfect Technology works in two stages. In the first stage, use variety of color sensitive molecules which are released at various pH levels. It compresses the pH of your nutrients into a manageable window. In the second stage, nutrients act like powerful magnets and are attracted to your plants roots. So now you can throw away your pH and PPM meters and never bother about them again. Visit your nearest hydroponic store and buy a Bigger Yield Flowering System with inbuilt pH and ppm technology and you will never have to bother about pH or ppm again. No need for continuous balancing and calibrating of pH and ppm levels.
Grow marijuana hydroponically in an inert, sterile growing medium where all the nutrient requirement of the plant will be supplied by the nutrient solution. Nutrients that are typically required by marijuana will be nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S). Besides these macro-elements, the micro elements are iron (Fe), chlorine (Cl), manganese (Mn), boron (B), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and molybdenum (Mo) which are required by plants in traces.
Advantages of growing marijuana hydroponically are:
- Higher yield
- Less space per plant
- Faster maturity cycle and therefore more crop annually
- Control over the growing environment
On the other side, some of the negative aspects can be:
- Higher set-up cost
- Technical knowledge required to run the hydroponics set-up
Growing marijuana hydroponically is becoming prevalent due to the Oregon ruling which states that hydroponic nutrients will now be formally evaluated and tabs will be kept on the growth, quality and yield of medical marijuana. It is important to start with good seeds while growing hydroponic marijuana; medical marijuana must be of the best quality possible. A hydroponics garden can be used to grow just about anything. But, one should remember that this requires daily maintenance and you have to arrange for caregivers if you are away for more than a day or two. Marijuana seedlings require about sixteen to eighteen hours of light daily. After they develop a root system and leaf growth commences, they enter the growth or vegetative phase. The need for light increases, and light sources must be active almost all day. This stage usually lasts a month or two.
At the flowering stage, marijuana plants produce the most amount of THC. Once the flowering phase sets off, the height of the plant tapers down as most of the plant energy is used in the flowering process itself. You can start flowering when the plants are a minimum of about 6 inches high and have at least 4 sets of leaves. This will take 2 weeks to a month of vegetative growth in most hydroponic gardens. When you want to start flowering, cut the light back to 12-13 hours a day. The flowering cycle lasts for 2-3 months in a hydroponic garden, depending on the type of seed. After flowering ends, harvested marijuana plants are left to be air-dried.
Make sure you have a good supply of electricity to run all your hydroponics grow room equipment. Your grow room should be a cool area, but keep the temperature above 60 degrees F. Most new growers find it terribly difficult to maintain proper temperatures in their grow rooms. A room which can be fitted with an exhaust fan might help maintain constant temperatures. An exhaust fan on the ceiling will keep the temperature down and you can always upgrade to a stronger fan if larger volumes of hot air need to be removed.
Lighting hydroponic equipments which are popularly used for growing marijuana are Metal Halides or High Pressure Sodium Bulbs. Metal halide is best for the vegetative growth of marijuana. While high pressure sodium is in the red end of the spectrum and is best for the flowering phase. It gives best results when used along with a 250W HPS/MH digital ballast, bulb and reflector combo.
Hydroponics is a system for producing plants in water, it is soilless culture technique of plants. In addition to hydroponic cabbage tomatoes and herbaceous plants significant for the basil, arugula, oregano, lemon balm, etc can be raised using hydroponics producing arrangement. herbs hydroponic nutrient essentials deviate from plant to plant. It can rise several plants in a alimental solution, but exceptional care must be taken to avoid deficiency of herbs hydroponic nutrients. There were three main sort of hydroponic herbs for diverse functions, for example, you can find herbs which will be used exclusively for cookery (kitchen herbs) that are of medicative plants (the house of healing) and decorative grasses.
Hydroponic herbaceous plants can be developed in one unit for a year short of once again setting up the unit to raise the new ones, unlike raising hydroponics veggies and fruits where you must clean the hydroponic unit soon after growing to start once again. You can construct your personal hydroponic herbs garden for kitchen preparation purpose. Hydroponic herbs arrangements are automatized and effortlessly utilized.
The usual and ideally grown cookery herbaceous plants are basil, mint, oregano, and parsley that boost the taste of your food. The medicinal herbaceous plants are ginger root, kava-kava, violet and gravel root. And decorative herbs useful for ornamentation or presentation purposes are sage, rosemary and chamomile. The three main sorts of simple hydroponic growing systems are Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), Ebb and Flow, Aeroponic means and means.
Hydroponic herbs gardening can be effortlessly done anywhere, either indoor or outdoor, with simple horticulture method. For flourishing herbs gardening, you need to understand plants preferred pH, soil requirement, water needs, possible pest diseases etc.. It has been demonstrated that hydroponically grown herbs are more healthy, delightful and novel in comparison to herbs grown traditionally. Hydroponics herbs are totally free of chemicals and fertilizers.
Medicative hydroponics herbs are uncomplicated and dependable. Hydroponics marijuana is an significant constituent of therapies for healing AIDS and cancer ; it also acts as a pain killer in many conditions. Hydroponic herbs since 10s have been used for therapeutic programs. Almost every other medicinal benefit of hydroponic marijuana or weed is treating glaucoma, a condition that induces loss of vision. Developing hydroponic weed is a bright alternative because it helps to cure many sicknesses by just sitting at home. Medicinal hydroponic herbs gardening can be carried out easily at home an.
Ebb and flow system, also known as a reservoir system, is the simplest hydroponic system to build among all hydroponics. For most hobbyists ebb and flow system is the first choice to create an ideal garden because it’s inexpensive and easily accessible. The basic ebb and flow system contains a growing tray with plants in the containers. Growing medium such as pebbles, perlite and rockwool are filled in the growing tray. This growing tray is set above a reservoir filled with nutrient solution and water. Water is allowed to flow from the reservoir to the growing tray on regular intervals and then drained back into the reservoir. The draining action also helps easy flow of oxygen to the root zone. To run the ebb and flow system smoothly, an overflow drain is installed to get water to move to greater height.
A simple method to build ebb and flow hydroponics system:
- Use a growing tray that restricts light to pass through, to protect the root zone. Use of plastic is a smart choice than metal or wood because of its light weight and durability to stop light to enter into the tray. Properly examine your tray before use to avoid any kind of leakage. Remember, pools of standing water resulting in pest problems, root rot and mold.
- Any kind of non-metallic plant pot with holes needed for draining will work efficiently with an ebb and flow system.
- Almost any and every growing medium is suitable for ebb and flow hydroponics system. However, clay pebbles solely is most preferred by the growers using this system. Because there is constant flow of water you don’t want a growing medium that retains a lot of water.
- You’ll need a proper support system to suspend the tray right above your reservoir. For this you can use a milk crate, table or a custom-made solution as per the size pattern of your indoor garden. Support system you use should be sturdy that can efficiently hold full weight of plants and water. While planning the final design of your hydroponics system don’t overlook the weight of water. The design you plan should be suitable for the future final growth of your plants because replacing trays during the full and final growth would be impossible.
- For a reservoir, you can use a large plastic container. You can use rubber tubs and even trash cans work well. It’s advisable to not use metal because metal can rust after some time.
- For drainage system your garden will need two drains; one to drain water into the reservoir and another to drain the excess water out of the hydroponics system. Ensure that the overflow pipe is strong enough to handle the large amount of excess water to avoid flood in your grow space.
- Use a suitable size of pump in your hydroponics system to get good water flow. An aquarium pump is ideal for most small indoor hydroponics system.
- Also, the timer you use depends on the type of your garden and plants. Most beginners use cheap timers in the start. If you are using a large hydroponics system for a bigger garden then you might need more than one timer or good-quality timer.
- The tubes you use should not be transparent as that can lead to formation of algae.
Now, you are ready to use your ebb and flow hydroponics systems. Keep a timely check on the system to avoid pooling water, flooding or harmful bacteria. You can reset your timer at the time of power failure. And, keep a track of the amount of nutrient solution and pH level you provide your plants with. Enjoy gardening with this simple homemade hydroponics system called ebb and flow hydroponics system!
Drip system works best with a network of mainlines, lateral lines and sub-mains. Drip system consistently controls the application of nutrients, water and other essential elements of growth substances into the root zone. The water and nutrients are supplied to the plants through emitters. With the help of these emitters nutrients are forced into the root zone with force. The force ensures that your plants never suffer from any kind of stress.
Drip system is an ideal hydroponics systems that enhances the growth and quality of your plants. It also promotes high yields. Drip irrigation or drip system is a hydroponic system that helps save water, which is a precious natural resource today. Listed below are a few benefits of drip irrigation:
- Drip system helps increase yield by approximately 150 percent more than normal irrigation.
- Compare to any other hydroponic system, drip system saves water by 70%.
- The growth is consistent and uniform with healthier looking plants.
- Because there is early growth of plants the returns on investment is also faster.
- The overall efficiency of fertilizers increases by 30%.
- The total cost of fertilizers, labor and inter-culturing is reduced and thus making it an efficient and cost effective system.
- With the help of drip system you can cultivate crops without worrying about water supply or water logging.
- The nutrients used in drip irrigation can be reused because it’s a low pressure system.
Drip system is compatible with most of the commonly used growing medium. A faster draining medium (like clay pellets) will need faster dripping emitters (or more of them per plant) whereas a slower draining medium (like Rockwool) would use slower dripping emitters. Rockwool is the standard medium which is generally used in Drip system. You can also consider using clay pellets or lava chips. Controlling the flow of the nutrient solution becomes difficult and thereby clogging the emitters. This is a major down side for most drip hydroponic systems. This issue becomes even more predominant in homemade hydroponic systems. Also, keep in mind that organic nutrients are not very compatible with this system as the smaller particles used in this system tends to clog the system.
There are various hydroponics systems available on the market that are available to control and fulfill the basic requirements of your plants. Drip system helps provide your plants with proper water supply by adequate sprinkling, draining and aerating to encourage your plants to thrive. The plants are individually supplied with nutrient solution through pre-set timers attached to them. You can easily grow herbs, peppers and tomatoes. Drip Systems are used to grow herbs, tomatoes, or peppers and the whole system can be placed indoor if you are using grow lights. This system is extremely prevalent in European countries. With very little chances of fungi and bacteria infecting the system, drip system is considered as one of the most reliable hydroponic system.