Archive for July, 2011
Many of us have the craving to cultivate a beautiful garden with the best of plant varieties and we do arrange for the best equipment and plant nutrients one can ever give to their plants. But all this goes in vain when we have to face the unpleasant truth of ‘heavy’ clay soil in our garden. Probably it is one of the major challenges in plant care.
Everything in nature has its significance and clay soil is nature’s part. You cannot get rid of it wholly but with few tips and skills, you can turn your clay soil garden worthy to grow good, selective vegetation.
To begin, it is essential to determine whether you really have clay soil in your plot. If you encounter prolonged periods of wetness even many days after heavy rains or your garden ground cracks after extended dry weather, you may have an issue with clay soil.
What next? Once you’re confirmed about the clay content, gear to fix it up! One basic thing to remember is that more we till the clay soil, more it gets compressed, especially if it is wet! So avoid over-working or walking on the soil else it will lead to poor drainage. Remember, amending clay soil is neither short-term, easy task nor it is cost-effective. So if you are willing to loosen your pockets, end result would be definitely worth waiting for.
Adding plenty of organic nutrients or well-rotted manure, leaf mold and green plants is always advised for improving the clay soil. But take care while watering during the first two seasons else water could build up in the bed making it a hub of disease causing microbes. Covering soil areas with slower decomposing organic materials can help keeping in mind that you should never work them up. Let them remain as they are and gradually and naturally they’ll degrade. Never ever put a layer of gravel in the bottom of planting holes which can turn out be an ideal place for water to drain into with catastrophic aftermaths for any plants.
One more option and probably the best one is to make ‘raised beds’ of 30 cm depth on top of the soil and filling them with new and high quality soil which eventually works its way into soil below. At the end, no matter which techniques you choose, just don’t let clay soil ruin your gardening experience and affect your plant care. So go ahead and try your gardening creativity to create something unique, stunning and wonderful!
Greenhouse and hydroponic growers have always found that there are many benefits of growing tomatoes by these methods. These tomatoes are rich in nutrient content and taste better. However, to enjoy high quality tomatoes, certain care and precautionary measures have to be taken while indoor gardening.
Greenhouse or hydroponic farming has controlled environment. Your crop is not dependant on external environment. So when it comes to indoor gardening, you have to be careful about physical factors like temperature, humidity, provision of water etc. Also amount, type and quality of nutrients provided make a huge difference in cultivating tomatoes in a soilless medium. Tomatoes usually grow best in nutrient medium that is high in nitrogen level. Also, you have to take care that the medium is not too dry or too wet. Also, spraying pesticides regularly is a must. Choosing correct hydroponic supplies for your greenhouse will do the trick.
Pollination of tomato flowers is to be done in warm and humid weather. Usually tomato plants start flowering after 60 to 80 days of planting. Take care that humidity of your indoor garden is around 65 to 70 per cent (during noon) while you pollinate the flowers. One of the most important precautions is to prune off vines that grow from leaf (they are also called as suckers). Otherwise the vines will absorb food and nutrient that tomatoes require to grow.
One major factor to be taken care of while growing greenhouse tomato is provision of light. The amount and intensity of light is a deciding factor in the development of flower to a fully fledged tomato. It is essential to monitor the source of light in case of indoor gardening. Use of metal halide to give 16-18 hours of light daily is advisable in case of greenhouse tomatoes. Also, take care that your greenhouse has total darkness for around 8 hours. This is important for the respiration of plants. Maintain pH level up to 5.8 to 6.3.
Take care that the environment provided in your greenhouse for growing tomatoes is not too extreme. There should not be too cold or too hot weather conditions. Also the tomato plants get easily disrupted by windy conditions. Make sure that your greenhouse tomato plants do not come in contact with polluted air or water which facilitates growth of harmful microbes and germs. Tomato plants can easily drown so take care not to over water them. Essential hydroponic supplies like metal halide light source, trimmers, and ballasts should all be well-maintained and used with proper guidance.
Like any other hydroponic plant, tomatoes also require care and patience. However, keep in mind that by just paying attention to small details like weather conditions and pest control, you can enjoy indoor gardening and get juicier, tastier and highly nutritious tomatoes.
The hydroponic growers all around the world are looking for high-end, technologically superior and yet economical hydroponic supplies for their gardens. The most primary benefit of using hydroponic systems is of course no need of soil and use of less space. Growers who are planning to upgrade their hydroponics systems to get bigger harvests in lesser space and time are opting for grow chambers and tents.
Grow chambers and tents require low maintenance and they are easily portable. The latest hydroponic chambers are quick set-up, guarantee more security and have advanced technological features. Usage of hydroponic chambers and tents is cheaper in comparison to that of grow rooms. The chambers are designed to meet lighting and ventilation needs. When combined with other hydroponic garden supplies, the grow chambers guarantee larger yield.
Usage of any hydroponic system usually requires some expert guidance. Same is the case with grow chambers and tents. However, most of the chambers come with an instruction manual which one can refer to. Latest grow chambers are turn-key systems and have password protected timer controls for all the functions. Once the mother cutting is planted, water needs to be changed only once in a week. Usually nutrients are available with the grow chamber itself and if not, nutrients like Micro, Bloom etc can be used. In an ideal grow chamber it takes around 10-12 weeks from cuttings to grow in to a fully mature adult plant.
Hydroponic chambers are considered as a boon for growers with less space. However, like in the case of all other hydroponic gardening supplies, one needs to do extensive research before buying a hydroponic chamber/tent. If the chamber is well-manufactured, it will have problems like leakage of light, noisy fans, defective ballasts or pumps, inferior nutrients provided with some units and amateurish stealth features.
While using any hydroponic system, it is prudent to follow safety measures. In case of hydroponic chambers/tents electric safety is important. Using hydroponic gardening supplies like LED grow lights, nutrients media and organic fertilizers, one can create mini greenhouse inside the grow chamber/tent.
You can grow variety of plants like tomatoes, pepper, lettuce etc and also ornamental flowering plants like orchids and sunflowers (use floor standing models of tents) inside the hydroponic chambers and tents.
Hydroponics is the up and coming science of growing indoor plants especially for fruits and vegetables. With great advantages such as need of much lesser space, no need of soil, higher growth rate and commercial viability, hydroponics is looked upon as a major make-shift in the indoor gardening type of agriculture.
Though it is still in its research stage, hydroponic growers across the globe have successfully grown many vegetable and fruit bearing plants. Hydrophilic plants are best choice because they grow well in water media. Melons-both water melons and musk melons grow very well in hydroponic conditions. That is because both these are water loving plants and they virtually thrive for watery culture medium. Another commercial success in hydroponic farming is tomatoes. It is found that hydroponically grown tomatoes have better color, taste and are juicier than the counterparts grown in soil media. Many types of berries like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are also few of the plants that are best suited for hydroponic growing.
Varieties of grapes like table grapes and wine grapes are also proven to grow extremely well indoors with hydroponic techniques. Although larger trees are not yet successfully grown hydroponically, dwarf trees like banana and lemon do show positive growth indoors.
Given the extensive research that is going on in the field of general hydroponics, scientists will sure find ways to cultivate more and more plants hydroponically. Till then growers are urged to grow above mentioned plants for commercial purpose as they are best suited for hydroponic growing.