Both professional as well as amateur growers are looking for alternative methods or techniques for growing. Use of inorganic and synthetic chemicals decrease fertility level of soil, leads to soil erosion, and are non-biodegradable so they act as hindrance to our ecological balance. To avoid all these problems, more and more growers prefer to use organic nutrients for their plants.
Organic nutrients can be provided to plants through naturally occurring fertilizers like peat, kelp, slurry, manure and, worm castings. Nitrogen, Potash, and Phosphorous along with other essential micronutrients when provided to plants through organic sources will result in healthy growth of plants. They also increase fertility level of soil and are completely biodegradable. Organic nutrients even if provided in excess to your plants, have no harmful effects unlike in case of chemical fertilizers.
Hydroponics plant thrive on organic nutrition as well. Many hydroponic growers have reported that the growth rate of plants has increased with the use of organic nutrients. Organic fertilizer like Bat Guano is rich in nitrogen and helps in healthy growth of hydroponic plants. Another such fertilizer, earthworm casting are used traditionally to provide organic nutrients. Fishmeal along with providing nutrients to plants, also introduces growth enzymes in hydroponic nutrient media. Organic nutrients help the growth media to be rich in beneficial microbial growth.
Organic nutrients have many advantages. They help in improving soil structure by retaining moisture and humus to the soil. Nutrients are released at a slow yet consistent rate in to the soil. This helps in avoiding bloom-and-bust pattern in plants. Topsoil erosion is prevented with the help of organic nutrients. Inorganic nutrients are washed away with rain or irrigation water and the harmful chemicals accumulate in nearby water bodies. This causes harmful effects to the life in the water body. Organic nutrients on the other hand, even if get washed away to a pond or lake, they cause no ill-effect to the flora and fauna of the water body.
Organic fertilizers act as storehouse for many micronutrients, gibberins, auxins and many other useful elements. It is found that root expansion is better in plants which are provided with organic nutrients than the plants which are provided with chemical fertilizers. With the use of organic nutrients you can grow healthy, blooming plants, crops with better yields, and tasty, delicious fruits and vegetables and all this without any side-effects!
Pole beans are a favorite amongst many farmers, hobbyist gardeners and hydroponic growers. If provided with adequate amount of nutrients, water, light, and proper plant care, then you can get green, tall and healthy pole beans.
To grow pole beans, follow the steps mentioned below:
Preparation of site: Pole beans tend to grow vertically and thus you will need climb up poles or homemade teepees to support their growth. Select site in such a way that teepees do not block the light from reaching other smaller plants in your garden or grow room. Soil is to be tilled well and raked smooth before planting pole beans.
Selection and plantation of poles : Poles on which you want to grow beans should be of one to two inch in diameter and should have rough surfaces. If you wish to go for a less costly option, then teepees style supports are great for your plants. However, avoid using fencing wire or other horizontal wires as they tend to cause the vines to get tangled with each other and this affects their growth. Place the poles such that group of four poles point inwards (to form a cone). Use a twine to bind the poles together where they intersect.
Sowing Seeds: Once the poles are placed properly, sow six to seven seeds around each pole. Do not over-crowd the soil patch in the greed of getting more and more vines because they need enough space to climb up. Once you have sowed all the seeds, cover them with an inch thick layer of soil.
Plant Care: Like any other plant, beans too require gentle care. Provide them with fertilizers externally if required. However, do not over fertilize the plants, especially with nitrogen rich fertilizers because in such cases the plants just grow tall without bearing any produce. Beans grow exceptionally when soil/hydroponic media are rich in organic nutrients. Keep watering your plants at regular intervals. In case of pest infestation use appropriate pesticide and take care that your plants get enough light.
Harvest: Pole beans usually mature in 60 to 90 days. Once the beans are fully grown and ripe, it is time to harvest them. Best way is to harvest them with hands. Make sure you do not rip out or disturb any vines in the harvesting process.
Pole beans require a good set-up for them to grow healthily. Proper plant care and attention towards minor details like avoiding straying of vines, provision of light, removing damaged and yellowed leaves etc will give you, healthy pole beans.
Right type of soil: Any gardener or farmer will tell you that soil is the most important factor to grow a healthy plant. Indoor gardening gives an advantage that you can choose the right type of soil. The soil should be porous and well ploughed. This allows free movement of air and water through the soil. If the soil is aerated properly, it will help you keep unwanted insects away.
Compost: Organic compost is a booster for your plants’ growth. Using different organic compost will help supplying nutrients in the soil. Compost increases porosity as it ads humus and organic matter. Organic compost is completely biodegradable and hence it will not do any harm to your indoor garden.
Planting: You can plant your organic garden using cuttings or seeds. It is advisable to grow plants from seed in case of indoor gardening as this will eliminate risk of outside pests and contamination. Using organic seeds will help you get a great yield. Plants like peas, tomatoes, pepper grow well from seeds.
Organic nutrients: Use of totally biodegradable provides many organic nutrients for your plants. Using a perfect blend of organic nutrients will provide your plants with essential minerals like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash. These elements are required for healthy growth of your plants.
Physical factors: While creating your organic home garden, you have to take care of physical factors like water, temperature, light, humidity etc. Although I is important to provide sufficient water to your plants, make sure you do not overwater them. This will curb their growth and invite fungi on the plants. Temperature and amount of light should be monitored and regulated on a timely basis. Avoid any drastic changes in temperature regulation as this will mutate your plants severely.
If you follow some basic guidelines, your organic garden will flourish with fresh, nutritious vegetables and fruits. Unlike popular belief, using organic techniques for indoor gardening is not an expensive or tedious task. A little care and precision will help you have totally natural, synthetic fertilizer and pesticide free yield.
Liming the garden is process used to raise pH level of the soil. Many soils are too acid to grow plants. Even after using hydroponic fertilizer, you will not get desired results if pH of you soil is blow 6.5.
How to do it:
Liming should not be done while the plants are growing as it may hurt the plants. Ideally at the beginning of a garden season, soil should be tested and then if the need arises, liming should be done. It is ideal to wait two three months after liming the garden as soil and pH levels will need some time to get adjusted.
Hydroponic fertilizers are acidic in nature and lime is alkaline. It is well known fact that acid and alkali do not gel well together. So it is advisable to keep a difference of two to three weeks between application of lime and fertilizers in the soil.
Lime is to be sprinkled over the soil surface and the top couple of inches should be mixed thoroughly with it. It is not necessary to manually apply the lime down in the soil; because it will automatically leach towards the root area into the soil very much like hydroponic fertilizers. Usually liming a garden once in a couple of years is sufficient, however you can determine by doing annual soil-testing as well.
Liming your garden soil reduces acid levels of soil. This helps in decreasing soil erosion. Organic hydroponic nutrients get easily incorporated with neutral soil. Liming your garden will help you prevent your soil from becoming barren.
So get your garden limed and see it flourish with great plants over the years.
Growing plants indoor might be a hobby for many of you. Especially in urban areas where space is a constraint, most growers opt for growing plants indoor using hydroponics. Hydroponics is one of the most preferred techniques used for growing house plants. One of the biggest advantages of growing house plant is that they can be grown all year round in climate regulated conditions inside your house. You can try growing exotic orchids or tropical plants at your convenience. The flexibility in controlling the environment actually allows you to grow almost any kind of plant that you may want to grow. However, it is important that you observe factors like light levels, potential draft, floor space, shelf space etc. before you choose which variety of plant you would want to grow. Even though most factors are controlled, in case the lighting levels are substantially low you need to spruce it up using artificial grow lights to simulate external growing conditions. Also natural light may vary with season, and you need to make the necessary adjustments accordingly.
Growing house plant through hydroponics involves growing plants directly in nutrient solution or by using inert medium like rockwool, coco coir etc. for anchorage and absorption. The nutrient solution feeds your plants with nutrients that are essential for their growth. You can prepare the nutrient solution by adding specially-manufactured nutrients which are essential for your plants to water in the correct ratio. While applying nutrients, please read the instructions carefully as over or under dosage of fertilizers will hamper the growth of your plants. Also consistent and proper watering will help your plants to grow.
As a hydroponics grower, you will have plenty of options for C02 generators, grow lights and other hydroponics equipment and supplies for your garden. But you must first evaluate the growing needs of your house plant. And for that, you need to figure out what kind of a hydroponic system you are planning to create and where will it be situated. When you have answers for these questions, you will definitely make the right choice.
Using chemicals for your crops can boost growth but is not a reliable source of augmenting growth if used for a comparatively longer period. These chemicals comprise harmful ingredients that are dangerous for plants and humans. Therefore, use of natural fertilizers is a better option, although to show the results it takes time but it’s highly effective and safe. Following are few garden fertilizers and plant foods that can help you grow plants the natural way:
- Seabird and bat guanos: These fertilizers are 100% pure and organic fertilizers. They are basically droppings of bats and sea birds. For a very long time, few growers were allowed to use guano because excess use would interfere with the breeding of birds or bats. Guano is fresh with high nutrient content.
- Beneficial microorganisms: Beneficial microorganisms are root bio-stimulants that increase the production of vegetable, flowers and fruits. These microorganisms promote quick growth. They are most effective, when provided directly to the plants roots.
- Organic fertilizers: This includes organic tea, organic compost, organic fertilizer, wheatgrass and wheat berries. These organic products increase the life of fertilizers and improve the growing conditions. They create ideal environment for the plants to grow effortlessly. They positively affect the relationship between your plants, micro and macro-organisms, nutrients and the quality of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
- Wiggle worm and earthworm castings: Worm castings are praised by experts as the finest and purest form of humus. It’s known as the best natural growing secret. With very little quantity of worm castings you can get large amount of beautiful yields. Extremely rich in texture, these castings have large quantity of important nutrients compared to other organic fertilizers. The final product is extremely rich with components that are soluble in water for optimum best nutrition supply.
- Fish fertilizers: Fish fertilizers or fish-mix are made from fresh fish without chemical additives. It contains large amount of natural amino acids and minor chelated elements. They are mild organic products that are beneficial during the initial and vegetative stages of plant growth.
- Organic nutrient supplements: These nutrient supplements encourage plants to absorb exact ratio of nutrients they need to grow. They are complete in every aspect and are well-balanced with precise nutrients for your plants. These are vitamins and mineral supplements that are designed for hydroponics, i.e. water soluble nutrients. They are specially formulated to provide basic elements – Phosphorus and Potassium.
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.