Building a floating garden is very easy; you need to create a special float made of logs. Get [Read more…]
Light: It is important to provide plenty of lights to your hydroponic indoor garden. Hydroponic grow lights come in a [Read more…]
While growing hydroponic plants, most of the growers commit the same common mistakes which ruin their entire garden. With proper research and planning, you can avoid several such common mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes growers generally commit is that they start growing hydroponics plant without having any basic knowledge about how to grow and look after hydroponically grown plants. Before you start your hydroponic garden, check out our story that gives you a confidence on hydroponic growing!
One common mistake most of the gardeners commit is to not [Read more…]
Herbs add spice to food and gardens. Indoor gardening is the best way to obtain a bunch of freshly grown herbs right from your own windowsill and sprinkle it over your dish. Growing herbs indoors can be a successful venture once you decide on the perfect location for them in your home. Different herbs have different needs but majority of them grow very well in full sunlight. When you fulfill the needs of the herbs, you can grow even those delicate herbs that are difficult to grow outdoors. You can choose both soil method as well as hydroponics to grow your own herbs indoors.
Indoor gardening with herbs is not a very tedious task. With few simple steps and few growth factors to control, you can get a healthy, aromatic, and fresh yield of herbs. Select a location in your house where your herbs would get five hours of direct sunlight per day. [Read more…]
To set up an indoor hydroponic gardening, you first need to decide on the location where you wish to grow the plants. For a small scale garden, you can use old fish tanks, unused barrels or trays. Make sure that the indoor [Read more…]
Let us discuss the pros and cons associated with hydroponic gardening.
Pros of hydroponics:
- There is no requirement of soil in hydroponics. Thus it is a very efficient technique to be used in places where there is scarcity of farming land.
- With hydroponics, plants can be grown anywhere. For example, plants can be grown on a rooftop or next to the window sill or in an old fish tank. In many countries like Canada and Japan, vegetables are grown in the supermarket itself and it supplies crispy fresh vegetables to the shoppers. It saves money on transportation and reduces carbon footprints.
- In hydroponics there is no need for tilling of soil, irrigation of farmland, fumigation, spraying fertilizers. This not only means less work for you, but this way a lot of labor cost is cut.
- Hydroponic systems recycle nutrients and thus use a lot less water and nutrients in comparison to soil culture. This advantage is significant as it can lead to a reduction in the pollution of land and the stream with high levels of runoff nutrients.
- Hydroponics is a completely monitored system thus providing better control over plant growth. In case of soil culture, it is difficult to control physical factors like pH of soil and humidity levels because of the complex chemical and biological nature of the soil. A hydroponic grower, however, can determine the correct temperature, nutrient level, pH, and humidity for his system and grow plants in an ideal environment.
Cons of hydroponics:
- Starting cost to build and set-up any hydroponic system is quite high. Beginners thus have to make a big investment to get initiated with hydroponics.
- Beginners require proper training and guidance from a professional who has knowledge of basic principles of plant nutrition and hydroponic systems. Otherwise, the failure in system may lead to immense financial loss.
- Hydroponic Plants become very sensitive to any changes in the environment. If there are deficiencies, the plants will show it almost immediately. Additionally, because all the plants in the system are sharing the same water and nutrient mix, if a disease or pest infestation occurs, it spreads quickly through the entire growing system.
Notwithstanding all the advantages and disadvantages, one cannot deny the fact that hydroponics is the up and coming science and it is the perfect alternative to traditional farming in urban areas.
If you are not practicing your favorite hobby due to lack of space, you can always consider container gardening wherein you can grow your favorite herbs and vegetables on a window sill, patio, balcony or doorstep. You can consider options like carrot, radish, lettuce and plants which take up less space. Alternatively you can also consider plants which bear fruit over a period of time like tomatoes and peppers. Herbs are a great choice for indoor gardening. Most of the herbs are less demanding than vegetable plants, and you will obviously love to be able to snip off a few sprigs of fresh parsley or chop some chives from the window sill herb garden. Container gardening helps in making internal spaces and dull patios and kitchen windows look more attractive and green.
To evaluate which plant you can grow, first consider the amount of light the designated place receives. While root plants and leafy crops can tolerate partial shade, plants which produce fruits or vegetables need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. In case the designated area does not receive proper light, you can look at artificially sprucing the light conditions.
Several other factors which you should consider while grow hydroponic gardening in containers:
You will come across several options when you start looking for containers; clay, wood and metal being some of the plausible options. Size of containers should be carefully selected so that they are big enough to contain the plant when it fully blooms and have a proper drainage. Don’t use containers made of material which is toxic to the plants. Some of the prevalent options are barrels, cut off milk and bleach jugs, window boxes, clothes baskets lined with plastic (with drainage holes punched in it), even pieces of drainage pipe or cement block. Other safe alternatives are wood treated with waterborne compounds, alkaline copper quat (ACQ) and cooper azole (CBA), which are sold under trade names such as Preserve, NatureWood, or Natural Select.
A light weight mix should be considered for container gardening. Do not use a mix straight out of your garden as it might contain too much of clay. Too much of clay will make the soil less porous and make it wet by holding moisture. You should ensure that the medium is not only porous but also has a high percentage of organic content which improves the water holding capacity of the medium. Packaged potting soil available at local garden centers may make a good container medium, but be sure that it is not too high in organic material. It should contain 30% or more perlite or coarse matter or average.
Special attention needs to be paid while watering plants. The soil amount is less and if your container faces direct sunlight there are chances that it might dry out frequently. Always apply water till you see it draining out of the drainage holes.
If your soil mix already had premixed fertilizer, then you don’t need to add anything for next 8 to 10 weeks. Occasionally a dose of fish emulsion or compost will add trace elements to the soil. Do not add more than the recommended rate of any fertilizer since this may cause fertilizer burn and kill the plants.
Hydroponics, a technology which holds huge potential to become the most preferred way of food production in the days to come, will soon dominate the way we cultivate and grow crops. Hydroponic gardening, essentially a method of growing plants in nutrient solution, with no soil has innumerable advantages over conventional plant growing methods. With arable land getting scarce by the day and ever increasing population, hydroponics promises to provide a solution to agriculture shortage and feed the population. Japan, one of the pioneers in hydroponics, has paved the road map for rest of the countries to embrace this technological breakthrough and solve the problems of food production. With surging population and decreasing arable land, Japan is one of the earlier adopters to this technology. With Hydroponics, the Japanese not only succeeded in solving the issue of decreasing cultivable land, they also increased the number of harvest from one to four cycles in a year.
With growing plants in a perfectly controlled environment, Hydroponics can nullify the effect of weather and one can grow almost anything anywhere. For instance, Organitech, one of the commercial hydroponic growers in Israel has been successfully growing huge quantities of berries, citrus fruits, bananas and other plants which under normal circumstance would not have been possible to grow in Israel. Even arid lands of Africa can become more fertile and solve its population of food nutrition with the help of this technology.
As of now, hydroponics is a costlier option compared to traditional methods of growing plants. Even though the set up costs are higher thus currently creating a huge entry barrier, with time, like all technologies, costs are expected to come down. This will make this technology more feasible in the long run. Moreover plants cultivated through hydroponics systems have more nutritional benefits compared to traditional methods of agriculture. For instance, a well grown hydroponics tomato has a better taste and nutritional value with more vitamins, precisely vitamin A and C compared to tomatoes grown through other methods. Even scientists at NASA are contemplating that this technology can benefit the future space programs and colonization of planets or moon.
With favorable market factors, good technology and regulations, hydroponics method will establish a pace of development worldwide in the domain of agriculture. Many colleges and universities are already promoting hydroponics to take agriculture to the next level; it is slowly changing the face of agriculture. Many farmers are provided with innovative hydroponics technology to grow better crops and gain profits from them. Introduction of hydroponics production will lift the future of plantation and will act as a boost to productive technology in the world of farming and agriculture!
When you feel that your garden is ready for advanced hydroponic techniques, you should really consider using beneficial microbes. While simple things like taking care of your nutrient solutions can really give your plants a boost, growers who want to explore everything that their garden can offer should definitely try beneficial bacteria.
These specially chosen microbes colonize the root area and help the roots become thicker, larger, [Read more…]
One of the single most potent supplements that hydroponics gardeners use today is beneficial microbes. In soil gardens, countless helpful bacteria work symbiotically with the plants, helping increase the size of their roots and helping your plants use their nutrients to their fullest abilities.
But having a culture of beneficial microbes is not as simple as just throwing a bunch of microbe-based supplements into your nutrient solutions. You have to work hard to make sure that the beneficial microbes thrive and survive in the nutrient solution.
Here are some important things to keep in mind [Read more…]