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Hydroponics is an innovative method of growing your fruits and vegetables without having to deal with messy soil-based growing techniques. Hydroponics technically means growing in water, but often hydroponic methods combine a mixture of growing in water-base nutrient solutions and in organic or inorganic root-zone media. You need the perfect hydroponics source to make the best of your crop. The basics of hydroponics are light, air, water, temperature and nutrients.
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Hydroponic plants require a healthy light source to produce their own food for growth. Since most hydroponic growers prefer their garden to be built indoor, grow lights play an important role. Hydroponic grow lights come in a variety of types that include full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs, metal halide grow lamps, high pressure sodium lights, and high-intensity LED grow lights. Among them, T5 fluorescent lights and LED are designed to support bigger growth with improved quality bulbs. We are confident to say the future outcome for hydroponic growing using these lights because of the experienced team and their success cases. Read our story if you are interested!
For T5 lights, the letter ‘T’ indicates the shape of the bulb (tubular) and the number after the ‘T’ represents the diameter of the bulb. These lights have a reflector which focuses the light directly to your plants by supplying 3 times more light. The structure of a four foot high T5 lamps, produce 5000 lumens each and [Read more…]
Gone are the days when people were ignorant of what lies inside their favorite vegetables and how they were grown. Now urban population is becoming more vigilant about their family’s health and their own. All thanks to organic farming and hydroponics, which are surging like adrenaline rush in the urban society. I guess we all might have enjoyed at some point have enjoyed homegrown fresh veggies that tasted heavenly. But with time as more and more arable land was transformed to concrete jungles, gardening at least in the traditional form no longer seemed to be a feasible option. The need was to adopt newer techniques where we can grow our favorite fruits and vegetables in a simulated grow room or greenhouse.
With the prevalence of hydroponics, it has become easier for those people who not only love growing vegetables but also want to give a chemical-free diet to their dear ones. Hydroponic vegetable gardening, a convenient mode of growing plants in a soil less medium, plants are grown in a nutrient medium or using root zone media for anchorage and absorption. The nutrient solution gives your plants the required nutrients that they would otherwise find in soil.
Hydroponic vegetable gardening requires less space, is pesticide free, and crops can be grown all year round. You don’t have to worry about the fluctuating temperatures as you can carry out your hydroponic vegetable gardening indoors. Hydroponic gardening is not climate dependent. Just because it’s winter, you need not let go of the opportunity to grow the tomatoes you love so much, lovingly sun-drying them later to use in warm offerings of food. You no longer have to spend time worrying about the right season and the right weather to grow your crops in. Hydroponic gardening liberates you from all those hitherto unavoidable natural factors that prevented you from growing your choicest crops throughout the year.
However, you need to do some in-depth groundwork before you begin with your own hydroponic vegetable gardening. Here are some pointers which will be helpful:
- Check out your complete commercial supplies for nutrients, organic nutrient sources and mineral elements that your plants need.
- Supply your plants with organic substances needed in human nutrition, storage methods and find out about pests damaging specific vegetables.
- Gather some other valuable information like recommended temperature ranges, seed propagation, cultivating seedlings, harvest timing and methods, pruning, inter-cropping, suggested gaps between plants in gravel culture, and significant growing factors.
- Create your own vegetable layout diagrams for every season with two cyclic orientations of plants towards the sun for each season. Preplan space to be allocated to each plant and draw an outline of where each vegetable plant should be set and when.
After completing all this basic research work, get to setting up your hydroponic vegetable garden and start assembling and growing your desired plants. Then you can both sit back and enjoy watching your beautiful, fresh veggies growing healthily or you can make plans to how you are going to sell this huge yield and make handsome profits !
A tall and thick stem crowned by a beautiful, vibrant and colorful flower with rich yellow petals and a brown centre; no doubt, Sunflowers are most cherished by the flower gardeners like you and me! Apart from their rich, sunset colors, what attracts most growers are large blooms and seemingly endless benefits that these flowers give. Sunflowers can be easily planted from the seed and are available in different varieties. These flowers can be 3 feet tall and can develop big heads. There is one more type of sunflower, called as Giant Sunflowers, which can grow up to 20 feet tall with 2 m blooms. Isn’t that amazing what nature has got in her pot!
Flower gardening can be made easy and enjoyable with hydroponics. Hydroponics gives you the freedom to grow almost anything indoors or outdoors. Sunflower too can be grown hydroponically in a floating hydroponic garden. It gives reduced crop cycles and better yields as all the nutrients are provided to the plants, and hence, the plants can divert their energy towards more important metabolic process rather than wasting it behind searching for food.
While growing sunflowers in a floating hydroponic garden, you have to make sure of a few things. First is the lighting. Sunflowers require adequate amount of light. If you are growing outdoors, your locale should be well lit; if indoors, then make sure your grow lights are on and you are providing the right spectrum of light to your plants. Second most important thing is nutrients. Buy the appropriate nutrients package for sunflower from the market and do not over fertilize them. Too much nitrogen can lead to decreased oil content in the sunflower seeds.
As you are using hydroponics to grow sunflowers, you can float a support raft on top the reservoir. This support raft can be made up of foam. Fill your net pots with rockwool surrounded by silica stones along with the initially germinated sunflower plants. Place these net pots in the spaces drilled at the raft making sure that every plant bottom is well immersed in the nutrient reservoir. Once they start taking the nutrients, you can sit back and relax. Watch your plants flower. No need of pruning either, just a little support when they get bulkier and you’re done. Enjoy looking at them while growing and count time for reaping the desired harvest!
Flower gardening is more than just a hobby for many people. It is a passion, something that gives them immense pleasure. If you are one of such people, then seeing your garden flourished with blooming flowers will give you true satisfaction. Flowers, especially roses are many gardeners’ delight. However, in urban areas where space is conspicuous by its scarcity, growing roses in backyard is not really an option. A perfect space-saving solution for such instances is growing roses hydroponically.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in water based nutrient media, without using soil. To grow roses hydroponically, you can go with Drip Irrigation system. In this system, nutrient solution is dripped on to the base of each plant by a small drip line. Timer is used to control submersed pump. You can either go for recovery drip system or non-recovery drip system. In the former, the runoff is collected, processed and is reused whereas in the later one, runoff is drained through an outlet. You can also choose to grow roses using Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T.). Grow medium like coco coir is best for rose plants as it enables the roots to breathe and absorb maximum nutrients. It is advisable to grow roses from mother plant cuttings. However, check that there are no plant diseases infested on the cuttings because otherwise it will ruin your entire set-up of indoor flower gardening. Also, avoid cutting from a plant which has been artificially grafted because such plants grow up to be infertile.
While choosing location for growing your hydroponic roses, keep in mind that direct sunlight with little draft is optimal for rose plants. Grow lights like sodium halide lamps or compact fluorescent bulbs also work efficiently in case of flower gardening. Roses prefer to grow at room temperature (around 27 degree C) and neutral pH in the range of 6.5 and 7.5.
Flower gardening is not just a technique but an art. And hydroponic growing of roses requires precision along with the hand of an artist! Keep an eye for any rot or fungal growth. Spray rose plants with pesticides to avoid any infestation. Prune rose plants with hand pruners. Regular pruning will help your roses grow in to fuller and bushier plants. Keep removing dead, damaged, and yellowed branches.
Growing roses hydroponically requires constant care and attention. However, once you see your garden full of fresh, colorful roses, you will feel that all this effort is totally worth it!
Many growers and indoor gardeners are considering growing plants using hydroponics. It is an advanced method which is useful in growing plants without soil. You can save a lot of space with the help of this method.
To get started with hydroponics, you will need to prepare the seedlings for the hydroponic garden. Plants like tomatoes, lettuce, pepper etc grow very well hydroponically. You can grow hydroponic plants in any container right from an old fish tank to unused barrel. Dark plastic containers are most favorable. Choose wide containers as they provide surface area to grow more plants or bigger plants.
Since there is no soil used in hydroponics, the plants are completely dependent on the nutrient supply provided by you. Dissolve the nutrients and add water to them. You can get a manual to know the right nutrients for your plants. You can buy nutrients from any general hydroponics store. You can also make your own fertilizer. All you need is a teaspoon and cup to dissolve the fertilizer. Dissolve chemicals with water in cup. You can take 2 rounded teaspoons of water soluble hydroponic fertilizer 8.15-36, 1 rounded teaspoon of Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), and 2 slightly rounded teaspoons of Calcium Nitrate.
Beginners can go with mediums like perlite or rockwool which does not require much investment. Once you have sown seeds, place a plastic cover on the container. If you are growing the plants indoors then you will need artificial source of light. Hydroponic plants grow well in HED lights but for small scale production, you can choose compact fluorescent lights and you will still get good results. Make sure your plants get enough light and nutrients and keep the growing area clean so that there is no rot or fungal growth.
Hydroponics is a science which requires precision and care to details. However, it is fulfilling method which will give you nutritious, fuller, flourishing plants in less space and a meager investment.
If you want to try out something that is convenient and something that would help you grow healthy lettuce, herbs, tomatoes and many more plants, then you should consider having a small aerogarden. In your aerogarden you can grow any variety of plant at any time of the year. You don’t have to worry about weeds, dirt, bugs or any chaos. Aerogarden is becoming a popular hydroponic garden. This type of hydroponics system is easy going and inexpensive for growers of any level.
With the help of aeroponic technology and proper built-in lighting you can easily have your own completely automated indoor garden. Therefore, unlike hydroponics, in aerogarden you don’t have to worry about adjusting the pH level or conductivity. The plants grown in your aerogarden are healthier and better compared to soil gardening. The plants in this garden grow in an environment that has consistently 100% humidity and is oxygen-rich. There are many aeroponic pods available on the market with different color and combination’s in which you can grow plants.
The aerogarden works best with aeroponics. It’s basically a technology where plant roots are allowed to hang in the air. These roots are timely drizzled with nutrients and water to give plants a perfect growing atmosphere. Aerogarden is the result of appropriate amount of light, air, nutrients and water needed by the plants for healthy growing. The final outcome is much better than the expectation; the growth is twice faster than the soil or dirt gardening. The fruits and vegetables grown are full-sized and juicy.
There are space-saver aerogarden pods that can fit well in a small kitchen or room. There is a huge variety of hydroponics equipment you can purchase to make your garden lot more meaningful and fun. There are also seed kits that are customized specifically for aerogarden. You can also design your own seed kit to create rare species of herbs, flowers or salad greens.
You can now add life and nature anywhere in the house with the help of aerogarden because it needs very limited space. Your office or a small cubical desk can also have an aerogarden to get that fresh look. All you have to do is, just add two nutrient tablets and fill water whenever the level is low and sit back and enjoy while your plants grow. Now, have your own aromatic herb garden.
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!
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!