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Hydroponics,Gardening,Fresh,Produce,Fruits,Vegetable,IHidro

Although hydroponics allows would-be urban gardeners to grow plants anywhere without the need for light or soil, the method of growing is only now beginning to take off among those who consider themselves part of the growing organic movement. This is because the nutrient solutions used for hydroponic gardening are considered by many to be incompatible with organic growing. Recently, an experiment in Montreal has shown that organic and hydroponic growing methods are compatible.

The Purpose of the Project

Funded by the Canadian government, the Montreal Project sought to compare the success of growing tomatoes in an organic hydroponics system and in an organic traditional soil system. The purpose of the experiment was to help determine the most beneficial way to grow plants on rooftops in the urban environs of Montreal. At the end of the project, the tomatoes grown in the organic hydroponics system were much larger than their soil-grown counterparts. In addition, the hydro organic vegetables were less damaged by aphids than the soil-grown variety.

Organic Materials for Hydroponics

To be organically grown in a grow room or grow box under grow lights or outdoors in a hydroponic system, seeds must get the benefits of nutrients. Typically, the nutrition is provided by chemical solutions, but there are alternatives. Chemical nutrient solutions can be replaced with entirely organic growing solutions, such as an organic compost tea or a mix of 1-1/2 teaspoons of emulsified fish, 1-1/2 teaspoons of liquid seaweed and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of bloodmeal. Perlite and vermiculite, made from lava and mica, respectively, and ordinary sand can be used as the growing medium for hydroponics boxes.

The Feasibility of Hydroponics

Those who champion organic growing often criticize hydroponics, saying that it is too expensive to be a practical choice for the every day person wanting to grow flowers or an herb garden. Many assume that the cost of plant lights, water filters and the other component of a hydroponics system must be very expensive. The Montreal Study found that because higher yields were possible with hydroponic growing, the comparative cost per tomato grown was not much more than that of standard organic growing outdoors. In terms of indoor growing, the cost is even less, as you can continue to grow vegetables and other plants year round when you would otherwise be unable to grow with an organic soil system.

While the Canadian government does intend to continue to study the benefits of hydroponic organic growing, the Montreal Project does prove that hydroponic and organic growing methods are compatible. If you'd like to get started growing plants the organic way without traditional soil, check out the selection of supplies in our grow shop. We have all of the essentials that you need to set up your organic hydroponic garden system.

Hydroponics,Gardening,Fresh,Produce,Fruits,Vegetable,IHidro

Want to take up vegetable gardening at home? If you choose to grow plants in a hydroponics system over a traditional soil-based system, you can enjoy higher yields, conserve water and avoid the hassles of dealing with pests. You can even grow your vegetables indoors in a groom room under plant lights in any season. Just follow these steps to start your grow hydro system.

1. Start your seeds by placing two to three in a starting cube. Leave them under grow lights or in the sun, watering as needed until the roots begin to poke out of the cubes. This should take roughly 1 to 2 weeks.

2. Purchase a flood table, a rectangular plastic container that can hold 10 to 12 gallons of water.

3. Buy 2 drip emitters, which you can find in the irrigation section of hardware stores and at many nurseries. Choose ones with a 2 gallons per hour rating.

4. Create a setup with the flood table placed on a bench or stool, so that the ends protrude over the edges of the bench or stool.

5. Heat a nail over a hot stove using pliers. When it is red hot, drive it through the bottom of the tray in two spots.

6. Use a sharp knife and sandpaper to make the holes large enough to fit the drip emitters through them. Seal with hot glue to keep them in place and prevent leaks.

7. Hydroponic growing requires nutrients, so you'll need to create a planting media mix for your gardening. Try mixing coconut fiber and perlite. For dry climates, use more coconut fiber than perlite and vice versa for more humid environments.

8. Purchase 4-inch square planter pots with holes in the bottom.

9. Fill the bottom third of each pot with your growing media.

10. Place one of your started seeds into each pot and then fill in with media.

11. Water the pots and then arrange them in your flood table.

12. Purchase a plant food of your choosing. Make sure that the nutrition it contains is suitable for the plants that you are growing.

13. Mix the plant food with 5 gallons of water, following the instructions on the plant food packaging.

14. Pour the mixture into the flood tray, not into the plants.

15. Place the bucket under the flood tray.

16. After dripping stops, cover the bucket with a lid.

17. Every day, pour the plant food and water back into the flood tray. If it begins to smell, dispose of it and make a new batch. Even if it does not begin to smell, pour it out and make a new batch every week.

18. Always keep 5 gallons of water in your bucket to pour onto the plants. This will require you to add extra water during the week.

19. Monitor the growth of your plants and harvest when ready.

This method is best for growing plants outdoors, but you can also start an herb garden or garden of flowers and vegetables indoors with grow lights. You'll find all of the supplies that you need to join the ranks of gardeners who are using hydro growing to enjoy lush, bountiful gardens in our grow shop.

Hydroponics,Gardening,Fresh,Produce,Fruits,Vegetable,IHidro

Hydroponic gardening is on the rise in popularity.  Understanding exactly how to successfully grow fresh vegetables and herbs starts with the basics.  In Hydroponics 101, the main heart and soul to a successful hydroponic garden is the reservoir!

Understanding that the reservoir is the single most important part of the hydroponic growing system is a must.  Maintaining your nutrient solution reservoir will dictate how successful your gardening efforts be.

Your Tap Water:

You need to test your water quality before putting it in your reservoir.  Tap water registers around 300 ppm or higher.  Your water's ppm should stay between 0 to 50 ppm before the addition of nutrients.  Start off by checking a small amount of your water quality with your TDS/PPM EC Meter. 100 ppm or higher is acceptable but there is a chance that micro nutrients will show up in your test.

All vegetables are not created equal.  There are so many varieties of vegetables and so are their nutrient and pH level demands.

Your Nutrient Solution:

Your nutrient solution should be checked every day, around the same time of day, to measure the strength of your nutrient and its pH.  Using a digital probe, measure the strength and pH and right this down in a log or notebook.  Keeping track of changes will help you develop healthy plants.

You should run tests on your solution after it has run through your system at least once, twice is best.  Purchase good test equipment because paper strips and test tube kits will not do the trick.

Adjusting the pH Levels:

The best level for pH is between 5.5 to 6.2, do not go over 6.5 and do not go below 5.5.  Although various vegetables need various levels, they all need to be between these levels.  Also note that adjusting your solution's pH will affect its strength. When adjusting the pH use propriety solutions as: pH Up or pH Down.

Check Your Solution's Strength:

Grab your TDS/PPM meter and check the strength of your nutrient solution.  If it's too strong, add water -- if it's too weak, add some fertilizer.  Always re-check your pH after making changes.

A top-up nutrient should only be used 3 to 4 times between full nutrient changes.  Never use full nutrients for top-ups.

It's advisable to have a nutrient reservoir as large or larger than the empty volume of the containers or tubes.  If you have a 20L container, at least 20L of nutrients should be used, though twice that amount is better.  It is a good idea to use the largest nutrient reservoir you possibly can.

Your Nutrients:

Depending on the volume and your plants requirements can vary greatly.  It is a really good idea to nutrient the water every day when you are first starting off.

When your nutrients come to the end of their usefulness, you can simply pour the solution into your plants grown in dirt.

Outdoor Hydroponic Gardens:

Although many enjoy their hydroponic gardens outdoors, keep in mind that any runoff water, including rain will affect your solution.  Rain, for instance, will dilute your solution rather quickly.

Indoor Hydroponic Gardens:

If your garden is indoors, you will have better control over the nutrient solution and other aspects of growth.  You will need plant or growth lights, your grow box or grow room can vary enormously and you will be able to grow herbs, vegetables, greens and even flowers year round.

Conclusion:

Hydroponic gardening is catching on like wildfire.  Whether you live in an apartment or in a cold climate that restricts your outdoor growing.  Hydroponics can offer you fresh produce and herbs whenever you want them.  There is a fountain of information online for you to study up on before starting your own garden.  Visit your local nursery to talk with someone knowledgeable in hydroponics.  Hydroponic gardening is not difficult and the rewards can be awesome!

Garden Delights In Every Season: Growing Vegetables Indoors With Hydroponics

Imagine plucking a juicy red tomato right off the vine to top off your burger or put in your salad. See yourself picking a freshly grown spicy hot pepper that you can use to flavor your dishes. Picture yourself harvesting your own cucumbers or squash for your recipes. Now, imagine that you're picking these veggies in your pajamas inside with a foot of snow covering your backyard!

This delicious vision isn't just a dream; it can be a reality with a hydroponics vegetable garden. Hydroponics is a way of organic gardening indoors in any season without having to deal with messy potting soil. You can grow a wide variety of vegetables indoors in a hydroponics system, and this step-by-step guide will tell you how.

1. Take a plastic seedling tray and fill it up with peat moss, which you can purchase online and at home and garden stores. Spritz the peat moss with a water bottle until it is wet to the touch. You want it to feel like a sponge that is damp but not dripping wet.

2. Plant your vegetable seeds according to the depth instructions on the packaging. For best results when you're starting your first garden, pick vegetables that grow low to the ground and that grow quickly, such as leafy greens like kale or lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower.

3. Put plastic on the tray and place the entire setup on a windowsill that receives light but not direct sunlight.

4. Check your plants every day. If the peat moss is dry, spritz it the way that you did in Step 1. When the seeds sprout, remove the plastic.

5. Continue checking the seeds daily. Continue until the plants are beginning to outgrow the tray.

6. When the plants are too big, take each one gently out of the tray. Use water on low pressure to clean the peat moss away from the roots.

7. Take an aquarium fish tank and encase it with aluminum foil to block out the light and help the plants grow.

8. Purchase a hydroponics nutrient solution and mix it with water as directed on the packaging.

9. Pour the nutrient and water solution into the fish tank.

10. Connect a fish tank bubbler to a tank air pump with plastic tubing and gently put the bubbler down on the bottom of the tank.

11. Use scissors to trim a piece of Styrofoam sheeting to slightly smaller than the length and width of the fish tank.

12. Make holes inside of the sheet that are slightly smaller than the mouth of the Styrofoam coffee cups that you purchased.

13. Use an exacto knife to make slits in the sides of the cups.

14. Fill each cup up completely with vermiculite.

15. Make a depression enough to accommodate your plants inside of the vermiculite-filled cups.

16. Carefully set one plant in each cup.

17. Put the Styrofoam cups into the holes of the Styrofoam sheet.

18. Put the Styrofoam sheet with the cups inside of the fish tank.

19. Turn on the bubble.

20. Put the fish tank underneath hydroponics growing lights.

21. Monitor your plants and wait for your vegetables to grow!

These simple steps will have you enjoying your own fresh-from-the-garden vegetables all year round in no time!

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Indoor Gardening By Charles R. Sword

Tasty Fresh Vegetable Recipes from Your Hydroponic Garden

Everyone loves the taste of fresh vegetables straight from the garden, but unfortunately the summer and fall harvest seasons are much too short. The good news is that you can enjoy the same wonderful flavor year round from a hydroponic garden in your home. With a simple grow box, nutrients, and plant lights you can enjoy vegetables that taste as good as anything you can grow in the soil.

One of the most popular vegetables to grow hydroponically is tomatoes. In North America in the wintertime the tomatoes you can buy at the grocery store are usually imported from Mexico, or are grown in giant commercial greenhouses and shipped. The tomatoes are picked before they are ripe, the texture is tough and the flavor is bland. But if you have a tomato garden in your grow room you can wait to pick them until they are so ripe they are about to burst with flavor.

Basil is an herb that also grows well in hydro. It doesn’t take up much space and grows a pretty little plant that is easy to maintain. It is also a very versatile herb that goes well in Italian dishes such as tomato-basil pasta sauce or on a Caprese salad with mozzarella cheese, fresh sliced tomatoes, and sprinkled with basil.

Another plant that grows really well in your indoor garden is pepper. It is happy to grow in a media like clay pellets where its roots can dig in firmly and hold the plant up straight under the weight of the heavy peppers. Just put the grow light about 8 to 10 inches above the top of the plant so the heat from the lamp doesn’t burn the leaves and raise the light as the plant grows. Give it 10 or 12 hours of light and it is happy.

You can make a wonderful roast pepper dish that is easy to make and tastes delicious. From your garden select 3 fresh peppers, a pint of cherry tomatoes, and a half a cup of basil. Cut the peppers in half and clean out the seeds, then fill the pepper halves with tomatoes and place them in a baking dish. If you have any mozzarella left over from your Caprese salad add a little bit to each pepper. Chop up the basil in a bowl and add 8 chopped garlic cloves, cover the tomatoes with the garlic and basil, then salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the peppers with aluminum foil and put the dish in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and put the dish in to bake for another 15 minutes. Take the peppers from the oven and sprinkle them with about a tablespoon of herb vinegar, then enjoy. This dish is very healthy, with low carbohydrates and full of nutrients.

When you have a hydro grow room you are able to create gourmet meals like this every night. Just grow a selection of your favorite vegetables and herbs, pick up a recipe book, and enjoy fresh-picked veggies on your table all year long.

0 Comments | Posted in News Hydroponics Details Indoor Gardening By Florence B. Harrell

Hydrogen peroxide (H202) has been used for years in treating minor cuts and burns within households. It gets rid of infections and various bacteria without any discomfort. Hydrogen peroxide also prevents future infections in your hydroponic system, protecting your ability to grow plants in many positive ways.

Using hydrogen peroxide in your Hydroponics System offers many good outcomes. If your nutrient reservoir solution maintains 72 degrees, hydrogen peroxide is a necessary ingredient. Warm water decreases the oxygen level in the water causing many bacteria, viruses and fungi. Hydrogen peroxide adds oxygen and cleans the water of these pathogens. Your herb garden and other hydro gardens will love you for it!

Grow lights can cause a temperature increase in your grow rooms or grow boxes. Hydrogen peroxide will help bring the water temperature down and protect your plants. Plant lights are commonly used in partially enclosed grow boxes and completely enclosed grow boxes. Watching your temperatures is extremely important to insure you grow plants with great success.

Hydrogen peroxide counteracts the chlorine that many water providers use to sterilize your drinking water. Well water is high in methane and organic sulfates which hydrogen peroxide will also remove. As you draw your water from one of these sources, the purity of water in your will have a strong effect on your herb garden, vegetable garden or flower garden.

Bacterial, fusarium fungi, pythium fungi and many other organisms are destroyed by free oxygen released by hydrogen peroxide. Many herbs are effected by various fungi and mildew, using a little precaution and providing hydrogen peroxide to eliminate the potential of these diseases is important.

Plants must have oxygen as it is a major part of a plant's structure, allowing nutrients for the plants to feed on and assists in critical functions for all metabolic processes.

When using a grow room, keep in mind these rooms can become extremely hot. Good ventilation and oxygen are critical to proper growth. When applying hydrogen peroxide, follow label instructions carefully and other instructions included with your hydroponic system.

Extra oxygen provided by hydrogen peroxide benefits many functions including:

  • Breaks down carbohydrates brought on by photosynthesis
  • Gets more nutrients to your plant by increasing root zone movement
  • Creates thicker stems
  • Aids oxidization of metallic elements
  • Provides plant energy
  • It enhances photosynthesis by stimulating the level of protein production
  • Boosts the survival rate of plant cuttings
  • Escalates seed germination
  • Disinfects and cleanses your hydroponic system providing less disease
  • Excelling seed germination will greatly help seeds in sprouting while protecting them from molds and mildews.

Wet Sprouting:

Once a day, place a wet paper towel or cloth onto a flat surface and spray the outer surface of the material encasing the seeds. Supplement watering with a 3% solution once the sprouts start growing. Should you notice any form of bacterial growth, spray a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide onto the foliage, blooms and barks.

Regular strengths of hydroponic peroxide (3%, 5%, 8%) are safe and very easy to use. Look for "hydrogen peroxide (stabilized) 3% on the label.

Three percent hydrogen peroxide should be in a solution of 2-1/2 teaspoons of peroxide per gallon. You should start off at a lower concentration and then increase after a few weeks.

Changing Out The Reservoir:

When changing the reservoir, every two or three weeks, start off with 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per gallon and slowly increase to the full 2-1/2 teaspoons per gallon.

Allow your hydroponic system to fully circulate the peroxide and water solution for approximately 30 minutes. This allows the peroxide to rid of pathogens and allows the solution to stabilized before you add the nutrients.

Take The Advise of a Professional:

Your standard peroxide can be purchased in most drugstores and many times at your local supermarket. You may also purchase a hydrogen peroxide solution from your hydroponics retailer. You should also consult with them for any professional advise regarding the solution strengths and when it should be applied. Take their advise and follow the instructions that are clearly listed on the bottle. Your hydro grow shop professionals are just a phone call away should you have any questions or concerns.

We have used hydrogen peroxide for healing minor wounds and killing off diseases. Now you know it will serve the same purpose for your hydroponic herb and vegetable gardens!

0 Comments | Posted in News Hydroponics Details Indoor Gardening By Florence B. Harrell

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Over the past few years, people with sensitivities toward gluten have also developed certain diseases such as celiac disease. Consuming a great deal of gluten can have a pretty negative impact on your overall health.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a "sticky" protein found in many grain products such as wheat, rye, barley and many other grains. It's called "sticky" because it literally hold nutrients together within the plant. This sticky ability is why it is used in processed foods as a filler and a binder. It is a two part protein that consists of peptides gliadin and glutenin.

Why Are People Turning Away From Gluten?

One of the biggest reasons we are turning away from gluten is that we are not eating the wheat that our parents grew up on. In order to produce a bug-resistant, fast growing and drought resistant product, we have to hybridized the grain. ( Hybridized = to breed or cause the production of a hybrid.) Approximately 5% of the protein found in hybridized wheat is considered a "new form of protein" and this is where the problem lies. This new form of protein leads to increased inflammation within your system, causes an intolerance to gluten and can bring about systematic problems.

How Is Wheat Now, Different Then It Was Years Ago?

Wheat has been de-amidated or in other words, amino groups have been removed from the product. This is done in order to allow the wheat to become water soluble and therefore able to be mixed into just about every single packaged food. Unfortunately, this process has shown to create a large immune response in many people. In this fast-paced world that we live in, we are surrounded with fast foods available at a snap and we are eating a great deal more wheat then our ancestors ever did.

So, What Goes On In Our Bodies When We Eat Gluten?

While you are consuming that "whole-grain" pasta that every health nut under sun claims is good for you, or that 12-grain sandwich, it's eventually is going to enter your intestines. (TTG) tissue transglutaminase is an enzyme that breaks down the gluten into building blocks, gliadin and glutenin.

So, what does all of that mean? Let's break it down so it's more clearly understood. Everything you intake must make its way through your digestive system, your lymphoid tissue or GALT which is the term used for the immune system within your gut! Your system literally reviews everything to make sure there are no harmful substances trying to make their way through.

Now, if you do not have any issues with gluten, the entire process moves along very smoothly and there are no problems. Unfortunately, if you have a sensitivity to gluten , your system identifies "gliadin" as a dangerous substance and starts producing antibodies to attack it. Gliadin is a prolamin derived from the gluten of grain. Prolamin is a simple class of proteins. Those with Celiac’s Disease, these antibodies don't just attack the gliadin, they also go after the TTG which originally broke down the gluten.

Symptoms Within the Digestive System Can Cause Serious Conflicts:

The enzyme, TTG, has numerous jobs and one of the most important duties is pulling together the microvilli, or little finger-like projections on the surface of the epithelial cell within our gut.

Your body collects nutrients by absorbing them through the walls of your intestines. The more surface space there is, the more they can absorb. These Microvilli exist in your intestines to increase the surface area and absorb nutrients. When these fingers become blunt, this is an indication of celiac disease.

When the production of antibodies are cut back within your body to defend against gliadin, these microvilli will erode and decrease your ability to absorb needed nutrients and can cause the walls of your intestines to become leaky.

When this leakage takes place, you can develop digestive symptoms such as bloating, constipation, weight loss, diarrhea, malnutrition and fat malabsorption. Malnutrition can be in the form of lack of iron, anemia, low vitamin D or even osteoporosis.

How Does Gluten Cause a Leaky Gut?

In order to absorb nutrients, our system must be accessible to small molecules. Regulating our intestinal attainability is one of the leading functions of the cells that line the intestinal walls.

That said, people who are sensitive to gluten can have their gut cells release "zonulin". Zonulin is a protein that will break the tight junctions of your gut apart. Once this happens, you will experience a "leaky gut". When this occurs toxins, microbes and undigested foods particles escape your intestines and travel throughout your body via your blood stream. Adding to that, this also allows antibodies to escape as well and these antibodies were formed to originally fight off gliadin.

The Link Between Gluten, Inflammation and Auto-immune Disease:

Antibodies often confuse more than TTG for gliadin and attack other organs and systems. From your skin to your thyroid or your brain can be at high risk. This is precisely why gluten sensitivity is often associated with auto-immune conditions and the onslaught of Celiac Disease. Once this has manifested, this can cause a second auto-immune disease as well.

What To Do If You Are or Suspect You Are Gluten Intolerant?

One of the best tests you can run is to remove any form of gluten from your diet for approximately 3 to 4 weeks before reintroducing it back into your diet. You need to run this test for a good amount of time because gluten is a very large protein and takes a long time to get it out of your system. If you can keep out of your diet for a longer time frame, all the better.

Once you introduce gluten back into your diet, should you feel significantly worse then you were before chances are you have a low tolerance to gluten. You may also request that your doctor run a series of tests:

  • IgA anti-gliadin antibodies
  • IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
  • IgA anti-gliadin antibodies
  • Total IgA antibodies
  • Tissue Transglutaminase antibodies
  • Genetic Testing
  • Intestinal Biopsy

Tests are not always accurate because gluten is made up of hundreds of peptides and gliadin that are broken down into 12 different sub fractions. Quite honestly, your body knows more than any test can possibly show. If you rid of gluten from your body and you feel great and then reintroduce it back into your system and you feel terrible, it's time to unload gluten permanently!

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How To Treat Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity:

You should eliminate gluten by 100% from your diet. Even low amounts of gluten from supplements, medications, cross-contamination can cause serious immune reactions. The mentality that gluten is only eaten when out at restaurants is a poor excuse. An article published in 2001 stated that those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, eating gluten just once a month increases the risk of death by 600%.

For some people, just removing gluten from their diets 100% isn't enough. The damage that has been caused must mend. Even those who only show signs of bloating or headaches, these effects can last up to six months and in some cases longer.

Because the damage has already been done, the gut lining must totally heal. Because of years of ignoring gluten sensitivity, other infections could arise such as parasites, bacterial overgrowth and bacterial imbalances, to name a few. In some cases some folks might need to go completely "grain-free" due to damages that have incurred.

Keep in mind, you are not losing any needed nutrients by cutting out gluten. You could very well be saving your own life or the life of someone you love. The wheat products we consume in this day and age are not what our ancestors consumed, nor did they consume as much as we have in recent years.

0 Comments | Posted in News By Florence B. Harrell

More people have become environmentally aware, and work in various ways to be greener. One such way people have become greener is to create and cultivate roof gardens. And, once limited to buildings and other similar structures, roof gardens can now be found on moving vehicles.

That’s right! Moving vehicles like buses and vans. That means the next time you are waiting for the bus, you could get an environmentally friendly ride to your destination. Roof gardens on bus tops are showing up in various parts of the world.

How Are Rooftop Gardens Created On Vehicles

Now, you might be wondering, how in the world can gardens be grown on rooftops of vehicles? That’s a good question. And, it’s not as hard as one might think. These phytokinetic gardens created out of aquaponics foam are rooted in a steel grid that ensures the plants stay in place even in cases of sudden stops. A sedum carpet of succulents keeps the flower bed moist along with ferns and small shrubs. The entire area is covered using a protective mesh.

The vehicle’s air conditioning system waste waters the plants. And, with rooftop gardens, the buses see an automatic cool-down of 3.5 degrees Celsius, which saves on the vehicle’s air conditioning.

A roof garden also helps to reduce how much weight is on the roof of the bus. And, since soil isn’t used, additional weight isn’t a concern.

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What Benefits Are Associated With Rooftop Gardens?

There are several worthwhile benefits to the rooftop gardens of moving vehicles including but not limited to:

  • It increases the aesthetic value of the bus.
  • It provides both Thennal and Acoustical Insulation
  • It increases the absorption of CO2 emissions.
  • It reclaims real estate that has long been forgotten.
  • It boosts public awareness and recreation.

What’s so popular about moving roof gardens? Well, the idea behind them is to lessen the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere while also boosting the amount of overall vegetation and bio-diversity in crowded cities, especially in cities that are limited in space due to infrastructure such as Tokyo, Barcelona, etc.

One Creator of Rooftop Gardens

There hasn’t been just one creator of the rooftop gardens, and the design’s birth was for various reasons. One such creator is New York City designer Marco Cosio, who used the idea from his graduate thesis. He designed rooftop gardens to make use of forgotten space on the city buses while also bettering urban life with greenery.

A prototype of his design was installed on the BioBus’ roof. The BioBus is a mobile science laboratory and has become the first bus to have the detailed green roof system. It’s been seen in areas around New York City and has even traveled to Ohio and other places in the Northeast United States. Of course, the BioBus is just one several other mobile gardens, which have been found on trains, trucks and other various other moving items.

Cosi said the public transit buses have a surface space of 340 feet with the Metropolitan Transit Authority owning about 4,500 buses. The amount of green space in the city could expand exponentially. Basically, that means an additional 35 acres of green space.

With so many benefits behind this concept, and the ease in which to implement it, it can definitely be viewed as being the wave of the future. And, there is little doubt that moving roof gardens – be it in the form of buses, trucks, cars, or trains - could be the best in carbon-neutral motoring. You can create one yourself, if you think a home roof garden of plants is doable, than you should go and take part in saving the planet. 

1 Comments | Posted in Plants & Flower Gardening By Florence B. Harrell

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Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is most commonly used for flavoring Italian and Asian dishes. Fresh or dried its versatility has graced many a dinning room table. These annuals grow between 18 to 24 inches and are extremely prolific. Lets first take a look at growing basil in your garden or in containers:

How To Grow In Your Garden or Containers

This herb thrives in either garden soil or containers and prefer full sun, regular watering, a fast draining environment and rich soil. Prior to planting, be sure to mix compost or aged animal manure into the soil.

Planting Basil

You can either sow seeds indoors for approximately 4 to 6 weeks before moving outdoors or when the soil is warm and the temperature does not go below 65 degrees F. You should space the plants 4 to 5 inches apart from each other.

Seeds should not be planted deeper than just below the soil surface. Germination will take from 5 to 30 days and you should keep the soil moist. It is suggested you apply organic fertilizer once or twice during the growing season to ensure robust growth.

Be sure and pinch back the flower spikes to promote bushiness and prevent spindly growth. Sow regularly for summer use and then freeze the rest for winter needs.When summer comes to an end, allow Basil to go to seed, this will attract bees and other beneficial insects.

How to Harvest

When the plants reach 6 inches in height they are ready for harvesting. You want to wait until morning dew has dried just above the leaf nodes. Basil's aroma is important for many dishes, therefore do not wash the leaves or you will lose their aromatic oils.

To dry basil, hang the plants upside down in a dark, dry, well ventilated room then store in air tight containers.

If you harvest basil frequently it will encourage new growth from the plants.

Treating Diseases and Insects

In order to prevent fungal diseases make sure your site has good air circulation. Should you notice symptoms of fungus, apply a fungicide.

The most common pests that can plague basil are aphids, slugs and Japanese beetles. Use natural pest controls if any of these pests surface on your plants. Natural pest controls include keeping your garden weeded and clean. Use good composts and mulches in the soil and only use organic pesticides when necessary.

Harvest Seeds

Basil forms seed capsules that contain four seeds. You should allow these capsules to dry before harvesting and then separate them by hand.

Now that we have covered outdoor gardening, let's take a look at growing basil hydroponically. Growing basil year round makes this great herb available for all your fine cuisine. You could collect and freeze basil from your garden, or you can enjoy fresh basil by growing it hydroponically!

What you Will Need

Getting Started

First off, purchase basil seedlings from your local nursery or transplant from your garden early in the year.

Once you have your seedlings, remove them from their containers (if applicable) and rinse the roots completely. Hold the root ball under a gentle flow of water while working the root mass apart with your fingers. Remove any clinging soil, being extremely careful when cleaning the top area of the root ball where it joins the body of the plant.

Select four or five plants for each hydroponic container. Add water, following the manufacturer's instructions for the particular container you have purchased.

Once the plants are in place, put your container in direct sunlight. Southern exposure is really the best, but if you do not have that luxury, buy a fluorescent growing light and place your container under it.

Take your hydroponic nutrient and fertilize the plants. The rate should be 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. If you will be harvesting often from the plants, increase the fertilizer to 25%.

The Sky's The Limit

Growing hydroponic basil is really very easy to do and will give you wonderful crops to enjoy year round. As you become more knowledgeable with hydroponic containers, you'll want to add other plants to enjoy fresh produce even in the dead of winter.

2 Comments | Posted in Fruits & Vegetable Gardening By Charles R. Sword

Indoor Gardening Tips

Fall ushers in cooler days and nights, beautiful foliage and wonderful festivities surrounding Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Your garden is now preparing itself for much needed rest.  You probably have some plants you would like to enjoy throughout the fall and winter months.

This is the perfect time of year to start grabbing your favorite outdoor plants and bringing them inside.  Coleus, Hibiscus and Geraniums do very well indoors and are often considered indoor plants anyway.

This also is the time to start paying closer attention to your "indoor" house plants.  As the nights get cooler, rooms are being heated and taking a great toll on your potted friends.  Heat can dry out plants, cause leaves to dry out and can start an onslaught of unwanted pests.

You should remove any debris or dead leaves from the pots while circulating the soil and checking for any insects.  This is a good time to add small amounts of fresh potting soil and/or moss.  As plants start to slow down their growth, the administering of fertilizer should become less frequent.  A light, slow releasing fertilizer is best for this time of year.

Plants with wide or thick and rubbery leaves should be wiped down in order to rid of any possibility of pests.

Indoor plants need fresh air and various level of light, depending on the plant.  This is also the case with plants you transfer from your garden into your house.  To determine what is a "house plant" is almost impossible to do because all plants were outdoor plants at one time.  Here are a few plants that most gardeners have found to be very adaptable in both environments:

Hibiscus:

These plants adapt very well both outside and indoors.  During the winter months they will need some pruning to prevent spindly growth.  A sunny window is the choice environment for Hibiscus.  The sun will cause the soil to dry out more frequently but that's fine because the soil should dry out completely between waterings. Hibiscus are susceptible to aphids, so keep a watch out for these insects.

If you don't have a sunny spot, place your plants in a cool spot with moderate light.  They will drop their leaves and go into dormancy.  Fear not, they will come back in the spring.

Coleus:

Coleus make for great house plants if given proper light and nutrients.  Their ideal temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees and require several hours of high light.  Although they prefer continually moist soil, watering should be cut back in the winter months.  A great deal of water along with indoor heat can cause problems with pests.

If you have these plants in your garden, they should be brought in at the first hint of frost.  Leave them inside until garden soil stays above 55 degrees. Then you can return them to their flower beds and continue to enjoy them all summer long.

Geraniums:

Geraniums are a favorite with gardeners year round.  You can either allow them to go dormant until spring time or place them in a southern window.  As these plants are commonly grown in pots, both outside and inside, they are easy to transfer.  Once you bring them in, give them a trim and feed them once a month.  Only water when the soil has dried out.  These plants are very easy to care for and should continue to bloom for you year round.

Indoor plants need as much, if not more, attention as your garden plants.  They are indoors and therefore not open to the natural light or elements of the outdoors.  Their feeding and watering needs will alter during the winter months. Understanding this is crucial to their health.  All plants slow down during the fall and winter months, therefore, their tending needs alter as well.

2 Comments | Posted in Indoor Gardening By Charles R. Sword

Hydro, Hydroponics, grow plants, grow lights, grow shop, grow room, grow box, herb garden, plant lights, gardeners, gardening, vegetables, water filters, water treatment, nutrients, nutrition, seeds, flowers


Growing your own fruits and vegetables means that you know what goes into your food and exactly where it comes from. You will be getting healthier as well. You will be eating your own produce as well as exercising. You could save money on expensive items like salad leaves. If you have children, it can be a very fun experience for you and your family. Personally, I believe the sense of achievement is worth more than anything.

 

For the urbanized dweller we know that there isn’t much space (if any) to grow fruits and vegetables produce in the dirt. However, taking advantage of a hydroponic kit allows you to grow your own vegetables and fruits indoors. So even people that live in apartments can grow their own type of produce without the use of a outdoor garden. It doesn’t require much space depending on the size you want. Some produce cost much more when it is out of season and often supermarkets must inflate their prices to keep up with the rising cost. Think about having tomatoes in winter, cucumbers in the fall and romaine lettuce all year round.

 

It’s never too late to start growing your own produce. You can find hydroponic room box to setup gardens, big and small, become a hydro gardener today and grow organic fruits and vegetables in your own herb garden. Look forward to growing your own produce and enjoy the rich taste of your own food when it’s time to harvest!

3 Comments | Posted in Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Indoor Gardening By Charles R. Sword

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