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

I'm not sure there is anything more frustrating than trying to replenish your supply of herbs from every shop in town.  Not only are some very difficult to find but the price tag attached is mind-boggling!  On top of that, if you want "fresh" herbs, check your bank balance and hope they stay in good condition for a whole week!  Herbs do not last for a long period of time and are rather disappointing in both flavor and cost.

Grow Hydroponic Herbs:

Some people have chosen not to grow their own herbs with hydroponics due to limited space, the tubes, buckets, lighting and filtering systems taking up what little space they do have.  On top of that it can be time consuming and that's tough if you have many other commitments.  They look for other solutions or for something that will work well in their living space and their busy lives.

Modern Sprout:

Founders Nick Behr and Sarah Burrows have come up with a really sweet solution with an contemporary and trendy hydroponic system that will surely be embraced by busy folks.

Nick and Sarah had tried just about every form of gardening from containers to hydroponic and found very little was working for them in their small Chicago apartment.  So, they sat down and decided to design the perfect gardening system that is easy to use, looks really nice and is built from materials close to their Chicago area.

The Light Came On:

In April, they started a Kickstarter to find out if they were the only ones who were dissatisfied with indoor gardening. They were amazed at how quickly they were able to discover market interests and they were not alone regarding indoor gardening woes.  They formed a community and in turn this community gave them many great ideas for their design.

Asking questions regarding so many aspects of the design ultimately brought about a great design.  From a slimmer planter to a very simple timer, these were things everyone was looking for.  The planters come in a variety of finishes from chalkboard, white, weathered gray and wood.

Another question they brought to their community was involving a solar panel vs a plug for the air pump. They received an overwhelming "yes" response.  One-third of the backers were already purchasing solar powered planters!

Another high-end product they are implementing are brass valves vs plastic valves.  Again, others thought the brass valves were worth paying a little more for.

Nick and Sarah are now working on their site and hoping to have their initial backers serve as the forum.  They can test items, answer people's questions and get more people interested in their product as well as offer new ideas.  They are hoping to add more inventory to their product, including grow lights, in the near future.

Conclusion:

Living in a small apartment, Nick and Sarah fully understood other wannabe farmers and their frustration with no space.  They are loving their new life as full-time hydroponic farmers!

Whether using grow boxes or planters, solar panels or grow lights hydroponic gardening is constantly changing and offering more alternatives for fresh produce without the pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.

Understanding the value and importance of indoor gardening and wanted fresh produce and herbs available any time of year is what hydroponics is all about.  Nick and Sarah understood busy lifestyles and the need for a system that would allow people to  have their busy commitments and still have access to fresh herbs at their fingertips!

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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.

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Hydroponics vs Dirt:

Some of the obvious reasons people are turning to hydroponics for their foods are fresh produce, the high quality of nutrients and foods can be grown and enjoyed all year long.

Another really big persuader for growing hydroponically is not having to wash your produce!  Let's face it, how many times have you gone to the supermarket or the local farmer's market and upon returning home, having to washing everything.  From removing unwanted pesticides to that clump of dirt hanging off the roots!

No matter how you slice it, dirt is dirt and there is nothing appetizing about eating dirt!

Not only are novice farmers jumping on hydroponic gardening, so are large and small farms alike.  Large greenhouses are popping up everywhere with state-of-the-art plant rooms, grow lights, extensive watering and filtering systems.

Recycled water uses a tenth of the amount of water needed for conventional gardens.  This nutritionally rich water travels down channels encompassing the young roots of every plant from an assortment of greens to herbs.

About Gotham Greens:

In an area of Brooklyn known as Greenpoint, founders Viraj Puri and Eric Haley along with their director Jenn Nelkin have set gardening on a whole new path with the largest greenhouse, to date, in the urban USA.  This $2 million dollar greenhouse is constructed on the space of a former bowling alley and light manufacturer.

All plants are grown from seeds that are embedded in tiny sponges of fiber created from volcanic basalt.  This greenhouse provides the very best produce on the market to restaurants and high end retailers.

The Tug Of War:

While there are many restaurant owners who enjoy hydroponic produce, they also believe that some foods should fall within the season they are preparing menus for.  Although they enjoy the fresh produce they purchase from hydroponic greenhouses, they aren't ready to give up on plants grown in soil.

Others feel having fresh produce directly at the fingertips is a heck of a lot better than shipped produce that is over 3 days old.

From restaurants to food stores, the biggest plus for hydroponics is without doubt freshness and accessibility.  Endives, lettuces and herbs do so very well in hydroponic gardens that this is a big step forward for this kind of gardening.  Many chefs like working with chervil, an herb in the parsley family.  Unfortunately,  chervil is very difficult to grow and does not travel well at all.  Now chervil is being grown in hydroponic greenhouses and is literally at the reach of chefs.  This is a huge win for hydroponics!

Those unmoved believe that if produce is not grown in soil, the plants lack in flavor.  Yet, due to weather conditions, too much sun or the lack thereof can also affect the final outcome of those plants too.  Management, growing conditions and various species can also dictate the final taste of any grown plant in any condition whether hydroponics or soil.

The More The Merrier:

With the growth of hydroponics and more farmers developing hydroponic greenhouses, the accessibility of fresh produce is definitely on the rise.  People are finding fresh food literally a block away and are willing to pay a little more for this quality of food.

There are those that argue growing hydroponic plants takes a great deal of labor and high-end maintenance and that water cannot replace the richness of soil.  Others cannot tell the difference between a plant grown in soil or grown in water because of the ability and knowledge of the farmers.

The Pluses in Hydroponic Gardening:

Without doubt, we are running out of land mass, people are growing their own foods on roof tops and they are not being affected by pesticides, herbicides, pest controls, etc.  Those same roof top gardeners are learning new techniques and enjoying hydroponic gardening.  They are setting up grow boxes, plant lights, adding vegetables and herbs into their gardens and feeding them all with rich nutrients.

Like anything new, there will always be negative thinkers believing - The Old Way Is The Only Way. With that kind of thinking, we'd still be getting around in a horse and buggy instead of in cars.

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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!

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You would think that growing a houseplant would be easy, yet many people struggle to get it right. Knowing the type of soil to use, how often you need to water and how much water is needed is often enough to do people in. The process can now be made a whole lot easier by using a process known as hydroculture. There is no soil or compost used in this growing technique, with a nutrient solution used to make the plants grow. This is something of a dream come true for those who would love to have houseplants, but have had issues in the past.

What should be pointed out, though, is that the costs associated with growing plants this way is quite expensive. What that means is that the cost of filling your entire home or office with plants may be prohibitive, but once you see how easy it is, you might just become hooked. In order to get started, you will need to invest in a hydroculture unit. Once you have it set up, you will only be required to add water once or twice a year. The unit itself is usually comprised of a plastic container, an outer container that houses the nutrient solution and an inner container that holds the plant. You will also need an aggregate, which is often clay granules, to anchor the plant, and you may also find that the unit contains a water reservoir that shows the current water level.

The aggregate plays a major role in the growing of the plants, as they are able to absorb a great deal of water. It is the proper delivery of water that often causes normal plant growing to fail. The soil can also cause a problem when trying to feed plants properly, but that is taken away with the use of the nutrient solution used in hydroculture. The effect here is that the plants are steadily fed exactly what they need, with very little needing to be done to look after the plant you are growing. Pretty much all that is required is to check the water level, which will probably only have to be topped up every 6 months.

This doesn’t mean that you can simply pot the plant and do nothing else, as you will still need to make sure that the plants are placed in an area that affords enough light and humidity. Plants grown using the hydroculture process are still prone to the same pests and ailments as other plants, so you will also need to be on the lookout for those issues, too. The temperature of the water is also important, so make sure that you always add room temperature water in order for your plants to thrive.

You need to be aware that not every type of plant is a good fit for the hydroculture growing process. It’s best to check with a professional at your local garden center before choosing a plant to grow in this way. They should be able to set you up with your first hydroculture system unit, as well as being able to help you choose the perfect plant for your home or office.

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

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Hydroponic gardening is a soil-less method that allows for the growth of just about any plant with their roots suspended in a mineral-rich solution. There is also the option of the use of an inert medium culture such as coir, sand, expanded clay aggregates, wood fiber, sheep wool, pumice, perlite, vermiculite, rock wool, and many more.

There is recorded evidence of this type of gardening that dates back to the seventeenth century. The benefits of hydroponic gardening are far-reaching and this gardening methodology is fast gaining in popularity. Let us review a few of the reasons hydroponic gardening is advantageous:

 

  • Plants that would otherwise not grow in a certain region can now be grown just about anywhere in the right hydroponically controlled environment.
  • It allows for most plants to be grown in urban settings which would otherwise not be possible because of soil requirements.
  • It is a reusable and sustainable system.
  • Mineral levels can be controlled which not only cuts down on wastes, but also allows for adequate levels being provided to the plants at all times.
  • The versatility of the system allows for easy mobility which is ideal for pest control as well as disease control.
  • Plants thrive in a hydroponic environment therefore higher harvests of crops are normal.
  • Since this system is soilless; the use of harmful chemicals that would often be necessary to control the various issues of the soil is negated. Therefore, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, et cetera; no longer pose as health risks to individuals.
  • Harvesting of mature plants is a simplified process in comparison to soil-based gardening.
  • Plant growth and harvest are constant.
  • It is a user-friendly system that is independent of weather conditions and users’ gardening experience.

 

 

4 Comments | Posted in Indoor Gardening By Florence B. Harrell

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In life, choices are often more confusing than they are helpful. The world of hydroponic farming is no different, from tents to grow room boxes, fans, filters, and now lighting. First it was conventional lighting, then induction lighting, and now Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting technology. Before you write it off as a trend, or a waste of money due to its higher upfront cost, let's take a closer look at this promising lighting source for the hydroponic gardeners and enthusiasts out there!

If you are already using an LED lighting setup, the first thing you may have noticed is that it’s a whole lot cooler. That’s a great plus for keeping your plants from overheating, as well as your pocket, for obvious reasons. Though an LED setup is more costly upfront, over time it is much more cost efficient. This is due to the fact that LED lights last longer than conventional lights by a few thousands hours and also utilizes up to 70% less electricity. That is A LOT if your energy bill is several hundred dollars a month. The savings are enormous to say the least. LED growing lights are also easier to control temperature wise due to their digital nature. And because their heat is more stable, your fans and filters aren’t struggling to keep the temperature optimal, thus saving your initial setup costs, long term costs and giving you a piece of mind in its ease of use.

As with many angles in hydroponics, cost and budgeting are important. If you’ve a few extra bucks to spend upfront, you will be saving more in the end.

 

 

3 Comments | Posted in News By Florence B. Harrell

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Winter is approaching with the flu in tow.  It is important to start consuming tons of vitamins and minerals and there’s no better or tastier way to get vitamin C into your diet than with kiwifruits.  A medium sized kiwi, about 100 grams or 3.5 ounces will give over 100% of your daily recommended dose!  Another awesome thing about the kiwi is that it’s easily grown in a hydroponic set-up.  Now that you know a little about the kiwi, let’s get right into the ins and outs of this super fruit.

The ideal pH balance for kiwifruits is usually between 5.0- 6.0.  Don’t worry if the pH falls down to 4.5 or rises as high as 6.5. It will not be disastrous for your harvest as kiwis are very resilient. Kiwis also do well in colder temperatures, so keep it at about 35-40°F during the night time and no higher than 55°F during the daytime hours.

As usual, keep an eye out for any abnormalities in the leaves, vines or the flowering fruit and you should be expecting a delicious harvest in about 5-7 weeks. Armed with this information you are ready to grow some delicious, healthy and immunity boosting fruit. Bon appétit!

 

 

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

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Fall is here along with cooler temperatures and if you're looking for something new to grow in your hydroponic system, my suggestion is to look into tomatoes. These nutritious and tasty fruit (yes, that's right, they are technically fruit) are easy to grow and come in a plethora of varieties, shapes and colors, not to mention tastes. Tomatoes are some of the healthiest produce you can cultivate and cultivate rather easily, too. Tomatoes are traditionally associated with cardiovascular health and contain lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant, as well as high levels of vitamin A, C and potassium.

But enough bragging on the behalf of the tomato, let's take a look at ideal growing conditions for this super-food! As usual, the grow room temperature is a crucial aspect to a great harvest and as such should be kept 60-65 °F during the night and 70-75° during the daytime. PH levels of the water or nutrient solution should be 5.8 - 6.3 for tomatoes.

Also, keep an eye out on the physical characteristics of the flowering fruit. Leaves should be green and vibrant. If they are yellowish, check the pH and nutrient solution to ensure highest quality of the harvest. If the leaves are curling up, then the nutrient level is actually too high so add more water and a bit less nutrients.

After about 7 weeks your fruit will began to flower and the hard work is over.  From there it's only a few more weeks until ripening and enjoying some great, homemade, marinara sauce, tomato puree, or freshly sliced tomato salad. Bon appetite!

 

 

3 Comments | Posted in Fruits & Vegetable Gardening By Florence B. Harrell

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What are static flow cultures?

Static solution cultures is a method where plants are full grown in a reservoir filled with artificially made nutrient solution. Static solution is sometimes referred to as hydroponics for novice gardeners and is known for its simplicity and effectiveness. The system requires the least number of devices and hassles.

The water and solution remain static and supply nutrients to the submerged roots where the roots come in contact with air, water and nutrients. Nutrient solution is aerated using an electric pump to provide oxygen to the roots. If there are no pumps in the system, plant roots can be kept above solution level. Plants are placed in nets or containers which allow the roots to absorb from the solution below them.

In another modification called raft solution systems the plants are grown on a sheet of plastic floating on the surface of the nutrient solution. This prevents the solution from dropping further than root level.The work is minuscule however does require more attention when water/solution levels drop. Each time the levels drop either fresh nutrient solution or water is added. Maintaining pH levels of the water is also a must.

 

What are continuous flow solution cultures?

In continuous flow solution cultures a constant flow of nutrient solution is provided to the plant around the roots. This is a more advanced method as compared to the static flow solution. However, it is a lot easier to mechanize since adjustments can be made and temperature and concentration levels can be sampled easier. A popular technique used is the nutrient film technique, a very low flow of water and solution is re-circulated constantly around the roots of the plant in a solid mat. A correct canal slope along with the correct stream speed and the correct canal length can designate a proper nutrient film technique.

A huge advantage is that the growth of plants is given ample water, nutrients and oxygen. This allows high yielding and nutritious crops. However, a little negligence can result in negative impacts.

Still, nutrient film technique has been considered the most practical technique. It is easy to adjust and automate the temperature and water flow. Hydroponic conditions result in no pollution of nutrients or insects.

3 Comments | Posted in Hydroponics Details Indoor Gardening By Charles R. Sword

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Most Popular Produce

So, you have your hydroponic system all put together and you're ready to grow? Great! But, what is it that you're growing? Since the sky's the limit, it's really hard to recommend or suggest anything but here's a list of the most popular produce to grow with a hydroponic system!

1. Lettuce - One of the easiest, and thus more popular options for hydroponic farmers. This leafy vegetable doesn't require high temperatures or too much maintenance.

2. Tomatoes - Who doesn't love a fresh, plum, ripe tomato? Make sure to maintain the growing of your tomatoes (which is a fruit, yes, tomatoes are a fruit), in the upright position.

3. Peppers - Let's face it, almost any recipe for just about everything asks for some sort of pepper. Jalapeno, habanero, paprika, cayenne are all both tasty and zesty, not to mention nutritious! Just like tomatoes, they should be kept in the upright position as they mature and ripen.

4. Arugula - A vitamin and mineral powerhouse, this great green, leafy vegetable is easy to grow and yields a generous amount for minimal time and effort on the grower's part!

5. Spinach - Yet, another powerhouse in the nutrition sense, spinach of any variety is not only plentiful and easy to grow but yields in as little 2 to 3 weeks! That's right, if batched out a week apart you can have a fresh batch weekly! Another benefit is that you can pick the leaves young for what is called "baby spinach" and is just as tasty and nutritious as the larger, more ripened variety!

Mint, basil, spearmint, cucumbers, radish and even some fruit like watermelons, honeydews and cantaloupe all thrive in a hydroponic system and are great all year around! So, now that you've an idea of what you can grow, get to work and soon you'll be enjoying fresh fruit and vegetable salads that are all of your own making!

 

 

4 Comments | Posted in Fruits & Vegetable Gardening By Florence B. Harrell

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Common Hydroponic Systems That are Used Commercially

Many commercial growers adopt certain hydroponic techniques to grow commercially. One of the most common systems are drip systems. These systems never fully submerge the roots or grow medium while also never allowing it to dry out. The process is simple: a timer controls a submersible pump and water/solution is dripped onto the base of each plant via small drip lines. When it is done the water drips back down into the reservoir where it is reused.

Another common system is the continuous flow system. Water is pumped constantly through pipes while plants are placed on the pipes, allowing solution to bathe the roots before returning into the tank.

 

Some commercial growers opt to use a nutrient film technique. Plants are grown in equally spaced holes in plastic gullies. A nutrient solution of minerals and water is pumped into the higher end, supplying roots with nutrients before returning to the tank where the process is repeated.

It can be a small system for home gardeners and for a commercial grower it is scaled to fit. Virtually any system can be scaled to commercial size.

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

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Organic farming uses naturally occurring chemicals and/or traditional remedies to control pests and diseases. In other words, no additional chemicals are being used in the growth cycle of the vegetable/fruit being grown and no pesticides are added or sprayed on the vegetation. Organic farming practices are designed to promote soil and water conservation as well as reducing pollution. Farmers who grow organically don’t use conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds. Organic farmers use sophisticated crop rotations and spread manure to keep weeds at bay.

Non organic farming is what most major commercial producers use. They spray pesticides and apply chemicals to promote growth. It is the exact opposite of organic farming.

 

Here are some key differences between conventional farming (non organic) and organic farming:

Non organic farming uses:

 

  • Chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth
  • Synthetic pesticides to reduce pests and diseases
  • Herbicides to manage weeds
  • Animals are given antibiotics, growth hormones and medication to help prevent disease and spur growth

 

Organic farming uses:

 

  • Natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost
  • Natural resources such as the use of beneficial insects, birds and traps to reduce pest and disease
  • Environmentally generated plant killing compounds like manure.
  • Crop rotation and hand weeding to manage growth of weeds
  • Animals are fed organic food and are allowed access to the outdoors while using balanced diets and clean housing to help minimize disease.

 

The debate has been going on forever. Pro organic supporters are saying that organic foods are more nutritious and healthier. Pro non organic supporters are saying they are the same as organic foods.

It’s believed that organic farming limits damages to health and the environment due to the fact chemicals are not being used. Intensive farming is said to destroy the fertility of the land.

A study done by Stanford shows that organics are no more nutritious than non-organic foods. However they are healthier because of the lack of pesticides and chemical run offs.

A down side to organic foods is it is indeed more expensive versus non organic food. One fear in organic farming is the use of manure which may cause E.Coli to be in produced. To make sure if your food is organic or not the U.S. department of Agriculture (USDA) has establish an organic certification program that requires organic foods to meet strict government standards. Look for an USDA organic seal.

 

 

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