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More often then not, going to the grocery store is depressing due to the high costs for produce and the low quality. Many times vegetables look like they are on their last leg and flavor is nonexistent. It's no wonder we opt for processed foods and every unhealthy food just because it's cheaper!

Starting your own indoors hydro garden is not only inexpensive, but a nutritionally perfect solution. Many gardeners have turned from store produce, opting to grow their own. They have discovered the wonderful world of hydroponics for the very best, highly nutritional vegetables and herbs you will ever experience.

What Is Hydroponics:

This is a method to grow plants, from vegetables and herbs to flowers, using rich nutrient solutions in water vs traditional gardening with soil.

Here are some of the advantages of gardening with hydroponics vs soil:

  • No soil is needed
  • The water in the hydroponic system recirculates meaning the use of less water
  • Greater nutritional value
  • Pests and diseases are a great deal more controllable
  • Healthier plant growth
  • High yields
  • Enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs during the winter months

Starting Your First Hydro Garden:

As hydro gardens are grown indoors, you must first decide on the space available for your herb garden or vegetable garden. Grow boxes come in small to large sizes so there will be a perfect fit for you.

What vegetables and/or herbs are interested in growing? Common sense dictates that you choose produce that you are now purchasing and consuming.

You need to evaluate your sunlight and whether you can place your grow box in a sunny window or use artificial light from a plant light. The plants you choose will help you decide the light you will need for a healthy garden.

Grow Box:

A grow box is a structure with a base to grow various plants in small spaces. You grow plants with their roots in a nutrient solution or with a medium such as perlite, coconut husks, mineral wood and perlite (to name a few). The nutrients are absorbed by the plants' roots. Grow boxes are either partially enclosed with a base structure or completely enclosed with a frame and walls.

Talk With An Expert:

Once you know your space, your natural light offerings, what you want to grow, it's time to get with an expert in hydroponics. Visit your local gardening shop that offers hydroponic systems and accessories. They will be able to guide you to the best choice of grow box and grow lights that work with your chosen plants. They will familiarize you with water treatments and filters essential for healthy plant growth.

Grow Rooms:

Grow rooms are more sophisticated and also come in a variety of sizes. Your herbs and vegetables are grown in a controlled atmosphere. You are flexible regarding their light source from artificial grow lights, natural sunlight or a combination of both. The downside to grow rooms is the amount of heat that develops in this environment. As they become excessively hot, you must provide good ventilation (such as a fan) to prevent harming your plants.

Water Filters and Treatments:

Your water supply must always offer a proper pH balance in order to assure healthy plant growth. Your water filter should deliver pH balanced mineral water by cleaning the water and removing contaminants.

Purification should remove chlorine, chemicals, metals, sediments and other contaminants that would otherwise alter your happy plants.

Water treatments provides more oxygen in your water and reservoir. It will promote constructive Microbes in your root zone, prevent slime buildup and odors and allow for better absorption of nutrients.

In Conclusion:

Take your time and make a list of everything essential for starting your first hydroponics garden. Get professional advise and make sure you have all the equipment and supplies you need to start growing your favorite herbs and vegetables.

You will discover how easy it is to grow fresh, healthy foods to enjoy all year round.

Growing Marjoram is highly popular among gardeners due to it's wonderful aroma and spectacular flavor for seasoning. Although it tastes similar to oregano, it is quite a bit sweeter.

Marjoram is a perennial but is often grown as an annual and averages around one to two feet in height. The leaves are a grayish green with small white flowers.

What is the Best Environment for Marjoram?

This versatile little herb can be grown in pots, herb gardens or various other containers. It will grow in just about any soil with little water and wants full sun. Consider sandy soil because it drains very quickly and Marjoram likes good drainage.

How Should Marjoram Be Planted?

You should start growing the herb indoors for approximately six to eight weeks before the last frost. After this period, sow the seeds that are just beneath the soil surface. The seeds will germinate within ten days, then plant them outside once the risk of frost is no longer a danger. You should separate the plants a good eight inches apart when planting.

You do not need to use fertilizer, they will do very well on their own. Once the plants have become robust in growth, approximately 5 to 6 weeks after transplanting you may start harvesting.

How to Harvest:

Once the plants have reached 3 inches, you can starting harvesting. If you pick the shoots before their flowers open, you will get the best flavor from these herbs.

Drying the Herbs:

Marjoram offers the best aroma and highest level of flavor when dried. Take the cuttings and tie them together in small bunches. Hang them upside down in a well aired/ventilated dark area or room. Once the marjoram has dried out, remove the leaves and stems and store the rest. Do not crush them until you are ready to use them, then just take a small batch and enjoy. Do not crush them until you are ready to use them, then just take a small batch and enjoy.

Does Marjoram Suffer From Insects or Disease?

Once in a while marjoram will be attacked by fungal diseases and/or spider mites and aphids. You can use an insecticide soap or any variety of natural insect controllers.

You can help prevent diseases by providing good air circulation and by watering during sunny mornings in order for the leaves to dry out by evening. As mentioned earlier, a good sandy soil will allow quick drainage which will also help to keep diseases down.

Can I Grow Marjoram in Water?

You most certainly can grow this herb in water. This process is called hydroponics and is actually inexpensive and easy to do in small amounts.

What You will need:

  • 2 liter size plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Heavy duty tape - electrical or duct tape
  • A styrofoam cup
  • Screwdriver or pencil
  • Perlite
  • Seedings free of soil around the roots
  • Hydroponic nutrient solution

How To Put This All Together:

Take the bottle and cut the top off. You want to be sure that the whole is wide enough to hold the styrofoam cup. Also when cutting around the bottle keep it even because you want the cup to sit squarely in the whole without tipping on one side or another.

Take your heavy duty tape and cover along the top of the cut. You don't want sharp edges cutting into the cup once it's inserted in the whole. The tape will also help keep the cup in place.

Using your screwdriver or pencil, puncture some holes in the bottom and sides of the cup. These holes will allow the roots of the plant to get to the water.

Fill the cup almost to to the top with the perlite and then plant your seedling in the perlite. Again, make sure there is no soil on the roots, if there is, rinse the roots throughly but gently to remove all soil.

Now you are going to take your hydroponic nutrient solution and mix up enough to fill the bottle. As these solutions come in various concentrations be sure to follow the directions/instructions on the label carefully. You want to make sure that your solution is a normal strength and not more.

Fill the bottle with the mixed solution where it will reach the roots of your plant. Do not over fill the bottle so the roots are submerged under the solution. The roots of your plant must be able to get oxygen.

Set your plant-filled cup in the bottle and place the bottle in a bright area. Marjoram will grow nicely if it can absorb six or more hours of bright sunlight each day.

Notes:

  • Your hydroponic system will fit nicely on a windowsill or a counter area. If you do not have good natural light, you can use a fluorescent light.
  • The light should be hung four inches above the plants and should be adjusted as the plants increase their height.
  • Always keep your water high enough for the roots to reach it at all times.
  • Replace the water and nutrient solution every one to two weeks in order to insure a good chemical balance.
  • Should algae appear inside the bottle, remove it completely when you are changing out the water. Algae will take nutrients away from your plant.

Tip:

You can make your own hydroponic nutrient solution if you wish. Take a teaspoon of water soluble fertilizer and half a teaspoon of Epsom salts and mix in a half gallon of water.

In Conclusion:

Marjoram is a wonderful herb that will enhance your culinary delights. Its aroma and flavor is one of the finest amongst herbs. You can grow this delightful herb with very little effort if you simply follow the simple needs and care this plant requires. You might want to add oregano to your herbal garden as well. They are similar yet they are so exceptionally different with their own very special aroma and taste!

Bon Appetit!

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The food industry and manufacturers of additives have once again shown the all mighty dollar outweighs the health concerns of the consumers. Stripping the veil away from the food industry reveals the food industry has absolutely no problem or concern about exposing people to trillions of toxics known as nanoparticles. Our foods are riddled with these poisons and making consumers sicker with each passing day. What are Nanoparticles and what affect do they have onpeople? Nanoparticles are microscopic objects that act as whole units in terms of properties and transport.

Because the food industry has been usingnanotechnology in countless applications from the foods we eat to paints we roll on our walls,there is no wonder the industry is against honest GMO labeling (genetically modified organism).

Studies have shown that Nanoparticles form a whitening agent known as titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is capable of inducing tumor-like alterations in the human cells of people exposed to it.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has proven to be cell damaging and studies have shown when it is exposed to normal cells these cells turn cancerous.

Gastric Epithelial Cells:

Translated:Stomach tissues that cover the surface or line a cavity that performs various secretory, transporting or regulatory functions.

Researchers tested humanstomach cellsthat comein direct contact with foods we eat. Food products incorporating nanoparticle (TiO2) are causing deep concerns within the medical community.

Is Titanium Dioxide Used in Other Applications?

Unfortunately, yes! (TiO2) has a broadrange of industrial applications including a white pigment for plastics, ceramic glazes and paints! It is also found in sunscreens as a sun protection because of its refraction abilities.

We are overly exposed to this nanoparticle in drugs, binding the contents of pills and tablets, toothpaste and adhesives similar to gum. Because (TiO2) is used in far too many consumer products, chances are you have already been exposed in large quantities.

Why Has The FDA Not Regulated This?

Because these industries promised the quantity levels as significantly low, the FDA has not seen a need to regulate and still allows titanium dioxide to reside in many of the products we use.

Nanoparticles are microscopic in sizewhich is why it works so well in products such as sunscreens because they won't leave a white coat that the human eye can see. Nevertheless they are still there whether you can see them or not. Our skin is extremely porous and these nanoparticles will seep into the skin and the blood stream.

It is extremely importantyou read the labels for sunscreens and only purchase those that clearly state "non-nanoparticle" or "0 titanium dioxide".

Size Truly Doesn't Matter:

For some unknown reason, the mainstream believes if something is microscopic in size, it's less dangerous than something larger or higher in quantity. In many cases, it has shown that extremely smaller sizes can actually transmit an even higher toxicity and become a lot more dangerous.

So Who's Protecting Us?

Industries are not stopping their bad practices because the FDA sits in the pockets of food and drug manufacturers. Unless Congress were to start regulating the FDA and their practices, chances are nothing is going to change anytime in the near future. This is shown over and over when the FDA allows these manufacturers and industries to govern themselves.

The continued practice of nanotechnology is completely unconscionable and somewhere around total madness! These industries (and the FDA) do not seem to have a firm grasp on the inevitable self-implosion of their products once consumers wake up and realize they are being treated like test animals. Most people have become abhorrent in the testing of animals for product safety, so how are they going to feel realizing they have taken their place?

What Can Be Done?

As long as there is a growing dishonesty in labeling and hiding any written knowledge of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), consumers need to turn away from these products. With enough pressure placed on manufacturers and loss of their obscene affluence, they will have to rethink their formulas.

Consumers are, eventually, going to follow the steps of their forefathers and start producing their own foods in gardens. Look around the country, more and more people are starting gardens, whether in their backyards or on their rooftops in city environments.

Growing their own foods, free of chemical pesticides and poisonous additives will help dwindle poor health and alternatively have a healthier lifestyle. More people start realizing the food industry is making them very ill and then throwing them back into the arms of the pharmaceutical industry. A strong message is starting to emerge, They Have Had Enough!

Wake up food industry and stop poisoning the people who are allow you the exorbitant wealth you have become accustomed to!

0 Comments | Posted in News By Charles R. Sword

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The technique of growing plants through hydroculture is catching on in leaps and bounds. These plants are grown without compost or soil, instead replacing these components with a nutrient solution. Due to this method's growing popularity, hydroculture has come a long way in foolproof houseplant development and growth.

With a little practice and starting off small, you will be up and running in no time at all and will discover what a fantastic method of growing plants this truly is!

Hydroculture is more expensive than your ordinary soil and compost, therefore it might not be in your plans to grow all your plants this way. Picking plants that are special to you will pay off in the long run, because you will experience healthier plants that will grow with minimum care. You will also be thrilled with your accomplishments!

Hydroculture is also ideal for an office environment where plants get little to no attention and suffer enormously. Watering is only required infrequently and feeding takes place twice a year. We've all passed by windows, corners in hallways or on a desktop somewhere and stared at these poor plants that are one root in the grave. Hydroculture is the perfect remedy and takes little to know maintenance.

Is There a Specific Unit Right for Me?

Although there are several variations, all units are based on the same principle. These units have an outer container that holds the nutrient solution, an inner pot that holds your plant, an aggregate or clay granules that hold the plant while providing capillary action and air space and formulated fertilizer.

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The Clay Granules:

These aggregates play an important role in the development of your plants. The normal type of aggregates are a very light grade of expanding clay granules. These granules are very similar to those used in concrete mixes for construction sites. They are approximately 4 inches (12 mm) in diameter, with a dense outer layer, while the inner core is a honeycomb structure. These granules service as an excellent anchor and provide the ability to absorb water which helps to create a capillary action which keeps these pebbles moist.

Fertilizer Technology:

This technology has contributed enormously in making hydroculture a "home suitable" method of growing plants. Soil serves as a cushion against poor feeding, where there is little margin for error when plants are in a nutritional solution alone. This is due to an enormous breakthrough by introducing an ion-exchange fertilizer that releases just the right amount of food over an extended period of time.

Ion-exchange fertilizer has a complex chemical base as it bonds to tiny plastic beads and to major plant foods. Trace elements are then exchanged for impurities in the water such as calcium, calcium, chlorine and fluoride. This exchange goes at a rate that is far more suitable for the growth of the plants then you can possibly imagine.

The fertilizer comes in a batches or loose granules. A batch is placed into the base of a compatible post while the granules are spread over the pebbles and washed into the post. If applied at recommended rates, this should be more than acceptable for at lease six months.

Caring For Your Plants:

Growing and caring for hydroculture plants is relatively simple and trouble free. Periodically checking the water level indicator is the only routine maintenance required and that takes little to no time!

Like conventionally grown plants, these plants require proper lighting, humidity and heat. When provided with these basic requirements, they should be fine. Keep in mind they can also suffer from pests and diseases just like soil grown plants. Fear Not -- they can be treated with insecticides equivalent to soil plants, including systemic types.

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Watering:

We all know that over watering is one of the biggest failures in growing healthy plants. Watering hydroculture plants has got to be the easiest step. Your water indicator will show you maximum and minimum levels. Before adding more water, you should wait two or three days, allowing air to penetrate between the aggregates. Your plants' roots must be able to aerate and that will not happen if you continually add water.

Always use tap water at room temperature. Rainwater or soft water will not contain the chemicals necessary to trigger the ion-exchange process. If you only have soft water, add a few drops of liquid plant food to start the process and that should do the trick. Again, I cannot emphasis this step enough, always use tap water at room temperature!

There's a darn good reason for keeping water at room temperature. Roots can become chilled with this method of growth, especially if the water is too cold. Should the roots become chilled, this is one of the biggest reasons for failure in hydroculture system. You will know if your water is too cold because the leaves will turn yellow and the plant will start dying. Understand, air temperature is not as critical as root temperature.

Potting:

Potting should only happen when a plant becomes to large for the container it's in. You can either transfer to pots or buy a larger container. If you wish to buy a larger container, be sure and buy appropriate amounts of aggregates and recharge the fertilizer. Wash the pebbles before placing them in the containers. Place the filler tube at one corner and insert the water indicator and then place pebbles around the tubing.

Converting Plants:

Although this is not recommended for beginners, if you wish to try there could be a great deal of satisfaction once you succeed. Start in late spring or early summer so your plants have several months of warm weather ahead of them. Wash the roots, removing all traces of soil, but show caution not to damage the roots.

Once the roots are clean, place your plants in pots with open slatted sides, these can be purchased from your hydroponics supplier. Be careful not to cause much damage to roots when placing the pebbles around them.

Now the pots can be placed in the outer containers. Two critical issues are warmth and humidity. Keep your plants as warm as possible yet shaded from direct sunlight to reduce moisture loss.

Spray with a light mist at least twice a day or cover them with a polythene tent for approximately one month. During this period, try to maintain a minimum temperature of 70 degrees (21 F). After approximately two months, the transition from soil to water roots should be completed.

What Plants Are Suitable:

Some plants are very successful in a hydroculture environment while others are not. Experimentation may be the only way to find out which works and which doesn't. Ivy does not do well, but almost all Ar-aceae plants within that family work well. Philodendrons, sscindapsus and aglaonemas are excellent choices.

Buying your plants from your hydroculture's store will give you the option to grab plants that very suitable for this method of grown..

Talk with your plant shop that specializes in hydroculture growing and you will not go wrong. Start off with plants that are relatively easy to grow if you are new to this method. You can always move up as you become more experienced.

If you have any questions or you are confused somewhere in these instructions, go talk to the experts who are advanced in hydrocultural growing. They will be happy to take the confusion out of growing plants in a hydrocultural method!

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