Monthly Archives: October 2016

Hydroponic Container Gardening – A Deepwater Culture Experience

111Wanting to set up a new or temporary Hydroponics Garden? Deepwater Culture may be the ideal hydroponics system to set up. Low cost, easy to find parts make the Hydroponics container deepwater culture system perfect for a first time indoor gardens or expanding an existing indoor garden all on a low budget sure to please in this economy.

Hydroponics – Deepwater Culture in a bucket

Hydroponics Deepwater culture is almost self explanatory as growing plants in deep water. Most plants do not like being submerged in water all the time and most will drown from lack of oxygen at the roots. As with all Hydroponics systems these plant needs have been addressed based on what is needed and how that need can best be provided. A simple aquarium air stone provides sufficient oxygen to the roots even when submerged within an enclosed container. The addition of a bubbler will move the nutrient solution to the top of the grow media where it will then trickle back down to the reservoir and provide moisture to the roots that are growing in the media as well.

Hydroponic container garden – The Container

As with any container garden the container itself is a key factor. The container must be suitable for the purpose and not distract from the surroundings. Proper container selection centers around a few key elements.

  • Size and shape
  • Holds water with no leaks
  • Easy maintenance
  • Portable a plus

A proper container size and shape is crucial for providing enough room for the roots to expand within and still hold enough nutrient solution for the plant to thrive with minimal maintenance being required. Large plants will have large roots and will require a deep and somewhat wide container.

All Hydroponics containers must be designed to hold a large volume of liquid. The plant roots grow in very little media in deepwater culture container. A larger volume of water will reduce maintenance intervals and help reduce fluctuations in water quality.

Easy maintenance is very important. Containers that are difficult to manage will increase labor requirements and reduce the enjoyment that an indoor hydroponic container garden should be providing. Adding, testing and changing the water should be easy or these tasks may be delayed to the detriment of the plants health.

Portability should be considered when considering a container. Portability is not a high priority since most gardens will be in confined spaces and not need to be moved around a lot. Emergencies happen and should be planned for in advance. The ability to move your plants out of an area without complete disassembly is priceless.

DIY Hydroponics Deepwater Container Gardening

Interested in how to construct a simple and inexpensive Hydroponic indoor garden? Long searches and many failed experiments have finally paid off with a couple of nearly fool proof ideas for constructing a long lasting, easy to use Hydroponics Garden.

Hydroponics or Traditional Gardening, Which Is Better?

110Most gardeners who garden in soil are curious about hydroponics and somewhat fascinated by the idea. But very few actually make the leap to gardening using hydroponic techniques.

So let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of each method of gardening.

First, let’s look at the advantages (or pros) of gardening in soil.

  1. Gardening in soil is low cost – or is it?
  2. Gardening in soil is the traditional method of gardening; it’s the way my grandparents did it.
  3. Anyone can garden in the soil.
  4. There is a connection with the earth when you dig in it, getting your hands dirty.

Now let’s look at a few disadvantages.

  1. The earth must be tilled or in some cases amended because the existing soil is unsuitable for gardening.
  2. Due to depletion of soil nutrients, the resulting crop is unpredictable at best.
  3. Soils may be contaminated.
  4. Traditional gardening in soil usually involves a lot of bending, kneeling and thus can aggravate back problems or make it impossible for older folks who have mobility challenges.
  5. Garden pests can be a real problem – either stealing your whole crop or munching holes in tomatoes and leafy greens. Those pests can come in walking, crawling, slithering and flying forms. And although all the gardening books say that roly-poly bugs are not destructive in a garden, I beg to differ. I have really voracious ones in mine!
  6. Growing things in soil is messy and involves dirt and sometimes mud.
  7. Weeds can be a real problem.
  8. Watering can be a challenge. Too much rain can wipe out the garden; too little can wipe it out also. Watering may be cost prohibitive and sometimes banned during very dry weather.
  9. Some people just don’t have a “green thumb” and their plants seem to wilt and die no matter what they do.

Now let’s explore the pros and cons of gardening with hydroponics.

First, let’s look at the advantages of hydroponics gardening.

  1. The garden can be at your ideal height so you don’t have to bend, kneel or crawl on all fours to garden.
  2. When you use a high quality nutrient solution for your hydroponic garden, you can be confident that your plants are getting all the nutrients they need to produce high quality produce – thus your body will have access to those nutrients via the plants.
  3. Problems with pests are minimal.
  4. There is no weeding necessary.
  5. Vegetables and greens grow faster than they do with conventional gardening methods.
  6. There is no “mess” or “mud” involved. Vegetables come out clean.
  7. Gardening can be done just about anywhere, even in your basement or on a porch.
  8. You can garden any time of year.
  9. You have control of water and you can grow an equivalent amount of produce on much less water.
  10. Hydroponics is an easy DIY project.
  11. This gardening method is almost foolproof. In other words, anyone can garden with hydroponics and get a successful harvest.

There are also some disadvantages to hydroponics.

  1. The initial setup may be expensive. However, most of the cost is incurred one time at the beginning and can be reused many, many times.
  2. Setting up a hydroponic system may seem complicated.
  3. Some people don’t like the idea of “buying” nutrients.
  4. Some may object to eating something they consider to be produced with chemicals. However, there are many organic nutrient options that can be used in hydroponics.

Hydroponic Vegetable Gardening Indoors

109As autumn sets in, and the leaves fall, our gardens dwindle and we start to see that winter is just around the corner. We don’t have to lose all the pleasures of a summer garden to the seasons, though. Hydroponic vegetable gardening indoors can bring some of the joys of a summer garden to the table throughout the year. Fresh salad with dinner and colorful spinach in the middle of December can be a reality if we follow just a few simple steps:

1. The first thing to consider when considering hydroponic vegetable gardening indoors, is its location. The ideal spot in your home would have a steady temperature of between 55 and 70 degrees. Minimal direct sunlight would be beneficial, as well as choosing somewhere that won’t be harmed by frequent spills…a basement perhaps?

2. The second thing to consider would be the containers. Styrofoam boxes are said to work well, because they are cheap, available, and hold water effectively. Smaller containers are needed to hold the seeds as they start to grow. Commercial growing containers are available from web sites such hydra and interior

3. When preparing for hydroponic vegetable gardening indoors, the third thing to keep in mind is the lighting. There are all types of grow lights on the market, but they are expensive and really not necessary. Normal fluorescent lights in a cool white will work just fine. The plants need plenty of light, so plan to have two 4 ft. bulbs for each container..

4. The water supply is another important issue when planting an indoor garden. The water the plants are going to grow in will need to be oxygenated regularly. An aquarium pump works well for this. Set the pump up with a timer to run about an hour at a time at least 3 times a day. Water level is also important. There must be some are between the water and the plants to ensure that the roots receive an adequate air supply.

5. Lastly is fertilizer. An indoor hydroponic garden will not require any more fertilizer than an outdoor garden, so you can use the same fertilizer as you would in soil. Fertilize as directed on the package.

When planning an indoor garden, you must start small. Growing the produce inside can be a totally different experience than planting a garden in the yard, so starting small will give you the chance to see what methods work well for you. Once you get the hang of a small indoor garden, expansion will be simple. As you become comfortable with what you are growing, you can add different varieties as you go along, Edible flowers, cucumbers, and different types of lettuce are simple to grow while you get the hang of hydroponic vegetable gardening indoors. After you’ve got the technique down, the options are limitless!

A Greenhouse Provides Many Advantages for Hydroponic Gardening

108Hydroponic gardening is the science of growing plants in a controlled environment without soil – free from soil borne pests and diseases. Hydroponically grown plants are raised in greenhouses under carefully monitored and controlled conditions. Gravel is normally used as the medium to support the plant’s roots within the hydroponics greenhouse. Carefully mixed nutrients are then periodically fed to the crops in liquid form – a method called sub-irrigation culture. Once seedlings are planted almost all of this work is done by automation. In these hydroponic greenhouses sensors within the gravel are used to determine when the plants need more nutrition and turn on the pumps, giving the plants the just the right amount of solution.

These hydroponically grown plants are fed the exact nutrients needed for rapid growth and volume production. Some hydroponic gardeners use special tanks that are made from big drums which are cut in half. The bottom of each half is brazed with brass tubing. A hose hose is clamped to one end of the tube. The other end is attached to a similar tube which is brazed into a small can.

Inside the tanks the can is painted with an asphalt based paint in order to prevent metal surfaces from rusting. The tanks are filled with small sized gravel pellets.

The hydroponic gardening process starts with ‘planting the tanks’ by first starting seedlings in carefully prepared paper cups full of vermiculate to allow the hydroponic solution to enter. After the plants are started, the entire cup should be placed in the gravel. The plant’s roots are irrigated from below as the fluid flows down the hose and into the gravel. The system is set up to ensure that the crops are moist but are never flooded with solution for more than a few seconds.

The advantages of hydroponic gardening in a greenhouse are numerous. When crops are grown hydroponically, crop yields are increased dramatically over conventional agriculture. For example acre of land will yield five to the tons of tomatoes. The same amount of space will yield 60 to 300 tons when grown hydroponically. A lettuce crop grown in a hydroponic greenhouse will yield an increase of 12,000 pounds over conventionally grown lettuce.

Hydroponic gardening provides other advantages besides increased crop yield. The hydroponic greenhouse environment extends the growing season and doesn’t require heavy labor. And of course the obvious -there’s no need for greenhouse soil!

An assessment of this human resource direction practices within the US and Chinese suppliers in useful operate

An assessment of this human resource direction practices within the US and Chinese suppliers in useful operate

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