The Science of Hydroponic Growing

Hydroponics, taken from two Greek words meaning ‘water’ and ‘work’, is the science of growing plants without soil. That is, the plant has a root mass in an inert medium like peat, but nutrients are delivered via solution rather than soil as in a regular garden.

Hydroponic grown plants are healthier than their garden counterparts, since they never come in contact with disease-ridden soil. They also receive an optimum balance of the nutrients they need, and thus produce fruits and vegetables high in vitamin content.

Of course, some type of medium is necessary for the plant to form roots. They won’t grow in air (or they will, but that is another discipline called aeroponics). Plants in soil will ‘shed’ the soil into the liquid nutrient system. The best horticultural rooting medium developed to date is a sponge, but these are fairly expensive. Second best are growing cubes made from some form of shredded compound, like cocoanut or peat. Or use rockwool, a spun synthetic fiber often found in potted aquarium plants, which also comes in cube form. There is also the old standby, perlite. Any inert medium will do (inert means without soil bacteria) for growing a root mass.

For a passive hydroponics system (in which the water does not move), begin with a plastic container. Make sure it is about 6 inches deep. Choose one with a lid, and cut openings in the lid to support the root mass (which can be suspended in anything from a strawberry basket to an old pair of nylons). If your root structure is supported by a sponge or other relatively integrated medium (like coconut peat) you may not even need a basket.

Make two holes in the sides of the container at opposite ends and toward the bottom. Make the diameter of the holes the same as a 2-foot piece of plastic aquarium hose. Install the plastic hose inside the container and add a water stone (also available from any aquarium supply store). If you prefer, you can add sterile sand or rock to the container to support the water stone. You can even add a diverter and install several water stones. A standard aquarium water pump, about $30, attached to this hose will keep the nutrient aerated and prevent the growth of algae. Place this pump outside the container at the other end of the plastic hosing. The opposite hole will also have a plastic hose and serves only to regulate air pressure. Tape the 6-9 inch piece of hose against the side of the container in an upright position. Seal the plastic tubing at the openings with a good epoxy or watertight glue.

Make your nutrient solution. You can buy the mixture from a garden center, or make your own from organic nutrients. Remember plant pH (general and specific requirements of NPK and trace minerals). Remember when locating your hydroponics garden that the nutrient solution is harmful to humans and pets.

Pour the nutrient solution into the bottom of the plastic container, plug the pump into an outlet, add plants to the holes you’ve already made (making sure the roots and medium do not touch the nutrient solution) and, voila, you have a hydroponics garden. Once you have mastered the essentials, you can graduate to an active hydroponics garden, where the nutrient solution moves around the roots either by gravity or using a water pump. You can even graduate to a series of gardens, all using gravity-fed or pumped nutrient solution.

In hydroponics, there are only a few essential elements to keep in mind. First, the root area must be at or very near 100% humidity. The roots will grow out of the medium and into the nutrient solution, but require absolute humidity in the region between the root mass and the nutrient solution to do so. This means your plastic container can’t have any openings that are not sealed either with growing medium or hosing. In other words, there must be no gaps. Buy a container with a tightly-fitting lid. Don’t improvise.

Second, your plants require precisely mixed nutrient solution. If you are not sure how to mix the elements (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc.) do buy a prepared mix. They are not that expensive.

Third, air is essential to keep the nutrient solution from turning into algae soup and killing your plants. The plants don’t need it; they are busy converting CO2 from their leaves into oxygen. The pump will be the most expensive part of your project, but is a necessary ingredient. Prices range from $10 to $30 for a ten-gallon aquarium pump.

A fourth essential is light. Without proper light, plants can’t engage in photosynthesis (a plant’s version of eating regular meals). Incandescent bulbs are not adequate for this purpose, nor are florescent bulbs. Choose LEDs, which offer full spectrum led grow light that duplicates natural sunlight. Suspend the LED within two feet of the plants growing in your hydroponics garden, and watch them prosper!

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Hydroponic For Growing Tomatoes

growing tomatoes indoors hydroponic

Tomatoes are one of the best known crops in the world, and that classification makes it a high value product. Tomatoes have been produced hydroponically for sometime now. This article will trace some of the advantages of producing tomatoes with the hydroponics farming system. Hydroponics is a soil-less farming approach designed for healthier, cheaper and ultimately surplus crop production. It requires a technical assembly that shields the crops from pesticides infection, and from the harshness of the weather. or healthier farming experience. Tomatoes are naturally easy to cultivate, because they are able to survive in abusive environment.

The economics of growing without soil

So it makes economic sense to employ hydroponics technology in tomato production, because it enhances the natural strength inherent in tomatoes. On natural environments tomatoes would mature to fruition and be harvested in about 4 months, but hydroponics can reduce that period of time significantly. It is possible to have a multi-harvesting season when adequate care is paid to the tomatoes.

With daily care and regular nutrition the potential for continuous year round production is entirely practical. Because of the enormous advantage of hydroponics over soil production, tomatoes cultivated by hydroponics are found to be bigger and sumptuous, and naturally more flavorful. Since nutrition is better focused, and directly applied to the crop, the result is superior product, entirely. With proportional amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilizers, the farmer could expect a high return in investment. Since all of the soil pathogens are effectively eliminated by indoor farming, the potential for high return could easily double.

Though the operation may be expensive to initiate, but the most encouraging aspect of it is that some consumers are willing to pay up to three times the regular price of tomatoes in order to experience the special flavor found in home grown (hydroponics) products. And for an individual who is simply interested in growing to satisfy a need for that great taste, it may not cost very much to start a small home operation, and that individual retains the option to grow at any period of the year.

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How Are LED Grow Lights Selected for Desired Plant Growth?

Indoor plant growing is a hobby for some, while it also serves as a source of income for many. However, it is challenging to ensure proper growth of plants in the presence of insufficient sunlight. Grow lights have been around for many lights and LED grow lights serve as the latest innovation in this direction. There are many advantages that these lights offer over other types of grow lights.

Led grow lights are energy efficient and have long life. Moreover, they are environment friendly and available in different designs. Grow lights made of LEDs are inexpensive and emit low amount of heat. These reasons are enough for you to encourage your customers to purchase these lights. At the same time, you must be aware of some important ways that he customers are most likely to consider before purchasing LED grow lights.

LEDs with Specific Wavelengths

The most important factor to choose the right kind of LED grow lights is the wavelengths that they emit. LED lights have an advantage over traditional grow lights which emit the whole spectrum of light. On the other hand, one can find blue, red and orange LEDs for plant growth at various stages. For instance, seedlings require blue LEDs to grow, while red LEDs are used during the flowering stage.

Success has been achieved to design LED lights that can be programmed to emit different wavelengths at different stages of plant growth. Your customers may demand for such products and you must be ready to entertain their needs.

Different Plant Types

Depending upon the types of plants they wish to grow, the indoor garden owners ensure to obtain information about the right kind of grow lights to purchase. Ornamental and flowering plants may have needs different from non-flowering plants. Likewise, fruit and vegetable plants may demand for different LED grow lights. It is a good idea to have good information in this direction to help your customers choose the best products.

Size of Growing Space

Another important factor is the size of the place where the customers wish to grow their plants. You must know that LED grow lights can be placed closer to the plants as compared to other types of grow lights. The size of the room plays a significant role in deciding the number of lights required.

Presence of other Light Sources

Availability of natural light or other sources of light in the room too helps in making the choice for LED grow lights. As an expert seller, you must share information with your customers in this regard, as it will add to your reputation.

Cost of LED Grow Lights

Finally, it is the cost of LED grow lights and budget in hand that influence the customers’ decision to buy. You can obtain the supply of these lights at different price ranges from various manufacturers and suppliers. Compare their prices online and choose a profitable deal.

LED grow lights are manufactured and used in all parts of the world. Providing the best in this category should help your store gain popularity.

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The Colorful World of Aquarium Fishes

A lot of people enjoy having fishes as pets. Not just because they are easy to take care of, but also because they add more color to their owner’s life. When you have a fish tank or an aquarium filled with colourful fishes, it provides you with a relaxing view. Huge, well-lighted and well-arranged aquariums can also be scenic displays in the house. Looking at water, and the swimming fish gives you serenity, the quiet time you need to think.

So what are the best fishes to put in your aquarium? I have here a few selections of brightly colored and very attractive fishes. See my suggested fishes below.

First is the mandarin dragonet. It comes in blue or green and it has a scale-less body with orange wavy lines across it.  It is considered to have the most attractive coloration and pattern of any commonly kept reef fish.

Another fish from the dragonet family is the picturesque dragonet.  As the name implies, it has a striking color and appearance that can surely please the eye of any beholder. It has an elongated scale-less body adorned with multicolor psychedelic swirls of blue, orange, and black on a green base. They have two dorsal fins, and the caudal fin is rounded.

Next is the six bar wrasse. Light yellow or green can be seen on top fading quickly to a pale white body that has six black bars running vertical down along the body.

Another kind of wrasse is the cortez rainbow wrasse. As the name speaks, you can imagine the 7 rainbow colors reflect on the body of this fish. The Cortez Rainbow Wrasse is active, hardy, and long-lived in the aquarium. Though smaller than most of these wrasses it is still very active during the day and will need to have plenty of swimming room.

If you want a fish to reflect the color of the ocean and the skies, you can go for the powder blue tang. It has a baby blue body, a yellow dorsal fin and a dark markings on its face. This fish from the surgeon family is quite expensive.

These fishes are ideal for wide and spacious tanks or aquariums but there are small fishes that can fit a 2-3 gallon aquarium. Desktop aquariums allow owners to take their pets to work or in the office even with the limited space in the table.  Your fishes may be small, but you can surely appreciate their color and appearance because these compact fish tanks give a clear 360 degree panoramic view of your fishes. It comes with different colored LED lights that can be set or changed according to your mood.

Whatever fish you choose, no matter how small or big, having a spectacular aquarium can always be a great addition to your home or office.

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Where Could You Start a Legal Marijuana Growing Business?

In the United States, legal marijuana growing is possible in 15 states with medical marijuana laws. However, do note that growing marijuana for recreational purposes is still illegal all over the US. There is a political movement however, that seeks to change that and if you want to do your part, simply participate in the local chapter of marijuana advocacy groups.

Before you start looking for marijuana seeds to plant, be sure that you do some research and grab a copy of your State’s laws regarding the matter. The 15 states which allow medical marijuana are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, DC, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington. Growers of medical marijuana are called care-givers and can only give the marijuana to a limited number of people. The average limitation on the number of marijuana plants ranges from 6 to 12 mature plants. Some states have some exemptions to these and some even allow the patients themselves to grow their own marijuana.

Although not necessarily seen as a business, critics point out that that is how they are being operated nowadays. In California for example, these marijuana dispensaries are often themed to make themselves look more attractive. They do so by using neon sign and themes that often have similarities with popular fast food chains. If you do a search on Google, you will even find a marijuana dispensary that looks exactly like a KFC store. Some are even themed like a coffee shop and it wouldn’t be surprising to know that the number of marijuana dispensaries in California alone are now more than the number of McDonalds and Starbucks outlets in the state.

Always remember that when you decide to treat legal marijuana growing as a business, to get to know all the pertinent legislation concerning the matter.

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