CO And

If you have Microsoft Excel, you can download a free CO2 calculator to assist in planning and implementing CO2 in your indoor garden from www. futuregarden. comfenvironmentalfco2_calc.xls These days, CO2 is best known as the greenhouse gas that traps the sun's heat in earth's atmosphere. It is responsible for global warming and a host of environmental changes that include altered weather patterns and rising tides. CO2 causes these problems by insulating the earth from heat loss and reflecting...

Stocking Your Hydroponic System

Backyard Grape Growing

Once your seedlings or clones have established a root system and have hardened off, they can be transplanted into your system. If you used Perfect Starts or another plug or cube type starting medium, this process involves nothing more than placing them into your system and turning it on. If you used a loose starting medium like perlite or coco coir, you'll need to use a basket liner to keep the loose material from falling into your system and clogging it. I have experimented with aquarium...

Hydroponics To The Rescue

In order for any plant to reach its full genetic potential of producing the beautiful foliage, flowers or fruit its programmed to create, it must be provided with everything it needs in just the right proportions, and, at just the right time. With the science of hydroponics, this is possible by applying proper watering and feeding regimens, environmental control and plenty of quality lighting. While the literal meaning of hydroponics is nothing more than feeding plants while irrigating (U.S....

Hydroponic Benefits

Elimination of soil borne pests, fungi and diseases. 2. Elimination of troublesome weeds and stray seedlings which eliminates the need for herbicides and reduces labor 3. Reduction of health risks and labor costs associated with pest management and soil care. 4. Reduced turn around time between planting as no soil preparation is required. 5. Significantly increased yields and shorter crop maturation cycle. Historians have found Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting the cultivation of plants in...

Supercharge Your Garden With CO

As your plants breathe CO2 and exhale O2, the balance of these two critical gases begins to shift. In nature, this exchange fits in perfectly as animals breathe in O2 and exhale out CO2. Of course, a perfect world this is not. Modern industry and the burning of fossil fuels has somewhat unbalanced this effect. However, in your greenhouse or grow room, you will need to help your plants breathe by supplying a constant exchange of fresh air, which by nature contains about 2 CO2. If you have...

The Hydroponic Planter

This is by far the simplest hydroponic garden you can construct in this book. It's made from a common plastic deck planter, some LECA and an aquarium air pump, air stone and and tubing. The diagram at right details how the roots grow down through the LECA into the nutrient solution which is kept aerated by the air pump. Due to its open top design, it's better suited for use indoors as rainwater can cause it to overflow and dilute the nutrient solution at the same time. A 150-250W HID lamp will...

Integrated Pest Management Web Sites

Hydroponic Vertical Pipe

The following is a brief listing of university and government Web sites on biological control and integrated pest management APHIS National Biological Control Institute NBCI USDA Animal and Plant Health Service APHIS Plant Protection Centers USDA Animal and Plant Health Service http www.aphis.usda.gov Cornell's Biological Control Home Page Cornell University North Carolina's National IPM Network North Carolina State University http ipm.ncsu.edu Purdue's Biological Control Laboratory University...

Problem Pests

Tiny Insect Eggs White Fluffy

Especially when they infest my indoor garden. I'd never had a problem with Whiteflies until I brought a pepper plant from outside into my indoor garden. What a mistake. I broke every rule of indoor gardening, and I paid the price. I guess we sometimes ignore warnings, even our own warnings to others, because we assume it won't happen to me. I had inspected the pepper plant outdoors, and found it to be apparently free from critters. Well I think you've already figured out the...

Parts List

1 31 gallon Rubbermaid Roughtote reservoir or your choice shorter is better 6 Dutch Buckets - either black or beige will do 1 RIO 1100 350GPH submersible pump or similar 1 3 4 in. PVC w 1 2 in. FPT side-out see picture 1 6 ft. 1 2 ID plastic poly pipe 2 1 2 barb to MPT adapters Male Pipe Thread The following parts are all 1 1 2 PVC pipe, cut and drilled as noted 3 36 drain rails with 7 8 holes drilled 5, 18 and 31 from end. 1 10 1 4 top rail with 7 8 holes drilled 5 from end. 1 22 3 4 top rail...

The Professional Greenhouse

Over the years I have worked with several people who had the pleasure of being able to afford a professionally designed and manufactured greenhouse by one of the many custom builders in the states. What makes these glass houses professional level is a they are built of structural steel and or aluminum and glass rather than wood b sometimes insulated glass is used, if required. The higher rigidity of aluminum and steel versus wood allows thinner sections to be used in the construction, which...

Tools Youll Need

Backyard Hydroponics

Electric or battery powered drill w 1 4 bit optional Step 1. If you are utilizing a non-weighted air curtains as in this photograph, you should secure it them to the bottom of your hydroponic planter so they do not move around. I took advantage of small tabs molded into the bottom of the Dynamic Design planter to hold the air curtains down using some stainless steel wire and rubber bands. Make sure you don't use anything that will rust inside the planter. Of course you can also just pour the...

Successful Seed Starting

From my experience working with many different means of starting seeds, I have developed a simple and reliable method for successful germination. 1. Pre-moisten starting medium w 1 2 strength nutrient, pH6.0 2. Maintain a root zone temperature of 72-80 degrees. 2. Maintain air temp. at 70-78 degrees and 70-90 humidity. 3. Soft light 20 watt sq. ft. until most sprout, then increase. 4. Feed 1 2 strength nutrient until light intensity is increased. 5. Discard weak and slow growing seedlings. 5....

Getting Started With Seeds

Tupperware Humidity Dome

Most plants rely on the seed as the primary method of reproduction. The seed is formed inside the female flower after pollination by the male flower. All seeds begin as an egg within the carpel of a female flower. After male pollen is introduced to the female flower by wind or insects, the egg becomes an embryo and forms a hard coating around itself. When seed development finally stops, the seed is released and it is carried by wind, rain, bird or bug to its final resting place. If all...

Growers Guide To Popular Plants

The following table outlines the favorite conditions for these plants to thrive in your hydroponic garden. Adhere closely to these parameters and you will be happily surprised by the results. Always use a high quality hydroponic nutrient and maintain a healthy growing area by allowing plenty of light, air and moisture to reach your plants. Seed packets will contain more information on the particular strain you wish to grow. IMPORTANT NOTE The nutrient solution concentrations shown here PPM EC...

Making A Market For Your Garden

Many gourmet restaurants and markets will purchase high quality hydroponic produce, provided it is available in good supply and available on a regular basis. If you are interested in making a profit from your garden, you should first investigate the local marketplace and determine just what it is that you should grow. Don't try to compete with everyone else. Identify a unique opportunity for a high profit plant by interviewing the owners and operators of local establishments. I have found that...

Planning Your Hydroponic Garden

The first step in creating the right hydroponic garden for your needs is to create a plan. First, consider the space you have available for your intended garden. Don't forget that if you plan to grow indoors in a tight space, you will also need sufficient room to access your garden and to perform routine maintenance such as pruning and nutrient changes. For this purpose, leave yourself ample space to work. Don't try to fit too much garden in too small of a space. Remember, a hydroponic garden...

Investigate Your Local Market

Hydroponic Growing Systems Aerospring

The most important thing you can do before planting a seed is to visit your local markets and do some informal research. Determine what they sell, and where the opportunity exists. Take a look at the fresh herb sections and see what they have available for their customers and how fresh it is. Nine times out of ten you will be amazed at how ragged their fresh herbs are Have a look at the prices, and jot them down. Also, take notes of the quantities being sold in each package. Usually fresh herbs...

What Is Hydroponics

Without water, life on earth would not exist. There would be no hydroponics, much less a culture to practice it. Water is a vital part of every living cell. In plants, it provides turgor pressure on cell walls to keep leaves from wilting. And it transports nutrition and energy stores in the form of dissolved salts and sugars throughout the plant. This book is about water, focusing on how to distribute it, maintain its quality, and enrich it with the nutrition vital to plant life. In nature,...

The DoItYourself Greenhouse

If you are at all handy with a hammer and saw, consider building your own greenhouse. You can find many plans on the web by doing an internet search for greenhouse plans. It's a project that will take two people a weekend or so to complete and it can give you 10 to 20 years of service if you use quality materials. Erecting any kind of structure on your property may require review by the zoning board, especially if you are building on a concrete slab. If a review or variance is required, the...

Approaching Prospective Customers

Backyard Hydroponics

Now that you have a great product, nice packaging, and an idea of what is important, here are some suggestions on what to do and say. Start off with the smallest store you can find the smaller the better , since the chances that the person you encounter will be an owner or manager. If they express a sincere interest, you can The infamous Habanero pepper - another excellent specialty spice used in Thai and Cajun cooking. The infamous Habanero pepper - another excellent specialty spice used in...

Perlite

Perlite has been around longer than any other soilfree growing medium. Made from air-puffed glass pellets, and nearly as light as air, perlite has excellent oxygen retention. Its ability to retain oxygen is the main reason it is used as a supplement in soil and soilfree mixes. The main drawback of perlite is its lightweight consistency, which makes it easy to get washed away. This drawback makes perlite an inappropriate medium in flood and flush type hydroponic systems or those that would be...

Nutrient Solution Microbiology

Beneficial Bacteria The Reservoir

All bodies of water possess a dynamic balance of microbiological activity. In hydroponics, we strive to keep the nutrient solution as sterile as possible, but nonetheless, nutrient solution is by its very nature the perfect place for things to grow. Some microbes require dissolved oxygen to live aerobic , and others do not anaerobic . As a general rule of thumb, aerobic bacteria are good, and anaerobic are bad. Put simply, the byproducts of anaerobic respiration are acids that wreak havoc with...

Eight Hydroponic Systems You Can Build

Before we actually get started, there are a few more important considerations. The first is to decide the actual location for your garden. As we just learned, growing hydroponically outdoors is great because the sun is free and there's often plenty of space. But you may not be able to grow outdoors because you are in an apartment building or congested urban area. In this case, you have the option of growing indoors using High Intensity Discharge HID lighting. Whichever way you go, if you pay...

Hydroponic System Plans Quicklist

The simplest and quickest project to complete. Perfect for school, science fairs and windowsill gardening. Ideal for growing lettuces and small herbs, flowers and ornamentals. Not recommended for outdoor use. Another system that can be assembled in an hour or two, however, slightly more difficult to create due to the stryrofoam raft which must be cut from a sheet using a jigsaw. Excellent for indoor use by a sunny window or under a grow lamp. Best suited for growing lettuces and other short...

Starting Hydroponic Business

You Are What You Eat 6 Hydroponics To The Rescue 7 It Starts With A Seed 8 A Brief History Of Hydroponics 11 Current Research 13 What All Gardeners Can Learn From NASA 13 It's All About The Roots l4 Coconut Coir. 17 Perlite 17 LECA 17 Perfect Starts 18 Rockwool 19 The Nutrient Film Technique NFT 23 The Organic Composition Of Plants 27 Selecting A Hydroponic Nutrient 31 Maintaining Nutrient Concentration And pH 34 Nutrient Solution Microbiology 37 Supercharge Your Garden With CO2 38 High...

The Prefabricated Greenhouse

Prefabricated Greenhouse

In this 4x12' lean-to style house, PVC chambers were mounted like giant window boxes to facilitate short stature crops like lettuce and basil without cramping or casting shade on other plants inside. In this 4x12' lean-to style house, PVC chambers were mounted like giant window boxes to facilitate short stature crops like lettuce and basil without cramping or casting shade on other plants inside. More and more companies are catching on to the market demand for affordable, hobby-style...

Procedure

Square Pvc Pipe Hydroponics

Select a healthy growing tip from a plant you wish to clone. The tip should be approximately 3 to 5 long, and include no more than two sets of leaves including the tip . Always select fresh green growing tips for the healthiest cuttings. 2. Using a sterile knife or razor, sever the tip and immediately place into a room temperature bath of dilute nutrient solution or a prepared cloning solution such as Olivia's see label instructions for more information . 3. Make a fresh cut while submerged...

Plants For Food Pharmacy

Polyploids Tomato

In addition to being one of the world's favorite foods, the tomato contains Lycopene, a natural carotenoid that is responsible for its red color. Lycopenes and other antioxidants can help prevent cellular damage and abnormal cellular growth. This was my first harvest of the year on May 15th from my new backyard greenhouse that I'll show you how to build later on. Plants are Mother Nature's ultimate factories. Powered by light from the sun, plants combine the earth's most basic chemical elements...

The Stages Of Growth

Hydroponic Sand

A plant's life cycle begins with germination, usually recognized by the above-ground appearance of a growing shoot. Mated to this shoot are two small, round leaves known as cotyledons see photo at right . As these leaves begin manufacturing food, the plant enters its seedling stage of growth. During this time, the plant develops its first set of true leaves, resembling those of the mature plant and the primary formation of a root system begins. The root development that takes place at this time...

Hydroponics

Hydroponic How

The complete guide to building and operating your own indoor and outdoor hydroponic gardens. Includes detailed instructions, photos and step-by-step plans. Embedded hyperlinks in this document enable you to quickly find more information and purchase the products featured in this book by simply clicking on them. Save time hunting for hard to find parts by clicking the linked items in the construction guide parts lists. The author of this information and its publishers disclaim any personal...

The Spare Closet Garden

Design Layout Self Watering Garden

If you live in an area where space outdoors is tough to come by, here are some ideas for creating a closet garden. In the example shown, the six inch PVC system is custom fit inside this available space. You will find that this configuration works well for maintaining a steady supply of salad greens, herbs and flowers by virtue of the two-level arrangement. On the lower level, a fluorescent light of 40 Watts is used to start seedlings and root cuttings that are kept inside the 10x20 humidity...

The Raft System

Floating Raft Hydroponic Systems

The raft system is an interesting technique of growing lettuce and other short stature crops. In this method, plants are supported by baskets fit into Styrofoam sheets that float upon a bath of nutrient solution. The nutrient solution is circulated and aerated from below to maintain a high level of dissolved oxygen and avoid stagnation. The raft system is a very economic means of producing large quantities of lettuce and mixed greens in no time. Shown here is the lettuce raft system at Disney...

M

Algae grows rampant when there is sufficient light and nutrients available in the water Here a young Water Lilly is being choked by an algae bloom in a man made pond. Imagine what would happen if the pond was filled with nutrient solution - Since we can't take the nutrients out of a hydroponic system, keep stray light from reaching the nutrient solution at all times. Fresh outbreaks of gray mold may be removed from plants with a dry, soft cloth. Be sure to remove all dead and dying plant matter...

Macro Nutrients

Hydroponic Greenhouse Tomato Yields

Macro nutrients are those absorbed in large quantities from the growing media or in our case, the nutrient solution. They are the best known and recognized constituents of plant food and as such, are used as a handy guide in identifying the potency of a plant food. You may be familiar with these N-P-K ratings as printed on all commercially available plant food containers. Necessary for the formation of amino acids, co enzymes, and chlorophyll. Deficiency A lack of Nitrogen in the form of...

Hydroponics Layout

How Build Sawhorse

0 3 7.5 14 20.5 27 33.5 0 3 7.5 14 20.5 27 33.5 This template can be a real time saver The grow site spacing is 6.5 on center all three chambers. Step 1. Using either the template provided or your own design, you must first layout each of the holes to be cut. It is best to mark and measure them center to center. Make sure to pay close attention to avoid any mistakes which can be very costly in both time and materials. Step 2. Using the 2 7 8 hole saw and a cordless drill to cut each of the grow...

The First Line Of Defense

The first rule in keeping your garden healthy and happy is to keep it pest free. The simplest way to achieve this is to keep it clean and free from debris, especially when gardening indoors. Outdoor gardens are subject to the forces of nature like rain and wind that help to keep pests off your plants. Outdoors problem pests are also kept under control by natural insect predators, as well as birds and small animals. Since environmental conditions are not within the outdoor gardener's control,...

Aeroponics

The most recent technology to be developed in agriculture is Aeroponics, a method in which a plant's roots are fed and watered midair. The plants are generally suspended from baskets similar to those in which strawberries are packaged at the top of a closed trough or cylinder. With the plants suspended in this manner, all essential nourishment can be provided to the roots by spraying them with a nutrient solution. Since the roots are suspended in midair, they receive the maximum amount of...

Perfect Starts

Perfect Starts Hydroponoc

The latest breakthrough in growing mediums is the molded starter sponge made from organic compost and a flexible, biodegradable polymer binder. Available in several shapes and sizes, these innovative growing sponges solve the main problem growers face when wanting to use an organic medium in a hydroponic system. Namely, they do not fall apart or crumble during transplanting which serves to prevent damage to delicate roots. This is a significant advantage, because root damage that occurs during...

31 Gallon Roughtote Reservoir

1 31 gallon Roughtote reservoir or similar 4 6 ft. PVC pipes use either 4 or 6 round or 5 square type used here 8 Endcaps use rubber Gem caps on round pipe, PVC fence caps on square 2 Saw horse kits and whatever materials are required to assemble them. 1 RIO 2500 700GPH submersible pump or similar Approx 5' of 3 4 PVC pipe for manifold construction Approx 2' of 1 2 PVC pipe for cutting into spray line support clips 25 feet of .375 ID poly spray line tubing 4 3 4 female garden hose swivel to...

Color Photosynthetic spectrum

Photosynthetic Activity Light Color

Photosynthesis is most pronounced in the red 600-680nm and blue 380-480nm wavelengths of light. Horticultural lighting, also know as High Intensity Discharge HID lighting is designed to cover these specific wavelengths, known as the PAR spectrum photosynthetically active radiation . There are two types of HID lamps which emit different color spectrums. Metal Halide lamps emit a white blue spectrum. MH lamps are best used as a primary light source if no or little natural sunlight is available ....

Brief History Of Hydroponics

Truly a wonder of modern science, hydroponic gardens now produce bountiful harvests of fruit, vegetables, grains, herbs and flowers in places never before able to sustain growth. Hydroponic gardens grow the healthiest crops with the highest yields and vitamin content, thanks to their perfectly balanced nutrient solutions and growing environments. Modern hydroponic methods provide food for millions of people worldwide, supplying us with superior quality produce, even out of season. Even with all...

Making Your Own Nutrients

It has come to my attention over the years that there are many interested in making their own nutrients so I have provided a few recipes. If you are reading the Acrobat version, you will find a nutrient calculator spreadsheet included with your download. Otherwise, please consult the table on the next page which details the salts required to make three hydroponic nutrient solutions for use with vegetative, fruiting and flowering crops. The weights shown in the following tables are based on...

Duration Photoperiod

Single Truss Tomato Production

Most plants grow best when exposed to 16-18 hrs of light per day. Additional hours of light during the day have not been found to increase growth by any significant amount. Plants that exhibit photoperiodism, the trait that causes day length to trigger flowering, should be exposed to 12-14 hours of light once flowering is desired. Total darkness is required during the darkness This indoor aeroponic garden flourishes under the light emitted from a 400W Metal Halide lamp. Shown growing Sweet...

Micro Nutrients

Growth Room

Micro nutrients are those absorbed in small to minute quantities. They are generally less well known than the previsouly listed Macro nutrients since most plant foods don't contain them. Here's the list of what they are and the effects they have on plants. Deficiency Calcium deficiency causes stunting and crinkling leaves. Young shoots die and blooms fall from the plant. Calcium deficient tomatoes will develop brown spots on the bottom of the fruit which will cause decay especially with the...

360 Degree Pin Nozzle

1 31 gallon Rubbermaid Roughtote reservoir 1 RIO 1100 350GPH submersible pump or similar 5 360 degree pin nozzle or 360 degree micro-sprayers 2 14 x 1 2 PVC spray bars 1 1 2 PVC 'T' FPT fitting 1 1 2 PVC endcap 1 1 2 MPT barbed adapter 1 3 4 Male Garden Hose adapter 1 3 4 Garden Hose cap 1 1 2 I.D. rubber grommet for sealing level tube exit 1 1 2 barbed elbow fitting for level tube assembly 1 1 2 rachet clamp for securing level tube on elbow fitting 32 of 1 2 blue or green poly tubing for pump...

The Autopot

Relatively new to the market here in the US is the Autopot. A unique, self-feeding planter that has proven very reliable in commercial installations around the world. Within each Autopot double tray module resides a SmartValve that automatically sub-irrigates plants with nutrient solution on demand. Since the SmartValve can be gravity fed, there is no need for pumps and timers for small installations 20 trays or less . This makes the Autopot ideal for use in unsupervised locations or where...

Rockwool

Hydroponic Strawberries

Rockwool is made from molten rock that is spun into long, glass-like fibers. These fibers are then compressed into bricks and cubes, or sold loose as flock. Rockwool has long been used to insulate buildings as an alternative to fiberglass, and has been a mainstay in commercial hydroponics for the last twenty years. It readily absorbs water and has decent drainage properties, which is why it is used widely as a starting medium for seeds and a rooting medium for cuttings. In my opinion, the...

Hydroponic Technology

Experience has proven simple solutions are the most reliable, so Keep It Simple Silly KISS - US military dictum A hydroponic system should be designed to fulfill the specific requirements of plants with the most reliable and efficient method s of nutrient delivery. The three major plant-requirements that a hydroponic system must satisfy are 1 Provide roots with a fresh, well balanced supply of water and nutrients. 2 Maintain a high level of gas exchange between nutrient solution and roots. 3...

Seed Terms

Hydroponic Aloe Vera

Open Pollinated means seeds produced by plants unsegregated according to favorable or unfavorable genetics. Most common vegetables and flowers are open pollinated since the varieties have generally become indigenous to the locale where they are grown and prosper well. F1 Hybrid seeds are carefully produced by cross breeding two pure bred parents. Increased vigor equal height, shape color and yield can be expected from hybrid plants. For the commercial producer, hybrids have the additional...

Fungi Algae And Disease

Grey Mold Cucumber

Excessive moisture in the air humidity , on the leaf, and within growing media are the leading causes of fungi and mold outbreaks. Fungi are spread by spores that are carried aloft in the air. Spores are present all around us, and can be avoided only by using the strictest air quality standards. Unfortunately, maintaining this level of air quality standards is practical only in the laboratory with the use of expansive filters and air scrubbers. For gardeners, your first line of defense against...

The Lettuce Raft System

Lettuce Raft System

Each day I respond to more and more emails from people looking for the simplest, most inexpensive means of growing hydroponically. I often recommend the Hydroponic Planter from the previous chapter, however, this simple and inexpensive method just isn't complicated enough. So after giving it some careful thought, a worthwhile solution presented itself. The raft system is simple, inexpensive 20- 30 complete and complex enough to satisfy any first timer's appetite for a fun project that actually...

Selecting A Hydroponic Nutrient

How Make Hydroponics

Most nutrients list the amounts of N-P-K represented in percentages. For instance, a 10-10-10 solution would contain 10 Nitrogen, 10 phosphorus, and 10 potassium by weight. If you do the math, you will see this concentration adds up to only 30 . That's because the remaining percentage of ingredients in the nutrient usually consists of other nutrients, filler or chelates used to assist the nutritional process. While you can use hydroponic nutrients for other methods of gardening, you can't use...

Maintaining Nutrient Concentration And pH

Nutrient Availability

For optimal growth to take place, the nutrient concentration and pH must be consistently balanced over time to insure plants have what they need, when they need it. In any circulating hydroponic system, with every pass the nutrient makes past the root system, an exchange is taking place. As a result, as time goes by, your nutrient solution changes in concentration. Therefore, so does each plant's ability to uptake essential elements. The easiest way to keep on top of your nutrient solution is...

Plant Nutrition

Backyard Hydroponics

Liquid nutrients have the advantage of being readily and evenly diluted when mixed into your reservoir. The high concentration of Iron chelates makes this graduated cylinder of Above amp Beyond Vigor take on a yellow-orange appearance. Liquid nutrients have the advantage of being readily and evenly diluted when mixed into your reservoir. The high concentration of Iron chelates makes this graduated cylinder of Above amp Beyond Vigor take on a yellow-orange appearance. To develop a solid...

It Starts With A Seed

Diagrams Seeds And Seedlings

If you think of a plant as being like a movie script, or perhaps even a computer program, you can better see how its life unfolds according to a predetermined chain of events. We call this chain of events the stages of growth, and each of these stages can be triggered by internal or external stimuli. For plants, it all starts with a seed, which after sprouting becomes a seedling, and eventually becomes a mature plant capable of reproducing itself by creating All plants start from seeds. While...

The PVC Pipe Gardens

Dutch Bucket System Parts List

My first encounter with a commercially available hydroponic system was a garden made by General Hydroponics from 6 inch PVC pipe. Since then, I've experimented with several variations on that design, in search of less expensive ways to get started in hydroponics. PVC pipe's inherent ease of use during construction, versatility, and availability as a plumbing product make it an ideal material for building your own hydroponic system. Standard round PVC pipe is available from any plumbing supply,...

The Dutch Bucket Garden Growers Guide

Dutch Bucket Hydrponics

As a simple rule of thumb, a medium that holds a lot of water offers more protection against pump failure than one that holds little. The drawback is a wet medium has little room for fresh air and is a good breading ground for fungus and disease. If you have the luxury of an adjustable cycle timer and can check up on your plants frequently, I prefer to use a 60 perlite 40 coco-coir mix and adjust my timer so that the medium never gets soaking wet but never dries out completely. This setting is...

PVC Pipe Gardens Growers Guide

Pvc Pipe Hydroponic Systems

Since this system is a pure water system, the only growing medium you will require is that to start your seeds or cuttings. Once you have viable plants, they will be placed into 3 plastic net cups with a handful of LECA stones to give the roots something to hold on to and keep them from falling over inside the cups. Start your seeds or cuttings in your preference of starter cubes or sponges. Transplant to net cups once roots are clearly visible from the bottom of the cubes. Set plants in cups...

The perfect system

Pvc Nft Hydroponics

Has a simple, inexpensive design. 2. Is fully automated and requires as little day to day maintenance as possible. 3. Is geared for growing your choice of crops, for instance, the NFT system is perfect for Lettuce but not for Tomatoes. 4. Wastes almost no water and nutrients. 5. Provides your plants with exactly the right ratio of air and water to maximize growth. This healthy basil specimen was grown in a hybrid Ein Gedi system that utilized horizontally oriented, 4 in. PVC pipes as growth...

Sand And Gravel Culture

Gravel Culture

Although sand can be used as a growing medium with success, it has poor aeration qualities due to the small interstitial spaces between the grains. Remember, when choosing a soilfree medium for hydroponics, to look for good water holding capacity combined with good drainage qualities. This combination will ensure that your choice of mediums will allow the roots to feed, exhaust CO2, and ingest Oxygen properly. Provided proper nutrient and water circulation is met, you'd be surprised at what...

Aerospring Growers Guide

Hydroponically Grown Strawberries

Aeroponic basil, from seedling to skyscraper in 45 days - here's all you need to know 1. Start your seedlings or cuttings in a Perfect Start sponge, rockwool or oasis root cube. Place into a 3 net cup and backfill with LECA stones to provide physical support. 2. Fill your Aerospring with 10-15 gallons of water, add your choice of nutrients according to directions on label do not use regular plant food - it must be for hydroponic use This is where the 4 access port comes in handy 3. Using an...

The Perfect Medium

Gravel Landscaping

Fine sand features very small interstitial spaces that cannot hold much air and water. On the other hand, coarse gravel has large interstitial spaces that can hold a lot of both air and water. Yet, as science would have it, once the interstitial space gets to be too large for capillary action to hold the water in place, you guessed it, the water runs right through it. If your system constantly recirculates your nutrient solution, a fast draining medium would be acceptable. But obviously, coarse...

The Nutrient Film Technique NFT

Nutrient Film Technique

The Nutrient Film Technique, or NFT, was pioneered by Allen Cooper at the Glasshouse Crops Research Institute in Littlehampton, England. In this growing technique, plants are placed atop an inverted 'V' shaped channel, sealed on all sides into a box-like tunnel, through which a thin film of nutrient solution passes along the bottom. A pump and reservoir combination situated below the channels collects and recycles the nutrient back through the system. Roots grow down along the channel,...

Vertical Gardening

Vertigro Hydroponics

This is another interesting application of aeroponics. It was invented by Vertigro and represents a great way of saving greenhouse space. The system functions much in the same fashion as an aeroponic system except it shares a drain pipe with as many units as required. See the black hoses below growing cylinders. Vertigro provided the systems pictured here for Disney's Epcot Center in Florida. As you can see, hydroponic system design represents equal opportunity for a challenge and progress. If...

Expanded Clay Pellets

Hydroponics Gardening And Grapes

LECA stands for Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate and is an extremely coarse growing medium. Some of its common trade names include Geolite, Grorox and Hydroton. LECA is made of expanded clay pellets that hold water by virtue of its Cutaway view of tomato roots as they penetrate a 50 50 mix of coco-coir and perlite. Layer of perlite on bottom is to allow complete drainage in this top-fed hydroponic planter. Cutaway view of tomato roots as they penetrate a 50 50 mix of coco-coir and perlite....

The Dutch Bucket Method

Dutch Bucket

This method is aptly named because it was first introduced in Holland and is now extensively used by commercial growers there for roses, tomatoes and cucumbers. The Dutch Bucket method allows the grower to use just about any growing medium, including coco-coir, perlite, LECA stone, gravel, and even sand. The Dutch Bucket is basically a 2.5 gallon bucket with a special drain fitting that maintains a small reserve of nutrient at the bottom as a precautionary measure. This method is best suited...

What All Gardeners Can Learn From NASA

Root Growth Pressure

Hydroponics is NASA's solution to providing space travellers with a self-sufficient food source. The Administration has sponsored a research program titled Controlled Ecological Life Support System CELSS in order to further develop the technology and carry it into the future. The picture at right is of Epcot NASA's Space Agriculture expo as seen from a tour of the Epcot Center attraction. The lighting used in these examples is high-pressure sodium or HPS, which is the choice for most commercial...

Conclusion

Hydroponics is rapidly gaining momentum and popularity as the best way to cultivate everything from flowers and food to medicine. In Europe, hydroponics is now widely accepted by consumers and is quickly catching on in other countries around the world. By now you should be well on your way to harvesting your first crop of hydroponic produce. I hope that I have answered all of your questions, and I have provided you with a strong understanding of the hydroponic method. Please feel free to email...

Coconut Coir

My favorite loose growing medium is coconut coir, otherwise known by trade names like Ultrapeat, Cocopeat and Coco-tek. Coco coir represents a major step forward in organic soilfree growing mediums. It combines the water retention of vermiculite with the air retention of perlite, however it is a completely organic medium made from shredded coconut husks. Why coconut husks The coconut husk serves its seed two purposes 1 protection from sun and salt while floating in the ocean 2 a hormone-rich...

Its All About The Roots

Hydroponic Slime

Root systems vary in size from those of a seedling, perhaps a few inches long, to those of a 300' redwood that can grow larger in size than the visible tree itself Regardless of the physical size of the plant, roots serve three essential functions 1 the uptake of water and nutrients 2 storage for manufactured materials 3 providing physical support for the plant above ground. Hydroponics is all about healthy roots The absorption of water and nutrients takes place just behind the root tip through...

Air roots vs water roots

Water Roots Soil Roots Air Roots

Plants that are grown in soil and granular or fibrous growing mediums that maintain a high percentage of air to water develop air roots below left . The tiny root hairs serve to steer growth in the direction of water and food. Note that plants grown with their roots completely submerged in water develop water roots shown below right . Observe the absence of root hairs, which are unnecessary in this situation. While air rooted plants can easily be transplanted to a hydroponic system, water roots...

The Rockwool Slab Drip System

Greenhouse tomatoes growing in plastic sleeved rockwool slabs and fed by drip irrigation. The simplest and most common hydroponic method is using drip irrigation to deliver nutrient enriched water to plants grown in rockwool slabs. Many commercial tomato and pepper growers use this technique since it is relatively low-maintenance and can generally deliver foolproof results although it does produce runoff. In this photo, taken at Nipomo Mesa Farms in Santa Maria, CA, rows of tomato plants are...

The Dutch Bucket System

Coco Bricks Hydroponic

The Dutch bucket can be used with just about any growing medium. Shown here from left to right is coco-coir, LECA stone and perlite. The Dutch bucket can be used with just about any growing medium. Shown here from left to right is coco-coir, LECA stone and perlite. This simple to construct stand system allows you to expand your dutch bucket garden easily. This simple to construct stand system allows you to expand your dutch bucket garden easily. Staggered 12 bucket system shown here with two 36...

Current Research

Hydroponics Disney Misting

At the Environmental Research Laboratory ERL at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Dr. Carl Hodges and Dr. Merle Jensen, in conjunction with Walt Disney Productions, have developed new concepts for presenting hydroponic technologies to the public as entertainment to enhance learning. The ERL helped create Listen to The Land and Tomorrow's Harvest, which are now major facilities at Epcot Center near Orlando, Florida. While many currently believe the practice of hydroponics is futuristic, as we...

Ein Gedi System

First developed in Ein Gedi Israel, hence the name, the Ein Gedi System EGS introduced a revolutionary new method to hydroponics. The system is comprised of fully enclosed rectangular growth chambers. Inside each container, nutrient solution is circulated 1-6 inches below evenly spaced mesh baskets that contain the plants. The air gap between the baskets and the solution is misted by sprayers residing along the upper inside edge of the chamber. Roots growing into the mist zone are subjected to...