Throughout my career in hydroponics, this is the one message that has always stayed with me. I've witnessed this phrase unfold before me every time I've planted a seed and harvested a fruit. The care that goes into cultivating that plant is mirrored in what comes out of it, so feed and care for your plants well, especially if you plan to eat them! If you're a computer geek like me, you may recall an old saying "GIGO," which means "garbage in, garbage out." Ring a bell? It's also true when growing plants.
So why start a book on hydroponics on an old adage? Simply because it's the most fundamental lesson you will ever learn when it comes to growing, and perhaps even the quality of your own life as well. As a food factory, a plant must have an endless supply of quality raw materials for it to continue manufacturing new stem, leaf, flowers and fruit that we see as growth. If any one of the required raw materials runs out , the entire manufacturing process will be affected or even interrupted completely. GIGO! And to further complicate matters, just as a human appetite changes as you grow, so does that of plants. Since plants are not as mobile as humans, satisfying their changing appetite is far more difficult in nature than it is for us with a market on every corner. As a result, plants have adapted to the environment and climates they inhabit. And in many cases, they have sacrificed their own genetic potential in doing so. For instance, if a plant is admired for its flavor and it is relocated to another environment, the stress may cause the plant to reduce the oils responsible for its savory taste. If this stress continues, as the plant breeds it will adapt to overcome the environmental stress in future generations, and this adaptation may very well result in a healthy, but flavorless variant.
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