For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

How to Use more CO2 to Boost Hydroponic Plant Growth

Carbon dioxide is needed in a hydroponic garden to guaranteecontinued plant growth because it is required for photosynthesis. Many gardeners do not realize that the larger their hydroponicgarden is, the more their plants need carbon dioxide forrespiration. Plants that are grown in a small greenhouse areespecially susceptible to growth problems due to lack of sufficientcarbon dioxide.

How can you boost the carbon dioxide content in your hydroponicgarden? There are five ways that you can increase the level ofcarbon dioxide in your greenhouse to increase plant growth. First,the burning hydrocarbon fuels will create carbon dioxide gas. Second, the use of dry ice can aid in the production of this gas. Third, fermentation of organic materials creates carbon dioxide. Fourth, the decomposition of organic matter such as compost willcreate carbon dioxide. Finally, the use of compressed bottledcarbon dioxide is the most commonly used way to create the gas in agreenhouse for the desired effect.

Large greenhouses have burned hydrocarbon fuels for years in aneffort to increase growth in their plants. Examples of hydrocarbonfuels are propane, butane, natural gas and alcohol. Fuels thatcontain sulfur or sulfur compounds cannot be used because theyproduce harmful by products when they burn.

Dry ice can be used in small greenhouses, especially if a coolingeffect is also desired. Dry ice, which is solid carbon dioxide, iseffective when used in a well-sealed area. The ice can either beused in block form or broken down into small pieces and used alittle at a time. Another method is to put the dry ice into aStyrofoam container with holes in it to slow down the rate ofevaporation. Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air it must beplaced above the plants in order for it to drift down and surroundthe plants. Many hydroponic gardeners attach the dry ice to thelight reflectors in their greenhouses.

Fermentation is another way to create more carbon dioxide in yourhydroponic greenhouse. This method is easy to accomplish with fewmaterials - corn sugar, brewer's yeast, water, a small bottle and alarger container such as a garbage bag or large glass jug. Theprocess is the same as creating a batch of wine, beer or mead. Once the batch has stopped bubbling the fermentation process hasceased and another batch will need to be made in order to continuethe production of carbon dioxide.

The use of decomposing organic matter is rarely used indoorsbecause of the odor and it is unsanitary because of the bugs itattracts. It can be used outdoors in a greenhouse but the bugproblem and their potential diseases need to be addressed in orderto save your plants from their adverse effects.

The most popular method of generating carbon dioxide for yourhydroponic plants is the use of a pressurized carbon dioxidesystem. The equipment is relatively inexpensive (under $500) andthe operating expense is low. In addition this system does notgenerate heat so it is easier to regulate than other forms ofgenerating carbon dioxide. A flow meter and timer regulates theamount of time that the gas is released into the growingenvironment.

A hydroponic plant grower can use any of these methods to increasethe amount of carbon dioxide into their greenhouse environment. However, the end cost and effect of each of these methods on yourgrowing should be carefully considered before being implemented.

Increasing the carbon dioxide in your greenhouse will improve thegrowth of your plants and it could lead to increased profits forgardeners who sell their plant products. All that is needed forsuccess is careful planning, monitoring and administration of thecarbon dioxide gas.

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