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.

Germinating Seeds - The Hydroponic Way

Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in water withoutsoil, and with the proper nutrients added. Nowadays, many homegardeners and farmers use this growing technique.

One very important process of plant growing, whether indoors oroutdoors is germination. You can help make sure that your plantsgerminate properly by following some special instructions that canhelp you.

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More specific instructions are available when you talk directly tohorticulturalists or gardening experts who understand the processof hydroponics. However, these basic tips can help get you started.In order to germinate the hydroponic way you need to keep in mindsome growing tips, such as the ones listed below:

  • Plant your seeds a month early indoors. You can put them underwhat is normally called a "grow light" or a "plant light." This istypically done a month earlier than the expected growing season fora given plant.
  • Know the specifics of germinating a particular plant seed. Keepin mind that when you attempt to help the germination process of aspecific plant seed that each seed has different growingrequirements. For instance, the temperature range that certainseeds will thrive in differs depending upon what that type of seedis. Furthermore, some seeds require more light then others. Therefore, you need to learn what the growing requirements are fora specific seed before you can begin the process of germinatingthat seed.
  • Use seeds (or bulbs) that are not in the dormancy period. Youwill need to keep in mind that many seeds will not grow duringcertain times. You need to choose seeds to plant while they are inthe active stage and not in the dormant stage.
  • Learn to recognize a true plant leaf. The first two sprouts thatemerge from many seeds may look like leaves, but they are reallythe seed leaves (called cotyledons) and not true plant leaves. These leaves are necessary for the early growth and development ofa young plant, but the true plant seeds have yet to come. When yousee these sprouts, however, you know that your plant is growingsuccessfully so far.
  • Know when to transplant if planting outdoors. Usually seeds thatare germinated are transplanted a month before transplanting intosoil. However, a true hydroponic growing process does not involvethe media of soil at all. Either way, this process can help youproduce better plants and crops.

If you are attempting to germinate your seeds for the use ofgrowing in a hydroponic style garden, you will not use soil at all.Instead, you will use a different media. Some of the types ofgrowing aids used for hydroponic growing include composted bark,expanded clay, gravel, oasis (artificial foam-based material,commonly used for floral arrangements), peat moss, and othermaterials.

These different types of materials used can be researched and used,and you can experiment with quite a few different growing media tofind what works best for you. Some types of hydroponic systemsrequire no media, which divides hydroponic systems into twodifferent groups-media-based hydroponic systems and water culturehydroponic systems.

Other characteristics of hydroponic systems are that some areactive systems while others are passive systems. For example, theactive systems use pumps and timers, and other electronic devices.These devices assist in running the entire hydroponic growingsystem. Passive systems sometimes use some gadgets, but they do notuse pumps, and also use a wicking agent to send nutrients to plantroots.

One major advantage of using a media-based hydroponic system isthat this type of growing system holds water that the plant can usebetween watering cycles. This can help a plant survive in the eventof an emergency water shortage or power outage. The disadvantage,of course, is that it is messier, and costlier. It requires quite abit more materials than do the water-based (water culture) systems.

The major advantage of using a water culture system as opposed to amedia-based hydroponic system is that it costs less. Not only that,but also the amount of waste disposal involved in utilizing thistype of system is dramatically decreased as well. Furthermore,these systems are more compact and lightweight than the media-basedsystem, and can produce a harvest in an incredibly small space.

The major disadvantage of using a water-base system is that itrequires a constant replenishment of water so that the plant rootsdo not dry out. Furthermore, the flow of nutrients could beinterrupted in the case of a power outage.

You can learn more about the germinating process and the hydroponicprocess of growing plants. More information such as what isprovided in this article is at your disposal, and most of it isoffered free of charge.

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