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.

Starting Small - What Hydroponic Beginners Typically Grow First

Hydroponics is the concept of soil less gardening. The wordhydroponics comes from two Greek words, "hydro" meaning water and"ponics" meaning labor. This concept has been around for thousandsof years and many countries, including China, Holland, Germany, and Australia have used hydroponics for crop production with resultsthat are quite amazing.

Hydroponics Guide

Hydroponics is proven to have several advantages over regular soilgardening. The growth rate on a hydroponic plant is 30 to 50%faster than a soil plant that was grown under the same conditions. The yield of the plant is also greater. There are many reasons forthe drastic differences between hydroponic and soil plants. Rootgrowth is stimulated in the hydroponic plants due to the extraoxygen. Plants with plenty of oxygen in the root system will alsoabsorb nutrients faster. The nutrients in a hydroponic system aremixed with water and sent directly to the root system. The plantwill not have to search the soil for the nutrients it requires asthe nutrients are being delivered to the plant several times perday.

Hydroponic systems use apparatus that are varied. There are twobasic divisions between systems: water culture and media based. Systems may also be active or passive. Active systems use pumps andusually timers and other electronic gadgets to monitor theoperation. Passive systems may also incorporate any number ofgadgets. These systems try not to use pumps and may rely on theuse of a wicking agent to draw nutrients to the roots. Media basedsystems use some form of growing medium. Some of the more popularmedia based systems include ebb and flow system; run to wastesystem, drip feed system, and bottom feed system. Water culturesystems do not use medium. Some of the more popular water culturesystems include raft systems, nutrient film techniques, andaeroponics.

Hydroponic gardening requires an energy source in order to grow. Usually, natural sunlight is used, but during the shorter anddarker days of winter, many hydroponic gardeners use artificiallights to increase the intensity of light or to expand the daylightlength. Different types of artificial lighting are selected forspecific plant varieties and optimum plant growth characteristics. Different groups of plants will respond in different ways tovarious wavelengths of radiation. Light also plays an extremelyimportant role in the production of plant material. The lack oflight is the most inhibiting factor in plant growth. Cropperformance will be reduced as the light is reduced.

In hydroponics, nutrient solutions are used to feed plants insteadof using plain water. This is due to the fact that the plants arenot grown in soil. When growing hydroponically, the gardener willneed to add all of the nutrients the plant needs to the water. Distilled water will work best for making the nutrients. Hydroponic supply stores sell a variety of nutrient mixes forspecific crops and growth cycles. Plants can be propagated by anumber of methods. The grower can let a plant go to seed, collectthe seed, and start the cycle all over again, which is calledgermination. Another method is to take stem cuttings, also knownas cloning. This process does not work with all plants, but it isconsidered a highly effective technique. The gardener should alsoprune the hydroponic plants regularly. The plant might need to bepruned to focus its energy on the remaining shoots. However,pruning is an art and should be performed with care. Damaged ordying roots may also need to be pruned from time to time. Different plants also have different germination and growingtemperatures. The gardener should check each plant's growingrequirements on a regular basis.

For more information check out the whole package at homemade-hydroponics


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