“Hydroponic Gardening Guide: The Unusual Method of Nurturing Your Desired Plants” Written by: Mr. George Bency Almost every individual gets amazed at the site of beautiful gardens, and why not?
After all they seem appealing and compelling!
For example, while worm composting takes around 10 months, conventional methods of composting can take months at an end.
However, the biggest problem with worm composting is that it requires stricter maintenance than conventional modes of composting.
In other words, worm composting is much more sensitive in terms of optimum conditions than conventional modes of composting.
1. The safety zone for the worms:
The most important aspect of worm composting is for you to provide a safety zone to your worms.
The safety zone is commonly known as the bedding and is the place where worms retreat to when they are not eating.
The bedding needs to be deep enough to be cool in the summer season and warm enough in the winter season.
If the bedding is not deep enough, the worms could retreat below their level, which would result in you losing them.
2. Right temperatures to promote reproduction:
3. Considerations pertaining to pH levels:
Worms primarily need the pH levels to be normal to be most efficient.
However, even if the pH levels are not ideal, the worms will survive and gradually fix the pH levels themselves.
Just their normal activities such as dropping castings and eating will bring the pH levels to normal.
Even so, if you can keep the pH levels neutral then you would be making your worm compost more efficient.
4. The effect of too much light:
If you feel the urge to keep peeping into your worm compost to see how things are progressing then you need to avoid it because worms are not very comfortable with a lot of light.
In fact, exposure to light for 2 or more hours can lead to their death. Using an old carpet to cover the worm compost can improve its productivity significantly.
5. Breathing and providing water:
It is also crucial for you to provide a sufficient amount of water to the worm compost because worms breathe through their skin and take out oxygen from the humidity in their surroundings.
However, too much water can also lead to problems such as drowning and poisoning which is why there needs to be a proper drainage system for the worm compost.
A good drainage system would prevent flooding of the system.
6. Avoid disturbing the worm compost bin:
Conventional composts tend to require turning, a process where the compost heap is mixed up.
This is something that is not required with worm composts and, in fact, can hinder the normal functioning of the compost.
Worm composts need to remain unmoving and no turning is required.
Too much movement can result in the capsules not hatching and even the existing worms dying.
In simple words, any kind of disturbance can reduce the composting rate dramatically.
7. The need for fresh air:
The need for worm compost to have fresh air is something that many people neglect. The effect of there not being enough fresh air around the worm compost is indirect in that it affects the conditions in the worm compost.
Airflow is important for the worm compost to have the right temperatures and humidity levels. It is recommended for worm composts to be larger in areas where the natural climate is either too hot or too cold.
This is especially true if you are purchasing out of season fruits.
There is another option that you can take instead of purchasing fruit.
You can make the decision to have your own fruit tree.
There are many ways that you can obtain a fruit tree.
The first step is planting the tree.
Unless you are blessed to already have a fruit tree, you have to take the necessary steps to have one of your own.
Fruit trees can take many years to develop fruit that is edible.
The process can be helped along by starting small, fragile tree saplings in a greenhouse.
Cherries are one of many fruits that can be started indoors.
Plants that are kept indoors where the conditions can be kept consistent thrive.
Growing a fruit tree can prove to be a tricky task.
Several factors must be taken into consideration when growing fruit trees.
There are certain tricks that a gardener can learn to cause flowers and fruit to bloom earlier than normal.
Learning these tricks is crucial for anyone who wants to grow a fruit tree successfully.
- Growing cherries in a greenhouse has many benefits.
- Not only will this way keep animals and birds from eating the fruit you are trying to grow, it will also be easier for you to maintain your cherries if you do not have to deal with the harsh weather conditions.
- You will need to choose which type of cherries you would like to grow.
- It is easiest if you are using cherries that do not require cross pollination.
- If you do decide to use cherries that require this, it is important that you are growing different types of cherries in your greenhouse.
- Sour cherries are generally self-pollinating and they are the type of cherries that are best to use for baking.
You will need to give your cherry tree plenty of room when you plant.
Make sure that you take into consideration that the tree will grow.
You will want a type of container that self-drains.
Do not over water your cherry trees.
Using potting soil and peat can help assist in the draining process.
After you have planted the trees, make sure to place them in an area of the greenhouse that gets frequent amounts of sunlight.
- You will not to keep the trees well watered.
- However, you have to make sure you do not overdo it.
- Cherry trees do not grow well in extreme heat.
- Make certain that you maintain a cool temperature.
- In the winter, when temperatures are at the coldest, is the best time to grow cherries, but never allow the temperature to get to the freezing point as this can damage the cherry tree.
It will take about two to three years for your cherry trees to grow proper fruit.
Do not harvest your cherries until the process is complete.
Harvesting your cherries too early could result in ruining your fruit.
You do not want this happen.
It can take several years for you to begin the process over again.
The earliest published reference related to hydroponics, however, was made by Francis Bacon in his book titled Sylva Sylvarum published in 1627.
From said reference sprouted many water culture researches by other scientists the most notable of which was that of John Woodwardâs work with spearmints in 1699.
By 1842, scientists have compiled a list of nine elements deemed essential to hydroponics gardening.
It was not until 1929 when soilless agriculture was publicly promoted for agricultural crop production on a commercial level.
We credit William Frederick Gericke of the University of California at Berkeley for the breakthrough of viable hydroponics when he grew 25-feet high tomato vines in his backyard using only mineral nutrient solutions.
He was also the one who coined the term hydroponics, which is a combination of the Greek words for water (hydro) and labor (ponos).
Although Gericke refused to divulge his secrets in soilless gardening, which led to his resignation from the university, he eventually wrote a book about the subject in 1940 â the Complete Guide to Soilless Gardening.
It is still in use today as well albeit with a few changes borne of the advancements in hydroponic gardening.
Before the publication of Gerickeâs book, Dennis R. Hoagland and Daniel I. Arnon, both plant nutritionists from the University of California, were tasked to verify the claims made by Gericke.
Their findings were published in the now-classic 1938 bulletin titled The Water Culture Method for Growing Plants Without Soil.
Today, hydroponics gardeners still use the so-called Hoagland solutions as their mineral nutrient solutions.
It was a small step from theoretical studies to practical applications, which is to be expected in something as important to human life as food cultivation.
One of the earliest and most successful practical applications of hydroponics was in Wake Island, a rocky atoll located in the Pacific Ocean.
Since there was no soil to be found in the atoll, hydroponics was a logical step.
Other commercial applications of hydroponics soon followed. Today, the techniques are widely used to cultivate flowers and vegetables, all of which are considered organically-grown.
Greenhouses are wonderful ways to grow plants through the different seasons.
There are countless greenhouses available in many different categories.
You should research all of the different options that are available before you pick the type of greenhouse that you want.
Use the type of plants and flowers you want to grow as a starting base.
You must decide if those plants and flowers would thrive in the environment that the greenhouse you have chosen. Greenhouses are not only for businesses.
Anyone can enjoy the benefits of having access to a greenhouse.
If you are a gardener who takes your hobby seriously, a greenhouse may be right for you.
There are many different sizes of greenhouses and many people start plant orientated business in these forms of structures.
Moving your plants outdoors can be a very tricky task.
If you are dealing with seedlings or young plants, you will need to be aware that you can shock or even kill your plants if this is not done properly.
Your plants have grown used to their environment in the greenhouse so you will need to make sure to follow all of the steps needed to safely transport the plants.
The first step is to acclimate your plants to their new environment.
This is done by slowly lowering the temperature of the greenhouse for a period of time.
After you have your plants used to a lower temperature, you should begin to water the plants a little less.
1. Once they are used to having less water and a lower temperature, you can start restricting fertilization.
2. When doing this process, you need to be careful not to let the soil get too dry, as this will damage your plants.
3. It is important that you understand this process needs to be done very slowly, to be sure you do not shock, damage or kill your plants during the transition process.
4. Move your plants to an area where they can get more light and where they may be introduced to wind. This is as simple as finding a window in the greenhouse that will offer both of these steps.
After you process of hardening the plants is complete, which is usually about ten to fourteen days, you are ready to transplant them outdoors.
When digging the hole to plant them in, make sure that it is larger than what the plant is used to.
You will want to mix the soil with organic matter.
After you have transplanted them, you need to make sure that they get plenty of water while they are taking root.
If you are dealing with mature plants, you can keep them in their original pot and move them outside for about two hours at a time. Place them back into the greenhouse and be sure to water frequently.
Repeat this step every day and slowly increase the amount of time you leave them outside . After about two weeks, they are ready to move and plant. They will need to be planted the same way as the seedlings.
A greenhouse cover should be one of the first things to buy because these covers can absorb as much light as possible without letting out too much heat.
Depending on the type of cover you choose, the greenhouse cover may be able to prevent water from getting in and that can come in handy during those stormy weathers.
Choosing the Best Type of Greenhouse Cover
There are three common types of materials that make up greenhouse covers.
The glass covers are long lasting materials that are common for greenhouses since light can still pass through.
But glass is difficult to install since it is breakable.
It is important to choose a good quality of glass so it doesn’t get brittle and crack after some time.
Polyethylene and plastic films can also absorb a good amount of heat like glass and can actually be a nice alternative as long as you do not mind replacing these types of greenhouse covers every 5 years.
Before buying any greenhouse covers made from plastic, make sure that it has an infrared inhibitor and UV protection.
The price of film plastic greenhouse covers depends on the thickness with the thinner covers being cheaper.
Polyethylene film plastic is a good pick if you are on a tight budget. Rigid plastic can also be used if you want something that is shatterproof and can retain heat.
If you decide to pick this type of greenhouse cover, you will have to clean it every now and then with soap and water so the cover does not get too dirty.
Polycarbonate greenhouse covers are the third type of greenhouse covers and some people think they are the best materials.
If it is a twin wall polycarbonate, it should retain heat really well and diffuse sunlight.
Because of this, the risk of scorching plants is significantly decreased.
Polycarbonate greenhouse covers are even more effective if they are coated with UV protective coatings so the sun’s rays do not damage the plants.
If you need even better insulation for your greenhouse, you can go for a triple wall polycarbonate sheets.
Compared to glass, polycarbonate is roughly 200 times more durable than glass and is virtually unbreakable. It is also easier to install polycarbonate because the material is much lighter.
Picking the Other Important Glasshouse Supplies
Greenhouse covers aren’t the only types of glasshouse supplies that contribute to insulation.
If ever your greenhouse still needs insulation even with these covers installed, you can use greenhouse bubble wrap so your plants can survive through the winter periods.
It is also important to check out the current temperature of your greenhouse using a thermometer so you can see how the greenhouse covers and insulation affect the temperature.
This will help you determine if you need to install any greenhouse fans or keep the doors open if the weather is good.
If the temperature is too low, you will need to get a heating system to provide adequate heating to a small greenhouse.
Larger greenhouses will need a centralized heating system.
Watering your plants is also very important so your plants can survive.
But the watering requirements can vary amongst different plants so it is better to install a watering system and watering wand to make the job easier.
It can even be easier to maintain a greenhouse during rainy days if you get a downpipe kit so you can use the rainwater to water your plants.
Buying cheap greenhouse supplies and covers are not recommended for the most part because they are generally low quality and that means you may buy replacements sooner rather than much later.
Go for high quality supplies so your greenhouse experience isn’t affected.
Top 10 Ideas for Household and Gardening Gifts
Your home and your garden complement each other wonderfully.
Your home is your refuge, after all, and your garden is a place that you go to relax and feel connected to nature.
If you have friends or family with their own gardens, or if you just like getting presents for your own garden, here are 10 awesome home and garden gift ideas.
1. German Nodders!
2. Cheese Knife
A cheese knife retails for a very appropriate price of about $15, and it makes a great present with the right combination.
Just purchase a white plate, some Camembert cheese and some crackers with the cheese knife, and you’ve just given a great gift.
3. Dog Topiary
A dog topiary can cost between $40 and $75, and it, obviously, is not going to ever die.
However, people should expect that it will shed some.
A dog topiary is covered in moss and will make a nice decoration in your garden.
4. Carved, wooden Blocks
Great in-door gifts are carved, wooden blocks that can hold long-wicked candles. This can be a great house-warming present, and they cost in the range of $15 to $58.
5. Reusable Bags
Reusable bags are a great, low-cost gift for the home, and when we say reusable bags, we really mean reusable snack and sandwich bags.
They cost only $8 or $9 and can come in designs that will remind people of the once-popular, Finnish textile studio called Marimekko.
6. Dog Bed
A gift for the home can also include something for Fido!
After all, many people consider their pet dogs as full-fledged members of the family, so it is only logical to include them, too, in the gift-buying considerations.
A dog bed that looks really fancy and is made by Jax and Bones can be purchased in a range of fabrics.
7. Gardening Books
What better gift to give a person with a garden on his or her property than a book replete with nothing but the most wonderful gardening ideas?
The right gardening book can inspire, educate and motivate a person with a garden to put in more work to get so much more from their garden!
Gloves are almost a no-brainer for a gift to give to a person with a garden on his or her property.
Gloves are really important for gardeners because they can protect said gardenerâs hands from all kinds of thorns and sharp objects and the like.
9. Hedge Trimmers
Hedge trimmers can be an enormously clichÃ© gift to give to a person who has a garden, but what they lack in originality they make up in sheer practicality.
If the person you want to give this gift to already has hedge trimmers, he or she can always use new ones!
10. Watering Can
A watering can, like a garden hose, is among the most basic tools of any good gardener, which is why this gift for the garden is such a savvy choice.
A watering can, unlike a hose, tends to be more for delicate flowers and plants that need more careful watering, instead of larger bushes.
Propagation of greenhouse plants is fascinating, and will ensure that you grow the plants that you want all year.
There are several different techniques that you can apply when you want to produce new plants, and they are all straightforward.
Whether you grow your plants from seeds or cuttings, you will be able to see results in a short space of time.
Practice always makes perfect, therefore, the more that you understand the different technique the more success you will have.
- Sowing seeds are the most popular form of propagation in your greenhouse, and there are thousands of different seeds available.
- You will need to decide what you want to grow, and provide the correct environment for the seeds to thrive. Sowing is recommended between the months of February and May.
- You will need to monitor the seeds, and as soon as they display signs of maturity, they need moving to a larger space to grow.
Cuttings from plants will provide the perfect way for you to grow more plants within your greenhouse.
The natural ability that plants possess to regenerate new parts in the right environment is ideal for this purpose.
You will be able to grow new plants from your existing ones, which will save you money.
There are several different forms of cuttings, and you need to ensure that you research the different styles.
Whether you decide to use seeds or cuttings they will both need the perfect environment to flourish; therefore, propagation mats may be necessary.
Starting seeds and cuttings need moist, warm conditions to grow, and you will need to provide these.
You will not want the whole greenhouse to have these conditions; therefore, the propagation mat is ideal.
The nursery care that you provide for your new plants is essential and will make all of difference to their growth.
If you are a novice gardener, you may find that some of your attempts fail, however, you should not give up.
You need to ensure that you are providing every element for the seeds or cuttings to grow well and mature to a fully grown plant.
Therefore, research is essential, and some plants will require different growing conditions.
In the early days, you may not see much progress with your cuttings and seeds; however, they will be slowly taking root and getting ready to grow.
Once you get into a system of growing the different plants from the early stages, you will have a continuous supply of healthy plants and vegetables.
You will become a master gardener before you know it, and be providing vegetables for everyone.
Starting with easy plants, to propagate is essential, and once you have mastered these, you can move on to more complicated plants.
Growing your own vegetables from seeds or cuttings is astounding, and you will feel a sense of pride as you see your small seedling grow into fresh, delicious crops.
Once you have the correct equipment and the patience to grow, you will achieve incredible things within your greenhouse.
It feeds on the “good” microorganisms in the soil that help your plants stay healthy and full of nutrients. In addition to this, compost in your garden helps sandy soil hold water better, while it aids in draining water from clay soil.
Advantages of Making Compost
Compost serves as a natural protection and enhancement to your soil.
If you want your garden to be rich, flourishing, and healthy, this is definitely something to consider.
It improves the overall texture, structure, and aeration of the soil, helping it breathe and hold water better.
Unlike commercial fertilizers, compost is natural, organic, and good for the environment.
It is also relatively cheap and can easily be produced. You can make compost without having to spend a single buck.
As for your plants, compost helps in stimulating the development of their roots. It feeds the microorganisms in the soil that keep it healthy, rich, and in balanced condition.
During this process, natural substances like potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen are produced, eliminating the need of adding many artificial soil amendments.
The significance of making and using compost is all about helping the environment and reducing organic waste from our kitchens and yards.
If you can only exert a little time and effort to gather all these materials and use them appropriately for composting, then you can definitely contribute in solving some of our environmental problems.
You can help make a difference by composting.
Not only can you improve and enrich the soil in your garden, you can also help get rid of harmful waste in the environment.
Top Secrets in Making Compost
Once you’ve decided to improve your garden, help the environment, and make your own compost, here are the guidelines that you need to keep in mind:
1. Do not throw or give away your kitchen waste
Junks, scraps, and other unwanted leftovers from your kitchen can be included in your compost pile.
Keep them as they can be useful once you are ready to make your compost.
Kitchen waste and scraps are highly composed of nitrogen that helps in heating up your compost pile and speeding up the entire process.
Some of the materials that you may want to save from the trash can include egg shells, vegetable stems, fruit peels, and coffee grounds to name some.
2.Â Size does matter
When it comes to making a compost pile for your garden, the bigger it is, the better outcome you’ll get as heat will build up better with a large pile.
However, keep the height limit of your compost pile to three by three feet only.
Anything larger than this might be difficult to manage.
Choose a site where you will make your compost pile.
Make sure that it is easily accessible to you, but at a significant distance from your home or garden to avoid any accidents.
3.Â If heat is important, moisture is just as important as well
Make sure your compost pile will not dry out completely due to the heat.
To guarantee this, keep watering or moisturizing your compost to sustain the process.
On the other hand, however, do not keep your pile too wet. This will cause your compost to stink and get squelchy, which might harm your garden more than enhancing it.
4.Â Make sure that your compost is well-ventilated
To help you maintain this condition, use a tumbling composter and make sure to turn it every time you add a new material on your pile.
If, however, a tumbling composter is unavailable and you have to use a static compost bin instead, make sure that you mix the materials well so that oxygen can circulate and help break down the contents effectively.
5. Keep a good balance of the materials you include in your compost.
Make sure there is an equal percentage of leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, leftover foods, and others.
Having too much of one material and too little of the other can throw your pile of balance.
The two most common elements present in composts are green materials and brown materials.
Green materials include leaves, grass clippings, and even old annuals.
They are high in nitrogen. Brown materials, on the other hand, may include dry leaves, and are high in carbon.
Adding too many greens or browns may not normalize the mixture of nitrogen and carbon in your pile.
Remember, what you want is to create an alternative fertilizer that provides a good balance of the important substances like nitrogen and potassium.Hence, make sure that you include significant amounts of varying wastes and materials.
Finally, stay away from materials like meats, animal waste, oils, diseased plants, and those that have been treated with herbicides or pesticides. Do not add them to your compost as they will harm not only the soil, but the health of your plants, as well.
Making compost is more than just beautifying or improving your garden. More importantly, it helps in keeping the environment safe and healthy to live in.
Take time and exert effort in making compost instead of using artificial fertilizers for your plants. This way, not only can you get rid of your organic waste properly, but you can also improve the quality of your garden and soil.
The direct effect of this is that people started trying to save money in every manner possible.
However, when food prices start rising, there is only so much an individual can do to save money.
Or, is it? It is possible for a person to save money even on food items, with the use of hydroponics technology.
A person can shield himself from the riding costs of vegetables and fruits by simply using hydroponic growing equipment in his own house.
If the prospect of saving more money interests you, then here is how you can use hydroponic growing equipment to do so.
1. Most hydroponic systems are based around a medium for providing nutrients to the plants being grown.
Owing to this, there are two options which are open to an individual.
2. Of the two, the wick equipment tends to require less investment but at the same time turns out to be more difficult to use.
Alternatively, while the ebb and flow hydroponic growing equipment is a little more expensive than the wick equipment, it makes it easier for a person to grow food at home.
3. A set of hydroponic growing equipment would comprise a plastic tray which is used for holding the nutrient medium as well as the plant.
The plant itself would be placed in a container that would have holes at the bottom.
This container with the plant will be put on the tray which would be flooded twice a day with the nutrient solution.
4. There will also be a need for a container which will be used as a reservoir for the nutrient solution and an aquarium pump.
The container is supposed to contain the nutrient solution which would primarily be three gallons of water with 3 teaspoons of nutrient solution in it.
The aquarium pump will be used to pump this diluted nutrient solution to the previously set up tray and plant combination.
5. The tray needs to be connected with the nutrient solution container with proper tubing.
A timer is also supposed to be connected with the aquarium pump so as to allow the right frequency of flooding for the plant.
6. Finally, one of the most crucial aspects of using hydroponic growing equipment is the pH level of the diluted nutrient solution.
In fact, you will have to keep an eye on the pH levels of the nutrient solution on a regular basis if you want your hydroponic adventure to be a success.
It is easy to check pH levels because there are pH measurement devices available in the market which are not that difficult to use.
As you can tell from the information provided above, hydroponic growing equipment is not very difficult to use, provided you know how to.
Moreover, as you work more and more with your hydroponic growing equipment, you would become increasingly efficient at using it.
It is worth mentioning that, in the beginning, you would do well to stick to easy to grow plants such as lettuce, spinach, basil, parsley and event mint.