Congressman Sam Farr Organic Farming In The United States

The Meaning OF Hydroponics

There are many ways to grow delicious healthy spices and herbs inside your home. A simple hydroponic system will help you in your quest to grow plants without soil. You can control the environment while growing food in a cost effective way very quickly. As with anything there are challenges that must be overcome when using this method for producing food but the good news id that many of these challenges have already been overcome by others. By simply knowing where to look and educating yourself  you can also become part of this growing trend ( no pun intended) that is changing the way the world looks at feeding itself. With resources being stretched to the limit in a world that is rapidly filling up you can feel pride in the fact that you are “doing your part” to make the world a better place for all.

Plants take in nutrients the same as people do only they do it through their root system as opposed to their mouth as we people do.  With hydroponics the plants are placed in a container filled with nutrient rich water that they can “drink. The water is constantly being circulated for freshness.

You are probably wondering what kind of system you would need to get something like this started in your own home, garage or shop. Like anything else you can make it just about as simple or complex as you want it to be. My suggestion is to start with something small. By doing it this way you avoid the mistakes of creating a system to complex to figure out. It also keeps you from spending a lot of money on something you may find out your really not that interested in.

Based on the above a water culture system is probably a good place to start. Most of us can build something like this and you might already have or can readily get some of the items you will need. anything that can hold water such as a container or aquarium. All it needs to be able to do is hold a tray that floats in which you place the plants. the roots hang in the water. You will need a air stone and pump to recirculate the water so that the roots receive the oxygen they need. Keep in mind that this simple system works best for leafy plants such as lettuce. Plants that are heavier need something called a growing medium which allows the nutrients to come in contact with the roots of the plants. With the above setup you can be eating lettuce within a month. You can research different foods that you like to determine the growing time and amount of effort it will take.

So why go to all the effort to grow your food this way? Good question. Lack of both space and money are a couple of reasons why you might want to give this a go. As mentioned you don’t need soil and not a lot of space is required. This is great news if you live in a city apartment or other small area. Looking on the internet you can find some great ideas where people have incorporated small areas such as closets to set up their system. Look at this picture on the HGTV site which shows a living wall. Pretty neat huh? Okay now that we’ve determined the space saving benefits let’s look at the next plus to growing food in this manner. Once you get your system up and running it basically becomes self sustaining. Once your first crop is complete you can begin your next season right away with little additional investment. Healthwise if your system is indoors which it probably will be you won’t have to be applying dangerous toxic chemicals to your plants to control bugs and unwanted pests. Your water will have to be tested for the pH level just like soil but this is a simple process that can be done. If done right you can also expect better yields because your plants will grow quicker giving a faster turnaround time for planting. Bottom line you can expect to harvest delicious food that you have grown yourself. You have reduced the environmental footprint required to grow the food and have done your part in a small way to protect the environment. Something if we all worked on a bit more would ensure a healthier safer world for future generations.

How to Get Started With Hydroponics Vegetable Growing

Traditional gardening methods require a lot of water, money, and resources. However, solutions to this are within reach, and even more efficient. Hydroponics is a fast, inexpensive way to begin growing food in a small space, but how do you do it, and what do you need? The following article will be exploring the exactly how to get started with hydroponics vegetable growing.

Know What You Need

Having the proper equipment is a must for just about everything in life. The same goes for successful gardening, especially in regards to hydroponics. Be sure that you know what every piece is for, and why it is important. Also, be sure to have all of the proper nutrients and how much of the nutrients are needed by your plants. A misstep during a crucial time can decrease plant health, and even kill it. Don’t use any additives your first time setting the nutrients. Keep it simple to reduce any chance for issues.

Daily Maintenance

Use only high quality products to make your nutrient-rich water. Measure and adjust your nutrient water reservoir every day. This will protect your plant from any mistakes, sudden changes, or other things that can chemically go wrong. It’s important to know exactly what is happening in your system. Be sure to have a feeding schedule written before you begin a crop. Keep sunlight away from your nutrient solution. It may be a good idea to change your nutrient solution at least once every two weeks. Use a digital timer to keep track of dark periods. Do not visit your crop after you have visited other crops or being outdoors.

After the Harvest

Take the time to clean and sterilize your reservoir after each and every crop. This prevents any sort of contamination. Have an extra reservoir handy for quick replacement after water changes. Garden indoors once the temperature reaches 13 degrees Celsius or below. Only visit your garden after you have changed your clothes. It would be preferable to keep pets out of your garden. Be sure that visitors to your garden follow similar rules.

Vegetables That Are Perfect For Hydroponics

As you can see, hydroponics is a great way to grow your own food in a small amount of space very quickly, but a few of the growth systems have limitations that might make growing food difficult or disappointing. This could result in wasted resources and time that could have been spent elsewhere, so research is needed to maximize the potential of your hydroponic system. In the interest of saving you some time, the purpose of this article is to provide you with just a few examples of which vegetables are highly suited for hydroponics, along with some fruits and herbs.

Lettuce

This leafy vegetable and many other similar plants grow very well using the nutrient film technique. Lettuce and other plants of this type grow extremely fast using this system, and require very little resources to grow. When you are ready to harvest your lettuce, you can enjoy it in a salad or on your favorite sandwiches.

Celery

This amazing vegetable is an important ingredient in many recipes. Celery roots are short and need to be kept wet. The ebb and flow hydroponic system is much more suited for the growth of celery. Too much water could kill your celery so this system will be sure to purge the water after it has delivered it’s nourishing nutrients to the fragile roots of your plants.