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Hydroponics Gardening is as simple as following a recipe

Elvis Elvis

Just the term Hydroponics Gardening seems complicated and hard. It really is as simple as following a cookbook recipe. Get the ingredients right in the correct proportions, and you have great results.

Hydroponics Defined:

By defining hydroponics gardening you will understand and appreciate how this nutrient growing delivery systems works. In a nutshell… Hydroponics gardening is the art & science of growing plants in a bath or inflow of highly oxygenated, nutrient enriched water.

Soil is not perfectIn your garden the soil is not a perfect transport system for nutrients getting to your plants. Biological decomposition breaks down organic matter into the basic nutrient salts that plants feed on. These salts are subsequently dissolved by water which allows uptake by the root system.

Hydroponics Gardening is as simple as following a recipe

This is a really great miracle of nature. The catch is that for a plant to receive a balance of nutrients it needs, everything in the soil must be in perfect balance. It’s very rare for perfect conditions to exist. Usually there is a combination of contaminations, biological imbalances, and general lack of organic mater.

In hydroponics gardening, water is enriched with the critical nutrient salts. A perfect nutrient solution is created… a hydroponics nutrient solution that is balanced perfectly.

Hydroponics plants have their food and water delivered directly to their root systems. As a result, the energy normally used to develop complex and long root systems is instead used to grow the plant.

Please note: You will still have to maintain your plants regularly. Hydroponics gardening is not a way of saving maintenance time, it is a way to improve the results.

Benefits to Hydroponics Gardening:

* Plants can be grown up to 10 times faster than in soil.

* Plants can be grown year round – You are in control of and create the seasons.

* You are more in control of the growing conditions such as nutrients & oxygen getting to your plants.

* Furthermore, you control how much light your plants get thus accelerating plant & flower growth.

* No soil means no weeds to control.

* Pesticide use is zero to very little.

Base to Hold Plants:

A very porous soil free medium is used to anchor the plants in a hydroponics system. They are usually some kind of stone, fiber, sand or other porous material. Additionally, they are able to retain the air and water needed for plant roots to anchor as well as breathe for good health.

Humidity:

The optimum range for the humidity in hydroponics gardening is between 40 to 60 percent. Note: As temperature increases the air is able to hold more moisture.

PH Levels:

The pH levels measure how alkaline or acidic the growing medium is. In normal gardening this is the soil. In hydroponics gardening this is the nutrient solution and or any base material holding the root systems. Generally, the pH levels should be around 6.0 to 6.8 for optimum growing conditions. Note: Some plants and flowers require a more specific pH level to grow well. This can be easily checked with an inexpensive pH testing kit.

Nutrients / Food for your Plants:

There are set types of solutions you can purchase or make for use in hydroponics gardening. The nutrients can be easily mixed with water to make the nutrient solution (don’t worry, follow the label instructions).

A nutrient solution is usually kept in a reservoir that is emptied and refilled every 4-7 days. This regular maintenance will make sure the plants are getting the optimum nutrition for excellent growth.

* Each time the solution is changed, pH levels change and need to be checked.

* If possible use water without chlorine. If needed, let your next batch of nutrient sit in the open uncovered for a couple of days to allow the chlorine to evaporate.

Nutrient Tips for best results:

Nutrients are critical to your plants for healthy growth. The following Macronutrients are most important:

  • Nitrogen (N)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Potassium (K)

If there is a problem with your plants, they will display symptoms that are due to the lack of one of these nutrients. Please note: The following set of symptoms are rare or minimized by following the directions on nutrient solution packages.

Symptoms & Solutions:

Symptom: Yellowing at the edges of the leaves.

Possible Cause: Potassium deficiency (most likely cause), or iron deficiency, or imbalanced pH.

Symptom: The leaves turn pale yellow.

Possible Cause: Nitrogen deficiency.

Symptom: The underside of your leaves turn dark green and produce dark spots, and eventually there is slowed and stunted growth.

Possible Cause: Phosphorus deficiency.

Symptom: The plant is showing dark green, soft, and weak growth.

Possible Cause: Too much nitrogen.

Mid-air Suspension of Plants (Aeroponics Gardening):

No, this is not some mystical jargon. It’s actually called Aeroponics and involves the same principles as hydroponics except there is no base medium like stone used to anchor the plant roots.

How it worksPlants roots are suspended in mid-air. They are kept in a chamber that has 100% humidity and fed a fine nutrient rich spray. This method allows the roots to absorb the nutrients, and importantly, to more efficiently absorb oxygen. This system increases the metabolism and growth rate of plants up to 10 times compared to being grown in soil.