Hydroponics Gardening the Easy Way
Soil gardening remains the most common method used to grow plants at home and in professional environments. I too, still grow crops using soil, most likely because the process of using dirt, digging and sowing seeds is as natural as breathing, to me. Being a native of the beautiful island of Jamaica and living in the rural (country) area of the Island, I can appreciate soil gardening.
My Grandfather was a farmer and used the traditional soil method to grow his crops. Everything was done the old-fashioned way with hard back breaking labor digging, applying pesticides, sowing, applying fertilizer and watering. Everything was done by hand - His and mines (some of the time).
Hydroponics is Simply a Different Process
I am in a good position to confirm that hydroponics can make your gardening experience a better one. Having a hydroponics garden can be easy or difficult. It's all relative to your perspective on hydroponics gardening as a whole. Don't look at hydroponics as an advanced method for growing plants. Simply seeing it as a "different process" can make a big difference in terms of your success utilizing hydroponics.
Hydroponics is not growing plants in water per se, Its growing plants without using soil - also known as soilless cultivation. The plants are grown in soilless grow media (medium) such as clay pebbles, rockwool, coconut fiber and countless other types of media.
The purpose of soilless media is virtually similar to that of soil. Soilless media provides structural support to the plants allowing them to remain sturdy and upright. It also allows the roots to breathe (aerate) and it offers good water retention. Provide these three important functions and you have a good soilless media.
Hydroponics gardening makes plant cultivation easier in several ways. Two of the most notable benefits are the reduction of pests and maintenance labor. Additional benefits also include fertilizer and water conservation.
Hydroponics Reduces Pests
A lot of plant pests are soilborne. Because hydroponics does not use soil, you eliminate a great deal of pests including weeds, nematodes, insects and fungi. Although hydroponics will not eliminate all pests, it's the first step in reducing them without too much effort beyond changing your cultivation method.
One benefit I can really appreciate is the reduction in labor. Traditional soil gardening can be highly physically demanding. Some people love it and some don't. For those in need of an easier alternative, hydroponics may offer what you need like the benefits outlined below.
Hydroponics generally utilizes a nutrient reservoir capable of holding a sufficient amount of nutrient solution for several days feeding all plants being grown in the system. This feature will greatly reduce the time spent feeding plants.
Although hydroponics gardens are not immune to all pests, it greatly reduces your chances of having pests in your garden. Subsequently, you will reduce your pest management tasks substantially or completely.
Hydroponics is great for clones, however, seeds are easy to plant using "seed starter cubes" to sprout the seeds, then transferring them to a larger media such as rockwool cubes or into clay pebbles. There is no back breaking digging involved.
Ensuring Your Success
To have a successful, traditional soil or hydroponics garden, one must understand the fundamentals of plant cultivation including basic plant nutritional requirements and environmential needs. Plants requirements vary by "plant type" (species), however, they all require ideal temperature, fertilizer, water and air. Simply apply this basic principle to hydroponics gardening and you too, can have your own successful hydroponics garden.
Feeding plants in hydroponics garden and the type of hydroponic system used in relation to the type of plant being grown is a common area where Gardeners make mistakes. Some plants are water loving plants like lettuce, while other plants do not like much water. Some hydroponics systems are ideal for water loving plants like the water works system (bubblers) while other systems like ebb & flow and drip systems are better for plants that require less frequent watering.
Before you invest in a hydroponics system, consider the types of crops you will grow. Learn about your plants and their needs, allowing yourself to become an informed Gardener. This will give you the basic tools required for success.
Next you need to refine your fertilizer formula. I won't get too in-depth about hydroponics fertilizers because it's beyond the scope of this article. However, knowing how to apply and manage your fertilizer is an important factor to a successful hydroponics garden.
Always follow the manufacturer's usage instructions if you use commercial fertilizers or research your formula if you use homemade concoctions.
If you use organic fertilizer, it's important to understand how they work and how and when they become available to plants.
Some fertilizers are quick release while others are slow release. Some fertilizers may require an additive or biostimulant to make the nutrients in organic fertilizers available to plants.
Research your plant's ideal pH range and check the solution's pH; adjusting with a pH adjuster when needed.
Again, it's all about doing your research and informing yourself on your individual needs.
Article provided courtesy of www.HydroponicSearch.com - The Hydroponics Gardening search engine & community site.
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