Monday, March 30, 2009

Growing Hydroponic Beets

(Beta vulgaris)
Planting Info:
Can be seeded or transplanted
Seeds per gram: 50
Directly seeded
Space between rows: 15 cm (6”)
Space between seeds: 10 cm (4”)
Germination: 10 days
Germination and Transplant: 20-25
Harvest: 60 days
Depth: 3 cm (1.25”)
Seed for Transplant:
Space between rows: 8 cm (3”)
Space between seeds: 1 cm (1/3”)
Depth: 1 cm (1/3”)
Plants per m2: 54
Beets form over the top of the media so they can be
grown in a 5” deep bed grower. Each beet seed pod
contains about three seeds so the young seedlings
may have to be thinned.
Beet roots also have edible greens so the entire plant
is useful. They grow well in hydroponics and can be
harvested when about 2” in diameter. Beets can also
be grown for winter storage, stored in boxes of dry
peat moss.
Pests: Black fly
Diseases: Damping off, leaf spot and heart rot.
Harvest: Harvest the entire plant as roots get to be 4
cm (2”) diameter. Break off the leaves to reduce bleeding
from the beet root. Use in stews or salads.
If beets have black bitter spots they are low on boron.
Add 1/6 teaspoon of borax to 2 gallons of water and
water the plants.

From "Home Hydroponic Gardens" by Peggy Bradley & Cesar Marulanda

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Root Vegetables in Hydroponics

I've found this amazing hydroponics book with information that I've been looking for for a long time. I'm going to post information on the ten root vegetables that are listed with instructions on how to grow them. This is the introduction to the chapter:

"Root vegetables and tubers, such as potato and sweet
potato, can also be grown in hydroponics. This important
part of the diet can be very productive in
deep media hydroponic growers.
Roots will need more space to grow under the surface
so media growers for roots are constructed at least 30
cm (12”) deep. The media should be deep enough to
keep the root area in a environment that is not saturated
with water, but still kept moist.
Root vegetables can be a part of everyday diet. A
soup can be made with soybeans and fresh vegetables
from the garden. A basic soup that includes a cup of
cooked soybeans should provide each family member
with about 400 calories, and about 1/2 of the protein
required for the day.
Potatoes were one of the first crops grown by Gericke,
the modern day father of hydroponics. He grew a fine
crop of potatoes under his tomato plants in a California
greenhouse. Potatoes are very high is carbohydrates
and provide daily energy.
Many root vegetables can also be kept through the
winter or slower growing season by harvesting and
storing or drying. They can also be kept alive in the
hydroponic beds if the temperatures can be kept
above freezing. Even in the northern temperate climates
the root vegetables can stay alive through the 8
hour sun days, although don’t expect much growth.
Many root vegetables take a longer to grow, sometimes
as much as 120 days to harvest. Many, such as
carrots, cannot be transplanted. This means that the
areas of the grower which are being harvested should
be replanted as soon as possible to keep a supply of
roots from the garden."

Quoted from "Home Hydroponic Gardens" by Peggy Bradley & Cesar Maruland

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hydroponic Gardening- What are the Benefits?

March 23rd, 2009 by plrposter

Hydrophonic Gardening

Gardening has been considered to be one of the most therapeutic rewards for North Americans.You will feel very happy and rewarded since gardening stimulates your senses. Hydroponics is the growing of plants without the use of soil. A variety of hydroponic gardening techniques exist and just about any plant can be grown with hydroponics. Hydroponic gardening is considered to be quite easy and many teachers use this method of gardening with their students when working on science projects.

There are a variety of benefits associated with hydroponic gardening. When plants are grown using hydroponics, the roots do not need to search for required nutrients. The nutrient solution is provided directly to them, which results in plant growth, which is more abundant.The use of hydroponics in an outdoor garden helps to add intrigue and interest.The right time to experiment with the various types of hydroponic cultivation is during the summer time due to the natural conditions available outdoors.Hydroponics benefits annual flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetables.

You can control growing factors such as temperature, humidity, and light with the use of hydroponics. Since there is no soil, there is less maintenance involved with hydroponics.The concern over soil borne diseases or pests is almost eliminated and weeding is not required.Not all soil less cultures is considered hydroponics even thought hydroponics is always a soil less culture.The nutrient solutions that are mandatory for hydroponics are not used by many of these cultures. There are two main types of hydroponics, which are solution culture and medium culture.Solution culture does not use a solid growing medium for the roots, but it does use a nutrient solution. The medium culture has a sound growing base for the roots such as perlite, gravel, or sand culture.With the different ways that a nutrient solution is supplied to the plants creates multiple ways that hydroponic plants can be grown.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Is this true?

I've just come across this tip for getting your trees going in the spring. Take a baseball bat and give them a good whack! Apparently, this will stimulate the running of the sap inside the tree and will get it growing faster. Amazing but true?!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Heirloom Vegetables

Taken from Wikipedia:

"An heirloom plant, heirloom variety, or (especially in the UK) heirloom vegetable is a cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but which is not used in modern large-scale agriculture. Many heirloom vegetables have kept their traits through open pollination, while fruit varieties such as apples have been propagated over the centuries through grafts and cuttings. The trend of growing heirloom plants in gardens has been growing in popularity in the United States and Europe over the last decade.

Before the industrialization of agriculture, a much wider variety of plant foods was grown for human consumption. In modern agriculture in the industrialized world, most food crops are now grown in large, monocultural plots. In order to maximize consistency, few varieties of each type of crop are grown. These varieties are often selected for their productivity, their ability to withstand mechanical picking and cross-country shipping, and their tolerance to drought, frost, or pesticides. Heirloom gardening can be seen as a reaction against this trend.[citation needed] In the Global South, heirloom plants are still widely grown, for example in the home gardens of South and Southeast Asia, although their future is uncertain.

Heirloom growers have different motivations. Some people grow heirlooms for historical interest, while others want to increase the available gene pool for a particular plant for future generations. Some select heirloom plants due to an interest in traditional organic gardening. Many simply want to taste the different varieties of vegetables, or see whether they can grow a rare variety of plant."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Growing Organic Food in the City

For city-dwellers living in condos and apartment buildings, organic gardening is still an option.

You can grow beans and tomatoes in flower pots instead of flowers. There are people growing huge gardens on the rooftops of buildings, erecting plastic coverings so essentially making greenhouses. The qualtity of vegetables grown is excellent and taste, far beyond anything in the store that's been stored for a couple of years and then shipped hundreds of miles.

You don't have to be in the country to grow vegetables of the highest quality.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Urban Gardens

"As the economic depression worsens, every day there is more and more new urban gardening news; this time from Flint, Michigan where urban gardeners are looking at some 2,477 vacant residential lots in the city. They want to fill them with vegetable gardens to feed the growing numbers of hungry, out of work people. The urban gardens would also create new business opportunities and improve people’s lives for people who are hurting ecomomically."

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Worldwide Hydroponics

Growing greenhouse vegetables is one of the most exacting and intense forms of all agricultural enterprises. In combination with greenhouses, hydroponics is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Japan. It is high technology and capital intensive.

It is highly productive, conservative of water and land and protective of the environment. For production of leafy vegetables and herbs, deep flow hydroponics is common. For growing row crops such as tomato, cucumber, and pepper, the two most popular artificial growing media are rockwool and perlite.

Computers today operate hundreds of devices within a greenhouse by utilizing dozens of input parameters, to maintain the most desired growing environment. The technology of greenhouse food production is changing rapidly with systems today producing yields never before realized. The future for hydroponic/soilless cultured systems appears more positive today than any time over the last 50 years.

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