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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hydroponics Gardening


What do the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Floating Gardens of China, and a popular science fiction television program have in common? Hydroponics gardening!

You may have heard of a hydroponics gardening system before this, in which case you'll understand what I'm talking about. If you haven't heard about hydroponics gardening, don't worry. Hopefully by the time we reach the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of what a hydroponics garden is, and if someone asks you whether you think a drip system, or an ebb and flow system is better, then you won't have to squint at them and say 'eh?' in that confused way.

Before we get on to the subject of drip, and ebb and flow systems, let's take a crash course in hydroponics gardening.

Coming from the Greek words 'hydro' for water, and 'ponics' for labor, the word hydroponics in gardening terms is used to specify a type of gardening that doesn't have its roots in soil, if you will forgive the pun. This soil-free type of gardening depends entirely on a water based system that is enriched with nutrients.

These nutrients can either be in the form of specially formulated chemicals for hydroponics gardening, or they can come as a variety of natural nutritional ingredients found in nature itself. The use of either nutrient form is solely dependent upon the gardener.

Since hydroponics gardening is a soil free system, containers are the best methods for growing, and a number of different varieties of containers, and pots are available to buy.

As a growing medium for the plant, something for it to get its roots into, different gardeners will have different likes and dislikes. Shale is a simple and easy solution, especially for the first time gardener. With a little bit of research however, you can easily find out if Hydroton or Rockwool is a better growing medium for you than shale would be. (Hydroton and shale can be used in an ebb and flow system, whilst horticultural Rockwool can be used with just about any system).

'Any system' referring to methods used to pass along the nutrient enriched water to the plants. Again there are many options for the hydroponics gardener to choose from, but I will explain here only the two systems that I mentioned earlier.

Simply put, the ebb and flow system uses a pump to respectively flood and then drain your containers at regular intervals. The drip system uses a continuous drip that supplies a steady ration of water solution that's right for each plant.

Also it should be noted that hydroponics gardens have a higher growth rate, and many gardeners take advantage of this to create high yield vegetable and fruit gardens.

Now that you now what hydroponics gardening entails to a large extent, with a little more research you should be able to set up your own hydroponics system, and keep yourself year round in fresh fruits and vegetables!



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