Homemade hydroponics

Homemade hydroponics wick system

Water works/wick hydroponics systems are probably the most basic form of hydroponics kits available. The way they function is fairly simple to understand. The roots of the plants are constantly submerged under water and a pump is used with an airstone to provide aeration.

Water works systems do not provide proper aeration of the roots. To allow roots to breath, a pump must be used, usually an external one connected to an air line running into the reservoir. At the other end of the tube is an airstone that gently diffuse oxygen into the reservoir tank.

Water works usually utilize grow rocks, rockwool or a combination of both mediums to grow plants and keep them up-right and sturdy. Water works can be classified as a wick system because wick strips are generally placed in the planters (net pots) to pull nutrient from the reservoir to feed the upper root system. When you submerge the planter into the reservoir, the wick strip will transport water from the reservoir to feed the part of the roots that is not submerged under water or the roots growing at the top level of the root system.

Water works hydroponics systems, such as, Emily's Garden kit is a good choice for beginners and hobby gardeners'. The system is easy to use and maintain. Simply fill the reservoir with nutrient solution, plug in pump and your all set. The only thing you need to do periodically is replenish the reservoir once the nutrient solution falls below the water lever indicator.

Water works hydroponics systems are not the most advanced, however, it will get the job done and the system is great for beginners and hobby Gardeners. Water works may cause root rot and other problems because the roots are in water for longer than they need to be and is not recommended for large or long term plants.

Submerging plant roots into water for a long period of time will usually kill the plant or slows growth. Air stones will aerate the roots, but some plants may still die because of soaking up too much water.

One of the few crops that would be "perfect" for water works hydroponics systems is lettuce. Lettuce is a crop that loves water and plenty of it. Lettuce growers should have great results using this hydroponics technique.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hydroponic tomatoes

Hydroponic culture is one of the most exacting and intensive methods of crop production used in agriculture today. Hydroponics is a fairly complicated process of growing high quality tomatoes throughout the year in a soiless, controlled environment. With hydroponic technology and a controlled environment greenhouse, you have the ability to grow premium quality produce using a minimum of space, water and fertilizer.

Growing Tomatoes in a Hydroponic Garden
By Tracy Ballisager

Hydroponic tomatoes are easier to grow that most people imagine and, what is more, they taste delicious and are high in nutrients. Whether you are adding them to a sandwich, making a rich tomato and basil sauce, serving them in a crisp salad or simply enjoying the tomatoes on their own or with cheese, hydroponically grown tomatoes have a wonderful flavor. If you want to know how to grow tomatoes in a hydroponic garden, read on for some useful information.

Hydroponic tomatoes
Photo: organichydroponicsystems.com

Planting Hydroponic Tomatoes

You need to mark and space holes the same diameter as the pots you are using for your tomato seedlings. It is best to use shade cloth if the climate is warm, for the first few weeks. You need to mix fertilizer and water to a resulting pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Rinse the tomato seedlings to remove any dirt before you plant them. How to grow tomatoes in a hydroponic garden includes good preparation. You can use rockwool slabs, chopped rockwool slabs, cubes or blocks. A mixture of rockwool and fired clay is also a good growing medium. After planting your tomato seedlings in the hydroponic solution, you should check the water every day to make sure your water to nutrient ratio is right.

Temperature for Hydroponic Tomatoes

Tomatoes prefer temperatures of 70º to 80ºF during the daytime and 10ºF lower at night. These are the same temperatures that most growing vegetables thrive in. If you exceed these temperatures above or below more than 10ºF, your tomatoes might turn out nutritionally unbalanced, stunted or dead! That is why, when learning how to grow tomatoes in a hydroponic garden, it is vital to be aware of the correct temperature.

Lighting for Hydroponic Tomatoes

Tomatoes use the blue part of the light spectrum because they are long day plants. This means that a metal halide high intensity discharge lamp is the best thing to use if your plants are growing indoors rather than in the sunlight. They prefer 18 hours of light per day.

Humidity for Hydroponic Tomatoes

Tomatoes enjoy plenty of water but they also have to transpire it out with photosynthesis. This results in moderate humidity levels, which need to be controlled via good ventilation and air circulation. If you don't know how to grow tomatoes in a hydroponic garden and control the humidity, this can affect your tomatoes' nutrient intake. High humidity can result in calcium deficiencies in tomato plants, which can have long-lasting bad effects. Hydroponic tomatoes prefer 70% (80% is OK at night) humidity, if you are able to measure it.

Learning how to grow tomatoes in a hydroponic garden is perhaps a little more complicated than growing them outdoors but if you don't have the correct climate where you live, it might be a necessity. If you do have the right climate but prefer the rich taste of hydroponically grown produce, you might also want to try this. If you adhere to the above guidelines about how to grow tomatoes in a hydroponic garden, your tomatoes should turn out very well.

Tracy Ballisager is a stay at home mum. To read more on gardening tips go to http://www.gardening-tips-idea.com/

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Indoor Hydroponic Garden

Indoor hydroponics systems work by actively passing a nutrient solution over your plants roots. They usually involve a large size planting medium such as pea gravel, vermiculite and perlite. To make a simple, active, hydroponic system, for one plant.

How to Make an Indoor Hydroponic Garden
By Tracy Ballisager

If you want to learn how to make an indoor hydroponic garden, you need to know the difference between an active hydroponic area and a passive one. Active hydroponic systems pass a nutrient solution over the plant roots. You will need a large sized planting medium like vermiculite, perlite and pea gravel. To make an indoor hydroponic system passively, you will be providing a system that uses a wick or capillary system to feed your plants. The wick, which works like a kerosene lamp, sucks your nutrient solution via its reservoir, to the root system of the plant. Sand, peat moss or sawdust is the usual medium for growing hydroponics passively. It is quite easy to begin. You need a lot of natural light for the best results. A greenhouse is ideal.

Hydroponics Guide
Photo: onlinegardenertips.com

Hydroponically grown foods taste better and are high in nutrients. You can grow more plants in a small space than with regular gardening. If you choose your plants wisely, you can also repel pests. Citronella plants repel mosquitoes and various other pests.

Easy Hydroponics

The first thing to do when learning how to make an indoor hydroponic is to decide exactly what you want to grow. Decide how many of each plant you want. How much area will you need to grow your desired quantity of plants? Let's say you want to grow a mixture of 66 cabbages and silverbeet. This can be grown hydroponically in 5 pipes of 4 inch round and 10 feet by 6 feet wide. This means you need a 6 feet square area for growing.

Mark and space 4 inch holes for the 4 inch diameter pots you are going to use. Shade cloth is helpful for the first month and if the climate is very warm. Mix fertilizer and water to a strength of 20 to 24 CF. The resulting pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5. Rinse the seedlings to remove any dirt before planting them. Don't be too generous with nutrients. Hydroponic plants can cope with not enough nutrients but can die if you give them too much.

You can use chopped rockwool, rockwool slabs, blocks or cubes, fired clay or a mixture of fired clay and rockwool as a growing medium. Cubed chopped rockwool or fired clay are recommended but you can use any of these and expect good results.


Plant the seedlings in the hydroponic solution. You need to check the water daily if you want to successfully learn how to make an indoor hydroponic system. This is to ensure the nutrient to water ratio is right. Water evaporates which is why you have to keep an eye on it. Hydroponic gardening is not for you if you can't check it frequently.

Your hydroponic plants will grow for 3 to 5 months. You have to watch out for root rot and pests during this time. When your plants are ready, you can harvest them. It can be expensive if you want to discover how to make an indoor hydroponic system but the results are usually well worth it. For more information you might want to get a book on hydroponics or search online because there is plenty of information on how to make a hydroponic garden.

Tracy Ballisager is stay at home mum. To read more about gardening tips and idea go to http://www.gardening-tips-idea.com/

Friday, October 10, 2008

Indoor Hydroponic System

Indoor hydroponic system is not alway need large-scale setups with timers and pipes dripping everywhere. Actually, growing hydroponically can be very simple and easy. That can also growing in your indoor area.

Indoor Hydroponic System
By Tracy Ballisager

An indoor hydroponic system is a lot like gardening with magic. Where once a dank, dark basement might have stood, now a lush, tropical paradise might flourish, favorite flowers bloom profusely, and edible delicacies delight the eye as well as the dinner table.

Hydroponics Guide

One truly enchanting element of creating an indoor hydroponic system is that this type of gardening has no limits. Whatever your imagination can dream up, you can create.

Unless, of course, your dreams encompass old world forests, redwoods, and other environments which rely on some really tall trees. But then, again, an indoor hydroponic system is so versatile even this might be achieved, given enough height above and big enough pots below.

A more realistic dream for your indoor hydroponic system is probably an idea a lot more attractive than something that pretty much defies the scope of gardening.

And it's probably not a good idea to start your first indoor hydroponic system with a fantasy environment in mind, anyway. You might enjoy it more if you start small and familiar.

Once you've mastered some of the basics, you can then expand your indoor hydroponic system at a pace that keeps the experience engaging without becoming overwhelming. Any gardening project, indoors or out, that becomes overwhelming can put a damper on the fun.

If you already enjoy gardening because of your outdoors gardening experiences but your green thumb is getting restless to tackle a new project, an indoor hydroponic system can be an ideal adventure. Just make sure the first thing to plant indoors is something you are confident of growing outdoors.

Once your indoor hydroponic system is planted with something tried and true because of your outdoor gardening adventures, compare all elements of the indoor garden - soil, water, light, and humidity - and adjust as need be to achieve the same results indoors as you do outdoors.
Once you've mastered the basics, the fun - and the magic! - blossoms.

Tracy Ballisager is stays at home mum. To read more about gardening tips and idea go to http://www.gardening-tips-idea.com/

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