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The growing of plants in a solution of nutrients necessary for plant growth, rather than directly in soil.
Substrate the substance in which something takes root
General Facts: any plant can be grown in a hydroponics system almost any system will produce acceptable growth
General Facts; small scale is entirely different from the culture of several thousand plants has contributed much to understanding plant growth
General Facts: Very few commercial producers Most facilities are experimental, studying plant nutrition
Different Names: nutriculture solution culture slop culture gravel culture
Requirements for home hydroponics best possible light humidity 50% or more day temp 75 degrees night temp 65 degrees
Requirements for home hydroponics no need for special drainage system small scale, outstanding plants such as tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, carnations, roses, cabbage etc. produced
Requirements for home hydroponics return is not sufficient for a hobbyist to earn a living.
Facts about hydroponic growing plants dont do well unless all essential nutrients are available in reasonable amounts
Facts about hydroponic growing 25 gallon container, minimum size for proper proportion of nutrients
Facts about hydroponic growing the larger the particles in the substrate, the more often it must be watered.
Commercial use very familiar with plants observation can determine temps and nutrient deficiency
Commercial use to earn a reasonable living you must grow thousands of plants
Commercial use minimum of 100,000 square feet is needed to break even financially
Growers must know about plants most plants are very adaptive plants can take a lot of abuse
Growers must know about plants plants require a minimum amount of water, food, vitamins, sleep and proper temps.
Growers must know about plants each species has its own requirements for maximum growth
Media almost any inert material may be used as a substrate must not decompose or be too fine
Media River washed gravel is competitive in price with soil mixtures aeration of roots is necessary
Various Media Types rock volcanic ash vermiculite - heated mica perlite - exploded volcanic rock 1800 degrees F.
Various Media Types peat moss granite or sand idealite - concrete aggregate water
Watering frequency depends upon media each time a hydroponics system is replanted, roots will be left, this increases water holding capacity
Conventional Irrigation flooding flood tray until water appears at surface perforated tube is used to fill and drain media as needed
Flooding nutrient solution is pumped back and tray is flooded again
Disadv. Of Flooding nutrient solution can become unbalanced bacteria and disease can be spread
Peripheral Gates nutrient solution applied and allowed to drain away non recirculating system no storage tank
Peripheral Gates bacteria and diseases are drained away solution is sprayed on
Disadv. Of Peripheral more expensive, solution is not reused spraying can cause spread of disease by splashing
Ooze Tube System drip holes in double tube no splashes Disadvantages: most expensive
Facts about nutrients all plants require certain basic elements if nutrients are missing poor growth may result
Facts about nutrients plants need more of the major elements any deficiency is rapidly apparent
Facts about nutrients trace minerals are often present in tap water in sufficient amounts.
Major Elements in a basic solution Ca - Calcium K - Potassium N - Nitrogen P - Phosphorous Mg - Magnesium
Minor Elements Mn - Manganese S - Sulfur Cu - Copper B - boron
Minor Elements Fe - Iron Zn - Zinc Mo - Molybdenum
Recommendations If less than 25 gallons of nutrient solution is needed, purchase a commercial preparation Get a scale that can weigh to less than 0.01 oz.
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