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Hydroponics 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 systemalmost 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 producersMost facilities are experimental, studying plant nutrition
Different Names: nutriculture solution culture slop culturegravel culture
Requirements for home hydroponicsbest possible light humidity 50% or more day temp 75 degrees night temp 65 degrees
Requirements for home hydroponicsno need for special drainage system small scale, outstanding plants such as tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, carnations, roses, cabbage etc. produced
Requirements for home hydroponicsreturn is not sufficient for a hobbyist to earn a living.
Facts about hydroponic growingplants don’t do well unless all essential nutrients are available in reasonable amounts
Facts about hydroponic growing25 gallon container, minimum size for proper proportion of nutrients
Facts about hydroponic growingthe larger the particles in the substrate, the more often it must be watered.
Commercial use very familiar with plantsobservation 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 plantsmost plants are very adaptive plants can take a lot of abuse
Growers must know about plantsplants require a minimum amount of water, food, vitamins, sleep and proper temps.
Growers must know about plantseach species has its own requirements for maximum growth
Media almost any inert material may be used as a substratesubstrate must not decompose or be too fine
Media River washed gravel is competitive in price with soil mixturesaeration of roots is necessary
Various Media Types rock volcanic ash vermiculite - heated micaperlite - exploded volcanic rock 1800 degrees F.
Various Media Types peat moss granite or sandidealite - concrete aggregate water
Watering frequency depends upon mediaeach time a hydroponics system is replanted, roots will be left, this increases water holding capacity
Conventional Irrigationflooding 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 unbalancedbacteria and disease can be spread
Peripheral Gates nutrient solution applied and allowed to drain awaynon recirculating system no storage tank
Peripheral Gates bacteria and diseases are drained awaysolution is sprayed on
Disadv. Of Peripheral more expensive, solution is not reusedspraying can cause spread of disease by splashing
Ooze Tube System drip holes in double tube no splashesDisadvantages: most expensive
Facts about nutrients all plants require certain basic elementsif nutrients are missing poor growth may result
Facts about nutrients plants need more of the major elementsany deficiency is rapidly apparent
Facts about nutrients trace minerals are often present in tap water in sufficient amounts.
Major Elements in a basic solutionCa - 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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