Hydroponics gardening guide – growing mediums used in hydroponics – Soil less Mixtures and Coconut Fiber

Hydroponics gardening guide – growing mediums used in hydroponics – Soil less Mixtures and Coconut Fiber

Soil less Mixtures

There is a great amount of soil less mixtures available, which contain different ingredients. Sphagnum moss, perlite, and vermiculite are the most widely spread hydroponics components, used in such mixtures.

Being organic, soil less growing media are usually used for container gardening wick systems or on-recovery drip systems. It is also possible to use soil less mixtures in recovery systems, however, it is necessary to remember that because of very fine particles in such mixtures, they can clog tubes, pumps and drip emitters, when used without a good filtration system. By the way, according to the urban gardeners, one can use panty hose as a filter: just fit it to the return line and to the pump inlet, and all the tiny particles will be filtered out.

Most soil less mixes form a good growing medium for multiple hydroponic and organic gardens, because they can hold water well, have great wicking action, and, at the same time, they provide a reasonable amount of air to the roots of growing plants.

 

Coconut Fiber

The popularity of coconut fiber as growing medium increases rapidly around the world. Being the first totally organic growing medium, providing highest performance for hydroponic systems, coconut fiber may soon become the most popular growing medium ever. It is interesting to note that coconut fiber is, actually, a waste product, which contains the powdered husks of coconuts.

In comparison to rockwool, coconut fiber is characterized with higher oxygen capacity and water retaining. These features are important advantages for hydroponic systems with intermittent watering cycles.

Coconut fiber also contains a lot of root stimulating hormones, thus offering some protection against fungus infestation and other root diseases. The mixture of 50% coconut fiber and 50% expanded clay pellets is considered to be the perfect growing medium.

However, it is necessary to underline one precaution when buying coconut fiber. Avoid purchasing a low grade coconut fiber, which is very fine grained and contains a high level of sea-salts. Such coconut fiber will have negative and disappointing effect on hydroponic system.

My name is guy. I am the founder and owner of the urbangardenershop.com.au . I fell in love with hydroponics gardening. As time went by I gathered a vast knowledge base and 2 years ago I decided to find a way to make hydroponics gardening a hobby that anyone can peruse. I added a hydroponic gardening information center to our hydroponic supplies site that offers a large range of hydroponics articles. Thank you for your interest and feel free to ask questions on hydroponics gardening in our site

http://www.urbangardenershop.com.au/

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Sunday Today presents: Ali Wing, giggle founder and CEO

——— click (more info) for giggle.com links ——— Ali Wing, author of giggle guide to baby gear, talks about new-parent must-haves on Sunday Today. Visit www.giggle.com for more on Ali Wing. giggle guide to baby gear: www.giggle.com giggle Ultimate Receiving Blankets: www.giggle.com Baby OHM Diaper Changing Mat: www.giggle.com Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns: www.giggle.com Mustela Vitamin Barrier Cream: www.giggle.com Mustela Extra Thick Cleansing Cloths: www.giggle.com Bambino Mio Birth to Potty Set: www.giggle.com Thinkbaby 9-Ounce Bottle Set (BPA-Free): www.giggle.com Carabean: www.giggle.com Lap-Shoulder Striped Romper: www.giggle.com Fruit Teethers & Tote (Organic Cotton): www.giggle.com

Celeste Wheeler, from EB Stone, explains how to correctly plant a citrus tree. Whether planting in the ground or in a container, Celeste displays the most effective method for either planting option. From the type of fruit to the specific soil and location of the tree, the video depicts the significance of each key step and needed ingredients. Beginning with planting compost and cactus mix, to the addition of citrus food and chicken manure, these simple yet helpful hints make planting both fun and easy. For more information on the products used in this video please check out www.ebstone.org Check out more gardening how to videos at EB Stone’s Youtube channel! – http EB Stone Recipe Card -Location-Lots of sun and well drained soil -Hole should be as tall and twice as wide as the root ball -Mix original soil with EB Stone Planting Compost 50/50 -Place tree in hole and use EB Stone Organic Sure Start -Massage roots and add the soil compost mixture -Feed with EB Stone Organic Citrus Food -Top dress with EB Stone Chicken Manure
Video Rating: 5 / 5

How Vegetables Can Help You Maintain a Healthy pH Balance

How Vegetables Can Help You Maintain a Healthy pH Balance

We all know the benefits of eating a healthy balanced diet and consuming more fruit and vegetables, but what many people don’t know is that vegetable juice helps to maintain the critical pH balance of the body.
But what’s so important about maintaining the body’s pH balance?

The Body’s pH

For the body to function properly and survive, it should be slightly alkaline (between 7 and 7.5) and have a balanced pH value. A balanced pH:

•Protects the body against damage from free radicals and prevents premature aging
•Helps the body maintain healthy cholesterol levels
•Keeps blood pressure at a healthy level
•Keeps insulin levels normal and prevents unhealthy weight gain
•Allows the heart to function properly
•Promotes energy production
•Keeps our immune system, digestive system, organs and bones healthy

As we get older, our bodies are affected by our busy and stressful lives, exposure to environmental toxins and the food we eat, all of which cause our bodies to become more acidic. Gradually, our bodies become less able to deal with this acidity and are no longer able to neutralize it properly. Suddenly, our bodies change from a childhood state of alkalinity to being excessively acidic.
An imbalanced and acidic pH level affects everything in the body because it affects cellular activity and can cause acidosis (toxic acid waste), which, in turn, can lead to health problems and disease.

Having an imbalanced, acidic body can cause:

•Low energy levels and fatigue
•Weight gain
•Premature and accelerated aging
•Heart disease – due to cardiovascular damage.
•Cancer
•Diabetes and insulin disorders
•Hormonal problems and imbalances
•Kidney, bladder and liver problems
•Digestive problems
•High blood pressure
•Immune problems
•Osteoporosis
•Osteoarthritis
•Neurological diseases
•Problems sleeping

How to Combat Excess Acidity

One easy way to combat this excess acidity and to restore a healthy, balanced pH level is to consume more alkaline foods, like vegetable juices.

As a guide, 75-80% of our diet should be made up of alkaline foods such as vegetables, fruit, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, almonds, soybeans, yogurt and whey. The average western diet of meat, pasta, rice, junk food, coffee, candies and cakes, is highly acidic and does not tend to be rich in alkaline foods, but you can change this dramatically by adding just a few glasses of vegetable juice to your daily diet. Vegetable juicing will allow you to make your diet, and your body, more alkaline and so protect you from the health problems associated with high acidity.

Vegetable Juicing Benefits

Not only will drinking raw vegetable juices reduce your body’s acidity and restore a healthy pH balance, you will also reap many other health benefits:

•A more nutritious diet – Raw vegetables are higher in nutrients than cooked vegetables and vegetable juice is a concentrated source of essential nutrients. These nutrients boost the immune system and help the body to function properly and stay healthy.

•Detoxification – Vegetable juice will help to detoxify your body, allowing the body to get rid of harmful waste products and toxins.

•Better digestion – The enzymes found in vegetable juices will aid digestion, by replenishing enzyme levels.

•A more varied diet – Juicing vegetables allows you to combine many different types of vegetables and to consume them in one drink.

•Quick use of nutrients – Vegetable juices are easy to digest and the nutrients from the vegetables can be used by the body’s cells within 10 minutes of drinking.

•A healthy digestive system – Research has shown that consuming up to one liter of vegetable juice per day can treat all manner of digestive problems.

To be able to juice a wide range of vegetables, you will need a top-quality, professional juicer such as the Omega 8005. A juicer like this will enable you to experiment with different vegetable combinations, enjoy delicious vegetable and fruit juices, and lead a healthy life.

Author: J. White – For more information on juicing or to purchase an Omega 8005 juicer visit: Raw Juicers Or call: 1-800-746-1191

Cleaning With Vinegar

Check out this tip for cleaning your fruits and vegetables efficiently and economically.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Organic Farming Reaching New Heights

Organic Farming Reaching New Heights

As more people are realizing the importance of becoming environmentally friendly, organic farming is reaching new limits. An increasing amount of the population are demanding that their food be free of additives and genetically modified organisms, and this growth has triggered a need for more organic farmland and products.

With the onset of organic farming, products were sold for higher prices at the markets, and people were forced to pay exuberant fees in order to be environmentally friendly. Over the last few years, this has slowly changed, as more farmers are opting to use green products to grow their crops. This has resulted in a significant drop in prices, and making organic products readily available to more people.

Many individual people have turned to organic gardening in order to grow their own organic products in their gardens or plots of land. For example, growing tomatoes is relatively easy and many people are convinced that fruit and vegetables grown without the use of synthetic materials are much tastier and better to eat.

Many people believe that the lack of synthetic fertilizers and insecticides used for organic gardening is also much healthier for people. It is also a common belief that livestock on a diet of organic materials are healthier and happier than animals that are not, and more people are opting to buy meat from animals that have been on an organic farm.

As weeds and bugs are allowed to return to their natural habitats, their aid in enriching soils and encouraging growth are becoming more apparent. Whereas before they were considered to be the pests, they are now proving beneficial to the growth and promotion of new crops.

Visit my website for more information about Organic Life http://organicfarmingplanet.com

Meet the Farmer: Patrick DeYoung, Blue Moon Organics

We visited Patrick DeYoung of Blue Moon Organics in Aptos, California in Spring 2008. He became a farmer after taking some time off from the stock market to surf. In this short video, he talks about growing strawberries for maximum flavor, how he uses bugs instead of pesticides, and how he treats the soil of their rented farm land to leave it better than before.

Garden Beds That are Raised

Garden Beds That are Raised

Raised garden beds make gardening easier when it comes to growing vegetables and flowers. Many people use these garden beds because they do not have very much space for a regular garden. They are quite reachable for those with disabilities, arthritis and the older gardener. You can build them at your preferred level to help reduce the discomfort caused by kneeling or bending.

We are all much more aware of food safety and more of us want to raise our own food because we know we prefer organic foods and because of the economy. Even if we have a very tiny backyard, only have a patio, a balcony, or just a backporch we can grow herbs, vegetables, flowers, or plants. This method can also be called container gardening, but if we raise the containers above the ground the drainage will be much more efficient.

Plants will do better in elevated beds than in the ground because the soil will not become compacted. Elevated garden beds will warm up quicker in the spring and stay warmer longer in the fall. This usually means our growing season becomes longer. The sun and air will warm up the soil because the beds are raised above the ground. This gives you the opportunity to plant earlier in colder climates.

There are some other benefits to think about when deciding on raised garden beds besides being able to reach them easier. Because they are easy to reach, maintaining and harvesting vegetables is a lot easier. The good drainage prevents the soil from becoming waterlogged and you the gardener will probably be using more organic materials as soil instead of ground soil. Now that the garden beds are raised and you find it easier to maintain, your garden will look very attractive.

Raised garden beds are just container gardening that is above the ground and it will give you the chance to terrace your garden. Framed wooden structures can be built or purchased as raised garden bed kits from your local nursery or home and garden center. You can also build one from bricks, concrete blocks or any material you can find.

Planting companion vegetables and herbs in your raised vegetable garden helps to control insects and improve the garden’s health. Companion plants that are good for tomatoes are parsley, onions, and carrots. You also need to remember to rotate your vegetables every year. The raised container you planted your tomatoes in this year needs to have something completely different next year. The pathogens and pests in that soil will stay there all winter long and infect that same crop next year. Another way to eliminate the problem is to remove all the soil from the raised bed and place new soil the following year.

Pest control can be handled easier with raised bed gardening. The burrowing rodents will not be able to get into your garden beds because you can line the bed with hardware cloth or chicken wire. You are able to control weeds because you can walk entirely around your raised garden beds and pull out the weeds; you will not worry about trampling your plants or bending over.

Barbara and her husband have thought about starting a garden using raised garden beds. They are always looking for new ideas to use in their garden. Visit their website Gardeners Garden Supplies for some interesting things for the garden.

Who should set up an ecological garden?

Who should set up an ecological garden?

Absolutely everyone from farmers to inner-city townhouse dwellers.  It may seem strange, but if you have never grown food before then you are, in some ways, at an advantage.  Experienced gardeners may like to see themselves as adopting some ecological gardening techniques, but find it difficult to let go of the need to control the system.  Like all industries, the gardening industry can get stuck in doing things a certain way and most seasoned gardeners will inevitably over-work the garden.  As a species, human beings prospered when we learnt to cultivate food using tilling and other traditional agricultural methods, so it’s difficult to turn back to where we came from – nature.  It might even feel like a step in the wrong direction.  But if we can let go of our need to control every living thing on the planet, and start to work with nature, we actually gain more control by being able to grow food more efficiently than ever before.  It’s a paradox – but it works!

 

Setting up an ecological garden

Any existing vegetable garden can be converted into an ecological garden.  Firstly, get your pathways laid out so that you never have to walk on your garden beds again.  After that, get a good composting system going and apply it to the soil surface.  Then plant densely and diversely.

 

If you don’t have a vegetable garden, my suggestion would be to create a classic Esther Deans ‘no dig’ garden to get you started.  Once erected, simply follow the ecological gardening method.

 

Mini-ecological garden

If you live in a unit or townhouse with no soft ground you could create a mini-ecological garden using a series of containers.  Polystyrafoam boxes with drainage holes are ideal.  Fill them with good potting mixture and arrange them side by side using as many as you can fit onto your verandah or patio.  Rather than developing a large composting system, you could purchase a worm farm and add the worm casts to the soil surface as fertilizer.  Once the boxes are set up, simply adopt the ecological gardening method.

 

The Ecological Gardening Method – the key principles.

 

1. Plant densely

2. Plant a diversity of plants within a given area

3. Get a good composting system set up and use the compost as a surface mulch on bare patches

4. Allow some plants to go to seed

5. Only interfere with the system when a single species of plant over-dominates and simply scratch out excess plants when they are small.

 

Growing food is not hard work, especially when you have nature helping you 24/7.  A small area can provide you with such a bounty of food, saving your family thousands of dollars per year.  Most of us don’t have much time to spend in the garden, including me.  I only invest around eight hours of time per year to growing my food, and although I live on a small farm I only use a space of around 6 x 6m.  That’s an area that could fit into many suburban backyards several times over.  The most wonderful thing about this method is that I know I can ignore my vegetable garden for months and it won’t miss a beat.  So, if you believe growing food is only for tough bearded warriors with lots of land and time, think again.  Ecological gardening could be just the thing for you.

Learn how to set up an organic vegetable garden that requires only 8 hours work per year! Discover how to plant an organic vegetable garden you can harvest ever day regardless of where you live HERE.

How To Keep Pests Out Of Your Garden- Naturally!

How To Keep Pests Out Of Your Garden- Naturally!

 

Everyone is always looking for a natural way to keep pests and animals out of their garden. There are some wonderful natural pest and animal deterrents that are available right in your kitchen, and they are all safe for children and food gardens.

 1. Kitty-B-Gone- To keep cats out of the vegetable garden, you can use a combination of different natural substances. Cats abhor the smell of citrus and black pepper oil. Next time you eat an orange or a grapefruit, peel the rinds and toss them around in your vegetable garden. Sprinkling a large amount of black pepper also works well, although it can get expensive. Black pepper works best in areas that will not be getting a lot of water. You can also use black pepper underneath the porch or other spots in order to prevent a “litter box” area. Chili flakes work well, also, but are probably not a good idea if you have small children.

 You can also try planting the Coleus-Canina plant, a weed originating in Europe. It is also known as the “Scardy-Cat” plant because it emits an odor that felines hate. You can request this plant at your local nursery and plant it around any garden that you want cats to stay out of!

 2. Natural Aphid Killer- Did you know that you can kill aphids on roses and other plants simply by spraying them with a diluted solution made with household dish soap and tepid water? It’s true! Just put a small amount of dish soap in a squirt bottle with some water and spray away! The aphids die instantly and the plants are usually just fine. This method is so much safer than using pesticides, especially with food plants.

Investing in some ladybugs is also a great way to kill aphids. Ladybugs have a voracious appetite for aphids and other soft-bodied pests. They can help your garden become pest and insecticide-free.

3. Seaweed Mulch- Mulch made from seaweed is good for the soil and also deters pests. Seaweed mulch contains loads of vitamins and promotes healthy plant growth. An added bonus is that it deters slugs and snails.

There is lots of valuable information on the internet for gardeners that wish to plant and maintain gardens naturally. Your garden will become a more natural and balanced place for the healthy production of vegetables and flowers. Attracting and promoting beneficial insects, mulching techniques, and little bit of research can help you have the organic garden of your dreams.


Christy Pinheiro is an Enrolled Agent and holds a Bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University. She was a staff accountant for a private CPA firm and also for the State of California before going into private practice. See her website at http://www.ChristyPinheiro.com.

 

Planting Apple Trees in Northern Minnesota

Planting an apple tree on a glorious spring day.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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