Organic gardening in hydroponics – Organic nutrients and growing mediums

Organic gardening in hydroponics – Organic nutrients and growing mediums

The use of organic plant nutrients instead of the man-made chemicals in the hydroponic garden eases the work of a gardener. The matter is that the absence of synthetic chemicals eliminates the problem of ppm amount and pH balance of the water. If there is no need to calibrate nutrients, to check pH level of the water, and calculate fertilizer’s amount, a beginner of the hydroponic gardening will definitely make no mistakes, which means many problems may never occur.

A dual root growing system is made by special composition of the medium in the container: the upper part of the medium is soil or soil substitute, and organic nutrients can be supplied directly to this upper part; the lower half of the medium is some porous material, which retains water, but to which no nutrients are supplied. 

Creating an organic hydroponics system, a gardener may use a standard hydroponic grow container, though a coir fiber container will suit too. The preferred material to put at the bottom of the box is lava rock, which perfectly keeps water. Lava rock is then covered with a thin layer of loose rockwool or coir fiber to divide both medium layers and prevent them from mixing together. The upper half of the container should be filled with a mixture of 1/3 potting soil, 1/3 coarse grade horticulture perlite, and 1/3 large-sized horticulture vermiculite. Such arrangement ensures the upper capillary action of water and protects the bottom of the grow bed from the occasional mixing with any organic particles. 

Using a standard plastic hydroponic grow container one should place a plastic screen lining inside the grow bed, fitting it well at the bottom and on the walls of the container up to their top, also with the aim to protect the water from the small particles in the medium mixture. It is also possible to use a hydroponic container with tiny holes.

One more good choice for the use of organic gardening methods in hydroponics system is coir fiber containers. The filling is the same as described above with the thin layer of loose or strand coir fiber between the two types of medium. 

Such box is then set in the grow bed. Note that the level of the pumped water should be a bit lower than the soil mixture. The secondary root system will be submerged into the water along with lava rock and promote the capillary water flow up into the soil. The lower half of the medium may be watered on a regular hydroponic basis, while the upper one can be moistened just once a day. 

This system allows a gardener to supply nutrients right to the upper part of the medium, where they are vitally important. At the same time, the whole medium structure will be perfectly moistened by the pumped water and the plants will also have constant supply of oxygen and CO2, drawn into their root systems. Finally, proper amount of CO2 will improve the absorption of nutrients by the upper parts of the roots. 

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Organic gardening in hydroponics – Ideal growing medium mixture for organic hydroponics gardening

Organic gardening in hydroponics – Ideal growing medium mixture for organic hydroponics gardening

Gardeners experience proves that the mixture of vermiculite, perlite, and organic potting soil (loose 100% organic soil mixture is also suitable) in equal proportions is the best for the successful organic hydroponics gardening. Such mixture offers the perfect upward capillary action of water and supply of CO2 and oxygen. Organic soil in the upper medium layer provokes microbial action.

Some growers practice mixing organic nutrients (e.g. worm castings) into the upper medium part. Others just distribute them on the surface of the grow medium and then spray them with water. Another way is to mix nutrients with half a cup of water and pour onto the top of the medium. Any of these methods ensure proper nutrients entrance into the soil mixture and good absorption by the plants primary roots.

The upper layer of the medium is also called “soil alternative”, as it is the place where the nutrients are supplied to. It is treated as a standard soil container. To improve the capillary action of the water delivered by the lava rock at the bottom, it is recommended to spray the soil alternative once or twice a day with water.

Creating your organic gardening using hydroponics system pay special attention to the level of the pumped water, this must not moisten the upper part of the medium. If this happens, the nutrients, delivered to this soil part of the growing medium, will be washed out into the water reservoir, becoming unavailable for the upper part of the plants root system.

The usual watering cycle takes about half an hour to make the whole upper part of the medium wet. If this time is not enough, you may set the timer to prolong the cycles. It is also possible to spray the upper half of the growing medium with water in addition to the regular pump-triggered watering. Remember that soil-based part should never be soaked in water – being moist is enough for growing organic plants.

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

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Organic gardening in hydroponics – The root system

Organic gardening in hydroponics – The root system

Plants, growing in the containers, will develop two types of the roots: the upper one, which will uptake plant nutrients from the upper part of the medium; and the lower roots, which will reach the lava rock part of the growing medium.

The upper root system is primary; it includes web-like thin roots that look similar to those that develop in the plants grown in the standard soil. They absorb multiple nutrients, thus ensuring the flourishing of a plant and its normal growth. The lower roots that are secondary will grow in the lower part of the medium (which can be lava rock, sand, gravel, perlite or pumice). These look typically to the hydroponically grown plants: long, rope-like, and stringy. These roots mainly absorb water; in addition, they receive much oxygen between watering cycles, which leads to the improved nutrients metabolism and faster growth.

These days hydroponics gardening gains more and more popularity in different parts of the world. More and more people become fascinated with this way of plants growing. Due to the constantly increasing interest in hydroponics, new methods and techniques of this gardening type appear. They are all aimed at the easing of the process of plants growing, improving the fruits, vegetables, and greens quality and taste, as well as at the making the whole process as eco-friendly as possible. Indeed, the new techniques try to solve the problem of hard-to-dispose used materials (as rockwool) and chemically-laden water and other wastes. Moreover, the primary goal of today hydroponics is to use exclusively organic materials, which offer the benefits in the crops quality and work of a gardener. 

Not so long time ago gardeners were amazed by such hydroponics methods as Nutrient Film/Flow Technique, Ebb and Flow, Aeroponics, and even Semi-Organic Hydroponics. These days the leader of this gardening is Totally Organic Hydroponics, which major benefit is the possibility to grow 100% pure organic garden plants.

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

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Organic gardening – General Notes on Pest Control Approaches in horticulture

Organic gardening – General Notes on Pest Control Approaches in horticulture

Pest Control Approaches

Chemical horticulture fights off invasive pests with specific insecticides. They may be effective and fast-working at the beginning, but their long-term use may result in the raise of the insects resistant to the used insecticide. To kill those, more efforts will be needed, and the use of the different and stronger chemicals may be necessary. Moreover, killing enemies in the garden, any insecticide will inevitably eliminate predator insects (natural control bugs). And their lack will cause multiplying of the harmful pests. Consequently, a gardener will have to search for some other options to defeat the invasive populations.  

Organic horticulture, on the other hand, offers pests control through the studying and understanding their life cycles and peculiarities, as well as through the combined use of such methods as:

-           plants selection (pests and disease resistant plants are chosen for a garden);

-           companion plants growth (planting those crops that fight off pests and insects);

-           annual changing of the plants location to disrupt the reproduction cycles of the invasive species;

-           the use of row covers during the periods of pests migration;

-           employing insects traps to reduce the population of the pests;

-           increasing the number of predator insects and beneficial organisms.

In addition, organic gardeners usually allow some pests to live in the garden, carefully controlling their level though.

All of the mentioned methods have also additional benefits in the organic garden, as fertilization, soil protection, pollination, season extension and water conservation, despite of the fact that their influence and results usually take some time to become obvious. To sum it up it is possible to say that biological and organic pest control can be constituents of the integrated pest management (IPM). Nevertheless, the latter can also utilize chemical pesticides to eliminate harmful insects, although these do not belong to the biological or organic means.

Soil

Soil control and management are the important things in gardening. They offer the possibility to keep the garden healthy and strong, which is the key factor in the prevention of diseases and pests invasion onto the plants. One of the ways to success is providing the garden with humus and organic matter.

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Organic gardening – General Notes on organic horticulture Organic gardening systems

Organic gardening – General Notes on organic horticulture Organic gardening systems

Organic horticulture employs the crucial principles of organic agriculture for the successful herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants growing. These principles concern the management of pests in the garden, soil composition and conservation, etc.

General Notes

Mulches, Double Digging, compost, Vermicompost, cover crops, mineral supplements and manures are the main constituents of the soil mixture in this kind of gardening in contrast to the commercial farming. Organic horticulture expects to minimize the risk of insects, fungi, and diseases development with the help of maintaining the high quality of the soil. Nonetheless, sometimes it is still necessary to use insecticidal soaps and sprays, pheromone traps, or other pest-control means, created especially for organic farmers.

Experts define five fields of horticulture:

-           olericulture, which stands for the production and marketing of vegetables;

-           pomology that means the production and marketing of fruits;

-           floriculture, which is the production and marketing of floral crops;

-           landscape horticulture that includes the production, marketing, and      maintenance of landscape plants;

-           and finally, post harvest physiology that studies and practices the preservation and maintaining of the quality of horticultural crops

All these areas can utilize the key principles of organic gardening.

Organic horticulture employs the methods and uses data, which have been collected for thousands of years. Generally speaking, this type of gardening is based on the natural, long-term processes and eco-friendly, global approaches, in contrast to horticulture, based on the use of chemicals that speed up the processes and aim at the separate results and reductionist strategies.

Organic gardening systems

There exist various formal organic gardening systems that utilize peculiar methods. They are listed among the general organic standards, but are more specific than them. For example, Rudolf Steiner developed the so-called biodynamic farming. Masanobu Fukuoka, the Japanese writer and farmer, practiced Natural Farming, based on the so-called no-till system for the small-scale production of grain. Finally, intensive and biointensive techniques and SPIN Farming (Small Plot INtensive), developed in France, also belong to the small-scale gardening methods.

A garden in a container or growing box provides healthy, organic, and highly nutritional food. Moreover, it is also the means to share one’s experience, to improve local economy, and to offer better and more sustainable way of living. A small raised bed garden of 32 square feet is capable of supplying tasty, healthy, and organic greens to a family, requiring, at the same time, less water and fewer nutrients if it is based on the postulates of bio-intensive planting and square foot gardening. 

In addition, the existing garden can be improved with the help of composting or vermicomposting. These methods allow getting the best organic fertilizers by reusing organic matter, which provides necessary nutrients to the organic garden. Besides, compost and vermicompost are always an easy way to improve the results.

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

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