An Introduction In To Hydroponics

Are you
the type of person that enjoys gardening? Do you like the idea of growing your own fruits and vegetables for yourself or your friends and family? Most people that have gardened, whether they are committed to grow large crops or if they just have a couple of container garden plants know that when you grow your own food, you gain a sense of accomplishment and you are giving yourself the gift of healthy, untreated foods. In addition, in today’s economy, growing a garden is a viable option to expensive groceries that are not only not as fresh as they could be, but do not taste as good either.

There are certainly many methods in which to garden. Traditionally, you will prepare a plot of land and cultivate and harvest your crops. If you have a very small space, you might opt to grow herbs in a windowsill or you might even try container gardening. There is another way to garden, too. It is called “hydroponics” and this type of gardening is growing in popularity. It is a proven method of growing valuable crops without the use of soil. That is right—when you use hydroponic gardening; you take advantage of the light, air, and water. It may seem impossible, but it is not and many people who tout hydroponics point out that this is the gardening of the future—hydroponic crops can be grown almost anywhere, even in areas where the soil is bad for growing crops.

In the following, you will learn more about hydroponics, what it is, and the history. You will also learn about the various systems that you can use and how you can get started. It may seem like an odd hobby, but many people are finding hydroponic gardening interesting and satisfying.

Hydro-What it looks like


What is hydroponics? You may have never even given this type of gardening a second thought. Take a look at the word—the word “hydroponics” comes from the Greek words “hydro”, which means water and the word “ponos”, which means labor. By definition, hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions without soil. Plants may be grown with their roots in an inert medium such as mineral wool, gravel or perlite.

Understanding Hydroponic Growing

commercial hydroponics
In order to understand home hydroponics or commercial hydroponics, you have to get the basic principals down. It is also important to understand that as hydroponic farming becomes more popular, the systems and ways to grow hydroponic plants expands. Industrious and creative growers are always looking for new ways to grow plants and crops this way.
You probably know that when a plant grows, it requires light, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. The root system of the plant needs water to carry the nutrients to the other parts of the plants. When plants are grown in the soil, the nutrients and water will seep into the soil and then the plant will use the root system to draw the water and nutrients into the plant to be used. This is what makes the plant grow and develop. The soil drainage will allow the water to be replaced by air in the gaps that are between each soil grain. These gaps will give oxygen back to the roots for the plant to grow.

Things work a little differently when dealing with indoor hydroponics. When this method of growing plants is used, there is no soil present. The hydroponic nutrients are dissolved in the water and the soil is replaced by another growing medium, which will supply the plant roots with the nutrients, oxygen, and water that the plant needs.

In fact, when dealing with homegrown hydroponics, there are all sorts of supplies and things you can use to help your plants grow. Hydro juice, which is a popular hydroponic nutrient, can be used as a drip-fed to each plant. In some hydroponic greenhouses, the hydro juice will be used to flood the root chamber and allowed it to drain out of the system.

Needs of the plant:

All plants grow at a different speed and rate and what the plant is given to work with will certainly affect the growth rate. When you think about it, the soil is really not necessary to make a plant grow. The root needs something to take in nutrients, but the soil only really serves as a way to hold the plant upright and in place. Given other materials in which to grow, the plant will grow just fine.
Hydroponics is based on that principal—if you give the plant the basics that it needs to grow (the water, nutrients, oxygen), it will grow.

When the hydroponic nutrients are given to the plant, it will flow freely to the plant roots and the roots do not have to grow or branch out to look for nutrients and water. The result is that the plant’s energy is spent growing the part of the plant that you want—the fruit or vegetable or the foliage. In fact, a plant that is grown using this method grows much faster, more efficiently, and will have smaller roots and more foliage than plants grown in the soil.

It is true that you can’t simply decide to start a hydroponic garden and find immediate success. It does take planning, patience and the right supplies such as hydroponic grow lights and other equipment. Most of this type of gardening should take place in a greenhouse that is properly equipped. This will allow you to control the temperature, light, insects, and other pests and weather conditions. Hydroponic grow lights can also be installed in your greenhouse for the best results. Using greenhouse methods will allow you to get the results you want when you use hydroponic techniques with your plants.

What you can grow:

Almost any plant can be grown using hydroponics. Hydroponics grow well with all sorts of herb plants, vegetables, fruits, and house plants. There are, however, some plants that do not do well using hydroponics. These type of plants include:

• Woody plants: Woody plants include perennial plants such as shrubs honeysuckle, juniper, Buford holly, gardenia, rose bushes, grapevines, and trees.
• Plants with large roots: These types of plants include potatoes of all varieties, carrots, and radishes.
• Some fruits and vegetables that take up too much space: Plants that are considered “space hogs”, or plants that need a lot of room to grow are not often recommended for hydroponic growing. These include large pumpkins, corn, melons, zucchini, and squash.

If you do not see the plant you want to grow on the above list, chances are, it will do quite well when you grow it using hydroponics. Fruits and vegetables that are generally liked best in a certain season do especially well. Strawberries, peppers, and tomatoes are all very popular choices and are easy to grow. These are also good choices for the beginner.

Starting out:

If you are just starting out using hydroponics, it is recommended that you start off small and choose your crop carefully. You will want to choose something that is generally considered easy to grow in a regular garden and then apply this to your hydroponic garden. Once you get the hang of this new type of garden, you can expand your crops and plants.

Hydroponics is certainly growing more and more in popularity. If you can grow it in soil, then you can probably grow it using hydroponics. It only takes a little planning and some work to get the techniques down. In fact, there are entire stores and websites that are solely dedicated to the hydroponic gardener and the supplies needed to get the garden off to a great start.

Getting better results

Gardeners that use hydroponics will tell you that using these techniques can be compared to growing plants using steroids. Of course, you do not actually use steroids, but you are using a method of producing crops that makes them grow faster and better than soil and traditional methods.

When you use the right amount of minerals and nutrients for your hydroponic planting, you will be quickly rewarded with an abundance of your favorite plant, fruits, and vegetables. You will produce a higher yield faster.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when you want to use hydroponics to grow plants and crops. Hydroponic gardening has been around for several years, but as technology improves, the techniques and materials that you can use improve as well.

Gardening for the future

It is easy to see why hydroponics is the way of the future for gardening. In soilless areas of the world and in areas that are ideal for growing any kind of plants, hydroponics can be used. IN fact, these gardening techniques are constantly being improved and are being taught all over the world. Even NASA has discovered that hydroponics may very well benefit future space travel and space habitation sometimes in the near future.

Getting started

Once you have decided to give hydroponics a try, you will need to think about how you will get started. There are many different types of kits that you can purchase. These come in all sizes and can help the gardener grow big or small crops. These kits come with everything you need to get started. You can also choose to build your own hydroponic system. These are generally easy to build and cheap to maintain. You can find plans and ideas on how to build your own system online and in books. Your local home improvement center is also a good place to go for help with your gardening needs.

Home Curb Appeal Ideas

This also adds value to your home besides the pride of beauty.
home with nice lawn

Home Curb Appeal  is almost always centered around how your lawn and garden areas look. Yes, there are things you can to do spruce up the look of your home itself – such as painting the house or trim, and cleaning the driveway surface and walkways – but the majority of your outdoor beautifying relies on how well your yard and gardens look.

Thankfully making your yard look pretty is usually very simple and easy. It can take time if you’re starting with a dirt lot, but you can speed that up by putting in ready-made lawns, and flowers which are already showing colorful flower blooms. So let’s take a look at the best steps to take with your lawn and garden to create beautiful curb appeal quickly.

1. Clean up

junk cars-on-lawn The first step to making the outside of your home look beautiful is to simply clean up a bit. Make sure you don’t have any old appliances or broken down cars sitting around in plain view for instance unless you’re planning to turn them into a decorative garden accent of some kind. Also, be sure to pick up any trash that may have blown into your yard the last time it was windy.

2. Trim up.

If you have grass – or even weeds – already growing in your yard, you can make things look 100% better simply by trimming it all up well. Cut the grass evenly, then use a weed trimmer to get all the edges, borders, nooks, and crannies trimmed too. Don’t forget to trim the weeds growing up the walls of your home, or around the mailbox post too. And last but not least, use your weed trimmer to do some edging around the sidewalks, driveway, or street-side curb. Edging is simply a process of cutting all the grass and weeds back from the concrete in a straight line, so nothing is creeping over onto the walkways and street areas.

3. Build a Lawn

starter sod

If you have a dirt lot or your yard has little to no grass in it and you want to have a beautiful lawn, all you need to do is lay down some starter sod. You can buy sod in squares or rolls at your local lawn and garden center, and all you do is lay it out across your yard area, then water it well. You’ll have a beautiful, lush looking lawn right from the start, and the sod pieces will start putting down roots within just a week or two.

4. Make it green

.There are usually two quick and simple ways to make your lawn look extra green and lush. One works within just a day or so, while the other can make the yard look much greener within hours.

The first option is to simply give your yard a good, deep soaking of water. Let the hose or sprinklers run for several hours to be sure the yard has received at least two to three inches or more of water. Giving it a solid soaking like this will usually make it look very green and lush within a day, but sometimes it may take two if the yard was fairly dry, to begin with.

The second option is to use plain dishwashing soap such as Dawn or Palmolive. Don’t use the soap which is for dishwashing machines, use the soap which is used for handwashing dishes. Mix about a teaspoon of the soap into a gallon of water, and put it into a feeder spray attachment which hooks onto your outdoor water hose. Then simply spray the entire yard until the feeder attachment is empty.

If you live in an area of the country where it’s allowed, you can simplify and automate this process by simply running your washing machine drain hose outside. Then each time you wash a load of clothes, your lawn will be watered and made more green at the same time. Note: This process also kills unwanted pests and bugs in the lawn too. Some places call it gray lines.

5. Don’t forget flowers

front with flowers

The last part of sprucing up the curb appeal of your yard is to simply put a few flowers in place. Go to the store and buy some plants which have already started blooming. These can be annuals or perennials, the choice is yours. Then simply plant them into pretty containers and set them on the porch or at the end of your driveway, or plant them. Following the above steps should improve your Home Curb Appeal

Get all the help you need here for your landscape ideas.

Landscaping Ideas

The video next reveals the organic fertilizer I recommend for all lawn care, I highly endorse.

Related How To article: How to Design Front Yard Landscaping

Hummingbird Garden Plans

variety of hummingbirds

Hummingbird garden plans

If you’ve ever watched tiny hummingbirds hovering around a flower bud, you were probably in awe of them as they hover around a hummingbird garden. These tiny little birds flutter their wings so fast you can hardly see them, and many gardeners feel so strongly about these wonderful little critters that they believe their garden is not complete until they’ve attracted at least one.

Get Those Birds to Visit Your Garden

Attracting hummingbirds to your garden can sometimes be done just by placing a simple hummingbird feeder in a tree, or mounted to the outside of a window. This doesn’t always do the trick though, and there are much better ways to get these tiny little birds coming to your garden regularly. The best way, of course, is to simply create a hummingbird garden.

Porch Gardens

Hummingbird gardens can be small or large. In fact, some people create tiny ones in hanging container plants that are placed on their porch. The whole idea of a hummingbird garden though is to put out plants and flowers which hummingbirds can’t resist.

Hummingbirds Love Color

Hummingbirds like a lot of colors, so when you’re planting bushes or flowers designed to attract them, try putting several of the same color blooms together. This will create a larger patch of color that may be more successful in attracting the hummingbird’s attention.

Buy the Right Plant

Almost any plant which creates flower blooms in a trumpet or fluted shape is usually an excellent hummingbird attracting plant. Use this as a basic rule of thumb when you’re buying plants you’re not familiar with. Hummingbirds are attracted to plants and flowers which don’t have this shape too though. I’ve seen hummingbirds enjoy desert mallow flowers year after year for instance, and these are not fluted or trumpet-shaped.

Hummingbirds do seem to like the color yellow quite a bit, and they also seem to be more drawn to flowers which have a scent to them as well. Esperanza flowers, for instance, are a bright cheery yellow-colored tropical flower with a very light, sweet scent, and hummingbirds seem to love these.

Put a Watering Source in a Safe Location

Birdbath for birds and butterflies
Birdbath for birds and butterflies

Besides planting groups of colorful, scented flowers to attract hummingbirds, you should also put some sort of water source out for them. A birdbath for instance or a small bubbling fountain always works great. Be sure to place your water source away from bushes and trees where cats may hide though, otherwise, you may find yourself watching a daily cat hunt instead of daily fluttering hummingbird wings.

Safe Environment is Essential

father spreading chemical pesticide
father spreading chemical pesticide

When trying to attract hummingbirds to your garden, be sure you’re not using harsh chemicals and insecticides on your flowers because these will kill the birds quickly. In fact, you shouldn’t even add food coloring or other additives to a hummingbird feeder either – all they need is natural nectar, or sugar and water.

Hummzinger’s Hummingbird Feeder Amazon’s Choice

Related How To article: The 3 Parts to Make Hummingbird Nectar

Wildflower Garden Ideas

Image by Erika Varga from Pixabay

Planting wildflowers can make a wonderful, and completely natural-looking garden. Wildflowers often attract birds, bees and butterflies too, plus they’re excellent to use for areas of your yard which always seem to be a bit too bare and unfinished.

Want a Natural Look

Creating a wildflower garden can be as simple as scattering some wildflower seeds into a specific area of your yard, or you can create an actual garden bed or plot specifically designed for growing your wildflowers, then carefully place starter plants or seeds into a pre-arranged garden layout. Since wildflowers are supposed to look like they’re growing there naturally though, you’ll usually get the best results by simply scattering the seeds around.


Wisely Place These Flowers

Wildflower gardens are excellent to plant into open fields and empty lots, as well as specific areas of your yard too. They work wonderfully around a mailbox post for instance because they grow in a variety of different colors and heights. Having wildflowers grow around your mailbox post can give your home a country design type of look which is quite popular and attractive.

Propogate on Their Own

Planting wildflowers usually gives you a low maintenance, natural-looking garden that nature takes care of on its own. Since most wildflowers are native to the area you’re planting them in, you don’t usually have to worry about watering them much. Wildflowers also propagate on their own – which means they’ll drop seeds to the ground so new flowers will grow in the same area the following year.

Q. Do wildflowers come back every year?

A. Some wildflowers are annuals and some are perennials. The perennials will continue to grow and bloom for several years or more without you having to take cuttings, collect seeds, or anything else to help them. Annuals will only live for one growing season, but many wildflower annuals develop their own seeds too. You can collect these seeds and plant them in new locations next year, or you can simply let nature take its course. When nature does the job, the seeds will drop to the ground and hibernate over the winter, then many of those seeds will sprout again on their own the following year.

Random Seeding

Most people choose to plant wildflowers in a random way. They don’t plan where exactly each flowering plant will grow, and they don’t select plants based on color, height, or texture either. Wildflower gardens can be created in almost any way you’d like though. If you’d like to have a field full of peach or red-colored wildflowers, for instance, all you’d need to do is select wildflower varieties which produce the appropriate flower color for your needs.

No Need to Thin Crowded Plants

The most difficult aspect of wildflower gardening though, is thinning out the plants once they start growing. When you scatter the seeds randomly, you can’t usually tell just how crowded the flowers will be in your garden when they start to grow. It’s not uncommon to end up with too many flowers in one area though, so you have to pull some of them out to give the others room to grow — I don’t think so. The flowers are usually so pretty in bloom though, that making yourself pull some can be difficult. You will be rewarded, however, by the beautiful blooms you’ll start seeing on those wildflowers you left in place once they have more room to thrive.

This video shows the beauty of a wildflower garden in full bloom.

Related How To article: The 4 Parts to Create a Wildflower Garden