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Hydroponics - A Novel Blessing of Science

The term hydroponics stands for the technique of cultivating plants in a nutrient solution rather than in soil. It's a novel technique of growing plants in water which contains dissolved nutrients. This technique is also known as indoor gardening, aquiculture and tank farming.

Studies have proved the fact that plant roots are able to absorb the nutrients from the water even without soil. The new technique hydroponics is based on the concept that plants can be grown without any soil at all.

Professor Gericke of the University of California, Davis, is considered the father of hydroponics. Professor Gericke, in 1929, proved his invention by growing tomato plants in water to a quite remarkable size. The Professor coined the name hydroponics for the culture of plants in water.

Almost any plant can be made to grow through hydroponics. Today, the new techniques of hydroponics gardening and hydroponics farming are becoming popular.

Benefits of Hydroponics:

Hydroponics is a very useful technique when there is scarcity of land, and it is growing extremely beneficial and profitable to farmers. The positive aspects of hydroponics are listed below.

Hydroponics --

Gets rid of soil-borne diseases and weeds.

Requires no soil tilling or ploughing.

Helpful in land scarcity; plants can be placed very close to one another.

Can be done in small spaces.

Highly productive; high yield, large amount of food can be produced from small spaces.

Requires only a small amount of water compared to traditional farming.

Allows the production of quality plants under controlled environmental conditions.

Makes it possible to grow plants all year round.

Future of Hydroponics:

The future of hydroponics seems to be quite bright. As plants are grown indoors, they can be made to grow almost anywhere, in any condition and any weather.

It'll make it possible to grow plants in Antarctica. The techniques such as hydroponics or aeroponics may make it possible to grow vegetables and fruits in space in some near future.

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Using Hydrogen Peroxide in your Hydroponics Gardening System

There are no doubts about the benefits of using hydrogen peroxide properly in a hydroponics system. This becomes especially true if your nutrient reservoir is kept above 72 degrees. Warm water holds less dissolved oxygen, and therefore encourages the growth of more viruses, fungi, and anaerobic bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide adds oxygen to you water and cleans the water of pathanogens. Benefits include healthier root systems, increased nutrient uptake, thicker stems, and bigger leaves.

One expert claims it should be used on all soil gardens as well as in hydroponics sytems. Knowing as much as I do about beneficial fungus and micro-organisms and the benefits they provide to living plants, I am shy in taking this advice. However, when this first line of defense fails and plants become sick I often resort to using hydrogen peroxide treatments on my soil grown plants.

The chemical formula of hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. You may notice it is simply water with an extra oxygen atom. In fact, as hydrogen peroxide breaks down in a solution the result is oxygen and water. Its application helps deliver oxygen to over watered plant roots and helps to sterilize the growing media by killing harmful anaerobic (not oxygen compatible) bacteria and pathanogens that cause disease. This includes bacterial wilt, pythium fungi, fusarium fungi, and others.

I avoid using the common 3% hydrogen peroxide you normally find at drug stores. This is because such low percentage solutions are unstable, and chemicals are added to the peroxide to keep it from breaking down before it can be used. I did a little research because I did not know what chemicals were used for this, or if the plants uptake these chemicals, or if there was a health risk associated with any of these stabilizing chemicals.

Hydrogen peroxide is usually stabilized with acetanilide. Acetanilide is a synthetic compound that was first used for its fever reduction and pain killing properties in the late Nineteenth Century. For many years it was utilized as an alternative to aspirin to treat various ailments, but large-scale medical use stopped when the toxic side effects of consuming acetanilide became apparent. This was enough to make up my mind to use 35% hydrogen peroxide instead.

Firstly, 35% peroxide is caustic and should be treated with the same caution as a strong acid. 35% strength hydrogen peroxide should be readily available at any quality hydroponics supply shop. The stronger concentrations do not use the added stabilizers.

The recommended dosage is to add 2-3 ml to each gallon of water, however, I use 5 ml per gallon and have never had any problems. At every nutrient change treat your fresh water with hydrogen peroxide. The general idea is to let the hydroponics sytem circulate the hydrogen peroxide solution for about a half hour to let the peroxide work against pathogens and to let the solution stabilize before adding your nutrients.

The beneficial effects of using hydrogen peroxide last about 4 days. There are some gardeners who add a little peroxide to their nutrient reservoirs every 5 days in between nutrient changes. If you decide to do this, stick to the guidelines and always make sure your solution is thoroughly mixed before exposing your plants roots to it. Another option is to top off your nutrient reservoir with peroxide treated water whenever it is low.

---

Using Hydrogen Peroxide in your Hydroponics Gardening System

There are no doubts about the benefits of using hydrogen peroxide properly in a hydroponics system. This becomes especially true if your nutrient reservoir is kept above 72 degrees. Warm water holds less dissolved oxygen, and therefore encourages the growth of more viruses, fungi, and anaerobic bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide adds oxygen to you water and cleans the water of pathanogens. Benefits include healthier root systems, increased nutrient uptake, thicker stems, and bigger leaves.

One expert claims it should be used on all soil gardens as well as in hydroponics sytems. Knowing as much as I do about beneficial fungus and micro-organisms and the benefits they provide to living plants, I am shy in taking this advice. However, when this first line of defense fails and plants become sick I often resort to using hydrogen peroxide treatments on my soil grown plants.

The chemical formula of hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. You may notice it is simply water with an extra oxygen atom. In fact, as hydrogen peroxide breaks down in a solution the result is oxygen and water. Its application helps deliver oxygen to over watered plant roots and helps to sterilize the growing media by killing harmful anaerobic (not oxygen compatible) bacteria and pathanogens that cause disease. This includes bacterial wilt, pythium fungi, fusarium fungi, and others.

I avoid using the common 3% hydrogen peroxide you normally find at drug stores. This is because such low percentage solutions are unstable, and chemicals are added to the peroxide to keep it from breaking down before it can be used. I did a little research because I did not know what chemicals were used for this, or if the plants uptake these chemicals, or if there was a health risk associated with any of these stabilizing chemicals.

Hydrogen peroxide is usually stabilized with acetanilide. Acetanilide is a synthetic compound that was first used for its fever reduction and pain killing properties in the late Nineteenth Century. For many years it was utilized as an alternative to aspirin to treat various ailments, but large-scale medical use stopped when the toxic side effects of consuming acetanilide became apparent. This was enough to make up my mind to use 35% hydrogen peroxide instead.

Firstly, 35% peroxide is caustic and should be treated with the same caution as a strong acid. 35% strength hydrogen peroxide should be readily available at any quality hydroponics supply shop. The stronger concentrations do not use the added stabilizers.

The recommended dosage is to add 2-3 ml to each gallon of water, however, I use 5 ml per gallon and have never had any problems. At every nutrient change treat your fresh water with hydrogen peroxide. The general idea is to let the hydroponics sytem circulate the hydrogen peroxide solution for about a half hour to let the peroxide work against pathogens and to let the solution stabilize before adding your nutrients.

The beneficial effects of using hydrogen peroxide last about 4 days. There are some gardeners who add a little peroxide to their nutrient reservoirs every 5 days in between nutrient changes. If you decide to do this, stick to the guidelines and always make sure your solution is thoroughly mixed before exposing your plants roots to it. Another option is to top off your nutrient reservoir with peroxide treated water whenever it is low.

---

How to Clone Your Plants with Success

After struggling for many months with cloning, I finally began to have some good results. I learned that cloning success has more to do with temperature than what kind of cloning gel you use.

Every step here has a reason...either to reduce the stress on the new clone or to encourage root growth. Every drop of water you use will be plain water with 10 ml/gallon Thrive Alive B1 added. You will need to start with a sterile medium. If you use rockwool, you need to soak it for at least 24 hours (plain water and B1) before you use it, otherwise the ph is too alkaline.

Clones should be 4 to 6 inches long. You will have much better success taking your clones from a plant growing in the vegatative stage. Prepare your clones before you actually take them. At the top of each clone there should be a circle of leafy vegatation no larger than the bottom of a pop can. Trim any excess. Trim away any other vegetation along the stem.

To make the cleanest, least damaging cut on the plant, you want to use a sharp razor. Do not use scissors, they will do damage. Wash your hands with soap and water. Pour a little alcohol onto the razor, than rinse it with a little tap water.

Fill an empty container with water and B1 mix. I find 1/2 gallon milk jugs to be very convenient for this.

Open your cloning gel. Hold the branch firm just above the point of your cut. At a 45 degree angle, cut and dip the clone immediately in the gel. Swish it around for a second or two, and place it in the full milk jug. Each milk jug will fit 3 to 4 clones.

Keep the clones under a single fluorescent light, 4 to 6 inches beneath the bulbs. Mist the clones two or three times a day. Do not keep a fan on them, they prefer still, humid air at this point. The very most important thing is to keep them at 72 degrees. Keep them in the jug soaking for no less than 48 hours, and no more than 4 days.

After two days, put each clone into its own rockwool plug or its own container of sterile soilless mix. If using rockwool plugs, keep the end of the clone in the center of the plug, a 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the plug. I use a piece of tape around the center of the plug to keep it closed nicely around the clone.

Place the clones back under the fluorescent light, and continue to mist them 2 to 3 times a day. The first few days, keep them on the wet side. I usually give each one a little squirt with a turkey baster of water and B1 mix. After that, you can start letting them dry out just a little between waterings. Be sure to keep the nice 72 degree temperature.

In 7 to 10 days, you should see roots coming out the sides of your rockwool plugs. Transplant clones into 6 inch containers and begin feeding (mildly) as soon as roots appear. If you follow all these steps, you should have pretty near a 100% success rate....happy cloning!

For complete info on cloning success check out http://www.jasons-indoor-guide-to-organic-and-hydroponics-gardening.com/cloning-success.html

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