Today’s article about hydroponics is a guest entry here at Veggie Gardening Tips and was written by Charlene Rennick.
Charlene provides helpful tips and ideas that enable you to use hydroponics to grow fresh vegetables over an extended growing season:
Taking Advantage of Hydroponic Gardening
After a plentiful growing season comes the harvest, a time of year that brings about mixed feelings. Your heart swells with pride for the quality and bounty of fruits, vegetables and herbs you and your soil have produced together and mingles with sadness now that the time has come for your partnership to end for this year. Wistfully, you imagine that the growing season was longer.
Is there a way to add on to the season? Can you plant two rounds of peas or space out your over-abundant crop of tomatoes? Yes, you can. A complete hydroponic system can be set up inside your home to give you those extra months of growth.
Stretching the Season by Growing Hydroponic Crops
For those of us who do not make 30 jars of chili sauce or who do not have enough extended family members nearby to actually eat all the tomatoes that are ready at once, young tomato plants can be planted outside during mid-season and moved inside in the early fall.
The Aerogarden kitchen garden is a simple system that can be used during the winter months to grow small crops such as herbs, lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Seeds can be started early in February and moved outdoors as young plants when you would normally just be planting the seeds.
Hydroponic gardens have been around for centuries, long before produce in the supermarkets was imported from countries with growing seasons longer than ours. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (the ruins are located in Iraq) is one example of a primitive hydroponic growing system necessitated by a love of flora in a desert climate unable to support such a growth naturally.
The Resourcefulness of Hydroponic Growing Techniques
Today, necessity is still the mother of invention. Many people live in geographical areas where a temperate climate suitable for gardening is only a few months long. Busy schedules prevent most people from the luxury of spending relaxing hours outdoors tending the garden, yet they are concerned about the quality and freshness of the produce they eat.
Others yearn for that gourmet flavor of freshly picked herbs and vegetables all year round and the mouth-watering aroma of drying basil in the kitchen. Moreover, in North America where clean, fresh water was once plentiful, a shortage is the sign of the times. National efforts to conserve what water we have left have been initiated by campaigns at www.thinkwater.ca and www.canadians.org.
Gardening with home hydroponics not only extends the growing season, conserves water and brings fresh, pesticide-free, organic produce indoors; they represent an alternative to a garden where there would not have been an opportunity for green growth.
Tending a hydroponic garden provides a healthy family project and a medium for teaching environmental conservation and science to children. It is fulfilling for a child to choose the seeds, plant and tend them and eventually harvest the outcome whether it is for a stew or to add bright living colour to their living space over the winter.
Hydroponic Initiatives and Special Projects
Globally, hydroponic gardens provide sustenance to areas of the world where the climate cannot support growth or where natural disasters have destroyed fertility.
The International Institute of Simplified Hydroponics provided seeds and started hydroponic gardens in Columbia, a town in South America that was destroyed by an earth quake in January 1999. The United Nations Development Project continued to fund the hydroponic initiative which today, supports half the families displaced by the earthquake and is maintained solely by the residents of Armenia.
How is a complete hydroponic system a solution for water shortages and areas on the globe where dry dust is the only growing medium? Hydroponic gardens use almost 90 percent less water than traditional outdoor fields. The water is re-circulated directly through the root system and collected in various vessels ready for recycling. There is no surrounding soil to absorb precious water needed by the plant.
Conservation through Hydroponic Gardening
Equally important to the global conservation of water is that hydroponic gardens eliminate excess fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides that are picked up by excess water run off and circulated into remaining fresh water supplies. A hydroponic system does not require chemicals to kill infestations that mainly arise from outdoor environments.
Using home hydroponics can grow a month or two, spare a lake or two and save a town or two. It is one of the solutions that will keep our planet green.
Simply-Hydroponics.com is a resource for information on hydroponic gardening for indoor gardeners of every level of expertise. Please drop by for a peak at what it’s like to grow hydroponics.
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