Basic hydroponics for everyone for Australia and New Zealand by Joe Romer

By Joe Romer

Hydroponics guru explains tips on how to start.

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Large beds also present a problem in cleaning up the media unless you are prepared to pull everything out of the bed. There is no fixed rule about which system to use but commonsense should prevail and some techniques are more suitable to some crops and not others. SIMPLE SYSTEMS Many home growers have read all the good books and believe that they need to recirculate the nutrient solution, and get involved with pumps, valves, lifting buckets (and getting hernias). Hydroponics is simple, keep it simple.

If the plant has recently come from a nursery, it is advisable to wash the roots in a dilute fungicide solution, after removing the soil from the roots of the plant. This will reduce the possibility of introducing harmful fungus diseases. PLANT MAINTENANCE Hydroponics produces healthy luxuriant plants with the minimum of effort. Plants in hydroponics take less looking after and fewer things can go wrong. The same conditions apply as for growing indoor plants in soil, reasonable humidity around the plant, good light, warm conditions, and some air movement (not draughts).

Boussengault proved this theory by growing plants in sand and feeding them on various chemical salt solutions. In 1940 Robert B. and Alice Woodrow developed nutriculture and coupled with the need during the Second World War to grow fresh vegetables for the troops stationed in areas not suitable for normal agriculture gave hydroponics a new impetus. One of the first large installations was on Ascension Island in the South Pacific. They used a gravel media with the nutrient solution pumped through the bed on a preset cycle.

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