Have you ever thought of growing garlic in hydroponics system? This may sound strange but is possible to achieve abundant harvest. Growing garlic hydroponically is not hard as many people think. However, you have to stand the strong odor produced by the garlic. If you don’t like the odor, you may start with a few plants at a time. Here is what you need to know about planting garlic in the hydroponics system.
How to grow garlic in hydroponic system
Garlic can be planted from seeds, but starting from cloves is ideal for hydroponic gardens. Clove is a segment of a full garlic bulb. Softneck and hardneck garlic varieties are popular for hydroponics garden. The garlic cloves are planted in the growing medium such as perlite, vermiculite, or coco coir. In this case, the pointed end will face upwards, and the fat end sits in the growing medium. The ideal spacing for hydroponic garlic is 4 inches apart. This will provide enough space for the bulbs to expand.
Alternatively, you can start your garlic cloves in the glass of water. On the cool location, keep the cloves with lower half submerged. When the roots have started sprouting, you can transfer your garlic into the hydroponic system. Don’t leave the garlic submerged for too long because root rot can occur.
Conditions necessary for growing garlic in hydroponic system
Light: garlic requires a minimum of 6 hours of light daily. However, 10- 12 hours provide best results. You should not leave the lights on for the whole day because garlic requires some hours of darkness.
Temperature: garlic can survive at low temperatures, as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the maximum temperature is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In this case, there is no need for a heating source and light source can be placed at a distance from the garlic.
Nutrients: the pH level of 6.0 to 6.5 is the best for garlic. You have to be careful while preparing the nutrient mixture since excess nutrient can kill your garlic. It is important to follow the guidelines of the particular nutrient line you are using. This ensures that your garlic receives the proper quantities of micro and macro nutrients.
Management of Pests and Diseases
Garlic is a natural pest repellant, so you don’t have to worry about using pesticides or other harmful chemicals. However, garlic is prone to some diseases such as white rot. Once the garlic is affected by white rot, the solution is removing the affected plant. Crop rotation and thorough cleaning of the hydroponic systems after harvest can prevent the development of white rot.
Harvesting of hydroponic garlic
Harvesting of hydroponic garlic is simple as compared to those in soil-based systems. In hydroponics gardens, you can see the cloves without digging necessarily digging them up. Therefore, it is much easier to know when garlic is ready for harvesting. You can save some bulbs for the next planting season.
Growing garlic in hydroponic systems is not as some people might think. However, you should choose appropriate growing medium and maintain a proper nutrient balance. Unfortunately, you will have to withstand the strong smell of the garlic.
What are the benefits of silicon in hydroponics? Silicon is the second most abundant element after oxygen. Silicon is abundant in soil-based plants, but it is excluded in hydroponic nutrients because it does not remain soluble in concentrated solution. Moreover, it raises the pH of the nutrient solution. In this case, it should be added into hydroponic nutrients as a separate element. What makes silicon so important in hydroponic plants?
Benefits of using silicon in hydroponics
• Strengthen the cellular walls of the plants
• Help the plants cope with toxic elements
• Improve the plant’s tolerance to high temperatures
• Increase resistance to pests and diseases
How does Silicon works in plants?
Plants that are fed with silicon look thicker and healthier. Silicon makes the cell walls thicker and stronger. This gives the pests a hard task in biting or piercing the plants. In this case, the plants fed with silicon become less attractive to the pests.
Moreover, the thicker cell walls make your plants more resistant to mechanical damage. This is very vital in preventing the mold infections. Most the fungi enter into the plant through the wounded parts. In this case, the plants become more resistant to mold infections and powdery mildew.
Also, silicon makes the plants transpire less while increasing the water uptake. This will increase the survival rate in dry conditions. Even if you forget to water your hydroponic plants, they will not dry out quickly.
How to add silicon into the hydroponic system
The hydroponic nutrients do not contain viable quantities of silicon. This is the main reason for structurally weak hydroponic plants. However, this can be solved by adding silicon into the nutrient solution.
In the soil-based system, the plants absorb silicon in the form of monosilisic acids. However, the source of silicon in hydroponics system is soluble potassium silicate. The commercially processed silicon is available in many hydroponic stores. How do you administer silicon to hydroponic plants?
#1. Using soluble silicate additives
This is the easiest method but not the best way of adding silicon to your hydroponics system. Mix soluble silicate additives into normal nutrient solution and administer to the roots. However, you should be careful not to exceed the required levels. If the ideal levels of silicon are exceeded, it may interact with other elements and negatively affect your plants.
#2. Foliar spray
This is the most efficient method of applying silicon to your hydroponic plants. Spray the foliage of your plants with silicon. This will not interfere with the nutrient mix, and pH adjustments are not necessary.
#3. Use Diahydro
This is a growing medium that consists of fossil algae shells, which contains more than 90 percent of silica. This silica is gradually released to plants throughout the growth cycle. Also, you can use Diahydro in combination with other growing mediums. Diahydro is pH neutral and will not interfere with the nutrient balance in your hydroponic systems.
Silicon is one of the most abundant elements but is not readily available in hydroponic systems. In this case, you need to provide your plants with silicon to achieve faster and healthier growth.
Clay pebbles are becoming of the most popular growing medium in hydroponics. They are made of clay subjected to very high temperatures in a rotating kiln. This cause clay to expand, resulting in a highly porous medium that has excellent air and moisture retention. Clay pellets are the best alternative among other organic substrates. Most growers use clay pellets as a base layer in combination with other grow mediums. Why has clay pellets gained so much popularity among the hydroponic growers? Obviously, this growing medium is popular because of the several benefits it offers to the hydroponic gardeners.
Benefits of using clay pellets as growing medium
Clay pellets can be used in all types of hydroponic systems and offer many benefits, including;
This is one of the main advantages offered by clay pellets. This growing medium can last for several years and can be used again and again. Unlike some of the growing media, clay pellets do not break down easily. After each growing season, clay pellets are sterilized with isopropyl alcohol then rinsed with pH balanced water. This will save growers a lot of time and money that could have been used to look for another growing medium before the onset of the new growing season.
#2. Excellent moisture retention
Clay pellets are porous materials, which absorb and retain impressive amounts of moisture. Therefore, hydroponic systems that use clay pellets as growing medium don’t require frequent watering.
#3. Better aeration
The clay pellets are porous and irregular in size and shape. This increases the aeration in the roots system of the hydroponic plants. Better aeration means superior oxygenation which is vital for the health of the plants. Better supply of oxygen to roots allows optimum absorption of nutrients, which is essential for high yields in hydroponic plants.
#4. Good drainage
This growing medium offers the best drainage that crucial for maintaining the health of the root systems. In this case, the likelihood of water-logging is reduced. Therefore, the cases of root rot are eliminated when clay pellets are used as a growing medium for hydroponics.
#5. Easy to stabilize pH
The level of pH plays a crucial role in every hydroponic system. The ideal range of pH should lie in the range of 5.6 to 6.3, and serious problems may occur if the pH falls out of this range. Fortunately, it is much easier to stabilize the pH in clay pellets as compared to other growing mediums. This is so because this growing medium has neutral pH. The growers prefer using clay pellets because they make the job of checking and adjusting the pH much easier.
If you are working on a small budget and want to spend less on growing medium, then clay pellets are the answer. Clay pellets are relatively cheaper to make as compared to most growing mediums. Moreover, clay pellets are readily available in most hydroponic or home improvement stores. Therefore, you will definitely save a lot of money on this growing medium.
Clay pellets are one of the most popular growing mediums among hydroponic growers. This growing medium offers many benefits that ensure healthy plant growth as well as saving money for the grower.
Aeroponics is an effective way of growing plants without soil. Unlike hydroponics, Aeroponic plants do not need growing medium. Instead, the plants are suspended in a dark chamber and roots are periodically sprayed with a fine mist of nutrient-rich solution. Aeroponics is economical and produces higher yields as compared to other growing methods.
Types of Aeroponic systems
There are two types of Aeroponics: low-pressure and high-pressure Aeroponics. What is the difference between these two types of Aeroponics?
High-pressure Aeroponics (HPA), are known as true Aeroponics and mainly used to grow vegetables. This is very complicated and most expensive type of growing system. HPA use fewer resources to support the plant growth; 60% less fertilizer, 98% less water, and 100% fewer pesticides. This system operates at high pressure to atomize nutrient solution to fine mist required by the roots of your plant. The spraying is done at intervals hence making the system very efficient.
On the other hand, Low-pressure Aeroponics (LPA) is much cheaper and easier to build. This system utilizes a standard pump coupled with PVC pipe and miniature sprinkler heads. The LPA pump run round the clock to wet the roots continually. However, LPA has lower efficiency as compared to HPA systems.
What can you grow in Aeroponics systems?
You can grow most plants in this system. Most leafy vegetables, herbs, and strawberries do well in Aeroponics systems. Also, you can grow small to medium sized flowers in this type of growing system.
Benefits of Aeroponics
#1. More oxygen
In Aeroponics systems, more oxygen is available for the plants. In this case, the roots absorb oxygen directly from the air. The absorption of oxygen is faster when compared to roots embedded in the soil. Therefore, Aeroponics plants tend to grow faster than those planted in soil hence quicker harvests. The increased oxygen boosts the absorption of essential nutrients.
#2. Optimum humidity
Humidity is vital for plant growth. In Aeroponics systems, nearly 100Percent of the humidity is maintained. In this case, the mixture of air and water create a humid environment. Moreover, the plants are shaded from the sun thus minimizing waste from the evaporation.
#3. Ecologically friendly
This is one of the ecologically-friendly ways to grow plants in your home. Research shows that soils are prone to contamination from hazardous chemical and industrial waste. This can interfere with the nutrients balance in the soil that can lead to stunted growth in plants. In this case, Aeroponics is the way to prevent the crops from environmental toxins contamination.
#4. Easy to clean
The plants grown in Aeroponic systems are easy to clean since there are no debris or dirt. Moreover, harvesting is easy since there is no soil to obstruct the plants.
#5. No need for pesticides
Plants that grow in Aeroponic systems are not treated with pesticides or other chemicals. In this case, such plants are safe for consumption and pose no threat to the health of the users.
Aeroponics is one the most efficient ways for growing crop indoors. The Aeroponic plants mature faster with higher yields as compared to other growing methods. Moreover, the plants are safe since they are free from harmful chemicals such as pesticides.
If you are interested in hydroponic cloning, you should think about acquiring the 2’ x 4’Super Clone Grow Room. This system is highly effective for both amateur hobbyist and even professional farmers. Basically, the grow room is exceptional because it combines the a deep water culture cloning system for germinating plants and a tent designed to support long-term indoor growth. With a single 2’ x 4’Super Clone Grow Room, your cloning requirements will be made effortless. Here are the primary features and benefits of this hydroponic grow tent.
The Super Clone grow tent is designed and manufactured to provide long-term durability and reliable services. The material is a damage-resistant and non-toxic product. Therefore, it will not experience accelerated degradation or release noxious fumes when exposed to heat or light. The room has an adjustable height, so you can modify it according to personal preferences.
The cloning system which supports the germinating plants is a deep water culture design. This means that your crops will have exceptional nourishment that they require for rapid growth and strong root development. The system can support up to fifty plants during the germinating, cloning and vegetating stages. The system also incorporates a cloning rack, so you can lift plants to the light without any physical strain.
You will get great airflow with the 2’ x 4’Super Clone Grow Room. Consequently, you will limit problems associated with poor circulation such as mildew growth and bug invasion. The internal circulation fan is made with strong steel and coated with a protective layer to prevent rusting. This feature is placed strategically to maximize airflow for the tent for ideal performance. Additionally, there are some carbon filters installed in the grow room to prevent circulation of contaminants and bad odors.
Lighting and Power
The grow room comes with a high-powered light fixture that is rated at about twenty thousand lumens. This four-foot bulb is a cool spectrum bulb and it will provide the light energy that your plants require. When you purchase this Super Clone tent, you will also get a power strip and GFCI shock buster which will provide power while protecting you from power surges.
Other Included Components
There are other numerous components that are included in the grow room package. These include monitoring assets such as a digital thermometer and hygrometer, TDS meter and a timer. In addition, you will get rock wool cubes, an air pump, two large soil buckets and instructional video to provide you with the cloning and growth guidance.