All About Hydroponics Techniques

Hydroponics involves the process of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in sand, gravel, or liquid, without using soil. Due to the increasing success rates associated with the commercial hydroponics industry and the increasing difficulty of growing crops on soil, the hydroponics market is expanding exponentially. Many off-season fruits and vegetables can be produced around the year under controlled conditions using hydroponics. The main countries actively practicing hydroponics are the United States, Australia, Spain, Holland, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Mexico, and China. The major crops that are grown hydroponically are cucumber, lettuce, tomato, peppers, strawberry, leafy vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, etc. This method is widely adopted, due to its integrated pest management approaches.

Hydroponics – Market Dynamics

Hydroponics is termed as one of the fastest-growing soil-less farming practice at a global level, wherein, a tailored nutrient solution, which is of superior quality, helps in the growth of a plant in a sustainable manner. One of the major growth drivers for the hydroponic industry is the documented higher yield as compared to the traditional agricultural techniques. Along with profit farming, growing consumption of exotic, salad crops, and increasing need for global food security are the factors that are expected to drive the market. Lack of awareness regarding the soil-less agriculture system and initial high cost are the factors that might hinder the market growth. Increased cultivation of medicinal plants, globally, and customized farming approach may provide future growth opportunities for the industry.

Will hydroponics revolutionize the way of irrigation?

According to a report by a market intelligence firm, the global hydroponics market is estimated to record a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period 2017-2022, and the market value is anticipated to reach USD 30,849.83 million by 2022. The market growth of hydroponics is majorly due to the increasing focus on adopting innovative and efficient technologies to improve the yields. Tomato is one of the primary crops grown through the hydroponic system, globally. According to a USDA/ERS report, the volume of hydroponic tomato imports from countries, such as Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands, has increased drastically, and the imports now account for a significant share of the total US fresh market tomato imports. Lettuce and leafy vegetables, pepper, cucurbits, and other vegetables, are being increasingly cultivated hydroponically.

According to our analysts, Europe is traditionally the largest market for hydroponics, implementing advanced techniques in hydroponic smart greenhouse horticulture. The matured European market demand for hydroponics is led by countries, such as the Netherlands, Spain, and France. Asia-Pacific forms the second largest market for hydroponics, which is expected to grow at a steady pace during the forecast period. The North American region led by the United States and Canada, is expected to grow at an improved pace during 2017-2022.

Competition Analysis

The global market for hydroponics is concentrated within major technically advanced regions. Greentech Agro LLC, Argus Control Systems, Logiqs BV, Koninklijke Philips NV, General Hydroponics Inc., Greentech Agro LLC, and Lumigrow Inc., are some of the major players that are active in the industry. R&D pertaining to the region- and area-specific requirements is being consistently adopted by industry players. Mergers and acquisitions are also one of the key activities that are adopted by the major players. Lawn-and-garden giant, Scotts Miracle-Gro, spent USD 136 million for Gavita, a Dutch grow lighting and hardware company. Through its subsidiary, Hawthorne Gardening Co., Scotts Miracle-Gro invested in companies, such as Boulder’s AeroGrow, an indoor gardening company, and acquired California’s General Hydroponics Inc. for USD 130 million. The company also spent USD 77.1 million to acquire Botanicare.

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Tips To Maintain Young Trees

If you have planted new trees on your property and you plan to grow them over the coming years, you need to invest in the right care for them. That is the only way to ensure that a tree survey doesn’t reveal unpleasant signs later on.

The first 3-5 years are crucial for the health of the tree. With the proper tree care, you can up the chance of growing a healthy specimen. This in turn means reduced maintenance costs and minimises the potential issues that may develop. Make sure you follow the instructions below:

Watering – one of the most important aspects to looking after young trees is proper watering. Young trees can do with regular watering in order to fight off diseases. It is important to deep water them frequently in order to prevent surface roots. You can use the indication of soil moisture on how often to water. When the soil 4-6 inches below the surface of a tree feels moist (not wet), you should water. Be alert for drought symptoms, such as wilted, yellow/brown leaf edges. Mulch can greatly help with moisture retention in the soil. A 3-5 inch thick layer of mulch does wonders in that regard. Don’t rely on lawn irrigation, since light sprinkling for 5-10 minutes a day is only enough to moisten a few inches of the soil. Here are some practical watering instructions you should keep in mind throughout the life of a tree.

Year 1 – a few days after planting you should be watering every single day by filling the tree basin with 15 gallons of water. Reduce the amount of times you water to once a week within the next 3 weeks. The next 6 months you should fill the basin every other week for the remainder of the first year. At this point, roots require not just water, but also oxygen.

Year 2 – when rain is scarce, you should water every 2-4 weeks with about 15-20 gallons of water. Don’t water on the surface, because that creates water dependency and shallow roots. The goal is to water deeply but infrequently, so as to allow roots to seek moisture underground in order to develop properly.

Years 3-5 – watering once a month with 20-30 gallons of water is ideal. That maximises soaking and conserves water at the same time. Keep in mind prolonged dry periods, because proper watering during such times means the difference between a thriving and a struggling tree.

Weeding – despite the fact that trees usually tower over other plants, that can leave them deprived of nutrients and moisture. It is best to keep the base of the tree free from grass and other plants.

Protection – keep lawn equipment at bay, since it can damage the cambium layer just behind the bark. Don’t use chemicals near young trees and prune them carefully. It might be best to resort to arboricultural consultants for this job.

Proper tree care during the initial years after planting is essential for the health of any tree. Follow the tips outlined above to ensure your trees grow strong and healthy.

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Tips To Gardening In Winter

The holidays are a busy time of the year, but for those who love to garden, there is still plenty to do in December.

Harvest Your Fall Vegetable Crop: It’s time to start harvesting vegetables from plants sowed in September and October. You can even add more vegetable plants before it gets too cold. They include artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, peas, potatoes and radishes. Note: expect them to grow slower than those vegetables planted in spring.

Plant Bare-Root Fruit Trees: Now is the best time to plant bare-root fruit and nut trees such as apricots, apples, cherry, peaches, plums and walnut. You’ll find an assortment at your local nursery. Soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour before planting Dig a hole large enough to hold the roots. Spread out the roots to encourage growth. Thoroughly water. Cover with a layer of mulch. Keep your tree moist for the first several weeks (regular rainfall will be enough). Bare-root trees are often less expensive than potted trees because they come without the plastic container.

Prune Deciduous Fruit Tree: Prune deciduous trees once they have dropped their leaves. Don’t be afraid to give the tree a healthy trim as they will bounce back nicely in spring.

Fill In Bare Spots in Your Lawn: Since southern California winters are mild, there is still time to seed bare spots in your lawn. If rain is sparse, you’ll need to water regularly.

Start A Mulch Pile: Rake up leaves and create a homemade mulch pile. Add leaves and grass clippings. Water the pile (if necessary). Turn once a week. You’ll have compost by spring.

Remove Dead Flowers and Branches: Gardens can look a bit ragged in winter. Keep them fresh by cutting away dead flowers, leaves and branches. Consider cutting back large trees including pines and oaks if limbs look weak or have become overgrown.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree: Check with your city on how and when to recycle your Christmas tree after the holidays. Remove all decorations and lights. Most recyclers will accept flocked and unflocked trees.

Extend the Life of Poinsettias: During the holidays, keep poinsettias in a cool indoor location-away from heating vents and fireplaces. Once spring arrives next year, cut the stems back. Put them outdoors in the shade during summer and then bring them back indoors in fall. To get the dark red leaves that poinsettias are known for, they’ll need to spend half of the day in total darkness beginning in October. They’ll start blooming-ready for next Christmas-by mid-November.

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Time To Get Cut Your Trees

Trimming your trees during summers has many benefits to offer, and it ought to be considered for every single tree that you possess. Remember, trimming is a vital, yet frequently ignored task in the developing procedure.

By trimming them at the right time, you can control the shape of its crown. When trees are trimmed appropriately on a regular basis, you stay away from numerous normal issues that many individuals encounter. Diseases, harm to the plants, harm to your property, and broken branches would all be able to be kept away from by trimming at the perfect time.

Trimming can make your plants visually appealing to look at, and it can likewise maintain your trees health. Trimming results in the development of fruits, flowers, and foliage.

Besides, trimming keeps the branches from getting too long and delicate, so they can really bolster the heaviness of the new development. This causes you to stay away from branch breakage, which opens up your plants to infections.

Every homeowner needs to trim at the particular circumstances of the year. The timing depends on the kind of plant that you have in your yard. You might need to consult a local expert trimmer or arborist to figure out the best circumstances to trim your plants.

  • A few plants do best if they’re trimmed in the spring or summer as this can advance quick development and enable the young plants to grow to their maximum capacity.
  • Different plants do best if they’re trimmed in the winter while they are in a sleeping phase. But, you need to keep in mind that trimming certain plants in winters could really kill them.
  • An expert arborist will know precisely which branches to trim and how to maintain the balance of thickness throughout the tree. Beginning early and working with an expert from the time when the plants are young can give you control about whether the trees wind up short and tall or wide and thin.
  • The manner in which the branches are cut impacts the direction that the tree will develop. This can be exceptionally helpful, particularly if your plants could grow excessively near your home, electrical cables, the road, or on your property.
  • Controlling the shape and the development rate can likewise enable you to make shade where you require it and adjust it with your other landscaping. So, this summer, hire an expert and make your yard wonderful again.
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