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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All About Smartweed

Over the years, the scientists globally have been in the pursuit to find medicinal plants to cure illnesses and discover effective drugs to sustain mankind. Towards that end, many realized the importance of smartweed, botanically known as polygonum hydropiperoides. For long, it was known for its hot, peppery flavor and still find its place in many homes across Eurasia and America. The wet ditches and damp soil along banks are the place where one can spot smartweed from a distance.

The herbal therapies that are ancestors and natural healers knew of from centuries are now known to us too. Thanks to the recent studies that have been conducted in this niche. Traditionally, smartweed was known for curing respiratory and gastrointestinal related diseases, but now it has grown in benefits.

The benefits of Smartweed are as follows

1. Smartweed as an Antioxidant

Oxidation of free radicals is the main reason behind aging. Antioxidant serve as the guard against it. You can definitely lessen the oxidation process with the intake of smartweed.

2. Smartweed for Cholera

A person gets afflicted to cholera when he either drinks contaminated water or eats adulterated food. The decoction of smartweed is the remedy to treat cholera. And it has been practiced by natural healers in the past.

3. Smartweed for Respiratory Ailments

If your respiratory tracts are congested, use smartweed. The herb has been used to treat cough, asthma, sore throat and respiratory infection.

4. Smartweed to Stop Excessive Bleeding

The lance-shaped wavy leaves are known to possess rutin that strengthens the fragile blood capillaries. It stops excessive bleeding.

5. Smartweed for Indigestion

The smartweed is known as the drug that prevents the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal. So all the unwanted gas will be expelled from your intestine when you regularly take this.

6. Smartweed for Diuretic

If you are in the habit of going to the loo too frequently, add this ‘smart’ herb in your meal and stop becoming the laughing stock. The smartweed has the capability to stop the excessive passing of urine.

7. Smartweed as a Treatment of Piles

Intake of smartweed herbal medicine can treat piles medicinally known as hemorrhoids.

8. Smartweed as an Oral Contraceptive

Researchers have characterized smartweed as an anti-fertility drug. If you want to prevent conception, use smartweed as an oral contraception.

9. Smartweed for Treating Gastric Ulcer

The herb is known to be rich in quercetin, a flavonoid known to possess antioxidant properties which can help in treating the gastric ulcer.

10. Smartweed for Dysentery

Immerse the smartweed in cold water and let it sit in there for a while. Now, remove the herb and drink this herbal water and see the effect.

11. Smartweed for Toothache

Have an aching tooth or an inflamed gum? Chew the root of this magical herb and lessen the discomfort.

12. Smartweed for Appetite

Don’t you feel hungry? Have you lost your appetite? Take the herb and combat your loss.

13. Smartweed as a Natural Dye

Want to get your white fabric painted to a different color? You know where to seek the solution.

Despite all these benefits, you should take smartweed with caution. As the adage goes, “Anything in excess is bad”, the same holds true for this herb as well. Constant intake might lead to sterility, hence pregnant women should avoid it as it may result in termination.

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Tips For Saving Money After Gardening

As most other outdoor activities, gardening is a pleasant and relaxing occupation. What’s more, it is rewarding to observe the beautiful green spot you created on your own. However, it would be right to assume that gardening is not a cheap hobby. It consumes a lot of time as well. If you want to find out more affordable and faster alternatives to a beautiful yard, continue reading. You will discover that correctly planning your lawn can be as healthy as never before. In the same time, you will be able to avoid unnecessary spending.

Water – this is an essential resource related to gardening. It’s proper usage can spare you both time and extra costs. Over watering your lawn is bad for the budget and useless for plants. Grass has long roots that go deep into the ground. Little water is enough for it to be green and lively. In the same time, you will cut some expenses. Professional landscapers recommend that you water your lawn in the morning. It is the best moment since colder air prevents water from vaporizing. Creating such a habit will reduce waste of water.

Grass – the height of grass matters, since it can cut down the amount of water. Lower grass leads to shallow roots, which means that grass is exposed to drier soil. Keeping dry conditions is not OK for your garden. That is why keep it comparatively high. What is more, higher grass stops weeds from spreading too far and getting too tall. This trick spares you additional money on products to fight weeds.

Natural care – nothing is better for your lawn than homemade solutions. They lessen excessive spending on highly toxic products. Furthermore, it is much healthier for you and your plants to opt for natural ingredients. Take a spraying bottle and make a mixture of vinegar and dish soap. You can exterminate weeds with this solution just spraying it directly on them. Sugar is also irreplaceable when it comes to being “green” when gardening. This substance can strengthen grass without having the negative impact on nature, people or pets. Sugar will also take care of the soil quality, as well as for some valuable microbes that live there. Contrary to what you may think, applying sugar is easy. Just sprinkle it wherever you feel it is necessary. If your lawn is in good condition, you will need to do this only twice a year. Do not forget to water your lawn as soon as you finish sprinkling.

Plants – caring for your plants can be time-consuming, especially if they are too many or not the right kind. When picking them out, make sure that you select what is right for your climate. Otherwise, they will not last long, and your efforts will be in vain. When purchasing flowers and bushes, get them from trustworthy growers. They can give you the right answers that concern plants’ cultivation. Also, you will be sure that your plants are healthy and appropriate for your yard’s conditions. By doing this, you will have more free time just to enjoy your garden. You will save some extra cash on unsuited plants as well.

As you see, having a well-kept yard might be less expensive than you think. With the right tips, you can handle gardening and your finances well enough.

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Using Algae To Control Ponds

Due to the very nature of algae, you find it in most bodies of water body which in fact, is a good sign that suggests good health of a pond. But, when the amount reaches unsustainable levels, you need to take action. If algae get out of control, it makes the pond water murky and clogs filters and pumps. Special attention needs to be paid during the spring (March – May) season.

Algae Types

The types of algae that you can spot in your pond could be –

1. String or Filamentous Algae

Since the string algae have the tendency to forming long threads around rocks, plants and other objects or dense mats, they are commonly referred to as blanket weed.

2. Suspended Algae

The suspended algae are at work to turn your crystal clear water into the murky green. When the algae cover extensive region, it resembles a pea soup and you will be unable to spot your vibrant, colorful fishes that lie just a few inches below the water surface.

Reason behind Algal Bloom

Primarily, there are three reasons due to which algae grow quickly and cover the water body in no time and those are –

1. High Content of Phosphates & Nitrates:

Dead and decay leaves, fish excreta, fish food waste or minerals from tap water are rich in nitrates, phosphates, and ammonia. These serve as the food for algae.

2. Stagnant Water

The continuous run off of nutrient fertilizer in the stagnant river body results in the algal bloom.

3. High Temperature and Excessive Sunlight

The presence of too much light into the pond paves way for algae. Shallow ponds or insufficient plant cover are the reasons that allows too much penetration of sunlight.

Algae Control in Ponds

The presence of algae is the bane for any pond keeper because it results in loss of fish life and depletes precious oxygen. But, with a few simple and precautionary steps, you can control algae in a pond and maintain the tranquility of the garden.

1. Maintain the Ecosystem by Adding Floating Plants

To achieve a fine balance naturally, cover at least half of the water surface with floating plants like water lettuce, azolla, water hyacinth or duckweed. Apart from these, you can even add lotus or lilies. These plants multiply quickly and work as shade for the life beneath. The submerged plant like hornwort keeps the water cool and blocks excessive sunlight and keeps the algal growth at a bare minimum. Adding plants is a necessity because they compete with algae for dissolved nutrients.

2. Love Fishes? Do NOT cram them in one pond

Who doesn’t love to see fish roaming around in crystal clear water? But, ensure that you do not add them in excess in one pond. More fishes would mean more waste (through excreta and food) which would result in the fast algae bloom.

3. Keep Debris at Bay

For algae control, regularly clean the water surface with a pond vacuum, net or with AquaClear Pellets. Because when these dead leaves, debris, and sludge break down, they result in the growth of algae.

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How To Keep Water Lily Plant

Since time immemorial, water lilies have captivated humans’ attention towards its enchanting beauty. The plant has been gorgeously immortalized in religion and art. Majestic palaces and gardens were once its home, but today it found its place even in your home garden. Intrigued? We will tell you how you can grow and care for water lilies in your river side patio.

Types of Water Lilies

Beginners! Go for the hardy lilies because they are easy to plant and maintain. They will bloom even in winters if planted below the freezing line of the pond. Tropical water lilies, on the other hand, need a little extra care and attention. But, the wait is worth the effort because they have stronger fragrance and their flowers bloom even in vibrant hues of purple and blues. Another point of difference between the two is that the hardy water lily is day blooming whereas the tropical one can bloom during the day as well as nighttime.

How to Grow Water Lilies?

True, a pond covered with water lilies do look attractive, but if the river body gets completely covered, it will inhibit the growth of flora and fauna living deep inside. Plus, they have the tendency to propagate. In no time, you will see your pond covered with them. So to prevent such a situation –

1. Use Plastic Container or Baskets : Shallow and wide plastic containers that have holes punched inside.

2. Line the Periphery of the Container with Burlap : To retain the soil in the container, use a landscape fabric or a burlap else the soil would leach out and make the pond water murky.

3. Add Clay and Fertilizer : Fill the container with clay, silt or loam and mix it with the aquatic fertilizer.

4. Remove the Old Leaves : Before placing the plant, make sure you have removed the old, fleshy and thick roots and leaves.

5. Know the Right Placement : Plant the tuber at about 45° angle.

6. Keep the Soil Intact: Add pea gravel or rocks to the container to retain the soil in the pot. There are chances of the soil washing away from the planted pot.

7. Take Note of the Height : Now, leave the pot in the pond at a depth of around 18 inches. If required, raise its depth by placing the pot on the rocks. Ensure that the leaves float on the surface.

How to Care for Water Lilies?

Water lily care can be easy only if you take the following precautions, else you might have a hard time with dealing the mess in your pond.

1. Plant lilies in wide mesh crates, baskets or containers.

2. Use the heavy topsoil instead of light, chalky or sandy soil. The reason is that the topsoil is free from pesticides.

3. Do NOT add peat to the soil.

4. Once the flowers start blooming, remove the dying flowers so as to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

5. Regularly remove the dying leaves, thick roots from the plant.

6. For getting maximum bloom during the season (June – September), plant the lilies at a place that receives maximum sunlight.

7. Never place the lilies just beneath the water fountain; the heavy splashing of water might kill them.

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Guide To Be Gardener Expert

Every Gardener knows how important it is to take time to reflect on ways in which you can improve the performance. Gardeners are observant people and as such, they can scrutinize, monitor, and take different signals from the plants so as to make a determination on whether the plants are the way they need to be.

Most professional gardeners make use of approaches that are idiosyncratic, so as to give the gardens everything they need. There are many tips that can help you be the best gardener and they include:

Design

Form and texture are more important than the color. The atmosphere and space are also very important. If you notice that the shrubs have no space below, you may need some pruning. You need to think about the design of your space and decide on what you should plant there and in what quantities.

Sowing

This is a very important part of growing a garden. When you sow your seeds, you need to water them using some warm water. Avoid using the ice-cold water as it ends up delaying the germination. After they germinate, it is important that you only handle the seedlings using the leaves since they are tougher than stems at this point.

Planting

When you are planting, then you need to think about every aspect of the process so as not to affect your plants negatively. Make sure you plant in the correct soil combination.

If you have the funds for it, then a greenhouse is definitely an amazing idea and definitely worth a try. Even a greenhouse that is not heated extends your season for growing your own good and increasing the summers. A greenhouse can be an invaluable addition to the garden as it can help you extend the range in the most incredible ways.

For real gardeners, it is important to listen to your own mood and do what you think should be done to improve the garden. You should choose the ideal time to move the plants as long as there is enough soil, shade, and a water source. This is what allows the plants to establish even more quickly.

It is important to act early. For example, if you feel young tree is not located in the ideal point, and then you need to move it early. Do not wait until such a tree has already matured so as to start thinking of ways to deal with it.

Vegetables

If you chose to grow your vegetables in pots, it is important to have a shade so as to slow down the bolting. You can use mulch to stop weeds from invading the vegetable area and this works well too. You need to consider which vegetables grow together. Doing this helps you make the most of the gardening experience by easing processes like pollination and so on.

Pests

Understanding pests is also a part of good gardening. There are some pests that will play dead if they are disturbed. It is important to stay alert and notice any changes in your plants. A good gardener always finds a way to deal with pest and diseases at all times so as to improve yield.

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How To Remove Palm Tree

Who would like to cut off a full grown palm tree from their property or near their house? The answer is easy and clear – No one!

Although it’s obvious that no one would like to expel a palm tree, but sometimes it simply becomes inevitable to prevent its removal.

Generally, excessively overgrown trees may hinder the look and beauty of your yard, while on different events it might intervene with the electricity cables. In many cases, the unchecked development of trees may set risk to the nearby building if its underlying roots penetrate deep down in the foundation.

Palm trees are frequently expelled from landscapes for various reasons. By and large, before you choose to dispose of that palm on your property, you’ve to consider different elements that will presumably influence your choice.

  • Is There A Valid Reason Behind Palm Tree Removal?

This is the underlying issue that you should consider before reaching any decision. If palm care isn’t conceivable as it is infected or has become a risk to your building, at that point it is best to have it expelled. Palm whose branches are meddling with power cables on the street may likewise cause harm your property.

However, if you’re disposing it off just for beautifying purposes, then think before you expel it. You can trim it to appear a more natural and beautiful look. If it is extremely crucial to dispose it off, then look for the services of an expert palm tree removal company instead of attempting to deal with the activity all alone.

  • Palm Tree Removal Without Any Relocation

Is it true that you are looking forward to expel your palm tree or you move it to some other spot? If you simply need to dispose it off, then the best alternative is to chop it down and pound the stump out.

  • Removal And Relocation Palm Tree

Numerous homeowners who love to make their gardens aesthetically pleasant often search for special and exceptional types of palm trees, and quite often Canary Palms. This is the reason why many homeowners who have attractive trees may exchange their palm to such experts.

However, make sure that your palm without a doubt belongs to such an unordinary palm species. Proficient tree expulsion services do the task of tree evacuation, briskly and without creating any mess.

By hiring palm removal services, you can lessen the common issues that may come up if anything turns out badly while expelling the tree. You likewise don’t need to stress over the possible harm to your home, building, or any other structure, or people in that area. Remember, cost of any mishap will be far more than you would be paying for professional tree removal services.

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