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Hydroponics Tutorial

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Hydroponics Tutorial

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Overview

Hydroponically growing plants is a method of growing plants where soil is not used. Instead, plants are grown in a water and nutrient mixture, sometimes using rocks to give plant roots a place to hold onto, although this is not always necessary. Hydroponic growing can make for healthier adult plants, as the nutrients the plant absorbs is controlled through the nutrient solution, and variables introduced by soil are taken out of the equation.

Nutrients

Buy nutrient solution. One of the most important aspects of hydroponic growing is getting a good nutrient solution together to help in aiding the plants' growth. Using too little or too much can severely affect the health of your plant. You can buy hydroponics solutions from plant stores. These are usually packaged as a concentrate and will need to be mixed with water according to the instructions on the bottle. The general recommendation for the solution is 150-600 parts per million solution to water. When buying solution, be aware that most are sold in several parts, as some hydroponic nutrients can not be packaged together, and must be mixed right before putting the plant into it. When mixing, always mix these components into the water, and never mix the nutrients directly together.

Hydroponic Cloning

Clone healthy plants using a hydroponic solution. Cloning is a method of taking a trimming from a parent plant and growing that trimming into a full grown plant. You can do this using a hydroponic method. Cut a section of the plant that is 4 to 6 inches long from a main growing point. Make the cut right on a node of the plant. A node is an offshoot from a plant such as a branch. Make the cut at the node at a 45 degree angle using a sharp cutting instrument such as a razor. Take that cutting and remove any leaves or branches from the lower section. Place this bare end into your hydroponic nutrient solution and place it in a sunny area. The nutrient bath will need the heat to allow this plant to grow. You can use indoor growing lights in the early stages of the plants' development.

Seed Germination

Germinate your seeds hydroponically to make healthy adult plants. You will need a humidity tray and a dome to germinate your seeds, as well as a heating mat, and a hydroponic rockwool starter cube kit. Place the seeds on a wet paper towel between two ceramic dishes, and place them in a cool place. Your seeds will begin to sprout in 3 to 10 days. Soak your rockwool cubes in a pH balanced H2O solution, then place your seedlings 3/4 of the way inside the cubes by gently using tweezers. Add a half inch of water to your humidity tray and place the cubes there, covering it with the dome. Place the tray on the heating mat to create humidity within the box. The seeds will not germinate without the humidity. You will see significant growth within 2 weeks.

Keywords: hydroponics, plant, unconventional garden

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | Hydroponics Tutorial