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The Real Truth About Hydroponic Gardening


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Hydroponic gardening systems can be an excellent hobby and provide hours of fun and enjoyment, but for many hydroponic gardening enthusiasts, the real enjoyment begins with eating fresh fruits and vegetables grown using their very own home hydroponic garden.

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The Real Truth About Hydroponic Gardening

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  2. 2. Published by: GreenBite Hydroponic Gardening P.O. Box 462 Columbus, MS 39703-0462 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Trademarks Throughout this book, trademarked names are used. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them. Disclaimer Although the author(s) and publisher(s) have made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. ISBN 2 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us Copyright © 2015 GreenBite Hydroponic Gardening
  3. 3. PAGE 1 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS IS THIS THE GUIDE FOR ME? Not sure if this guide is right for you? See the descriptions below to determine if your skill level matches the content you are about to read. BEGINNER Beginner content is for gardeners who are new to the hydroponics. This content typically includes step-by-step instructions on how to get started with hydroponics and learn the fundamentals to this method of gardening. After reading it, you will have a solid understanding of hydroponics. ADVANCED Advanced content is for gardeners who are familiar with the subject but have only basic experience in executing strategies on the subject. This content typically covers the fundamentals and moves on to reveal more complex strategies. Download your advanced guide “9.5 Laws of Hydroponics.” EXPERT Expert content is for gardeners who are, or want to be, experts on the subject. In it, we walk you through advanced features of hydroponic gardening and help you to develop complete mastery of the subject. After reading it, you will feel ready to not only execute adequate strategies, but also to teach others how to be successful hydroponic gardeners. 3 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  4. 4. THE REAL ABOUT HYDROPONICS By William Cool William “Billy” Cool is the creator of, in which he focuses on various content creation projects, such as guides and video tutorials and online courses that aid hydroponic enthusiasts and students at every level to master effective strategies of hydroponic gardening. William is a super hobby horticulturalist and hydroponic gardening enthusiast with over 10 years of experience developing and building grow rooms, air and water purification systems, advanced nutrient delivery systems, and root structure housing. William founded GreenBite Hydroponic Gardening in February 2012 and is the primary content manager of the blog and contributes in large part to the GorwFoodEasy social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. In addition, William conducts several speaking engagements in addition to other public relation opportunities to promote healthy, sustainable living. William has worked on the company’s product development team since GreenBite’s inception in February 2012. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER & PINTEREST @GROWFOODEASY PAGE 2 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 4 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  6. 6. “If you continually resupply and deliver, commodities like food will become much more costly than producing your own food. - Ray Wheeler, Plant Physiologist Kennedy Space Center's Space Life Sciences Lab ” The first thing most people say after I tell them they can have a garden of fresh fruits and vegetables in their bedroom closet is…“impossible.” When I tell them they can have an indoor garden with a hydroponic gardening system, the next thing they say is “what is hydroponic gardening”. What most people don’t realize is the freedom of growing fresh fruits and vegetables in your home is something you’ve always had the ability to do. As unbelievable as it sounds, it’s true… You can grow fresh fruits and vegetables, year- round, with a hydroponic gardening system made from common household items. Hydroponic gardening means you can have fresh produce no matter the season with minimal effort. The simplest hydroponic gardening system can consist of nothing more than a 5 gallon bucket, an air stone, and air pump. Build an inexpensive hydroponic gardening system using our simple step by step DIY Hydroponic Builder’s Guide. The truth is gardening with hydroponics is smart, fun, and affordable. PAGE 4 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS
  8. 8. There’s tons of misinformation and hidden agendas surrounding hydroponic gardening, mostly in an effort to promote “traditional” gardening and crop production methods. It's not until you run across some good information and start to experience the joy of hydroponic gardening first hand that many of these myths are dispelled. Maybe you’ve heard some of these before…. 7 ABOUT HYDROPONIC GARDENING PAGE 6 Hydroponic gardening is a new technology Hydroponic gardening dates back to the dawn of civilization. (See Hydroponics History Timeline p.11) • The Egyptians, Inca Indian tribes, the Aztecs, and the ancient Babylonians all practiced hydroponic gardening. The science of hydroponics began around the 1600’s when Flemish scientist Jan van Helmont and English scientist Francis Bacon began conducting experiments to discover plant constituents. Hydroponic gardens must be indoors Hydroponic gardens can flourish outdoors under the sun just as well as indoor hydroponic gardening. However, there are a few major advantages to growing indoors: • 100% control over the environment • Continuous year round growing • Lowered disease and pest infections THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 8 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  9. 9. Hydroponics is only used to grow marijuana Nothing could be further from the truth. Statistics argue that only a tiny percentage of hydroponic gardens are used to grow illegal substances. • A large number of plants and vegetables do very well in hydroponic gardening environments. Canada and Holland are using hydroponics to grow food on a large scale. To say hydroponics is bad because of its association with “partially” illegal substances is the same as saying the 1934 Ford Sedan made famous by Bonnie & Clyde was only driven by bank robbers and criminal types because it was used in a small percentage of successful robberies. Hydroponic gardening is an expensive hobby The equipment and products required to start a hydroponic garden can cost more than a traditional garden depending on the size of the hydroponic garden you decide to build. The fact is a very basic hydroponic garden can cost you as little $40 to setup. Hydroponic gardening is hard to learn Basic hydroponic gardening can be taught to anyone ranging from the very young to the very elderly. PAGE 7 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 9 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  10. 10. Hydroponic gardening is a useless hobby Hydroponic gardening is used extensively throughout the world. Hydroponic gardening is used in areas of the world where climate and soil are extremely poor and cannot support large scale crop production. In fact in British Columbia 90% of all greenhouses are hydroponic greenhouses. Hydroponic gardening produces lower quality yields Plants grown hydroponically are generally healthier than their soil-grown counterparts. • Soil gardening systems spend a tremendous amount of energy developing a large root system searching for moisture and nutrients whereas a plant grown hydroponically has root’s that are bathed or sprayed with oxygen-rich advanced nutrients dissolved in water thus eliminating the need to search for food allowing energy to be used for growing, producing foliage, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. As a result hydroponically grown produce is typically larger, tastier, and more nutritious than similar produce grown in soil. PAGE 8 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 10 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  12. 12. The science of hydroponics is as ancient as the pyramids. (See Hydroponics History Timeline p.11) The term hydroponics is derived from the Latin words “Hydro”, meaning water, and “Ponos”, meaning labor. Hydroponics is essentially a type of agriculture that DOES NOT use soil, statistically resulting in larger, fuller plants. In fact hydroponic grown vegetation is believed to have preceded soil grown vegetation in our oceans dating back to the creation of the earth. Hydroponic gardening is becoming increasingly known as “the” precise method of creating a perfectly balanced “advanced nutrient solution” thereby maximizing crop yields. Scientists have conducted research in hydroponics for over 400 years in an attempt to advance basic formulas to further the study of plant nutrition and optimal harvest. Source: Hydroponic Food Production by Howard M Resh THE OF HYDROPONICS PAGE 10 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 12 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  13. 13. A QUICK LESSON IN ADVANCED • In 1804, Nicolas De Saussure proposed and published, results of his investigations that plants are composed of mineral and chemical elements obtained from water, soil and air. By 1842 a list of fourteen elements believed to be essential to plant growth had been made out. • Early investigations in plant nutrition demonstrated that normal plant growth can be achieved by immersing the roots of a plant in a water solution containing salts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg), which are now defined as the macro elements or macro nutrients in normal plant growth (elements required in relatively large amounts). • With further refinements in laboratory techniques and chemistry, scientists discovered eight elements required by plants in relatively small quantities known as either micro or trace elements. These include iron (Fe), chlorine (Cl), manganese (Mn), boron (B), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), and nickel (Ni). • The addition of chemicals to water was found to produce an advanced nutrient solution which would support plant life, so that by 1920 the laboratory preparation of water cultures had been standardized and the methods for their use were well established. • Nutriculture, chemiculture, and aquiculture were terms used during the 1920s and 1930s to describe hydroponic gardening culture. PAGE 12 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 14 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  14. 14. • In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Dr. William F. Gericke extended his research to practical large scale outdoor crop cultivation. In doing so he termed these nutriculture systems "hydroponics. Dr. Gericke’s work is considered by many to be the basis for all forms of hydroponic growing, despite the fact his research was limited solely water culture. PAGE 13 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 15 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  16. 16. • More efficient use of space - Create a hydroponic garden in any indoor space • Less Water Usage - Hydroponic gardens use up to 2/3 less water • Bigger, Better, Faster Yields - Hydroponic farming can produce up to 10 times as much produce per acre • Year Round Harvest - With hydroponics, you control the season • Fewer Pests and Disease • Higher Maintenance • Requires Technical Knowledge HYDROPONIC GARDENING PAGE 15 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 17 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  18. 18. Presented below are six types of hydroponic gardening systems (w/cut away diagrams) Here, the roots of the plants are suspended in a constant “film” of advanced nutrient solution; a pump sends this flow into one end of the tray, and empties it out to the other end into the reservoir. This method is great at nourishing roots but this system is also recognized as super technical and high- maintenance since the roots aren’t anchored in a medium. The oldest hydroponic gardening system, and one of the simplest, a platform of planters simply floats in the nutrient reservoir while the roots of the plants dangle in the solution. An air pump is introduced into the system to oxygenate the solution. If you are a beginner, this is an easy and inexpensive way to get started. HOW DOES A HYDROPONIC GARDENING WORK? PAGE 17 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 19 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  19. 19. Drip systems are probably the most widely used type of hydroponic gardening system in the world. Operation is simple, a timer controls a submersed pump. The timer turns the pump on and an advanced nutrient solution is dripped onto the base of each plant by a small drip line. In this most common method of hydroponic gardening, plants are set in a growth tray over a nutrient container, and a pump is used to flood the tray(s) with the advanced nutrient solution. The good thing about this method is that advanced nutrients that aren’t absorbed by the roots are drained into the reservoir and recycled. The drip hydroponic gardening system, where a pump continuously drips the advanced nutrient solution into the growth tray, is a variation of an ebb and flow hydroponic gardening system. PAGE 18 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 20 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  20. 20. This variation of hydroponics is more technical, but very effective. The plant roots are continuously sprayed with a vapor-mist solution and are not anchored on any medium, exposing them to air all of the time. When done properly, this method can create large, quick-growing plants and lots of fruit. This is another very simple method, and no pump is required. A wick (such as an oil lamp wick or candle wick) simply draws the advanced nutrient solution from the reservoir to the growth tray, where the plant roots absorb the solution. This more passive method is low-maintenance, but it can often over-soak the roots, resulting to a smaller yield. PAGE 19 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 21 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  22. 22. A great way to get started with hydroponics is purchasing (or building) a hydroponic gardening kit. Hydroponic gardening kits can cost as much as a few thousand dollars to as little as twenty bucks. Your choice of hydroponic gardening system(s) will depend heavily on three main factors including the size of your grow area, what you are growing, and your budget. Source: When determining what system is suitable for your grow room remember that you’ll want to leave some room to move around your reservoir tank(s), cleaning, and accessing your equipment and plants. Tip: Larger plants often hang over the sides of systems so you should also be prepared to accommodate any reasonable, unanticipated over growth. HOW DO I ? PAGE 21 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 23 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  23. 23. For example…If you’re thinking about growing in a smaller area I suggest you consider a NFT and/or mini-aeroponic hydroponic gardening system (s). Both systems are perfect for shorter, smaller plants such as lettuce, spinach, basil, and other non-flowering green leafy vegetables. On the other hand if you are fortunate to have a sizeable amount of extra space you should consider drip Irrigation Dutch bucket systems; allowing you to stake the plant as it grows in height. It is important to remember that when it comes to the question of how much your hydroponic gardening system will cost; the answer will vary depending on the needs of your garden and your budget. Mini-aeroponic (Source: NFT (Source: PAGE 22 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 24 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  25. 25. Hydroponic gardening systems can be an excellent hobby and provide hours of fun and enjoyment, but for many hydroponic gardening enthusiasts, the real enjoyment begins with eating fresh fruits and vegetables grown using their very own home hydroponic garden. Growing your own produce in a hydroponic garden provides you with healthy, fresh food without the hassles and high prices of grocery stores and farmers markets. Source: Labor Department/USDA, The Wall Street Journal Hydroponic gardening allows you to take control of your life by putting the power of self- sufficiency and sustainability in your hands. PAGE 24 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 26 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  26. 26. http://www.greenbit Build a hydroponic gardening system using our simple step by step hydroponic garden builder’s guide. WWW.GROWFOODEASY.COM/GUIDE/DWC-HYDRO-BUILDERS-GUIDE PAGE 25 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 27 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  27. 27. PAGE 26 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS SIMPLE & EASY TO UNDERSTAND HYDROPONIC The Real Truth About Hydroponics Deep Water Hydroponic Garden Builder’s Guide Aeroponic Hydroponic Garden Builder’s Guide 9.5 Laws of Hydroponics Hydroponic Gardener’s Journal & Planner Hydroponic Gardening Healthy Living Cookbook 28 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us
  28. 28. Bontanicare Plant Energy Products. (2011). Retrieved on March 5,2014 from Hydroponic Gardening System Illustrations.(N.D.) Retrieved on March 5, 2014 from Labor Department; Forecasts by USDA and The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on July 17, 2014 from Resh, H. (1978). Hydroponic food production: A definitive guidebook of soilless food growing methods for the professional and commercial grower and the advanced home hydroponics gardener. Santa Barbara, CA: Woodbridge Press Publishing Company. PAGE 27 THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HYDROPONICS 29 GROWFOODEASY.COM Connect with us