Monthly Archives: February 2014

  1. What is Hydroculture?

    What is Hydroculture?

    Hydroculture is a form of passive hydroponics and a way of growing plants without soil. Passive hydroponics systems often use an inert growing medium such as clay pebbles instead of soil. If you haven't experimented with hydroponics before, then passive hydroponics and hydroculture is a great way to get started.


    A hydroculture system is often made up of five simple parts – clay pebbles (or a similar inert growing medium), culture pots, water level indicator, pot liners, and fertiliser.


    Clay pebbles

    Clay pebbles are the primary growing medium used in hydroculture systems. These expanded clay pellets take the place of soil. They are highly porous which means they are great for growing plants. Clay pebbles are effective at retaining moisture and nutrients, are fully inert, free from soil-borne pests and diseases, provide plenty of oxygenation at the root zone, and give your plants a sturdy support structure to grow and thrive.

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  2. The Soil Food Web And The Secret To Growing Healthy Plants

    The Soil Food Web And The Secret To Growing Healthy Plants

    There’s a fascinating and complex ecosystem in garden soil. An interdependent host of bacteria, fungi, crustaceans, earthworms, insects, and other organisms not only support each other, but all plant life as well. It’s called the soil food web.

     

    Every part of the soil food web fits together like a jigsaw puzzle.  Bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and small nematodes (a kind of worm) feed on decomposing organic matter and plant root exudates; protozoa feed on bacteria; arthropods and nematodes feed on fungi; the nematodes also feed on protozoa; larger arthropods feed on smaller arthropods and small nematodes; and birds and mammals feed on the arthropods. The birds and mammals excrete the waste back into the soil as manure, which breaks down into organic matter, and the cycle begins again.

     

    And while all of this moving about, eating, and excreting happens, pockets are created in the soil through which water and air move, transporting the nutrients which nouris

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