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Kirk's Hydro

Kirk's Hydro
Category:San Andreas
Home & Garden
Food News
Business Supplies

What does "hydroponics" mean?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil.

Most hydroponics systems use an "ebb and flow" method in which the roots are periodically flooded with a nutrient-rich water solution and then drained so that air can circulate around the roots. This is repeated many times throughout the day so that plants have access to the water, food and air they need, all the time.

Aeroponics is closely related. In an aeroponics system, the plant roots are periodically misted with the nutrient solution. Aeroponic systems are often used when rooting cuttings to propagate a plant.

Why do people grow plants using hydroponics systems?
Hydroponic systems give the gardener complete control over the nutrients and water a plant receives. They also use far less water than conventional soil-based growing because water from the same reservoir is recirculated over and over.

Hydroponics let a gardener grow more plants in less space and because the plants are grown indoors, the grower has no worries about the season or outside weather conditions. Many growers find they can skip using harmful pesticides and herbicides because of the controlled environment. The plants grow quickly because they have constant access to exactly the nutrition they need.

NASA is experimenting with hydroponics systems for use on long-term space projects so that astronauts can harvest fresh food during their missions and benefit from the air-cleaning properties of plants. Walt Disney World uses hydroponics to grow fantastically-shaped, showpiece produce for their restaurants.

What kind of equipment is needed?
It can be surprisingly simple. A pump circulates water from a reservoir through tubing into plant pots, then recirculates the water back into the reservoir. A timer is used to control ebb-and-flow of the water.

Instead of soil, the plant roots grow in a medium like Hydroton (fired-clay pellets), rockwool, or coco fiber. All these substances drain quickly while giving the plant a solid anchor for growth. Cocofiber will slowly degrade because it is an organic substance. Hydroton and similar mineral-based growth media can be washed and reused for future crops.

Nutrients must be added to the water because the plants will receive none from soil. These are given in low-doses because the plant has constant access to them. Fertilizers for hydroponics are formulated to address particular needs. High nitrogen fertilizers encourage good green leaf growth. High phosphorus and potassium fertilizers encourage strong flower and vegetable growth.

Do I have to use artificial lights with a hydroponics system?
Not necessarily. Some commercial hydroponics-grown lettuce is cultivated in greenhouses with light being provided by the sun. If you don't have a greenhouse but want to grow indoors, you will need to provide light with full-spectrum grow lights. Grow light technology is very good and your plants can do just as well -- if not better -- than they would with natural sunlight.

Does Kirk's Hydro have the equipment I need to set up a hydroponics system at my home?
Yes. Yes, we do. We carry Hydrofarm, General Hydroponics, Hydrodynamics International and Sunleaves systems, as well as grow media, parts, and hydroponic fertilizers.

Hope to see you soon!

Address:770 B Industrial Way
San Andreas, CA 95249


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