The Future of Hydroponics Through Technology

Oct 20, 14 The Future of Hydroponics Through Technology

Throughout the years, NASA has developed wonders that have helped in our daily lives.  Whether it’s the aluminum foil used in cooking, titanium frames for eyeglasses, or the advancements in aerodynamics that have reduced fuel costs in trucking, NASA’s quest for reaching the stars has made our daily lives easier.  As part of their long term goals, NASA looks to farming as a way to save money on cargo loads to the International Space Station (ISS) and as a way to make a more self-sufficient station in space.  This race to the moon, Mars, and the frontier of space promises even more advancements in a technology that dates back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

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What’s the Difference Between Candela, Lux, and Lumens?

Oct 13, 14 What’s the Difference Between Candela, Lux, and Lumens?

It happens far too often.  You walk into a store, pick up light bulb or a handheld spotlight and look at the specifications- only to find that one says lumens, another says lux, and the last reads something about candela.  Inside, you question why no one uses the same system for measuring these things, and take your best guess based on the other items on the shelf.  The short answer is that they’re all separate standards for measuring different kinds of lighting effects.  Let’s break it down into the long answer to dispel a few more shadows.

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Plastic or Fabric: Which Plant Pot is Better for You?

Oct 06, 14 Plastic or Fabric:  Which Plant Pot is Better for You?

Setting up a new hydroponics garden can leave you with the grocery store question of “paper or plastic,” although it’s actually a question of what kind of pot you should use for your plants.  Yes, fabric and plastic pots are just containers to hold whatever grow medium or soil you want to use, but the pot you choose has a direct effect on the health and well-being of your plants.  Knowing the pros and cons of each pot material and how they affect your plants can make a world of difference depending on your plant’s needs and growing environment.

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Prevent Ice Dams by Switching Out Your Lights

Sep 29, 14 Prevent Ice Dams by Switching Out Your Lights

As we race through summer and into fall, it’s not a bad idea to prepare for the coming winter.  Last winter, many cities across the US saw substantial snowfall and freezing temperatures.  Doubtless, many of you also noticed the formation of ice dams on your roofs and in your rain gutters.  On their own, an ice dam isn’t damaging, but any degradation in your roof can lead to leaks and water damage inside your home.  It’s a shame since one way to prevent this is a simple replacement of your downlights.  Surprised?  Let’s take a look at ice dams and how your current lights might be the cause.

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Ebb & Flow Hydroponic Systems

Sep 22, 14 Ebb & Flow Hydroponic Systems

A look back has seen us cover hydroponics systems that are either simple or advanced.  Let’s add a nice middle ground to the mix.  Ebb and Flow systems are simple, reliable, and low cost but require a little more work and maintenance than a drip system does.

Ebb and flow systems (or flood drain systems) are simple setups that use a flood and drain system to keep the growing medium moist.  Since the water pump does not run constantly, these systems are quieter and consume less power than nutrient film or direct water systems.  The trade-off is that water use is less efficient than in other systems.  Since the roots are not in constant contact with the solution, there is more water waste here than in other systems – which can, of course, be mitigated by recycling your water.  A growing medium is also required, which means regular cleaning and inspection for fungus or disease is necessary – this becomes an intensive task since the roots of every plant in the system tend to interweave.  Even so, the system is cost effective and perfect for short plants or leafy vegetables.  Ebb and flow systems are also really easy to build.

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