The demand for food security for the last couple of years. Vegetables in this regard are no exception. Hydroponic vegetables tend to receive a balanced diet and more so free from pests and diseases. With a good hydroponic system in place you can be able to conserve water and nutrients hence making the vegetables healthier and good for human consumption.
There is a huge population of persons in the world making the land issue to be limited in terms of space or coverage area. Hydroponic farming in this perspective becomes handy because what you need as farmer is very small garden for you to be able to grow vegetables in this case. The desire and the reason behind the farming like for home consumption of commercial purposes solely depends on the farmer. One may need a leger garden for commercial reasons and a relatively small garden if the objective is feed a small family.]
The beauty with hydroponic farming ids that it can be grown semi-arid areas. The technology in itself helps you to grow the vegetables as a wide spectrum. Economically its able to save the farmer the cost of preparing the soil, insecticides, fungicides and ultimately loses that are brought forth by drought and flooding.
Merit of Growing vegetables hydroponically
- Ability to produce the vegetables thrice the number of times one would produce them as compared to farming using the soil.
- There is a balanced supply of water and nutrients due to vegetables not starving each other which makes sure the yields produced are of high quality.
- Suitable for commercial purposes because a farmer has got control over the growing conditions of the vegetables in relation to the to the size of the garden under consideration.
- The vegetables grown using hydroponic technology tend to be immune to pests and diseases.
- There is little or no turnaround time at all due to involvement of soil preparation for the growth of the plant not being there.
Materials needed to put up a garden
The following are the most important things a one needs in order to come up with a small indoor hydroponic garden.
- A reservoir for the water and nutrient supply.
- A water pump and hose for circulation.
- LED grow-lights for the dark side of the window
- structure for holding pots
- Containers for plant roots
Controlling Hydroponic pests
One of the issues affecting the growth farming in general is the invasion of pests and diseases on the garden.
Its therefore important to know how to deal with pests and diseases.
They are small, greenish black insects that move at lighting speed and tend to jump off your plants leaves whenever you try to look for them and as a result they are rarely seen. Identifying thrips relies more on finding the damage they cause than seeing the insect itself.
They tend to use special mouthparts to scrape away the surface of the leaves in order to get to the sugary, juicy insides. The leaves will look scaly, and silver. Large infestations will start to cause growth defects in the leaves, and older leaves will begin to die off.
They are best dealt with by blocking off the roots of your plants with plastic. Part of their life cycle involves dropping off into the root zone to grow as larvae before crawling back up the plant to feed on the leaves. Blocking off this crucial stage in their life cycle is one of the simplest and most effective ways to eliminating thrips from the hydroponic garden.
They are tiny insects which is hard to see with the naked eye, but will form large colonies quickly which are shrouded in web structures which they use as highways to get from leaf to leaf. These webs protect them from sprays and help to create a small microclimate for their eggs.
To combat them use insecticides containing neem, malathion for best outcome and repeat every 3 days until they are completely gone and monitor closely for signs of their return or remission.
They are tiny flying insects which multiply very quickly, and are an annoying pest to have around. They tend to accumulate in the root zone of plants because this is where they lay their eggs. The eggs hatch and begin feeding on your plants roots before maturing and flying away to lay eggs of their own.
To combat them involves blocking off the root zone with plastic or a layer of sand, and spraying heavily infested plant roots with a mixture containing pyrethrum.
They are white, fluffy looking insects that attach themselves permanently to the leaves or stalks of your plants, where they spend the rest of their short lives sucking the sugary juices from your plant.
They are very difficult to treat because their hard shells protect them from being exposed to insecticides. They reproduce quickly, and will feed on a wide range of plant species.
To combat them use pyrethrum insecticides to target the younger generations that lack the hard protective shells and to attack adults individually with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. This is tedious, but one of the most effective ways to deal with mealybug infestations.