Posted by admin on
October 28, 2011
As we discussed earlier, hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil, by using a solution of mineral nutrients. As well as being extremely efficient, due to the fact that plants may be planted much closer together than would be possible in a field, they are also far more environmentally friendly because no pesticides need to be used in their cultivation. In addition, hydroponics allows plants to be grown in areas where the climate is inhospitable or the soil is unusable.
Recently I developed a lot of interest in hydroponic gardening and was searching for related resources. In the mean time, I found a nice website, plantlightinghydroponics.com, which covers everything and anything you would need to really get to grips with the science of hydroponics. Indeed, the site boasts University Biological and Botanical Departments amongst its regular customers, and features hydroponics systems from the biggest and most reliable manufacturers, including EZ Clone and American Agritech Botanicare.
Selling everything from thermometers and water purifiers to grow lights, a quick visit will show you just how easy and cost effective it can be to grow with hydroponics, all year round. The selection of lights is truly huge, which is excellent because of the importance of light as a factor in limiting crop yields. Special offers and the best selling items are also listed, allowing you to see any changes in price and what the industry standards are, respectively.
Posted by admin on
October 27, 2011
The word ‘hydroponics’ comes from the Greek words hydro (water) and ponos (labour). It describes a method of growing plants without using soil, instead steeping the roots in a powerful mineral nutrient solution or in an inert medium, such as gravel, or mineral wool.
The theory of hydroponics was discovered as early as the 19th Century, when researchers found that plants can absorb all the nutrients they need as inorganic ions in water. The soil acts more as a nutrient container, and is not in itself essential to plant growth. When researchers supplemented soil with a strong mineral nutrient solution plants continued to grow healthily, and some plants such as watercress even thrived in these conditions.
In practical terms hydroponics has some valuable contributions to make in agriculture and food production, especially in countries where arable soil is not widely available. In the dry and dusty climate of Arizona they grow over 120 million pounds of tomatoes a year using hydroponics, which is the largest commercial use of the system in the world.
You can also use hydroponics in a domestic setting, and to find out more out this you can go to websites like Hydroponics Online. This site features a wealth of information on both the history and practical applications of hydroponics, including hydroponic gardening at home and how to grow specific plants such as asparagus, strawberries and herbs. There is also an active bulletin board where members can post comments, questions and answers on all aspects of hydroponics, and lots of photos and examples of successful hydroponic gardens to give you ideas for when you are designing you own garden. It is free to become a member of Hydroponics Online, and there is also a catalogue full of useful equipment that you can purchase to help you set up and maintain your own hydroponic garden at home.
Posted by admin on
October 26, 2011
It is surprising to think that only 8% of the remaining forest and woodlands left in the world are regulated and protected against over management. The timber industry is worth millions every year and some of the most popular timbers for garden and interior furniture, including teak and mahogany, are actually among the most endangered wood species in the world.
Beech is also a popular wood for garden furniture, but many of the supplies used in the UK are imported from France, whose regulation certifications are far lower than the normal Forest Stewardship Council (FCS) standards. Also a large amount of beech is imported from countries like Poland and Armenia, who do not regulate the cutting of their ancient woodlands. It has been estimated that Armenia cut down and export over 1 million cubic metres of trees annually, a rate which will soon see the complete demise of all of their native forest landscapes.
It is important when buying garden furniture to check that the timber is protected, and has been sourced from a FSC certificated woodland. This will ensure that even if you are buying one of the more endangered species, the woodland that it comes from is properly managed with sustainable levels of production. Also it is important that you check where the wood is sourced from. Many countries such as Malaysia and Burma have production and exportation levels that exceed the amount of resources available, and so much of the timber sold from these places is actually illegally smuggled in from other protected areas, such as many Indonesian forests.
Also you can now buy furniture that is made from recycled wood, in other words timber that has already been used and would have normally been sent to landfill. Furniture makers source and reclaim items such as old cable reels, flooring, beams, and railway sleepers and an additional benefit of this is that the timber is already seasoned and mature, and is normally of a high quality, sturdy grain. You can find some stylish examples of eco friendly reclaimed garden furniture at online shops too.
Posted by admin on
October 22, 2011
Teak is a popular outdoor furniture wood because of its naturally high resistance to rot and deterioration. Teak ranges from a light honey colour, to a dark rich brown, but if left outdoors untreated will eventually turn grey or silvery in appearance. This can be an attractive colour in its own right, making teak a versatile wood for patio furniture. Teak is also used internally for flooring and furniture because of its warm earthy colours and durable nature.
Teak is a hardwood and part of the reason it is so durable is that it is high in resinous oils and does not dry out very quickly. This also prevents it from absorbing too much moisture, making it less likely to rot. If teak is being used as garden furniture, most manufacturers recommend that a natural weathering process be allowed to take place. This means you do not put any treatments or preservatives on the wood, and leave it for a minimum of 3 months outdoors to weather in. If the furniture becomes dirty during this time then you can clean it with just simple soapy water, or for stubborn stains a specialist teak cleaner can be used. You can also restore the natural golden brown tones of the wood by using specialist teak cleaner, and then sealing it with teak sealer or natural teak oil. This will need to be repeated annually in order to maintain the natural earth colours.
If you are using any soft furnishings with outdoor teak furniture, it is important to note that unweathered teak can leach out some of its natural oils, especially after a good soaking in the rain. Make sure the furniture has completely dried out before using any fabric covers or cushions to avoid staining.
For indoor teak flooring, you will need to coat the boards as soon as they are laid with a light layer of teak oil. This will prevent dirt and grease from being tracked deep into the grain, and this first coat should last for 2 or 3 years. To further protect the floors always ensure not to drag furniture across its surface to prevent scratching and place rugs and mats at strategic points such as front doorways to minimise wear and tear.
Dining room furniture can be polished with regular products and a dry clean cloth, and you could supplement unvarnished pieces with an annual clean with teak cleaner, and a light application of teak oil.:)