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02 APRIL 2013 w w w. s o i l l e s s g a r d e n i n g - i n d i a .

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Dedicated to the Soilless Gardening Industry of India

HYDROPONICS, ChANGE The WAY YOU GROW an Agriculture Revolution by Plant Genome Sciences
read in this issue:

Hydroponics, What Can You Grow? Herbs and Salads

"It is our Mission to take Hydroponics, as a technology, to every Indian household by reducing the barriers to entry for all. It is our dream to see every home and land owner adopt this technique in India in the next fifteen years".

Our vision is to see India as a power in the field of horticulture. To wipe the woes of every farmer in India in the next twenty years by providing cutting edge technology. We want every Indian Farmer to say it with pride "I am proud to be a farmer!"


1. Training in Simplified and Commercial Hydroponics 2. Consultancy Services and installation of Urban Roof Top Hydroponic Gardens 3. Consultancy Services for Agronomy 4. Turnkey Installation of Commercial Hydroponics Greenhouses 5. Turnkey installation of Large scale Hydroponic Animal Fodder Systems (5-100 Tons/day) 6. Supply of world class Hydroponic Nutrients 7. Supply of Simplified Hydroponics Hobby Kits 8. Supply of Coco Peat for Commercial Growers (RHP Quality) 9. Supply and Installation of Simple Backyard Greenhouses 10. Water Analysis Facilities

102 Saptagiri Meadows, 24th Main JP Nagar 5th Phase Bangalore 560078 Karnataka State, India Mobile: 00 91 99022 11684 00 91 78294 48677 E-mail: coo@petbharoproject.co.in ceo@petbharoproject.co.in urbanprojects@petbharoproject.co.in


Indian and Worldwide Manufacturers, Distributors, Resellers and End-users of Hydroponics Products,

In this issue of Soilless Gardening India you will read about the top five reasons to grow indoors, learn to grow strawberries and tomatoes, and stumble upon the latest news from leading manufacturers to the training of farmers. While we are committed to soilless gardening, we will not limit ourselves to this field only. We will go beyond it; we will touch base with the world of greenhouses, equipment, and existing expos through out the world. However, as Indias very own industrial magazine, we ask you, the readers, for both input and questions. Our goal is to help Indias new industry grow quickly, and implement achievements from all over the world. In doing so, we ask you to contact us with any questions whether it be specific techniques, how tos, product information or even general inquiries. We will answer your questions via e-mail and publish those that are relevant in the June issue of Soilless Gardening India.

We hope you enjoy this months issue!

Aditya Chaudhary Publisher publisher@soillessgardening-india.com Sandesh Shingote Co-founder editor@soillessgardening-india.com

Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | C

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HYDROPONICS, HYDROPONICS, ChANGE ChANGE The The WAY WAY YOU YOU GROW GROW an an Agriculture Agriculture Revolution Revolution by by Plant Plant Genome Genome Sciences Sciences

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Issue 02, April 2013

02 APRIL 2013 w w w. s o i l l e s s g a r d e n i n g - i n d i a . c o m

Dedicated to the Soilless Gardening Industry of India

04 05 06 09 14

Grow Box Initiates the Release of the SuperStar by SuperCloset Training in Hydroponics for Farmers On a Revitalizing Note Vertical Farms Growing in Urban Areas A Kitchen Garden in Your Room

HYDROPONICS, CHANGE The WAY YOU GROW an Agriculture Revolution by Plant Genome Sciences
read in this issue:

cover story
16 Hydroponics, Change the Way You Grow an Agriculture Revolution by Plant Genome Sciences

Hydroponics, What Can You Grow? Herbs and Salads

<Publisher: Aditya Chaudhary publisher@soillessgardening-india.com < Co-founder: Sandesh Shingote sandesh@soillessgardening-india.com <Editor: Mr. R Venkatesh editor@soillessgardening-india.com <Graphic design and prepress: PublishEast Ltd. art@soillessgardening-india.com <Webmaster: Ms. Sunita webmaster@soillessgardening-india.com <Representative: Ms. Mona support-asia@soillessgardening-india.com <Technical Editor Ms. Bekir support@soillessgardening-india.com

General Hydroponics pages

24 Hydroponics, What Can You Grow? Herbs and Salads

soilless technologies 101

24 30 32 36 42 Hydroponics Herbs...It Hasn't All Gone to Pot 5 Reasons to Grow Indoors Growing Tomatoes With HydroponicsThe Family Farm Way! Growing Strawberries With Hydroponics Horticulture Perlite and its Application in Hydroponics

questions & answers

46 47 What is Aquaponics and What are its Benefits? Asked by Suraj I Have a Small Hydroponic Rose Garden on My Terrace. My Roses Have Black Spots and All the Leaves Have Fallen OffI Will Be Treating for Black Spots This Weekend and Was Wondering if I Can Prune Again. How far Down Should I Prune? Asked by Metro Farmer What is Hydroponics Farming and How Does One Start Hydroponic Farming? How Much Area and Investment is Required to Start? Asked by Neeraj

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21 BC IBC IFC Advanced Nutrients GHE Greentech India Hydroponic Greenhouse Technologies India private Ltd.
Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 3

13,15 HydronponEast Expo

PR Web | USA

Grow Box Initiates the Release of the SuperStar by SuperCloset

The SuperStar boasts a complete vegetative/flowering chamber that holds up to 16 plants in two distinct reservoirs that are ideal for growing plants up to 3 feet tall. Utilizing the patented SuperPonics watering system, each reservoir can hold up to 8 gallons of nutrient rich water and is incredibly easy to maintain. The SuperStar ships standard with a 150w Full Spectrum High Pressure Sodium lighting system that is perfect for fruiting and flowering plants. The 150 watt lighting system is suspended by a yo-yo system, allowing the lighting system to always be positioned at the ideal height above your plant's canopy. The system can be upgraded to the 250W lighting system that will support both metal halide and highpressure sodium bulbs. In addition, the air filtration system is complete with a dual carbon filter system. These carbon filters completely negate any odor coming from the grow box. Finally the SuperStar is professionally assembled with every component imaginable, nutrients, timers, and growing medium. The airflow in the SuperStar is top notch and boasts No corner plants left alone SuperCloset claims its the only cabinet designed with real cross airflow, properly air-cooled lights, and internal circulation fan. Go to http://www.supercloset.com for more information about the SuperStar and their other award winning grow boxes and grow cabinet hydroponic systems.
| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

About SuperCloset: SuperCloset takes the guesswork out of growing through manufacturing the most innovative and customer friendly hydroponic systems and turnkey grow box units. After 10 years SuperCloset continues to lead the horizontal and vertical growing industry with its commitment to excellent products and world-class customer service.

The Hindu | INDIA

Training in Hydroponics for Farmers

About 100 proactive farmers were trained on using hydroponics to grow plants with water as base, without soil to grow fodder. Fodder grown in about a month can be harvested in seven days with much higher protein content through this technology, Head of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Namakkal, Dr. B. Mohan told The Hindu. TEcHNOLOGY The programme was organized by the KVK and a Maharashtrabased private firm that is promoting the technology. He said that this technology has been successfully put to use by the University of Agricultural Sciences Dharwad, Karnataka. In Tamil Nadu a farmer in Chennai has implemented it to produce fodder for his goats. Hydroponics retains 21 percent protein in fodder unlike protein loss (due to dissolving in sunlight) when it is grown in the field. It takes more than eight months for a goat to reach full weight but protein-rich fodder grown hydroponically helps goats reach the same weight in about four months. This is a boon for farmers who have very small space to reap big returns quicker, Dr. Mohan added. P.B. Upase who heads the Sales and Marketing division of a firm that is promoting this technology said that a kilogram of seed can produce eight kilos of fodder is seven days using this technology. He said that only about 250 sq. ft. is required to grow a tonne of fodder every day, irrespective of changes in the climatic conditions. SEVEN RacKs The setup has seven racks one for each day. The track in the lowest level is taken to the next on the following day to facilitate growth with the conditions that support it on that day in that level. It has sprinklers to water the plants and maintain the temperature at 24 degree Celsius, UV lights and machines to dispense carbon dioxide and ozone. A kilogram of seed requires about 80 litres of water to grow in soil. But hydroponics requires only two to three litres in seven days. It is ideal for areas deprived of rainfall and very poor groundwater sources. With a few modifications the machine could also be used to cultivate a few varieties Handling the technology is also easier and cost effective compared to the traditional mode of growing fodder. One labourer can harvest one tonne in two hours every day, and it can be directly used to feed cattle. This fodder can be used as 75 percent of the feed of goats and cows to gain weight and to yield more milk that is thicker and of better quality, cost efficiently, he noted. Zonal Project Director of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Dr. S. Prabhu Kumar, Head of the KVK in the University of Dharwad Dr. Jitendrakumar Jilli, Dr. Mohan and Mr. Upase addressed farmers and also clarified their queries.

of greens and vegetables for human consumption.

Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 5

The Hindu | INDIA

On a Revitalizing Note

Armed with an alternative farming method that cuts down on water consumption and costs, farmers in Haryanas Karnal district are enhancing productivity Farmers in Haryana have started looking for a way to check the ever increasing rate of lowering of the groundwater table. For this they are adopting not only a new, less water requiring way of growing paddy but are also showing interest in exploring less water-consuming alternatives that could possibly replace paddy. Kalvehri village is only eight km from its district headquarter Karnal. The village comprises nearly a thousand households, of which around 60 per cent do not own cultivable land. They work as agricultural labourer either within the village or in nearby villages. Or else they go out to adjoining cities and towns to earn their daily wages. Around one-third of the households own land ranging from half an acre to five acres and around five per cent households own lands ranging 30 acres and above. Previously, the land in the village was water-logged; farmers recall how the water was pumped out carrying it away through canals. Dr. Baldev Raj Kamboj,
| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

in-charge, Haryana Hub, Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) housed in Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, explains that paddy was the only crop that could be grown in the given situation and thus it found favour with farmers. He adds that because of excess water at the time of harvesting paddy crop, the sowing of wheat gets delayed often. This affects wheat productivity and farmers income. The farmers admit that they took advantage of abundant water and expanded the paddy cultivation. But with consequent lowering of water tables, they had to go in for tube-wells. With the increase in the number of tube-wells and their runninghours, groundwater level went further down. Today the level has gone down to 250 feet. Worried at the declining water level and spike in cost of production, the farmers started participating in meetings held at Karnal to discuss the problems emerging in agriculture. Agricultural scientists told them that the crisis was mainly due to deteriorating soil health and that they needed to follow zerotill farming method. The farmers were advised to leave residue from previous crop within the field. To combat the problem of

lowering water table, they were asked to bring changes in paddywheat production cycle. When a young farmer Harpreet Singh decided to try out the suggested method, he found that the fellow farmers were unwilling to join him and even ridiculed his decision. Earlier, Harpreet, like other farmers of the area, used the method of deep ploughing and puddling in standing water for preparing paddy fields. For wheat and other crops also, they practised deep ploughing as they considered it good for the soil health. They also felt that it would help in controlling harmful insects and weeds. Shifting from the age-old method, Harpreet instead of removing and burning the crop residue started leaving it in the field. He stopped ploughing the field; got his fields laser-levelled to check the water ponding in any part of the fields; started placing seeds and fertiliser in his crop residue-carrying fields with the help of specially designed Happy Seeder. In adopting this new method, the soil was least disturbed that helped in modifying soil structure and would go a long way in improving soil health. Earlier Harpreet had to irrigate his paddy fields for a total


of 32 hours whereas now he can manage it with 21 hours. Tensiometers are installed in his fields that provide details on timing and amount of irrigation to further bring precision in water application. He did not raise nursery for paddy transplantation but went for direct seeded rice. He used weedicides and insecticides/pesticides for controlling weeds and insects/ pests. He understands that with improvement in soil health there would be lesser need of fertiliser and residue, mulch and permanent crop cover would help in controlling weeds thereby eventually reducing the herbicide use to the minimum. In agriculture a major difficulty in raising crop and getting potential production is the availability of proper growing period with appropriate temperature and other climatic conditions so as to carry out timely agricultural operations. Farmers are now contemplating that after harvesting wheat if they plan for maize instead of paddy, they may get additional 40 days of growing period in which they can possibly take pulses and vegetables. This may help them come out of the wheat-paddy cycle and help them introduce crop rotation which is a must for maintaining soil productivity. Farmers following conventional agriculture are also getting attracted towards this new method in view of reduced cost on ploughing and irrigation and they can foresee reduction in cost on fertilizers and chemicals progressively with improvement in soil health and productivity. The change in farmers perception was expressed by farmer Raj Kumar, Because of programs like MGNREGA, the in-migration of labour has become uncertain. Thus farmers see their future in this new way of doing agriculture. Farmers realized the significance of Harpreets efforts when the State Agricultural Secretary, Haryana, visited his fields and appreciated his hard work. The State government awarded him for initiating the much-needed changes in agriculture. Confronted by myriad problems in carrying out agriculture, farmers appreciate the necessity of support from the agricultural scientific community. Dr. Kamboj, who is playing a proactive role in bringing changes in agricultural trend among Haryana farmers, emphasises on the need for agricultural scientists to work closely with farmers to bring desired changes in agriculture.

Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 7


Vertical Farms Growing in Urban Areas

ertical farms are highly automated farming complexes placed within specially constructed multi-story buildings. Similar multi-leveled farms are supposed to be built in the downtown areas of big cities to provide citizens with tested and diverse food. They might also serve as a living decoration for the city (that is why their design is not the last priority on the list), will raise urban resilience rate and what is most important of all would normalize eco-systems damaged by agriculture. What causes the necessity of such farms? The Earth population (as for October 31, 2011) is around 7 billion people. It is believed that in the following 50 years this number may rise to 10 billion. To feed such a "crowd" (taking into consideration that around 80% of cultivated land are in use and of these 15% are severely damaged by decades of barbarous agriculture methods) is a task of extreme difficulty. In that sense the future lack of territory suitable for agriculture forces people to consider other ways. One of the ways is to move agriculture into cities and this includes building vertical farms that must be effective and at the same time sustainable and have small construction costs.

THE aDVaNtaGEs OF VERtIcaL FaRMs: 1) They turn the cities into foodgrowing centers, allowing to use urban conditions, that before were not suitable for such a task. 2) The sun and wind as energy sources would provide independence in terms of energy. 3) They are independent systems of water collection and purifying, 2 and waste recycling, which also use biomass energy. 4) They are flexible structures with the ability to install extra modules. 5) They represent the possibility to gather crops all the year around. The products are ecologically friendly (without herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers). The cases of the loss of crops due to weather instability, draughts, floods, pests are not possible. The threat of some infectious diseases common for agriculture is considerably lowered. 6) Treatment of plants and animals becomes easier as well as crops gathering, quality control and supervising of biological safety of products. 7) The usage of agricultural machinery is out of question.

The logistical costs and atmosphere emissions are considerably lowered. 8) They may introduce new jobs in the cities. 9) The possibility of placing green gardens, vertical hydroponic and aeroponic batches for plant and cereals growing, fish-pools, animal farms. 10) This farms can stabilize the economic crisis in the third world countries. 11) It can release the considerable area of land, that can be restored as forests, that will in turn considerably lower 2 levels in the atmosphere. VERtIcaL FaRMs aND HYBRID-BUILDINGs PROJEcts: Today there are several projects of vertical farms from which we can review the following: Plantagon Vertical Farm This project developed by Swedish-American company Plantagon is a spherical dome that has a spiral platform inside on which the plants are grown. According to Plantagon's statement, this farm allows to

| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13


set-up an eco-friendly production with clean air and water inside the city, that will cut expenses and pollution, will provide shipping of food directly to the consumer and exclude the transportation. According to the calculation of its constructors, the effectiveness and the productivity of Plantagon will add to its self-financing due to sales of products produced in it. The launch of the first vertical farm is planned in the next three years. DRaGONFLY VERtIcaL FaRM The person behind the project is a Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut. The farm was named Dragonfly because of its shape. The giant dragonfly wings closed together with the height of 600 meters. The construction site will be on the Roosevelt Island, which is located in the central part of New-York.

The project is supposed to have 132 floors and 28 fields for growing cereals, vegetables and fruits, also a milking farm and a meat farm are planned. The building will use the energy of the sun and wind. The architects provided place for flats, offices and laboratories as well. CIRcULaR SYMBIOsIs TOWER VERtIcaL FaRM This project was proposed by South Korean architects Lee Dongjin, Park Jinkyu and Lee Jeongwoo. It is supposed to be a part of a skyline for future cities. This skyscraper is made of platforms, placed as a spiral around the constituting nucleus of the building. The platforms are designed for growing plants for cattle and cows are supposed to roam there freely. It is planned that bigger animals for the first 30 days abide on the first level (cows and horses prefer the

Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 9


Vertical Farms Growing in Urban Areas

upper parts of the plants), then it is transferred to the next level and the first level being filled by smaller cattle (sheep can eat the plants down to the root). This building also eliminates the problem of the necessity of shepherds presence. This project is a winner of 2011 Skyscraper Competition. LIVING TOWER VERtIcaL FaRM This project was developed be Paris studio SOA architects. This is 30 stories high hybrid-building, that besides gardens situated on each of the floors accommodate 130 flats on first 15 floors, 9,000 square meters of offices, a trade center with a territory of 7,000 square meters a library and even a daycare. It is planned to install two wind-powered turbines on the roof of a complex and solar panels on the walls. The architects propose to grow the following types of plants: tomatoes with a supposed value of 63000 kilograms a year, garden strawberry (9,324 kilograms a year), salad (20,000 kilograms a year).
| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13



uses the electricity produced be sun-panels of a hybridbuilding, vegetables for sale that were grown there on hydroponic and aeroponic systems and rain-water collected from the roof of a building. The parts of the building are curved in a special way, to create several huge perimeters that would be accessible for sun and wind. For additional illumination the used oil is supposed to fuel the engine, which would produce energy for luminous lamps. R4 ApaRtMENts HIGHRIsE FaRM-HOUsE For creating this project Singaporean Surbana International Consultants company received the main prize Skyrise Greenery Awards 2010 awarded for creating eco-friendly buildings, as well as Skyrise Greenery Awards a prize for achievements in the so-called Green-Construction provided by the Singaporean University of Architecture. R4 Appartaments is a hybrid building project accommodating a house-section and a vertical farm. It is planned to be constructed near the typical area for Singapore where BusinessBuildings are situated near houses. In this type of system the house-section receives heat from Business-Center and fertilize the vegetables with a compost acquired after decomposition of food waste, and Business-Center in turn
Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 11


Vertical Farms Growing in Urban Areas

PYRaMID VERtIcaL FaRM The persons behind the project are professors of the Columbian University (US) Eric Ellingsen and Dickson Dessompier. This is a full-circle ecosystem capable of producing even poultry and fish, and at the same time re-use its own waste. The Pyramid farm includes the system for controlling air-pressure and warmth, which creates clean water and nitrogen out of the waste-dump for powering the equipment and lighting. Is there anything that is not captured by human imagination!? Lately the majority of cities are suffering from the lack of green areas. The last remaining trees and flower-beds are being

replaced by more profitable parking lots and terraces. Our cities are being poisoned with exhaust gas and smog to such extent, that people simply lack air It is not a wonder that large cities are facing a new phenomenon called realization (the migration from urban areas into the countryside). The appearance of innovative projects like the ones weve mentioned brings some hope for the cities. We hope that those projects would make the cities look more alive. Also, it is important that those projects wouldnt become some extravagant artifacts attracting tourists, but will represent successful and profitable projects, fulfilling all tasks. Well, we shall see!

Sources: www.ru.wikipedia.org | www.verticalfarm.ru | www.terion.info


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

Expo center Tishinka, Tishinskaya square, house number 1, building 1

Flowers and Hydroponics

Leading HYDROPONIC Companies Meet in Moscow, Russia!

Expo Subject:

Visit http://hydroponeast.com/en/ for more details

The Times of India | INDIA

A Kitchen Garden in Your Room

kitchen garden inside your room? Yes, that's what the new concept of 'vertical landless farming' promises where you can grow tomatoes, chillies and small plants inside rooms and without any hassles too. New York-based Britta Riley, a woman artist and technologist has devised this system for people living in apartments. Using discarded plastic bottles to grow plants, Riley claims her technology can produce over 25 kinds of in-house plants. The garden set up was demonstrated at Deutsche Bank pavilion at the ongoing Indo-German Urban Mela (fair) in Indraprastha Park in Delhi. The device is attracting many curious visitors. "It is called the window farms hydroponic farming system," a volunteer said while showcasing the system. The plastic bottles have clay balls inside which help the plants stand erect. The bottles, one placed on top of the other, are housed in a long transparent plastic container with a tall 'reservoir' at the bottom. The reservoir is filled

with water mixed with liquid nutrients for the plants, and tubes leading from it connect to the plastic bottles containing the plants. A pump periodically shoots up the water from the reservoir, which then trickles down from bottle-to-bottle bathing the roots along the way. Water and nutrients that are not absorbed collect in the reservoir and are pumped through again at the next cycle. Once you sow the seeds it takes one to two weeks to turn into plants, the volunteer said.

For imitating sunlight, red, green and blue bulbs used in aquariums are placed around the setup. The system is useful for people who would like to grow their own vegetables, the volunteer said. It is a low-cost system that allows city dwellers to grow vegetable and other plants in a typical apartment window year-round, said the volunteer. The Deutsche Bank pavilion has introduced other interesting systems too like a Solar Impulse Aircraft that uses solar energy to fly.


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

Expo center Tishinka, Tishinskaya square, house number 1, building 1

Expo Subject:

Flowers and Hydroponics

HydroponEast Expo is the only specialized event in Russia and CIS countries, which attracts numerous local and international companies active in the field of hydroponics supplies, solutions and growing. Thousands of industry experts as well as hydroponic enthusiasts visit the expo. HydroponEast Expos are: an excellent platform to network with industry peers a venue to meet local buyers and international suppliers of hydroponic equipment and products a place to learn about new products as well as growing techniques and methods a useful marketing and educational tool a place to meet and interact with industry experts.

Leading HYDROPONIC Companies Meet in Moscow, Russia!

The ONLY HYDROPONICS eXpo in RUssiA The VenUe oF locAl And internAtionAl hydroponic And hydroponics Flower gArdening coMpAnies The Meeting plAce For hydroponic enthUsiAsts FroM RUssiA And CIS coUntries.

Visit http://hydroponeast.com/en/ for more details

cover story

changE thE Way you groW
Plant Genome Sciences Pvt. Ltd is a supplier of Advanced Nutrients, Canada products and aims to be a leading Asian marketer of plant nutrients, hydroponics equipment, soil conditioning agents and greenhouse structures. The Indian division is set up with a vision to provide quality plant nutrients, innovative technological know-how and allinclusive end-to-end solutions to the evolving agriculture industry in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our company believes that research, development and application of knowledge will assist, enhance and sustain our agricultural industries and protect our environment. As pioneers in the field of hydroponics, the products are developed through extensive and rigorous testing by our team of world-class research scientists. Our products are specifically engineered and formulated to work based on plants genetic make-up, and we are one of the few companies who can completely understand and comprehend the need for high-yielding and fast-growing

ydroponics is simply growing plants without soil. In a typical hydroponic system, the plant roots are immersed in a nutrientrich solution or the solution continually flows past the roots. This nutrient solution is comprised of a precise mix of water soluble fertilizers that provide a balanced diet of elements to the plants. Hydroponic systems may be as simple as a glass of water filled with pebbles and water containing fertilizer or as complex as a large greenhouse structure containing beds of clay pellets/troughs filled with medium like Coco peat, Rockwool or Perlite that are periodically supplied with nutrient solution. Hydroponic methods are known for producing very high quality crops in high volume. Plant Genome Sciences encourages farmers to take up this smarter way of cultivation which significantly increases crop yield compared to conventional cultivation practice.

plants. Our team of scientists in plant nutrition and soil science has manufactured the finest line of organic fertilizers and soil conditioning agents that improve plant nutrient uptake, organic beneficial bacteria's that restore the natural balance of soil, and rooting and flowering formulas that will never harm the environment. We are committed to bringing a revolution in the field of agriculture in India through innovative and scientific techniques like hydroponics and technologically advanced hydroponic equipment and supplies. India with its diverse ecological conditions is one of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables. Still, agriculture in the growing region faces the daunting task of reducing the mounting demand supply gap and significantly improving productivity. You see there are major problems with the Indian AG industry. Traditional farming techniques that are being still


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

cover story

an Agriculture Revolution by Plant Genome Sciences

used here today (i.e. a bull to pull the tiller, seeding and fertilizing acres by hand, relying on the elements for adequate light and nutrients, etc.) and the burden on traditional farmers has become too great. We are for innovative, sustainable agricultural practices that establish four key components for modern AG: farm efficiency, food safety, food security, and environmental sustainability. This is a system ready for a change. Our hope is to use our brand, products, and technologies to provide enough education and information to create a shift in the mind-set of the traditional farmers; to change into commercially viable methods of growing crops; more economical, efficient and with a guaranteed return of profits. Hydroponics & Aeroponics are the answer for India. We call it Controlled Environment Agriculture because a farmer can grow food at a fractional cost to traditional farming, receive greater output per square meter, use less water, land, and energy, and have a higher crop turnover for higher ROI and more money in his pocket. Our aim is to encourage farmers to adopt new crop varieties, efficient agricultural practices & technology adoption, become an integral part in the restructuring of the Asian, Middle Eastern & Global Agricultural Industry by removing the burden on farmers through focus on reshaping traditional farming practices by infusing life into the industry through hydroponics farming and utilization of new technology. The Team has leveraged their expertise and experience to provide the AG industry with leadership, innovation and cutting edge technology.

Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 17

cover story

We are the Hydroponics industries thought leader and innovator 20 years of experience in hydroponics products and services Global presence with manufacturing in US, Canada, Bulgaria & soon in India International distribution with products available in 70+ countries Proprietary blends of quality micro and macro nutrients, amino acids, hormones, expensive chelates, plant growth regulators, vitamins, enzymes, yeast, yeast extracts, organics, carbohydrates, microbes, beneficial bacteria and beneficial fungi

Industry Firsts
First to do testing on the types of plants you grow and in the types of gardens you grow in. First and still the only Hydroponics company to have an all-out real PhD staffed research team with well over 30 scientists First to develop and deploy a self-adjusting pH line of base nutrients and supplements farmers wont have to balance or adjust nutrients pH ever again First to invent and use beneficial microbes to balance and maintain pH First to use 100% chelated micronutrients giving farmers full protection over an ultra-wide pH range First to use chelated macro nutrients First to use a new class of pH buffering technologies First to invent pH activated and balancing molecular technologies First to do daily tissue samples in relevant garden settings First to create patented engineered fertilizer programs First to give you beneficial bacteria and fungi First to use standardized reverse osmosis water tuning in all manufacturing facilities and labs. pH-Perfect Technology: No More Balancing Your pH And PPM Ever Again! Proven Bigger Yields Potent, Easy Mix & Use Formulas New, Powerful, Flower Blooming Formulas Formulas That Work Together For Your Biggest Yields A Driving Push That Flowers Your Plants To Their True Genetic Potential


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

cover story

Our Company & Fertilizer Technology

Our mix of products and services are unmatched in India. Plant Genome Sciences Pvt Ltd. is based in Mumbai, India. But, our global network across the US, Canada, Europe and Eastern Europe affords us the flexibility to provide end to end solutions. We can lead Indian hydroponics industry into a new era with cooperation from the US, Canada and India on a level that is unmatched.

Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 19

cover story

Future of Hydroponics in India

Hydroponics is fairly a novel farming technology for Indian farmers. It is a flexible technology, apt for both developing countries, like India, and high-tech space stations. Hydroponic technology efficiently generates crops in desert, infertile lands, in mountainous regions, on city rooftops and concrete schoolyards. In highly populated areas, where skyrocketing land prices have evicted traditional agriculture, hydroponics can provide locally grown high-value crops such as fresh salad greens, herbs and cut flowers. This technique is also ideal for growing wide range of plants especially fruit bearing crops, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and leafy vegetables. Like manufacturing, agriculture tends to move toward highertechnology, more capitalintensive solutions to problems. Hydroponics is highly productive and fit for automation. The economic prospects for hydroponics CEA may improve if governmental bodies are determined that there are desirable effects of hydroponics that merit subsidy for the public good. Such beneficial effects may include the conservation of water in regions of scarcity or food production in antagonistic environments. This technique can be used anywhere in all agro-climatic zones, and hydroponic fruits and vegetables have higher nutritional value and tastes better than soil grown crops. If optimum growing conditions and nutritional requirements are applied, combined with effective horticultural management, this agriculture system can offer alternative means of food production. For popularization of hydroponics in our country, it is very important to provide scientific proven technology of hydroponics to gardeners and create mass awareness in potential areas at national level.


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

See how Advanced Nutrients can help you:


B r e u d g s g i B ger Yields g i B
Visit advancednutrients.com/ph-perfect to nd the most scientically advanced nutrients and hardware on the planet. Whatever you need to take your growing to the next level, weve researched and developed it to run laps around the industry standard.

General Hydroponics pages


What CaN YOU GROW? Herbs and Salads

Noucetta Kehdi GHE

his is why, especially in hydroponics where growth is faster, good nutrition and adequate temperature, humidity, ventilation, and luminosity in the right proportions, will help you obtain healthy plants. In the event of instability of these factors, pests and disease will attack your crops: aphids, thrips, caterpillars, etc. Also, quite common in lettuce production, is mildew due to high dampness, and tip burns, due to deficiency of calcium transport in the plant. So again good aeration and proper temperature and humidity will help you avoid a wide range of problems. Hydroponics family and community farms are developing everywhere, in cities and countryside. Home growing is rapidly developing too. Auto production is becoming a good alternative for gardeners who like to know where their food is coming from, what is in it, and how fresh it is. Knowing that lettuce is listed among the dirty dozen list of fruit and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues in them, there is nothing that beats picking your own home grown fresh greens, and designing your own salad mixes just before sitting at the dinner table!

Genovese basil in a small urban garden

Hydroponics exists in the Russian Federation since many years now. The first operations used NFT systems, but not all were successful. We visited a few of them in the Perm area, some with important setbacks. They badly needed technical expertise. We offered them


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

aero-hydroponics and the AeroFlos, we guided and advised them until they reached high yields and vigorous crops. Indeed General Hydroponics was founded in California in 1976. For more than 30 years we studied and researched plant nutrition and all methods of hydroponics growing systems. In our greenhouses we grew more than 600 different varieties of plants (see youtube. com visit the GHE greenhouse). Our product line is sold in Russia since 2005. With the help of Floragrow (http://www.floragrow.ru) e obtained official registration and authorization for Flora Series, the only high-tech nutrient to be authorized in the Federation. Herb garden in an AquaFarm Today we are happy to assist you with your family farm and urban garden projects, and to guide you towards complete success. We will also use these pages in Hydroponeast to regularly offer you plant growth recipes for different types of crops. For all question, comment or information, contact Floragrow at: support@floragrow.ru or contact GHE directly at tech@eurohydro.com.

Young butterhead lettuce in an AeroFlo

Flora Series is the only high-tech nutrient to be authorized for sale in the Russian Federation

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HyDroponics HErbs...
Hydroponics.com | CANADA

work a lot of trade shows demonstrating hydroponic equipment and growing methods for the general public. Though I have a wonderful array of fresh herbs, flowers and vegetables flourishing in hydroponic gardens, inevitably people will approach me with a nudge and a wink and whisper "that's what they use to grow marijuana... isnt it?" Well yes, I've heard rumors! I'm sure when Health Minister Allan Rock issued a call to all pot growers to send in their resumes for trials that could lead to the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes all the applicants will be growing hydroponically. Those pot growers must know something! Hydroponics from the Latin 'water working', is simply growing plants without soil. As far back as the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon herbs have been grown hydroponically. In fact, Canada is second only to Holland for commercial glasshouse hydroponic food production. A large percentage

of the vegetables and herbs available at your supermarket have been grown hydroponically. Farmers have opted for this horticulture technique because they are able to obtain a much higher yield per square foot and plants are healthier and therefore resistant to diseases and pests. All minerals that a plant requires for growth are absorbed by the plant's root system directly from the nutrient solution in a hydroponic garden. All the elements in the solution are used, eliminating waste. In soil, bacteria have to break down the dirt into basic elements of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium as well as trace elements. Soil loses it's nutritional value very quickly. In hydroponics natural preventative pest control is encouraged. Introducing predator insects into the healthy garden before the possibility of infestation ensurese a pest free crop, making insecticides unnecessary.

Companion planting is also promoted, especially when growing outdoors. One hydroponic garden is able to support many different varieties of plants at a time. Some plants protect each other from insect infestations while others provide shad for their friends. Still others just like each other and grow better if they are neighbours. For example, coriander Coriandrum sativum and anise Pimpinella anisum are good friends but they don't get along well with fennel Foeniculum vulgare. A study conducted by Plant Research Technologies Inc., an independent analytical laboratory in California, recently reported a dramatic increase in both the vitamin and mineral content of hydroponic versus soil-grown produce. Through years of research determining which elements and their combinations affect plant growth, scientists have perfected hydroponic formulas. This has allowed for greater control over plant nutrition and therefore increased production.


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

soilless technologies 101

It Hasn't All Gone to Pot

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Soilless cultivation of medicinal and culinary herbs has proven very successful commercially. It offers the capacity to provide optimal conditions for plant growth and development, and thus to obtain high-quality, ecologically clean medicinal matter. . The National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of America determined in a recent study that the biologically active compounds and yeilds were significantly higher in most plants grown hydroponically. The study was conducted in open-air hydroponics, under climatic conditions of Ararat Valley, Armenia.

SPEciEs Aloe Aloe arborescens

MEDicaL mattEr Fresh shoots

TEchNiQUE Of CULtiVatiON Hydroponics Soil Hydroponics Soil Hydroponics Soil Hydroponics Soil Hydroponics Soil Hydroponics Soil Hydroponics Soil Hydroponics Soil Hydroponics Soil

HarVEst t/ha 100120 3040 120 2540 160 59 5.0 1.151.7 3.54 2.03.0 8.9 1.0 85105 6070 1.6-1.8 0.7 2.5 1.2

CONtENt Of BiOLOgicaLLy actiVE cOmPOUNDs, % Anthraglycosides 1.13 1.16 Solasodin 1.17 1.16 Tanning matter, catechin 267 mg % 245 mg % Cumulative alkaloids 1.2 0.50.9 Cumulative flavonoides 1.32 0.74 Extractive matters 46.1 43.7 Cumulative flavooides 0.66 0.57 Morphine 0.73 0.63 Essential oil 0.41 0.23

Nightshade Fresh Solanum lacinatum shoots Kalanchoe Fresh Kalanchoe pinnata shoots Cathrantus Catharantus roseus Motherwort Leonurus quinquelobatus Java tea Orthosiphon stamineus Bur marigold Bidens tripartite Opium poppy Papaver somniferum Dry shoots

Dry shoots

Dry shoots

Dry shoots

Boll with seeds

Valerian Dry root Valeriana officinalis


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soilless technologies 101

A similar study was conducted on the quality and productivity of essential oils. The rose geranium Pelagronium roseum was among the valuable aromatic plants that were cultivated in Armenia. Yields of 117138 tonnes of geranium green material and 137149 kg. of essential oil can be obtained from a single hectare of hydroponic surface with balanced hydroponic plant food. By contrast the soil crop gave figures of 21 tons per hectare and 23 kg/ha respectively. Many schools are teaching and growing hydroponically. Children enjoy setting up and maintaining their gardens. They find it very rewarding bringing a plant to life and nurturing it to maturity. Unfortunately, children are out of school during most of our outdoor growing season. Hydroponics indoors, provides the perfect opportunity for kids to learn about plant growth and development.

Hydroponic gardening indoors has become very popular with home hobbyists for both culinary and medicinal herb cultivation. The gardener virtually controls the environment simulating ideal growing conditions. Each plant receives exactly what it requires for optimal growth. Lighting, nutrition, temperature, air quality, pH can all be controlled by you, the grower. Not long ago it was very difficult to achieve satisfactory results growing indoors. Fluorescent tubes were the only supplemental light source available and did not supply an adequate amount of light for plant growth. Technological breakthrough and scientific research have shed bright light on indoor horticulture by producing the metal halide lamp. Reasonably priced, the metal halide lamp simulates sunlight for strong, healthy vegetative growth.

The delicate fragrance and soft textures of an attractive hydroponic herb garden will bring charm and grace to any location. A sunny window with a southern or western exposure should make it possible to grow a satisfactory crop. However, using supplemental metal halide lights will speed growth, enhance flavor, color and fragrance. Easily grown and maintained, hydroponics is the perfect environment for herbs to flourish indoors. You will be delighted with the results and simplicity of hydroponic gardening. To start your seedlings use a basic nursery tray and dome with inexpensive rock wool starter cubes, available at any hydroponic retail outlet. Cover and keep in a dark, warm place until seedlings appear. Place in a sunny window or under fluorescent lights until the secondary leaves form. They are now ready to transplant into your hydroponic garden.

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The most common method used for windowsills and small areas is deep-water culture. Seedlings are inserted into a mesh basket filled with a growing medium such as clay pellets. The plant roots are suspended over a container filled with nutrient solution and a small aquarium air pump provides oxygen to the root system. For larger scale herb production ebb and flow trots are ideal. Mesh pots or rock wool cubes are used to anchor plants on a ribbed plastic tray. The tray is then flooded with nutrient solution from a reservoir and immediately drained back into the reservoir. This is done 2 or 34 times a day. This system makes it easy to cultivate many plants in minimal space.

Premixed nutrient concentrate provides the exact balance of required minerals, just add the recommended amount to the container of water. Solutions are topped up for about 30 days then replaced because the plants use nutrition in different proportions. In hydroponics it is necessary to determine the pH or acidity of your solution. This is easily accomplished by adding a drop of tester to 2 ml of solution and checking the colour against a chart. Desirable readings range from 5.5 to 6.5. pH may be easily adjusted up or down to achieve the desired reading. These products are inexpensive and available at retail hydroponic stores.

A hydroponic garden can produce an impressive number of herbs in a very small area. Salad greens can be added to your garden for a fresh harvest all year long. There is no backbreaking weeding or tilling and no pesticides. A wonderful book, which is an easy stem-by stem guide to hydroponics, is: Hydroponics for the Home Gardener by Stewart Kenyon. Mr. Kenyon has an entire chapter dedicated to recipes using herbs, contributed by chefs who use hydroponic systems in their kitchens.


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

Directory of companies working in the field of hydroponics Your guide to find partners. Please send your order to : sales@hydroponeast.com

soilless technologies 101


ardening is migrating. What does this mean? In short, that the future of gardening will look far different from the gardening world of today. Fewer and fewer people will grow their food outdoors, more opting to be the masters of their food supply using controlled indoor gardens. Our gardens are on the move. Every year the world population increases. And every year the quality of our food seems to go down, while the prices steadily rise. This puts the average person in a precarious position and to feed his family, he must get creative. Hell go comparison shopping, hell avoid grocery stores in favor of farmers markets, or hell wait for bargain sales. As always, there will be a percentage of people in the future who decide to take matters into their own hands and will grow their own foods as a way to avoid the bigger expenses of the grocery store. And these entrepreneurial types are more likely to grow indoors. Why? In short, its more efficient and effective. With more people growing

indoors its natural for people to start learning more about gardening and figuring out what works best for them. The smart people will figure out that they will only be able to grow outdoors(and save money on food) during the summer months. The savvy ones will rapidly realize they must find another way. And the sharpest of the bunch will realize that growing indoors is the best choice for these five reasons:

You can grow all year round

There is no rain, wind, or snow to hinder your gardening. Indoor growing allows you to control all the elements and grow your plants 365 days a year if you decide to do so.

You can choose all the different varieties and favorite vegetables and fruits you like. You can grow some strawberries, tomatoes, etc. No longer will you be limited to the choices of big agriculture. (Hint: they often pick the cheapest to produce varieties, which are rarely the most delicious) Its exciting to see all the possibilities.

Money saved
The great benefit of growing your own is that you won't be at the mercy of rising food costs. You can produce what you need to eat and you can even get in on the action and provide food for you neighbors, and make some money selling food to them at the same time.


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soilless technologies 101

For those who never thought gardening could be exciting I ask you to give it a try. Youll be hooked. Especially once you see how things grow and change. And when you harness the suns energy and rays to create food youll feel an immense satisfaction. Doing it yourself is much cooler than going to the store and handing cash over the register. Thats just too easy!

means that the end-product(your food) is compromised. We are the ones who have to eat this food, and knowing what was put in it during the whole growing process gives you peace of mind. So start the process now of creating a space in your home to grow indoors. Do a little bit of reading, and youll discover there are resources everywhere on how to grow indoors. Good luck!

As you grow your own fruits and vegetables and having the control on all the elements youll know 100% that they wont be poisoned by pesticides or herbicides. Its completely clean and fresh because youll control what goes into your plants.. This one point alone makes it worth it to grow your own food. Because CEOs, shareholders, and WallStreet often drive agricultural companies to chase evershrinking profits, and this

About Global Garden Friends

Global Garden Friends is a company dedicated to creating uniform, organized, and optimal gardening systems that works WITH your plants, not against them. Global Garden Friends is a young company incorporated in 2009 but is full of potential and possibilities. Their first and flagship product is the Ultimate Plant Cage. Their latest hot seller is the Ultimate Plant Clip. Let the good times grow!

Site: www.globalgardenfriends.com Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/globalgardenfriends

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n warm countries like ours (South West of France), we generally do not recommend growing tomatoes indoors. For us here, it is best to grow tomatoes outside, in soil or in hydro, during the right season, and under the sunlight. But this is not always possible. There are times when growing tomatoes indoor, under artificial light, may be an option. When it is generally cold outside, with very long fall and winter seasons, and little sunlight most of the year, people crave for anything fresh, a young lettuce or a juicy pepper ! This is when growing tomatoes indoors makes sense.

How to start?
Most important when you pick a plant to grow, is to choose the right variety, one that corresponds to your taste, but also one that will grow correctly in your own environment. Do not forget, genetics is a very important factor, so choosing the right variety is a major parameter for success, wherever you are. Sow the seeds in a tray of loam mixed with perlite and vermiculite, so that the
| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

Greenhouse in Southern France Tomatoes grown in an Ecogrower

substrate remains light and easy to separate from the roots during transplanting. When you see 3 sets of real leaves, it is time to transplant. Wash the soil off the roots gently in lukewarm water preferably, and make sure not to damage the young roots and rootlets. Place each plant in a plastic net pot with clay pebbles, and in your hydroponic growing system.

Feeding program for tomatoes

Use Flora Series:
Flora Series is our star product. It is the most reliable of all nutrients, recognized worldwide for its quality and consistency. You will find it in most countries, in any up-to-date garden store.


soilless technologies 101

thE faMILY faRM WaY!

Flora Series is a highly concentrated liquid nutrient, complete and flexible, that allows you to adapt your feeding program to your plants life cycle. We offer feeding programs for different plants on our website. They are a good indication to start with (go to http:// ru.eurohydro.com/various.html / Flora Series all plants). As a supplement, use any supplement in our line. There are many depending on the application you are looking for. In the feeding chart below we priviledged Diamond Nectar**.

How to make the nutritive solution?

pH control allows you to secure mineral salts availability in the nutritive solution. To know more,

go to http://ru.eurohydro.com/ and download our catalog: page 45 shows an interesting table on pH levels and nutrition. Before adding Flora Series to your water, check its pH. Adjust as needed with your pH regulators (pH Down and pH Up) . Then add FloraGro*, FloraMicro* and FloraBloom* and check pH again to remain in the wanted range. EC tells you the amount of dissolved salts in your nutritive solution. The following measures are in ml/10 l. It is important to know the quality of your water. If your water is hard, use Flora Micro hard water to guarantee your plants with optimal nutrition availability.

ml / 10 pH Seedlings Flowering & fruiting

EC 0.3 0.6 1.9 2.5

FloraGro 2,5 20 20

FloraMicro 2,5 25 25

FloraBloom Diamond Nectar** 2,5 12,5 15,5 20 20

pH 5.5 6.5

Vegetative 1.4 1.8

* Shake well before using. Our nutrients are highly concentrated, do not mix undiluted. To avoid salt precipitation, always rinse your measuring cup between each Flora component. ** Diamond Nectar increases the nutrient uptake capacity of plants, and results in better diet. DN and other products in our line are pending certification by Russian administration.

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How to manage the rest of your growing area?

As with all indoor growing areas, using soil or hydroponics, it is important to keep your grow room clean, maintain it at the right temperature (for tomatoes it should be around 25 to 30C), with humidity level around 65%. Use ventilators to prevent the formation of hot air stagnation, and consequently fungi, moulds, and pests of all kinds. Use prevention as often as you can, this will keep your plants healthy. One of the main difficulties growing tomatoes indoors is the lighting situation. To make sure you give your tomatoes all the light they need, use a strong bulb, minimum 600 W and, if necessary, use vertical fluorescents lights to bring light also from the side.

Follow up
Here are photos of the TriSystem in our greenhouse in Fleurance (France), during most of the 2012 summer season. They were taken week after week, to show you the plants progression. We used, as we most often do: Flora Series, Diamond Nectar, and our pH Regulators. We started the TriSystem on April 20th. In the front AeroFlo chamber, we planted lettuce, and in the next, basil, parsley and coriander. In the third row, equivalent to the DPS Aero systems, we planted a chili pepper on the left, garden cress in the middle, and a Lebanese bell chile. In the back row, equivalent to the DPS Hydro pots, we planted 3 different varieties of tomatoes: a black cherry left, a French St Pierre in the middle, and a Red Cherry to the right. Here is the red cherry.


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April 20th

May 14th

June 05

July 9

August 29

Endless fresh tomatoes every day from June till September

Visit our blog on http://www.ghe-blog.com to follow our latest information

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trawberry (garden strawberry or hautbois strawberry, lat. Fragria moschta) is a perennial plant (Fragria genus, Rosaceae family) 1535 cm in height. The stem is upright, fuzzy with large ternate leaves of light-green color. The blossom clusters are corymbose, consisting of 512 flowers resting on short hoary pedicles. The flowers are unisexual with five petals, white with double perianth. The root system is fibrous. It is located near the ground surface in two layers: the upper one near the base of the cornicles, the lower layer goes deeper. The upper perennial part of strawberry is a short stem and its life span is 5 or more years. The thing that we usually call berry in strawberry, in truth is carpophore (false berry) on which surface there are multiple small conical fruits (nuts), which possess sweet flavor and distinctive aroma. Depending on variety and external conditions, the strawberry carpophores contain from 4 to 10% sugar, as well as citric, malic, chinic, salycilic
| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

and phosphoric acids. During ripening the berry produces succinic acids and the traces of shikimic and glycolic acids, vitamin C (47120 mg), pectic substances, anthocyanins, carotin, volatile oil, the traces of vitamin B, flavonoids, potassium salts, iron salts, calcium and phosphoric salts. The strawberries are low-calories (36.9 kcal per 100 gr). The strawberry is a natural medicine chest for multiple occasions. For content of vitamin C the strawberry is second only to black currant. Everyday consumption of strawberry significantly improves ones condition and health, since it is strengthening immune system and defending the organism from viruses. It can be used as a prophylactic drug against flu and cold as it possesses strong antiinflammatory and antimicrobial qualities. The strawberry is used in cases of digestive, kidney, respiratory illnesses, salt metabolism dysfunction, anaemia. It is even drives away the bad breath. Fresh fruits can be eaten or used in confectioners production (for wines and liquors). The aroma is used in cosmetics. The folk medicine recommends the tincture of fruits and leaves as a diuretic and diaphoretic agent during cold and anemia.

The varieties of strawberries

There are multiple varieties of strawberries. Every year due to efforts of selectionists new varieties appear. The earlyterm varieties are: Alpha, Kishinevskaya Rannyaya


soilless technologies 101

(Kishinevs Early), Biryulevskaya Rannyaya (Biryulevos Early), Krasavitsa Zagoria (Zagories Beauty). There are more varieties of middle-term type: Vityaz (Knight), Pavlovskaya Krasavitsa (The Beauty of Pavlovsk), Festivalnaya (Festive), Lakomaya (Tasty) and others. The late-term varieties are: Borovitskaya, Zenit (Zenith), Saksonka, Leningradskaya Pozdnyaya (Leningrads Late), Bogota. The most known varieties are: Victoria, Mashenka, Polka, Zenga Zengana and others. The most productive and perspective varieties are Pavlovchanka, Roksana, Krasavitsa Zagoria, Desnyanka, and Granatovaya (Pomegranate). For all the year round hydroponic growth ever-bearing varieties are being used. They produce fruits practically during the whole year. Those varieties are: Yellow Wonder, Mount Everest, Fresco. The earliest to bear fruits is the Queen Elizabeth variety. The Dutch varieties are: Elvira, Vima Zanta, Gigantella Maxima, Corona. All varieties of strawberries are loved by both children and adults.

The strawberry is one of the first berries during the season, notable for its early bearing and high productivity. The growth of plants starts at temperatures +23. The blooming starts 2 or 3 weeks after starting of leaves growing. The complete period of blooming lasts 2025 days. Due to nonsimultaneous expansion of flower stalks the period of blooming and ripening is being prolonged. During winters with little or no snow the strawberry plants are often getting frozen. Roots die first (at temperatures about 10), then the upper part (at temperatures about 15, 18). After melting of snow at temperatures down to 5, 7 the strawberries can die out completely. The strawberries are successfully grown via hydroponics. Which hydroponic method is the best depends on placing and number of plants. Ebb and Flow systems are working well when there are multiple plants. But this system is stationary and must be well-tuned.

The Strawberries Grown on AeroGarden System

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Deep Water Culture is not the best choice. The strawberry isnt a water loving plant and therefore problems may occur during growing. The plants are growing and bear fruits, but the tempo of growing and production volumes are not the best ones. The root system in this method is more often subjected to diseases. And moreover it is not easy to keep control of proper amount of nutrients in the solution and proper pH level during the whole vegetation period. Nutrient Film Technique systems provide strawberries with nutrients from the solution continuously circulating through plastic tanks. The solution flows at the bottom of the tank like a thin film layer. The solution is moved through pipes or hoses by a water pump from the main tank containing already prepared solution. The plants are being placed in small pots, the bottom of the pots doesnt touch the nutrient layer. As the plants grow, the roots are being submerged into nutrient solution receiving all necessary substances enriched with oxygen. Drip System. This is when the plants are placed on substrate (peat mixes. coir or mineral wool) and a nutrient solution is being directed to an under-root zone
| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

The Strawberries Grown on N.F.T.

through dripping system with a water pump. The substrate wrapped in light-proof film is placed on a plate, which serves as a collector for excess of nutrient solution. To save the space and for its optimal use it is possible to place bags or tanks with substrate vertically. The strawberries are being planted in tiers or the varieties which have a tendency to bear fruits on daughter rosettes are being used. While growing vertically, you can plant from 60 to 100 plants on a square meter. That depends on a variety and a type of equipment used. Whatever hydroponic system you are using it must be remembered that the roots of this plant do not like ample and long drowning. They shouldnt be left in stagnant solution since this might be a death to the plant.

For proper development one grown plant must have a 3 litre tank. This way plants can be placed in one tank (1015 liters are needed for 34 plants. On square meter can host 1822 plants. The distance between plants is 2030 cm, the varieties must be planted with bigger intervals, compact varieties can be planted 1015 cm from each other. The strawberries are grown on hard air-proof substrate (clayite, large perlite, gravel, large bank sand). Vermiculite and perlite mixes are also widely used in combination with dripping irrigation. In systems with clayite and dripping irrigation the solution is provided for 15 minutes each one and a half hour. The nutrient solution should never get on a plant!


soilless technologies 101

The volume of nutrients in solution for professional strawberry growing depends on the growth period and the time of the year. The amateurs can use universal nutrient solution. The pH level of nutrient solution must be between 1.8 and 2.2. While growing strawberries one must keep correct temperature regime. Plants health and productivity depends on its precision. It is recommended to

Strawberry Solution Fiormulation

MacrO-ELEmENts pH Ca ++ Mg ++ 5,8 6,2 200 50

Na +


NH4 +

NO3 76

PO4 - SO4 = 45


100 4

MicrO-ELEmENts Fe 3 Mn 0,5 Cu 0,05 Zn 0,5 B 0,5 Mo 0,05

The Strawberries Grown on a Drip System; Vertical Hydroponic Systems for Strawberries

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keep the temperature at 1618 during the night, and at 2425 during the day. From the beginning of growth till blooming the following temperatures are necessary: for early varieties 18.023.5, for medium varieties 22.327.6, for late varieties 25.535.3. The humidity must be at 6575%. It should be noted that in greenhouses there is a need for illumination of plants from 12 to 18 hours a day. The illumination intensity is 60000 lumens and higher. The dates of ripening and other parameters can be controlled by correcting the growing conditions. The strawberries are grown from seeds or from canticles with rosettes. Growing from seeds. Small perlite, coir-soil and sand can be used as substrates. The pots are filled by substrate about 1012 cm. The seeds are sown above the substrate without pushing them in. Then everything is covered with film and put into shadowy place. The temperature must be around 2224. Two or three times a day the pots are opened for 510 minutes. The humidity must be checked and

if necessary the pots must be watered with syringe. For a better germination and better germination percentage stratification of seeds is often used. When 2 or 3 true leaves appear, the plants are being placed in pairs in pots 1315 cm in diameter. The strawberries are planted up to the base of the leaves, then they are shadowed for several days and then are put under light. The sprouts are being treated with a faint solution of fungicide to prevent fungus and bacterial infections. When 5 or 6 fully developed true leaves appear, the strawberry plants are to be planted into permanent place. Growing from rosettes. A canticle should be taken with a rosette that has minimum 2 open leaves. Then it is placed on a plate with water. When the rosette will produce welldeveloped roots, the canticle must be cut from the mother plant and put into permanent vessel. On one mother plant around 5 canticles might be left each with three rosettes. From one plant one might get 15 well-developed rosettes. The canticles appear

when the daylight lasts more than 12 hours with a temperature at 1622. Pollination can be done manually of with a help of bees or bumblebees: Manually with a use of soft brush for pollen. The pollination is made 2 or 3 times a day. This way a flower cannot be pollinated evenly that is why berries might grow formless. Also it is possible without tearing flowers from a plant put them together on flower to flower basis. That is more reliable way. With a help of bees or bumblebees. In this case several families of those insects are being purchased (the number depends on the volume of pollination). The bumblebee hives are put inside the greenhouses during blooming period. To receive better volumes of production the first flowers (blossom clusters) must be cut. Flower stalk is cut near the base with a sharp object. On the next 4 or 5 stalks only 3 or 5 berries must be left. This wont let weaken the plant and the berries would be larger. As soon as the berry gets ripened it must be gathered otherwise it will slow the development of others.


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soilless technologies 101

To raise the productivity all the canticles might be cut. The second year for the plant is the most productive. The fourth year shows a serious decline. Thats why all the plants must be renewed every 3 years, using rosettes from existing plants. Also for speeding up and raising the production the strawberries can be nourished with carbon dioxide. The strawberries are being picked two or three times a week, sorted and packed for transportation. For transporting at long distances the berries are picked while not completely ripened and still rigid. The berries are considered ready for picking when they acquire color specific for particular variety. The productivity depends on variety and the conditions of growing. For non-ever-bearing varieties, one plant can produce about 15 berries a season. The large-berries varieties produce berries up to 100 grams. It can be that 15 100 = 1500 gr or 1.5 kilos of berries. The smallberries varieties produce berries that weight 4 gr. The everbearing varieties when treated correctly can produce up to 1000 berries a season! To form flower buds a plant needs a rest period, which lasts 1 or 2 months. For everbearing varieties it is enough to have 1 month of a rest which can be during autumn. For this the irrigation is shortened by a week, and after a week the temperature must be lowered down to 14, all the leaves must be cut, the irrigation and illumination stopped. After another week the roots are ready to be stored. The roots are stored at the temperatures of 0, +2. It is next to impossible to achieve ample production if the strawberry is damaged be pests and diseases. The most frequent attackers among pests are: strawberry crown girdler, strawberry mite, red spider, strawberry nematode, wireworm (the larvae of Elateridae bug), slugs, snails, slaters, centipedes, red ants; among diseases: powdery mildew, gray rot (blossom blight), black rot, celery late blight, leaf blotch, and brown strawberry blotch. Most difficulties and expenses are connected with picking. With hydroponic growing the picking is not much of a difficulty since the trays are positioned at a specific level and that makes labor more effective. The possibility of easy collection of berries and packing with the following shipment considerably lessens the labor expenses, guarantees long preservation of berries and raises the profitability of the company.
gidroponika.com | hydo.ru | sad-vo.ru

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here is a wide range of growing and propagation mediums applicable in hydroponics from rockwool, expanded clay aggregate, coir, pumice to vermiculite, sand, gravel, brick shards, polystyrene packing peanuts, wood fibre and perlite. Each of them have their own unique features and benefits. The choice of growing medium is largely dependable on the type of hydroponic system used. If for example, aeroponics is used, the growing medium need not retain water. However, the ideal hydroponic medium for most systems should hold equal parts oxygen and water. This allows the plants to have access to both the water and oxygen. Although, hydroponic growing itself means growing plants in water without any soil, still there are a relatively small number of aquatic plants that can be grown successfully only in water. Plants grown hydroponically require the same conditions for successful growth as plants grown by other methods. Plant root systems require water, nutrients and air for growth as optimum growth requires careful control of these three components. This is the balance that has to be achieved and the

Aylin Nedzhib

current hydroponic technology is trying to find the optimum decision for perfect results. Perlite is a unique volcanic mineral, which expands from four to twenty times its original volume when it is quickly heated to a temperature of approximately 16001700 degrees Celcium. This expansion is due to the presence of two to six percent combined water in the crude perlite rock which causes the perlite to pop in a manner similar to that of popcorn. When expanded, each granular, snow-white particle of perlite is sterile with a neutral pH and contains many tiny, closed cells or bubbles. The surface of each particle is covered with tiny cavities which provide an extremely large surface area. These surfaces hold moisture and nutrients and make them available to plant roots. Horticultural perlite has a long enviable record of performance as a propagation and growing medium throughout the world. Due to its low density and relatively low price, many commercial applications for perlite have developed. In horticulture, perlite can be used as a soil amendment or alone as a medium for

hydroponics or for starting cuttings. When used as an amendment it has high permeability , low water retention and helps prevent soil compaction.

Typical ingredient breakdown in perlite:

7075% silicon dioxide: SiO2 1215% aluminum oxide: Al2O3 34% sodium oxide: Na2O 35% potassium oxide: K2O 0.52% iron oxide: Fe2O3 0.20.7% magnesium oxide: MgO 0.51.5% calcium oxide: CaO 35% loss on ignition (chemical / combined water)

Perlite is used as a component of soilless growing mixture where it provides aeration and optimum moisture retention for superior plant growth. It is used also for rooting cutting. Perlite is proved to be an outstanding media when used in hydroponic systems. Horticulture perlite has a neutral pH and is sterile. Its light weight makes it ideal for use in container growing. It is successfully applied also as a carrier for fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides, as

| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

soilless technologies 101

well as for pelletizing seeds. Horticultural perlite is as useful to the home gardener as it is to the commercial grower. It is used with equal success in greenhouse growing, landscaping applications and in the home in house plants. Expanded perlite is physically stable and chemically inert. The porous nature of the cellular granules ensures a product that is light to handle, holds large quantities of readily available moisture and has a strong capillary attraction for water. Since it is free draining, it is also well aerated. Perlite is inexpensive and is a very good growing medium. It doesn't retain too much water and is very porous, allowing the plant to get a good mix of water and oxygen. Some people like to mix it with vermiculite which gives the mixture more water retention. In addition, because of the physical shape of each particle, air passages are formed which provide optimum aeration and drainage. Due to the fact perlite is sterile, it is free of disease, seeds, and insects. Its neutral pH, negligible nutrient content and a complete freedom from pests, pathogens and weed

seeds combine to make this an ideal rooting medium for hydroponic culture. In horticultural applications, perlite is used throughout the world as a component of soilless growing mixes where it provides aeration and optimum moisture retention for superior plant growth. For rooting cuttings, 100% perlite is used. Studies have shown that outstanding yields are achieved with perlite hydroponic systems. Other benefits of horticultural perlite are its neutral pH and the fact that it is sterile and weed-free. In addition, its light weight makes it ideal for use in container growing. Other horticultural applications for perlite are as a carrier for fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides and for pelletizing seed. Horticultural perlite is as useful to the home gardener as it is to the commercial grower. It is used with equal success in greenhouse growing, landscaping applications and in the home in house plants. Extensive studies and testing over a period of years has documented the unique capillary action of perlite. Research has proved that crops produced in perlite are about 7% healthier and more porous compared to other commonly available

growing medium; thus water is absorbed very quickly by this medium. Also, any excess water added by the grower simply stays in the reservoir, and the grower can easily determine if they have under-watered or over-watered their plants. This way problems due to under watering (drying of plants) or over watering (decaying of plants) can both be avoided with the use of perlite. Perlite as a growing medium is physically very stable. It is inert and therefore there are no drastic effects of temperature change, alteration in humidity or pH levels or any other physical factor. Also, perlite is sterile and weeds free. This makes it ideal for use in container growing. Perlite is an excellent medium to grow root cuttings as it encourages faster root development, reduces risk of damping off, avoids water logging, and provides an optimum balance of air and water. With perlite, the chances of damaging the roots while transplanting is minimized. Seed germination is also quicker in perlite because of its extensively flexible nature. Perlite improves the texture of heavy silt or clay soils by increasing aeration and drainage.
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soilless technologies 101

It also minimizes the tendency to cap over germinating seeds, and lasts for many years. Because of all these benefits, perlite is fast replacing rockwool in hydroponic farming. It is been widely used to grow hydroponic tomatoes, cabbage, pepper, lettuce, roses, olives, berries, and many other fruits, vegetables, and flowering plants. Perlite can be used by small scale hobbyists as well as for large scale commercial growers. Due to its versatility hydroponics experts predict that perlite will soon become the preferred growth medium. College researchers from the West Scotland were the pioneers with their breakthrough in this field as they developed a hydroponic growing system that offers a number of significant benefits over other hydroponic growing systems. It had been always a problem with existing hydroponic growing systems which were not good enough in providing the optimum air and water ratio to plant root systems. A similar problem was difficulty in maintaining the concern water/ nutrient level for superior growth. After numerous trials and research, horticultural perlite
| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

was found to provide the best results in so far as yield of fruit and ease of maintenance was took into consideration. All these resulted in the development of a hydroponic growing system that takes advantage of perlites outstanding capillary property that carefully and automatically meters nutrient rich water to a plant roots while providing optimum air for superior plant development. With this growing system bags of horticulture perlite are laid horizontally on the greenhouse floor and holes are cut to accept seedlings. Seedlings are inserted and nutrient- rich water is introduced to each plant with a drip irrigation system. A reservoir of this nutrient- rich water is allowed to collect in the bottom of the bag. The natural capillary action of the horticultural perlite draws a controlled amount of water up into the root zone. One of the advantages with perlite is that the root zone does not dry out nor does it become waterlogged as it can happen with other media. Because of this unique feature, plants need to be watered only a few times a day as opposed to

other media which may require as 20 watering daily.

Some practical clues for growing with perlite: How to use perlite ?
Perlite can be different sizes and it is recommendable to choose pretty fine size for smaller seeds. Its a usual practice for many growers to mix perlite with peat for seed starting.

How much to cover?

The planting depth mainly depends on the seeds. If the seeds need a shallow planting depth (1/8 to 1/4 inch) they usually want light to germinate. On the other hand smaller seeds usually need to be closer to the surface, some really tiny seeds just gets sprinkled on the surface and perhaps lightly pressed onto the soil for good contact. Larger seeds that get planted like 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep want dark to germinate. It probably would help those seeds to place cardboard over the top of the tray. A little space between the top of the starter mix and the cardboard is required so that when they germinate, they are not squished. Once the seedlings


soilless technologies 101

containers then you can let them get bigger before putting them out on their own. Also, the location you are planning to put them in after transplant will affect how big you will want them. It can be difficult for a really tiny transplant to survive in some environments like places where there is competition from other plants or careless gardeners who might pull a small seedling, thinking it is a weed. Finally, your own time to be taking careful care of seedlings in small non-soil containing containers. Small containers with little seedlings need regular attention or they could dry out and waste your effort. Even in a location with automatic sprayers, you are gambling by leaving seedlings unattended for too long. What if the settings are off and things get too wet or too dry? The sooner the plants get situated into their long term arrangements, the less attention they will require from you provided the settle in well. To summarize all the advantages of horticultural perlite one can conclude that it characteristic provides more constant moisture status around the roots at all times irrespective of weather or stage of root growth. Then ensures more even watering throughout the growing area. There is also less likelihood of over-watering with horticultural perlite. Perlite culture avoids wastage of water and nutrients. Last but not least the use of perlite eliminates the need to grade growing floors accurately, as well as avoids waste of water and nutrients.
Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 45

emerge, the cardboard should be removed. The most important part for seed starting is keeping the correct amount of moisture. Make sure your perlite or seed starting mix is moist before you plant your seeds, trying to water it after you plant your seeds could wash your seeds away. This is why those seed starting kits often come with a plastic dome that you remove or prop open once the seedlings emerge. The cardboard will also help with the moisture. You don't want your seeds to rot or drown but they can't germinate without some moisture. Until the plants emerge, they won't be using any water so the only water you should be adding is to make up for evaporation. The best way to moisten it would either be misting with a spray bottle or if the tray has drainage holes, you might be able to bottom water by placing it in another try without holes that has water in it and then lifting it out and letting it drain. The hardest part of growing seedlings is keeping them moist but not waterlogged. You don't need liquid fertilizer until after the seeds germinate. Small seedlings need very

weak fertilizer at first. You can slowly strengthen the fertilizer as the plants grow. If you are using strictly perlite, you might consider a hydroponic nutrient as your fertilizer, but something more like a potting soil or peat based seed starting mix might support enough soil bacteria that would make using regular liquid fertilizer acceptable.

At what stage can you transplant?

That will vary depending on 1-what type of plant, 2-the starter container, 3-where you are transplanting too, 4-your desire to manually care for seedlings in captivity. Many people will transplant as soon as the first or second set of true leaves emerge (the first leaves you see when the seedling comes up are not true leaves but the next set will be.) Other people will say transplant when the seedlings are 4" or 6" tall. It kind of depends on what you start them in, how crowded they are. If your seed tray is simply an egg carton, you probably have to transplant pretty quickly since the seedlings will outgrow the space. If you have them planted in larger

questions & answers


What is AQUaPONICS and What are ItS BENEfItS? Asked by SURaJ

quaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. We may say that aquaponics is a new farming technology which applies the process of symbiotic relationship between the fish and the plants. This is teamwork, since the waste materials of the plants are being fed to the fish while, at the same time; the waste of the fish is used to fertilize the plants and vegetables. This is one of the best systems used nowadays and it is very remarkable due to the fact that the plants are the one responsible in making and supplying clean water for the fish, which is very beneficial for its existence. On the other hand the fish is helping by giving proper nutrients to the plant beds or commonly known as Grow Beds. As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponics systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponics system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline This farming technique is usually made up of a tank with various fish of your choice with existing grow beds used specifically for vegetable farming or production. It is also fitted to raise and grow some ornamental fish as well as some native fish. This new farming technique is really amazing because once the cycle starts, and the water in the tank remain clean and clear and stays PH balanced all throughout. The water is being recycled and only a very minimal amount is being added in order to replace the water that evaporated and was used by the vegetables. Positive bacteria break down the ammonia waste from the fish to produce nitrogen, which aids in the development of plants. The filtered water then travels to the growing bed, only to leave that location, returning to the fish tank. This is basically a self-sustaining eco and environment friendly system that really works amazingly.


| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13

questions & answers

I havE a SMaLL hYDROPONIC ROSE GaRDEN on MY tERRaCE. MY ROSES havE BLaCK SPOtS and aLL the LEavES havE faLLEN Off I will be treating for black spots this weekend and was wondering if I can prune again. How far down should I prune?

Asked by MEtRO FaRMER

he best time of year to trim our rose bushes is in the early spring. I have seen some people just shear their roses about half way down and leave it at that. The problem with doing this is that you have not removed old dead wood, or suckers, or cleaned out built up debris, and in time, I think, you compromise the health of your plants and the quality of your flowers. So skip the short cuts, and prune your roses properly and you'll be rewarded with really gorgeous flowers. The basic rules to keep in mind are using clean, sharp tools. Begin pruning from the base of the plant, to open the center to light and air circulation. Make your cuts at a 45-degree angle, about 1/4 inch above a bud that is facing toward the outside of the plant. Make sure it is a clean cut (not ragged). Remove all broken, dead, dying or diseased wood and cut until the inside of the cane is white. Remove any weak or twiggy branches thinner than a pencil. And, again a bit later, after they are leafing out to remove dead branches from the winter. That's about it, except for clipping flower heads. With block spots, you'll need to spray with a rose fungicide every 7 to 10 days through the moist, early summer period. Also, be sure to remove all infected leaves and branches and sterilize your pruning shears if you move from plant to plant. And remember; never water your roses from above.

Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13 | 47



questions & answers

What is hYDROPONICS faRMING and hOW DOES ONE StaRt hYDROPONIC faRMING? How Much Area and Investment is Required to Start?


Asked by


There are many different forms and ways to start hydroponics farming. You can choose any, depending on your requirement. Hydroponic farming can even be started from the terrace of your home with very minimal investment.

ydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Instead of having their roots supported and nourished by soil, the plants are grown using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, mineral wool, and expanded clay or coconut husk.

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| Soilless Gardening India Magazine April'13


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