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Agricultural Scientist
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About Judith

Judith is finishing her phD in Agricultural engineering. She knows more than anyone about hydroponics. She adopts orphan plants.

Alternative local substrate: volcanic rock

26 Aug 2016|Environment|

When analyzing pros and cons of substrates with a wider perspective, we should also consider the carbon footprint. Substrates produced far away have to be transported over long distances, which is costly for the environment. A typical example is coconut fiber, that is produced mainly in India or Sri Lanka and then shipped to America [...]

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The way to the sustainability: my grain of sand.

17 Aug 2016|Environment|

I know that many people think that progress is necessarily incompatible with the preservation of the environment. I do not think so, I think we have time to pursue a sustainable development, which use technological advances to produce resources more efficient, clean and environmentally friendly way. Introduction of beehives of bumblebees to improve the tomato [...]

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How to make my own nutrient solution

26 May 2016|Hydroponics|

So, you want to make your own nutrient solution? Not sure where to start? You're in luck! Today, that's precisely what we're going to talk about. Let's dig in! The first thing to understand as we work through it is this: There is no perfect solution for every crop. You'll have a few bumps in [...]

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Nutrient solutions

19 May 2016|Hydroponics|

Bram Steiner passed away recently, on the 1st of March 2016 at the age of 95. He was one of the founding fathers of hydroponics in horticulture. He fought for years to keep alive the research on soilless techniques when nobody believed in them; he was ridiculed for his ideas. In the early sixties he [...]

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Why you should control pH and conductivity in hydroponics

12 May 2016|Hydroponics|

Why? That is a great question, let's dig right in! When we grow plants in pots for any other similar containers, we're limiting the ability of the roots to explore the ground looking for water and nutrients. Thus, if our intent is to grow plants inside of a pot, we must provide a suitable environment and [...]

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The symbiosis of Economy and Ecology

5 May 2016|Environment|

Economy and Ecology: Two vastly differing words that aren't often used in the same sentence, much less combined in real life.  Today, I'd like to inform you that not only can they work together, but that it's already being done! The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) has combined some of their branches into a new [...]

Tiny predators

13 Apr 2016|Hydroponics|

In our last post we talked about controlling pest bugs using other bugs. Here you are a small collection of some of these killers, loved by all growers. We have chosen generalist predators, that will attack a variety of pests for you. Think of them as your little soldiers.   Ladybird beetles There are thousands [...]

Pest Management; talking about bugs

6 Apr 2016|Hydroponics|

The indiscriminate use of pesticides is bad for the environment, bad for the final customer and bad for the farmer. They are so harmful that you should avoid them unless it is the only and last option. Moreover, it is not sustainable, because its continued use  induces mechanisms of resistance in pathogens. This means that [...]

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The secret to avoid plant diseases

31 Mar 2016|Hydroponics|

As promised, here it is the second part on how to grow healthy plants. The first step to have a healthy culture is prevention; you should start before planting. Clean and disinfect substrate, pots, pipes and growing chamber. Be thorough, especially if you had any disease in your previous crop. In this case I would [...]

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The disease triangle, or how to grow healthy crops

28 Mar 2016|Hydroponics|

For a disease to develop, three conditions need to happen: There is a host plant susceptible to the disease. The pathogen which causes the disease is present. Environmental conditions are favorable to the development of the disease. This is called the disease triangle. We may act on all three sides of it to keep our [...]

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