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From Hydroponics to Outdoor Gardening: Your Best Guide

You can transform your Yard into a Haven! You can transform your Yard into a Haven!

Spring has sprung, and some of us who do hydroponics are also interested in the benefits of outdoor growing.

Outdoor growing has several plusses. You save money because instead of paying for electricity, the sun provides more light than any indoor hydroponics equipment ever could provide.

Nor do you have to spend money for equipment and electricity to move air around, to move air in and out of your grow area, or to enrich the atmosphere with C02. The wind does that.

And in many cases, if you are fortunate enough to live in an area with adequate rainfall, you don’t have to spend much money or effort on providing water to your crops.

There are other benefits as well. Outdoor growing, especially if your plants are able to grow freely in the ground so that their roots can expand without barrier, can produce much larger plants.

Indeed, outdoor plants can sometimes have stalks as big around as your biceps, and your plants might be ten or more feet tall.

As you’d imagine, plants this large can give you yield per plant that are many times more impressive than even the best-grown indoor hydroponics plants.

Along with saving money and having the potential to grow larger plants that produce bigger yields, outdoor growing gives you the chance to rest your indoor hydroponics gardening space.

During the outdoor season, which usually occurs between April and mid-October, you may choose to rest your indoor hydroponics room.

While your indoor hydroponics room isn’t being used, you have time to thoroughly clean it, to troubleshoot problems, do retrofits, expand, change equipment, and make other improvements.

Rosebud online and Rosebud print magazines are giving you the most accurate and useful information you’ll use to get safe, large outdoor harvests.

We’re starting at the start. It’s March, and here’s what you should be doing right now if you want a successful outdoor season:

  • You should already have scouted a safe outdoor area that gets a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight per day (preferably more).
  • When I say “safe,” I mean an area that isn’t subject to landslides, floods, fires, and which is isolated enough so that you won’t have any visitors- none.
  • Safe also means that your outdoor area isn’t in a high visibility flight path. For example, an otherwise good outdoor grow site that’s right near a heliport probably isn’t going to work for you.
  • Finding an area with a reliable full-season water supply and rich fertile soil is a plus.
  • Prep your site by working the soil to create grow spaces where each plant will go. Work in soil amendments. Add Heavy Harvest Spring (a one-time, controlled release granular engineered to feed your plants for their entire spring season for maximum early growth).
  • If rats, bunnies, deer, or other animals are site visitors, consider and install interventions that block animals that damage plants.
  • Spend time sitting quietly in and around your grow site so you can monitor for visitors, be they human or animal, BEFORE you plant there. You can also use this time as an opportunity to observe sunlight patterns. You want to make sure that your plants are situated to get the maximum hours of direct light per day- no less than six hours per day.
  • Research climate, rainfall and sunlight patterns, and catalogue what you want from your plants, then select genetics so your plants will be as ideally suited for your needs and your outdoor grow environment as possible.
  • Start your seeds or cuttings indoors in your hydroponics grow room in early March and get them growing strong as you await warm weather.
  • Don’t put your plants into the outdoor grow site until you’re sure that the outdoor nighttime temperatures will not drop below 55F. In almost all locales, this means you put your plants outdoors in March and April.
  • Before you put your plants into the outdoor grow site, you want to “harden” them.
  • Hardening plants means you expose them to outdoor conditions so they get more used to intense light, heat, and other factors that are harsher than what your plants experience in your indoor hydroponics environment.
  • Be sure to carefully monitor the weather forecasts for the five days before and after you intend to put your plants into the outdoor grow site. Do not place your plants until the forecast is for extended days of sun. If rain is forecast, make sure it is not torrential rains, but only light rain. You do not want to put your plants in and then have five inches of rain pour down on them the next day.
  • After your plants have been properly placed in the ground, give them a liquid feeding of Vitamin B complex, potassium silicate, and beneficial root zone bacteria and fungi.
  • Spend significant time in your outdoor garden during the first two weeks after planting. Inspect your plants for signs of animal, insect or disease predation. Also look at overall vigor and leaf health to determine if your plants are getting enough light and nutrients.

If you’ve followed these steps, or are planning to, you are on your way to a successful outdoor season, and when you visit Rosebud online and pick up Rosebud print magazine you’ll see your ongoing series of outdoor growing instructions.
And while it’s true that outdoor growing has some risks and challenges that you don’t face in your indoor hydroponics gardening, most hydroponics growers who continue to run a hydroponics garden while augmenting it with an outdoor garden, or who run only an outdoor garden during the months when climate permits, find that outdoor growing can be extremely rewarding and fun.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 09 November 2010 23:31

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