Archive for October, 2008

Hydroponic Growing: Plants without soil

Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without soil. Hydroponics it literally means working water. It’s not a modern idea and it really isn’t hard if the plant’s primary requirements are met.

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Antiques 101 or So You Want to Collect Antiques

The collection of antiques is a noble hobby. An antique collector preserves our cultural history and helps us understand how decorative form is an indication of social and behavioral norms of the day. From kitchen appliances to parlor furniture, we are constantly reminded of our ancestors and how they managed their lives according to the world they inhabited.
Besides, antiques are really cool.
Antique furniture is often cheaper than new, good quality furniture.
Plus, it’s really easy to impress good behavior on children.
“Do not jump on that chair!”
“That chair was in use when Abraham Lincoln was president!”
The frisky child immediately ceases horseplay, awed by a new respect for the furniture. If that chair was around when Abraham Lincoln was in office, there is the distinct possibility that Abe Lincoln could have sat in that very chair! Thus emerges in their anarchic little hearts a picture of the past. They soon learn that a ladies chair had no arms in the 1860’s to accommodate the ridiculously huge skirts they wore. The gentleman’s chair had arms because gentlemen did not wear huge, extravagant skirts.
So, thus justified in your quest for outmoded objects, there are a few simple rules you must know.
1) It is not an antique unless it is 100 years old. Grandma might refer to her circa 1943 Duncan Phyfe style dining room set as antique but it is not. Do the math.
2) What is it worth? If you pick up a book that claims to represent the value of antiques, remember that a particular object sells for what someone will actually pay for it. Not what a dealer will pay for it. Not what the guy down the street will pay for it. Not what you’d pay for it. The price quoted in books is often more like what certain parties hope someone will pay for it.
3) True value is – what is it worth to you? That’s personal. That antique bisque girl with the pretty pink pleated skirt may be valued at $350.00 in your favorite magazine. But mine had her head knocked off by my dumb sister when she was carrying on with her hooligan friends and my mother glued it back on. So it is no longer worth $350.00. But I wouldn’t sell it for $500.00 because it belonged to my dear Auntie and I remember she kept it in that bow-front cabinet (whatever happened to that, Mommy?) in the dining room where nobody sat except Uncle Albert because we all sat in the kitchen.
4) A true antique should never be stripped, repainted, or refurbished as any alteration decreases its value. Unless it’s a wreck to begin with. If you buy an old oak table that some fool already ruined by smearing it up with that God-awful gunk they used to slop all over oak furniture – go ahead, make it look nice.
In other words, antique collections are personal, a reflection of your style, sometimes your ideals. Don’t expect to jump into antiques collecting to make money. That takes years of study. You need to develop an eye; that is, an instinctive understanding of quality and age. You also need to understand regional markets.
With these simple rules in mind, start collecting antiques. Buy what you love, make your home beautiful with the distinctive, unique style that can really make your house a home.

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Hydroponic Fertilizer- Magnesium and Sulfur and the Micronutrients

In my last article I discussed the Primary macronutrients in Hydroponic Fertilizer
and calcium which is considered a secondary macronutrient but which I think should be considered a primary. If you are interested in learning about the rest of the elements that make hydroponic fertilizer so effective, I’m going to lay out the basics here. After reading this article you’ll know what the other elements in hydroponic nutrients do.

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Hydroponic Fertilizer – The Macro Nutrients

In my reading I’ve read that there are between 13 and 17 essential plant nutrients. I think the people who say there are 17 are padding the list a bit since they include carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and sometimes water but that is all academic. When you get down to the nitty gritty most people who think think of hydroponic fertilizer when they think of the chemicals you add to the water. And when your thinking of plant food there are 3 groups of nutrients on your mind: the Primary Macronutrients, the Secondary macronutrients and the micronutrients. In this article I’m going to deal with the Macronutrients and the red head step child of plant nutrition calcium.

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Weird Sampson Fox in Baltimore

One early fall dawn, I saw a strange looking fox trotting up the street. It looked like somebody took a razor to it and gave the poor thing a sadly unfoxlike haircut, not bald, but shorn like it just signed up for some kind of military branch with an inclusion clause that welcomed wild animals.

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Free Miracle Weight Reduction and Stress Relief Program

Why is it that America, the wealthiest nation on earth is plagued with obesity, stress and depression? Billions of dollars are spent every year to battle these problems at health clubs, in stores on diet foods and on costly pharmaceuticals.

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The Basics of Indoor Home Hydroponics

Growing indoor plants at home successfully using hydroponics comes down to controlling environmental factors. If you want to grow plants hydroponically you need to control the light, the nutrient solution and air supply.
One of the most important factors you need to control while growing indoors is the light. You need to supply enough light for the best growth but at the same time you need to make sure you don’t provide so much light you burn your plants or overheat your growing space. You can choose to use artificial light from metal halide, high pressure sodium, fluorescent or leds to provide the all the light your plants need. Or you can use sunlight and use an artificial light just to supplement the light supply so you can grow plants that require more light.
Another important factor to control is the nutrient solution. When growing hydroponically the nutrient solution provides your plants with all the food they need to grow as well as the water they need to survive.since there is no soil to provide nutrients your fertilizer must be complete, with all the macro and micro nutrients a plant needs. It must also be mixed to the correct strength. If it is too strong the nutrient solution can burn the plants roots and kill the plant because they won’t be able to absorb water. If it is too weak it can slow plant growth and cause the plant to develop nutrient deficiencies.
The final important environmental factor that needs to be controlled is air supply. Plants need both carbon dioxide and oxygen. The carbon dioxide is used in the process of photosynthesis which the plant uses to make sugar for food. The oxygen is needed both around the root and around the foliage. Plants produce oxygen but remember they also use it just like you. If you want to grow healthy hydroponic plants make sure that there is a healthy amount of oxygen near the roots and enough air movement around the leaves so that the plant can get both enough oxygen and enough carbon dioxide.
Growing indoor hydroponic plants can seem very complicated. But if you can control the most important environmental factors you will find it as easy or easier than growing using soil.

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Compost: Nice and Easy

Nothing benefits a garden like a few buckets of nice, fluffy compost. It enriches the soil by adding nutrients and improving the texture. To that end, I decided to take the logical approach and do some research. One book explained the whole compost scene in one thousand pages. After two hundred pages, my brain raced with factiods, chemical components of about fifty different grasses and far too many rules.

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