Tag Archives: Plant

Aquaponics – Sustainable Food Production

Aquaponics is an ancient, but upcoming sustainable way to produce foods. The system is combined with:

° Conventional aquaculture; raising water animals like prawns, fish and snails

° Hydroponics which is cultivation of plants in water, living in a symbiotic environment, an environment where two or more plants are combined.

The closed system makes the effluent-rich water become toxic by aquacultures excretions, but these toxics are very useful and nutrient to the plants. After the water has passed through the hydroponic subsystem, it is cleaned and oxygenated, and can return to the aquaculture vessels. This circle goes on and on. Aquaponics can be made in tanks, basins and sumps, in large fields and also in your own backyard. Shorty you can say it is a self cleaning fish tank that produces foods.

Most green leaf vegetables suits for the hydroponic subsystem; chinese cabbage, basil, roses, lettuce, okra, tomatoes, bell-peppers and cantaloupe. Also onions,  sweet potato, beans, peas, watercress, strawberries, radishes and melons to name some.

The size, complexity, and types of foods the farmer has choose to grow can vary as much as in any kind of farming. The most known aquaponic system in modern time is rice cultivation combined with fish. The aquaponic system has been used since ancient Aztec times, also in south China and Thailand.

aquaponic_plant_productionOne example: Aquaponic Plant Production

Photo: wrongwayhome.com

Coffee Ground for Plants

Do not throw away the coffee ground, do as Granny did and throw it to the plants. For best results use organic coffee, especially if you use coffee ground for fruits and vegetables you grow. You can also use coffee ground in your compost for nutrient soil.

Coffee ground is used as fertilizer and pesticide:

– Fertilizer: Betters the texture and fertility of the soil, and attracts earthworms. It is a little bit acidic and creates a natural acidic form of bacteria, which boosts the growth of acid-loving plants like tomatoes, roses, blueberries and evergreens. Is also filled with nitrogen, which especially tomato plants likes, an important mineral that helps vegetables and plants to grow.

– Pesticide: Scares away vegetable and flower eating slugs and snails.

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How to use it:

– Lay coffee ground on the soil just before watering. Avoid to use fermented grounds. if you use organic filters, you can also throw the filter with the coffee ground.

– You can use coffee ground in composts.

– To balance the pH in soils that needs a pH between 3.0 and 5.0    

– You can use coffee ground with water, mix some coffee ground in water, let stay for two days and water the plants.

Boiled coffee ground contains less benefits, but is still usable.

Egg Shells for Plant Nutrition

Egg shells contains calcium and is essential for cell growth in all plants, especially fast growing plants needs calcium because they deplete the surrounding soil. Before you put egg shells in the soil, wash them and crush them. Whole shells brakes down very slow. You can:

– Dig a hole in the ground, put egg shells in and cover. Especially good for plants in pots. This way you also avoid bugs around the pot.

– Put egg shells in the bottom of plant pots

- Lay egg shells in the soil near the plant

– Lay egg shells in a circle on the ground surface around the plants stems to deter useful slugs and cutworms, but attract useful bugs.

Especially for tomatoes calcium is very useful, because it will help prevent blossom end rot.

So do not throw away the egg shells. You can save them by the stove for couple of days until next gardening.

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How to get rid of Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew looks like small cotton balls on the plants vine and leaves, or white spots on the plants leaves.

A Natural Remedy:

3,5 Litres Water

1 Tsp Baking Soda

2,5 Tsp Vegetal Oil (Olive oil works well)

2 Tsp Soap

Blend and water for approximately for a week. Water early mornings or after sunset.

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