Pest control in your container garden
by Rachel Ben-Avraham
Gardening is one of the largest pastimes and recreational activities in the world. In the U.S. some 100,000,000 people enjoy some type of gardening. Most gardens are grown in the soil, but soil gardens are prone to lots of weeds and a lot of wasted water.
Container gardening - also used in hydroponic gardens - has taken on a whole new meaning. Container gardening can be for flowers, herbs, vegetables, melons and other crops, but the most recent interest has been in growing fresh vegetables. Vegetables are the most productive and most economical plus there is better taste and better health-benefits in fresh produce from your garden.
Gardeners spend hours preparing their soil for seasonal gardening. Save the time and energy of trying to mix the perfect soil by using soiless media such as coco coir in hydroponic container gardens! By directly delivering the nutrients to the plants, you can take the guess work out of what is or is not in your soil.
Every gardener is looking for that perfect tomato that appears in every seed catalog. It is not as easy as it looks to grow them pest free; especially here in Florida! To be a great gardener an individual needs a lot of luck plus a lot of work and even then the climate can make you or break you. Weeds grow faster and bigger every year and water gets more expensive. Pests are usually the biggest problem and it seems there are no effective and safe chemicals any more. However, this is not true!
There are safe fertilizers in the chemical and natural (or organic form) as well as natural and biological insecticides and fungicides. The large fertilizer and chemical companies have made great advances in producing safe chemicals, natural chemicals that are mined plus biological compounds that already exist in nature. Beneficial insects, or natural insect predators, are now available in small quantities at reasonable costs. A natural balance between beneficial insects, chemicals, resistant varieties and fertilizers is essential to gardening pest free. Plus, another benefit of soiless container gardening is the ability to at least control some of those soil born diseases and pests.
TUB Farms, a non-profit organization for public and private elementary and middle school uses all containers with organic or sustainable growing medias, soil substitutes will insure you the best and healthiest foods available to benefit community.
Recent research out of Cornell and Ohio State Universities suggests that kids who help grow their own vegetables are also 5 times as likely to eat them. So go ahead and plant that garden already!
Fun facts about coco coir
- byproduct of coconut industry (left over husk of coconut that is not used for any other purpose); this makes it a wonderful sustainable product!
- it is also a renewable product in that we do not need to mine for it, and as long as we have coconuts growing we can have coco coir!
- a fully expanded coco coir brick can hold 9 to 10 times its volume in water
- neutral pH
- Coco Coir bricks are also naturally free of bacteria, plant disease, fungal spores, weeds, seeds, and pathogens
- good air space for root development
hydroponics a success in outer space!!
If NASA is cultivating hydroponic vegetable growing so we can send humans on a mission to Mars in 2030, shouldn't we all think about the importance of eating our vegetables here on Earth?