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Post  mageice3 on 2/27/2012, 3:34 pm

After reading Mel's book (only for the third time) I decided there was an interesting correlation between ANSFG's and Simple Hydroponics gardens.

In a Hydro Garden you use an aggregate to support your plants and a nutrient solution to feed them. The aggregate of choice is coarse vermiculite mixed with peat moss for the same reasons Mel states (pg. 98). Then the nutrients are in a solution with water, and only accessible to the roots that enter the solution.

Now from this the only difference between the two is the source of nutrients (compost), however ancient systems used compost as the nutrients (at least from descriptions of the old Roman and Greek aqua-duct hydroponic systems, the soil was a deep black and made from dead plant material, sound familiar?) as well as expanded clay and peat moss. Now the expanded clay is still available but having worked with it I wouldn't recommend it, it feels like small pebbles and can be very sharp, So we use an equally absorbent material - Vermiculite.

So after much research (in both fields) its my opinion that what Mel did is rediscover ancient methods of efficient gardening, then improve on them. Take the descriptions of the hanging gardens of Babylon, each was placed on a wall (period walls would be between 2'-3' thick) and required very little maintenance or tending but produced enough food and flowers for the whole city.

Regardless of how it came to be, Mel's ANSFG is a hybrid hydroponic garden, without the air issues that plague many hydro systems (roots not getting enough air that is.) and I look forward to spending many years enjoying my gardens.

Hope to hear what you all think of this interesting insight,
James
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Post  plantoid on 2/27/2012, 4:08 pm

I'm betting that a minimum of a five way compost mix will supply far more nutrients and trace elements than any hydroponic solutions does . Infact I've cheated by saying that Wink , for I was given that information some 15 years or more ago by a NewZealand government employed agri expert when we were at a seminar on growing hydroponic crops and as to why they were so tasteless even when picked ripe .
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Post  plantoid on 2/27/2012, 4:09 pm

@plantoid wrote:I'm betting that a minimum of a five way compost mix with worm used stuff in it will supply far more nutrients and trace elements than any current chemical factory made hydroponic solutions does .

Infact I've cheated by saying that Wink , for I was given that information some 15 years or more ago by a NewZealand government employed agri expert when we were at a seminar on growing hydroponic crops and as to why they were so tasteless even when picked ripe .
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Post  mageice3 on 2/27/2012, 4:54 pm

@plantoid wrote:I'm betting that a minimum of a five way compost mix will supply far more nutrients and trace elements than any hydroponic solutions does . Infact I've cheated by saying that Wink , for I was given that information some 15 years or more ago by a NewZealand government employed agri expert when we were at a seminar on growing hydroponic crops and as to why they were so tasteless even when picked ripe .

While its true compost gives better nutrients that most hydroponic fertilizers (and costs a fraction of the price), many of the newer ones do supply enough nutrients to make delicious crops (mostly from the Nightshade family, or leaf veggies.) but the application is less ensured then with Mel's Mix, and that's where I find the quality improved (even in my seedlings, and I look forward to a more complete comparison when my veggies mature.)

Tho, I would like to point the finger at one Hydro technique that I find better than whats provided in soil, is Rooting Cuttings, the mist hydroponics systems are amazing for rooting Tomato Cuttings and when rooted can be planted into the ANSFG without any problems.

James
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