Plant life cycle page:
Let me take you on a brief journey of the plant life cycle, and man's manipulation of it.
As an old generation of plants dies, part of them live on to form the next generation. Our journey begins with this new life, in the seed stage.
The seed is a well designed survival pod. If the seed is lucky enough to survive the winter, and if it was lucky enough to also find itself in soil, than perhaps it will go on to the next stage of plant development. It is called the seedling stage.
Some plants are only seedlings for a few days, while other plants are considered to be in their seedling stage for years (so a plant life cycle could be a long journey indeed). Once again though, if conditions are right (or if humans intervene) this seedling will eventually finish this early stage of development and begin to grow in the vegetative stage of the plant life cycle.
Who can say, some person may even come along and take to the idea of bringing this little plant home with them. Of course, when plants are domesticated they will often require transplanting from time to time.
Sooner or later this vegetative stage will come to an end, and this plant will enter a stage of the plant life cycle called the flowering stage.
Depending on what type of plant this is, it may die after the flowering period, or it may continue to live for a very long time. With careful care and attention however, even the plants that would normally die can live for another flowering stage another day. This careful treatment is known as plant regeneration.
It seems like an incredible feat to give a dying plant such a second chance, but this small miracle is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to what man has learned about plant behavior and how to manipulate it. In fact, man has developed the amazing ability to control the natural elements and force flowering upon plants out of their natural season.
The small miracles don't stop with the flowering period, either. Man has manipulated plant behavior so well with cloning that this form of asexual plant reproduction has become more efficient than good old mother nature's own sexual reproductive strategies.
Of course, for those of you a little scared of mans awesome control over the plant life cycle, there is plenty of info to be had on starting seeds.
I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT
having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow
your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality
nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with
and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as
possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!
As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...
And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.
Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only
just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only
because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique
and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more
high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole
year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to
increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the
same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your
own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food
And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...
The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->
This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.
Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!
The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!