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If you’re looking to start growing without soil, then hydroponics is for you. While some people prefer to grow their seedlings in soil before transferring them to a hydroponics medium, I feel that starting seeds in hydroponics system itself is a cleaner way to go about it, since soil isn’t introduced to the set up at all. Also, seeds that germinate in a hydroponic cloner from the start will grow faster because they won’t have experienced a change of medium.

The Materials Needed

You’ll need a hydroponic cloner, to begin with. This is a piece of equipment that can increase the cost of getting started with hydroponics but it ensures quality. Other things required are:

Set Up Your Cloner and Air Pump

Start by filling your hydroponic cloner with water. Fill it to the point where the bottoms of your net pots reach. Next, place the air stone in the water and connect it to the tubing. Attach the other side of the tubing to the air pump. Plug in the air pump to an electrical outlet and you’ll begin to see some bubbles in the tank.

Planting Your Seeds

Take out your natural plant starters and soak each one with water before adding it to a net pot. The moist bubbles coming out through the air stone will keep the starters wet and help seeds germinate.

Each starter will have a hole in it; add around 3 seeds to it. You can start with lettuce seeds because these are easier to grow for beginners. Don’t plant less than three because it’s likely that some seeds won’t germinate, and you need to make sure that there are seedlings sprouting from each starter.

Maintaining Your Seeds

Keeping your seeds in good condition is important so that they sprout and it’s easy to do as well. Until your seedlings sprout, use a spray bottle or dropper to keep the starters moist. Repeat this every day until you begin to see some growth. After your seedlings have sprouted, look for the weaker seedlings in every starter and clip them.

After you’ve prepared the ideal environment for your seeds to germinate, you’ll need to begin prepping the water so they can grow better. Using a pH pen, find out whether the water in the reservoir is currently acidic or basic.

Then, based on what you find out, you’ll have to lower or raise the pH. If you used regular tap water at first, it’s likely that the water is a bit basic and you’ll need a pH down solution so you can make it a little acidic.

You can easily purchase a pH up and down pack from any gardening store, or just order some. After that, you can add some hydroponic nutrient solution that provides your seedlings with essential minerals so they have better growth. Now, your hydroponic setup is ready to grow you some great veggies! Happy Farming!

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8 Foods to Promote Hair Growth

Thinning or slow-growing hair can be a pain. There’s no shortage of supplements out there that promise to make your hair grow faster, but do they actually work? There are certain essential nutrients that do promote hair growth, but they’re most easily absorbed into the body when you consume them through whole, natural foods.

Some nutrients to look for include omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, protein, biotin, and vitamins C, E and A. Let’s take a look at which foods contain these vital nutrients.

Avocado

Avocado is full of the essential fatty acids that are a necessary component of skin cells. Boosting your intake of fatty acids keeps your scalp healthy, which in turn allows your hair to grow longer and healthier. For an added boost, you can apply avocado topically to the hair and scalp for about 10 minutes.

Salmon

Salmon is another food rich in fatty acids. In addition to the omega-3s that are necessary for scalp health, it contains protein that helps strengthen your hair strands.

Eggs

Many of the most common hair-growth supplements contain biotin, also known as vitamin B7. The yolk of an egg is rich in this nutrient, which is essential for hair, skin and nail growth. Eggs are also rich in protein and fatty acids.

Pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Snacking on these seeds throughout the day will supply you with a boost of vitamin E, which increases circulation to the scalp. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc, which keeps the scalp moisturized. A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair.

Oysters

Another abundant source of zinc can be found in the sea. One 3 ounce serving of fresh oysters contains a whopping 493% of your daily value of zinc.

Strawberries

There are many foods that are rich in vitamin C, but strawberries are one of the most delicious ways to pack this essential vitamin into your diet. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, and collagen is a critical part of hair strands.

Sweet Potatoes

Vitamin A is crucial for a healthy scalp as well as hair growth, but it’s best to consume it from natural sources. The beautiful orange color of sweet potatoes is due to the high content of beta carotene, which is then formed into vitamin A.

Leafy Vegetables

Leafy vegetables have a couple important benefits: they’re rich in iron, and they contain MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). Iron deficiency is a common culprit of hair loss, while MSM is a vital component of keratin, a type of protein in hair strands.


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