Category Archives: Home & Garden

Planting Pear Trees

Pear trees fit well into an organic home-stead. Pear trees are quite hardy and grow well on deep, well-drained loam soil with ample moisture. A heavy mulch or permanent leguminous cover crop produces the best growth. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilization—it encourages disease—but mulch or barnyard manure is perfectly safe.

Pear Tree Planting and Culture

Dwarf pears are generally planted 12 feet apart in each direction; full-sized trees, 16 to 20 feet apart. Nearly all varieties require cross-pollination; any two varieties that blossom at the same time will cross-pollinate each other. Pear trees are well adapted to espalier training, and thus are a good fruit for small gardens.

Pears are generally planted as one-year-old whips, which are headed back to 30 inches. At the end of the first summer, all except three evenly spaced branches are removed. Each year, these are headed back moderately and three or four shoots are left to make secondary branches. Once the tree comes into bearing, only a little pruning is necessary. Remove enough wood to induce new shoot growth and thin to prevent overbearing.

Pear Insects and Diseases

Fire-blight fungus is one of the most serious pests of pears. Very few trees are completely resistant and those that are usually produce poorer fruit.

Fire blight attacks leaves, flowers, fruit, branches, and trunks, making the infected portions blackish as if they had been scorched. There is no known cure for the blight except surgery. Trees should be inspected for blight every two or three days from blooming time to midsummer. When it is found, the infected portions should be cut out, using sterilized instruments. The cut should be made at least six, and preferably 12 inches back toward the roots. All material removed should be burned.

Pears are not bothered by many other diseases or insects, but occasionally scabs, psyllids, curculios, or codling moths may attack them.

Pear scab appears as a velvety olive-green spot on the fruit, becoming black and scabby at maturity. On the leaves the scab makes black spots. The disease is favored by warm, damp weather which also fosters blight. Remove any leaves or fruit infected with scab, and keep the area under the tree free of fallen leaves and fruit.

Psyllids are jumping insects which produce honeydew that invites infections of fungal molds harmful to the tree. The insects attack the blossoms and prevent fruit set. The best preventive measure is a thorough dormant-oil spray in the spring.

Pear Varieties

Among the favorites of the disease-resistant varieties are the Bartlett, Seckel, Clapp Favorite, Gorham, and Other blight-resistant varieties include Moonglow and Magness. These bear sweet fruit. Colette is a dwarf variety in ripens in mid-August to early September. Nelis is a tasty, yellow green pear and very large fruit. Beurre Bosc and D’Anjou produce hardy fruit.

Soft Furnishing Sewing

Most items of soft furnishing are expensive to buy ready-made but they can he made just as successfully at home and much more cheaply. Curtains and drapes, cushion covers, bed linen and table linen require the minimum of sewing skills and little equipment beyond a sewing machine and an iron.

The choice of fabric plays a major part in setting the style of a room, creating accents of colour to enliven a neutral decor or providing a means of coordinating different elements effectively in a loom. Colour is an important consideration when furnishing a room —light shades tend to open it out, while dark and vivid shades tend to enclose it. Many people tend to play safe by choosing neutral or pastel shades which, although easy to live with, can look rather boring and impersonal.

Making soft furnishings at home is the perfect way to experiment with colour and make a visual statement. Most items require a few metres (yards) of fabric at the most. A good point to hear in mind when selecting fabric is that there are no hard-and-fast rules, apart from trying not to mix

too many different colours and patterns in one setting. Most good stores will supply swatches of furnishing fabrics without charge for colour matching at home.

Another consideration is that the chosen fabric should be suitable for the intended purpose — for example, heavyweight cloths will make up into good curtains and cushion covers but will he too stiff to make a successful tablecloth or bed valance. Many of these details are primarily common sense but, when in doubt, be guided by the sales assistant’s specialist knowledge.

Stamping is a quick and effective way of repeating a design on a wide variety of surfaces, using many different mixtures of paints and inks. It does not require a great deal of specialist equipment; many of the items used are found in most households.

Craft knife: a sharp-bladed craft knife is essential for cutting your own stamps our of thick sponge or foam. Use a cutting mat to protect your work surface, and always direct the blade away from your fingers.

Lino blocks: linoleum blocks are available from art and craft shops and can be cut to make stamps which recreate the look of a wood block. You will need special lino-cutting tools, which are also easily available, to accurately scoop out the areas around the design. Hold the lino with your spare hand behind your cutting hand for safety. Always cut away from you. Masking tape: use for masking off areas of walls and furniture when painting. Natural sponge: available in various sizes, use for applying colour washes to walls before stamping.

Paintbrushes: a range of decorator’s brushes is needed for painting furniture and walls before stamping. Use a broad brush to apply colour washes to walls. Stiff brushes can be used for stippling paint on to stamps for textured effects, while finer brushes are used to pick out details or to apply paint to the stamp. Pencils, pens and crayons: use a soft pencil to trace templates for stamps, and for making easily removable guidelines on walls. Draw motifs freehand using a marker pen on medium- and low-density sponge. Always use a white crayon on black upholstery foam.

Rags: keep a stock of clean rags and cloths for cleaning stamps and preparing surfaces.

Ruler and tape measure: use these to plan your design.

Scissors: use sharp scissors to cut out medium- and low-density sponge shapes, and are especially useful for cutting out the basic shapes. Also handy for cutting out templates. .Sponge rollers: use to apply the paint evenly over the whole stamp. Small paint rollers can be used to load your stamps, though you will need several if you are stamping in different colours. Use a brush to apply a second colour to act as a highlight or shadow, or to pick out details of the design

Storage Shelving

Wall-mounted shelving is either fixed or adjustable. With fixed shelving, each shelf is supported independently using 2 or more shelf brackets, which are fixed both to the wall and to the underside of the shelf. With adjustable shelving, the shelves are carried on brackets, studs or tongues which are slotted or clipped into vertical support strips screwed to the wall.

Shelves can he made of natural wood or manufactured boards. Ready-made shelves are usually made of veneered or plastic-coated chipboard (particleboard). The latter traditionally have either a white or imitation wood-grain finish, but pastel shades and bold colours are now more widely available. Otherwise, you can cut shelves from full-sited hoards: chipboard, plywood, (medium-density fibreboard) and blockboard are all suitable.

There are many types of adjustable shelving on the market, with uprights and brackets usually made of metal but occasionally of wood. All operate on broadly the same principle. Start by deciding on the position and spacing of the uprights; this will depend on what sort of shelf material you are using and what load it will carry. Hang the uprights on the wall, making sure that they are perfectly vertical and level with each other. Finally, clip in the brackets and fir the shelves.

You may also want adjustable shelves inside a storage unit. There are 2options. The first involves drilling a series of aligned holes in each side of the unit, then inserting small shelf-support studs. The second uses book-case strip — a metal moulding with slots into which small pegs or tongues are fitted to support the shelves. You will need 2 strips at each side of the unit.

USING SHELF BRACKETS

1. Select the correct bracket spacing, and then attach the shorter arm of each bracket to the underside of the shelf, so that it is flush with the rear edge.

2. Fix the shelf to the wail with a Screw driven through one bracket, check that it is horizontal and mark the remaining screw positions. Let the shelf swing downwards 011the first screw, then drill the other holes.

3. Insert plugs for masonry wall fixings if needed. Swing the shelf hack up and drive in the remaining fixing screws. Tighten them fully so that the screw heads pull the brackets against the wall.

PUTTING UP ADJUSTABLE SHELVES

1. Decide where to posit ion the shelves, then fix the first upright to the wall by driving a screw through the topmost hole. Do not tighten it fully.

2. Pivot the upright until it is vertical. Mark the position of all the other fixing holes. Swing the upright aside, drill the rest of the holes and drive in the screws.

3. Use a spirit level to make a mark on the wall, level with the top of the first upright and at the required distance front it. Fix the second upright there.

4. Mark the upright positions on the rear edge of each shelf. Align the back of each bracket with the edge of the shelf and with the mark, and screw it on.

5. If the shelves are to fit flush against the wall, cut notches at the upright positions to fit around them and then attach the brackets as shown.

6. Position the shelf brackets by inserting their tongues into the slots in the uprights. The weight of the shelf will lock them in place. Adjust the shelf spacings as wished.

USING BOOKCASE STRAP

1. Mark the positions of the top ends of the strips to ensure that they are level, then mark the screw posit anis to a true vertical and screw on the strips.

2. Insert pairs of pegs into the strips at each shelf position, checking that their lugs are properly engaged in the slots. Lift the shelf into place.

USING SHELF SUPPORTS

1. Use at simple pre-drilled jig to make the holes for the shelf supports in the sides of the unit. A depth snip will prevent you from drilling too deep.

2. Drill 2 sets of holes in each side of the unit, with the top of the jig held against the top of the unit to guarantee alignment. Insert the supports.

PLANNING SHELVES

Think of how to make best use of your new storage area. It is a good idea to make a rough sketch initially, in order to take account of factors such as the height of books or record sleeves, or the clearance that ornaments or photographs will require. Aim to keep everyday items within easy reach— in practice, between about 75 cm/2 ft 6 in and 1.5 in/5 ft above the floor. Position deep shelves near the bottom so that it is easy to see and reach the back. Allow 2.5-5 cm/l-2 in of clearance on top of the height of objects to be stored, so that they are easy to rake down and put back.

Think about weight, too. If the shelves will store heavy objects, you must choose the shelving material with care — thin shelves will sag if heavily laden unless they are well-supported. With 12 mm/1/2 in clipboard (particleboard) and ready-made veneered or melamine-faced shelves, space brackets at 45 cm/18 in for heavy loads or 60 cm/2 ft far light loads. With 20 mm/1/4 in chipboard or 12 MM/V2 in plywood, increase the spacing to60 cm/2 in and 75 cm/2 in respectively. For 20 mm/1/4 in plywood, MDF (medium-density fibreboard) or natural wood, the bracket spacing can be 75 cm/2 ft6 in for heavy loads, or 90 cm/3 ft for light ones.

Storage Organize

Gardening brings with it an extraordinary amount of practical paraphernalia. Tools, pots, and planters, potting compost, raffia, string, seeds, and baskets are but a few of the sheds can become an attractive part of the garden architecture if decorated. For tools and equipment, garden sheds bulky and space-consuming examples are the classic solution that most gardens can accommodate, though smaller gardens may be restricted to a mini-shed or tool shed, which can be as small as 30 cm/12 in deep and so can be tucked into a corner. However,

Another solution is to put your goods on show. Garden pots can be very visual and, displayed on weatherproof shelves; can become part of the decorative appeal of the garden. This is an excellent solution for very small gardens and patios, which still need space for the practicals. Instead of buying ready-made garden shelving, you could build your own from timber and treat it with exterior-quality paint. Metal shelves can be given a new life using car spray paint or specially manufactured metal paint, which can even be sprayed straight over old rust.

All shelves should he attached firmly to the garden wall — avoid attaching to the house wall since this could lead to water damage. Once fitted, use the shelves for displays, to store tools, or for bringing on young seedlings, which can look delightful planted in ranks of terracotta pots.

Means of disguise

In an ideal world, garbage bins and recycling containers would be beautiful in themselves, but unfortunately, in reality they are seldom an attractive sight. They are necessary, however, and they do need to be accessible.

You can spend a little effort painting them, using a screen of plants to hide them or camouflaging them with a trellis with plants growing up it. Trellises have the advantage of being compact, long-lasting and attractive.

In spite of its utilitarian name, the potting shed is far more than a useful storage area and behind-the-scenes workroom for the gardener’s al fresco performance. For many gardeners, it is a rustic refuge from everyday concerns, a quiet and solitary place for contemplation and gentle activity, which may or may not be of a horticultural nature.

Potting sheds are seldom shared. In households of more than one individual, one person will generally claim territorial rights and others will trespass at their peril, for here the gardener’s true nature may flourish without interference. Tidiness is optional. Some people will hang meticulously cleaned tools in serried ranks, while others fling rusting relics in heaps on the floor. Pots may be carefully cleaned and sorted ready for use or left where last discarded, according to inclination. Compost (soil mix) is neatly sacked and stacked or thrown with abandon over every surface. Most of us come somewhere between the two extremes, for while we admire orderliness, a natural impatience engenders a tendency towards disorder, and in this one area of our lives, we feel completely free to be occasionally tidy and well organized, but rather more often not.

Stenciling Equipment

Materials

A variety of materials can he used for stencilling, from special stencilling paints and sticks to acrylics and latex. Each has its own properties and will create different effects.

Acrylic stencil paint: acrylic stencil paint is quick-drying, reducing the possibility of the paint running and seeping behind the stencil. Acrylic stencil paints are available in a wide range of colours, and can be mixed for more subtle shades.

Acrylic varnish: this is useful for sealing finished projects.

Emulsion (latex) paint: ordinary household vinyl emulsion can also be used for stencilling. It is best to avoid the cheaper varieties, as these contain a lot of water and will seep through the stencil.

Fabric paint: this is used in the same way as acrylic stencil paint, and comes in an equally wide range of colours. Set with an iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it will withstand washing and everyday use. As with ordinary stencil paint, do not overload the brush with colour, as it will seep into the fabric. Always back the fabric you are stencilling with scrap paper or newspaper to prevent the paint from marking the work surface. Gold leaf and gold size: these can be used to great effect. The actual design is stencilled with gold size. The size is then left to become tacky, and the gold leaf is rubbed over the design.

Metallic creams: these are available in many different metallic finishes, from gold to copper, bronze and silver. Apply as highlights on a painted base, or use for the entire design. Creams can be applied with cloths or your fingertip.

Oil-based stencil sticks and creams: the sticks can be used in the same ways a wax crayon, while the creams can be applied with a brush or your fingertip. With either one, there is no danger of overloading the colour, and they won’t run. The disadvantage is their long drying time (overnight in some cases); also, the colours can become muddy when mixed. Sticks and creams are also available for fabrics.

Equipment

Stencilling does not require a great deal of special equipment; many of the items used are commonly found in most households. A few tools, however, will make the job easier.

Brushes: it is worth investing in a set of good stencil brushes. The ends of the brushes should be flat and the bristles firm, to let you control the application of paint. A medium-size brush (4 cm/11/2 in diameter) is a useful, all-purpose size, but you may want to buy one size smaller and one size larger as well. You will need a selection of household paintbrushes for applying large areas of background colour, and small artist’s paintbrushes for adding fine details. Craft knife: use for cutting out stencils from cardboard.

Cutting mat: this provides a firm surface to cut into and will help prevent the craft knife from slipping. Masking tape: as the stencil may need to be repositioned, it is advisable to hold it in place with masking tape, which can be removed fairly easily from most surfaces.

Paint-mixing container: this may be necessary for mixing paints and washes. Pencils: keep a selection of soft and hard artist’s pencils to transfer the stencil design on to cardboard. Use an ordinary pencil to mark on your object the positions of the stencils before applying.

Stencil card (cardboard): the material used to make the stencil is a matter of preference. Speciality stencil card is available waxed from specialist art stores, which means that it will last longer, but ordinary cardboard or heavy paper can also be used. It is worth purchasing a sheet of clear acetate if you wish to keep your stencil design, to reuse time and again.

Tape measure and rulers: some patterns may require accuracy. Measuring and planning the positions of your stencils before you begin will aid the result.

Tracing paper: use to trace and transfer your stencil design on to stencil card

How to Grow Okra

Okra is primarily a hot-weather tropical and can be grown in both northern and southern gardens. A tall-growing annual gumbo grows best in the southern states, where two crops of it can be grown near.

Okra Planting

Okra thrives in any well-kept garden soil in full sunlight. If the soil is wet, the seed tends to rot, so good soil is necessary. These woody plants can take on all the food given to them. Because okra grows rapidly, nitrogen is particularly needed. Poultry manure is splendid material for okra beds. Since it is very strong, only about one-tenth as much chicken manure as other animal manures can be used. Compost, leaf mold, peat moss, and wood ashes can be used to advantage to improve poor soil in the garden. Peat moss and leaf mold are usually acid and a slight amount of lime should be used along with either of these two materials. These soil builders should be plowed under in the winter well before the planting time, or in a small home garden they can be spaded under in the early spring.

The rows should be at least three to five feet apart. The stalks are bushy and can become quite large when well fertilized and during rainy seasons. Scatter the seed in drills or plant loosely in hills and cover to a depth of one to two inches, according to the compactness of the soil. The seed should be separated three or four inches to allow space for the development of the stems. If weather is warm, germination should take place within a few days. But if there is a heavy rainfall in the meanwhile, the soil should be lightly cultivated between the rows and the crust broken up over the seed by means of a garden rake. This is suggested where the soil contains clay or is heavy. Sandy loam will probably not need any such treatment, as the seed will come through when the soil has been drained or the water has been evaporated by the action of the sun. After plants become established, thin them to stand 15 inches apart and mulch lightly.

Okra Insects

The okra plant is not subject to attack from many insects, but the bollworm may be a problem. It bores into the pods and thus injures them. The stinkbug also attacks the pods, piercing them and extracting the juices. Since damage from the latter occurs late in the season, the loss is very little. Blister beetles and leaf beetles often feed upon the foliage of okra but these pests do little harm to the pod and scarcely influence the production of pods at all. Handpicking usually keeps these insects well under control.

Okra Harvesting

Okra pods should be harvested daily when they are one to four inches long. They should still be soft and should be only half grown if pods are eaten. If it is necessary to keep the pods 24 hours, they should be spread out and slightly moistened.

Planting Endives

Often called escarole, which have wider leaves, endives will succeed in any ordinary garden soil not deficient in humus and normal moisture. Like lettuce, its succulent growth must be rather rapid to enable it to form tender leaves. On poor, dry, exposed soil its growth will be slowed up so that its leaves, if they form in quantity, will be tough and unnecessarily pungent.

For success in growing endive, use the same area where lettuce succeeded early in the spring, and add a thin layer of compost in the rows.

Planting Endives

Seed should be thinly covered with not more than 1/3 inch sifted, mature compost humus, clear a mixture of the two. To make the seed, sand and humus may be well mixed in a container and then spread along a shallow trench. The rows should be about one foot apart and the plants should stand one foot apart in the row.

You may find it best to raise flat or a similar container set in a particular spot, or by using a shaded seedbed. Seedbeds may be protected from heat by stretching cheesecloth. When transplanting the young plants in the garden, be sure they are set slightly before they were in the flat and are well firmed; work with the hoe to keep down mulching of straw.

Blanching Endives

This may be accomplished by putting flowerpots over the plants and foot-wide planks on edge with a light-tight miniature root tying up the head. When the plant is fully grown and the head fairly well formed, draw together the long outer and tie them with soft string. The plants should remain covered for about three weeks.

Plants that reach maturity should be gently dug up with a good earth around their roots and set in a corner of a cool, unheated cellar.

Papaya Planting

Papayas are called the “melons on trees.” The fragrant yellow fruit varies in size from two to 20 pounds when ripe. The flavor has been compared to cantaloupes and strawberries and a black seed, papain. They are rich in vitamins A and C and thiamine. The vitamin is higher than that of oranges and strawberries.

The plant itself as various medicinal uses: to cure chronic diarrhea in children, to slough ulcers, to tumor growth, and as a blood coagulant. Fresh, mashed papaya is used as a moisturizer when applied to the face.

Papaya trees are planted eight feet apart. They like a rich, moist soil and thrive on well decomposed compost, aged chicken manure, blood meal, and other organic plant foods rich in nitrogen. Papayas are propagated by seed. The trees begin to bear about four years, but it is a common practice to replant every year or two, as the fruit get smaller after this.

The papaya tree usually grows up to 15 feet in height, and the fruits ripen from mid-winter to early spring. It is hardy only in the lower top of Florida, sometimes in mid-Florida and Southern California if protected. The trunk resembles that of a palm tree and is topped with a cluster of huge, deep lobed trees.

Papaya plants may be male, female or perfect (producing male and female flowers). Long, hanging flower clusters distinguish the male papaya. These ordinarily do no produce fruit. Female and perfect plants have flower clusters at the base of the leaf next to the stem. One male plant per 20 to 25 female plants is best for fruit production. The papaya may suffer a chafe in sex due to severe pruning or injury.

Planting Yuccas

Yucca is usually thought of as a desert or semidesert plant, confined to dry areas of the South and the southwestern desert, but several yuccas are surprisingly hardy in the cool, moist regions of the North.

Yuccas are very handsome plants. Nearly all of the 40-odd species have stiff, swordlike silver green leaves, growing in a clump at ground level. From this clump arises a single leafless stalk bearing a magnificent spike of highly fragrant, waxy flowers.

Yuccas blend handsomely in borders, contrast beautifully with the shapes of both evergreen and deciduous shrubs, and can be planted to stand as majestic sentinels on either side of an entrance gate or door. They also serve well lining a driveway, fence or terrace wall, or as a dramatic living sculpture against low, craggy rocks. Finally, yuccas can be grown in tubs and moved around for special effects.

Yuccas Planting and Culture

All yuccas require a sunny and fairly dry location with a light, sandy or gritty well-drained soil. Digging a deep hole and filling it with a sand-humus mixture will take care of this. Apply compost, bone meal and dried manure to the plants once each year. Watering should rarely, if ever, be necessary. Drought produces a lovely foliage and stem patina on desert-type plants. Yuccas generally flower only in alternate years, but the flowers last four to six weeks.

Yuccas are easy to propagate. They can be increased by seed, rhizome or stem cuttings, or by digging offsets from the side of an established plant.

In nature, the yucca is pollinated by a small white moth, the pronuba. This night-flying insect deposits her eggs in the seed vessel of a blooming yucca, and then fertilizes the plant with pollen from another yucca. When the pronuba grubs hatch out, they find a goodly supply of seeds to eat, but leave plenty to produce more yuccas. Scientists call the yucca-pronuba relationship a perfect example of symbiosis, the mutual interdependence of two things in nature.

Yuccas Types

Two species have trunks. The Joshua tree (Y. brevifolia) grows up to 40 feet high, its branches twisting into grotesque shapes. The Spanish bayonet (Y. aloifolia) is about 20 feet tall, and has very sharp-pointed, long leaves and spectacular white or purple-tinged flowers. Neither of these will stand wet winters, and they grow only in the South.

Blooming yucca then fertilizes the plant with pollen from another yucca. When the pronuba grubs hatch out, they find a goodly supply of seeds to eat, but leave plenty to produce more yuccas. Scientists call the yucca-pronuba relationship a perfect example of symbiosis, the mutual interdependence of two things in nature.

Our-Lord’s-candle (Y. Whipplei) has short basal leaves but sends up great creamy spikes, bearing many blooms. It will not stand frost or wet soil.

Northern gardeners who have never grown the hardy yuccas are missing plants that add great beauty and accent to gardens. One of the best yuccas for northern gardens is the Adam needle (Y. filamentosa), sometimes calm needle palm. It is a deep-rooted, tough-fiberish and some plant that has no trouble in New England winters. Its flower may rise 12 feet or higher. Y. flaccida is a similar species.

Other yuccas for the North are soapweed, and Y. data, both good as far north as southern Minnesota, good drainage and shelter against harsh wind are provided. Y. gloriosa is reportedly able to withstand city smog.

Hydroponic Gardening

From the Greek roots hydro, water, and meaning work, hydroponics is the science of growing plants in water, without soil. Plants are supported in an inert, non-organic medium such as sand, fine gravel or mica compositions, which are saturated with nutrient solutions for short periods. These solutions typically contain phosphorus, potassium, calcium, urn, sulfur, iron, manganese, boron, and copper. All of the essential foods are available to plant roots quantities.

Hydroponic gardening requires a trough for the plants, an aggregate such as gravel or vermiculite for root support water supply with a pH rating of between 6 and 8.5. Nutrient solutions need to be added with water regularly.

Hydroponics has intrigued scientists because it eliminates the need for ordinary cultivation. Its main cost in the labor is saved by automatics and fertilizing, although installation costs are generally pretty high. So greater crops yield result from hydroponic gardens. Until very recently, corn-acceptance and implementation of hydroponics methods have been impeded by the reliance on chemical nutrient solutions and frequent testing.

With mounting interest in urban agriculture and rooftop food production, however, hydroponics seems destined to assume greater significance. The organic grower can either use a tea made from high-quality compost, or can mix a basic solution of one tablespoon fish emulsion, one tablespoon liquid seaweed, and a teaspoon of blood meal to each gallon of water. The mix varies, depending on the type of plant to be grown. Less blood meal should be used with flowering and fruiting produce than with leafy crops. Other nutrients can also be added: blended eggshells, for example, might be helpful when added to a cabbage crop. Organic hydroponics is very much in a developing stage, and a taste for experimentation is essential.

While soil is cheaper than perlite or vermiculite, it is significantly more difficult to cart up to a rooftop in bulk. Moreover, container soil is prone to rapid leaching and usually requires repeated fertilization, so the actual cost of organic fertilizers for hydroponically grown plants is comparable with that for conventionally grown plants. Hydroponics advocates also point out that since hydroponic roots do not need to grow as far in search of nourishment as the roots of soil-grown plants, planting densities can be more intensive and higher yields can be achieved.

The equipment for hydroponic production can be constructed simply and inexpensively. The container must be elevated slightly at one end and have drainage holes at the opposite end. One-inch plastic pipes with holes drilled every three inches are laid about an inch below the medium and raised at both ends of the box. Smaller rubber hoses coming from the nutrient supply are inserted into the pipe at one end; the upward bend in the pipe at the opposite end stops the flow of the solution. A gravity system for controlling nutrient flow composed of two five-gallon buckets elevated on boxes and standing two feet above the top of the growing container, makes it easy to add nutrients and care for the hydroponic plants.