that we've developed that really seems to work well is using
a root screen. We use a simple non-metallic door or window screen
(available at your local hardware store) cut and draped inside
the Air Farm reservoir. This provides the roots of the plant
some resistance and forces the plant to send out side roots.
The net (no pun intended) effect is, in the words of the music
great Taj Mahal: Mo' Roots!
do we want more roots? Plant growth begins with its roots. Roots
provide plant stability (more important in dirt farming), but
most importantly roots provide more water and nutrient gathering
to the plant. In some hydroponic methods, root growth can actually
clog the tubes that feed them. With the Air Farm, we have ample
room for root growth, even with all nine pots planted.
doesn't mean that there is room for nine tomato plants in an
Air Farm. One is the limit, and once you've grown one to maturity,
you'll see why. With the root screen, the tomato root ball will
nearly fill the 2 gallon reservoir!
cut the screen to about a 15" square, though larger is fine.
We'll remove the top of the Air Farm and drape the screen inside
so that about an inch sits outside the top of the pail. This
takes a little help or some practice, but the next step is to
create a pocket of the screen down into the pail. It's okay if
it sits in your nutrient solution, though one gallon should fill
right about to the bottom of the screen.
holding the screen in place, snap the lid down on top of the
pail reservoir. Getting this just right is a little work because
any unevenness will tend to pop one or more of your net pots
out of the top. Once your roots have grown into and through the
root screen, it will stay in place and if you lift the top off,
the screen along with your roots will come with it.
you'll see will likely amaze you. The root growth and development
will be unlike you'd imagined.
New Tool Co.
Reprinted with permission.
Workshop - Hydroponics - Cryan Studio
© Copyright 2005-2009 Fabric Workshop
P.O. Box 204 Centerbrook, CT 06409
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