Hydroponic Gardening – Managing Pests & Diseases

As with soil-based gardens, hydroponic plants require good pest and disease maintenance controls. Failure to do so creates the same results as with 'ordinary' gardens ie spindly or dead plants. Since the majority of hydroponic plants are fruits and vegetables, that means the plants are not worth eating.

However, managing the hydroponic garden is even trickier, since disease and pests have it much easier in this setting. Plants are continuously kept wet, either immersed in water ('true' hydroponics) or continuously sprayed (aeroponics) or in a permanently wet medium such as perlite or sand. Fortunately, as with soil-based gardens, there is an extensive array of available methods to manage the problem.

Using beneficial life forms is one popular way to control unwanted pests, including certain types of bacteria and fungi. These can help to control spider mites and other invaders by crowding them out, eating them or releasing compounds toxic to the pest. They're known as beneficial organizations because they do all that without damaging the plants themselves.

Different types of pesticides are available, too.

Pesticidal soaps have been in use for centuries and still provide effective and non-toxic ways to keep the pests down. One category called botanicals are compounds released by plants themselves that have been combined into an easy-to-use pest control method. Botanicals break down naturally from exposure to air and water and are brilliant because they leave no harmful chemicals behind.

Neem oil can control over 400 different types of pest that typically invade gardens, including hydroponic ones. A simple spray to the leaves can often eliminate common pests. The bugs absorb the oil, which limits their ability to reproduce, leading to a lower population.

For more serious infestations, many commercial pesticides continue to work well.

White flies, aphids, mites and other pests can be a problem in hydroponic settings, just as in soil-based gardens. Powdery mildew is common. In fact, because of the continuous moisture bugs and pests have a 'friendly' environment. Making it 'unfriendly' is straightforward enough, using fungi and organicides. Sulfur-based compounds can help control white flies, mealy bugs, thrips and more.

Pyrethrum continues to be a safe and effective means of control. Although it sounds man made it is actually derived from flowers. This class of natural compounds released by plants are extracted and used in many commercial insecticides. Dosage is low, so the compound is very safe when used correctly (always read the label). Azatrol is a broad spectrum insecticide that provides another easy control method over most common pests.

Hydroponic gardeners have to exercise additional care when using any disease or pest control method, though. Since no soil is present to hold on to the roots, it's easier to damage a plant when manipulating the leaves and stems. That means that if you pick off mites by hand – an effective method for low-number infestations – it's important to exercise extra care.

Since moisture is present, mildew and other fungi are more common in hydroponic gardens. Keeping leaves dry and just the roots wet will help. Any insecticide sprayed on to your plants or vegetable should be allowed to dry under the grow lights. For aeroponically grown plants, for example, that may require a temporary relocation of the indoor garden.

Helping Your ADD/HD Child

A number of factors need to be considered when you are told that your child is ADD/HD. The first thing you want to do is to understand all you can about ADD/HD. You also want to sit down and list what it means for your child, as a unique individual being, to be ADD/HD. Remember that this diagnosis is observational in nature.

If your child is ADD/HD, then your child was born ADD/HD. What has happened that has made it need to be labeled now? What were the stops along way that led from high energy, curious, creative and bright to disabled? Start a journal about your child, ask for observations, especially from the people who are around your child when you are not.

Ask yourself and other key people in your child’s life questions like: Are there times of day, days of the weeks, or certain situations which seem to trigger the child? Keep a food log and keep track as much as possible of what your child is eating. Are their certain foods that cause spikes and crashes? Or certain foods that lead to acting out or melting down? How about certain situations or people? Did the child have a year at school, or experience at camp where their behavior seemed to go to unmanageable? Were there major shifts in your child’s world such as living situations, acquiring or loss of a close friend or family member?

Talk with your child and have them tell you as much about their days as possible and compare it with what other people experienced of them that day. See where they may be making incorrect assumptions or did not understand the larger picture of what was going on in a certain situation.

Keep in mind that all very bright children have a great deal going on in their head and are impatient to learn, to understand, and will disconnect when bored.

If teachers or other people are strongly pushing the idea that your child is ADD/HD, ask them to be as specific as possible as to why. In order to gain a better understanding of what is going on, enlist them in getting the answers to the questions you are keeping track of. Also, ask what they think the solutions are if your child is ADD/HD. If they want to move to a drug based solution, make sure you are clear if there are benefits for them to have your child drugged and easier to manage.

Maybe your child is gifted with ADD/HD, so what you want to stay clear on is: When did that gift become an unmanageable problem, and will medication solve problems or mask them? First, remember that many factors are going on in your child’s life which could lead to a request for an official diagnosis and a recommendation of medication, and that in medicating, those factors will easily get lost because the medication seems to solve all the problems.

As you draw the picture of your child and your child’s relationship with an ADD/HD diagnosis, start shifting things and see how they shift the issues. Begin with diet, then look at what shifts can be made in the environment. Would smaller classrooms, more interactive educational methods and more challenging curriculum keep your child more focused and moving at a faster, more engaged pace that would both better serve your child’s learning, growth, and development, as well as, eliminate request for labeling or medication?

Keep the following things in mind if a diagnosis of ADD/HD is in the air:

Issues may be caused or exacerbated by diet, environmental, emotional, mental, even undetected physiological factors.

Second, if medicating, what are the short and long term side effects to the mental, emotional and physical well being of your child? Will this label serve them or hold them back?

Third, is the child being held responsible for situations where the failure is not theirs? Is their “failure” on account of an educational system that doesn’t know how to work with these children? Are teachers or other education or care providers ill equipped to provide what your child needs to fly and to flourish? I want to make it clear when I say “ill equipped,” it could be that the primary adults involved are ill suited, or that the situation which they are forced to function is incapable of providing the needed environment. But what I also want to make very clear here is that if we are medicating your child, or any child, because of the failure to properly provide the teachers, the classrooms, the resources needed, and that if they were all in place that a child would not have to be medicated, then medicating is morally reprehensible and we must examine our priorities in this country.

Or is the need to medicate them because we do not offer the support, education and resources to the family unit? Are we medicating them because the family can not or does not know what a bad diet is, or how to give these children the support they need? Or because the information is controlled by groups, institutions, and business who do not have the best interest of your child at hand? Do parents make the choice to medicate their child because of the one sided information that they are given, or are they coerced or manipulated into feeling that this is the only course of acting when in fact it is not? Is it made too easy in this chaotic, sped up, crazy world to convince yourself (to be convinced) that the quick fix is the right one. In other words, that a happy meal and pill is good parenting,

Lastly, dig past the top layer of information if you really want to know. Plenty of information is available on the internet. What you will often come across first is the controlled information. There are number of studies and evidence that on the surface support ADD/HD as a disability diagnosis and say that medication is the primary option. Large non-profit groups who serve this issue that are underwritten by the drug companies that manufacture it. But when you dig deeper, the evidence is not so clear or conclusive. The parts of the studies that question medicating as a viable option are often left out. We hear about the brain scans, but we only hear half a story. We don’t hear at all about the studies that have discovered alarming concerns about medicating these children because they are buried by the information provided by supporters of the pharmaceutical companies, and you have to dig deeper to find them.

Along the way you will also find any number of all natural one stop shopping wonders that claim to cure ADD/HD, and you should be just as wary of them. You need to have a whole child understanding, create whole child solutions and make sure that they represent the unique child that is yours. No quick fixes, no one size fits all approaches. And if everything I’ve said so far hasn’t made your head spin fast enough, I don’t see AD/HD as a disability, something one needs to get cured from or outgrow. It is part of an evolutionary process. These children and adults have a diff-ability, not a disability, they learn and process differently, they are not less able. In fact, they are often more able when they are set up to succeed, and not fail.

The question is: how do you want to best support your child? To fit in – or to be who they are, and be all they can be?

How to Encourage Your Customers to Leave a Consumer Product Review

A consumer product review can be a wonderful tool when it comes to helping you build your sales, but it does not do you much good if you can not convince any of your consumers to leave one when they go! Knowing your consumer product review to work for you requires you to have consumers that are willing to take that extra five minutes out of their day to let you know what they really think. Here's how you can convince them it's worth their time and effort:

1) Offer a small discount on their next purchase to consumers who fill out a consumer product review after they have received their product. This is guaranteed to bring you the results you want-who can say no to saving money? Just remember to keep the discounts within the limits you can afford. It's one thing to offer a 25-50% discount on their next purchase to everyone who gives you five minutes out of your day, it's quite another to look at the cut that's going to take out of your profits when they actually use it.

2) Offer to place them on your mailing list to receive further discounts or coupons after they have filled out a review. You've seen it before; "Answer three easy questions about your shopping experiences and join our mailing list to receive discount coupons and special offers." Again, all of your consumers are essentially cheap at heart; if they were truly satisfied with their experiences they would be happy to have the opportunity to save money in the future. (Hint: Let them know exactly what you'll be sending them, and if you can give them a look at a previous mailing. This eliminates the fear of SPAM.)

3) Spend money to make money. There are a number of companies that offer professional consumer product review services; for a fee they will review your products and put a professional review onto your site. If this makes you flinch, relax. There are plenty of companies that do it. The reviewer gets a free product and fifteen to twenty dollars, you get a great review to show to your returning customers. Everyone wins!

4) Be sure to ask for their contact information when they register for your forum so you can contact them regarding a bad review, but do not go overboard. An e-mail address will suffice, and it will inspire more confidence in your clientele that you're not secretly planning to load their mailboxes up with SPAM.

5) Include a product review card and a website address where they can post a consumer product review with your products when you mail them. While these surveys often find their way into a trash can, every once in a while you'll find someone who's willing to fill it out-and every completed survey is an extra ace in the hole for you.

Many consumers look at a request for a consumer product review and cringe, thinking, "I do not have time for this." It's going to be up to you to convince them otherwise, and these tricks and tactics will get you off to a great start.

Things That Stunt Your Growth

If you want to increase your height, it is important to avoid the things that can stunt your growth. Doing so, will help you to squeeze out the necessary HGH or human growth hormone that your pituitary gland secretes thus helping you to achieve your maximum height potential. It is useless to do the things that can help to increase height if you are also doing the things that can stunt your growth. For example, Eating lots of protein foods which helps to increase your height and at the same time eating too much carbohydrate foods is totally useless because those two have opposite effects on the production of HGH.

So what are the factors that can stunt your growth? Here are some of the factors that will stunt your height, make sure to avoid these things if you want to grow taller naturally. Let’s start with “Lack of Sleep”.

Lack of Sleep:

We know how important the “sleep” is when it comes to our growth and development. Our pituitary gland produces the largest amount of HGH during sleep so its just make sense that “Lack of Sleep” will definitely prevent you from growing taller because it only means depriving your body of a large amount of the HGH it produces. So, make sure that you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Too Much Carbohydrate:

When I was a child, I remember my parents always told me “Eat more rice if you want to grow taller fast” but unknown to me and my parents at that time, too much carbohydrates actually stunts individual’s height. Although, it give us lot of energy, too much of it has stunting effect because it raises the insulin levels in our body. Surge of insulin tends to switch off the GH production. This is the reason why Asian countries that always have too much carbohydrate in their diet like rice and corn have such a short average height compare to other countries.

Cigarette Smoking:

Cigarette Smoking is also one thing that stop your height from increasing. When you are smoking the level of oxygen in your blood decreases while at the same time the harmful substances that cigarette produces like the carbon monoxide increases. We know how important the oxygen is when it comes to our health. Carbon monoxide robs your brain, muscles and body tissue of oxygen badly affecting the health and of course our body’s growth. Aside from its stunting effect, cigarette smoking can also lead emphysema, lung cancer, and hearth disease. So if you are smoking, better stop it now before it leads to these illnesses.

Drinking Soda:

Drinking Soda is also one thing that can also prevent you from growing taller. Carbonated drinks deplete calcium in our bone. And aside from that, soda also contains lots of phosphorous that badly affects your body’s calcium absorption. So taking calcium supplements while drinking soda doesn’t help. It’s like you’re not taking calcium at all. We know how important the calcium to our bone’s growth. So stay away from carbonated drinks if you want to grow taller naturally.