In hydroponic gardening use plastic cups to hold your plants

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My favorite hydroponic gardening system is an ebb and flow design (click here for building plans) with a large growing container filled with growing medium in which I plant several plants. ebb and flow, flood and drain hydroponic system

Recently I switched from placing plants directly into the growing medium to putting them into plastic cups filled with growing medium and it has turned out to be very handy.

I use 16 oz plastic soda cups in which I poke as many holes as possible through the side all around the cup, fill it with growing medium and transplant a plant into it. Then I sink this cup and all the other cups into the growing medium of the growing container.

This has proven extremely useful when my basil plant acquired a spider mite infection. I merely took out the cup and up-ended the plant into water to get rid of the mites and then returned it to the container.

If you need to isolate a plant for some reason it can be easily moved and if you need to use some kind of harsh pesticide then the plant can be treated away from the others and out of range of the nutrient solution.

Plants can also be easily transplanted from system to system if desired during the growing season and seedlings can be germinated directly in a cup. I would recommend you try it out.

Don't be worried that a large plant will become root bound in a plastic cup because a hydroponics system is designed so all plant roots easily receive all the plant nutrient needed therefore the root mass can remain small. In fact I periodically pull the cup up and trim off all the roots growing through the cup holes.

Not only does this trimming of roots make it easy to move cups of plants around it also encourages the plant to build more foliage and fruit by redirecting energy from the plant roots to the plant itself.

My suggestion would be to 'lay in' a huge supply of plastic cups when gardening with hydroponics.


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