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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11457
Experience:  Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
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Hi, are there any experts here in gardening?

Resolved Question:

Hi, are there any experts here in gardening?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.

I would like to help you. I have a biology degree and over 30 years experience gardening with fruits, vegetables, trees, and flowers. What is your specific question?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Anna :) thanks for taking my question

I am researching hydroponic gardening, for a few reasons: added space to my current soil garden, and for cleanliness of my leafy vegetables. I have read many posts, blogs, websites with regard to using compost tea for the nutrient solution, and that it (the compost) needs to be sterilized/ pasteurized. However, when researching further, I found there was a distinct difference between the two- one using H2O2, killing all 'good' bacteria along with the bad, and the other-baking the compost prior to making the tea.

Can you offer any additional insight into this?

My compost consists of vegetation, as well as chicken, pig and rabbit manure mixed with pine wood shavings. It is well composted at this point, and just looks like ordinary dirt.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. Both using H2O2 and baking the compost will kill both good and bad organisms in it. And as you know, your plants need the good organisms. Instead of baking, you can actually pasteurize the compost before making it into tea. Buy one of the large aluminum baking pans. Preheat the oven to 200*F. Place three to four inches of your compost on the pan. Put a meat thermometer in the center and place in the oven. When the center reads reaches 160*F bake for 30 minutes. Pasteurization kills the potentially harmful organisms, but not all of the beneficial ones. Unfortunately, there is no way to preserve all of the good organisms, but this comes the closest. You just can't take chances with bacteria like E. coli.

For a local source of information on hydroponic gardening, I suggest you contact your local Extension Agent. There is no charge for their services, and their advice is reputable. They have access to the latest information on every aspect fo gardening. This link will take you to a map where you can click on your state to find your agent:

I hope this is the kind of information you wanted. If not, let me know, and we'll go from there.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

ok, thanks... I appreciate you looking into this for me, however, this is the same information I had already obtained from my own research... but that's ok, lol...


Also, I live in Canada, so your link wouldn't help much, sadly :(... any idea who/ what agency I might talk to in Canada?

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
I was afraid that might be the case, since you had already done some research. There's only so much information out there on hydroponic gardening. I'll see if I can find resources for you in Canada. It may take a little while, but I'll be back.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

right, I understand :) I was wondering if you had had any personal experience with it, and could offer some information based on that. But, again, that's ok :)


Thanks again for your reply

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
I understand. Unfortunately, not too many gardeners do have first- hand information on hydroponics. It just isn't a very popular method of growing. I found that four Canadian provinces do have a Master Gardener program, and the Master gardeners do give free advice. Of course, I have no way to know if any of them have experience with hydroponics. It can't hurt to ask. Go to this site, and scroll down past the USA section to get a list of the Canadian contacts:

Because i haven't been able to give you exactly the kind of information you want, I'm going to opt out fo your question. That opens it to other experts, just in case one of them may have first hand experience. There's no need to click on accept unless you receive a satisfactory answer. I wish you much gardening success.

Anna and 49 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thanks for the link... I'm still going to click accept though... because I appreciate the time you took to do research for me :) Have a great day!
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
That's very generous of you, and I certainly didn't expect you to do that. Thank you!

Wishing you a great day, too.