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.

Birthday Gag Gifts

A gag gift for a birthday is way cooler than an ordinary, useable gift. Give the following gag gifts to your loved ones, and see how the person will love you more.

For the always late officemate, give him a backwards clock. Written in reverse, this clock will definitely drive your officemate nuts in no time.

For your conceited teenage sister, give her the laughing mirror. This is the mirror that will laugh every time someone grabs hold of it and looks into it. Your sister would definitely love you more when she gets laughed at by the laughing mirror!

Give fake cat poop to your obsessive-compulsive friend. Scatter it all over her bedroom floor, or, better yet, on her mattress to make her birthday complete.

For your love-sick aunt, give her the art of kissing book. So when she reads it, she gets to crave someone to do the kissing with. For additional fun, include the barf-scent breath freshener so she can enjoy her kissing moments even more!

Your long-haired rocker friend describes the bald head wig. This way, he can have the feeling of having a shaved head for a little while. Or maybe he can even pretend to be a hard-core punk!

The exploding lighter coupled with the exploding cigarette pack is perfect for your buddies who incessantly smoke every time you are together. Nothing will make their day better and your day more hilarious than playing this great prank on them!

If you want your loved ones to love you even more, make sure you give them meaningful gifts that will stick in their memories for the longest time. For that to happen, gag gifts are your best choice.

You Can Trust Comcast For Great Telecommunications Services

There are a lot of different technologies available these days that keep us entertained, informed, and allow us to communicate with others, but the big three technologies that accomplish this are the Internet, cable TV, and the telephone. Unfortunately though, in order to get the most out of these three types of technology, and avoid spending way too much money in the process, we can’t get them through just any company. That’s why it’s fortunate that Comcast provides broadband cable high speed Internet access, digital cable TV service, and full featured home phone service. Better yet, all three of these invaluable features are bundled together so that you only have to pay one convenient bill every month. This bill is convenient in terms of only having to deal with one company for all three services and because of the discount that you’ll receive for going with Comcast for all three services.

Several great examples of the value that’s built into services can be seen in the digital voice phone service. For example, unlike conventional phone companies that make you pay extra for any specialty features at all, this company provides the most frequently used bonus features like caller id, call forwarding, call waiting, and voice mail at no extra charge. The real savings come from the fact that you’ll get all of your domestic long distance calls for free. That alone makes this a great service for staying in touch with everyone you care about.

You’re also sure to get a lot of value from high speed Internet service. This version of Internet access relies on the same cable that brings TV programming into your house for download speeds of up to eight megabytes per second. With download speeds like that, the entire Internet is yours to take advantage of. That means unfettered access to online multiplayer video games like World of WarCraft and Second Life (or Club Penguin for your kids). It also means that you can download a wide variety of software applications and updates quickly and easily. For example, if you want the newest version of your favorite web browser- complete with all of the security updates- it’s easily within reach. The same is true for all of the other updates and upgrades that your computer needs in order to remain healthy. A high speed Internet connection will also help you keep track of your finances by making navigation of secure websites a breeze. The same thing will be true for online shopping. They also help you keep your computer safe by providing a variety of security measures including a firewall and free antivirus software.

Comcast in still takes its roots seriously which is why it provides the best cable TV service around with the use of great new types of technology like digital TV, DVR’s, HDTV, and video on demand. Video on demand is a really impressive type of technology that allows you to choose what to watch and watch that content when you want, rather than when someone at a TV network thinks you should watch it. You can take advantage of video on demand technology either through ON DEMAND pay per view service or through the Premiums On Demand subscription service.

Of course on top of cutting edge technology, there are lots of great TV programming choices- over two hundred and seventy five channels in the largest programming package. All of this just goes to show that Comcast provides you with all of your telecommunications needs.

Out of Home Advertising Spotlight – Truckside Advertising

Truckside advertising campaigns are used to broaden the reach of a national, regional or local campaign. They add variety, frequency and value to a broadcast campaign or can stand alone as very efficient campaigns.

For those trying to "go green," truckside advertising is a great, though often overlooked, alternative to mobile billboards. Truckside ads are posted on working trucks that will be out regardless, while mobile billboards are on trucks that operate solely for advertising purposes.

Benefits of the Medium –

Truckside advertising can be used as a broad branding medium or as a target-specific medium (such as retail trading zone areas). If advertisers want to add a bit more to their truckside campaign, event promotional options can make great additions.

Truckside advertising is not bound to any demographic market or geographic location, so the reach is endless. This mobility allows for coverage where other types of OOH may not be available.

Truckside also provides the option of a national mass reach campaign, known as "Over the Road". This flexibility in campaign execution makes truckside advertising appealing to both large national companies and smaller companies alike.

Many national advertisers learned on the concept years ago when trying to get their brands in front of consumers in a timely, efficient manner. Truckside easily accomplishes that task because of mobility – an advertiser's message can travel from New York to Los Angeles on one media vehicle. Plus, posting full-color graphics to trailers allows for greater impact.

How It is Purchased –

* An advertiser can buy General Market GRP showing levels.

* An advertiser can purchase dedicated routes to reach specific demographic targets or geographic areas. These smaller routers make it an efficient medium for local and regional companies.

* "Over the Road" advertising can be used as a mass medium to reach markets across the US by purchasing a campaign along Interstate routes. It can also be used for regional coverage.

Markets Available –

Market availability is unlimited. About 95% of the US population can be reached using truckside advertising .

How it is Measured & New Technology –

Tracking systems (such as GPS) have been available for a number of years. However, new companies have emerged that measure audience circulation, impressions during a certain period, and other types of campaign auditing. Some fleet media companies offer online Internet systems allowing advertisers to pinpoint the location of their mobile fleet ads in real time. Some services can also provide data that can be interfaced with other databases to produce demographics by route, fleet or time of day.

SAMI (Satellite Automated Media Information) web-based technology, for instance, addresses the needs of agencies and advertisers by providing credibility through audience measurement and tracking. It allows advertisers to schedule, track, sell and audit their truckside advertising campaigns. Proof-of-performance reporting is available next day, including maps and digital photos. One company currently offering SAMI technology is Moving Images Media, with truckside advertising available everywhere in the US