Individual Support Patents (Class 47/63)
  • Patent number: 9579834
    Abstract: A water purification apparatus comprising an injection molded floating non-toxic, biodegradable, and recyclable polymer planar structures that are easily stackable, shippable, and connectable to as many companion units as the user desires; such apparatus further comprising many receiving structures made to accommodate plants without inhibiting them so that the user may create a film of plants over a toxic body of liquid for bioremediation purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Inventor: Pedro Tomas Delgado
  • Patent number: 8959834
    Abstract: A plant cultivation container includes a container body having: a plant cultivation space with an opening for planting a plant formed in a front face thereof; and a water reservoir portion for pooling plant cultivation water formed in a lower portion of the plant cultivation space, in which container a water-absorbing plant cultivation flooring material is mounted in the plant cultivation space so that a part of the plant cultivation flooring material is positioned inside the water reservoir portion. One of right and left walls of the container body disposed at right and left ends, respectively, of a front face of the container body is provided with an engaging portion, and the other of the right and left walls is provided with an engaged portion engageable with the engaging portion of another container body, such that a relative angle between two adjacent container bodies is changeable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Suntory Holdings Limited
    Inventor: Masaki Hashimoto
  • Patent number: 8714876
    Abstract: The system employs a two piece gully assembly to implement an NFT system. The system has a square-U shaped base with a flat lid that can be fastened to the base. One of the advantages of the assembly is in shipping where the bases and lids can be easily nested for transport. When compared to prior art gullies, the shipping volume of the present assembly is effectively minimized. In fact, ten gullies of the present assembly can be shipped in the same volume as a single prior art gully.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Inventors: Colin Archipley, Karen Archipley
  • Patent number: 8544207
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for growing plants (P) hydroponically includes a plant substrate material (52, 54, 56) comprising activated carbon and/or carbonized fibers with or without additional, non-carbonated, non-activated cellulosic fibers. The activated carbon and/or carbonized fibers with or without the additional, non-carbonated, non-activated cellulosic fibers are usable in bulk or manufactured into slabs (56) or other configurations by any of a variety of non-woven, woven, molding, or other techniques. The activated carbon and/or carbonized fibers are made from cellulosic or synthetic carbon fibers, for example, bamboo fibers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Euteq LLC
    Inventors: Mark J. King, Martin A. King
  • Patent number: 8544208
    Abstract: A plant culture apparatus includes: a culture container including a transparent surrounding wall, a top opening, and a cover to close the top opening; a liquid culture medium disposed inside the culture container and having a liquid surface distal from the cover; a plant support fixed inside the culture container; a plant supported by the plant support; and a solid culture medium disposed within the culture container above the liquid surface. The solid culture medium is dissolvable in the liquid culture medium when the liquid culture medium is caused to contact the solid culture medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Inventor: Yii-Feng Huang
  • Publication number: 20130180171
    Abstract: Systems for harvesting biological samples are provided that can include a first multi-well plate configured to support the growth of individual biological material within one or more of first wells of the first plate; and a second multi-well plate configured to couple with the first plate. Methods for harvesting biological samples are provided that can include providing first and second complimentary multi-well plates; growing individual biological material within the first plate; separating the individual biological material into first and second portions; and providing at least some of the second portion of the individual biological material into the second wells while maintaining at least some of the first portion within the first wells. Complimentary multi-well plates configured to couple in a stacked configuration are provided that can include a top plate having one or more open-bottomed wells and a bottom plate comprising one or more close-bottomed wells.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2013
    Publication date: July 18, 2013
    Inventor: Kevin Oldenburg
  • Patent number: 8333034
    Abstract: The invention relates to a support for holding floating plant species cultures, said support being configured to be held by at least two independent supporting elements (10). The support comprises a planar lattice structure (1) having at least one housing (2-3) configured to house at least one seed, plant, part of a plant and/or combinations thereof, and at least two anchoring elements (5-6) for the anchoring to the independent supporting elements (10) configured to compensate the moments and forces generated by the portion of the plant projecting from the water level with respect to the point of intersection of said portion with the plane defined by the structure (1), until a growth stage in which the plant survives and reproduces on its own upon proliferation of the roots and/or rhizomes thereof, and to transmit said moments and forces to the independent supporting elements (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Inventors: Vicente Juan Torres Junco, Javier Riesco Prieto, Pablo Riesco Prieto
  • Patent number: 8261486
    Abstract: This invention provides a system and methods for providing liquid to a plant or a seed that can germinate into a plant. The system includes: a liquid delivery device; an actuator; a vessel; and a vessel support; wherein the actuator is operable to cause the liquid delivery device to deliver the liquid to the plant or seed only when the vessel is brought into proximity with the vessel support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: AeroGrow International, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Michael Bissonnette, Robert E. Wainwright, Carson Payne, John Thompson, Robert Bromley, Curt Morgan
  • Patent number: 8056284
    Abstract: An auto-irrigation apparatus is provided. A control panel and a water-level indicator light are inserted in a side of an irrigating case. A water pump, a cell box, and a control circuit are inserted in the irrigating case. The control panel, water-level indicator light, cell box, and water pump are coupled to the control circuit. A solar panel is embedded in each of two cover panels. Each of the two cover panels are mounted on opposite sides of the irrigating case. The embedded solar panels are coupled to the cell box. A water conduit adapter is connected to an outlet of the water pump. A planter box is placed in the irrigating case above a built-in water reservoir so that the water conduit adapter passes through an aperture in the planter box. Then, the water conduit adapter is connected to a spray pipe positioned above the planter box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Inventor: Wen Hua He
  • Publication number: 20110259820
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention provide a buoyant plant habitat for removing excess nutrients and other pollutants from a body of water and thereby remediating the water. The buoyant plant habitat may be used to remediate any suitable body of water, including ponds and lakes (both natural and manmade), streams and rivers, and stormwater, wastewater or drainage ponds. The buoyant plant habitat comprises a rigid, non-biodegradable grid structure into which a plurality of aquatic plants is placed. As the plants grow, they take up excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and other pollutants from the water. From time to time, the top portions of the plants are removed by cutting. This cutting of the permanently removes the excess nutrients that have been taken up and stored by the cut portion of the plants. The cut plant matter may then be composted or otherwise disposed of.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 22, 2010
    Publication date: October 27, 2011
    Applicant: ACF Environmental, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin Shea Songer, Rinaldo Joseph DiLoreto, III
  • Publication number: 20100154300
    Abstract: A hydroponics plant growing assembly (10) that is comprised of a plant-root expansion structure (12), a moisture retaining upper pad (26), a moisture retaining lower pad (48), a structure and pads sleeve (62) and a structure and pads retaining enclosure (72). The upper and lower pads (26,48) are dimensioned to be placed respectively over and under the structure (12). The sleeve (62) is dimensioned to be placed over the structure and the pads to prevent mineralized water that is poured into the upper pad (26) from spilling over the sides of the upper pad (26) and the structure (12). The enclosure (72) includes a plurality of trays (76) that are each dimensioned to receive and secure the expansion structure (12) with the attached upper and lower pads (26,48).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2008
    Publication date: June 24, 2010
    Inventor: John C. Wiersma
  • Patent number: 7677695
    Abstract: Embodiments of a fluid transfer device are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2010
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Manish Giri, Joshua M. Yu, Kevin F. Peters
  • Patent number: 7637055
    Abstract: An apparatus for supporting plant foliage includes a base assembly that is placed in a growing medium. A plurality of support members are attached to the base assembly and extend radially away from a plant center and vertically. Additional linear extension segments are detachably-attached, as desired, to an upper end of any support member to provide increased vertical height. Additional radius extension segments are similarly detachably-attached to the upper end of any support member to provide increased radial displacement. The linear extension segments can be attached to the upper portion of other extension segments or the upper portion of other radius extension segments. The radius extension segments can be similarly attached. Plant ties that do not over tighten the plants and which permit easy attachment and removal are disclosed. A telescopically extensible top segment that prevents injury to a user is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Inventor: Michael Tavis Donaldson
  • Publication number: 20090126269
    Abstract: An apparatus for growing living organisms having at least one growing unit adapted to receive at least one living organism, a source of fluid, a conduit operably connecting the source of fluid and the growing unit in fluid supplying relation, and at least one system for supplying the requirements by which the living organism can grow in the growing unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2007
    Publication date: May 21, 2009
    Inventors: Daniel J. Wilson, Cheryl A. Herzer-Wilson
  • Patent number: 7278238
    Abstract: An insert assembly is used in combination with a planter container for creating a false bottom therein. The assembly essentially comprises a support platform for supporting a soil-bound plant, an optional spacer member for supporting the support platform, and an optional moisture-receiving tray for collecting and retaining excess moisture emanating from the support platform and the spacer member via the soil. The platform comprises a peripheral support surface that engages either the container or the spacer member for supporting the support platform at the chosen false bottom level in the planter container. Support ribs are integrally formed to the platform to increase its load bearing potential. The spacer member may be utilized as an optional structure to adjust for variable container dimensions and the moisture-receiving tray may be installed at the user's election to maintain a moisture source in inferior adjacency to the support platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2007
    Inventors: Kristine Ann Maniscalco, John Jeffrey Maniscalco
  • Patent number: 7266924
    Abstract: A system comprising cultivating tables as well as an irrigation device for supplying a liquid medium to cultivation products being cultivated on the cultivating tables, a special feature being the fact that each cultivating table comprises an inlet and an outlet for the medium, with the inlet and/or the outlet comprising a coupling for detachably connecting adjacent cultivating tables.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2007
    Assignee: Van De Lande En Zonen B.V.
    Inventor: Theodorus G. A. Van De Lande
  • Patent number: 7087161
    Abstract: A resin cultivating base serves as seedling beds for vegetation which are planted and are partially immersed in a river, lake, marsh, pond or waterway. The resin cultivating base is a three-dimensional structure constituted by long and short filaments of thermoplastic resin. The long and short filaments are curled or looped at random, and contacted, entwined and gathered, thereby forming a low density portion and a high density portion. Vegetables planted on the low density portion of the resin cultivating base suck nutritious salt such as phosphor and nitride. Microorganisms living in the resin cultivating base decompose organisms in the water, thereby purifying the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Inventors: Sadao Nishibori, Takeyasu Kikuchi, Maki Shirai, Yuichiro Nakamura, Emi Sasaki
  • Patent number: 7024818
    Abstract: The present invention provides a false bottom insert assembly for use in combination with an oversized planter container. The assembly essentially comprises a support platform for supporting a soil-bound plant, an optional spacer member for supporting the support platform, and an optional moisture-receiving tray for collecting and retaining excess moisture emanating from the support platform and the spacer member via the soil. The platform comprises a peripheral support surface that engages either the container or the spacer member for supporting the support platform at the chosen false bottom level in the planter container. Support ribs are integrally formed to the platform to increase its load bearing potential. The spacer member may be utilized as an optional structure to adjust for variable container dimensions and the moisture-receiving tray may be installed at the user's election to maintain a moisture source in inferior adjacency to the support platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Inventors: Kristine A. Maniscalco, J. Jeffrey Maniscalco, William T. Whitlock
  • Patent number: 6892493
    Abstract: An apparatus for growing a plant is disclosed. A planting system is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Inventor: Stanley S. Thomas
  • Patent number: 6843021
    Abstract: A floatable plant cultivation device includes a plurality of hollow floatable parts and each floatable part has a pot engaged with a first passage in a center of the floatable part. The pot receives a plant therein. The multiple floatable parts are connected with each other by a plurality of connection members. Each connection member includes several engaging ends which are engaged with second passages defined in different floatable parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2005
    Inventor: Shih-Ming Huang
  • Patent number: 6615539
    Abstract: A water-retaining support for plants comprising a hydrogel-forming polymer (A) having a calcium ion absorption of 0-100 mg per 1 g of the dry weight thereof, having a chlorine ion content of 0.07-7 mmol per 1 g of the dry weight thereof and having a water absorption magnification in ion-exchanger water at 25° C. of 1.0×101 to 1.0×102; or a plant body-growing water-retaining material comprising a molded product of a mixture of such a polymer (A) and a plant body-growing support (B). The water-retaining support for plants and the plant body-growing water-retaining material are those which have an excellent water-retaining property and they substantially do not cause inhibition of root generation or inhibition of root elongation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignees: M&M Laboratory Co., Ltd., Sanyo Chemical Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Obonai, Koji Furukawa, Hiroshi Yoshioka, Yuichi Mori, Kazuhiro Kasuya
  • Patent number: 6609331
    Abstract: A growth medium for plants or mushrooms, the medium comprising sugar care mill mud and non sphagnum-peat material selected from the group consisting of a non-sphagnum-peat and coconut fibre.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2003
    Inventor: John Wesley Stamp
  • Patent number: 6604321
    Abstract: A rotary plant growing apparatus has an open-ended cylindrical drum which rotates about a horizontal axis on a support stand. A lamp is positioned at the axis of the drum. Holes in the drum hold plant pots, with the plants facing the light and the bottom of the pots extending radially outward from the drum. A tray under the drum holds a pool of water and is spaced from the drum such that the lower part of the pots contacts the water as the drum rotates, watering the plants. The apparatus is particularly suitable for hydroponic gardening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2003
    Inventor: Ted Marchildon
  • Publication number: 20030140556
    Abstract: A growing medium which consists of a self supporting block formed from sphagnum material bound together by a binding material dispersed through the sphagnum material; the binding material is a compatible adhesive.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2002
    Publication date: July 31, 2003
    Inventor: Christopher John Frogley
  • Publication number: 20030126795
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a water cultivation technology of a plant, including: cultivation in an isolated manner, and achieving an air exposure and oxygen solution effect automatically. The present invention relates to a water cultivation system of a plant, including a plurality of cultivation boxes arranged in a separate and isolated manner. Each of the cultivation boxes has a hollow inner portion provided with a plurality of spaced support ribs each having a top face. The top face of each of the support ribs has a height greater than that a bottom face of the cultivation box, with a determined distance being defined between the top face of each of the support ribs and the bottom face of the cultivation box.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2002
    Publication date: July 10, 2003
    Inventor: Chien-Chou Lai
  • Patent number: 6360483
    Abstract: An apparatus which includes a growing container in which plants are hydroponically grown on a support medium is disclosed. The growing container includes a plurality of openings in which seals are installed. The seals include holes through which the plants grow. When seeds are planted, a hollow tube is placed through the seal hole to maintain the seed in position. After the seed germinates, it grows through the tube. As continued growth expands the plant's stem to the size of the tube, the tube breaks apart and does not constrain future plant growth. Moreover, as the plant grows further, the seal hole expands to accommodate the plant stem. The seal surrounds and contacts the plant stem to reduce evaporation of nutrient solution from the growing container and to keep insects and contamination out of the growing container. A holding container is positioned above the growing container and coupled to the growing container through a manifold arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Inventor: Charles O. Sherfield
  • Publication number: 20010054253
    Abstract: It is an object of the invention to effectively absorb and remove CO2 in an exhaust gas generated during an industrial process for reducing an amount of exhausting CO2 into the atmospheric air. The exhaust gas containing CO2 is blown into the agglomerate of solid particles containing CaO and/or Ca(OH)2 to contact CO2 to the agglomerate for fixing CO2 in the exhaust gas as CaCO3, thereby to reduce the CO2 concentration in the exhaust gas. Preferably, the solid particles contain water, and more preferably, the solid particles contain surface adhesive water.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2001
    Publication date: December 27, 2001
    Applicant: NKK CORPORATION
    Inventors: Tatsuhito Takahashi, Tsueno Isoo, Makoto Kato, Haruyoshi Tanabe
  • Patent number: 6286254
    Abstract: A water-retaining support for a plant exhibiting a water-retaining ability comparable to that of a polyacrylic acid-type hydrogel without inhibition of root origination or root elongation. The water-retaining support for a plant includes a hydrogel-forming polymer having a calcium ion absorption of less than 50 mg per 1 g of its dry weight and having a water absorption magnification in ion-exchange water (at 25° C.) of 100 or more. When the water-retaining support is used, a plant may be supplied with sufficient water without suffering from a deficiency of calcium ions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Assignee: Mebiol Inc.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Obonai, Hiroshi Yoshioka, Yuichi Mori
  • Patent number: 5927007
    Abstract: A plant culture vessel includes a vessel body capable of housing therein a plant mount for mounting thereon a plant to be cultured and a culture medium for culturing the plant, and a top lid detachably attached to the vessel body. A support portion is provided on a peripheral wall of the vessel body in the form of a reduced-diameter portion projecting to the inside of the vessel body. The culture medium is housed in a space downwardly of the plant mount as supported on the support portion. A vertical communicating portion is provided between an outer edge of the plant mount and an inner peripheral wall portion of the vessel body for allowing vertical insertion of an instrument including a culture medium replacing instrument therethrough to the space downwardly of the plant mount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Kubota Corporation
    Inventors: Fumiaki Oda, Tomokazu Kitano, Yuichi Yonetsu
  • Patent number: 5862628
    Abstract: A gravity independent photosynthetic growing system (10) is provided for use in providing an environment conducive to growing plant materials under unusual conditions, such as are encountered in space or in locales isolated from sunlight. The growing system (10) includes a stationary core assembly (26), a rotating drum assembly (28) which is rotated by a motive assembly (30), an enclosing assembly (32), a growth requirements assembly (34) and a control assembly (35). Illumination lamps (42) situated in the central core (20) provide photosynthetic radiation which is transmitted through light transmissive sector walls (52) to be reflected inward from a surrounding cylindrical reflector (64) into growth sectors (50) within which the plants are grown. The growth sectors are adapted to receive seed mats (178), hard shell growth cases (204) and growth bags (188) which provide purchase for the plants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Inventor: Yasukazu Takashima
  • Patent number: 5853576
    Abstract: Methods and systems for alleviating the environmental and health hazards associated with environmental contamination by metals are provided. Contained living or non-viable biomasses of metal-accumulating plant seedlings deplete the metal elements and compounds in metal-containing aqueous solutions. Concomitantly, the contained biomasses of plant seedlings accumulate the metal elements and compounds. The energy and nutrient stores of the seeds from which the seedlings develop are exploited to minimize the costs of remediating the metal-containing aqueous solutions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: Phytotech, Inc.
    Inventors: Yoram Kapulnik, Burt Ensley, Ilya Raskin
  • Patent number: 5842310
    Abstract: A new vessel for large scale plant tissue culture with a compartmentalized reservoir and corresponding media but without regular closure to close the vessel, so that the plant tissues cultured with the vessel are under a normal ecological air environment. Instead of the regular closure, a layer of sterile powder material is dusted on the top of the media and on a special circumferential fold on the wall of the vessel, until all the media, the fold, and the plant tissues are buried. Thus a continuous powder buried from wall to wall is formed against microbes from getting into the vessel. Since the normal ecological air environment provides a natural light, variable and normal humidity, air current, and enough CO.sub.2, etc., the plantlets cultured from the new vessel harden themselves while they are gradually growing out of the powder layer, just like seedlings gradually growing out of soil in nature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Inventors: Sijiu Liu, Wannan Xu
  • Patent number: 5724768
    Abstract: Aeroponic plant growing apparatus which includes an elongate vertically oriented plant chamber having a plurality of plant receiving apertures through its side wall. Stationed at the top of the chamber are one or more spray nozzles through which nutrient solution is sprayed into the chamber, thereby wetting the roots of the plants stationed in the apertures. The apparatus includes structure by which fresh atmospheric air is inducted into the chamber and stagnant air is exhausted during the spraying of the plant roots. In a preferred alternative the motive energy for this air induction into the plant chamber is provided by the spray nozzle(s) and an air induction manifold cooperates with the spray nozzle(s) to establish a low pressure Venturi zone therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Inventor: Paul R. Ammann, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5533299
    Abstract: The non-circulating hydroponic kit incorporates a water impervious container capable of holding a variable depth of nutrient solution and a solid container lid with a plurality of apertures through which a multitude of root-impervious tubes or frusto-conical containers can be inserted and supported. The lid stops visible light from entering the plant holding container by fitting over the container, and the reusable tubes can be of a multitude of lengths. Preferred lengths are from 5 to 9 inches long. The tubes have open tops and a plurality of apertures in the side walls, preferably 1/4 to 1/2 inches in diameter. The tube may have a plurality of vertical foils extending inward from the side wall and downward to the lower end to deter roots from spiraling around the side walls. Nutrient solution is placed in the container and the tubes are filled with a particulate growing medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Assignee: University of Hawaii
    Inventor: Bernard A. Kratky
  • Patent number: 5502923
    Abstract: A hydroponics plant growth system basically consists of a circular nutrient supply module, a circular plant prop module, a pump positioned in the supply module to circulate liquid nutrient upwardly into the prop module, and a distributor unit to convey the liquid nutrient from the pump to the prop module and contact it with plant roots. An elongated tube supports the prop module concentrically upon the supply module and provides internal space for the distributor unit. The prop module is a bowl shaped vessel having a bottom, a top joined by an integral side ring, and a capped collar that upturns from the vessel top. Baskets to hold plants extend through openings in the vessel top in a way the plant roots continually receive some nutrient without being immersed therein. A plurality of prop modules can be supported in a vertical column on one supply module so the system can conserve horizontal space and fully utilize vertical space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 2, 1996
    Inventor: John A. Bradshaw
  • Patent number: 5385589
    Abstract: The non-circulating hydroponic kit incorporates a water impervious container capable of holding a variable depth of nutrient solution and a solid container lid with a plurality of apertures through which a multitude of root-impervious tubes or frusto-conical containers can be inserted and supported. The lid stops visible light from entering the plant holding container by fitting over the container, and the reusable tubes can be of a multitude of lengths. Preferred lengths are from 5 to 9 inches long. The tubes have open tops and a plurality of apertures in the side walls, preferably 1/4 to 1/2 inches in diameter. The tube may have a plurality of vertical foils extending inward from the side wall and downward to the lower end to deter roots from spiraling around the side walls. Nutrient solution is placed in the container and the tubes are filled with a particulate growing medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1995
    Assignee: University of Hawaii
    Inventor: Bernard A. Kratky
  • Patent number: 5323567
    Abstract: In a plant cultivating apparatus for cultivating plants by using an artificial light source, partition walls having a high light reflectance are arranged in a cultivation area to divide the cultivation area into small spaces and in each small space a light-reflecting plate is arranged, and the distance between an artificial light source and a plant is narrowed to irradiate the plant with a light having a low illuminance. In accordance with a preferred embodiment, there is provided a plant cultivating apparatus comprising sets of pallets which have plants placed therein and are arranged in rows in a growing chamber where environmental conditions which are artificially controlled and which are moved in a direction radial to the row direction in accordance with the growth of plants, wherein all the peripheral surface of the growing chamber are covered with a reflecting plate having a high light reflectance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Shigeki Nakayama, Akira Ikeda, Yoshitaka Kawaai, Kenji Ezaki, Yasuko Taniguchi, Yoshinori Hattori, Kazumasa Watanabe, Tomomi Zaitsu, Kazuyoshi Yabuuchi
  • Patent number: 5324657
    Abstract: Apparatus for plant cell tissue culture including a plant growth enclosure having a bottom surface formed of a porous material, a buoyant element, separate from the plant growth enclosure and arranged to be placed thereunder in a body of liquid for supporting the plant growth enclosure, and spacer apparatus associated with at least one of the plant growth enclosure and the buoyant element for maintaining a predetermined separation between the buoyant element and the porous material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: Osmotek Ltd.
    Inventor: Gerald B. Tanny
  • Patent number: 5312601
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for dispensing a fertilizer in a pond. The apparatus includes a flotation structure which is generally surrounded by a porous material, such as a net sack. An opening is provided in the flotation structure through which fertilizer is dumped to deposit the fertilizer in the net sack wherein it is dissolved by water flowing through the net sack at the bottom of the flotation structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1994
    Inventor: Joseph H. Patrick
  • Patent number: 5261185
    Abstract: A water culture apparatus wherein air space sections are formed between plant containers and a nutrient solution when rafts are floated in a water culture tank filled with the nutrient solution. The plant containers are inserted in vertically oriented channels provided in the raft. The air space sections are formed in order that the plant containers do not get submerged in the nutrient solution. The plants are cultivated by: gradually moving the raft from one end to another end of the water culture tank, movement of the raft corresponding to a state of growth of the plants so that the plants supported by the plant containers reach the other end by the time the plants have grown as a result of having absorbed nutrients from the nutrient solution; and harvesting the plants when each of the rafts reaches the other end of the water culture tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1993
    Assignee: Sekisui Kaseihin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koshi Koide, Miyoji Hikida
  • Patent number: 5225342
    Abstract: A systemic plant interface replaces the roots of a growing plant by providing a perforate surface which mates to growing xylem tissue of a vascular plant and provides fluid communication and support necessary to sustain the aerial portions of a viable plant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1993
    Inventor: Michael E. Farrell
  • Patent number: 5216836
    Abstract: A hydroponic system for growing sweet potatoes and other root and tuber crops includes a growing channel incorporating a movable root contact/pressure plate assembly. The assembly consists of a flat, rigid PVC plate in which holes for inserting plants are drilled and a flexible vinyl film which is secured along the length of each side edge of the plate, by means of pressure fit connectors. The assembly is secured to the top edges of a growing channel, again by pressure fit connectors. The flexible film suspends the plate near and parallel to the bottom of the growing channel, with the flexibility of the film allowing upward movement of the plate within the channel as the plant roots grow. The assembly provides contact and pressure to the plant roots inside the growing channel thereby promoting enlargement of the roots. This enlargement causes the assembly to move upwardly, thereby maintaining the desired pressure conditions during growth. A suitable nutrient solution is supplied in the growing channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1993
    Assignee: Tuskegee University
    Inventors: Carlton E. Morris, Philip A. Loretan, Conrad K. Bonsi, Walter A. Hill
  • Patent number: 5167672
    Abstract: A plant stem is provided with liquid only after the liquid has passed through a membrane having a porosity which is insufficient to permit the passage of microorganisms with the liquid to the stem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1992
    Inventor: Michael E. Farrell
  • Patent number: 5155935
    Abstract: An assembly of pots for raising and transplantation of seedlings, the assembly made of paper or a paper-like thin film, in which the side wall of each pot is provided, by means of a cut, with tongue-like pieces which can be easily lifted-up toward the outside of the pot by the pressure of seedling roots while in the soil after transplantation, therefore, making the extension of roots from the tongue-like portion both vigorous and untangled with respect to adjacent potted seedlings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1992
    Assignee: Nihon Tensaiseito Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masashi Tanimura, Ryuzo Tsuru, Michinori Sakaki, Sumio Ito, Hidekazu Terasawa
  • Patent number: 5058320
    Abstract: The invention relates to a multiple pot comprising individual pots interconnected by connector portions so as to be capable of being pulled out. The multiple pot is used to raise and transplant seedlings of plants. The invention also relates to a method of fabricating the pot. The pot is designed especially to promote growth of roots across the side walls of the individual pots after transplantation. Also, the resistance encountered when the multiple pot is unfolded is reduced. Further, the individual pots are uniform in size. These feature arise from the facts that the connector portions are formed by applying a waterproof paste discontinuously and that a water-soluble paste is not applied around the edges of the individual pots created when the multiple pot is unfolded. Hence, a coating of the paste is formed in none of these portions. The multiple pot is fabricated by continuously carrying out three steps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1991
    Assignee: Nihon Tensaiseito Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Ryuzo Tsuru, Michinori Sakaki, Masashi Tanimura, Sumio Ito, Hidekazu Terasawa
  • Patent number: 5010686
    Abstract: A hydroponic system includes a channel-like trough formed of parallel side walls and an orthogonal bottom wall defining an upwardly opening coffer. A pair of oblique walls extend integrally from a medial portion of the bottom wall to respective medial portions of the side walls to define a V-shaped bottom in the interior of the trough. The oblique walls also strengthen the channel structure, and define with the bottom wall and side walls two closed longitudinal flow spaces extending the length of the trough. A pair of end caps are sealed to the ends of the trough, sealing the longitudinal flow spaces and forming a liquid retaining container. A longitudinally extending cover panel is configured to snap-engage the upper edges of the side walls of the trough. The cover panel is provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced plant holes, and a plurality of plant supporting members are dimensioned to be supported in the plant holes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1991
    Inventor: Daniel J. Rivest
  • Patent number: 5010687
    Abstract: A flowerpot, particularly for forcing plants while using automatic watering, comprising at its lowermost part at least one sideways-turning inlet (20) for cooperation with a bottom irrigation plant, said inlet (20) consitituting an access opening to a channel (18) extending under the pot, said channel having at least one sidewall (24) facing the filling of the pot, said sidewall--at a distance above the bottom of the pot (14)--being provided with at least one opening (26) for the passage of water. The channel (18) with the opening (26) may serve not only for supplying water to the pot filling and removal of water therefrom, but also as ventilation for the pot filling when the channel is not filled with water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1991
    Assignee: OS Plastic A/S
    Inventor: Erling Hougard
  • Patent number: 4982527
    Abstract: There is provided a new and useful propagation assembly consisting of at least one propagation tray comprising a lower plant support section including at least one longitudinal channel for nutrient solution flow; and an upper space section having a series of spaced openings positioned longitudinally above each at least channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 8, 1991
    Inventor: Philip D. Sprung
  • Patent number: 4976064
    Abstract: A device for injecting aqueous nutrient solution (2) for hydroponic culture constituted of substantially horizontal supply pipes (9) located in the air space (3), held against the lateral walls (10) of the tank (1), injecting the nutrient solution (2) in the form of droplets through injection orifices (11) on opposed, substantially horizontal trajectories, thus improving their gaseous transfer capacity and their penetration into the nutrient solution to accomplish a continual saturation of this nutrient solution (2) with oxygen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1990
    Inventor: Philippe Julien
  • Patent number: 4930253
    Abstract: A plant flat handling system for handling floatable plant flats employs a horizontally extending main channel which can be flooded from either a water tank or a nutrient containing tank with a plurality of branch channels extending outwardly from the main channel. Gate valve means between the branch channel and the main channel can be opened to permit the main channel to fill the branch channel or to drain the branch channel when the main channel is drained. Plural wires extend along the length of the branch channels and support floating plant flats when the branch channels are drained. Periodic flooding and draining of the branch channels is effected until plants in the flats have matured and can be harvested. Harvesting is effected by maintaining light pressure against the outermost plant flats in the branch channel to urge the body of plant flats toward a main work area overlying the main channel. A power conveyor extends downwardly into the branch channel and lifts the flats therefrom for harvesting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 5, 1990
    Assignee: Speedling Incorporated
    Inventor: George K. Todd, Sr.