Hydroponic lettuce is surprisingly easy to grow and a great confidence builder for a beginner hydro enthusiast, myself included. I work part time at Fifth Season Carrboro (one year this month!). When I first started working at the store, there were several young guys who were enthusiastic about hydro and took care of that part of the business. They were dialed in, and it was all a mystery to me. My husband was more enthusiastic than I was. But as I watched the plants cycling in and out of … [Read more...] about Hydroponic Lettuce, Simple!
Water is one of the most important building blocks of life, but we have to face the fact that not all water is created equal. This is especially true when it comes to your indoor garden, and even more so in your hydroponic garden. Liquid fertilizers contain mineral salts and dissolved solids designed to feed your plants a balanced diet; however, as discussed in previous blog posts (https://fifthseasongardening.com/?s=flushing), excess salts in the water can negatively impact your plants and … [Read more...] about A Short Primer on Water Source Quality
Both soil and hydroponic gardeners encounter root decay problems at some point, but as we all know – happy root systems make happy plants. There are many products on the market to help gardeners with root issues, but perhaps the two most common ones are Canna’s Cannazym and World Garden LTD’s Hygrozyme. Cannazym is a blend of 12 different enzymes that break down dead root material and convert it into a mixture of glucose and minerals. This product also contains easily absorbable vitamins … [Read more...] about Cannazym vs. Hygrozyme: Battle for the Roots
Electrical Conductivity (EC) measures a material's ability to conduct an electric current and the conductivity of a solution is directly related to the amount of salts dissolved in it. The more salts, the higher the EC. Why is this relevant to hydroponic gardening? Well, hydroponic nutrients are primarily composed of mineral salts, so Electrical Conductivity can give you an idea of how many nutrients are in your solution. Each ion in the solution has a different specific conductivity and … [Read more...] about Electrical Conductivity and hydroponic gardening
Most gardeners know lumens to be the “measure of the total ‘amount’ of visible light emitted by a source.” What they often do not know is that this “visible light” only refers to light that is visible to the human eye with no regard to the distribution of that light energy over the spectrum. Why does this matter? Imagine three lamps: let these lamps be red, blue, and green, and let each emit the same number of watts of optical energy. On a lumen scale, the red and blue lamps would have a much … [Read more...] about Plant Lighting Pt 1: Plants see PAR, humans see Lumens
Flushing is often regarded as something that should be done at the end of your plant’s life cycle before harvesting. In reality, flushing has three major roles that benefit both the plants and you, the gardener, throughout the whole growth cycle. Flushing: 1) Keeps the growing medium and reservoirs clean 2) Keeps root zones and plants happy and healthy 3) Improves taste and aroma by removing excess chemicals and nutrients from plant tissue Flushing regularly (up to every 7-10 days) removes … [Read more...] about To flush or not to flush?
Spring and summer are great times to practice hydroponics outdoors without expensive lighting systems, but indoors or out, we’re all going to be battling the heat and the stresses it can cause to our plants. Decaying, dying, and dead root material can be the bane of many hydroponic (and some soil) growers - especially during the warm summer months! As gardeners, we must remember that as the temperature in the root zone increases, the rate of respiration of the root tissue also increases. … [Read more...] about Battling heat and root problems
So you're interested in propagating plants via cuttings? Once you've mastered the basics, the next step is to give your plants the best opportunity to switch from producing green stem cells to manufacturing root cells. Giving your plant root-stimulating hormones will increase your chance of successful plant rooting and help your plant develop higher quality roots at a faster rate. While there are many plants that root on their own (often just in a cup of water), these roots are never as … [Read more...] about Cloning Nutrients: What’s the difference?
Light Emitting Ceramic technology is getting a lot of attention from indoor growers, and we thought it would be great for our customers to know a bit more about these innovative lighting systems. What: Light Emitting Ceramics are a new iteration of the classic HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps. The superior ceramic tube allows the bulb to burn at a higher temperature, creating light much closer to the sun’s*. Being able to operate more efficiently at higher temperatures means a boost in … [Read more...] about An Introduction to LEC Light Systems
Chelation: the interaction between a metal ion and a chelating agent. Chelating Agent: Chemicals that form soluble, complex molecules with certain metal ions, inactivating the ions so that they cannot normally react with other elements or ions. Now that we've gotten the definitions out of the way, here's a quick explainer on why understanding chelation (key-LAY-shun) is vital for hydroponics gardening: The nutrients you mix up to form solutions in water are charged metal ions. … [Read more...] about Chelation: Crucial for hydroponic gardening