-Luis Guerra- When it comes to feeding your plants hydroponically, there seems to be an enormous amount of information everywhere you turn. There are so many claims about which lines work the best and how many bottles a line needs to grow the best plants, many of them confusing or even contradictory. In my latest post, I’ll help you take some of the guesswork out of starting to grow hydroponically. One-part I mostly recommend one-part nutrients to new hydroponic growers simply … [Read more...] about One, Two, or Three-Part Nutrients?
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
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
Testing your soil is an important part of growing food- especially in areas with geologically old, nutrient-depleted, acidic soils as are commonly found in the Eastern United States. Fall is the perfect time of year to get your soil tested to see what type and quantity of soil amendments you need to give your plants the nutrients they need without adversely affecting the soil or environment. Application of too much nitrogen and phosphorus, for example, can leech into waterways and cause … [Read more...] about Soil Testing: Learn your soil needs
The Law of Minimums Aspiring hobbyists often fall prey to what might be called the ‘more is more’ fallacy. As we learn about how plants use nutrients to function and thrive, our natural inclination is to look to add to the system to improve results. This tendency is reinforced by bold manufacturer claims for products heralded as ‘best kept secrets’ and on forums assuring ‘explosive growth’ with this or that product. This is not to say that we don’t believe in the value of the various nutrients … [Read more...] about Liebig’s Barrel: A Paradigm for Thinking about Nutrients