Thursday, August 2, 2012

Journal August 2, 2012

A batch of Waldmann's dark green lettuce was planted today in one of the tents using a six band flower series LED.  

As seen in the photo, I have added a grid and screen to the bottom of the ebb and flow tub to prevent the roots from remaining in water.  I expect this to be a big improvement in the ebb and flow system.

For nutrients I used the following:
5 gallons of water
3 tablespoons of Walmart's Expert Gardener plant food.  (any commercial water soluble will do)
1 1/2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt.

As the pH was only 4.9 I added 2 teaspoons of baking soda, which raised the pH to a respectable 6.1.

When completed, the nutrients had an EC of 3.9, with the pH  at 6.1, which is high for lettuce, however, it will work.  I will adjust the amounts slightly when I refill the system in two weeks. 

The point is; that you don't have to buy expensive nutrients, or supplies, from hydroponic dealers. For example, the solution to adjust pH from General Hydroponics costs about a dollar an ounce, while baking soda, which works just as well, is dirt cheap.  The same holds true if you need to lower the pH.  Don't rush off to the hydroponic dealer, trundle on down to the grocery store and get a quart of white vinegar.  Your plants will never know the difference.

The author of one of my greenhouse growing books denigrates hydroponic gardening because he claims it requires expensive equipment and ties you to a hydroponic dealer.  Additionally, he thinks that the claimed results and advantages are mostly hype.  In my opinion, he obviously did not delve too deeply into the subject of hydroponic gardening.

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