Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Journal September 8, 2015 - Keeping the cost down

For this batch of Merlot and Red Salad Bowl lettuce I am simply using Expert Gardener plant food from Wal-Mart, where a 1.5 pound box will cost under five dollars.

Hydroponic nutrients are buffered the hydroponic dealers will tell you!  Well, yeah, when I added a table spoon of nutrients to the tank, the pH was only 5.9, so I had to add a whopping 5 ml of pH up to bring it to 6.0.  Big deal.  

An EC of 2.0 using a tablespoon of the inexpensive nutrients in two and a half gallons of water, not too shabby I'd say.

Again, I selected the largest and best looking seedlings and tossed the rejects.  It is not a bad idea to start more than twice as many seeds as you will need, after all seeds are cheap.

If you decide to build one of these systems, the pass through for the pump wire is the main problem in controlling leakage.  There are a few solutions to the problem, one of which is a simple notch in the top of the bucket and a corresponding notch in the lid.  That one works best for me.

A 90 watt red/blue LED with a photoperiod of 16 hours will be used for this batch of lettuce.  The pump cycle will again be fifteen minutes on and fifteen minutes off.

Once operating, there is no further involvement necessary, other than draining are replacing the nutrients every two weeks.  Nice!

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