How to Set Up a Drip Irrigation System

Aug 11, 14 How to Set Up a Drip Irrigation System

Let’s talk about drip systems.  With so many hydro systems available, why should you pick a drip system over a nutrient film or ebb and flow system?  Simplicity is one reason.  A drip system is really simple to set up and has been used in outdoor gardens and larger irrigation systems for a long time while film and ebb and flow systems require more careful monitoring and can be tricky to set up properly.  The second reason is water conservation.  When you’re building a hydro system outside, the run-off water can be returned to the soil cycle instead of down the drain like with indoor setups.  A drip system also carefully releases just enough nutrient solution to keep your plants healthy, so there isn’t any wasted water.  Other hydro systems use a lot of constantly flowing water to prevent stagnation.  With a drip system, you can even give specific amounts of nutrients to different types of plants on the same line.  Let me show you how easy it really is to set up a drip system.

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How to Cool Down your Grow Room

Jul 28, 14 How to Cool Down your Grow Room

The last time I covered hydroponics, I talked about general air circulation and how important it is to keep a breeze cycling through your grow room.  With the sizzling hot month of August looming ahead and the summer heat adding up, the dangers of excess heat from lighting and improper ventilation in your grow room can become extremely dangerous to your plants.  But can you actually do anything about the annual heat wave?  Take a look below for some helpful tips on how to stay frosty and keep your plants cool.

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Air Circulation: What You Need to Know

Jul 14, 14 Air Circulation: What You Need to Know

Most of our world is a layered mass of solids and liquids.  Stacked on top is a thin layer of invisible gas we call air.  While mostly inert nitrogen, air contains the elements needed by almost every living thing and plants use both oxygen and CO2 depending on the day/night cycle.  Plants breathe using the stomata, or pores, underneath their leaves.  Over time these pores can get clogged by dirt, dust, or other air-borne particles pretty easily.  Usually, rain and wind wash and dry the leaves to keep them clean while moving fresh air around them, but in a greenhouse or grow room you have to replicate the effect using ventilation systems and sprays.

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How to Sprout Stubborn Seeds

Jun 23, 14 How to Sprout Stubborn Seeds

After a month of waiting, none of your seeds have sprouted and you just don’t know what went wrong. In fact, the radicle (the root tip which appears first) hasn’t even shown and you’re starting to think all of your seeds have gone bad. While infertility is a possible reason, let’s hold to hope that it’s something else. Seeds can remain dormant for multiple reasons, but the typical cause is that conditions have either not made the outer shell permeable or the internal embryo hasn’t yet developed.

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How to Promote Root Growth

Jun 11, 14 How to Promote Root Growth

Proper care for your plants is always the best method for root growth.  Water and fertilizer in the right amounts after a transplant will help a plant overcome transplant shock smoothly and are essential whether you use a root booster or not.  Most plants prefer to grow a strong root system before they put effort into growing above the crown roots (the thick roots just beneath the soil at the base of the stalk).  Roots support the plant, uptake nutrients and water, and keep the plant from falling over.  Sometimes you’ll end up with a plant that doesn’t have the root support it needs.  This can be deliberate, such as during a transplant when roots have been severed during unearthing, or it can happen as part of disease, like root-death due to rot.

We’ve seen that proper nutrients can promote normal plant growth, but sometimes a root boost is needed to get back what’s been lost.  Let’s take a look at the current options shall we?

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Macronutrient Deficiencies: How to Identify and Treat

Jun 04, 14 Macronutrient Deficiencies: How to Identify and Treat

Like any living thing, nutrients are the essential building blocks for healthy and fruitful plants.  Basic nutrients like carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are all taken in through water and air; the rest rely on uptake through nutrient solution. Macronutrients—or primary nutrients—consist of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).  These three elements supply the plant with the necessary resources for rapid growth and proper development of the leaves and stalk and are the major components of both organic and inorganic fertilizers.  They aren’t the only nutrients needed (micronutrients like magnesium and zinc are also essential) but they are today’s focus.  Having too much or too little of each can severely damage your plants, and each has its own identifying marks and treatment methods. Remember that just showing signs of a deficiency doesn’t mean you aren’t feeding your plants enough; it means the plant isn’t taking in enough and that can be due to fungus, pests, or pH imbalances in your solution.

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