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SOIL to SOUL…
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Hydroponics is the method of growing plants using a soilless media which could include a wide variety of examples like: gravel, peat, vermiculite Perlite, old rubber tires, rockwool, and expanded clay aggregates. The minerals that the plant needs are dissolved into the water which is then watered directly to the plants. So, in short instead of the plants searching throughout the soil for their minerals they draw them directly from the water that they are being fed.
PH is the measurement of Acidity or Alkalinity in a solution. PH is measured on a scale of 1-14 with 7 being neutral. Solutions measuring lower than 7 are Acids and solutions measuring about 7 are considered Alkalis (bases). The ideal PH Balance varies with the plant that you are growing, however, for most applications 5.8 to 6.2 would be ideal.
PPM is best defined as “Parts Per Million” and is used to measure the concentration of solubles in your nutrient solution or how much CO2 is in your atmosphere.
EC or “Electrical Conductivity” is a unit of measure the Electrical Conductivity of a solution. An EC meter applies an electrical voltage to the solution and reads the conductivity that is produced from the motion of mineral Ions.
Organic fertilizers are derived from natural, organic compounds such as compost, manure and worm castings. Inorganic fertilizers are created using inorganic compounds made through chemical processes. As far as your plants are concerned, organic and inorganic nutrients are relatively the same. They can have virtually the same nutrient levels, and at a molecular level these nutrients are the same. Many organic fertilizers need symbiotic fungi and bacteria to break them down before the fertilizer is readily available, while others are pre-digested and instantly available to your plants. Some people find that organic nutrients allow more sludge to build up in their reservoir. Just remember, it is not safe to use hydrogen peroxide with organic nutrients, as it will kill off all the beneficial fungi and bacteria.
The difference between these two types of HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights is the color spectrum that is emitted from each. The High Pressure Sodium bulb emits light that is concentrated in the red to yellow side of the spectrum and are weak in the blue-violet end. While the Metal Halide bulb emits light that is very balanced and contains all the energy peaks at wavelengths of the visible spectrum. Visually the Sodium bulbs will appear very yellow-orange and the Halide bulbs will appear more blue-white in color.
The 2 most efficient lamps for indoor growing would be the Sodium and Halide Bulbs. The Halide lights have a very balanced spectrum and are excellent for vegetative growth or leafy plants like lettuce and basil. The Halide lights produce between 65-115 lumens per watt which is a measure of the efficiency of the bulb, or how much light you are producing for the amount of electricity you are using. The Sodium lights produce light that is very bright and concentrated on the yellow to red side of the color spectrum. This color is not as balanced as the Halide but makes up for the lacking of a balanced spectrum in the amount of light given off by the bulb. The Sodium bulbs produce between 97 to 150 lumens per watt which is much higher than the Halide bulbs. The Sodium bulbs are superior in life expectancy and efficiency while the Halides a superior in spectral distribution so your decision will be based on what is more important to you.
Indoor growing professionals often switch between bulbs for different stages of growth for a couple of reasons. Sodium bulbs have been known to make some plants grow leggy and stretched out because of the yellow to red spectrum that they give off, whereas, Metal Halides often tend to keep these plants tighter with less space between internodes. Do not be fooled though, you can use either light throughout the life of a plant and get excellent results.
There are a wide variety of boosters and fertilizers designed to give your plants just what they need when they need it to produce abundant, vigorous blossoms and better harvests.that will increase flower size. Most common are bloom boosters that are concentrated in powder form and are high in phosphorus.
When going to purchase a light, the first thing you need to do is figure out the square footage you are working with. Depending on the type of plant will determine the wattage you will need. Most commonly with high-light plants such as tomatoes, you will want to achieve around 40 watts per square foot for optimal growth and fruit production. And for low light plants, and small leafy plants like herbs and lettuce, you will only need to achieve about 25 to 30 watts per square foot.
Yes. A ballast is required to start the lamp and to increase the voltage required to run the lamp. The ballast is responsible for starting the lamps by providing a high, fast charge of electricity. After the bulb lights, the range of voltage and current are controlled by the transformer which is why the bulbs operate so efficiently.
Yes, very efficient compared to standard incandescent bulbs found in your house. For example one 1000 watt sodium bulb produces as much light as about 87 standard 100 watt incandescent bulbs.
No. Changing the Bulbs between systems should never be done unless the system is specifically designed to do so. By changing the bulbs, the bulb could become unstable and explode. Most ballasts are only meant to run the type of bulb they are rated for and are the general guidelines for best safety practices.
For obtaining the best results, we recommend emptying your reservoir and replacing your nutrient solution with a quality fertilizer every 10 days. It is the only way to ensure nutrient levels are consistently in the ideal range for plant growth.
EVERY SEED IS A NEW BEGINNING…
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