Monthly Archives: April 2017

What is the effect of amino acids in hydroponics?

It is very common for hydroponic nutrient manufacturers to add amino acids to their products. They often mention significant benefits that range from strengthening plants to greatly increasing yields or product quality but they rarely mention any peer reviewed evidence studying these effects. Today we are going to look at the use of amino acid applications…
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Calibrating your digital humidity sensors

On a recent post I talked about vapor pressure deficit and its importance in hydroponic culture. To adequately control VPD it's necessary to accurately measure relative humidity and in order to do so it's necessary to have adequately calibrated humidity sensors. Since most of today's humidity sensors are digital this becomes even more important as these sensors can…
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Probes for constant immersion in hydroponic nutrient solutions

If you have a hydroponic crop then you probably have to measure and monitor the pH and EC of your nutrient solutions. This means taking probes out of storage, ensuring they are calibrated and then carrying out measurements. This process can be very inconvenient, reason why growers might prefer to carry it out less often, even…
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Five things that will damage your pH probes

Since pH is one of the most important variables to control in hydroponic culture almost all hydroponic growers have and use pH probes. There are however several things that can go wrong with these probes due to the very nature of the sensor and the way in which other substances interact with it. Today we…
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Vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in hydroponics

If you have read books or articles about greenhouse environmental control you have probably heard about Vapor Pressure Deficit, also known as VPD. This is an important variable to measure as it helps us understand the conditions our plants are facing, gauge their water use and even predict whether we will be getting better or…
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Maximizing yields per area in hydroponics

Since the 1940's hydroponics - which I use to talk about a broad variety of soilless growing methods - have promised to deliver better plant yields than soil culture with less water usage and higher fertilizer efficiency. However there are many different types of soilless cultures that vary in their initial cost, media used, irrigation…
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A few basics of leaf tissue analysis in hydroponic crops

Adequate nutritional control is difficult. Although there are several tools to control your plant's chemical environment - such as pH, EC and ORP - in the end the main interest we have is to control the composition of plant tissue and how this composition affects plant development and yields. One of our sharpest tools to…
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Managing a Run To Waste (RTW) hydroponic crop from a nutritional perspective

Today it's very common to create hydroponic crops using techniques where nutrient solution is not recycled. This type of crop, commonly called drain-to-waste (DTW) or run-to-waste (RTW) offers the advantage of having a very cheap setup - since no recirculation is used - with the big disadvantage that nutrient control becomes harder as there is…
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Using coco coir in hydroponics

Side by side with peat moss, coco coir is one of the most commonly used media in hydroponic culture. Its excellent root propagation and aeration properties, coupled with its adequate water retention, make it an ideal media for hydroponic culture. Nonetheless there are several issues that can arise when using coco coir, particularly due to…
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Measuring ion concentrations in hydroponics using electronic tongues

One of the biggest problems in hydroponic research is the measuring of individual ion levels in hydroponic solutions. Right now there is no commercial solution for the accurate tracking of individual ions in hydroponic solutions and this makes it impossible to track ions in real-time to measure how nutrient absorption reacts to different environmental and…
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