Recent Posts by admin

Comparing the conductivity of two different solutions

Conductivity is perhaps the most misunderstood and erroneously used measurement in hydroponic culture. This has a lot to do with conductivity also being called a "totally dissolved solid" (TDS) measurement and the conductivity scale being expressed in "ppm" units, concentration units which only cause confusion in this area. Today I want to talk about an…
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Controlling aphids in a hydroponic crop. Part 1.

Without a doubt aphids are one of the most common pests affecting crops worldwide. There are both root and leaf aphids, the former which generally live only around plant roots - producing winged offspring only to infest new plants - while the later live generally in plant stems, leaves and - when infestations are bad…
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Five ways to increase your seed germination rates

When you start plants from seeds one of the most important things you want to achieve is a very high and fast germination rate. However if you try to do seed germination without any additional effort you will most likely reach sub-optimal results since there are some natural factors that hinder seed germination that need…
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Making your own DIY plant rooting gel

Cloning is a very common technique used by a large variety of plant growers. When growing plants from seeds there is an important unpredictability factor in what you might get so cloning ensures that you get a clear genetic copy of the parent and therefore removes a lot of the variability inherent to the growing…
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Building your own DIY high power LED lamp: Part One

It is no mystery that LED technology has evolved greatly during the past several years. We are now up to the point where anyone can buy LED lamps to replace HPS fixtures, with full spectrum LED configurations that have showed to be just as good - or sometimes even better - at growing crops (see…
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What is the ideal nutrient solution temperature in hydroponics?

One of the simplest variables that can make a substantial difference in crop yields in hydroponics is the temperature of the nutrient solution. Nutrient absorption by plants is mainly controlled by chemical processes within their roots and the efficacy of these processes is determined in an important part by the temperature the roots are subjected…
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Are High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Lamps better than LEDs?

Growers who use artificial lighting usually prefer high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps to do the job. Not only do HPS lamps have a very high photon flux but compared to metal halide (MH) lamps they have a much more prominent red spectral component and therefore a significantly larger dose of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) per…
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Five dos and don’ts for automated pH control in hydroponics

The pH is one of the most important variables to control in hydroponic culture as it plays a key role in the availability of different ions and their absorption dynamics. Although most growers control pH manually it is often desirable to implement automatic pH control so that you can ensure that your solution always stays…
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Using triacontanol to increase yields in hydroponics

Usually additives used in hydroponics need to be added in rather large quantities to obtain palpable results. Molecules like salicylic acid - which we have discussed before - need to be used in concentrations in the order of 10-4 to 10-2 M to obtain a significant effect. This means that you need to use quantities in…
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Salicylic acid and its positive effect in hydroponics

When looking for ways to increase crop yields we usually want something that is safe for the environment, safe for us and able to give us a substantial bang for our buck. From the multitude of additives that have been researched during the past 30 years one simple organic molecule seems to fit all the requirements…
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