|Posted on July 19, 2011 at 8:25 PM|
These factors are the three most important things that areall to often overlooked. It astounds me just how many growers don’t understand their importance.
Cleanliness in the grow area is extremely importantas to eliminate the risk of pest & disease outbreaks.
Whether it be picking off dead & dyingleaves from your plants, and any which have fallen off on the floor, down toflushing your system, which should be performed weekly.
Between crops, all equipment should bethoroughly washed & wiped down with a 50/50 solution of bleach & water.By doing this you are killing any harmful bacteria or fungal spores that may belying in wait to destroy your next grow.
As mentioned above, a full system flush really should becarried out weekly or at every tank change.
To this I would first pump out old waterfrom tank & refill with fresh tap water, then adjust P.H. to a value of 5.8. To this I would add “ House & Garden Drip Clean at the recommendedrate of 0.1ml per litre, so for 100 litres of water, 10ml of “Drip Clean isadded, this will bump your P.H. to 6.0.
Run throughsystem for around an hour, dump this water & repeat, after the second tankhas run for around an hour your E.C. (electrical conductivity) will read 0.2 orlower.
Refill tank& add all nutrient & additives, adjust P.H, & E.C.
P.H. (potential hydrogen) is the scale we use to measure the Acidity or Alkalinity of water or growth mediums.
Generallythis reads from 4 being very acid through to 10 which is highly alkaline. Foroptimum nutrient uptake a value of 6.0 is ideal as your plants are absorbingall available food.
To raise P.H. The use of P.H. Up, which is aliquid form of Potassium Carbonate is used, where as to lower the P.H., P.H.Down (Citric Acid), is added. These two chemicals are corrosive, so care mustbe taken when using.
Generally aP.H. reading of between 5.8 & 6.2 is absolutely fine.
E.C. (Electrical Conductivity) is the system used to read theT.D.S. (Total Dissolved Salts), from which hydroponic nutrients are derived.The more nutrient added the higher the E.C. You will also find that as yourplants take up water, the reading gets stronger as the water level drops. It isquite important to keep you water level up as to avoid a toxicity in nutrient.
There are many types of P.H. & E.C.reading meters out there, some are cheap & some are astronomical in price& you should always remember you get what you pay for…
Here at Green Acres Hydroponics we have meters ranging from $50 through to the bee’sknees at $340.
Written by Jaymie Marriott
Categories: Hydroponics Tips