gabriola garden

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hydroponics Rocks!

Believe it or not, I'm making some headway with hydroponics. I've got some seeds germinated and I decided to set up a DWC (Deep Water Culture) grow, under one set of LED lights! I'll report on how my vegetables are doing, but first watch this awesome video:

If this got you excited about growing using hydroponics, you owe it to yourself to check out the following link!

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posted by Tim at 9:35 AM | 2 comments

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hydroponics needs power--outdoor garden sleeps under snow

Well, so much for my hydroponics experiment! We had a power outage, and since I didn’t have a backup power source, my seedlings perished. We didn’t have any running water, either, since the pipes froze up. We had quite a Christmas—oh, it was white alright, but too white! You can see in the attached pictures that Sara’s garden was covered knee-deep in snow!

No lights, no heat, no water. We had to melt snow over a propane stove in order to get drinking water. Driving to the store was out of the question.

Perhaps it was a good thing. It made us slow down, spend some quality times together reading by flashlight and candlelight. No TV, no computers. And now we have two weeks of constant rain to look forward to, which will melt all the snow and flood everything. Bring out the rubber boots!

I guess I have to add “small generator” to my list of essentials for starting a hydroponics garden. It was so cold indoors, that we could see our breath. No wonder the tender young plants couldn’t survive.

Temperature is another consideration when starting an indoor garden. I bought two Italian style radiator heaters that work with oil heated by electricity. For a small grow space, it would have been enough, if we had a constant supply of power.

Another factor you have to take into account with hydroponics is the pH balance of your nutrient solution. But I discovered on some of the grow forums that Advanced Nutrients has come out with a revolutionary new Grow System called pH—PPM Perfect Technology, which makes it unnecessary to take pH or PPM (parts per million) readings.

The way it works is that their nutrients are covered with a proprietary coating that is attractive to the roots and root hairs. They just gobble up the stuff, regardless of the pH of the nutrient solution. This method compresses the window of absorption from 4.5 on the acidic side and 8.5 on the alkaline side, closer to the 5.6 to 6.3 pH that has been prescribed for AN nutrients in the past.

I am propagating some more vegetables seeds and will give hydroponics another try. And I am seriously looking around for a second-hand generator. To learn more about hydroponics, you will want to check out or some hydroponics blogs with great content that I stumbled across, such as You should also look at some videos like I might switch over to a DWC system (deep water culture) and go back to organic nutrients. I haven’t decided yet.

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posted by Tim at 3:11 PM | 3 comments