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The Seedbank Grow Guides Basic Hydroponic Rockwool System

The Seedbank Grow Guides Basic Hydroponic Rockwool System

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The Seedbank Grow Guides Basic hydroponic Rockwool system

MARIJUANA SEEDS >> How to grow Marijuana - Cannabis on Hydroponics Basic hydroponic Rockwool system

Introduction This system is based on normal commercial practice in production of marijuana. It is designed for mono-cultural cultivation and is not suitable for mixed gardening. This design is for recir-culation of nutrients, if you intend to use a total loss system, you will need a larger tank and provision for run-off. Cultural practices will differ with total loss as opposed to recirculation.


This system will suit a larger growing area and is highly recommended with the following provisions. 1. Most plants grown in this system will need support from the above. This is especially true of climbing plants such as marijuana. 2. This system is based on the use of aqua trays in steel channels. Each tray is 1.3m long and contains one slab. Plant spacing will depend on the crop but will usually be between 2 and 6 plants per slab. 3. Steel channel is recommended to hold the aqua trays. This can be acquired at any sheet metal workshop where it will be folded to your requirements. The lightest gauge will do and it must be galvinised. Remember to line the channel with plastic sheet to ensure that nutrient solution does not come into contact with the metal. An extra length of the same channel will serve to collect the nutrient run-off at the end of the channels and return it to the tank.

Layout 1. The tank position is dictated by the system layout. It must be below the lower ends of the rows and also needs to be close to the tap or hose end. Tank volume should be at least 2 litres per plant in the system. Larger volume is better.Flow rate at all drippers should be approximately the same. This is easily measured with a jug and a stopwatch. In larger

systems, there may be a fall off in pressure between the rows with the furthest row getting inadequate supply. If this happens, an extra PVC pipe should be added to join points A and B. This will equalise pressure in the system and ensure that all drippers run equally. In most set ups this will be unnecessary and point B can be closed off with an end cap. 2. A line filter should be included between the pump and the outlets to guard against dripper blockage. This filter will require regular checking. 3. A bypass should be included in the tank/pump set up. This will serve two purposes, firstly it will provide accurate control of supply to the drippers. This will be achieved by adjustment of the gate valve on the bypass. Secondly, it will ensure that the pump runs freely and adds high levels of oxygen to the nutrient solution. Although this is a very simple system, there are certain things to bear in mind before embarking on it. In the first place the tank should be as large as practically possible. This is because the conductivity and pH of the solution will be changing all the time and a large tank will minimise the effects of this and reduce the number of times that you will need to check the solution. For commercial growers it is advisable to retain at least 2 litres of tank volume per plant in the system. The larger the tank, the better. It is also very important to ensure that the nutrient is sufficiently oxygenated. Fortunately this is very easy to achieve because there will be excess pumping capacity that can easily be diverted back to the tank.

System Pot Culture

1. 2. 3. 4.


Summary of Hydroponic Systems Advantage Disadvantage Very cheap to set up. 1. Usually requires hand watering. Uncomplicated design. 2. Perlite to dispose of, pots to wash. Adaptable to a wide range Labour intensive. of plants. Plants can be moved around to optimise spacing. Plants not vulnerable to pump failure or power outage. 1. More expensive to set up than pot culture 2. Works best with mono-culture (single crop in the system) 3. Very vulnerable to power cuts or pump failure 4. Requires some skill to operate 1. Setting up system 2. Not easy to move plants once the

NFT 1. 2. 3. 4. Superb performance. Can be fully automated. High yields. Little waste to dispose of.

Rockwool (Slab culture)

1. Great performance. 2. Can be automated.

Within the next 20 years. BLUE MOON. GANESHA'S DREAM. So CHECK IT OUT . Have fun and good luck! Our marijuana seeds seed bank NOW!!! 20 HIGH QUALITY FREE SEEDS WITH EVERY ORDER!! What does our marijuana seeds seedbank offer? Amsterdam marijuana seeds seed bank offers more than 40 high quality marijuana seeds strains and cannabis seeds strains!! With our very special NEW!! marijuana seeds strains like AZURA. These marihuana seeds and cannabis seeds are bred by the worlds best marijuana seeds and cannabis seeds suppliers. We have marijuana seeds and cannabis seeds on stock for all imaginable situations. HAVE FUN AND GET HIGH!! NOW!!! 20 HIGH QUALITY FREE SEEDS WITH EVERY ORDER!! New! Marijuana Seeds strains! . parking lots and quite possibly on Mars!! You are in the forefront of a revolution in domestic horticulture. The system that you choose will depend upon many things. system is set up. Much less vulnerable to power cuts etc . This has been a very brief overview of the main hydroponic systems in use today. will be the standard ways of growing plants. LIGHT OF JAH. There are some very good books available and they are well worth consulting. THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT. most importantly the crop that you wish to grow and your budget. we would urge you to read further before committing yourself to any expenditure. these simple systems. in deserts. and MARY JUANITA. The marijuana seeds and cannabis seeds we supply are suitable for growing indoors. or greatly improved versions of them. It will be commonplace to grow food plants and flowers on rooftops and balconies. outdoor and in a green house. Once again. You will find all HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA answers on our website. then NFT.3.

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forgetting to water.. balanced nutrient solution is delivered to a their root systems. plants are grown in an inert medium (or none at all) and an oxygenated. This removes the negative human influence from plant cultivation. HUH?. large healthy growth and massive fruit and flower production. In nature this is next to impossible. plants GROW & GROW & GROW. Instead. or watering too much. The results are rapid. Yes. That's it! y y y y y y Why does Hydroponics produce such fantastic results How do I grow my plants hydroponically? Nutrients Nutrient Additives pH Organic Nutrients advertisement Why does Hydroponics produce such fantastic results By giving a plant the exact nutrients it needs we accomplish several things: #1 We give it a perfect diet. If the plant doesn't have to waste energy looking for food. How do I grow my plants hydroponically? . Specifically. plants actually expend energy looking for food by growing huge root systems. #2 When we GIVE the plant it's food it doesn't have to go out looking for it.The Seedbank Grow Guides What is Hydroponics ? MARIJUANA SEEDS >> How to grow Marijuana Cannabis What is Hydroponics Hydroponics is simply the growing of plants without soil. it puts all of it's effort into the parts above ground. hydroponic systems are automated. #3 By necessity.. so when this actually happens.

1/4 acre on up). If you want to be successful as a first time hydroponic grower. many methods of hydroponic growing have been invented throughout the years from painfully simple to slightly complex. Many crop specific formulas exist from others' research. These elements are called the MacroElements and they are Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium. I have found that nutrients are pretty much nutrients. Formulating your own: Once you have some experience with hydroponics and you are producing large crops of a specific plant. Miracle Grow: Many people insist on tying to use miracle grow plant food as a hydroponic .Fortunately. Most of us are familiar with the top three that are consumed by plants. whether grown hydroponically or in soil. You probably have seen these letters on bags of common fertilizer. with the exception of the General Hydroponics 3-part flora series. There is practically no method you cannot construct at home with no more than simple hand tools and commonly available parts. Over time you will probably adjust this formula to match your growing conditions and crop more closely. use a ready made nutrient specifically for hydroponics. Nutrients All plants. You can customize the mix for specific crops and different phases of the crop (i. one mix for vegetative growth and another for flowering/fruiting phases of growth). All you need to do is select the system that meets your needs and build it. you may want to look into formulating your own nutrients. Since all plants do not consume the same amounts of nutrients (individual elements) you can possibly save yourself some money by making very specific formulas for your crop. they are abbreviated N P K. The other 13 elements are grouped together as the Micro-Elements. 2part liquids. all of the systems that have been invented use very basic items assembled into very basic mechanisms. Preformulated Nutrients come in the forms of 1-part powders. This one nutrient system really stands out above the rest. some lab equipment and each of the 16 individual elemental nutrients. Most people are not familiar with these elements because we have always counted on them being present in the soil. it gives the best results by far. All you have to do is mix a predetermined amount of concentrate with water and add it to your system. This involves a good amount of chemistry knowledge. Preformulated Nutrients: This is really the best option for the hobby to small farm hydroponic grower. Mixing your own is best left to the more experienced who are producing large amounts of one crop (i.e. & 3-part liquids. 2-part powders. which works for the most part.e. need 16 basic elements to grow. As luck would have it. all you have to do is find the right recipe and mix it up. You can be assured that all of the necessary nutrients are present and available to the plants. 1-part liquids.

The best acids to use are phosphoric. You will not even come close to getting the performance that is possible. Let me stress though. but many of the claims made by these products are UNFOUNDED and UNTRUE. hormones. In the future I will perform an experiment with a control group of plants to see how this stuff really performs. They are commonly sold as "Organic" boosters just to hook the "green" crowd. but nothing major. I personally use it on my flowers and man do they freak out. these acids disassociate and free up phosphorous. and plant acids that can't be supplied by hydroponic nutrients. pH pens cost about $65 to $100. they are fairly accurate and must be calibrated periodically. bone meal and blood meal. One additive that falls in it's own class is the "DynaGRO PRO-TEEKT". nitrogen an sulfur respectively. Adjusting pH: To lower pH add acid.8 to 6. I have tried the "Earth Juice Catalyst" and I THINK that I saw a performance increase. they are accurate but you have to replace them periodically because the chemicals are consumed. Measuring pH: You can measure pH either chemically or electronically. They mainly consist of combinations of kelp extracts. 7 is neutral. vitamins.a wise investment. I believe that there are some merits to using these additives. The analogy would be something like buying a brand new corvette and then having the cheapest tires put on it and filling up with the cheapest Circle K gasoline. It is very important to maintain this range. The pH scale runs from 1 to 14. I have heard of people using Distilled Vinegar for pH adjustment. It does contain some micro elements.5.nutrient. and sulfuric acid. sugars. but eventually they will suffer from deficiencies. amino acids. Phosphorous and Sulfur are all elements that plants need for growth. Nitrogen. Chemical test kits cost about $8 to $18. It is true that this is great stuff for soil. this stuff is not a complete nutrient for hydroponics. It is a potassium and silicon supplement that is supposed to help increase resistance to pathogens. pH affects the ability of a plant's roots to absorb nutrients. Nutrient Additives There are quite a few hydroponic additives on the market. 1 being very acidic. but not all. nitric. pH pH is simply the measure of the acid content of a solution. and 14 is very basic. this seems a bit sketchy to me but I suppose it would . Electronic methods typically are packaged as a pen that you simply dip into the solution and the pH is read out on a digital LCD display. The benefit is ease of use and they don't wear out . In the long run it is not worth the cost savings over a real hydroponic nutrient. I have yet to try this product. They are supposed to supply enzymes. Your plants will start out fine using this. increase resistance to heat stress and build stem strength. The range in which nutrient absorption is best is from 5.

Subtract packaging and shipping and you'll see that they turn $10 into $4000. Another pH up "elixir" that I have heard of is baking soda . OUCH!!!!! Coming soon I'll have instructions for mixing your own solutions from concentrated acids and bases that you can buy in almost any town over-the-counter. So. These disassociate and provide Potassium and Sodium. When the compost gets mixed into the soil it starts to be acted upon by soil born bacteria . and Oxygen are just a few. The result is fertilizers derived from compost and animal waste. Phosphorus.personally I think this is a bad idea. Naturally people want to try to apply these principles to hydroponics in the form of a teas made from compost and other natural ingredients.Nitrogen. Hydrogen. Making your own pH adjusting solutions: One quart of acid or base from General Hydroponics retails for about $7. TIP! When adding acid or base to adjust your nutrient solution. The bases used in hydroponics are Potassium Hydroxide and Sodium Hydroxide. Potassium. The closer your pH is to 7. from 5 to 4 it can take 500 milliliters.00. respectively. we must first understand what nutrients are and how they are absorbed by plants.word in a pinch. This seems logical but the result is counter productive when used in a hydroponics environment. To raise pH add a base. the less acid or base it takes to effect change. add small amounts at a time and wait about 1/2 hour to take a measurement.In the natural"organic" cycle of things how do these chemical salts get into the soil? Let's start with organic material (compost) and follow it to absorption by the plant. the big question is . A bit of compost contains complex organic chemical chains that contain the elements for the chemical salts that eventually will be absorbed by a plant. This form is a chemical salt . This change takes place exponentially. Organic Nutrients With the relatively recent green movement the concept of "Organic" food production rings louder and louder every day. BE CAREFUL and make changes slowly. "Organic" guidelines prohibit the use of any refined chemicals in food production. From 6 to 5 it can take 8 milliliters. for example: it can take two milliliters of acid move the pH of 25 gallons of nutrient from 7 to 6.00 of concentrated acid or base to make 2000 gallons of pH adjusting solution.a very basic chemical compound containing one of the sixteen elements and a complementary element that forms a salt. These elemental salts are what is absorbed from the soil by the plant's roots. At this point these complex chemical cannot be used by a plant. This is the biggest rip off in the hydroponic business! It takes about $10. To understand why. These elements must be in a form that can be absorbed by a plant. Calcium. This bacteria is what breaks the organic material down into the chemical salts . Plants rely upon sixteen basic chemical elements for food .

For those who insist that they can do it "organically" there are some "organic" nutrient mixes available for you to try. In a hydroponic system sufficient bacteria are not present for this critical conversion. do it in the dirt. I suggest that if you want to grow organically.Cannabis Hydroponics Grow Guide Contents: y y y y y y y y y y y Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions Hydroponic Systems Passive Hydro Systems Pot Culture Theory of Pot Culture The Pot or Container Growing Media Perlite Green Mix Expanded Clay Simple Steps to Successful Pot Culture advertisement .that can be used by plants. instead we must provide these refined chemicals directly to the system. The Seedbank Grow Guides Hydroponics Grow Guide MARIJUANA SEEDS >> How to grow Marijuana . I do this in my own dirt garden and everything grows wonderfully. Supplement the hell out of your soil with natural fertilizers and you will get excellent results. They typically produce limited results that I believe is entirely counterproductive to the hydroponic philosophy. Organic material + Soil Born Bacteria = Nutrient Salts Mother Nature uses bacteria to refine organic material into inorganic chemical compounds for plant absorption.

. the liquid that you water your plants with. The nutrient solution is. put simply. All you need to do is master a few basic principles on a step by step basis. Fortunately.. It must contain all the mineral elements needed for plant growth and they must be in the correct proportions. reliable way of growing plants. It is a simple. The nutrient solution is the basis of all hydroponics. it is the most important thing for you to come to grips with and it is the key to your success. these days there are a number of good nutrient solutions on the market and it is simply a matter of choosing the product that best suits your particular needs.. Keeping certain salts separate from each other means that the chemist has no restrictions and can supply exactly what the plant needs. Professional growers always use separate A and B (& C) tanks and it is now very easy for the home grower to maintain this professional standard. Nothing can be left out. Easier and more consistent by far than growing in soil.y y y y y y y y y y Pot Culture with Perlite Maintenance of Plants in Pot Culture Pot Culture with Green mix Smaller Plants Active Hydro Systems Flood and Drain (Ebb and Flow) Important Points to Remember with Flood and Drain Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Rockwool Systems Culture Slabs Hydroponics has come a long way in the last few years. Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions Some of the mineral salts used in nutrient formulation tend to react with each other in concentration so nutrient solutions are usually formulated in an A and B (& C) pack and only mixed together in working solution. even micro-nutrients such as molybdenum which should be in your solution in a concentration of less than one part per million. It is no longer a mystery or secret technique.

It is very cheap to set up and it is hard to fault it as an effective growing system. All the major techniques will be examined in this paper with the intention of helping the grower to decide which suits them best. It is suitable for almost all types of plants and almost all growing situations. Passive Systems Pot Culture This is the simplest and safest way of growing in hydroponics. It will be up to the grower to decide which system suits his or her purpose. All these systems are well proven and they all have advantages in certain situations. A passive hydroponic system is one in which the nutrient solution is supplied to the plant periodically. ideal for beginners but also favored by experienced growers because remarkable results can be achieved with very little outlay. they have a lot to offer as great results can be achieved with simple pot culture. The solution is usually re circulated which is the most significant difference between the systems in terms of management. Passive systems are not favored by commercial growers because of the difficulty of watering large numbers of plants. . NFT. For smaller growers. and Flood and Drain. and is allowed to sit in a reservoir of some sort to be used by the plant as needed. The simplest passive system is pot culture which is fully explained below. An active hydroponic system is one in which a pump is used to supply the solution to the plants on a regular basis. usually by hand. It is the true passive system. The capital costs are usually much smaller too and there is less that can go wrong.Hydroponic Systems Hydroponic systems can be divided into two distinct types and are usually termed passive and active systems. Active systems can be divided into several different types: rockwool.

availability and by the plants you plan to grow. we would recommend plastic troughs which are available in a range of sizes. Growing Media Having chosen a suitable pot or container you will need to fill it with a growing medium or soil substitute. For small plants such as strawberries. These troughs are also suitable containers for African violets. straw-berries or virtually any small plants. constantly available nutrients and high levels of air supply that make up the perfect root zone for optimum plant growth. such as tomatoes would be around 15 litre capacity while a pot of about half that size will be useful for most small plants. The ideal size for larger plants. If artificial light is used. For medium sized plants such as capsicums and most popular flowering plants there is a huge choice of suitable containers available at local garden centers. you will want to use white pots if possible. Basically. The medium will bring the nutrient solution upwards by capillary action and maintain a constantly moist environment around the roots. is a brilliant reflective white and is supplied with a deep saucer. is ideal for larger plants. It is this combination of constant moisture. It has a 13 litre capacity. For more information about pot culture. This is what makes pot culture work so well. There are three main choices for pot culture and your choice will be determined by cost. The Pot or Container The first step in pot culture is the choice of a suitable pot and saucer.Theory of Pot Culture Pot culture is deceptively simple and it works due to the principle of capillarity. Just bear in mind that you need to maintain a reasonably deep reservoir at the bottom so look for saucers or trays to go with your pots. . Although the medium will always be moist. The popular Hydro pot. available from most hydroponic dealers. please see the section Simple Steps to Successful Pot Culture below. Pots should always be plastic. The medium acts as an anchor for the roots and maintains a balance of moisture and air in the root zone. it will also retain a lot of air spaces around the roots. If it does this effectively then your pot culture will be successful so it is clear that choosing the right medium is of great importance. herbs or salad vegetables. The other requirement is a deep saucer to act as a reservoir beneath the pot. it is a simple matter of filling a pot with a suitable medium and supplying nutrient solution from a reservoir (saucer). Hydro pot is perfect for the cultivation of larger plants.

Green Mix is more expensive then perlite or clay pebbles and may not therefore be viable for low value crops.Perlite This is a great medium. They are lightweight and sterile and they have a distinct advantage over other media in that they are infinitely reusable. An occasional sprinkling of clean dry perlite will keep it covered and under control. Perlite is by far the cheapest of the growing media and is available in 100 litre sacks from Esoteric Hydroponics. Green Mix is now available from grow shops everywhere. Green Mix for Orchids is also now available as a drier. Please ask your dealer for more information. Expanded Clay (Clay Pebbles) These pebbles are manufactured specifically for plant culture. it may well be found to outperform every other medium. more aerated mix containing perlite. Capillarity is the ability to lift moisture from a reservoir and it is the key to success with perlite. Perlite is a naturally occurring volcanic rock that is treated in a furnace in a process known as exfoliation. It is blended from different types of rockwool to ensure the best possible ratio of moisture to air space in a growing medium. They are the perfect growing medium for house plants and almost anything in a small container and they are part of the hydro culture system which is designed for these plants. It will hold far more moisture than most other mediums. For more valuable plants such as orchids for instance. while still retaining plenty of air around the roots. Clay pebbles are also available from Esoteric Hydroponics. . This is highly suitable for the cultivation of orchids. It is cheap and lightweight and amazingly effective. This is unquestionably the growing medium of the future. This is nothing to worry about but it is considered to be unsightly. Perlite does have a tendancy to attract algae which will appear as a green stain on the surface. Perlite is highly recommended because it has superb capillarity. Green Mix This is a specially developed medium from Grodania in Denmark.

Once wetted. The perlite can now be added to the pot and it should be filled to about the ¾ mark. you will be ready to move into pot culture. Care should be taken to ensure that dust is not inhaled as it may constitute a health hazard. Never let the saucer dry out completely. Water your new plant thoroughly with half strength Optimum.with Perlite The first step is to reduce the size of the holes at the bottom of the pot. about every 4 weeks to remove any potential build up of salts. Pot Culture . You will need to make sure the saucer is topped up at regular intervals. Add more media as required and rake it around the plant then firm it down as you would with soil. WARNING! Dry perlite is very dusty and is best handled outdoors. Moisten the medium thoroughly with a hose or watering can. While your plants are small they will probably only require watering every three days or so but they will grow very quickly and before long you will be needing to water them every day. there will be no further problems with dust from perlite (see warning below). ensuring that reservoir (saucer) is full.Simple Steps to Successful Pot Culture We will assume that you already have plants ready to be planted out. It is advisable to flush your pots by water with plain tap water until it runs out at the bottom of the pot. Small holes must of course be left on the bottom of the pot to allow the free passage of nutrient solution into the pot and upwards into the root zone. Once you have your small seedlings or cuttings. Make a suitable hole in the center of the pot and place your seedling or cutting in it. You should try to let the saucer get empty but not dry between waterings as this allows good aeration of roots. Large holes will allow perlite to wash out but they can easily be reduced with a simple strip of waterproof tape such as ducting tape which is available from any hardware store. Green Mix can easily irritate the skin and is best handled with plastic gloves . With perlite you should always water from the top through the medium until the saucer is full.

Clay Pebbles Green Mix Vermiculite Perlite . You will need to pass several litres of water through each pot to wash out the excess salts. You may find the conductivity creeping up and when you do. however. Try and ensure that the saucer does not dry out but avoid keeping it full all the time too. consider pot culture as a passive system that requires hand watering on a regular basis. It is possible to automate your pot culture system by placing drippers in each pot and using a pump on a timer. These values will be suitable throughout the crop but it is very important to check the solution in the reservoirs at least once a week. The Conductivity Truncheon is ideal for checking the solution in saucers. Nutrient should be supplied to the plants with a CF of around 2 mS/cm2 and a pH of 6. it will be a very good idea to make up a barrel of pure water and use that for a few days until conductivity in saucers has been well reduced. If you are growing in a greenhouse and have good control of the humidity levels.Maintenance of Plants in Pot Culture To maintain your plants in pot culture is now very easy. Water your plants every 2 to 3 days. For most situations. it may be possible to supply nutrient this way. This is not usually recommended because each pot will require different amounts of nutrient so there will always be overflows. If it does get very high. It is best to fill it just as it becomes empty which will allow maximum aeration of the root zone. it will be necessary to flush the entire crop. All that you need is a good sized drum of nutrient solution and a watering can.

If you do decide to discard perlite. Perlite can be reused after one or two crops but it is advisable to flush it through very thoroughly and pick out all the old roots before replanting. Some of the fibres are water absorbent and the others water repellent. you can be sure the plant is supplied. You will find that it will soak up large amounts of solution. Your new plants in wrapped cubes can easily be transplanted to green mix as follows. The mixture is buffered with clay and lignite to ensure that a neutral pH is easily maintained. Remember to flush thoroughly with fresh water afterwards. Due to the fantastic capillarity of Green mix. you treat it just like soil. Half fill a suitable plastic pot with Green mix. All the grower needs to do is water with a top quality nutrient solution such as Optimum. Recycling the Growing Medium. Pot sizes as with perlite culture above. Ensure that the wrapped cube is covered. Remove plastic sleeve from the wrapped cube and gently place it in the pot.Pot Culture . Growing plants in greenmix is incredibly easy. it may be found best to add nutrient to the saucer rather than through the pot. Clay pebbles can be reused indefinitely and it is an easy matter to sterilise them with bleach between crops but remember to rinse them thoroughly. remember that it can be a valuable soil amendment and can be added to potting soils or dug into garden beds. in many respects. Green mix is difficult to reuse and is probably best used as a valuable addition to potting soils or just dug into the garden beds. Ensure that you leave the tray or saucer full after each watering. The result is a superb crumbly growing medium that combines the best characteristics of high aeration and good moisture retention to outperform any other soil substitute. Add more greenmix around the plant until it is well supported on all sides. Allow it to get almost empty before watering again. Water gently with half strength liquid nutrient solution until well wetted throughout. Ensure that there is nutrient solution in this tray at all times. Place the pot in a tray or saucer. . Some authorities recommend sterilising old perlite with a weak solution of household bleach before reusing. In fact.Green Mix Greenmix is a blend of mineral fibres in very exact proportions. Water gently with more liquid nutrient solution until it is running out of the bottom of the pot. As long as there is some moisture in the saucer.

Total loss is best suited to the larger greenhouse and is very difficult to operate indoors. A total loss system will supply nutrients to the plant on a regular basis and then the excess will run to waste. A re-circulating system is based on a tank of nutrient which circulates through the system and back to the tank on a regular basis. They all have advantages and disadvantages and the choice of the individual grower will depend very much on their specific requirements. Active Systems There are 3 basic types of hydroponic system in use by commercial growers and they are all adaptable to smaller scale for the hobby grower. Planting holes can easily be made with a hole saw and should be evenly spaced around the outside of the pipe. Esoteric Hydroponics stock a good range of books on commercial hydroponics and it is recommended that any grower contemplating an active system should read everything available on the subject. this choice is easy as a total loss system is much harder to build and manage on a small scale than a recirculating one. For smaller growers. Once the pipe is filled with a growing medium.5m. . Once the pipe is suspended in a suitable location. This should be done 2 to 3 times a week. we will be concentrating on recirculating systems as these are best suited to most hobby growers. For the purpose of this fact sheet. perhaps once a day. where it can be collected for reuse if necessary. One end should be capped and a hole drilled in the side about 10 cm above the end cap. the young plants can be carefully inserted through the holes into the medium. the nutrient solution should be introduced into the top of the pipe by dripper hose or watering can until it runs out of the side hole.Smaller Plants Discarded lengths of PVC pipe are ideal for suspended planting of strawberries or herbs. Watering will need to be more frequent with the suspended pipe if it is longer than one metre. This is because the medium at the top may be too far away from the reservoir to fully benefit from the capillarity of the perlite. Storm water pipe (9cm diameter or larger) can be used in lengths up to about 1. It is only possible here to offer an overview of these systems with the intention of helping the grower decide what suits their purpose. Question: Should I recirculate my nutrient or should I build a "total loss" system? Answer: This decision is basic to your choice of a new system and you have to decide this before you go any further.

The plants stand on the table in pots filled with a growing medium as in pot culture.Flood and Drain (Ebb and Flow) This is the active system for handling plants in pots or other individual units. Some pumps will not allow this and you will then need to install a bypass to ensure that nutrient can return to the tank and drain the table fully. The basis of Flood and Drain is a table with sides that can hold a certain level of nutrient solution. The incoming nutrient will rise up from the bottom. Setting the timer will be a simple matter of timing the flood operation until nutrient is flowing out of the overflow. The best medium for Flood and Drain systems is undoubtedly clay pebbles. The Future Garden and Nutriculture Flood and Drain Tables are tried and tested systems which have many refinements and are considered the most complete systems on the market today. . It is highly efficient and very easy to manage but it does require a bit of work initially to set up. The plumbing is quite simple but you need to ensure that nutrient will flow back through your submersible pump. fresh oxygen-rich air will be drawn down from the top. The solution should be pumped in on a regular basis and allowed to drain out as quickly as possible. The pump should then come on for this length of time at least four times a day and up to twice an hour in very warm weather. flooding the roots and driving all the stale air from the root zone. Pots should be flooded to at least one half of their total depth and this depth is set by the position of the overflow pipe. Such tables can be obtained from Esoteric Hydroponics. Flooding should be controlled by a timer on the pump but the emergency overflow outlet will allow this pump setting to be non-critical and will ensure that the table cannot overflow. As the nutrient level begins to go down. It is this dynamic interaction of moisture and air in the root zone that makes Flood and Drain so effective. It is very important to ensure that the table is completely level so that all pots receive the same amount of nutrient.

however. The equation is very simple and can be expressed as: Length × width × max depth (in cm) = volume in litres = weight in kilos (1 litre of water = 1 kilo) You will need to cover the table and exclude light or you will have a lot of algae around the bottoms of the pots. Good drainage is of crucial importance when using rockwool cubes on a Flood and Drain table. It is a brilliant system and is now used widely .18-22°C would be ideal. Once again. NFT Nutrient Film Technique is usually referred to as NFT. It will be necessary to place the cubes on something such as plastic matting to raise them slightly off the table. It is then a simple matter of cutting holes for the pots. Remember that water is very heavy so you will need to calculate the weight in your table when it is full and make sure that it is constructed strongly enough to hold it. Due to the high level of fluid retention in this medium. the timer can be set for much shorter periods. Alternatively. It is even more important with rockwool cubes to ensure that the table is completely level and therefore that all the plants receive the same amount of the nutrient solution. It involves the growing of plants in shallow streams of nutrient solution inside plastic gullies. Oxy can be added to the tank at regular intervals to improve levels of available oxygen still further. it will not be necessary to flood the table to any great depth. This is in fact one of the best ways of handling large numbers of plants. An aquarium airstone in the tank will help to ensure that the solution is carrying the maximum amount of dissolved oxygen which will certainly benefit plant growth.Important Points to Remember with Flood and Drain The table needs to be very strong. A simple aquarium heater will suffice to maintain the temperature of the solution . The table designed for rockwool cubes will therefore have the overflow pipe mounted much lower than for pots of expanded clay. it is only required that the nutrient solution just touch the bottoms of the rockwool cubes. this can be achieved by stretching white plastic across the table. It is also very important to cover the table to exclude light. In the first place. Flood and Drain will be improved if you warm and aerate the nutrient solution before supplying it to the plants. A sheet of white/ black / white plastic will be ideal and can be stretched tight across the table before the pots are placed on it. This will allow excess moisture to drain downwards efficiently. there are slightly different guidelines for its use. Flood and Drain can also be used with rockwool cubes.

there are certain things to bear in mind before embarking on it. allowing unrestricted supply of nutrient to the plants. Thus it serves as a liner and also as a cover to exclude light from the growing channels. however that ratio should be increased to at least 3-5 liters per plant. the tank should be as large as practically possible. valve B is kept completely open. It has also been adapted in recent years for the production of smaller plants such as lettuces and strawberries. the better. In normal operation. The larger the tank. The principles are the same but the size and layout of the gullies needs to reflect the final size of the plants being grown. It will only be possible within the scope of this fact sheet. shutting off supply to the plants. A single strip of white plastic film can be laid in the gully and then gathered up around the plants.for the cultivation of tomatoes and other large plants. For anyone contemplating using this system commercially. In the first place. Once the plants are located in the channel. to discuss the general principles as they apply to the smaller grower. Steel is fine provided it is lined with plastic. it will be possible to close valve B completely. This is the basic layout of modern commercial NFT systems and it will be seen how simple and cheap the system can be. the nutrient solution should be introduced at the higher end and allowed to pass in a shallow stream down to the lower end where it is collected and returned to the tank. The first step to NFT is finding a suitable channel. This . For smaller operations. This is because the conductivity and pH of the solution will be changing all the time and a large tank will minimize the effects of this and reduce the number of times that you will need to check the solution. Although this is a very simple system. The ideal width is 10cm for smaller plants and up to 20cm for large plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers. while opening valve A to the fullest extent. Valve A is closed down just enough to give the desired flow rate at the gully ends. Fortunately this is very easy to achieve because there will be excess pumping capacity that can easily be diverted back to the tank. This layout of pump plumbing is very suitable for other systems such as rockwool cultivation. For commercial growers it is advisable to retain at least 2 litres of tank volume per plant in the system. It is also very important to ensure that the nutrient is sufficiently oxygenated. a recommended book on the subject would be the ABC of NFT by Alan Cooper. When adjustments are made to pH or Conductivity. The solution that is still passing back to the tank should be sufficient to stir and agitate the tank vigorously and thus enrich the solution with oxygen.

Conductivity requirements may vary during the life of the crop. provided that the nutrient solution fulfills the following requirements: 1. 2. A good starting point would be around 2 milliSiemens which is normal full strength for products like Optimum or Power Gro. NFT System Management Once your system is running you will notice the rapid growth of a root mat in the nutrient channel. Larger plants such as tomatoes are best propagated in the rockwool wrapped cube and should be placed into NFT gully as soon as roots begin to appear at the bottom of the cube (not before). the solution must be in good balance with all the elements required for good plant growth. herbs and strawberries can be placed bare rooted into the nutrient film. This is easy to measure with a plastic drink bottle or similar which can be held under the supply tube to one gully while you measure the time it takes to fill. NB.will increase the agitation in the tank and make a very quick job of the adjustments. such as lettuce. Correct pH and Conductivity Once again. it is very important that there is not more solution in the system than the tank can hold otherwise a power cut could cause a flood. The direct contact between the roots and the solution makes for unparalleled growth and superb plant performance. remembering to keep valve B wide open. Aeration and temperature Nutrient solution should be constantly agitated to ensure maximum aeration and heated with an aquarium heater to maintain temperature around 18-22°C. Nutrient should be supplied to the gullies at between 1 and 2 liters per minute. . depending upon the gully width. Correctly formulated for NFT NFT is the most demanding form of hydroponics as far as the nutrient solution is concerned. these things are much more important in NFT than in passive systems. The bare roots are interfacing directly with the nutrient solution and this is the great strength and also a potential weakness of the NFT system. Ensure that the solution you choose has fully chelated trace elements which is of great importance in NFT. It may be advisable to increase this with plants such as tomatoes when they are setting fruit. You should now run your NFT system for a day or two to make sure that there are no leaks before placing plants in it. It is advisable to insist on a twin pack liquid formulation such as Optimum or Power Grow which is formulated specifically for NFT systems. Smaller plants. PH should be maintained at 6 and needs checking and correcting on a daily basis. As there is no medium to act as a buffer. 3. This will be adjusted by opening or closing valve A.

you have the option of planting these plants into the garden or even into pots of soil.Rockwool Systems Once you have propagated your new plants in the SBS cubes. As soon as new roots begin to emerge it is time to think about planting them on once more. Gently remove small cubes from SBS tray and insert them into the holes in the top of the wrapped cubes. you may wish to choose your best specimens and discard. Rockwool Cubes . and a good bit larger. Place your plants in a warm sunny place to grow on. Ensure that cubes are thoroughly wetted. The best way to grow them on is in rockwool of course and here you have the choice using culture slabs or the amazing new green mix. Give them a sprinkle of nutrient solution as needed. Soak wrapped cubes in a weak and slightly acidic nutrient solution such as Formulex. Once again. you can treat them in several different ways. As before. If you wish to carry on growing in rockwool. Check them for moisture daily. sell or give away the rest. then the next step will be to move the little plants into the larger 75mm wrapped cubes. Remember to label all your plants clearly. Your plants are now a stage further. Check the underside of the large cubes regularly.

make sure that watering continues until an excess runs out from the bottom of the slab. Thousands of acres worldwide are devoted to it and it is obviously impossible to give complete instructions here. Do not remove plastic sleeve from wrapped cube. This plastic should not be removed. Pour the solution slowly into one of the openings on top of the slab. The best size for use by the home gardener is the 90 cm (3 ft) or the 120 cm (4 ft) which is an ideal size for growing tomatoes. The easiest way to handle slabs is by using the Aqua tray which holds the slab firmly and has built in drainage holes. you can water daily with a watering can. Then make two diagonal cuts wit a sharp knife forming an X inside the square. Do this with all plant locations on the slab. After placing a wrapped cube in the chosen place. Keep pouring slowly until the slab is full. Make sure that the rockwool surfaces come into contact and are not separated by plastic. The sides will bulge out at this point and it will be obvious that the slab is completely full. Culture slabs are wrapped in plastic to give better performance. a recommended book is "Gardening Indoors with Rockwool" by George Van Patten. Mark positions on top of the slab where you intend to place the plants. cucumbers or plants of similar size. Nutrient will drain from the lower end of the slab and can either be collected or allowed to run to waste. TO TOP . preferably overnight. Once again. The best way to supply nutrient solution to the slab by drippers which should be activated at least twice a day and should run until surplus nutrient is flowing out from the slab. Place culture slab into the aqua tray. This will allow the nutrient to drain out through the lower end of the aqua tray. draw around it with a felt pen. Fold back the cut pieces of plastic and place your wrapped cubes on top of the culture slab. just lift the lower end of the slab out of the tray and make a couple of short cuts in the plastic sheet with a sharp knife.Culture Slabs GRODAN / TALENT rockwool culture slabs come in a great variety of shapes and sizes to suit commercial growers. Allow to stand for at least an hour. For anyone who is seriously interested in this method of growing plants. The cultivation of plants on rockwool slabs is a major commercial horticultural technique. Attention must be paid to drainage. Lay your culture slab on a clean surface. Now place your aqua tray in a warm sunny place or underneath a good quality horticultural light. Alternatively. Make up at least 10 liters of nutrient solution. Before planting. This can be achieved by placing the slab on a board with a slight slope from end to end. This should preferably be its final location as it will not be easy to move once it is planted up.

the plant starts vegetative growth. it then has two grow tips at the top. A solution of 20-20-20 with trace minerals is used for both hydroponic and soil gardening when growing continuously under lights. Try to light the plants for 18 or more hours. It is up to the gardener to decide when to force the plant to flower. You will not need a timer unless you want to keep the lamps off during a certain time each day. while reducing many hazards advertisement .Cannabis on Hydroponics Vegetative growth Once sprouted. It is possible to grow plants with no dark period. since they require no darkness period like older plants. Bend a young plant's stem back and forth to force it to be very thick and strong. and is highly recommended. Miracle Grow Patio includes these trace elements. (Since it takes time for the plant to heal and recover from the trauma of being pruned. you will have 4 grow tips at the top of the plant. and "train" them to fill the same space. All plants have a vegetative stage where they are growing as fast as possible after the plant first germinates from seed. A high P plant food such as Peter's 5-50-17 food is used for blooming and fruiting plants when beginning 12 hour days. A plant can grow from 12" to 12' before being forced to flower. or continuously at this point.The Seedbank Grow Guides Vegetative Growth MARIJUANA SEEDS >> How to grow Marijuana . If you top each of these. Miracle Grow Patio or Rapid Grow plant food is good for this. and every major internode. if your food does not include them. Keep lights on continuously for sprouts. Or grow 2 plants. This means the plant will be photosyn-thesizing as much as possible to grow tall and start many grow tips at each pair of leaves. it faster to grow 4 smaller plants and not top them at all. and increase the speed at which they grow by 15-30&. so there is a lot of latitude here for each gardener to manage the garden based on goals and space available. The importance of internal air circulation can not be stressed enough. If you "top" the plant. Trace minerals are needed too. Spindly stems can not support heavy flowering growth. They are located at the top of the plant. It will exercise the plants and make them grow stronger. A grow tip is the part that can be cloned or propagated asexually. An internal oscillating fan will reduce humidity on the leave's stomata and improve the stem strength as well. Most growers find) . Epsom salts (1tsp) should be used in the solution for magnesium and sulfur minerals. Plants can be grown vegetatively indefinitely.

) 1/4 cup Oxygen Plus Plant Food (OPTIONAL) 1 teaspoon This mixture will insure your plants are getting all major and minor nutrients in solution. due to its strong odor. HYDROPONIC VEGATATIVE SOLUTION.that could ruin your crop. and will also be treating your plants with oxygen for good root growth. where smells are not an issue. per gallon: Miracle Grow Patio (contains trace elements) 1 teaspoon Epsom salts 1/2 teaspoon Human Urine (OPTIONAL . Fish emulsion is great in the greenhouse or outdoors. TO TOP . with trace elements and oxygen added. but is not recommended for indoors. or fish emulsion.may create odors indoors. and potassium nitrate for good burning qualities. Another good GROWTH PHASE mix is 1/4 tsp Peter's 20/20/20 fertilizer per gallon of water.

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