Why it is important to test your water

Water test

Before you dive into hydroponics one of the first things you should do is have your water source analyzed by a reputable lab. The water can be municipal, from a well or other source depending on your location. A quick internet search can be done to find a testing facility near you. They will provide you instructions for sending in your samples and tell you their cost for an analysis which normally ranges between $35-$55. If you are buying property, a water test can also help you decide if the property will work for your intentions, just like a farmer might get a soil test before buying farmland. Knowing if a water treatment system is needed before you get started can end up saving your crop and a lot of trouble in the long run especially in a closed or recirculating system.

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Microgreens Production

Microgreens can be a great option when selecting a product to start a small business or to expand your current market. Why? Microgreens are relatively easy to grow in comparison to other crops and cycles are very short. Therefore, you can quickly learn and improve your production technique, correct mistakes and become a good microgreens producer.

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Small Test, Big Results: LED Grow Lights Help Bloom Show-Stopping Plants

Originally published by GE Current, a Daintree Company

Dominik Neisser has horticulture in his blood. His parents had a greenhouse in Germany while he was growing up and maintain it to this day, laying the foundation for a life spent studying and growing plants across the world. “This is how I was born and raised,” Neisser said. “I was always with plants and got to know the business around it, so I decided to join that branch and go into horticulture.”

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Breaking boundaries with indoor locally-grown hops

By Deidre Hughes

When you think of hydroponically grown crops, hops may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But innovators Corey and Laura Rickman have a dream, and Hort Americas is helping them along the way. With the craft beer industry growing all over the country there is a demand for wet hops in beer production. However, traditionally hops have been grown outdoors in the North Pacific region. Wet hops or fresh hops have a very short shelf life, and they need to be shipped overnight to make it to breweries across the US. This can be quite expensive. The Rickman’s started thinking, what if they could be the supplier to the numerous breweries that are local to the Dallas/ Fort Worth area? What if they could have multiple harvests a year by controlling the environment? That idea started Dallas HopWorks.

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Nutrient Solution Monitoring with Bluelab

By Deidre Hughes

pH

A too often overlooked aspect of hydroponics is the importance of maintaining a steady and proper pH in your nutrient solution. One whole number increase or decrease in pH (ex. 6.0 to 7.0) is actually ten times either more acidic or more alkaline depending on which direction the number moves. The pH scale ranges from 0-14 with 0 being the most acidic, 7 being neutral and 14 being alkaline. Most plants thrive in a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. This is because the pH affects nutrient uptake by a plant’s roots. A lower (acidic) pH can affect the availability of Mg, P and/or Ca. On the flipside, a higher pH (alkaline) can affect the availability of micronutrients such as Fe (iron), Cu (copper), B (boron), Zn (zinc) and Mn (manganese). Certain plants have greater need for specific elements, therefore, will have a pH “preference”. Before planting a crop do proper research to determine what the needs and recommendations for your crop are. Then adjust, monitor and maintain your pH for consistent growth.

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