The pH of Water

The pH of the water is of major importance; it greatly affects plant growth. The symbol pH represents a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions per liter of water and thus a measure of the acid-alkaline balance of the water. This balance is often unfavorable in the natural water supply of the area.

But the pH of water can readily be changed for use in hydroponics. First, however, you need to know what the present pH is. The higher the concentration of hydrogen ions, the more acid; the lower the concentration, the less acid. Below 7.0 may be considered acid; above 7.0, alkaline. Your water supply source can tell you what the pH of your water is, although it does vary from time to time.

There are several simple kits on the market for testing the pH of your water. One involves the use of Nitrazene tape. There is also a kit utilizing a chemical that you drop into a sample of your water. In each case, either the tape or the water changes color. You then compare the color with those on a chart indicating the approximate pH. You can use both systems, in fact; one as a check on the other. You may also purchase a meter, if you wish.

By whatever method, the pH of your water, the the nutrient solution you are using in hydroponic growing, should be checked every four days.

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Feeding your plants

The amateur hydroponicist, starting soil-less gardening, need only be concerned with one, or at the most, two, formula for feeding his or her plants. Any reputable chemist or pharmacy, garden center or horticultural supplier can easily prepare the prescriptions given in this chapter and supply them to growers in ready-made form. In fact, many firms do offer complete mixtures for use in hydroponics to the public.

The question of whether to buy your nutrient mixtures ready-made or to blend your own at home is a matter of personal choice. It is quite simple to weigh out fertilizer in the kitchen on an ordinary balance or scales and then mix them together. It is also cheaper in the long run and adds greater interest to your hydroponic gardening.

But if you are too busy to spare even the few minutes required for the task, then it may be best to copy out one or other of the simple prescriptions online and hand it to the nearest large chemist or garden supplier to be made up, just as if it were a medical prescription, or else buy a proprietary brand of hydroponic nutrient mixture. 

A Growing Hobby

So when you take up hydroponics, you do, in effect, become part of a great army of enthusiasts and workers spread out through almost every country of the globe. No matter how small your soil-less garden may be, even one or two pot plants or a few window boxes, you are still undertaking horticultural tech and plant science.

Hydroponics is both a technical activity and an art in the real sense of the word. Indoor flowers and house plants, vegetables, fruits and salads, and out-of-door or greenhouse soil-less garden crops all call for good arrangement and proper organisation. Blooms require attractive display. Here is where hydroponics helps, enabling gardening to be carried out in places where it would not normally be possible with soils or organic matter like conventional composts and manures, while at the same time offering ample scope for striking effects, individual ingenuity, and participation in an up-to-date technology. This blog has been written specially to guide and instruct the beginner, as well as to explain how simplified home hydroponics works. If it brings new pleasure and interest into your life then it will have fulfilled its chief purpose.

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