Hydroponic Vegetable Garden Update

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Cucumber plant reaching for the stars.



Tomato plants getting big!

Seattle, WA.

Hydroponic Vegetable Garden Update

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I'm trying something new with leafy greens and Grodan Grow Blocks. I usually plant lettuce in my NFT or DWC rig. I'm excited to see how well rockwool does compared to a hydroponically grown equivalent. Pictured above is Mustard Myers Family Heirloom.



Salad Bowl Lettuce.



The Cucumber Bush Champion's are getting big! I wonder when they'll start growing up.



Tomato Super Sweet 100 Hybrid's and Tomato Burpee's Big Boy Hybrid's. No clue which is which.



Red Romaine Lettuce taking off.



Mustard Myers Family Heirloom.



I'm surprised how well the Paris Island Romaine Lettuce are doing. These are the ones I goofed up on during the seedling stage.



Salad Bowl Lettuce in my NTF sytem.



Thai Basil, it smells so good!



Arugula Rocket's.

Seattle, WA.

Hydroponic Vegetable Garden - Update

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After further research and review I decided to make the switch to the General Hydroponics Flora Series of nutrients. Since this garden represents a significant investment in time, energy, and money I decided that striving for the best possible root system was the key to sustainability. While the General Organics series of nutrients produced great results and healthy plants, I wasn't to keen on the discoloration and buildup of organic material in the root system. Long term, I just didn't know how well the plants would have done in those conditions and the lack of information available on the web was worrisome. I'll continue to use the General Organic series of nutrients for soil applications but from this point forward I'll use the General Hydroponics Series for soilless and hydroponic applications.

The General Hydroponics Flora series of nutrients is a three part system. The FloraMicro solution represents the base to the system. One thing to note is it's 5.0% Calcium (Ca) content. More on that later.

The FloraGro solution stimulates structural and vegetative growth. It also contains 0.5% Magnesium (Mg). Previously, when using the General Organics nutrients, you had to supplement Calcium and Magnesium for soilless or hydroponic applications. This is no longer needed with the Flora series of nutrients since it's built into the system.

The FloraBloom solution stimulates flower and fruit development. By mixing the three components together in varying ratio's you can make five different types of solutions to meet your growing needs. Cuttings and Seedlings, General Purpose - Mild Vegetative, Aggressive Vegetative Growth, Transition to Bloom, and Bloom and Ripening solutions. I can't wait to see the results as everything is growing like crazy!



The Red Romain Lettuce has already quadrupled in size.



The Cucumber, Bush Champion's have also quadrupled in size.



The Arugula Rocket's are also doing very well. It doesn't look like much on top since most of the activity is in the root growth below.


Seattle, WA.

General Organics by General Hydroponics Review

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I was introduced to the General Organics line of products by my local hydroponic supply store. The General Organics series by General Hydroponics is marketed as an organic nutrient system. I am fully aware of the ongoing debate regarding the value of "organic" fertilizers / methods and how they are applied to hydroponics. In order to be considered "organic" the fertilizer components need to be dependent upon organisms in the soil to convert the "organic" materials into a form useable by plants. The reason I started my own hydroponic vegetable garden was to eliminate produce grown with hazardous chemicals and/or poisons, yield a crop year round, and grow that crop to ripeness before harvesting. So far the General Organics nutrients allow me to do that easily.

The main component of my nutrient solution is BioThrive Grow. General Hydroponics also makes a BioThrive Bloom version for when the plants begin to flower or produce fruit. For seedlings recently transplanted I use 10ml per gallon of water. Once the plants are established I increase the dose to 20ml per gallon for a full feeding.





Soilless growing media needs to be supplemented with Calcium and Magnesium. For that I use CaMg+ and use 5ml per gallon for light feedings and 10ml per gallon for heavy feedings.

As an experiment I've also been adding BioRoot to my nutrient solution to promote root growth in my seedlings and newly transplanted plants. I use 5ml per gallon for light feedings and 10ml per gallon for heavy feedings. I honestly cannot tell a difference with or without this product in terms of root growth and health so once I use up the current stock I will probably stop using it.

The General Organics line of nutrients has a pretty bad reputation due to it's thick viscosity. Due to the organic nature of the product the nutrients are not as water soluble as some growers would like and they claim the nutrient solution can cause clogging in irrigation systems. I've yet to notice any of these issues but to their credit I've only been using the product for three months. I have a five month supply of nutrient left and will post an update if any of these issues occur.

The nutrient reservoirs do contain particulate matter which is filtered before being pumped through the irrigation system. I notice that air stones require constant cleaning to keep them in proper working order. I also notice that the roots tend to build up with organic matter from the nutrients which worried me at first. The buildup is easily rinsed away and underneath you'll find thick healthy white roots. The garden is healthy, grows quickly, and produces food. So far so good.

Seattle, WA.

Hydroponic Vegetable Garden

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I almost have all of the "Cucumber, Bush Champion's" transplanted into Grodan Gro-Blocks. I'm impressed by how fast they are growing.



All of my "Tomato Super Sweet 100 Hybrid's" and "Tomato Burpee's Big Boy Hybrid's" have been transplanted. I wanted more "Tomato Super Sweet 100 Hybrid's" so I started seeds in Grodan A-OK Starter Plugs.



The "Red Sails Lettuce" are producing an incredible amount of food. I've already harvested lettuce from this lot at least a dozen times. It takes about 3 days for the outer leaves to grow back and once ready can be harvested at least 3 times. I'm curious to see how sustainable this is.



Six "Arugula Rocket's" transplanted.



Here we have ten "Red Romain Lettuce" transplanted in my newest nutrient film technique (NFT) rig.



Last are 10 more "Mustard Myers Family Heirloom's" transplanted into the NFT system. I have another six that are mature and producing leaves regularly. They have a nice kick to them and are surprisingly spicy.

Seattle, WA.