Understanding organic hydroponics

Updated: Mar 13


Do you feel afraid, hesitant and indecisive about organic hydroponics? 

Introduction

There are two types of hydroponic nutrients, synthetic or organic based. A synthetic is in the form of water soluble salts developed by humans for plant intake. Comparable to the way table salt separates in water to form Na+ (cation) and Ci- (anion), the pre-formulated fertilizer salts separates into the correct spectrum concentrations of needed ions components needed for plant success. Organic fertilizer components are dependent upon organism in the water to convert the organic materials into an inorganic usable form for plants. Because of the non soluble of many nature sources of nutrition, organic based hydroponic have 20 - 30% fertilizer salts with the rest being soluble organic components, such as guano, plant extracts, worm castings, potash and kelp. Because all of the components are not identical in structure and properties they separate at different rates in the solvent creating a minor pH fluctuation. This is the major difference between synthetic and organic based nutrients, but is easily conquered with patience and practice.

Reservoir Stability

Organic hydroponic reservoir tanks gain from stability, because they attract and develop some level of microbial activity. In nature, the soil is regularly a stable place when it comes to temperature and to extent moisture content, pH and fertility levels. 

Good habits

Keep hydroponic reservoir tank levels topped up to the full line with fresh nutrient water daily or automatic with a float valve.

Maintain hydroponic reservoir tank cover, heavy light can destroy the organic hydroponic nutrient solution. 

Add only filtered or RO water to the organic hydroponic reservoir, tap water will contaminant the solution.

Premix your organic nutrient concentrates with a small amount of filtered water before adding to the reservoir.

Add calcium first to the hydroponic reservoir tank, to neutralize filtered water. 

Monitor the pH, EC and temperature of your organic nutrient solution daily.

Bad Habits

Add a big volume of filtered water directly to an running reservoir tank that has been depleted without having any organic nutrients in it, avoid huge swings in EC, TDS and pH.

Depend on chemical pH adjusters. Use filtered out rain water, and if your system is running correctly, the pH will swing itself where it needs to be within a few days of mixing fresh for the first time. (pH 5.8 - 6.5)

Allow reservoir tank temperatures to fluctuate widely.

Monitoring Organic Solution

Organic hydroponic is a living and monitoring key parameters can tell you a lot about the health of your organic hydroponic systems and the needs of your plants.

Key parameters are EC, pH and nutrient water temperature

For most growers, EC is a measure of how much nutrient are in a given reservoir tank. Synthetic nutrient and mineral salts give off higher readings. Maintain a lower EC with organic solutions than you would with conventional hydroponic solutions. 

pH in organic hydroponics will often start out less than optimal when first adding your nutrients to fresh filtered water, over the course of a few days, you should see the pH finally stabilize into a fair range of 5.8 to 6.5. Once stabilized, your reservoir tank should be maintenance free  expect from top ups with filtered water and diluted nutrient concentrates.

Temperature is big. An organic hydroponics reservoir that experiences big swings in temperature is at risk of developing issues. Keep a stable 65 to 75 degree F reservoir tank temperature.

If you loved this, you might also love these posts about nutrients:

"How to mix nutrient in a hydroponic system"

"Growing with A tank and B tank"

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#hydroponics #hydroponicsystem #organic #hydroponicnutrients

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© 2020 by NICKGREENS. Chicago, Illinois

      nick@nickgreens.com      

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