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5 of Our Customers Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered.

Date: 23-05-2022

Which nutrient additives can I use to increase flower size?

There are Many additives you can and should include in your system to increase the size of your flowers, normally, these are known as bloom boosters. 

Bloom boosters can come in liquid or powder form and are usually high in phosphorus. We recommend Bio Diesel Bloom Booster for bigger flowers with improved taste and potency. We also advise a PK booster during the final weeks of flowering. 

You can also use a foliar spray high in folic acid, these are often labelled as 'gold' and work by acting as a chelating agent, helping your plants to absorb macronutrients more effectively. 

Why is there scum in my reservoir? How can I remove and prevent it in future? 

The sludge-like buildup in your reservoir could be algae, bacteria or fungi. This kind of build-up is normally caused by light leaking into your reservoir. 

Algae, bacteria and fungi are all living organisms uptaking the nutrients and additives meant for your plants. A build-up of this organic matter can also clog up elements of your system like your pump and fittings. 

For these reasons, minimising organic build-up is important. 

Keeping your reservoir cool with the help of a water chiller will make a world of difference. You can also keep light out of your reservoir with a black lid, or by placing panda film over your reservoir (white side up). 

Maintain good system hygiene by cleaning out your reservoir between each crop and add hydrogen peroxide to your nutrient solution to help eliminate sludge. 

What are the benefits of growing with hydroponics? 

The benefits of growing hydroponically are seemingly endless. 

Hydroponic systems use less water than traditional gardens making them both an environmentally and budget-conscious alternative to soil growing.

Because you are not using soil, hydroponics is a cleaner way to grow. This is because pests are often attracted to the living microorganisms found in soil. By eliminating this medium you are also removing time-consuming and expensive pest control. 

While these are both huge advantages of hydroponics, this method of growing has an even bigger draw. 

You can grow pretty much whatever you want, whenever you want, where ever you want. 

Yields are also ready to harvest much faster than they would be with traditional gardening so you will see more crop rotations and, for commercial growers, more money in the bank. 

What is powdery mildew and how can I prevent it? 

Powdery mildew is a common problem for all growers, not just those growing hydroponically. Powdery mildew is caused by a combination of high humidity and low ventilation. 

To prevent powdery mildew, keep the humidity in your growing space between 65% and make sure there is plenty of air circulating around your crop. 

Another great natural preventive measure is to apply milk to the leaves of your plants at the onset of humid weather. For folk here in Perth, this should be done between February and June each year. 

If you've already got powdery mildew, you can give it the boot quickly with Neem oil as a foliar spray (follow the link below to find the neem oil we use and love). 

Why are my plant leaves turning yellow and what should I do about it? 

There are a few reasons your plants might have yellowing foliage. Pay attention to which leaves are yellowing. 

Usually, it's the older foliage yellowing which indicates your crop could have a nitrogen deficiency. 

When your plant's younger shoots figure out that their nutrient solution is lacking nitrogen, they'll look to older leaves to take the nitrogen they are storing which is why older leaves are often first to show signs. 

You can increase the level of nitrogen in your reservoir with a chemical additive or, for a more natural alternative, you can try adding worm castings or pine tree oil. 

If it's your younger leaves yellowing first, you're likely dealing with a micronutrient toxicity in either phosphorus or potassium. 

For tips and tricks to dealing with toxicity, refer back to our November 2021 newsletter which we will link below. 

And there you have it, another review done and dusted. If you have any questions that we haven't talked about, or if there's a topic you'd love to see us cover in our newsletters, you can email us at marketing.aquaponics@iinet.net.au

Good luck and as always, happy growing!