The Urban Farmer, Issue #034 * March, 2011: Healthy Water * Hydro Lettuce Farm * Learn Daily



"Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden?"

            ~Robert Brault     


                     good, clean water

If you're going to be using tap or well water, get it tested first to see where you stand. You can do this inexpensively through the county ag agent or health department, or through an independent lab. If using tap water, you can always call the water company and ask them the calcium content of the water.

Basically, what you want to know is if you have very hard or very soft water. Hard water has lots of mineral content and calcium carbonate in particular. If you see calcium buildup (white residue) on your faucets, you probably have hard water. Soft water has low mineral content, which is preferable. (But you cannot use water that has gone through a water softener system for hydroponics... it's way too salty).

Okay, so you found out you have hard water (Calcium content is above 70 ppm). What can you do about it? GH Flora hydroponic solution (the best one) has a base solution specifically for use with hard water. Instead of using FloraMicro, simply buy Hardwater FloraMicro. Problem solved!

If you find out that you have really poor water, (greater than 300 ppm total solids), consider installing a RO (reverse osmosis) water filter under your kitchen sink. An RO filter costs $170-$250, but it provides the highest quality drinking water possible. If you are stuck with mineral-laden water, you must use an RO filter if you want a successful hydroponics experience (and a healthier family).


Another alternative: you could collect rainwater in a barrel and use that. Nature's best!




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Hydro Tip of the Month

LEARN FROM YOURSELF: Consider keeping a journal that lists: the EC, pH, temperature, CO2 & light level each day. This way you can learn from your own mistakes & successes. Records like this also make it a lot easier for you to troubleshoot when you have a problem.

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of The Urban Farmer Ezine. Each month, we will bring you another inspiring photo, gardening quote or idea, plus fresh new hydroponics news, techniques & products.

Insiders tips to get you growing...


~Stella and Simon from Hydroponics-Simplified.


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