Starting plants in an AeroGarden

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pepperhead212
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#21

Post: # 111217Unread post pepperhead212
Mon Dec 04, 2023 5:20 pm

Stitchingmom wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 12:22 pm
pepperhead212 wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 12:09 pm Getting too acid is one problem I get with my hydro systems - not sure what does this, especially in the early weeks, when there is little going on, as far as changes from the plants using a lot of nutrients, or decomposition. I have to check frequently, and the color gets down into the red zone, and I put more "ph up" into them, to get them around 6.5, or thereabouts. The buffer doesn't seem to help that much.
What water are you using? I've got good public water, and have never had to treat my water. I checked it at first, but it was always fine.
That's all I ever use, and it's just a little over 7 ph, before the Maxgro is put in, which takes it to about 6.5, in the beginning. It just slowly gets acid, putting absolutely nothing else in, once I get the nutrients to the right level, adding some silica, epsom salts, and some calcium nitrate, before adding the Maxigro, letting it dissolve for a couple of days, and testing, before adding more, and getting the nutrient level to 1.8-2.2 EC. I'm thinking it might be the coir pellets, many of the seeds are started in. I can't believe that those things cause the spikes in ph that quickly - I'll have to squeeze some water out of the ones I'm starting seeds in now, and check the ph! If they are that acid, enough to cause that much water to spike in acid, how could the plants be growing in it?

Once the plants are large, and growing, I can see the acid from that - like in an aquarium, with a lot of fish waste "composting", causing the ph to go down. But this is early.

And something that I do, that I haven't seen anyone mention, is adding something to the water to prevent fungus gnats! I use those mosquito "dunks", with the Bt israelensis, which I also use outside in SIPs and water catching barrels. It doesn't take much in the hydroponics or SIPs - just a few granules of the stuff; after all, one of those dunks covers a lot in an outdoor pond! I put less than 1/4 tsp of a crumbled up dunk in the large tub of mine - about 25 gal. Never had fungus gnat problems, since I've been using that.
Woodbury, NJ zone 7a/7b

JayneR13
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#22

Post: # 111241Unread post JayneR13
Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:09 am

I use a solid carbon block water filter since I'm on city water and I find the reports from the local utility a bit horrific. My carnivorous plants do well in the filtered water so I'm thinking in my case it's the nutrient solution making the acidity. Perhaps the plant roots contribute as well though?
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

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Greatgardens
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#23

Post: # 111244Unread post Greatgardens
Tue Dec 05, 2023 10:24 am

Greatgardens wrote: Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:13 am Can anyone explain about the "Nutrient A and B" that comes with most of these AeroGarden-type systems. Also of interest to me is that the original AeroGarden uses a single solution fertilizer. But no checking solids, pH, etc with any of these mini systems.
I'll answer my own question, in case anyone else is interested. From looking at some A+B fertilizers, part A is higher in Nitrogen and lower in P + K, while B is higher in P + K and low in N, so you could customize the nutrients based on what you are growing. I don't see anything on these A+B fertilizers about buffering, I would presume that they depend on changing water every two to three weeks in the Aero-type units.

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Whwoz
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#24

Post: # 111251Unread post Whwoz
Tue Dec 05, 2023 3:13 pm

@JayneR13 , @pepperhead212 plants can naturally release acid into their surroundings in an attempt to solubilize minerals. Could you add limestone chips to your water reservoir to act as a buffer? Would need to be careful how much and monitor pH to see how it changes. I am guessing only small amount needed.

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Whwoz
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#25

Post: # 111252Unread post Whwoz
Tue Dec 05, 2023 3:17 pm

Water softeners work by replacing calcium and magnesium with sodium. Great for getting soap to lather up, but not for plants

JayneR13
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#26

Post: # 111289Unread post JayneR13
Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:32 am

@Whwoz I'm actually using baking soda but that's the plan: a small amount added to my solution and monitor for changes. Always something to learn in the garden, right?
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

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AKgardener
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#27

Post: # 111297Unread post AKgardener
Wed Dec 06, 2023 1:26 pm

I got my unit on a whim I got one called the growwell and another 2 pod one . My husband got me a 3rd but I asked him to cancel it because I wasn’t sure if I was going to really get into it yet and I feel bad but until I learn to use it and get the proper tools I would rather wait until I understand them and actually grow in them . I have a iznik cucumber in the one and just thyme and oregano. And started a micro tomato tiny tiger in the other.. waiting for maters to germinate now..

JayneR13
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#28

Post: # 111330Unread post JayneR13
Thu Dec 07, 2023 9:03 am

I'm more of a dive in and learn as I go person but to each his/her own, right?
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

George Bernard Shaw

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AKgardener
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#29

Post: # 111337Unread post AKgardener
Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:54 pm

As am I but I’d rather not argue haha over who is right or wrong on this one it’s a big debate here and I don’t have the energy to explain haha

Greatgardens
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#30

Post: # 111358Unread post Greatgardens
Fri Dec 08, 2023 6:41 am

Has anyone here used Mega Crop fertilizer in an Aero? I've used it in EarthBoxes successfully. It is a one-part nutrient which contains trace elements that some of the other ferts. do not have. They also have a two-part Mega Crop that I was not aware of that is used with Calcium Nitrate.


Greatgardens
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#31

Post: # 112054Unread post Greatgardens
Wed Dec 20, 2023 4:07 am

I've purchased all my equipment and supplies. I'll make a trial run before starting for the garden in Mar/Apr. My LED grow light is 50 watts concentrated over a very small area with a range of two feet (height). That is way more light and headroom than I've ever had before. It is dramatically brighter than my Gro-Lux tubes that I've always used, so hopefully I'll get some nice stocky seedlings. I've always had trouble with tomatoes getting leggy in the past, except for dwarfs and micros. YouTube has so many great videos on growing stuff in the AeroGarden, the best of which (I think) are "AeroGarden Experiments." He has done over 200 experiments with the AeroGarden and other brands, and has videos to document the progress of many. Really interesting!

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AKgardener
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#32

Post: # 112093Unread post AKgardener
Wed Dec 20, 2023 12:34 pm

I planted a Vilma . A red baby bell pepper plant and sweet pickling peppers.. now we wait my cucumber plant is growing but nothing yet

slugworth
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#33

Post: # 125068Unread post slugworth
Thu Jun 06, 2024 5:02 pm

I once got the aerogarden sprout at goodwill without the base.
I just wanted the grow light portion.
The pump noise attracts mourning doves.
2 of them were on the windowsill watching me one morning.
"A chiseled face,Just like Easter Island" :lol:

JayneR13
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#34

Post: # 126200Unread post JayneR13
Wed Jun 19, 2024 8:27 pm

I’ve decided that I prefer my off brand units to the Aerogarden. The AG has had mold & mineral deposit problems since the beginning. I do put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in my nutrient solution, and I cover the sponges with some tape. I still get mold. In the few months since I purchased, I’ve harvested two meals worth of choy sum and a couple sandwiches worth of spinach. My 12 hole IDOO yields much better! And a replacement pump for it was $10 on eBay, as opposed to $14 for a very similar pump from AG. I’ve let the choy sum go to seed and might do the same with the spinach. While I’ll have to replace the entire IDOO unit once the light fails, it’s been going for two years and counting. I’m not nuts about my AG Harvest and wouldn’t buy another one. My two cents. YMMV of course.
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

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pepperhead212
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#35

Post: # 126207Unread post pepperhead212
Wed Jun 19, 2024 9:53 pm

I'm going to take my deepwater systems apart, as soon as it gets cooler, so I can take them outside and clean them up. Then it's in idle, until the fall, and it's set up all over again! All I have now is a bunch of basil, and some epazote in them.
Woodbury, NJ zone 7a/7b

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Labradors
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Re: Starting plants in an AeroGarden

#36

Post: # 126245Unread post Labradors
Thu Jun 20, 2024 1:41 pm

I enjoyed growing things in my Aerogardens. Lettuce did extremely well, spinach not so much. Cilantro grew amazingly well in the Bounty and I think that Perpetual Spinach would be great if I hadn't tried to fill every pod. I moved them all to Kratky where they are happier.
I think the trick is to get the numbers right. I started with 6 lettuces in a 6-pod Harvest which was a bit too much considering that one was an Endive that wanted to sprawl. Perhaps 4 plants would be best. No Endive and no more than one seedling in a pod.
I think the Harvest is a lot easier and straightforward to clean than the Bounty, but I like having the extra pods, and the way the top of the Bounty is made prevents algae from forming around the pods and the outer edge. Mind you, not using nutrients at the very beginning, and being skimpy with them when growing lettuce also keeps any algae in check.

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