Archive

Posts Tagged ‘tap water’

Troubleshooter – My Plants are Turning Yellow and Not Growing

January 29th, 2010

If the plants in your Aerogarden are turning yellow and not growing…

When more than one pod in a seed kit fails to germinate, or seedlings show yellowed leaves or are stunted growth, chances are they are experiencing a nutrient deficiency. This is generally caused by one of two things:

Using water that is high in dissolved minerals (“hard water”, well water, or water that has been through a water softener), or

Nutrient tablets that were damaged by high heat or humidity, which occasionally occurs in transport or storage.
If your plants are experiencing these symptoms, it will be important for future success to determine which of these may be causing the problem.

Water

Water that is high in dissolved minerals can cause problems with growth in the Aerogarden and many areas in England do have “hard” tap water. If you are using “hard” water, well water, spring water, or “softened” water, you will experience germination and growth problems in your AeroGarden. The dissolved minerals in the water will block the proper uptake of the nutrients by the plants. Hard water is the number one cause of growth problems in the AeroGarden. Most water filters do not remove minerals.
If you think you may have high mineral-content water, we recommend switching to bottled distilled water (not “spring”, “drinking” or “purified” water) instead, which is available at most supermarkets.

Nutrients

If your Seed Kit experienced very high heat or humidity is shipping or storage, the nutrients may become damaged, causing the same nutrient deficiency symptoms. If your nutrients appeared to have dissolved and leaked out of their container in storage/transport please contact us for replacement nutrient tablets (if the item was originally purchased directly from us).
*Please note – nutrients which appear wet or partially dissolved in their bag are not necessarily damaged – if they are in twin packs of just two nutrients you can cut the bag in half and rinse out the contents in a cup of tepid water (including the nutrient tablets themselves) – then empty the contents of this cup into the Aerogarden water bowl. Be sure to store your nutrients in a cool dry place (a fridge is ideal) to prevent any further absorption of liquid.

Aerogarden Troubleshooting , , , , , , , ,

Aerogarden.org.uk – Hard tap water problems

August 19th, 2008

The water used in aeroponic gardening needs to fall within a certain range of pH and dissolved-mineral content. Most tap water supplies are treated so that they fall within this range and work well with the AeroGarden.

However, most spring, softened or very “hard” waters have high dissolved-mineral contents that can cause problems when used in an AeroGarden. High dissolved mineral content or strong pH can interfere with the proper uptake of the AeroGarden nutrient/pH-buffer tablets by the plants, which can prevent or delay germination of seeds, severely stunt growth, and cause “chlorosis”, or yellowing of the leaves.  This will be a problem for aerogardeners using tap water from a “hard” tap water area. You can find a map giving a rough guide to locations of hard tap water areas in the UK here… http://www.dwi.gov.uk/pubs/hardness/index.htm#4

So-called “hard” water has a high dissolved calcium and magnesium content, and is the tap water that we get here in London.The high mineral content of the water can cause an excess build up of mineral deposits or limescale that could damage your pump, as well as the other problems listed above. 
Most home water filters, do not remove dissolved minerals. They are designed to remove contaminants such as organic solvents and chlorine taste, but dissolved minerals generally occur as tiny ions which are too small to be filtered out.

Distillers remove minerals, by heating, vaporizing and re-condensing water and leaving the mineral deposits behind. Pure distilled water works well in the AeroGarden, provided it is within normal pH range.

The easiest alternative is probably to use inexpensive bottled “drinking”, “bottled” or “distilled” (not “spring” ) water instead, which has a low mineral content is available at most supermarkets. One of our customers, Alex has used Ashbeck Mountain Spring Water, available from Tesco, and reports excellent results with faster growing, healthier plants. Cleaning the aerogarden out between garden plantings can help reduce the build up of mineral deposits and the damage it can cuase – mainly to the aerogarden pump. Click here for instructions on how to do a “rinse and refill”.

Aerogarden Tricks & tips, Aerogarden Troubleshooting , ,