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By Tracy Lyons
When growing plants without soil, the quality and type of water used is important. In most areas, using municipal water in the AeroGarden with our liquid nutrients will grow healthy and happy plants. Our specially formulated liquid nutrients have proven to be very effective at conditioning hard water if it falls within generally accepted standards for municipal water quality. If you live in an area that is known to have especially hard water (typically south/southwest US), you may want to try bottled distilled water, as discussed below.
Water types we don't recommend include: well water (high mineral content which interferes with nutrients), softened water (high in sodium), rain water (unpredictable), spring water (high mineral content), hard water, and water gathered by a dehumidifier. Although none of these types of water are necessarily bad for human consumption, our nutrients may not be able to condition them to be good for aeroponic growing. In most areas, your municipal tap water will be just fine.
Let your plants be the guide. If they are germinating and growing well, then the water being used is probably well suited for the AeroGarden. However, if you notice poor germination, stunted growth or overall poor growth, yellowing or drying leaves, it could due to the water*. Empty out the water and refill with bottled distilled water and add nutrients per package instructions. Remember to reset your nutrient timer after doing so. Your plants should begin to respond with improved growth and appearance within 10 days.
If you have any concerns about the water you are using, then we would recommend that you try distilled water. It’s available in gallon jugs at your supermarket and is usually the least expensive kind of bottled water you can buy. Try using bottled distilled water as a 'control test' to see what type of growth you get vs. using your tap water. It may make no difference at all, in which case your tap water is the easiest choice, or it may be the difference you have been looking for!
*It is important to note that liquid nutrients should be added every 2 weeks in proper measurements per package instructions, and if your AeroGarden uses compact fluorescent grow lights, they should be no more than 6 - 12 months old. Improper nutrient feeding and expired grow lights can also cause growth issues, and both nutrients and lights are discussed in other articles in this category.
GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR AEROGARDEN, SEED KITS AND ACCESSORIES
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