October/November 2014
Volume 9,  Issue
LED Gardener  

In This Issue
LED Grow Master Introduces New
LED Grow Lights

The More You Know Part 4

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Mom's Garden in Rural MN
The More You Know Part 4
       Growing mediums made for the indoor garden are termed
“artificial” because they don’t contain an ounce of soil.  Soilless
ingredients such as sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, perlite,
and coir are used.  Peat lightens the medium, allows air to enter,
holds moisture, and generally improves the structure of the
medium. Vermiculite will hold large quantities of air, water, and
nutrient. Perlite is a volcanic glass which is mainly used to add
aeration to the medium. Coir is a sustainable replacement for
peat moss. Although plants will grow in virtually any medium, a
high-quality artificial mix generally contains slow-release fertilizers
which take care of a plant’s nutritional requirements for several
        Nutrients come into play as a necessity for hydroponic
systems, and can be used in any medium to make plants grow
faster and produce more.  It’s important to keep in mind too much
or too little of any one nutrient will reduce the potential of your
garden. “Law of the Minimum” states yield is proportional to the amount of the most limiting nutrient. If the deficient
nutrient is supplied, yields may be improved to the point that some other nutrient is needed and the Law of the Minimum
would apply in turn to that nutrient.  Too little results in a deficiency but too much may result in toxicity which is much
harder to recover from.  
        The chemical elements plants need are divided into two main groups: non-mineral, and mineral. The non-mineral
nutrients are hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon.  Hydrogen and oxygen are provided with the rest of the nutrients through
water absorbed by the plant’s roots.  Oxygen is also absorbed from the air with the carbon. Supplementing CO2 is often
overlooked as an option for supplementing the indoor garden. Increasing the ppm of CO2 in the growing environment
can dramatically increase the growth rate and biomass of indoor plants.  
       The 14 essential mineral nutrients are divided into macronutrients and micronutrients. Primary nutrients are the
ones that are generally used up first in a growing medium.  The primary macronutrients are nitrogen, phosphorous, and
potassium.  Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for crop growth, second only to water. Plants use nitrogen
mainly for protein and nucleic acid production. Nitrogen deficiency is often signaled by a general yellowing of the older
leaves with toxicity resulting in problems with fruit set and calcium deficiencies.  Phosphorous promotes root growth and
the quality of seeds, fruit, and flowers.  A phosphorous deficiency can often be seen by a reddish color on the
underside of a leaf along the veins, and toxicity shows up as a micronutrient deficiency. Potassium makes plants all
around hardier by improving resistance to disease, plant stress, and cold.  Deficiencies are marked by chloratic and
burnt margins and dead spots on the older leaves.  Toxicity causes a nitrogen deficiency.  
        It’s easy to confuse symptoms of deficiency/toxicity.  For a good online resource for troubleshooting plants and
additional symptoms of deficiencies,
Wade Berry of UCLA has put together a chapter complete with pictures. The
secondary macronutrients are calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.  There are generally enough of the secondary
macronutrients in prepared indoor growing mediums so supplementation is rarely needed. Micronutrients are needed in
only very small quantities. The micronutrients are boron, copper, iron, chlorine, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, and
       Indoor plant nutrients come in liquid, powder, and tablet form. Plant roots require certain conditions to take up
these elements from the medium. All fertilizers will cause salt to build up in the medium.  Too much of these salts and the
build-up will start to suck water from the plants roots leaving them “burned”.  Some plants, such as Ficus, are heavy
feeders while others need little or no additional fertilizer for months (succulents).  Check back next month for the final
part of this series, electricity, the aspect that defines hobby vs production in indoor environments. --AL
LED Grow Master Introduces New LED Grow Lights
       You asked, we listened.  LED Grow Master has added three new lines of LED grow lights to meet the demand for
both high output and water resistant LEDs.   The Chrome series is available in three models, the Ion provides
adjustable wavelength ratios, and the IP65 is our new water resistant and high efficiency LED light bar.  As an LED
Gardener subscriber, you can use the following discount coupon code for 20% off all the new LEDs through November
25th:  UAW141027182902
Check out the new options here.
purple flowers
LED indoor garden
Growing Indoors Under LED Grow Lights