Using own soil?

Epsom salt is just one ingredient in a hydroponic nutrient solution. It aids the plant to absorb other nutrients like nitrogen. Having said that, you need to feed your plants with multiple nutrients. Hydroponic plant food is available online or from your local garden retailers.

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Hey!

Indeed you can use regular potting soil. However you will most probably run into problems with fertilizer.
The Click & Grow wick acts like a filter. So you can’t fertilize the tank. You have to fertilize from above.

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Indeed! But, the wick that is used in C&G is very tense and does not allow salts to go through. Also, adding plant food to the water tank will reduce the viability of the wick significantly.
Another major difference may be that in a DIY hydroponic system the roots may grow out of the cavity as much as they like and take up water and nutrients from the tank.

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As I mentioned earlier I sometimes use seedling pouches with cocopeat in the C&G to germinate seeds.
When I see roots growing through the pouches I transplant the seedlings to a kratky container with a nutrient solution of about 1/4 of the normal strength to start with.

That’s a great idea. What do you do about light - do the plants get enough light to grow? I can do this and place the plants on the window sill but they won’t get more than 5 hours of light (not sunlight) as the winter looms.

I keep the plants under the C&G lights (as you can see in the picture I posted) until they’re strong enough to be placed on the window sill. My windows are facing south, I hope that’ll be enough. If not I may purchase a small growlight to help them.

The seedlings that were started in cocopeat filled nursery bags in the C&G cups and placed in Kratky containers are doing great!
I added a small 5W growlight for the cherrytomato.

Hi, thanks for sharing… I have a question. when you do that with coco peat. That stuff is bereft of nutrient right? Do you now feed the plants through the reservoir with a hydroponic solution?? thanks

That is the principle behind the Kratky method. The reservoir is filled with nutrient solution to a level where the entire root system will not be submerged. A couple of inches gap from the water level to the bottom of the net cup would be ideal.

will it absorb nutrients from the “smart dirt” if added? I don’t have any nutrients in the reservoir. or do roots only absorb from the ends touching the nutrient free water? I’m reusing a smart soil from another plant which I’m assuming has now been somewhat depleted of nutrients. I don’t want to add nutrient to the reservoir as I have some new plants growing with a full and new smart soil. makes sense?

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It does. All of the root system absorbs nutrients.

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