Hydroponics Online Home Home Store Blog Forums FAQs Lesson Plans Pictures

Go Back   Hydroponics Forums Discussions > Hydroponics Discussion Forums > Hydroponics

bitter basil??? Help


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-17-2011, 06:20 PM
rootspook rootspook is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SC
Posts: 6
Default bitter basil??? Help

I have an ebb and flow system growing sweet basil started from seeds. The plants are producing wonderfully but the basil taste is off, bitter and much different from other basil I have grown in soil. Iím using the GH flora nutrients with a pH around 6 and an EC of 1.0. The plants have not flowered and the young and old plants taste the same. It is HOT where I grow and Iím outdoors. One guy mentioned I need to flush the plants for 1-2 weeks with plain water to get the nutrient taste out. I would like to avoid this if possible as I want a continuous supply of basil. Any ideas or similar problems???? Thanks

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-20-2011, 12:18 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855
Default

Do you have any pictures?

Can you provide more details? How are you mixing the nutrients? How old are the plants? How often do you do a nutrient changes? How many gallons is your nutrient reservoir? How big are the plants? What type of growing medium are you using? What is the temperatures (day and night)? etc. etc..
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-20-2011, 10:24 PM
rootspook rootspook is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SC
Posts: 6
Default

I have a pipe flood and drain similar to the one you run... It's 4 5ft tubes interconnected. They are painted brown (a prerec per the wife to be outside I understand a lighter more reflective vessel would be preferable) I use the Flora GH series with 5 cc/gallon of flora gro and and flora micro and 2cc/ gal of flora bloom The local hydroponic guy stated I didn't need the flora bloom at all for herbs and I have tried w and w/o it. I shoot for around an EC of 1.0 Nutrients are diluted in solution individually to avoid precipitation. I have a 27 gallon reservoir with 20 gallons of nutrients with one aerator. I keep pH at 6 and it holds there rather well. It is hot and humid here highs are typically 95-100 and lows are in 70's my nutrient solution runs in the mid to upper 80's and has hit 90s (the reservoir is 2/3 buried). The plants get full sun for probably 8-10 hrs a day. During the day I flood for 15 min and drain for 30 at night I flood 15 min and drain 75min. I have never seen a leaf wilt. Nutrient solution is changed out q 2wks with one fresh h20 flush for 15 min. The plants vary from 10 wks to 3wks most all were started from seeds in 1.5 rockwool cubes then placed in a 3" net cup surrounded with expanded clay or Hail or however you spell it. One plant was started in dirt and roots washed and transplanted. The oldest plants probably range from 18"-24" all sweet basil. The young ones are around 6-8". I harvest from the top on a regular basis and have seen no blooms. I also have other herbs which seem to be doing well as is some arugula. I know I am running on the hot side and I can move the system into the basement with lights (the reason its 4 x 5' tubes) or try a shade cloth. That may be my next project. I'm also willing to try the free h20 flush x 2 wks understanding that I will have to harvest all plants at the end. My hope is to have a system that I can go out and pick herbs as needed not harvest all at one time. The included pic is where it was built not where it lives now



GPS thank you for your interest...Brad
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-21-2011, 09:49 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855
Default

Hello rootspook,

First thanks for the picture, however I was hoping to see the plants. Basically I wanted to see plant size, as well the color of the foliage. Also if I could see any salt buildup on the growing medium, even how the roots looked if possible. Basically wanted to see if there was anything that would provide clues to a problem.

My best advice is to e-mail general hydroponics directly at: tech@genhydro.com

Give them your situation, and ask for their advice. Especially on their nutrients. Just because you don't want a plant to bloom, dosen't mean they don't need the mineral elements in the Flora bloom, they just need them in less quantities. I think your biggest issue is mixing the nutrients, so I think asking the manufacture directly will give you the best advice on that. If the conversion calculator I found on line is correct, and 5cc's = 5mL, and 2cc's =2mL. So If I read correctly your total nutrient solution consists of:

Gro.....5mL (per gallon)
Micro...2mL (per gallon)
Bloom..0mL (per gallon)

Considering the plant size of a one and half to two foot tall, if I'm correct General Hydroponics will probably suggest you mix the Flora series nutrients something more like this instead:

Gro.......10mL (per gallon)
Micro....10mL (per gallon)
Bloom....5mL (per gallon)

I don't even have a EC/TDS/PPM meter, mainly because they simply cant tell you if your nutrients are balanced. You can literally pour straight baking soda, or bleach in the water and reach the desired EC level. But obviously that wont grow plants. They need a balance of the right mineral elements to do that, and that's just something the meters cant tell you about. So there really only good for telling the relative strength of the nutrient solution (relative because they don't know what's in it), but you still need to know if your solution is balanced (and/or what's in it) for the EC reading to be helpful. Their only balanced when you first mix them, once the plants start using the nutrients, they start going out of balance. How fast depends on which elements they plants are using up more of, how much of them their using, and water volume. Beyond the nutrients, your source water will have elements in it as well that will affect the plants, and EC reading (unless your using distilled water).

If there is salt buildup in/on your growing medium then flushing it with plain water (and/or floraKleen) would be useful/helpful. But you shouldn't flush it for weeks. I would flush it with every nutrient change, and from a couple of hours, to 24 max. The way I do it is after I dumped the old nutrient water, cleaned the pump and reservoir. Then fill it with plain water and run it through the system for a half hour or so, then drain and dump. I will do that a couple of times, then the last one I let cycle for a few hours. Then dump and add fresh nutrient solution.

I think you said your changing the nutrient solution every two weeks, but I don't know what the "q" means in this part "changed out q 2wks." It sounds like you have a mix of large and smaller plants in the system, and I cant really see what you have growing. But considering that you have two foot tall plants in the system, and I see 17 holes for plants in the picture. You may be pushing the envelope on water volume per plant ratios, and that would through off your nutrient balance also. I would want about 2 gallons of water volume for each 1-2 foot plant, and 1 gallon for the smaller plants. Even then I would probably be changing it weekly (at least to see if there is improvement).

I have grown basil in warm temps, as well as when flowering and I don't remember it being bitter (but it wasn't humid here then either). So I don't know how much affect heat has on that aspect, but again I would ask General Hydroponics about that too. I do know that it will affect nutrient uptake, as well as dissolved oxygen in the water (witch will affect nutrient uptake also). So overall, heat stress could be a issue in bitterness. As well as defiantly an issue in plant health weather it's causing bitterness or not. I would also probably run the nutrients on 3/4 strength in hot weather (that I recommended) due too increased plant transpiration. Basically mix it the same, but then add 1/4 more water. I would also want to use a larger reservoir if I could to reduce fluctuations in nutrient concentrations as the water level changes from plant transpiration, as well as replacing the used water volume.

P.S.
I'm interested in hearing what General Hydroponics reply is.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-22-2011, 09:28 PM
rootspook rootspook is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SC
Posts: 6
Default

GPS thanks for the response. I'll follow up with General Hydro and get back with you. To clarify I use 5mL/ gallon of floragro, 5mL/ gallon of floramicro, and 2mL/gallon of florabloom. I change every 2 weeks and was only flushing the plants with fresh water for 15 min or so. I'll flush more and try more frequent changes to see if it helps. I included some pics. The roots of the large plants have grown together but I was able to get a smaller plant out. I'm not sure if the plants are too close together I could alternate next time. Thanks again and I'll report back with taste results and the GH response.







Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-25-2011, 09:35 PM
rootspook rootspook is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SC
Posts: 6
Default

I called General Hydroponics today and explained my problem and they had several ideas:

They too were concerned about the flush and recommended flushing for 4 hrs or more with floraKleen or H20 with the changes especially given the temp I live in.

The also felt that the high temp of the nutrient H20 was probably a factor and stated the flushing would help some. I can move the nutrient tank inside and pump it to the system and will if other fixes don't help. I already to it for my tomatoes

They thought the nutrient mix I was using was ok and said I could consider pushing up the FloraMicro to maybe 7.5 mL or more per gallon. (I felt my leaves could be a little greener) he thought the 2 - 3 mL/gallon was ok for the flora bloom and said keep the floragro at 5 or so. They agreed with you that my reservoir was on the small side.

GPS thanks for all of your help and I'll report back with results

one question?
When flushing an ebb and flow for 4 hrs do you let it ebb for the full 4 hrs or cycle up and down???

Last edited by rootspook; 07-25-2011 at 09:38 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-26-2011, 03:50 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855
Default

I had noticed the plants looked a little pale, but it's hard to tell from the pictures whether it's just the picture lighting or not. I had miss read your post when you first said how you were mixing the nutrients. I was thrown off when you said the hydro shop guy said you didn't need to use the bloom with herbs. But if I understand correctly GH recommended to mix them like this

Gro.......5 mL
Micro.....7.5 mL
Bloom....2-3 mL

That's an interesting ratio, I would have expected the amounts of Gro and Micro to be more equal. Did they say why they recommend the Micro to be higher than the Gro? The overall strength is a little weaker than I would have expected also. I'm guessing that's because your growing in high temperatures, and thus the high rate of transpiration in warmer temps. Or perhaps basil has lower nutrient requirements (I don't know), or both.

Quote:
one question?
When flushing an ebb and flow for 4 hrs do you let it ebb for the full 4 hrs or cycle up and down???
Generally when referring to flushing like that they are talking about continuously running the water the whole time. However I don't particularly like to have the roots go so long without getting air. I also change the water a few times. First I like to flush the system just a few minuets longer than it takes to flood the system, then drain it. I like to do this a couple of times to get as much of the residual nutrient solution out as I can. Then I'll flush it with fresh water again to flush out the roots and growing medium, and let it run for 30 to 60 minutes at a time.

But I also drain and change the fresh water a few times here as well. Because as you flush the dissolved salts out, they concentrate in the water. But the more concentrated they become in the water, the less effective flushing tends to be. So I periodically change the flushing water to dilute the concentration of salts getting flushed out. Each time I drain and dump the flushing water, it allows the roots to get 10 to 15 minuets of fresh air while I dump and change the water.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-26-2011, 08:30 PM
rootspook rootspook is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SC
Posts: 6
Default

They recommended more floraMicro for more nitrogen over the floraGro (I always expected the gro would have more N but thats not the case 5% vs 2% for the gro. He was favoring a somewhat weaker solution bc of the excess heat.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-26-2011, 08:59 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855
Default

Thanks, that's good to know. I too would have thought the Gro was higher in Nitrogen than the Micro was. All this time using it, and I never really read the label that well.

__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.