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SD Hydro at the San Diego County Fair

Come see SD Hydro’s award winning “Farm-Scraper” hydroponic installation at the 2017 San Diego County Fair located at the Del Mar Fairgrounds June 2nd – July 4th. In 2016 the San Diego County fair had record attendance accommodating about 1.6 million visitors during the fair and the organizers estimate that an average of more than 20,000 people walk through the “Farm Scraper” exhibit hall every day.

 

This will be SD Hydro’s second year constructing the a “Farm-Scraper” in the award winning ‘California Grown’ exhibit. Last year the installation was met with much enthusiasm from fair-goers and received an award from the International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions.

 

The California Grown exhibit features educational farming displays showing the past, present and future of agriculture in California. SD Hydro’s display, the “Farm-Scraper”,  represents the future of farming in a world with ever increasing urban populations that will require innovative gardening techniques.

 

This year, to demonstrate alternative  gardening techniques, we are showcasing several hydroponic systems including a vertical hydroponic garden, a deep water culture system,  drip bucket system, a floating raft table and an Aeroflow system.

 

For more information about the San Diego County Fair Fair visit: https://sdfair.com/

 

products

Product Spotlight: Bluelab Pro Controller & PeriPods

 

 

Tired of mixing nutrients? Hate keeping up with pH? Let Bluelab® do it for you!

 

Do you spend your days running from garden to reservoirs perpetually checking pH and nutrient levels and then manually balancing and re-measuring over and over?  There are a million other things you’d rather be doing in your day, right? …. and who monitors these levels when you’re not there? Growers who have many years of experience will tell you, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ … it’s a matter of ‘when’ will pH issues happen.

 

The innovative team at Bluelab® have released the Bluelab® Pro Controller Connect and Bluelab® PeriPodsTM to take care of your investment 24/7. This unique controller can dose nutrients into your reservoir constantly to parameters set by you.  Simply set your required EC, pH and dosing values on your controller, place the probes in your reservoir or sample pot and as your plants feed, pH and nutrients are automatically adjusted to the desired range.

Sounds like a time saver, right?

 

The Bluelab® Pro Controller Connect is easy to customize to your growing needs.   With an easy-to-navigate menu for you to set up and a simple calibration process makes pH calibration easy.  No calibration is ever needed on the EC probe!  Just keep it clean and you’ll be spot on all the time.

 

An optional external alarm and lockout box provides a convenient connection point for an external alarm. It can also be used to stop the controller dosing when feeding out in a drip system or even flooding in a flood and drain system.

 

Bluelab® PeriPodsTM are sold separately giving you the option to customize with a pump size that fits your individual set up. You can choose between the M3 which will dose up to 120 ml (4 oz.) per minute per pump or, the L3 which can dose up to a whopping 1200 ml per minute (40 oz.) per pump – that’ll keep up with the biggest reservoir! The three-pump configuration (one for pH and two for nutrients) are easy-to-use peristaltic pumps that can be calibrated to ensure equal dosing.

 

If that wasn’t enough, it also comes with our Bluelab® Connect stick that enables your Bluelab® Pro Controller (and all your other Bluelab® Connect devices) to wirelessly send real time readings to your computer. See the status of all your Bluelab® Connect devices and make changes to your controller’s settings, directly from the computer.   Also, when connected to the internet, you’ll be able to check your devices live status on your smart phone – anywhere in the world!

 

Fortunately, Bluelab® Connect is designed for gardeners.  Track your progress, repeat your successes and improve your results.

 

Automated, constant control of reservoir pH and nutrient levels is here now.  Ask for Bluelab® Pro Controller Connect and Bluelab® PeriPodsTM

 

This product spotlight was provided by our friends at Bluelab®.

The Eggplant Demystified – Health Benefits, Grow Tips & Recipe
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The Eggplant Demystified – Health Benefits, Grow Tips & Recipe

 

SDHO-crop-1024x722The eggplant (aka aubergine) is perhaps one of the most misunderstood foods of all time. The staff at SD Hydro harvested these four gorgeous eggplants at our Bay Park location a few weeks ago. No one really knew what to do with them so I decided to take them home and turn them into a delicious dish.

Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables along with tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.  They are extremely high in fiber, magnesium and potassium; making them an excellent choice for a heart healthy diet and for aiding digestion. The skin of the eggplant is especially rich in nasunin, an antioxidant that helps to protect brain cells from becoming damaged.

Eggplants are quite easy to grow; they thrive in conditions similar to those favored by tomatoes. This means they grow top heavy (so a tomato cage may be necessary), need lots of sunlight and a soil that drains water well. In San Diego, eggplants will grow mid spring all the way though until early fall.

Eggplant is a highly versatile cooking ingredient; it can be stuffed, fried, rolled, mashed, baked and who knows what else. The recipe I decided to try is a traditional Georgian dish called Badrijani. Badrijani is usually served as a side dish or appetizer (though from personal experience it is also a tasty late night snack).

Eggplant Rollups

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Product Spotlight: Mad Farmer Be One

 

Mad Farmer BeOneAlthough the benefits of vitamin B1 have been long known and often debated, new research is showing that B1 on its own is not very effective.  Instead, it works together with other nitrogen rich elements, specifically Auxins[i]. Through this synergy B1 becomes a useful tool to help reduce shock during cloning, transplanting, topping, skirting and other stressful situations.  Plants do synthesize B1 internally but light is required for this to occur, therefore B1 is found in the leaf tips where light is readily available, but not in the root zone where light does not penetrate. For stress prevention at the root zone we must use a supplemental form of B1.  Mad Farmer’s Be One is the most comprehensive B1 additive on the market, derived from Ascophyllum Nodosum, Humic Acids, Protein Hydrolysate & Thiamine (Vitamin B1). This complete plant tonic can be used in the garden through all stages of growth from starts, until about week four of the bloom cycle.Mad Farmer’s Be One Contains: 

ASCOPHYLLUM NODOSUM (Norwegian Sea Kelp) is one of the most widely used plant nutrients in the world and is composed of over 70 vitamins, minerals and enzymes including; Copper, Zinc, Molybdenum, Boron, Manganese and Cobalt. Ascophyllum Nodosum also contains Cytokinins, naturally occurring growth hormones that promote chloroplast development and heavier harvests. As well as stimulating bacterial growth and a strengthened immune system, the Cytokinins work in conjunction with the Auxins to assist in rapid root development and amplified cellular division.  When used in the reservoir it also reduces osmotic shock and aids in micro nutrient uptake.

 

HUMIC ACID is a powerful organic electrolyte that dissolves minerals and trace elements, such as Silica, increasing the bioavailability of nutrients while simultaneously detoxifying soil of heavy metals. When used as a foliar spray, Humic Acids increase oxygen intake, enhance photosynthesis and aid in the development of essential oils.

 

PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE- The most basic component of all living organisms is protein which is made when chains of amino acids bond together. Protein Hydrolysate supplies your plants with these building blocks, allowing Protein synthesis to occur by providing short chain Peptides and L-Aminos in a readily available, water soluble form.  When used as a foliar spray, Protein Hydrolysate stimulates the opening of stomata, resulting in increased photosynthesis. Used as a top feed, it stimulates micro flora development, stimulating biodiversity in your growing medium.

 

As you can see, Mad Farmer’s Be One is not simply a B1 supplement to be used in stressful situations. Its formula is designed to increase your gardens productivity throughout the entire lifecycle of the plant. With the use of some of nature’s most powerful minerals you can help your boost your plants natural defenses, increase the ability to use available light and. uptake nutrients more efficiently. Simultaneously, you will be ridding your grow medium of pollutants and increasing its biodiversity.  San Diego Hydroponics & Organics is San Diego’s EXCLUSIVE source for Mad Farmer products.  So stop by any one of their 5 locations today and take your garden to the next level with Mad Farmer.

National Heirloom Seed Festival 2013
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National Heirloom Seed Festival 2013

San Diego Hydroponics & Organics is proud to have attended the third annual National Heirloom Exposition, held in Santa Rosa, CA at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.   Hosted by our favorite seed company, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co, the Expo was a great opportunity to meet new vendors, find new seed companies and learn about heirloom horticulture.  The expo took place Tuesday, September 10th through Thursday, September 12th. The fairground was packed with heirloom produce and tons of like-minded individuals. The Expo included a Produce Hall, a Vendor Hall, two Speaking Halls as well as a beautiful outdoor garden area that displayed many examples of Bio Dynamic gardening. A separate livestock area included activities on Wednesday especially tailored for kids. The food court featured local Farm-to-Market food trucks and stands.

For heirloom seed collectors, the event was like nothing else we’ve ever seen!   We counted at least 25 heirloom seed vendors on site.  Our two new favorite seed companies would be Wild Boar Farms with their beautiful collection of colorful  striped tomatoes, and Kitazawa Seeds because of their expansive collection of heirloom vegetables from Asia.  On the last day of the festival there was an awesome seed trade and barter event held, with no money trading hands, just seeds traded for seeds, teaching attendees the best kind of seed ethics possible.   With the declining total number of uniquely available heirloom fruit and vegetable  seeds, it was refreshing to see a culture that’s embracing the genetic diversity of heirloom seed collecting. Attendees were actively cultivating an atmosphere where seed-saving education, professional networking, and good old-fashioned seed bartering is encouraged.  In the upcoming 2014 season, Baker Creek will introduce a Master Seed Catalog”. This publication will be the largest Heirloom seed catalog ever to be printed and will be a one-stop printed resource to every seed available.

Education was a central theme of the heirloom festival.   One hall was for independent speakers and the other hall featured speakers sponsored by the companies who supported the show.   Diverse educational topics included; “Seed Saving,”  “Compost & Mulch,” “Seaweeds for Food & Health,” “Farming for Chef’s,” “Fermentation for Farming,” “Growing Food in Small Spaces,” “Bio-Dynamic Composting,” and many more.   The second hall was reserved  for talks centered on Biodynamics (which is the combination of growing plants and animals together), it  also featured more intense and technical talks ranging from the many aspects of Biodynamics, from pollinating Bee’s to Wildflowers and Compost.

Biodynamics was the hot term and philosophy of the show, and for good reason.   At the center of a Biodynamic farm is the recycling of materials out of the life of the farm itself rather than importing fertilizers from the outside, organic or not.  Any system on a farm that utilizes the inherent organic materials on-site and creates loops of reusing, re-purposing and recycling is using the principles of Biodynamics.  Here in San Diego two of the most common animals that can join with your home garden are chickens and, thanks to recent legislation, Pygmy goats.   Besides getting fresh eggs that are higher in vitamins and beta carotene than store bought eggs, chickens also provide manure that’s rich in nitrogen.  Many chicken owners simply move their coup across lawns or garden every two weeks to spread the manure in a simple and effective manner.  Pygmy goats provide milk, till dirt labor-free, and just like chickens their manure can be used as fertilizer or compost.   Local rules and regulations for both inside the city of San Diego can be found here for Chickens, and here for Pymgy Goats.   As we know from our experience with aquaponics,  the biodiversity of the system is organized so that the waste product of one part becomes the revitalizing energy for another. This results in an increase in the capacity for self-renewal and ultimately makes the garden or farm more sustainable.

Lastly, before our time was up at the Heirloom Expo, we found several new vendors we’re excited to bring back to the shelves of San Diego Hydroponics & Organics.  This includes a new greenhouse company with products ranging from hobby greenhouses all the way up to full scale high tunnels with automated fans, louvres, and automated blackout materials which are used to create any light cycle a farmer wants for year round harvesting.  Another product we found soon to be on the shelves is HB-101 from Japan.    HB-101 is made from extremely concentrated oils derived from  Japanese Cypress, Pines  and Cedars and can be used as a seed soak, mixed into a regular nutrient recipe as a plant vitalizer, or even as a foliar spray for insect control.  Come into San Diego Hydroponics today for a look at some of the new products and catalogs we’ve found to make next year the best Season yet for your backyard and indoor gardening, whether it’s small scale, hobby or professional!

How to Plant a Resolution Tree
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How to Plant a Resolution Tree

The New Year is a time for rejuvenation, replenishment, and growth. What better way to celebrate a fresh start than by planting a tree rooted in your intentions for the coming year? A Resolution Tree is just that, a tree that’s roots literally grow through a penned resolution and nurtured with your hope for the future.

To plant your Resolution Tree you will need:

  • Scrap Paper
  • Writing Utensil
  • Tree (Ready for transplanting)
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Soil (SDHydro Recommends Roots Organic or Fox Farm soils)
  • Compost (SDHydro Recommends Humisoil from Organic Bountea)
  • Mulch or Bark (Optional)
  • Mad Farmer B1 (Optional)

1)Begin with taking a piece of biodegradable scrap paper and writing your 2014 resolution on it then place to the side.

2)Select a tree type and planting location. Determining the type of tree and location where it is to be planted are interdependent. Factors such as the maturing size of the tree, available space and desired purpose of the tree (fruiting, flowering, wind or shade protection, erosion prevention, restoration of native species or a combination thereof) should be considered. Learn the specific needs of your tree (preferred sunlight,  companion plants, and watering needs) then when selecting a location be mindful of maturing root systems, sidewalks and other possible obstructions of growth. It is important that the tree have adequate space to grow, with abundant sunlight and access to water.

3)Clear an area and dig a hole. Remove any weeds, leaves or brush from the direct area to be planted. Give the planted tree about a three-foot circumference of clearance space. Generally you should dig two feet deeper and two-feet wider than the potted soil that holds the current root system of the tree to ensure that the roots are not restricted.

4)Place your piece of paper with written resolution at the bottom of the hole.

5)Add compost or fertilizer into the bottom of the hole then soak. Use at least 1/3 compost per 2/3 soil.  The more compost, leaf mold or rotted manure used the more likely to satisfy the tree’s nutrient needs. The type and amount of fertilizer needed will vary by variety of tree. If the tree you intend to plant is on the larger size (greater than 2 inches in diameter) the roots may benefit from up to a one-hour soaking in a water bath. Pre-soak the hole prior to planting. This is more important with dry soil that does not hold water well but in general prepares the soil to welcome roots.

6)Carefully remove the tree from the container. The goal is as little root disturbance as possible. Either use clippers to cut the container away from the tree or gently squeeze the sides of the plant container between your hands to loosen the dirt and roots from the container wall while simultaneously letting gravity pull the tree free. After the tree is out of the container, stimulate growth by gingerly massaging the root system before putting the tree in the hole.

7)Place the tree in the hole. Position the flare of the tree (where the stem meets the roots and dirt) to be flush with the ground and clear of debris once fully planted. The stem will rot if buried or covered with damp material (such as soil) and the roots will dry out if exposed to air. Before you begin filling the hole with soil, make sure the roots are resting flat in the hole without being smashed or curved upward into a “J” shape (this is why you dug the hole deeper than necessary).

8)Add a small ring of fertilizer around the base of the tree about four to six inches away from the stem. Take care not to use too much fertilizer or you may burn the plant. Consult the instructions of your specific fertilizer for correct quantities.

9)(Optional)Add mulch or bark around the circumference of the tree. Make a ring of wood chips around the tree about three inches thick. This allows the bark to hold water in the soil and protects the topsoil from the sun. Leave a foot clearance from the edge of the bark boarder to the neck of the tree, the space in between the tree stem and the raised bark boarder create a small water-retaining bowl that is great for efficient and effective watering.

10)Water the tree and watch it grow! We recommend using Mad Farmer’s B1 to assist the plant in healing during the transplant process.

Sustainable Shops

School-Gardens

School Gardens Planted

Aquaponic

Aquaponic Gardens Planted

Bulbs-Recycled

Bulbs Recycled

Non-GMO

Non-GMO Products Sold

What they say about us

I have been going here for about a year now and I am always happy. I stop by on weekdays and they always have what I need and are willing to answer any questions. I own a business myself and customer service is always number one for me and these guys hit it on the head. They have been very helpful to me in learning the ins and outs of growing and they probably saved me from some costly mistakes

Adam W.

San Diego Hydro is a GREAT place to shop!!!! Great customer service, knowledgeable staff!!! We shop at San Diego Hydro for any Hydroponic supplies we need for our Organic Farm.

Karen Archipley, Archi's Acres ,VSAT

This place is amazing. I have been shopping here for almost 5 years and don’t ever want to go anywhere else. The staff is always so friendly and helpful. They give great advice and have always been all about the customer..

Lindsay M.

 

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(619) 276-0657
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