Posts published on June 2010

Should I top-off my reservoir with plain water or nutrient solution?

Gardening

In the summer or in hot grow rooms, plants, in general, will take up more water than nutrients, thus causing the nutrient solution to become more salty.

In the winter time or in cooler grow rooms, the opposite will occur. Nutrient uptake will also be determined by the type of crop being grown e.g., tomatoes are heavier feeders than lettuce. It is extremely important that the grower has both a TDS meter and a pH meter and that regular testing on the nutrient solution is carried out. If the grower notices after a few days that the ppm level in the reservoir is high and the water level has decreased than the grower should top up their reservoir with either plain water or a weak nutrient solution until the optimum ppm level is reached. If the grower has noticed a drop in ppm levels then a full strength nutrient solution should be used to top off the reservoir.

Another factor to consider is the source water. You will generally find that if you are not using reverse osmosis water, you will usually have to top-off with plain water, since tap water has a lot of sodium and minerals that increase the ppm levels.

Here is an ideal scenario:

Purchase a Reverse Osmosis System, Auto Shut-off Kit and some R.O. Tubing, which can be found in the Water Treatment section of our website, and a ¼” Grommet and a ¼” Float Valve, which can be found in the Plumbing section. Also purchase a Rubbermaid trash can and a couple of cinder blocks from your local hardware store. Hook up the R.O. system and shut-off kit according to the instruction manuals. The float valve that comes with the shut-off kit should be installed in the trash can, which should be placed on the cinder blocks for elevation. Drill a hole close to the bottom of the trash can and insert the grommet. Install the second float valve in your reservoir, a little higher than where you want the water level to be. Then, run a length of R.O. tubing from the grommet to the float valve.

Now, turn on your R.O. system and go spend the time you’re going to save doing something fun!

After a period of time, both the reservoir and the trash can will be full, and the R.O. system will stop. It will only come on when the levels in either receptacle begin to fall. Once you add nutrients and enhancers to the reservoir, you will find that the PPM level actually drops each day as the plants take up nutrients and the water is replenished through the float valve (this is especially visible with healthy, actively growing plants). You will also find that you use far less pH adjusting solutions due to the improved water quality. You should only have to add small amounts of nutrients and pH adjusting solution every once and a while between reservoir changes. And, you will always have plenty of pure, fresh water available in the trash can.

What Is pH, Why Do I Have to Worry About It, and How do I Maintain It?

Gardening

ph-test-indicatorpH stands for “Potential of Hydrogen” and is the symbol for the hydrogen ion (H+) in liquids. pH has a range from 0 (acidic) – 7 (neutral) – 14 (alkaline).

For hydroponics, we are aiming for a pH between 5.5 to 6.2 (slightly acidic); this is suitable for most hydroponic crops. For soil, we recommend a pH between 6.5- 6.8. Ensuring that the pH remains within this range will help maintain good plant health. Keeping the pH in this range ensures that nutrients are readily available to the plant. Once the grower goes above or below this optimal range certain nutrients start becoming unavailable to the plant.  pH is maintained by adding either pH Up or pH Down.

What is pH Up and Down?

Up is potassium hydroxide and pH Down is phosphoric acid (commercial growers will sometimes also use Nitric acid and Sulfuric acid). Customers who use tap water will normally need to use pH down to balance the pH of their nutrient solution. Tap water tends to have a lot of carbonates which tends to buffer tap water at a higher pH. Customers who use RO water will need to use pH Up as the reverse osmosis strips the tap water of all the carbonates, thus leaving the water with no buffering ability. The nutrients the growers use to feed their plants is acidic, and once the grower has applied all the required nutrients and enhancers the reservoir pH can be below 5. This is too low for plants; thus pH Up needs to be used in order to raise the pH to at least 6. Customers using both pH Up and Down should take care when using these products as both are very concentrated. Only small amounts should be used at a time until the customer becomes familiar with the products.

Second Chance Raffle

Events

If you missed our Grand Opening party last weekend, you’re not out in the cold.

If you’d like a second chance we have a few MORE prizes that we’d like to give away. We just need a name and an email address so we can catch up with you.

Hope to see you soon. Happy Growing!

Raffle Results

Events

Thanks to all y’all that came down today to our Grand Re-Opening of our Beaches store off Morena. So many people!

As many of you know, the second day of our biggest sale of the year is tomorrow. Just for walking in the door you get a raffle ticket that could win you one of the following prizes.

For full list of winning tickets go here.

Click here for the list of prizes.

Raffle Winners for Customer Appreciation June 2010

Events

so-many-ticketsThanks for helping to make this year’s Customer Appreciation Party the best ever. We had a lot of fun and we hope you did too. This year we held the largest raffle with over 115 prizes! Unbelievable!

Please check your ticket to see if you won. You can claim your prize at our Beaches store off Morena.

If you didn’t win OR weren’t there OR want to win some more, enter our SECOND CHANCE RAFFLE.

(http://sdhydroponics.com/articles/raffle-winners-for-customer-appreciation-june-2010)

Here’s a complete list of winners for our Beaches store Customer Appreciation Party. Downloadable list.

Prizes Ticket#
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399277
SUNBLAZE 2’ 4 LAMP 399335
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399358
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399380
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399390
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399392
26.4lb/12 KG FLAME DEFENDER 399399
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399452
SUNBLAZE 4’ 4 LAMP 399472
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399551
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399584
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399606
13.2lb/6 KG FLAME DEFENDER 399629
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399638
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399678
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399701
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 399715
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399789
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399843
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399866
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399883
MAX BAG 1 GAL 3 BAG KIT 399884
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399887
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399896
SUNBLAZE 2’ 4 LAMP 399909
4.4lb/2 KG FLAME DEFENDER 399935
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 399939
SUNBLAZE 2’ 4 LAMP 399940
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 697430
GGL DIGI 600W IV BALLAST 697441
House & Garden ROOT EXCELURATOR 250 ml 697448
House & Garden ROOT EXCELURATOR 250 ml 697495
PIONEER 4’ 4 LAMP 697496
House & Garden ROOT EXCELURATOR 250 ml 697498
House & Garden ROOT EXCELURATOR 250 ml 697501
CAN FILTER 75 697504
1000W Harvest Pro Ballast 697506
CAN FAN 6’ H.O. 697514
TRAYHUGGER 3’X3’ 697536
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 697544
PRO GRIP ROPE RATCHET 697551
House & Garden FULL NUTRIENT LINE 697554
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715420
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715441
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715442
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715453
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715474
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715505
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715513
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715531
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715541
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715559
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715561
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715591
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715607
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715610
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715633
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715649
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715660
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715671
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715691
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715692
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715696
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715744
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715754
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715766
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715774
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715801
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715816
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715825
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715842
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715849
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715860
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715894
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 715947
Max Bag 5Gal 3 Bag kit 715953
Yield Master 6″ Hood Sun Master 716012
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716031
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716037
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716073
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716080
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716084
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716086
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716100
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716120
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716153
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716244
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716253
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716304
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716355
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716421
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716429
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716446
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716452
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716467
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716469
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716472
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716514
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716529
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716540
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716557
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716566
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716594
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716599
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716616
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716738
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716763
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716845
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716879
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716882
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716892
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716922
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 716956
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 717003
DUTCH MASTER ~ Nutrients 717150

How Often Do I Need To Calibrate My pH/TDS Meters?

Gardening

hanna-phep-meter-71350

pH Meter

Always remember to keep the pH probe moist when not in use. It is best to use pH Electrode Storage Solution; if you have run out of storage solution you can use pH 4 solution as an alternative. For the Hanna HI98129 black combo meter, place storage solution in the well of the cap that the pH electrode (not the TDS electrode) rests in. It is not advisable to store the EC/TDS/CF/PPM probe in any storage solution.

TDS Meter

The best way to store your TDS meter is to keep it clean and dry. TDS meters do not require any storage solutions. DO NOT store the TDS meter in distilled water.For long term storage, make sure that the batteries are removed from the meter as leaking batteries will corrode the circuit board rendering the meter useless. None of our meters’ warranty covers leaking battery damage. For long term storage of the pH meter it is best if the probe is stored in sufficient storage solution; if the solution evaporates then the pH probe will dry out.

How often do I need to calibrate my pH/TDS meters?

All pH and TDS meters need to be continuously calibrated; as time passes by and the more you use your pH meter, it will continually lose calibration. As the meter’s batteries get older it will also lose its calibration. Keeping the meter calibrated will help keep your plants in good health and at optimal growth. All pH and TDS meters must be recalibrated every time you change the batteries. It is good practice to calibrate your meters once a week, especially if the meters are being used daily.

Our Biggest Raffle Ever

Events

Thanks to all y’all that came down today to our Grand Re-Opening of our Beaches store off Morena. So many people!

As many of you know, the second day of our biggest sale of the year is tomorrow. Just for walking in the door you get a raffle ticket that could win you one of the following prizes.

For full list of winning tickets go here.

Click here for the list of prizes.

How do I take clones from a plant?

Gardening

jiffyPelletPropagation1. Select a branch or stem that has at least 2 or 3 sets of leaves.

2. Locate a spot on the branch between, or next to, a set of leaf nodes where your cut will be made (leaf nodes are where the branches come out of the stem). Leave at least one set of nodes above the cut.

3. Make a clean, neat, 45 degree slice with a razor blade or knife. It is important that you do not damage the branch while handling.

4. Remove the lower 1 or 2 sets of branches (stems and leaves), leaving the upper sets of leaves to be placed above the growing medium line. Trim any flowers or buds that remain (if necessary; refer to picture below).

5. To prevent an air bubble (embolism) from lodging in the stem where the cut is, immediately dip the base of the cutting into a quality cloning gel, like Olivia’s or RooTech. Place cutting into your growing medium.

6. Keep your growing medium moist and warm with bottom heat at all times for best results. Never let your growing medium dry out.

7. Check your growing medium and transfer cuttings once roots appear or a strong root ball is established.

TIPS ON CLONING:

* The quality of your water should be considered before taking cuttings. Reverse Osmosis or drinking water would be an excellent choice.

* The pH should be adjusted to between 5.5 and 6.2 by the time roots begin to develop.

* It is essential that your cuttings (clones) be taken from healthy plants.

* Rockwool should be pretreated by using Rockwool Soak, or soaking overnight in water with a pH of about 5.0.

* Be gentle when taking cuttings. They can shock easily when cut.

* Always use a sterile growing medium; be it rockwool, soil, vermiculite, perlite, sand, etc. Never use soil from your garden.

* Always keep tools clean to avoid transmitting disease to open plant wounds. Sterilize them before each use if possible.

* Keep your growing medium warm at all times for best results. Bottom heat (with a heating mat) will help cuttings root faster. Bottom heat: 75-85F (24-30C). Greenhouse/indoor temperature (air, bench level):70F (21C).

* High humidity, just until roots begin to emerge) aids in rooting your cuttings. A plastic cover (humidity dome or tent) will increase your percentage of roots cuttings.

* Don’t forget all plants need fresh air. If your cuttings show signs of wilting, cut some holes in your humidity dome/tent to allow air ventilation.

* Remember to keep your room temperature warm during the night or lights-out cycle if propagating indoors. Add a space heater if necessary.

* Excessive watering will kill your cuttings. Never leave any water standing in the tray (unless using an aeroponic cloning system). It is best to briefly water the plants and then transfer them to a dry tray.

* To achieve a uniform cutting you may trim the leaves. Try to keep all your cuttings around the same height. This allows each cutting to receive the same amount of light.

* If you are using outdoor sunlight, screen your cuttings from the direct sun or place in a shady area under a tree.

* If you are using fluorescent lighting you may (and should) place your lights within a few inches of the tops of your plants without burning them.

* If using high intensity discharge (HID) lighting, either sodium or metal halide, give cuttings a full 18 hours of light. A 6 hour night cycle is recommended for optimum results.

* Due to the amount of heat HID lamps put out, keep the lights within a safe distance above your cuttings or you will burn them.

* Once roots appear, your cuttings can take stronger, more intense light, either HID or outdoor sunlight. Place your lights as close as possible. In other words, the closer the lights are to your plants, the faster your plants will grow. Transplant as soon as vigorous roots appear.

FINAL NOTE:

Every plant and growing situation is different, so the length of time it takes roots to appear will vary from a week to a month or more depending on the type of plant (and environment).

Hygrozyme- Plant Success for Soil/ Soilless Mediums

Gardening

hygrozyme-literHygrozyme is an enzymatic formula used in addition to some of your regular feeding programs. It was developed by a company named Sipco, a bio-tech company specializing in non-toxic bateria-free enzyme cleaning solutions. After years of research they developed this solution. It is an enzymatic solution loaded w/ complex chains of amino acids. In saying that, heres what results I’ve found and how I got them.I’ve always leaned to organics when growing.

Healthy mediums foster healthy growth! Hygrozyme is a natural enzymatic formula used for cleaning growing mediums, without chemicals. Enzymes in a growing media eat dead protein removing potential areas where illness can develop. Through this break-down process plants are better able to obtain nutrients. More nutrients and less attacks equals bigger, stronger, and faster plant growth. Use during all growing stages. OMRI Listed for use in organic production.

Directions for Use:

A.) Seedling Trays – 6 ml per 4 liters (1 gallon) of water to treat prior to use. Gently soak medium to meet required moisture level.

B.) Cuttings Media Preparation – Soak rockwool cube or plugs at 6 ml per 4 liters (1 gallon) of water. Proceed with normal regimen.

C.) Hydroponics/ Soil/ Coco/ Rockwool/ Media – Should be used in conjunction with nutrient change-out based on weekly feeding schedule. Add 8-10 ml per 4 liters (1 gallon) (never exceed 15 ml per 4 liters). Use as a soak / cleanser or in a drip feed system. Stay with normal feed schedule and apply in conjunction with normal regimen.OMRI Listed

D.) Foliar Equipment Wash & Rinse Application – 4 to 6 ml per 4 liters (1 gallon) (Use RO or distilled water when using in foliar spray equipment). Rinse equipment before and after use. Use once a week or when dictated by your feeding schedule.