Posts published on August 2010

Higromite

Gardening

In prehistoric times 26 million years ago….seas and lakes were populated by diatoms, tiny single-cell creatures rich in silica.

Over time, these skeletons accumulated at the bottom of the lakes in which they lived.  Periodic volcanic activity added layers of alumna-rich ash to the mix and the Higromite material was born.  It is extremely porous and absorbent which allows for the efficient movement of air, water, and nutrients within your growing environment.

Key Benefits of Higromite

– Increased quality & quantity of yields

– Accelerates blooming and optimizes maturation

– High in Silica and inert

– Reduces the frequency of the watering cycle

– Increases porosity by establishing air & water passageways

– Allows the soil to absorb and hold water

– Promotes deeper roots and increases the number of fine root hairs

High Silica Content

Higromite is comprised of about 70% silica (Si).  Silica is essential for healthy plants and roots. The crystalline mineral silica is an often forgotten element in agriculture. When plants contain enough silica, they are able to maximize energy resources from the sun. However, it can only be absorbed gradually by the plant via the microbial processes in the soil.  Thus, it is important to “feed” the soil a rich organic diet.

Your plants will receive this slow release of silica from Higromite resulting in healthier, more robust plants.

Plant available silica has also been shown in studies to stimulate Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) in plants which increase their resistance to disease.

Moisture Release

Higromite has a total capillary porosity of about (68%).  The non-capillary pore space is made up of relatively large pores (18%) that conduct water under saturated conditions.  When drained, they are filled with air providing the oxygen that is necessary for root growth.

The capillary porosity is made up of small pores (50%)that hold water against the force of gravity, retaining much of it for plant use.

The high overall capillary pore space contributes to excellent hydraulic conductivity and moisture retention & release.

In the lab, increasing levels of energy are applied to samples to simulate dry down cycles.

Water released between saturation, 0 Tension and 0.03 Bars, reflects free drainage.  Of greater importance is the water that is released from 0.03 bars to 2 bars, which is considered plant available water.

Higromite can be used as a supplement to expanded clay, coco, rock wool, and other mediums depending on the application.

When Higromite is used as a supplement with Coco, it helps to reduce the common problem of compaction and increases moisture retention.

High CEC (Cat ion Exchange Capacity) – Due to its high CEC, adding Higromite to your soil can greatly improve the soil’s ability to hold onto the nutrients.

Higromite can also be applied to “lasagna gardening” techniques. When lining the bottom of a pot with Higromite, the root tips get the extra moisture they need in the later stages of growth. Expanded clays do not retain as much moisture as Higromite making it far superior.

Higromite can be applied as a top dressing to potted plants. The rocks provide an additional growing layer that protects against pests and helps retain moisture.

It also adds a nice decorative appeal that is pleasing to the eye.

Aeration

The multi-faceted shape of the Higromite particles allows air penetration within the pot. This is particularly important to plant health and discourages root rot.

Capillary Action

The wicking action of Higromite ensures that the whole root system can take advantage of the water and nutrients you give it.

Inert

It does not break down like other media on the market today and can accompany your plant from seedling to specimen. Higromite can be re-used depending on the application.

Stability

Higromite eliminates the common problem of expanded clay floating in Ebb & Flow system buckets.  Higromite’s ability to retain moisture helps it create a stable growing environment in these applications.

Why Silica

Gardening

Silicon is a highly essential micro nutrient.

It has been known to heighten growth and prevent disease in plants for centuries. It is present in significant amounts in the epidermal cells of plants; and acts as a barrier and repellent against invading insects and fungi. Silicon has also been found to accumulate around diseased parts of the plant, implying that it is not only preventive but also highly curative too.

Silicon is abundant in the root cells where plants are most likely to be exposed to pathogens and parasites.

Presence of this element makes the cells harder and highly resistant to disease or attack. In fact, silicon protects the plants against pathogens, such as pythium, fungal spores, aphids, sucking insects and powdery mildew. Apart from directly resisting plant infections, silicon stimulates creation of other disease resistant elements, such as polyphenolic compounds.

Silicon improves plant resistance to water deficiency.

Heavy concentrations of silica in the outer cells of plants reduces transpiration of moisture. It also resists wilt and negative impact from excessive occurrence of many essential nutrients.

Concentrations of chlorophyll as well as utilization of carbon dioxide is directly affected by the presence of silica in plants.

That is why silicon deficiency is reflected in malformation of young leaves and either deformed or no fruits at all.

Silicon is also instrumental in ameliorating mineral imbalances and diseases caused by abiotic stresses.

For example, silicon can prevent manganese and iron toxicity as well as prove beneficial for aluminum toxicity.

Plants absorb silicon better through the leaves.

That is why soluble silicon is one of the best ways of providing plants with supplemental silicon. Potassium silicate is a great source of soluble silicon and provides small amounts of potassium too. Supplemental silica is approved by the USDA as a supplemental fertilizer for agricultural use. To learn more about the role of silica in plant health click here.

Bio Bizz

Gardening

Since 1992 BioBizz has been producing custom soil mixes, natural plant nutrients and additives for organic gardeners.

From its legendary origin in Amsterdam to the present day, BioBizz is the most experienced and recognized supplier of premium plant food in its field. The BioBizz distinguished line of pro-environmental fertilizer is ideal for biological production of flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as safely caring for ornamentals, trees and turf. Used on soil, coco-fibre, hydroponics and hydro-organics.

Our mission

Our philosophy is based on respecting our partners, distributors, our consumers, our suppliers and the environment itself. We prefer quality over quantity and we believe in that our products prove themselves. With superior products, service and support and expertise in the organic and hydroponics industry.

Why organics??

Because factory-made chemical fertilizers take away from the soil rather than building it. After rendering soil useless in the name of a temporary fix, these industrial chemicals are washed into earth’s water tables killing and mutating fish, algae, and coral reef. Residuals from these chemicals and pesticides can be found in the produce itself. Eating organic fruits, vegetables or herbs- grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides- may boost the immune system of animals and help them recover from disease. We also, believe that agriculture should come “back-to-earth” and out of the laboratories.

Why BIOBIZZ??

BIOBIZZ Products were formulated and refined in Holland over the last 12 years. They have continued to maintain popularity in the Netherlands while gaining support from users worldwide. The clean smell and ease of use is appropriate for easy and instant organics, indoor or outside. The original BIOBIZZ mantras of K.I.S.S (Keep It Short and Simple) and Back to Basics still ring true to diehard bio and organic growers all over the globe.

How to use BIOBIZZ products with the grow schedule??

BIOBIZZ has been trying to develop a simple but serious grow schedule. Our main goal was to make a schedule that everybody can use and understand. Education is the key to our and the consumers success. We had to force ourselves to make one standard, but extra information is always given on request.

The schedule: is designed for use with BIOBIZZ products. These basic directives will show you step by step how to get the most from BIOBIZZ (your) products and the best from you plants. The schedule is defied in eleven week in which two week of growth followed by nine weeks of flowering.   The dosage of nutrients is measured in millilitres per litre (the European schedules). For examples week: 3rd week grow schedule on All-Mix, 1 ml Bio-Grow, 1 ml Bio-Bloom and 1 ml TopMax per 1 litre water.

Why do you give Bio-Grow in the bloom/flowering phase??

That is a good question. Bio-Grow contains a lot of sugars and vitamins B, C and E. When plants start to flower they are using a lot of their vitamins and sugars. If those vitamins and sugars are not replaced the plant can stress out or even die. Bio-Grow was not only developed as a growth and soil activator but also as a plant tonic in flowering phase. That is why we recommend using Bio-Grow in bloom/flowering phase.

Can I use Biobizz products on hydro or coco’s?

Yes, you can use Biobizz products on hydro systems and coco’s. It is just a different approach and usages of the Biobizz products. The Biobizz has two liquid product lines: Liquid organic plant food and the Organic bio-stimulants.

Come check out our OMRI certified nutrient selection at San Diego Hydroponics and Organics.

N.F.T.

Gardening

NFT is an ultra-resource efficient method of growing plants by providing a highly oxygenated, slowly moving film (stream) of dissolved minerals to the roots in a flat bottomed, gently sloped channel (the Hydroponic Nutrient Film Technique Lettuce Systemgully).

Plants are placed at intervals along the gully and grown with their root ends constantly moistened by the nutrient film.

The nutrient film is shallow enough for most of the root mass to have direct access to oxygen from the surrounding air.

The nutrient solution is recirculated through a reservoir that is highly aerated and continuously monitored for pH and nutrient strength. Nutrient strength and pH are adjusted on demand with the use of automated monitor/dosing computer equipment. This provides constant balance and optimum conditions for thriving plant growth.

* Clean, mineral rich, pesticide and grit-free lettuce.

* NFT lettuce requires only a fraction of the labour.

* Boasts 30% more production per acre than the best traditional soil methods.

* NFT uses just one tenth the water.

There are a few critical aspects of NFT system design that cannot be ignored.

1. Water Quality

Source water quality must be a constant, not a variable. Before even considering hydroponics water must be analyzed beforehand to determine qualities.

Upon analysis water must be as pure as possible going in. If too many mineral elements are present, i.e. high sodium, heavy metals or pathogens, it must be treated with Reverse Osmosis Membranes and/or Ozone.

If source water mineral, such as sodium, is too high, reservoir will need to be dumped much more frequently which is wasteful, costly and unnecessary.

2. Gully Features

Gully must be flat bottomed to achieve a broad nutrient film (stream).

Slope must be a minimum of 1″ in 40″. No runs longer than 60′ (18 metres).

1 litre a minutes flow rate per gully maximum. ¾ litre per minutes for short runs.

2 feeder tubes per gully, in case one blocks.

3. Reservoir Features

Reservoir should be sized so that when the system turns off the reservoir needs to be able to hold 2000 litres.

Returning nutrient must fall into the reservoir. All reservoirs must be equipped with venturis for oxygenation. Ethylene, a by-product waste gas of plant metabolism, can choke a recirculating system. A venturi that operates off pump pressure creates a spa like effect in the reservoir, agitating ethylene out of the solution and introducing fresh air into the tank are.

N.F.T. systems are very susceptible to power outages and pump failures. The roots dry out very rapidly when the flow of nutrient solution is interrupted.

Hydroponics

Gardening

Researchers discovered in the 19th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water.

In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil dissolve in water, plant roots are able to absorb them.

When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant’s water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive.

Almost any terrestrial plant will grow with hydroponics. Hydroponics is also a standard technique in biology research and teaching.

Some of the reasons why hydroponics is being adapted around the world for food production are the following:

* No soil is needed

* The water stays in the system and can be reused- thus, lower water costs

* It is possible to control the nutrition levels in their entirety- thus, lower nutrition costs

* No nutrition pollution is released into the environment because of the controlled system

* Stable and high yields

* Pests and diseases are easier to get rid of than in soil because of the container’s mobility

Today, hydroponics is an established branch of agronomy. Progress has been rapid, and results obtained in various countries have proved it to be thoroughly practical and to have very definite advantages over conventional methods of horticulture. The two chief merits of the soil-less cultivation of plants are, first, much higher crop yields, and second, hydroponics can be used in places where in-ground agriculture or gardening is not possible.

Start your indoor hydroponics garden today!

Global Greenhouse Lighting Ballasts

Gardening

Upgrade To Digital

These blissfully silent ballasts are highly efficient, produce very little heat.

All of this while firing the bulb brighter, giving 15% to 20% more lumen output than a standard electro-magnetic core ballast.

All of this because the ballasts fire at a higher frequency, minimizing the wear and increasing lamp life, 3 to 4 times.

Light weight with a built in mounting bracket, Global Greenhouse digital ballasts universally work with all reflectors, sockets, and lamps on the market. 3 year, no hassle manufacturer’s warranty.

* Fires both HPS and MH lamps!

* 15% – 20% more lumen output

* Higher Efficiency means very little heat

* Works with any socket, reflector, or lamp on the market

* Light weight with built in mounting bracket

* Generator Friendly

* Sunlight Supply “S” style hood side lamp plug (two round prongs and one flat prong)

* Includes a 120v/240V power cord.

* Ballast side power plug is the “square hortizontal plug” style

Nutrient Success

Gardening

The primary nutrients in plant foods are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium also called Potash (K).

In addition to nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium, plants require a lesser amount of secondary nutrients and trace quantities of other elements.

Secondary nutrients are calcium, sulphur, and magnesium. Trace elements are small quantities of boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc.

Plant foods are measured in an N-P-K format

N is Nitrogen

P is Phosphorus

K is Potassium (Potash)

A 7-4-3 plant food contains:

7% Nitrogen

4% Phosphorus

3% Potassium

A 30-15-15 plant food contains:

30% Nitrogen

15% Phosphorus

15% Potassium

The percentage of the solution not used by nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium is secondary nutrients, trace elements, and/or inert material.

An all purpose nutrient with secondary nutrients and trace elements will get you through all stages of growth. But during different stages of life, you can adjust the nutrient levels to optimal quantities.

Regardless of the nutrient you choose, during the first 1-2 weeks of life and the first 1-2 weeks of flowering, use half the amount (or less) of nutrient solution the manufacturer recommends.

That is, if the nutrient package says to mix one tablespoon of nutrient to every gallon of water, you should add less than half a tablespoon of nutrient to every gallon of water for the first 1-2 weeks after germinating or cloning, and when flowering is initiated.

This is not essential when flowering, unless the plants have just been transplanted, but it is for seeds and clones. Some growers don’t add any nutrients to the water for the first 1-2 weeks.

They then use a 50% solution for 1-2 weeks, then go to a 100% solution.

During seedling/vegetative growth the plants need lots of N (nitrogen).

They also need a fair amount of P (phosphorus) and K (potassium), 7-4-3, or 30-15-15, or something with a similar ratio of N-P-K, and secondary nutrients, and trace elements will work.

During flowering the plants need more P (phosphorus) and more K (potassium) than they did during vegetative growth.

They need some N (nitrogen) but not as much as they did during seedling/vegetative growth. They also need secondary nutrients and trace elements.

If you used:

— Something like 7-4-3 for seedling/vegetative growth, then try using 4-8-7 (or similar ratios of N-P-K) for flowering.

— Something like 30-15-15 for seedling/vegetative growth, then try using 15-30-30 (or similar ratios of N-P-K) for flowering.

Two and three part nutrient solutions, that allow you to custom blend the amount of the different components, are recommended.

Organic nutrients are available but they can be harder to find.

Do not give your plants extra nutrients thinking it will make them grow faster. Too much will kill your plants. If you under fertilize, plant growth will be slowed but they will stay alive much longer than if they got too much. Follow the mixing instructions on your soil nutrient package, if you aren’t sure, use less rather than more.

Stop all plant food at least 14 days before harvesting when growing in soil. The last few times you water the plants, don’t add any nutrients.

You can repeat this water only ‘feeding’ several times in the 2 weeks prior to harvest. When growing in a hydroponic garden, stop all plant food at least 7 days before harvest.

This is so N-P-K and other elements can be removed from the plants before harvesting. This will ensure that your plant doesn’t taste like plant food, and you are ingesting a minimal amount of N-P-K, secondary nutrients, or trace elements. See when to harvest your crop for more info.

Raffle Winners for San Diego Expo

Events

Please check your ticket to see if you won. You can claim your prize at our Napier Store. (MAP)

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

1.             Full Line of House and Garden Nutrients (qt size)  –  353008

2.             Full Line of Biobizz Nutirients  –  353176

3.             4′ x 4′ Tray Hugger  –  353013

4.             GGL Athena 600W Digital Ballast  –  353021

5.             8 x 24 Phresh Filter  –  353053

6.             Can Filter 100  –  353039

7.             Mad Farmer pH Up (1Gal)  –  353123

8.             Mad Farmer pH Down (1Gal)  –  353076

Fresca Sol Water Cooled Light

Gardening

The Fresca Sol is the industry innovator featuring water cooled fixture engineered to take 93% of the heat produced from your HPS bulb and transfer it through water to a designated cooling reservoir.

Increased control over your growing environment is achieved using the Fresca Sol water cooled light. This product is a great addition to any type of system or application where heat is a problem for one reason or another.

The Fresca Sol unit will eliminate 93% of the heat from your 250, 400, 600 or 1000 HPS, and transfer it through water to a designated cooling reservoir.

This unit allows you to combine your existing ballast and bulb with our water cooled light to achieve real cool results. With low thermal emission and less exhaust, this results in a higher concentration of CO2.

The Design:

The Fresca Sol endplates are made from dependable billet aircraft aluminum, proving to withstand high temperatures. The tubes are made of durable borasilicate (Pyrex) glass, creating a very tough and reliable product.

The Features:

You can adjust your Fresca Sol fixture to 5’’ inches away from your plants rather than 18’’ to 24’’ inches! This increases the amount of light reaching your plants by nine times!

In addition you can also exchange the heat from your bulb through water plumbed into your designated reservoir. Examples of water reservoirs are pools (in-ground and out of ground), Jacuzzis, or even a horse trough. Providing a heated pool year round is yet another benefit that also leads to lower electric bills and saves you money while increasing yields.

Now Available:

The Fresca Sol is now packaged and sold with a socket and wing reflector. Additional optional features for your system such as the “No Flow No Go” sensors, “over heat” sensors as well as relays that control your lights and pumps for a fool proof system that shuts down at the first sign of a problem. In addition, we will have pumps, hoses and clamps available for purchase on our site, making your experience with San Diego Hydroponics a one stop shop!

Specifications:

  • 1 6” round 21” long and 25” long with socket
  • 2 Radiating heat is cut down by 93%
  • 3 Minimum 50-gallon reservoir per 1000-watt fixture
  • 4 Can be ran in a horizontal or vertical sequence (Not to exceed four in one line)
  • 5 Light can be put less than 6” from the top of your plants instead of 18” to 24” with an air-cooled system.
  • 6 resulting in 9 to 16 times more light actually hitting your plants.
  • 7 Dry weight is 11 pounds. It is 19 pounds when full of water.
  • 8 Works very well with a heat exchanger, chiller unit, or just a larger reservoir such as a pool or Jacuzzi.
  • 9 Low Thermal Emittance
  • 10 Spectrums increased by 5% to 10%
  • PH MUST BE 7.5-8.0
  • Run the pump 24 hrs
  • Never put cold water on hot light
  • Use small amount of pool chlorine to keep clean from algee
  • Recomend to use filter before lights in system

Serenade Garden Disease Control

Gardening

SERENADE Garden provides protection against a broad spectrum of the most common fungal and bacterial garden diseases, yet is completely non-toxic to bees and beneficial insects.

It is so safe you can confidently harvest and eat fruits and vegetables the very same day they are treated. Unlike sulfur-based disease control products, SERENADE Garden is non-irritating to skin and lungs. And, unlike neem oil-based products that can injure plant foliage, there is no weather or timing restrictions limiting its application.

What is the active ingredient of SERENADE Garden and Lawn Disease Control?

SERENADE Garden is made from a unique, patented strain (QST 713) of Bacillus subtilis. Farmers have used this biological pesticide for years to treat plant diseases in food crops. Bacillus subtilis penetrates and destroys the disease spores, but does not harm beneficial insects or wildlife. This ingredient is also approved by the EPA, meets USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) standards, and is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic gardening.

Which plants can SERENADE Garden and Lawn Disease Control be used on?

Vegetables, fruits and nuts, in addition to annual and perennial bedding plants and flowers, roses, potted flowers, foliage plants, trees and shrubs located in residential greenhouses.

SERENADE Garden Lawn Disease Control can also be used on houseplants. It is best to take them outdoors, spray them and then return them to the house.

When is the best time of day to spray?

SERENADE Garden can be applied anytime – there are no known phytoxicity issues. Temperature does not affect the efficacy of SERENADE Garden. It is recommended that you spray your plants after rain, as heavy rains can wash off any foliar treatments and leave your plants vulnerable to disease.

On what parts of the plant do I apply the spray?

SERENADE Garden is approved as a foliar spray. Spray leaves, stems and new shoots to provide complete coverage of the entire plant. SERENADE Garden can safely be sprayed on flowers, fruits, and vegetables. You can even harvest the treated flowers and vegetables the same day you apply.