Posts published on May 2012

Gardening with Rockwool

Articles, Gardening

Rockwool has long been among the most popular hydroponic growing medium on earth. Horticultural rockwool has been used for hydroponic growing in Europe since 1969 and produces 50% of their greenhouse grown vegetables. Yields have been recorded of up to 160 tons per acre, crop after crop, with greenhouse tomatoes grown in rockwool. Originally used as insulation, it was called “Mineral Insulation” and was later developed for gardening in Denmark. The main distributer of Rockwool is a company called Grodan, which means, “to grow the Danish way”.

What is Plant Transpiration?

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What is Transpiration? Water in the roots is pulled through the plant by transpiration (loss of water vapor through the stomata of the leaves). Transpiration uses about 90% of the water that enters the plant.  The other ten percent is used in photosynthesis and cell growth. How Does Transpiration Work? Water moves from the soil […]

Photosynthesis & Respiration

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By Sunny Datko Plant physiology (phys`i*ol”o*gy) is the study of the functions and processes occurring in plants and the ways that plants control or regulate internal functions. It examines the biological and chemical processes of individual plant cells, and how the plant responds to conditions in the environment.  In essence, plant physiology is a study […]

Beginner’s Guide to Transplanting Plants

Articles, Gardening

By Sunny Datko Transplanting Guide At some point in the growth of your plants, you will have to consider moving your young, developing plants on to the next stage: a bigger pot, cube, or basket.  This is called transplanting.  Transplanting is often considered the second most stressful event of a plant’s life, cloning being the […]

Seed Starting Guide

Articles, Gardening

Whether you want to plant your own garden or grow a small pot of herbs for your kitchen, you can save a tremendous amount of money by starting your plants from seed. Seed can be purchased at local garden centers and can be harvested from the fruits and vegetables that you buy from the grocery […]

Inverse Square Law for Light

Articles, Gardening

To really understand light and lumens, we must first realize that artificial light cannot keep its strength as it moves further away from its original source. In fact, light emitted from even the best bulbs will decrease, exponentially, as the distance increases between light source and garden.

Magnetic vs. Digital Ballasts

Articles, Gardening

The ballast is a power supply for arc discharge lamps. It’s basically a box containing all of the electronics and controls that make the light work. Its purpose is to provide the lamp with high voltage during start-up, and then to stabilize the arc by limiting the electrical current to the lamp during operation. All fluorescent and high intensity discharge (HID) lamp types require the use of a ballast. If electrical current were to flow into the light bulb at full voltage, the bulb would burst, so the controlling factor offered by the ballast is necessary for the correct function of any fluorescent or HID light.

Trichoderma & You

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Trichoderma fungi are found naturally occurring in many soils and play an important role in the prevention and control of root pathogens. It actively takes over the root zone and makes it difficult for pathogens to compete for space on the roots and for nutrients. Trichoderma is not just one species of fungi – the genus Trichoderma contains many species and strains, of which some are specific to certain pathogenic fungi such as Pythium.

Product Spotlight: EcoPlus Water Chillers

Articles, Gardening

Whether your garden is an ebb and flow, top-feed drip, aeroponic, nutrient film technique (NFT), or deep water culture (DWC) system, maintaining your reservoir temperature is crucial for getting the best results. Your plants will benefit most by maintaining a consistent temperature of 60-70ºF. Large fluctuations in water temperature can cause stunted growth and lower yields. Temperatures that are too high will most likely lead to pythium or other unwanted root pathogens. Temperatures that are too cold will lead to decreased nutrient uptake.

pH & Soil

Articles, Gardening

The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. It ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. A pH less than 7.0 is acidic, and a pH greater than 7.0 is basic. Each whole pH value below 7.0 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. For example, a pH of 4.0 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 5.0 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than a pH of 6.0. The same holds true for pH values above 7.0, each of which is ten times more alkaline—another way to say basic—than the next lower whole value. For example, a pH of 10.0 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 9.0.