Posts published on July 2010

Greenhouses

Gardening

A greenhouse  is a building where plants are cultivated.

A greenhouse is built of glass or plastic; it heats up because the sun’s incoming electromagnetic radiation warms plants, soil, and other things inside the building. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and wall.

The glass used for a greenhouse works as a selective transmission medium for different spectral frequencies, and its effect is to trap energy within the greenhouse, which heats both the plants and the ground inside it.

This warms the air near the ground, and this air is prevented from rising and flowing away. This can be demonstrated by opening a small window near the roof of a greenhouse: the temperature drops considerably. This principle is the basis of the autovent automatic cooling system. Greenhouses thus work by trapping electromagnetic radiation and preventing convection. See solar greenhouse (technical) for a more technical discussion of solar greenhouse workings.

Many vegetables and flowers are grown in greenhouses in late winter and early spring, then transplanted outside as the weather warms.

Started plants are usually available for gardeners in farmers’ markets at transplanting time.

The closed environment of a greenhouse has its own unique requirements, compared with outdoor production.

Pests and diseases, and extremes of heat and humidity, have to be controlled, and irrigation is necessary to provide water. Significant inputs of heat and light may be required, particularly with winter production of warm-weather vegetables. Special greenhouse varieties of certain crops, like tomatoes, are generally used for commercial production.

Greenhouses protect crops from too much heat or cold, shield plants from dust storms and blizzards, and help to keep out pests.

Light and temperature control allows greenhouses to turn unarable land into arable land. Greenhouses can feed starving nations where crops can’t survive in the harsh deserts and arctic wastes. Hydroponics can be used in greenhouses as well to make the most use of the interior space.

Peppers Grown Using Hydroponics

Gardening

One of the advantages to growing your own produce is being able to have a fresh supply of produce that would normally be too expensive when you buy them in the grocery stores.

Whatever type of pepper plants that you grow it’s important to consider the spacing, in order to maximize yield, but not so close that they are crowded. Pruning also improves air circulation around the plant which helps to reduce disease. Indeterminate varieties will need to be continually pruned (about every two weeks), because they continually grow new stems and leaves. Greenhouses usually keep them to 2 main stems growing upward from each plant. Indeterminate varieties can grow to a height of up to 4 meters (13 feet), and as mentioned will need to be supported. They are usually trained to grow on trellises made of twine. The twine is hung from the overhead support wires, and is used to support each stem. But be sure that the twine is not tied too tight to the stem, or the stem can be damaged when it expands as it continues to grow.

Flowering and Fruit Set

Though there are many varieties of pepper plants, they are generally a warm weather plant. Flowering and fruit set, as well as fruit size, are all related to temperature and fluctuations in the day/night time temperature. The optimum temperature for flowering and fruit set in sweet bell peppers is about 65-70 F°, while the optimum 24-hour temperature (24-hour average temperature) for yield is about 70-75 F°, and is more important to good fruit development.

Unlike tomatoes, pollination of the pepper flowers occurs successfully without any outside pollination assistance from bees (in the correct temperature range), although additional pollination assistance from bees or other pollinating insects, as well as hand pollination has shown to improve flower set, and eventual yield and quality of the pepper fruit.

Deformed fruit is usually caused by inadequate pollination, this inadequate pollination can also be a result of temperature, but it can be caused by the light intensity being too strong also.

The fruit themselves should be shaded adequately, either by the leaves or shade cloth for best results. However, the plants generally do not have trouble continuing to set flowers in less than ideal conditions. The root zone temperature is important also, if the root zone becomes to warm (above 72-75 degrees F°) the plants will tend to abort setting fruit, and the flowers will just drop off.

Healthy Nutrient Solution

Gardening

There are many things that can cause problems in your nutrient solutions, other than just the elements themselves.

Algae grows in many different colors, furry growth on the growing media and in the nutrient solution,  strings of jelly and slime, bad odors, fungus and insect larvae are all problems that can affect the nutrient solution and media in hydroponic systems.

The growing media provides the prefect environment for bacteria and fungi, it contains everything they need to thrive, nutrients, moisture, and usually even some organic material.

As well as the right temperatures for their growth. Bacteria, fungi and algae are all carried in water supplies, by the wind, as well as on the growing medium itself. They can also be transplanted into the hydroponic system on the roots of the plants themselves.

Identifying Nutrient Solution Problems

Cloudy nutrients are a clear indicator that something is wrong, as well as what looks like a fur  floating on in and on top. These are most likely to be caused by fungi in the nutrient solution. Nutrients can also become cloudy because of bacteria, but bacteria usually causes a slime and/or jelly like mass in the system, it may also have a bad smell.

Bad odors tend to be strong, hard to get rid of and are usually a result of bacteria multiplying out of control in the nutrient solution.

When bacteria and/or fungi are present in the system they tend to use the oxygen in the nutrient solution that the plants need, this winds up smothering the root systems of the plants. This kills the roots, and when the roots start to die they produce more dead organic material in the system, that perpetuates even more growth of bacteria and fungi as it decomposes.

Microbial growth in the nutrient solution itself is a result of having organic materials somewhere in the system, in order for it to feed on.

There are both good (beneficial), and bad (harmful) microbes, most of these are harmful to plants. The beneficial microbes don’t hurt the plants but feed on the harmful microbes. That keeps the harmful ones from growing out of control. The microbes which produce the bad smells, slime and other undesirable problems are not the ones you want to be growing, their growth results in stagnant, oxygen starved nutrient solution, and thus root death. Once the roots begin to die undesirable microbes (known as pathogens) begin to set in, this makes disease control very difficult. They can also clog drippers, emitters, as well as other parts of the system. Cleaning and disinfecting the whole system without damaging the plants will be extremely difficult and time consuming.

The organic mater that these microbes feed on can come from rotting root systems, vegetation from a old previous crops that was not removed, and the growing medium cleaned and sanitized.

It can also come from leaves, twigs, flowers, and even stems form the current crop that made it’s way down into the growing medium. Even from leaves, twigs, flowers, stems, dust and dirt from near by plants that made there way into the system, carried by the wind. This organic mater gives the fungi and bacteria a food source, thus results in it’s rapid population growth.

Prevention of Nutrient Solution Problems

Start with a clean, sterilized system and equipment, introduce only healthy seedlings/plants into your hydroponic system, remove any sick plants as soon as you notice them. Use a good quality water source that’s filtered to get rid of pathogens. Change the nutrient solution from time to time to help prevent buildup of unwanted microbes, and flush the system in between changes to help with flushing them from the system and growing medium. Oxygenating the nutrient solution is easy and inhibits non beneficial microbes, while providing much needed dissolved oxygen to the nutrient solution. The easiest way to Oxygenate the nutrient solution is by adding an aquarium air pump, and air stones.

Adding beneficial microbes to the nutrient solution can help sway the balance of beneficial/harmful microbes.

Researchers have found that having a layer of inert, porous, clay material in the bottom of the nutrient reservoir will help provide a place for the beneficial microbes, bacteria, fungi to breed, colonies and multiply, particularly when you are not using much growing medium in the hydroponic system for them to colonies in.

Beneficial Organisms

Gardening

The effects of micro-organisms on a plant can be profound.

These organisms, such as bacillus, mycorrhizae and trichoderma all form symbiotic relationships with the plant and are found in soil. Bacillus is used world wide for the control of loopers, fungus gnats, insect pests and opportunistic fungi pathogens. Tricoderma is a fungi that feeds off pathogenic root rot and damping off fungi; it also stimulates the plants root and immune systems, which helps the plant to fight off fungi attacks. Mycorrhizae is a beneficial fungi which colonizes the root surface; this helps keep the pathogenic fungi from getting a foot hold on the plant’s root system.

Mycorrhizae also helps the plant take up nutrients that are out of reach of the plant’s roots.

All of these beneficial organisms feed off plant exudes from the root system and some nutrients in the growing medium.

How to use beneficals in your system.To get the maximum benefit from beneficial micro-organisms, the gardener should always provide food for these beneficals.

Providing these organisms with food (e.g.: Liquid Karma, Earth Juice Catalyst and Sweet) ensures that they will grow and multiply in your garden, however, the harmful micro-organisms will also use this food to multiply.

This is one of the reasons why your water and growing medium should be well oxygenated. Harmful pathogens tend to thrive in anaerobic conditions whereas beneficial organisms thrive in aerobic conditions.

General Hydroponics Multi Flow System

Gardening

The Multi Flow System is basically an ebb & flow type hydroponic system that uses gravity as its major source of moving water through the system.

The brains of this system is a controller unit assembly which consists of a 3.5 gallon container, with a timer and relay box mounted on the side, and float switches mounted inside of it to control the level of water in the system automatically.  Each timer pin on the controller has a duration of 15 minutes which allows for better control over watering cycles.  Each pin pushed down on the timer will water the system for 15 minutes.

This is an advantage over most 30 minute increment timers because the plants really only need to be watered to the point the roots are saturated and then the water should be drained out.

Also, because this system is an ebb & flow system, as the water is drained out it actually pulls oxygen down to the roots.

Controller Unit AssemblyFloat SwitchesTimer “

So how does this system actually work,” you ask.

Well its actually very simple.  First of all you must layout all of the pots and set them up on a level surface.  Then connect the pots together using various fittings and tubing (included).  Once you have done this you plug the power cord of the pump in the reservoir into the controller unit and set your watering times.  When the timer reaches the watering time you have selected, the pump turns on inside the reservoir pumping nutrient solution into the controller unit.  This will continue pumping into the controller while gravity is then pushing the water out to the other pots.  Once the desired watering level is reached the float switches will then cut the power to the pump in the reservoir.

As long as the timer is on the system will maintain this watering level.

Once the timer turns off, the pump inside the controller is engaged and the nutrient solution is then pumped back into the reservoir.  This will continue until the water level reaches the preset drain depth then the pump will be turned off.   Since the pumps are only pumping a short distance, to and from the reservoir, wear and tear is greatly reduced and will ensure that your pumps last for a long time.

Multi Flow Schematic

The two gallon pots used in the Multi Flow allow your plants to grow strong and tall while giving them a spacious container to produce a large root structure.

The two gallon growing containers actually sit inside of other two gallon pots which serve as the watering cells.

So, all the growing containers can be pulled out and moved around according to plant growth.

You are not stuck trying to re-layout the system and cut new tubing or relocate a bunch of drippers, all you do is pull the plant and growing container out and move it to a new location.  It couldn’t be any easier to move your smaller plants directly under the lights and move your larger plants out to the perimeter of the room to promote uniform growth throughout the grow room.   “Versatility” is the key word when describing the Multi Flow.  It is easily expanded to a system consisting of up to 48 pots available with the 6 add on pot expansion.

Community Supported Agriculture

Lifestyle

community supported agriculture

As a gardener I take great pride in everything I harvest. I know  pretty much everything about my garden; I even know the names of most of the plants. I remember all the scary moments and I think I remember every time I saw the first signs of fruit production. The combination of watching my own food grow right in front of my eyes and the pride I feel knowing exactly how it was produced is indescribable. And being able to share my harvest with my friends and family is somehow even better.

Never Enough

Unfortunately for most of us, no matter how big our garden is, there is no way we can feed ourselves and our families all year long. And a trip to the grocery store is exactly that, a trip. Barely anything is grown locally. Actually, almost everything is a product of Mexico or Honduras or Chile. Fruits and vegetables look different and they taste different. They are too big and many of them are even genetically modified.

What’s missing is peace of mind. Who grew it, how did it get here, and what hormones did they use to make it so big? It’s crazy to think that we know absolutely nothing about the food we eat everyday but we don’t. As a rule, most people try to avoid hormones and pesticides in their diet. But if we shop at a major grocery store, this is exactly what we get. Yet we keep eating without thinking of the short or long term ramifications.

Finally Some Options

But at least we are starting to have some options. There is a movement going on throughout the world and it’s called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Community Supported Agriculture is system where consumers form partnerships with farmers and eliminate the middlemen. It’s pretty much the best way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food, directly from farmers in their area.

The partnership formed between the consumer and the farmer is pretty unique. Farmer’s sell “shares” of their crop to consumers in advance. Typical shares average about 400 dollars for the entire 22 week season. These shares are paid for upfront and the money is spent on items like seeds, fertilizers, and equipment. What makes this relationship unique is that the farmers and consumers all share in the risk if something were to go wrong with the crop.

This is a great relief for the farmers and gives them incentives to produce environmentally responsible food for the community without the risk of losing their farms if the crop doesn’t turn out. Additionally, farmers get money throughout the season, not just at the end of the harvest. This money is spent throughout the year in the community and is kept in the community, resulting in a better economic situation for local merchants and the community as a whole. .

As a consumer there are tons of advantages. Financially it’s great. On average, CSA members pay about 20 dollars a month and receive about 2.5 times more produce than they would at the super market. But the financial aspect is really the least exciting part. The food is fresh and produced in an ethically and in an environmentally correct manner. Not only are you supporting your local farmer and your community, but you’re eliminating the need to transport food half way across the world.

On average produce travels 2,000 miles from the farm to the market. Because of this, agriculture is geared toward cultivating crops better suited for shipping and maintaining longer shelf lives. CSA’s are different. Local farmers grow crops bred for taste and that’s it; food goes from the farm to your home in a matter of days not weeks.

Seeing Is Believing

The best thing about CSA’s is the opportunity to visit the farms personally. Most CSA’s offer the opportunity to come and check out the farm or even lend a hand. It’s an opportunity to get a first hand look at the place that feeds you. Something you would ordinarily never be able to do.

Living in San Diego, our options are pretty much unlimited. Surprisingly, San Diego County is home to more certified organic farms than any other county in the nation. We have it all; dairy, exotic fruits, peppers, honey, and so much more. Whatever your preference San Diego has a farm from you. This means unbelievable options are just a few miles away.

Click here to find a CSA in your neighborhood!

Community Supported Agriculture

As a gardener I take great pride in everything I harvest. I know everything about my garden; I even know the names of most of my plants. I remember those tough times and I remember those amazing periods of growth. The combination of watching my own food grow right in front of my eyes and the pride I feel knowing exactly how it was produced is indescribable.

Unfortunately for most of us, no matter how big our garden is, there is no way we can feed ourselves or our families all year long. And a trip to the grocery store is exactly that, a trip. Barely anything is grown locally. Actually, almost everything is a product of Mexico or Honduras or Chile. Fruits and vegetables look different and they taste different. They are too big and many of them are even genetically modified.

What’s missing is peace of mind. Who grew it, how did it get here, and what hormones did they use to make it so big? It’s crazy to think that we know absolutely nothing about the food we eat everyday but we don’t. As a rule, most people try to avoid hormones and pesticides in their diet. But if we shop at a major grocery store, this is exactly what we get. Yet we keep eating without thinking of the short or long term ramifications.

But at least we are starting to have some options. There is a movement going on throughout the world and it’s called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Community Supported Agriculture is system where consumers form partnerships with farmers and eliminate the middlemen. It’s pretty much the best way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food, directly from farmers in their area.

The partnership formed between the consumer and the farmer is pretty unique. Farmer’s sell “shares” of their crop to consumers in advance. Typical shares average about 400 dollars for the entire 22 week season. These shares are paid for upfront and the money is spent on items like seeds, fertilizers, and equipment. What makes this relationship unique is that the farmers and consumers all share in the risk if something were to go wrong with the crop.

This is a great relief for the farmers and gives them incentives to produce environmentally responsible food for the community without the risk of losing their farms if the crop doesn’t turn out. Additionally, farmers get money throughout the season, not just at the end of the harvest. This money is spent throughout the year in the community and is kept in the community, resulting in a better economic situation for local merchants and the community as a whole. .

As a consumer there are tons of advantages. Financially it’s great. On average, CSA members pay about 20 dollars a month and receive about 2.5 times more produce than they would at the super market. But the financial aspect is really the least exciting part. The food is fresh and produced in an ethically and in an environmentally correct manner. Not only are you supporting your local farmer and your community, but you’re eliminating the need to transport food half way across the world.

On average produce travels 2,000 miles from the farm to the market. Because of this, agriculture is geared toward cultivating crops better suited for shipping and maintaining longer shelf lives. CSA’s are different. Local farmers grow crops bred for taste and that’s it; food goes from the farm to your home in a matter of days not weeks.

The best thing about CSA’s is the opportunity to visit the farms personally. Most CSA’s offer the opportunity to come and check out the farm or even lend a hand. It’s an opportunity to get a first hand look at the place that feeds you. Something you would ordinarily never be able to do.

Living in San Diego we can pretty much have whatever we want. San Diego County is home to more certified organic farms than any other county in the nation. This means unbelievable options are just a few miles away. From dairy to produce San Diego has a farm for you.

There are just so many affordable and exciting options that it would be a shame not to check them out.

Click here for a CSA in your neighborhood.

Customer and farmer have made a bond and eliminated the middle man.

Getting the consumer 2.5x more in the grocery store.

Most of the money is paid upfront to pay for seeds and fertilizers

Picked the day they are sold.

Diverse crops to please clientele

Pay in advance for a share of the farmers yield

Food contamination scares and carbon emissions concerns

Cuts down the cost of organic food

400 dollars per share. For 22 weeks. 20 per week. Every share can feed a family of 2-3 people.

Farmers get a good detail because community shares in the risk and they get money up front and throughout the season not just at the end of the season. This way they are able to buy tractors and shit

Personal connection with farmers and the farm

Members are allowed to check out the farm and help out

Better sense of community

Here in San Diego our options are almost unlimited. San Diego County has the most certified organic farms in the United Stated. We have it all; dairy, exotic fruits, peppers, honey, and so much more. And now we finally are starting to have access to it.

Community Supported A

Soil & Amendments

Gardening

A Guide To Understanding Soil

We have all walked down the store aisle wondering, “Hmm, which soil should I choose this time?” With all the different mixtures out there, it can be confusing.  What are all the amendments in these mixtures and what do they actually do? I have a few answers that may help you along your way.

San Diego Hydroponics carries a large selection of soil mixtures to choose from. Here’s the breakdown on these soil mixtures and what their amendments do.

FOX FARM has a few different soil mixtures that seem to be popular with the local folk. The first is Ocean Forest, which is what I call the ‘old stand by,’ it has been around for a long time and it is the most popular soil amongst local farmers here in San Diego. Its ingredients include:

Forest Humus: A natural forest compost containing organic matter from the forest.

Sphagnum Peat Moss: Sphagnum is actually live moss taken from a peat bog, whatever that is. Peat moss can hold large quantities of water, about twenty times its dry weight, making it a very useful amendment.

Fish Emulsion: A product rich in Nitrogen, which will keep your plants nice and green.

Crab Meal, & Shrimp Meal: Both products are both rich in Nitrogen and phosphorus to give you a more balanced feeding.

Earthworm Castings: Earthworm Castings are well known to increase vigor and provide an excellent source of plant food.

Fossilized Bat Guano: Bat Guano is bat feces, which is high in phosphorus.

Sandy Loam, Perlite, Granite Dust: Sandy Loam is composed of sand, silt, and clay and helps retain water. Perlite is a volcanic glass that holds water while, at the same time, aerating your soil. Granite Dust is a good source of potash, in laymen’s terms: potassium and  also provides calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and trace elements and micronutrients.

Norwegian Kelp Meal: Dried raw seaweed tends to contain about 1% Nitrogen, a trace of Phosphorus, and 2% potash, along with Magnessium, Sulfur, and numerous trace elements.

Oyster Shell: Oyster shell is an organic pH stabilizer.

We also carry another FoxFarm product called, Happy Frog. Happy Frog also contains, forest humus, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, earthworm castings, bat guano, and oyster shell. However, it also has three amendments that Ocean Forest does not have: Humic Acid, Mycorrhizae, & Lime. Humic substances are formed by the microbial degradation of dead plant matter, which help to break down nutrients making them more readily available for the plant. Mycorrhizae is a beneficial bacteria which helps to prevent bad bacteria such as pythium or root rot.  It also increases the plants uptake of water and nutrients. Lime helps to stabilize PH.

Roots Organics is another soil company that we carry. It is relatively new but the locals seem to like it a lot because they keep asking for it.

Roots Organics Greenfields is an ocean nutrient based potting soil mix for both the vegetative and flowering phases of mature plants. Its ingredients include coarse peat moss, compost, perlite, worm castings, bat guano, fish meal, crab meal, kelp meal, Pumice, a volcanic rock that increases aeration, Fishbone meal a natural by-product of the fishing industry. Fish bones are cooked and ground to create a high phosphorus fertilizer perfect for flowering and fruiting plants. Soy bean meal, a substance high in nitrogen and Feather Meal, a common by product of the poultry slaughter industry, which is also high in nitrogen, but releases more slowly than other amendments.

Roots Organics Natural & Organic Potting Soil is an indoor & outdoor gardening medium whose ingredients include: peat moss, perlite, pumice, compost, mulch, worm castings, bat guano, kelp meal, fishbone meal, soybean meal, feather meal, and oyster shell. It also contains  Glacial rock dust, which has trace elements from glaciers. Prilled rock phosphate, a slow release phosphorus amendment. Greensand, an element mined from deposits of minerals that were originally part of the ocean floor. It contains about 3% total potash, along with iron, magnesium, silica and as many as 30 other trace minerals. It may also be used to loosen heavy, clay soils and improves plant health. Leonardite is a low rank coal derived from terrestrial plant matter which contains Fulvic Acid, Humin, and Humic Acid. Alfalfa Meal, which is high in nitrogen and Coco Fiber allows for more aeration while also retaining water.

Roots Organics formula 707 is designed for greater water holding capacity. It contains less perlite and pumice. Ingredients include coarse peat moss, coco fiber, compost, perlite, humus, worm castings, bat guano, fishbone meal, soybean meal, feather meal, and kelp meal.

I hope this information will help make your soil choice easier when you come into the shop. Thanks for reading.

Sean

House & Garden Algen Extract

Gardening

Algen Extract is a concentrated solution of Norwegian Sea Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum).

Plants in all phases love Kelp for the many benefits it provides. Micro nutrients, micro-biology and macro-nutrients are all present in Algen Extract.

Algen Extract growth stimulator is a product designed for use with sprouts that have rooted well.

It ensures better leaf color. It stimulates the formation of root hair, leading to increased uptake of various trace elements. Great for a foliar spray as well as root applications. It can also be used as a leaf wash incase of chemical pest control and dusting.

1-2 ml per Liter of water.

Give Algen Extract the start of the first week, until the end of the fifth week.

For the mother-plants, apply this product once a week.

Mother Plants

Gardening

Mother plants are stock plants specifically raised to provide cuttings for starting new plants.

The cuttings, also known as clones, are genetically identical to the mother plant, and if grown in a controlled environment will develop into daughter plants with the same superior characteristics as the mother plant. Since cuttings take time to develop roots, the clones must rely on stored water and carbohydrates in the stems and leaves to provide the energy necessary to develop vigorous new roots. Therefore, the nutritional status of the mother plant is critical to the rooting and recovery time of the tender clones.

The nutritional requirements of mother plants are significantly different from those of production plants raised for optimal yields.

Mother plants require a balanced nutrition specifically formulated to slow down excessive vegetative growth and increase the carbon to nitrogen ratio in the shoots. If a mother plant is fertilized with too much nitrogen, it will grow quickly, but it will produce soft tissues with poor carbohydrate reserves. About 25 to 30% of a plant’s energy is used to change nitrates into an organic form of nitrogen used for vegetative growth. So an over abundance of nitrates will deplete the sugars in the shoots and leaves, reducing the amount of fuel available for new root growth.

A good mother plant fertilizer must also be formulated to strengthen the plant’s cell walls and improve its water holding capacity and stress tolerance.

Excess nitrogen fertilization, as found in many standard formulas, produce large plant cells with thin cell walls. Cuttings taken from the new growth of overly vegetative plants tend to be weaker and more susceptible to wilting and fungal infection. Again, reducing the amount of nitrates in the mother plant fertilizer to the low to medium range will be helpful, but the ideal mother plant fertilizer should also be formulated to stimulate the uptake of calcium.

Calcium is taken up through the roots and transported to the new growth, where it forms the calcium pectate “glue” that bonds the cell walls together.

A calcium-rich mother plant with stronger cell walls can take up water and nutrients more efficiently, allowing more sugars and nutrients to be stored for future use.

The use of bio-organics in a mother plant formula can dramatically improve the mother plant’s uptake of calcium and other essential nutrients.

In conventional hydroponics, calcium ions are dissolved in the nutrient formula and are taken up into the roots through simple osmosis. But if organic biostimulants with a blend of specific amino acids are added to the nutrient solution, calcium ion channels in the roots are opened, allowing calcium to be taken up thousands to millions of times faster than simple osmosis!

The calcium is then used to build strong, new cell walls and to improve the plant’s natural resistance to environmental stress and disease.

Higher levels of calcium also tend to restrict the transport of excess nitrates to the shoots, producing plant cells with smaller, but thicker cell walls, ideal for vigorous clones.

Other bio-organic compounds are known to stimulate the production of important plant protection agents. For example, in a ten-year study of biostimulants, researchers at Virginia Tech discovered that a combination of seaweed extracts and humic acid stimulated the plants to produce increased levels of vitamin E and other important anti-oxidants. Specific enzymes are produced that protect the cell walls, the chloroplast membranes and the mitochondrial membranes during times of heat and drought stress. Since cuttings from mother plants are under extreme stress, the heightened levels of plant protection agents accumulated in the mother plant will help sustain efficient metabolism and ensure the survival of the clones until they can develop their own root structure.

Seaweed extracts can also be used as a foliar spray for mother plants.

Nitrozime is a seaweed extract rich in cytokinins, the growth hormones that stimulate cell division. Research shows that when cytokinins are applied to shoots, nutrients are attracted towards the growth hormones and are drawn into the leaf tissues. Cytokinins also help keep the plant tissues in a juvenile state and stimulate the development of more lateral buds.

Therefore, it is beneficial to start spraying Nitrozime on the mother plant a couple of weeks before cuttings are to be taken.

Foliar sprays, when used in conjunction with a well formulated mother plant fertilizer, can be thought of as “stage zero” of plant propagation from cuttings.

Dutch Master Saturator Gold

Gardening

It’s a scientifically known fact that foliar feeding can dramatically increase the results you get from your garden.

How much of an increase you get is directly related to how much of your foliar spray actually gets inside your leaves. 5 Years ago, SATURATOR proved once and for all that regular wetting agents just don’t cut it when it comes to delivering what your plant needs – inside your leaves.

As a result, SATURATOR became the industry standard for foliar delivery and is recognised the world over as one of the only proven ways to get what your plant needs inside your leaves.

Since then we have been hard at work researching and developing ways of making SATURATOR even better. Well, we didn’t just make it better; we made it – A WHOLE LOT BETTER! Welcome to the next generation of foliar delivery agents – GOLD SATURATOR! GOLD SATURATOR introduces a radical next generation technology that gives GOLD SATURATOR a unique Dual Action Delivery that takes the nutrients or supplements that you spray on to your plants and delivers them deep inside the active leaf tissue where it is explosively released with high energy uncoupling, saturating the cells with your foliar payload!

We achieve this via our proprietary Protrans Technology, a unique and exacting technology that piggybacks your foliar applied elements using custom designed high-energy proteins.

The Results…. A new and exciting Second Generation Foliar Delivery Agent that performs totally superior to regular SATURATOR and DOUBLES THE POWER OF LIQUID LIGHT!

GOLD SATURATOR should be used with any mineral / carbohydrate / amino acid based specialty fertiliser foliar product to make it penetrate more effectively!

USAGE INSTRUCTIONS:

For best results, use the online Nutrient Calculator for an individualized interactive feeding program to suit your needs.

To use GOLD SATURATOR, simply follow these easy guidelines!

1. Add 60 ml / 2 oz of GOLD SATURATOR together with the required amount of foliar product (according to product usage directions) you wish to spray, to 1 litre / 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. For a 500 ml / ½ quart spray bottle add 30 ml / 1 oz of GOLD SATURATOR and for a 250 ml / 8 oz spray bottle add 15 ml / ½ oz of GOLD SATURATOR.

2. Do NOT adjust pH.

3. Gently shake the spray bottle with the solution in it to make sure it is well mixed.

4. Make sure your lights are switched ON and are a minimum of 18 to 24 inches from the tops of your plants then spray your plants until the leaves are evenly coated with the spray solution and a small runoff occurs. MAKE SURE YOU AVOID SPRAYING THE GLOBES / BULBS. You only need to spray the top surface of the leaf because GOLD SATURATOR will deliver absolutely everything inside the leaf using the top surface only.

5. Left over solution may be stored in the spray bottle, in a dark, cool environment, for up to a week. However, it is preferable, for optimal results, to mix fresh solutions just prior to spraying.