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Question & Answer Page 13
|sources of seeds||PLANTS ARE TURNING YELLOW|
|fertilizer converted to PPM.||styrofoam peanuts as a medium|
|best tomatoes to grow with hydroponics?||Heat? My grow room|
|GROW CHAMBER 4'X 7' WITH 400 WT. MH||tips for seed germination|
|plants began to wilt||FIBERGLASS INSULATION|
|purchase a 48 pin index timer|
|lava rocks and miracle gro has been a success|
|trouble rooting my clippings|
Can you recommend any sources of seeds that are especially compatible with hydroponics. I am looking for vegetable seeds like tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. Thanks
Hydro-Gardens, INC. sells hydroponic vegetable seeds. www.hydrogardens.com email- email@example.com
Does anyone know of companies that will insure hydroponic greenhouses?
Hi: Just got done building a small greenhouse (12x14') I use a blueflame 20,000 btu heater. ebb and flo system, my cuke plants are drying up on the ends of the leaves. what is wrong? Thank you, Paul. Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
last december 14, a Malaysia guy raised to question on the possible connection between hydroponic produce and cancer causing chemicals in the nutrient solution. well, i made some research and found out that too much NITRATE can cause cancer and this problem does not confine to hydroponic farm produce but also soil farm produce too. as a matter of fact, some years ago, somewhere in China, they have to relocate the whole village when they found out the nitrogen content in the village soil is too high and the cabbage they grow causes cancer.
Congrats on your cool web page. Do you have any nutrient solution formulas or charts specifically designed for growing Fodder? Thanks in advance Luc
Could you please explain the relationship between a fertilizer which has N-P-K expressed in percent (ex. 10-10-10) and PPM,can the pecentage be converted to PPM.
Further is the correct conversion from milliSiemens(mMhos/cm) to PPM. 1 PPM = 6.5 mMhos.
Thanks for your time
To Rick: On ppm to % conversion; 1% any salt (fertilizer) is equal to 10,000 p.p.m. email@example.com
Rick: I was not able to add this before in response to your posting on ppm and percent fertilizer, but here is some more: you can guesstimate that 1 mMHO is somewhere in the range of 635 to 650 ppm. I consider this only an approximate value since it really deppends on many factors such as salt index of the particular fertilizer salt, the temperature at which the reading is taken, etc.Anyway, 640ppm for each mMHO is more or less OK for calculating a nutrient formula. firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a Power Grower hydroponic system and would like to grow an (some) orchid(s). I've seen all kinds of literature saying that orchids grow great, but nowhere have I found a "cookbook" description that would aid me. I need help.
The setup will be at our nurses' station (nursing home). We would prefer an orchid with bright colors (red). On top of that it has to survive fairly constant temperatures of 74-76F day and night. Light is moderate with overhead celestory windows augmented by flourescent (cheap type overhead). The flourescent lights will be on 24 hours/day. When the orchid is not blooming, it should have reasonably attractive foliage. When the orchid flowers, it should have as long a flowering period as possible.
Lastly, if no orchid will turn the trick for us, what will?
Hola Ron; My name is Ivan and I am a hydro-loco from Puerto Rico.I have gone all over the net looking for anyone growing cherry tomatoes in a hydroponic outdoors system like I do; and I've had no luck. My home brewed system is a top-spray (peat-lite in 5 gal.pots)system placing two plants/pot. Nutrients flow is timed in 14 individual stations of 200 pots each,fed from a 2000 gal.tank (lots of work every day). I sell my tomatoes to a local chain and I'd like to try some other crops like zuchini so I dont have to trelis them(still more work).I dont grow my tomatoes in a greenhouse because we have no winter frost in the caribbean plus the wind does my plant shaking for me (nice!).If there is someone around doing something like my cherry tomatoes I would like to hear from them. I enjoy your page very much; Nice job. My english is just fair, sorry about any mistakes. E-mail:email@example.com
what is the best way in hydroponics to grow beans for harvest grain?
Never grew any.
I am desperately search for 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/4 "T" fittings. I know they make these things but can't find them any where. I have already tried all the big names (Raindrip, Netafim, etc.). Can anybody out there help me out? Mr. Greenjeans
Hydro-Gardens, Inc has them. www.hydro-gardens.com
What are the best tomatoes to grow with hydroponics? ED
Tropic, Dombito, Caruso, Larma, Perfecto, Laura are some suitable varieties for hydroponics. But I don't where to get those varieties. I just use whatever they are selling at my local nursery.
RON, i'M PLANNING ON BUILDING A NEW GROW CHAMBER 4'X 7' WITH 400 WT. MH ABOVE AS MAIN LIGHT SOURCE. I ALSO HAVE 3 150 WT. HPS LIGHTS. MY QUESTION IS CAN I PLACE THE HPS'S UNDER THE PLANTS SHINING UPWARDS FOR THE LOWER PART OF THE CANOPY.I KNOW EVERY THING MUST BE H20 TIGHT BUT OTHER THAN THAT IS THIS POSSIBLE OR WOULD IT BE A WAIST OF ELECTRIC.
I think that I read somewhere that photosynthesis only takes place on top of the plant
leaves. That is why leaves are greener on top than the bottom and why they face up to get
maximum light exposure.
To grow successfully indoors you should try to simulate the same condition as you would grow naturally outdoors.
You could solve the problem of lower immature fruit by trimming all the fan leaves from the garden because in the fruiting stage they are no longer needed.
I started a small NFT system three weeks ago. Today I changed out the solution and made a new batch using the same formula as before. However within an hour the plants began to wilt as if they were not being watered at all. The NFT system I'm using is a constant flow, it was down for no more than 5 minutes while changing the solution. Any ideas why this would happen? The only difference I can see is the water temperture...the old batch @ 74 degrees the new batch @ 63 degrees. The plants have recovered, but I would like to know what to do differently the next time.
I can go for a few hours before I get wilt but that's with roots in grow rocks. I would
set up two nutrient tanks and when you are ready to change the water just place the pump
in the clean tank with no interruption. Then you can take your time cleaning the dirty
tank and have it ready for the next change.
Ron, would you have any infro on growing pototoes using a hydroponic system.thanking you in advance.jim at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing in my hydro books but I did grow some red potatoes in grow rocks once so I know
I have some tomatoes growing in a greenhouse that are now about three to four inches tall. They are planted in a vermiculite/perlite mixture. What is best to use for a trellis or support for them to grow on? There are beams in the greenhouse that wires, strings, poultry wire, etc. could be suspended from
RJR Yuma, Arizona
Here is how tomatoes are strung. Picture One - Picture Two
Hi Ron, I am considering designing and building a larger hydroponic system for
tomatoes. I plan to change the nutrient solution every 2-4 weeks, as recommended. Can you
give me a rule of thumb for how much nutrient solution is required per plant (gal./plant)
so that I don't waste nutrient or the nutrient doesn't become too weak before the next
change. I hope to have my system up and running this spring.
Thanks a bunch.
how often do you flush your nutrient solution from the res. ?
is there a cheaper way or another way to substitue such practice ?
I don't flush unless my plants show signs of a problem. I wait till I hear my
pump sucking air and then I know it's time to fill the tank. But that's me. I have to
really work at it to even kill a plant. I got hydro plants that are years old.
In Aeroflow Hydroponics, are the roots sprayed with nutrients constantly, or In intervals (once every 30 min). Does the water drain out as soon as it is applied and recirculated? Do you know the advantages of aeroponics as opposed to hydroponics like rate of growth and yield? thanx
Yes the roots are sprayed in intervals and drain back to the lower tank. I don't know
the advantages but the disadvantages is if your pump stops when you are away for any
length of time your plants won't last long.
how does hydroponics work?
It doesn't all the time.
Being currently involved in designing Ag(vineyard & various other crops) Irrigation Systems, I have a keen inserest in finding out what design criteria you follow. I imagine it involves the same basic theories and formulas(hyraulically) but I would be interested in finding out some specifics. Please contact me on email@example.com Thanks - Brownie
I mostly go by the formula of trial and error. If its works I expand on an idea and if
it don't I chuck it an try something else.
Ron! In the Picture Index, Page 11 stated that one could purchase a 48 pin index timer so that a pump could be turned on and off every 30 minuites. Where and from whom can this type of timer be purchased?
Thanks, John T. Jertson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron: My 45-bottle system with lava rocks and miracle gro has been a success; I've added shots of saltpeter to get nitrate, and it's worked out; we've been selling basil and other herbs from it. Am working on a bleach bottle system for the roof and wondered whether wood pellets, as for stoves, would work as a medium. They're really cheap, and would seem to me better than sawdust for aeration.Any advice? John S.
I read in a book that a guy here in Florida in the 1960's grew tomatoes in peach baskets using wood chips as a medium
and the plants grew 12 feet tall. But they did say that the wood chips were sterilized by boiling them before use.
You can also sterilize them in a oven at 200 degrees but watch it you don't want to be telling the fire marshal that:
" All I was doing was cooking some wood chips the next thing I new the kitchen was on fire."
I am a college student learing about the agriculture buisness. A project of mine is to set up a working buisness plan for a commercial hydroponic tomato greenhouse. Because of the extreme amount of information on the web I am having trouble locating reliable information on expected typical yeilds, and about average timing from propagation of seed to harvest. If anyone can help locate this information it would be very helpful. Thank you. Danny
You must have me mistaken for someone who knows what he is doing. Try the Hydroponics Society of America for hard core information.
Ron- clones. I am having trouble rooting my clippings. Rather than me rattle on about how I think I've done everything correctly, could you give me (and others) some tips. How do you root your clones and how long does it take? thanx- R
Don't feel bad. It took me almost a year to learn to clone about 15 years ago. I tried
every method in the book until I finally settle on this method with a 99 percent success
1 Start with a clean cloning tray with inserts which holds 48 or 72 clones. Clean old trays, inserts, and hood with a ten percent bleach solution to prevent passing plant diseases.
2 Fill the tray with vermiculite. Any grade will work.
3 Mix 6 oz of Olivia's Cloning Solution to 1 gallon of water. Adjust pH between 5.5 and 6.5 ( 6.0 being the best )
4 Pour all of the gallon of solution in the tray of vermiculite.
5 Use a nail or wood stick to poke a hole about 2/3rds way down each insert.
6 Put on your Latex gloves because human hands have oils on them that plants do not like. No matter how much you wash them. Get a new razor blade, an old one will not do. I also use Root Tone for an added edge.
7 Cut the clone from it's mother at a 45 degree angle. Dip in the Root Tone and stick the clone in a hole in the tray. About 2/3rds the way down the hole. Pack the vermiculite around the clone.
8 Place the hood on and put under fluorescent lights. More lights the better. You can use a Metal Halide if you put it far enough away to keep them from cooking.
9 The hood should fog up showing you that the humidity is high enough. After about seven days if the clones start to turn a little yellow then add a low dose of nutrient solution ( 300 PPM ) to green them up.
10 Ten days later almost all are rooted. You can tell if they are rooted by giving them a little tug. If they pull up put them back in and check the rest.
11 Wash the vermiculite off by dipping in water if its going in a hydro system and leave the vermiculite if its going in dirt.
I have a plant that is growing out side which I grew from seed and its about a month old now can I just dig it up wash the roots and put it under light.?
Yes Just make sure the light is on at least 18 hours if you want it to grow more. Or cut it back to 12 hours of darkness to force it to bloom.
HEY RON, GREAT WEB PAGE. I HAVE A LAVA ROCK BED GARDEN (FILL-N-DRAIN). I'M INTO MY 3RD WEEK AN MY PLANTS ARE TURNING YELLOW. THE PLANT IN NOT DIEING JUST TURNING COLAR. WHAT SHOULD I DO .. THANKS ROB
I would change the water and raise the PPM to see if they green up.
I hope someone can help me. I am looking to purchase all the proper equiptment and information for growing blood flowers indoors. thanks, Fred
Hey Folks I was wondering if anyone had used Styrofoam
peanuts as a medium, and if it worked, I'm considering using them cuz they're the
right price (free)
The problem with packing material is it's treated with fire retardant because the Gov.
So I would test the material in a small set up so you won't lose a lot of plants.
Hi, Found your page doing a search on Hydroponics. You have done an excellent job describing systems and techniques. I am new to this but I love a challenge. I intend to build your 2 liter system for my 8x12 greenhouse. Two things I have not seen an answer to on your pages. (They are likely there, I just haven't found them!) 1) I want to grow Tomatoes and English cucumbers. Can I do that in the 2 liter bottles? or should I put together a galon system? 2) Can I use a commmon mixture for both crops? Do I water on a 24hr clock, that is every 30 minutes or so around the clock?
I would use the gallon system. The 2 liter is alright for Patio tomatoes but regular size tomato plants (which can grow 12 feet tall) needs more root room.
Ron- Heat? My grow room is in the attic with little ventalation, but I have a CO2 tank. In the summer it gets way above the optimal temperature (90-100+) and I was wondering if I could place an A/C window unit in the room.....on the floor (not in a window). Have you heard of this before? Any ideas? thanx lots.
Yes that is to hot. Yes you can place the AC in front of the open window instead of out
the window but don't forget that an AC drips water so sit it in a container to trap the
water. A hot water heater pan works good and you can run a drip line from it. A child's
swimming pool also works and gives you plenty of time to empty the water.
any tips for seed germination. i am new with gardening. any advice will be greatly appreciated.
You can place your seeds in a wet paper towel folded twice. I use a very week mix of
Olivia's Cloning solution or you can use Ortho's B1 Plant Starter.
In a few days they will begin to germinate. Have a bedding tray ready with vermiculite.
When the root gets about one inch long carfully place one sprout per hole, with the root pointing down. Place the top of the sprout about even with the vermiculite.
Continue doing this as more seeds sprout until one tray is full.
If a spout doesn't make it, pull it up and place another in it's place.
After the construction of, wheres the how to????
I would like to contact the author of the message posted on 6-22-97 regarding a homemade 12 volt time and "John in NJ" who posted a message on 4-17-97. Would you have their e-mail address?
Your site is great!! I'm going to build your 11 plant system as soon as I can get to home depot!!!
Gregg in NJ
Ron-Concerning your cloning technique, is there enough oxygen held within the vermiculite and fresh water for the ten day growth period of new root formation? Also, I harvested a plant, but kept some lower branches for re-vegitation. It has responded beautifully and is currently on its first week of the flowering cycle; however, some of the leaves are turning yellowing and brown (necrotic areas). One teaspoon per gallon of Floragrow, Florabloom, and Floramicro right? Is it the N ? HELP! thanx
It might be from an increase in the nutrient solution strength. There is a spurt of
growth of a few inches the first couple of weeks after you start the flowering cycle. The
leaves usually don't yellow until the end of the flowering cycle. I would keep the
yellowing leaves picked until there isn't any left.
do you have a graph of economics of hydroponics
I am interested in using Neem Oil natural pesticide on my tomatoes. Where con I buy Neem Oil? I am a small commercial grower with 6000 tomato plants. Can you help me? Thanks,
Juan C. Bobeda email@example.com
I am looking for a set of free plans on how to make an aero-flow sistem cheap, using perhaps 6 in. pvc pipe if you have any such plans e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
is growing plants without soil better than growing plants with soil?
Ron! I am new comer to hydroponics and don't want to spend a lot of money until I feel I have the fortitude to stick with it. I had two 48" florescent fixture that I installed grow lights into. I have a tomato and cucumber plant about 6" to 8" high. Even though I have the lamps on at least 6 hours a day, both plant lean toward the window for sun light. Is that an indicator that I don't have sufficient light source? John J.
Florescent lights are only good for the first few weeks of plant life then they need natural light or stronger lights like Metal Halide or HPS after that.
How do I know if I need to increase the Magnesium PPM with Epsom Salts ? Do you recommend 2 Tsp per Gal or 2 Tbsp per Gal?
I would go with 1/4 teaspoon per gallon.
Ron: I would also like information on the posts that offered the plans to build a timer using a 555 chip. I would appreciate any information you may have on that post. The person who posted the message didn't put his e-mail address on it. Please e-mail me at email@example.com. Thank you!
I will see if I can find it.
Hi! I'm looking for help with my 5th grade son's science fair project. He really wants to do a great job with a Hydroponic Plant. He wants to demonstrate how it grows differently in soil.
Which plants, how long will it take? Interesting facts?
Wonderful site!! Thank you so much!! Two questions--first, when will you be producing your CD?? And...how can I get detailed plans on your large systems, the pics are great but I need more info.
Thanks again....Lisa Lsrealty@aol.com
It will be finished by this Christmas. Because the new growing season is just starting
here in Florida and I am shooting new pictures and mpeg movies while building new systems
from small ones to commercial size. I will be posting some of them so members can follow
I have a few Q. I'm in the 6th grade and I'm doing a science fair project... I'm doing my project o hydroponics. My teacher told me to compare plants grown in soil and seeds grown in a hydroponics solution. I want to know if I could make a hydroponic solution at home and not spend any money. If I'm off track please email me at Kljhad@yahoo.com thaks jessica
You could get away with using 1\4 strength Peters or Miracle-Gro plant food for the
life of your fair project. But only if you had some lying around because you don't want to
spend any money.
I have a flood and drain garden. I am seeing small black gnat like flying insects
comming from my grow media (grow rocks). They seem to be growing directly in the media. If
I move the grow rocks around they realy come up.
A friend told me they may be Fungus Gnats, what do you think?
What should I use to control them?
I do not want to use just anything, I am not afraid of the bugs, I am afraid of putting something I my nutriant solution that will kill the plants.
You could spay them with some of that Safer Insecticidel
Soap Spray. You can't get any
safer than that. You can even mix you own using liquid dish soap. It might not be strong
enough to kill them but will bug the hell out of them.
yeah i have a question..my plants are in thier 3rd week now and some of them just went "soggy" and limp and just died. i cut the tops of them off and cloned then.. the clones seem to be growing but what the heck killed my plants? email me at firstname.lastname@example.org thankyou
It might have been damping-off. That is a fungus that rots the stem usually where it
meets the medium. It prevents fluid from getting to the plant and it wilts and dies.
Damping-off is normally caused by fungus already present in an unsterile medium, over watering, or excessive humidity in the grow room.
To prevent these conditions, cut down on your watering cycle, add a fan for more air circulation, clean cups, medium, and equipment with a 10 percent bleach and water solution.
will a 30-10-10 NPK fertilizer be good for hydroponic cabbage growing ?
Cabbage is a high N and K user so it might work. Test on a small scale before you bet
the farm on a big garden.
I would like to know the source for seeds that are recommended in Howard Resh's book Questions and Answers. I have a small hydroponic hobby setup and do not wish to buy a hugh amount of seeds. Can you help me.
Hello Ron!! Here is a question about the assembly of your 2-liter system, using PVC glue. It is obviously clear that PVC primer is needed to secure bottle caps in thinwall inserts to prevent leaks. However, do you still have to use PVC glue to assemble the rest of the system, including thinwall inserts inside fittings and overflow pipe?? If so, how is it possible to replace certain components if they break?? For instance, bottle caps don't last forever due to wear and tear. There is no way to replace the fittings if the entire assembly is glued
together. Hope to hear from yousoon before I put my system together. Thanks, Wayne
You can just use the primer to put the system together because their will be no water
pressure in the pipes. You could also use hot glue for the caps because that glue will
snap loose if you have to replace a bottle.
Do hydroponic gardens need to be in a greenhouse or can they be outdoors (no overhead cover).
I can imagine that rainwater could get introduced into the hydroponic solution (via the plant sites) and weaken it. Do you see this as a possible problem? Have you heard of any possible solutions?
I plan to grow tomatoes in my backyard and need to know if I require an overhead cover.
Thaning You In Advance, Oscar
I have a design in my head of an outdoor garden with a rain gauge like a yard sprinkler
system has that will trigger a solenoid to open a valve to divert the rain water from my
nutrient tank. When it stops raining it switches back to normal feeding. The rain would
also serve as an automatic flushing system to clean your system of fertilizer salts build
The Hydroponics Warehouse, based in Australia, sells the Autopot Hydro-Pak System. It doesn't need electricity. It uses what they call a Smart Valve (Mark 2) to refill the tray when it senses it's empty. Does anyone know if this system (or a similar one) or at least the Smart Valve (or a similar one) is sold in the U.S. and if so where? Smiley
Is the Ebb & Flow system the same as the Flood & Drain system? Smiley
Yes it is.
I built the 11-plant system and started seeds in October. My cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini are all flowering, but not the tomato. The tomato plant looks good - good color - and is now over eight feet tall but still no flowers. I change the nutrient solution monthly, using HydroFarm's 7-7-7; then I add a dilute mixture of Miracle-Gro for Orchids 26-16-12 when I top off each Sunday. Lights are four 40W fluoros - one cool white, one warm white, and two Agrosuns. What do I need to do to get the tomato plant to start flowering, then fruiting? Thanks, Del
My uneducated guess would be that they need more light. You could line your hole room with florescent lights and your tomato plants would still want more.
Hello Ron -- please comment on the potential of using pvc gray pipes (plastic electrical conduit pipes) for 2-liter hydroponic systems. Those pipes are UV-protected, but I am wondering if they are safe compared to Schedule 40 pvc pipes. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks, Wayne
Yes Grey pipe is better because of the UV protection but I am still using 10 year old
hydro systems made with schedule 40 and they haven't broke down yet from the sun.
I was wondering if their was a cheap nutrient solution on the market? Some thing sutable for vegetables.
The cheapest that I have found is Nutri-Sol 14-10-20 But I can't find it any more at my
local nursery. I will search the internet and see if I can find a source.
WHERE I LIVE HYDROPONICS SUPPLIES ARE ALL MAIL ORDER. I'VE BEEN ABLE TO MANUFACTURE OR COME UP WITH REPLACEMENTS FOR JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. ONE IDEA THAT HAS COME TO MIND, IS TO USE COMPACTED FIBERGLASS INSULATION INSTEAD OF ROCKWOOL. THEY ARE VIRTUALLY THE SAME MATERIAL. ANYONE THOUGHT OF THIS? WOULD IT WORK?
They are the same material with fire resistant chemicals added that aren't good for
plants. That is what I read somewhere but never tried it myself. I have found that the so
called experts don't always know what they are talking about so I would try it on a small
scale to see what results you get.
I am starting to grow tomato plants in rockwool cubes. I have the seed starting cubes
and keep them in a plactic bag to keep them humid. The tomato plants are about 2 - 3
inches tall and have the seed leaves only, no true leaves yet. I have been doing this for
about 2 weeks. When should I transfer them to my drip system?
When they have two of their true leaves.
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