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Question and Answer Page 26

Subjects

will that cause sex-reversal? 2 plants have begun "wilting" any books or sources on hydroponics
I have a fungus infestation how many on and off watering cycles how to curl the 2 liter bottles
ballast to a electricity supply went brown and died. chrome colored spray paint
Do they transplant well into soil  NUTRIENT SOLUTION made of? supporting the plants
powered by an aquarium air pump Can I use (pea sized) gravel the same fertilizer and watering times?
Date:
19 Jan 2000
Time:
15:12:49

Comments

Hey man, its hoobz w/the doobz growing in my closet. I wanted to ask you, I submitted a question earlier this week (1-17-99) about having some plants that are ready for flowering, except for the fact that I cannot afford the HPS. You replied - telling me to basically switch the timer to a 12hr period and bud. Remember? WELL-- I had a thought after reading what you wrote; can I give them the 12on/off for a while to find the males, and then put the females BACK INTO veg. until I can afford the HPS? IF SO - will that cause sex-reversal? - will doing so affect potency? I don't want to ruin my beautiful creations if I don't have to...

Yes but don't leave them to long under 12/12 or you will have problems with hermorphindykes. 
One of the best tools that I have found for sexing is a $10.00 hand held microscope from Radio Shack made by MICRONTA. You can see your plants sex organs long before you could with the necked eye. Plus any unwanted creatures you may have on your plants.
If you know where to look when your plants are about 20" tall then you don't have to 12/12 them to weed out the males. A good deal for 10 bucks.  
   

Date:
20 Jan 2000
Time:
13:39:39

Comments

I have a fungus infestation from the high humidity in my grow room. How do I treat the fungus, which is white, circular, about four inches across. some of it has moved to a low stem. Do I have to remove the plant from the room? It is one of my biggest and best and i am reluctant to do so. Do I have to buy some type of systemic fungus treatment??

Yes if it is only on that plant because it will spread to all your plants if you don't get control of it right away. Add fans to your room. Get that air moving 24 hours a day to control fungi. Keep infected leaves trimmed off to keep it from spreading. Keep your room clean even the floor. No carpet or dirt floors. Put down plastic or better yet white tarp to reflect the light back up. Or go buy some fungicide and start treating. 

Date:
20 Jan 2000
Time:
21:18:23

Comments

if you want to kill all mold put a ozone generator in there on low for a few days borrow one not to long though or your product will smell like hay but look killer trust me no one will want it after the ozone treatment get more fresh air movement that's a must good luck

Date:

21 Jan 2000
Time:
05:38:13

Comments

how do i connect a high pressure sodium ballast to a electricity supply 

From Gardening Indoors by G. F. Van Patten Very large picture(208 KB)

Date:
21 Jan 2000
Time:
08:05:10

Comments

Ron,

You're an interesting guy with an interesting site. I really appreciate your time in making this info available to all.

We bought a new house last year and I immediately built a propagation table and "volunteered" at the local nurseries keeping all their plants trimmed back and "recycling" them on my propagation table. Hydroponics seems like the logical next step.

My first question concerns temperature. My table is in the basement (in Atlanta) and I took the bottom of a cartop carrier, filled it with sand and put heating cables in it to keep the temp at 70. I sink the pots as far as possible, and it seems to be working fine.

Yes I think keeping the your water/medium at 70 degrees is a good idea. Here in Florida our problem is hot water. That's why I put my tanks in the ground. Water chillers are very expensive. 

I found plans to "float" plants in a tank over an airstone which I think is my best bet. I can use an aquarium heater to keep the temp at 70 or so. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Secondly, once it warms up I'm thinking of selling some plants at the local flea market to fund larger systems. I see you did that with spider plants. Does this method alter the characteristics of the plant in any way? Do they transplant well into soil because of the type of roots? Also, do they still need support once transplanted into soil, or is the support only necessary because of the substrate they're growing in under hydroponics?

Again, I really appreciate your time.

The only different characteristics that people commented on was why the tips my of my spider plants weren't burnt. 
Because I grew them in hydro before I transplanted to dirt pots for resell. Some plants like tomato and pot go through a slight shock period when transplanted from hydro to dirt. But with most plant like ornamentals, herbs & spices you don't even notice the transition.  Tall plants will need support until they are well rooted. 

Date:
21 Jan 2000
Time:
09:37:51

Comments

Ron,

You show your Gurgle Garden being powered by an aquarium air pump. The air line terminates into a "T" valve with one side going to the plant, and the other open to the nutrient solution.

Isn't the intention to get nutrient solution to the plant in the upper container? I've got to be missing something because I don't see how you'd get solution up the pipe -- it seems to me that the end result would be a lot of air in the nutrient, and less air going up the pipe to the plant.

Can you please enlighten me?

Thanks,

MowMan

Don't worry about how it works from looking at the drawings. Just build it and be amazed that it does. 
Ask a physics teacher and maybe he can explain the principles of hydraulics or gravity or what ever makes it work.
I work on the principle of trial and error. I keep trying till I get all the errors out.

Date:
21 Jan 2000
Time:
13:17:45

Comments

Hello Ron,

First thanks for this site, After doing much "lurking" I decided to build the 11 plant system, and the thing has worked wonderfully..

The plants are in day 24 of vegetative growth and have looked perfect.... until I noticed last night that 2 plants have begun "wilting" new fan leaves are "drooping". this is occurring on new growth and there has been absolutely no change in color, i.e. there are still deep green, I have searched all of the grow guides and message boards on the net and have not been able to find any causes, I have heard that "Under watering" may be the culprit, but I water 6 times a day for 10 mins and the other 9 plants look perfect.... Here is my system.. once again thanks for this site Ron and this board, it has helped me a great deal..

6 times a day might not be enough. I flood my garden every 30 minutes.
You will find at times that some plants will just wilt and die. Caused by damping off of the plant stem right above the root ball, cutting all the capillaries to the plant and killing it. It doesn't happen often but when it does the plant can't be saved. If a plant looks like it's about to wilt and die then I would clone it to keep the strain going.

Light: Hydrofarm Super Grow wing 430w HPS, 20" from plants, 18 hr on, 6 hr off Pump: Maxi flow 160gph, watered 6 times a day for 10 mins each on period, only watered while light on Temps: day ~74f, night ~63f Air Pump: whisper 10-30 gallon, 2 air lines and 2 12" airstones Grow Medium: Hydrotron Grow Rocks Nutrients: General Hydroponics 3 part system at 1/2 strength, have been also adding 1/2 tsp of epsom salts throughout veg growth to this Water: distilled @ ph 6.0.. No PPM meter

thanks Ron....

"uses Medicinally enjoys Recreationally Freedom Fighter.... p.s. good luck to your brother

Date:
21 Jan 2000
Time:
13:25:06

Comments

hi ron,i'm new to hydroponics and just built your 11 plant garden (plan to grow tomatoes and peppers, maybe some other things to). i live in the tropics (puerto rico) and have sun year round. my question is "how many on and off watering cycles should i use every day for the crops i specified? also what would be the best cash crops as far as vegetables are concern for this region?

The hotter it is in your area the more you want to water. 
What you said and them other things too. 

Date:
21 Jan 2000
Time:
16:54:02

Comments

Can root vetables grow hydrop.? What kind and they been started from seeds?

Thanks Kat

Yes

Date:
22 Jan 2000
Time:
07:08:53

Comments

ron,

do you know of any hydroponic commercial grower or aeroponic commercial grower in the NEW ENGLAND area or CALIFORNIA that i can visit ?

sixto ututin, south africa

No But maybe some other members out their might.

Date:
22 Jan 2000
Time:
07:13:39

Comments

ron,

my hydroponic veggies wilt fast after harvest. some say its water stress ... hydroponic veggies are so spoiled and pampered that when you harvest them, the condition they are use to is not present anymore, that is why they wilt fast.
according to one, something to do with cuticles in their leaves. she said, i have to let the cuticles grow so that it can stay or look fresh even after harvest.
now my question is, do you have same experience ?

Here in Florida everything spoils quick. I got people waiting in line for my tomatoes so I don't keep them long enough for them to spoil. I chop up peppers and freeze them an I dehydrate herbs and spices. My compost pile gets the rest.

Date:
22 Jan 2000
Time:
09:41:02

Comments

After I build my system where do I go from there? What kind of "medium" should I use for tomatoes? Is there a better solution to use? Do I just put the seeds in and turn it on? I read that people turn the system on and off. How often should I do this. I know these may sound like dumb questions but I am very new to this and any info would be greatly appreciated. Also, do you recommend any books that would help me learn hydroponics. Thanks again.

 Look at every page on this web site then come back here and ask me.  

Date:
23 Jan 2000
Time:
03:47:45

Comments

HI I just started and I feed them as soon as they popped up about 1/2 solution and they went brown and died. When and how much should I feed the babys.

1/2 strength is to high for babies. Try 1/4 or even lower strength.  

Date:
23 Jan 2000
Time:
17:44:11

Comments

What kind of pop bottle do you use? Do you paint then white or do they come like that?

2-liter and I use vinyl spray paint.

Date:
23 Jan 2000
Time:
20:08:24

Comments

what is the NUTRIENT SOLUTION made of? pls list all the different chemical salts and nutrients. thank you

Element Chart

Date:
24 Jan 2000
Time:
05:40:45

Comments

Just a quick question. Can I use (pea sized) gravel that I could pick up for free at my local gravel pit if I washed it throughly first?

Yes The porous kind. Not the hard marble type. The only draw back is the weight.

Date:
24 Jan 2000
Time:
15:07:33

Comments

Ron, You have a neat site. I teach science and I just got a new science lab with attached green house. I want to grow tomatoes, peppers and lettuce with your 11 plant hydroponics system. I know very little about hydroponics. Is there any books or sources you could recommend for me to research?
Thanks.........indy

As we speak I have been working on a special Hydroponics Projects Section where individual and groups like class rooms can collaborate on projects across the country or the world. Coming in the next couple of weeks. One of the best how to books is HYDROPONIC Home Food Gardens by Howard M. Rush

Date:
24 Jan 2000
Time:
15:43:45

Comments

hi folks, i need help.? does anyone know how to trim and clean plants in a quick way once it is ready to be dried.i do the usual trim with scissors ect but is there a easier way. using something electric or spraying something magical on the water leaves to piss them off. i would really appreciate any help. thanks.

The Manicurers Society of America would be very pissed off if someone came up with that.  

Date:
24 Jan 2000
Time:
20:58:58

Comments

Ron It appears in some of your pictures of the 2 liter bottles, the cut end has been neatly folded over to leave a smooth top edge. How were you able to achieve this, or am I seeing things. I have tried boiling water, but the plastic just shrank and never became pliable. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Travis

Heat a old Teflon pan to 250 degrees.
Slowly turn the bottle and if your lucky it will start to curl inward.
When the bottle is still pliable cram a 16 oz solo cup to form it perfectly around the cup.
  

Date:
25 Jan 2000
Time:
17:45:23

Comments

Hey Ron,

Have you ever tried chrome colored spray paint for the 2 liter bottles? I was thinking that the reflective properties would be good under lights. What do you think?

The reason I use vinyl paint is it doesn't scratch off as easy as other paint I tried. So that color would be great if it last. You don't want to have to stop growing to paint them again later.

Date:
25 Jan 2000
Time:
21:13:52

Comments

now thats an idea

Date:
26 Jan 2000
Time:
00:17:40

Comments

Ron, I will be growing my plants out doors using your 11 bottle system. It seems to me that once the plants get so tall they will become top heavy. How do you suggest supporting them especially during a windy day or a thunderstorm? Thanx D.

You need to build a stand from 1 or 3/4 inch PVC to sit the garden on. Put the tank on the lower shelve to anchor the stand down with it's weight. Add the risers to the bottom stand that will hold the top part. You can tie your plants up using the stand and even hang a light from the top of the stand. 

Date:
26 Jan 2000
Time:
14:39:25

Comments

This is my first year teaching agriculture and I am trying to get some hydroponics going. My greenhouse is set up this way: I have feeder tubes for taking up the fertilizer directly into the water flow; I have lines that run across the greenhouse the spray spickets coming out of the main lines; I have a furnace and fans running on both ends. My questions are as follows: Can I grow tomatoes and watermelons on the same watering line with the same fertilizer and watering times? For my fertilizer I mixed Grow More (hydroponic) 4-18-38 (NPK) (8 ounces), 4 ounces of calcium nitrate, and 4 ounces of magnesium sulfate in 100 gallons. This was the recommendation on the sack for seediness Does it sound right? 

Yes that sounds right for a standard commercial hydroponic mix and can be used for a variety of vegetables.    

The solution is being sprayed on through the spickets. How often should I leave these on and how often?

You didn't say if your water returns to a reusable reservoir but from your description I don't think so. So watering cycles are tricky with a non retrievable system. You want to try and water only what the plants consumes so all your nutrient solution doesn't run out the bottom to wherever. Disney World does this by weighing 1 plant in each row measuring how much water the plant consumes thus letting the system water all the plants in that row the same.
I would which your garden to a reusable system if possible unless you have deep pockets.    
   

 I am transplanting them from a soil mix into perlite for the hydroponic substrate. How big do the plants need to be before transplanting?

Let them get well rooted before washing the dirt off and they will have a better chance for survival. 

 We tried to do some in class but I believe the watermelons damped off (looked like they had been pinched at the medium level) and the tomatoes leaves wilted, turned a brown color, and died. Any suggestions would be helpful.
My name is Mike T Tesnohlidek and I teach ag. science in Nyssa, Oregon. Thanks




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