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Question and Answer Page 42

Subjects

easy passive hydroponic system greenhouses too hot for summer use? good growing medium for the 11 plant garden?
Where can I find a cycle timer? Miracle Grow seems to be working transplanting from rockwool to geolite
What the hell is a solo cup Gurgle Garden not working about sun shading
Should I cut the nutrient dose for transplanting? Concerning Flowering hemp as a grow medium?
Where can i get formula one A&B? 180 GPH pump cost chemicals from the plastic

Date:

01 Jun 2000
Time:
19:04:35

Comments

Here's an easy passive hydroponic system that I gave a try. Not meant for Hydro but I said what the hell. Very low maintenance too. Any way, I filled one of those terra cotta "self watering" planters with just grow rocks, started a plant in rockwool, then transplanted the cube and plant in the grow rocks. All I've been doing is filling the outer part with nutrients whenever it got really low. I found some cool painted ones at Home Depot, not the usual orange terra cotta. It's a small plant tho (Syrian Rue), but I have since bought 2 more store plants, rinsed them of as much dirt as possible, and stuck them in. They are both about 9-12 inches, and have started growing new leaves this spring already. The only planters I've seen like these are small, so only small plants would work, great for house plants tho, and beginners. Wonder if larger plants would work as well, if I could find or make a larger one? Maybe this will interest any newbies that want an intro with using nutrient solutions with low light plants. Inexpensive, no pumps or special lighting, atleast so far. Mark.

Date:
02 Jun 2000
Time:
10:51:56

Comments

Ron, Where can I find a cycle timer? All the ones I have seen provide only 6 ons and offs per day. If I'm gonna cycle every 20 minutes or so, I need a better timer. Your site Rocks!

Home Depot, www.wormsway.com, www.aquatceco.com, sells a 48 pin timer that gives you 30 minutes minimum on and off time for under $20.00

Date:
03 Jun 2000
Time:
08:39:43

Comments

Im gonna bulid the 11 pipe hydroponic system. Im a new grower so i dont know much What the hell is a solo cup, I know it goes inside of the 2 litter bottle thats all. And what do you use to grow, I mean, What do you put inside of the 2 litter bottles, soil just water, rockwool, ect. Another thing is the pump. What is its specific name so i can ask for it in a store and were do i get it?

A solo cup is just a plastic drinking cup sold everywhere. 
The cup are used to hold the grow rocks. (a man made clay fired ceramic material.)
The pump used are called submersible pumps. They are rated GPH (gallon per hour) and you need one around 100 GPH.

Date:
03 Jun 2000
Time:
10:13:15

Comments

Re: Cycle timer

You can get a Intermatic "lamp and appliance timer" at Home Depot. You want the 24 hour model that has 48 pins around the outside. Cost is $7.95.
This model will give you a minimum 30 mins. time on/off.
Tailwheel

yea, what he said

 

Date:
04 Jun 2000
Time:
15:13:00

Comments

Question on transplanting

Last Thursday, I transplanted squash, cucumber, and eggplant. The squash looks like it played 1 game with Michael Jordan. I mean, it's limp. The other plants look as if nothing happened. I went to the hydro shop the other day and the guy there told me to add a little vitamin B-1 to the nutrient solution. I use it all the time when planting in the ground and it works fine, but in hydroponics, Im wondering if I just plain overdosed the transplants cause I started feeding them Rons straight nutrient right off the bat. The plants old leaves seem to be withering, but the new growth is the healthiest green I've ever seen on a plant.

I guess the question is: Should I cut the nutrient dose in half for a week or two after transplanting? Then give then the full treatment. Seems to me that I read that I should do this somewhere on this website, but there's so much info. here, I can't find it now.

I'll send Ron pics when I figure out how to connect my camera to the back of the computer and transfer the images.

Tailwheel

Yes I would cut way back for the first couple weeks. Then slowly increase the dosage every week.

Date:
04 Jun 2000
Time:
16:59:25

Comments

Where can i get some formula one A&B ? The miracle grow just aint working. Grant

www.wormsway.com is the only place because they own it.

Date:
05 Jun 2000
Time:
05:19:37

Comments

hey ron, george in crescent city fl.you were right about greenhouses are too hot for summer use here in fl. using 70% shade cloth, 2 roof turbines, 2 exhaust fans & a small swampcooler still had temps in the 90's.i threw in the towel & moved 2 of the hydro units outside. peppers & tomatoes are alive but almost no growth. my question is for outside use in this heat does the nuit. solution need to be cooled for good growth or should i just forget about summer hydroponics & go fishing?

My peppers on my back porch are also suffering  because of the heat. I don't think they will make it to maturity because it ain't even august yet the hottest month.
I don't think cooling the solution will help that much.
My Heat Wave tomatoes in my pool garden are starting to bloom but I have to let the garden drip continuously during the hot part of the day. 
I'm just going to get my commercial garden ready for this autumns growing season. 

Date:
05 Jun 2000
Time:
20:57:45

Comments

Attn: Grant

I'm using Rons formula of Miracle Grow and it seems to be working for me. One thing I feel that must be pointed out with added emphasize is that you must pay strict attention to the pH of your solution.

The pH must be held , cause that is the area where the plant absorbs the nutrients. If you're higher or lower, the plant will not take anything.

Check your solution again, cause the pH WILL change in a matter of a few hours, even when you just added acid the night before and checked it, you MUST check it again the following morning, cause it will change again overnight.

Just my two cents.

Tailwheel

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
02:45:19

Comments

How long should watering times be and how frequently? Also should watering times change once the light hours are diminished and the nutrient mix is changed for budding?

You should water up to the height needed to soak the medium and roots about 1 inch below your medium. That can be one minute, five minutes, 15 minutes,  depending on the size of your garden and size of your pump. 
Then let it drain immediately and then do it all over again about 30 minutes later.
You don't need to water during the dark period but won't hurt.  

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
06:39:11

Comments

where can I get plans for your gallon garden? Great site, keep up the good work.
Thanks

When I draw some up.

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
07:59:52

Comments

I requested info on pollinating tomatoes and Andrew answered:

For tomatoes if you gently flip the flower it will pollinate it. because tomatoes are hermaphrodites the inside stem in the flower being male and out side being female. zucchini and others use a cotton swab and go around to the different flowers.

Does this mean zucchini are not hermaphrodites? What about bell peppers and other vegetables? Thanks, Tim

don't know

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
08:20:19

Comments

Ron, I put together Gurgle Garden that I saw hyperlinked on page 14 of your bulletin board. My pump is definitely powerful enough, but water doesn't make it up to the top of the drip area. I used aquarium tubing, etc and followed the directions as depicted by the diagram. How does air forced into the solution through the tee in turn forces solution back up into the tube connected to the same tee? Any ideas on what's wrong? Thanks.

You need to suck on the tube to get the siphon effect going. The pump blows air down to the tee and then back up the long hose to the plant along with water droplets. It doesn't flow like when a submersible pump is used.
Try giving the tubes a shake to get it going. 

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
11:14:54

Comments

For cooling your nutrient tank, you might try running some small diameter PLASTIC tubing in a spiral through the liquid. Arrange to run cold water (or cool water) through the tubing, in order to create a sort of a heat exchanger. Unless you have access to an inexhaustable water source, you will have to cool the water running through the tube(s). You can do this by setting up an array of the tubes, in the SHADE, and let a fan blow across the tubing "screen" that you have created. By using PLASTIC and not METAL, you reduce the chance of adding metal residues to your mix. Keep an eye on the actual nutrient temp, though. If you get it too cold, you could shock the roots.

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
13:17:40

Comments

Hey Ron,
Concerning Flowering, it is said that during this stage lights should be 12 on and 12 off. What would happen if you increased or decreased the lighting to 8 on 16 off.
Thanks
Pingman

The plants are triggered to bloom by 12 hours of darkness and not by the length of light they receive. I have heard of some growers doing 12 off 18 on 12 off 18 on and so on. I never tried it any other way than 12 /12 because if it ain't broken don't fix it.

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
13:40:48

Comments

Ron, Im not sure about asking you this, but how many hours on and off of light should I use for growing bud

Most budding plants need 12 hours of darkness to flower unless they are indeterminate which means they grow and produce fruits continually regardless of length of day.

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
13:42:45

Comments

Ron, How much does a 180 GPH pump cost all together?

www.aquaticeco.com has a 237 gph for $12.95 Part No. HX 2500 Catalog page 415

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
20:41:19

Comments

What would be a good growing medium for the 11 plant garden? cool design by the way. jeremy, fl

It is design for grow rocks. But some members have had luck with perlite and lava rocks.

Comments

Jeremy 
hydrocorn, pea gravel and pea sized lava all work great
andrew

Date:
06 Jun 2000
Time:
21:03:43

Comments

i have built the 11 plant garden.....i plan on using seeds that i started in rockwool and transplanting them to geolite rocks.....is this the best way? and how many and how long should the watering cycles be? please respond

Make sure the water rises high enough to wet the cubes until a good roots system is established in the rocks. 
Water ever 30 minutes or so if you have a fast fill and drain system. Water less often if it takes awhile to fill and drain your garden.

Date:
07 Jun 2000
Time:
01:51:45

Comments

Hey ron i want here for a long time. And im not sure if i saw this here. I think you were talking about sun shading i think 70%. Well if you did i was wandering what is that material couse i cant find something that will block some son light and would not be air proof couse i want to make a littel indoor garder on my terase closed so people wont se in it :) thx for any adv ice in advance Dwasted1

It is called Shade Cloth and is sold in various colors at Home Depot, Lowe's, and other large home improvement centers in the garden department.  

Date:
07 Jun 2000
Time:
19:20:43

Comments

hi, 2 questions about hydros. 1. how long from start to harvest time? 2. how much will it cost to build 3. anywhere to get detailed instructions on a cheap system. guess it was three questions :) --->sdd<<>>><

Date:
07 Jun 2000
Time:
21:01:38

Comments

OK, I've got the system up and running. The plants are recovering nicely from the transplanting, but I'm having difficulty keeping the pH within limits.

I'm using Citric Acid for the buffer. The problem is that I check it in the evening and find that I'm way over 7.0. I add enough acid to bring it down to between 5.7-6.2. The next morning, I recheck the pH again before the pump starts cycling and it's already back up to the low 7's. I then add more acid to bring it back into a reasonable area. (about 5.8). I'm doing this on a daily basis.

So the question is, Am I the only one that has this problem? Has anyone else "been there done that"?

I've got a pamphlet that states; "As a general rule, plants will have a higher nutrient requirement during cooler months, and a lower requirement during the hottest months. Therefore, a stronger nutrient solution should be maintained during winter, with a weaker solution during summer when plants take up and transpire more water than nutrients."

I'm now thinking that because of the ambient temperature being above 80 degrees, there must be some undesirable  reaction in the nutrient solution that is literally killing the acid I use in the evening, cause the solution is already alkaline before the next morning.

My garden is outside, with a shaded covering. Is there anyone here who is having similar problems?

If so, please respond.

Tailwheel

Using Citric Acid might be the problem.

Date:
08 Jun 2000
Time:
11:35:07

Comments

Hi Ron, Coco fiber is gaining popularity as a hydro grow medium since it is more environmentally friendly than rockwool. It occurred to me that hemp fiber might fit in the same category. Any experience with hemp as a grow medium?
Thanks,
Gerry

With hundreds of products from food to a hole car that Henry Ford built out of hemp in 1941 it would not surprise me if you could. When they legalize hemp I will let you know.  

Date:
08 Jun 2000
Time:
14:43:22

Comments

I was wondering how well your hydroponic PVC set-up works under the hot lights because I dont want to have the chemicals from the plastic damaging my plants.

That's a myth perpetrated by hydroponic manufacturers and stores so you will buy their over priced gardens. Today's PVC is well UV protected. I am still using 15 year old systems indoor and out in the hot sun. 





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