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Question and Answer Page 44

Subjects

I want to grow tomatoes. how long is the overflow pipe? Formula One nutrient
GALLON SYSTEM PLANS? do you provide the sprouts with light? growing my lettuce on hydroponics
bleach jug system. when germinating seeds  growing in tropical countries
Can I use 1 in pvc How do you keep your nutrient solution cool? Do I need a cover or something to block the rain
how often do you flood the system? tomatoes meant for a greenhouse. temperature problem
Date:
20 Jun 2000
Time:
16:52:34

Comments

Hello Ron,

I was wanting to grow tomatoes. I read your reviews and I conclude that the 11 plant garden isnt good for growing most any kind of plant to maturity because of space. What if you use the 11 plant Garden but just dont use all 11 bottles. Put your plants away from each other and leave pvc tee openings where the other 2 liter bottles supposed to go capped? Will the 11 plant 2 liter garden , assuming we have the 6-7 plants away from each other, than be considered good enough for growing tomatoes and such?

Wonderful website with great information. Benn helpin my friends for a while!!! Keep it up!

Yes and you can also bend your plants away from each other to give them more growing room.

Date:
20 Jun 2000
Time:
19:58:27

Comments

DO YOU HAVE GALLON SYSTEM PLANS? NEED TO MAKE A GALLON SYSTEM TO GROW TOMATOES.

How about a picture.6gallon.jpg (19925 bytes) Plans will be on the CD I am working on for later this year.

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
08:39:58

Comments

Hey Ron, Thanks for the quick response about the size pipe to use for bleach jug system. I am using a natural color industrial bleach jug style container with plain cap and found that it fits nice and tight in 1.5 inch std. pvc which I will use a small piece glued into the t fitting. Inside the gallon jug I am using a .5 gallon plastic jar to hold my medium which is going to be perlite with a little vermiculite. I figured using a container that is .5 gallon size would work good for growing 3-4 foot flowering plants. Please give your opinion on this setup. ? # 2. I have a limited area for the system so it's going in a closet and will get only artificial light from 2 175 wat merc.vap lights and I will probably add a 200 watt hps. Here is the problem I am expecting though, I feel it is going to get quite hot in the room, so here is my plan and I would like your opinion: I am adding 2 bath type exhaust fans, one bringing outside air in and one going out. I think this will help but I might need to add a cooling chamber for the water in the system and here is what I have in mind: 1st I am using a different style of pump than most people, it's a 12 volt diaphragm pump used on lawn/farm sprayers that has a high gpm output and it is not submersed it is connected to a hose that pulls water from the systems pipes then dumps it back in the .5 gallon containers thru controlled flow and puts excess flow right back in the pipes. Now with that said here's the idea, run a long amount or the suction hose thru a cooler full of ice or possibly a small fridge to create a cooling coil so when the system cycles it cools the water going to the plants thus helping to keep the overall temp down. What do you think or do you know of another way to do this?

Last ? for now, When cloning cuttings by using root tone on similar product and putting the cuttings into dirt, I have had success. How do you clone plants in a hydro environment? Is there a small system I should build just for this? or what can you tell me to get started successfully do this? Thanks, DC420 dc4200@hotmail.com

You want the bad news first. Mercury vapor lamps produce a color spectrum that is not as efficient as the halide or hps for indoor growing. It's not the kind of light to use if you expect any kind of yield. 
I use vermiculite for cloning not dirt. 

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
11:47:53

Comments

Whats up Ron?

Hey buddy, in the 9 plant garden it says to use 1/2 in PVC. Can I use 1 in pvc instead like the 11 plant garden. Also im spacing the bottles 10" apart from each other. How tall will my tomatoe plants get in the 2 liter bottle 16oz solo cups? Will the roots be ok?

The 9 plant plans are old plans. When I built my first 2-liter garden I used 3/4 inch PVC. Then I used 1/2 inch for a few years. Now I use 1 inch PVC because the bottles are removable and I don't have to grind, drill or glue the hell out of the bottles to stop the leaks.
IT DOESN'T MATTER if you build a 2 plant garden, a 11 plant garden, or a 500 plant garden they all work the same. The only difference is how you arrange the bottles.
Yes a 16 oz solo cup can grow a 3 or 4 ft. plant.

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
11:54:47

Comments

Ron, I just found your site!!! Whoaaaa the best hydroponic website in the cyberworld!!

Can you kindly answer the following questions before I mess up my plants?

1) Im using 2 liter bottle setup to grow some kind bud. Once I put my 3" sprouts into the grow rocks, from then on how often do you flood the system? Like what's the water cycle from then to maturity? How many times per day and for how long? 

2) In growing with limited height (5 1/2') with a 400 watt hps, when is it a good time to switch to buddin stage?

I water every 20 or 30 minutes in all my gardens no mater what I'm growing and whatever age of the plants. I also water 24 hours because it's convenient not because you have to.

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
14:05:35

Comments

In the 9 plant garden, how long of pvc pipes do you use for both sides of the overflow pipe? Is it the same measurement as the 11 plant?

That depends on how your cup sits in the 2-liter bottle. Take a guess but don't glue it and if the water rises to high then cut a little off till you get the desired water height. Every garden I build might be a little different so I eyeball the each one and cut it the right height.

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
14:07:27

Comments

With the 16 oz solo cups do you fill them to the top with grow rocks???

Thank You

Yes

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
14:16:15

Comments

When germinating seeds in vermiculite do you provide the sprouts with light? If so can you use an hps light and how far do you keep it away?

If you keep it far away like 5 ft. And MH or a couple of fluorescents would be better.  

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
15:27:31

Comments

Another thing about the vermiculite, first off when germinating seeds I know you use the paper towel and sandwich bag method but do you soak the paper towels with water and Ortho plant starter or just water alone or no water? You supposed to keep the paper towels wet though right?

Now with the vermiculite what do you wet it with? The vermiculite needs to be wet before transplanting seedling right?

Yes use Ortho plant starter for both and don't forget to adjust the pH before using. 

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
20:51:10

Comments

Ron,

How do you keep your nutrient solution cool? Living in such a hot climate it must be a problem. I am having trouble keeping mine below 90 degrees. Some plants will tolerate it and some won't.

Bill S

I don't cool any of my above ground tanks but I do put my tanks in the ground if I can. 

Date:
21 Jun 2000
Time:
21:29:59

Comments

I want to grow tomatoes meant for a greenhouse. Such as "trust", "tropic" and "dombito" . Will the liter bottle offer enough room or do I have to use a gallon bottle? I am growing these outside so I will space the bottles about 12" apart. Will greenhouse style tomatoes grow well outside even if they are not grown within a greenhouse. I live in southern CA along the coast

The 2-liter is better for patio type tomatoes. I would use the gallon system for anything larger than 3 feet.
I have never tried tomato plants just for greenhouses. I use nothing but regular tomatoes plants that I buy at my local nursery.
 

Date:
22 Jun 2000
Time:
04:38:04

Comments

Ron,

First, I have to thank you for such a wonderful web site, and the obvious time and effort you have put into it at no charge to us. I've been able to establish some great hydroponics garden setups on my apartment patio. This hydroponics thing is so cool.

Question - I've been using Formula One nutrient and my plants have been blooming and producing fine for a while now. In your opinion, is it any benefit to use the Florabloom (General Hydroponics product I think) during the blooming stage or does the Formula One work just as well. Thanks again.

I have been using Formula One for 15 years and I swear by it. You don't need to add anything. Just increase the ppm for blooming. 1500 ppm or higher.

Date:
22 Jun 2000
Time:
07:45:14

Comments

hi ron,

i am growing my lettuce on hydroponics. well, its 2 weeks to harvest, yet the leaves are still too open as in its not closing.

is it a problem of K ? will a higher K keep the lettuce open ?

thanx

rapala

Here is a head of lettuce I grew that wouldn't turn into a head but it still tasted good. Bibb or Leaf lettuce is better for hydroponics. 

Date:
22 Jun 2000
Time:
09:29:26

Comments

I've been doing some serious surfing on the web this morning and have ran into some articles dealing with growing in tropical countries. (Maylasia, Thailand, etc.)

I've noted that one of the problems faced in Florida is the relatively high temperatures during the Summer months and I face the same here in California, although it is a dry heat with no humidity.

Anyway, the gist of the information is that due to the high heat in these tropical countries, the local growers have turned to Aeroponics because the misting of the nutrient solution is cooled as it is sprayed out in the tank chamber and this helps keep the temperatures down on the roots.

My question is has anyone here done any serious investigation into Aeroponics? I've been to many webpages and they look pretty simple to build out of common stuff found at any major home improvement store.

Tailwheel

Date:
22 Jun 2000
Time:
09:51:28

Comments

Hi Ron, A frequent reader a first time poster. I want to thank you for giving me the inspiration and knowledge to grow the hydro way. Ok, on to my question. I have built a 6 plant 2 liter system with plants 10" apart. I am planning on putting it on our condo deck with my(soil)container veggies and flowers. Do I need a cover or something to block the rain that we often have in Virginia this time of year? Will the rain effect the PH or screw up the nutrient solution? or will I take a chance on damage from thunderstorms? What do you suggest? Very Grateful, Virginia420

The rain will dilute your nutrient solution so you will have to readjust it after ever rain without some kind of cover.

Date:
22 Jun 2000
Time:
10:25:32

Comments

Tailwheel,

I also live in California and have the same temperature problem as you (see my post yesterday). Last year I built an aeroponics unit as described at www.howtohydroponics.com and it worked great. I used standard miniature spray heads and had no problems with them getting plugged. The only disadvantage I can see with this type of unit is that it would be very difficult to build a very large unit. I used a 45 gallon tub for four tomato plants. This year I wanted a larger garden so I changed to drip and ebb and flow systems and this is when I ran into the temperature problems.

Good luck.

Bill S.




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