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Question and Answer Page 47

Subjects

Can i use soil to start my seedlings I have been overfeeding between planting hydro and ground.
plant I have in soil time a seed should geminate using an external pump
passive reservoir type setup complete hydroponics conversion roots plugging up the drain hole.
mercury vapor lights plants in soil get over fertilized taking cuttings from a flowering plant
Date:
03 Jul 2000
Time:
14:45:36

Comments

Have you ever heard of a tomato plant that, after starting from a clone, began to grow a single-fingered leaf? What could cause this? Do you think the plant will bloom and bear fruit?

That's normal for a lot of hybrids used these days. It will turn to normal if you give it 24 hours of light and all of your other growing conditions are right. 

Date:
03 Jul 2000
Time:
22:25:23

Comments

hormones? \

Never tried them.

Date:
04 Jul 2000
Time:
02:48:06

Comments

Can i use soil to start my seedlings off then transfer to grow rocks?

Yes

Date:
04 Jul 2000
Time:
09:27:16

Comments

Yo, Ron; This is an update on the 2 month old (now 3 months old) plant I have in soil, and using Formula One. I have reset my light for 12 and 12, and adjusted my nutrient to 1500, at 6.5 pH. I have been feeding the plant 3 times daily until the solution begins to drain from the bottom of the pot, but that was on 24 on. Now that the light period is shorter, should I feed as much? By the way, this plant is sucking about 1/2 gallon per feeding before the solution comes out the bottom, and is VERY healthy. Been on new photoperiod for one day now. Want to try to get it worked out for automated feeding before going back to work after holiday...Happy 4th!

(Response) You shouldn't water at dark period with dirt.

Ron... I know ya don't water during dark period...My question is "Should I be feeding with Fomula One at 1500 ppm EVERY time this plant gets watered? Plant was wilting very badly after 3rd day at 12 and 12, with 2 daily feeds @ 1500 ppm, and 6.5 pH. Leached pot with tap water (4 gallons) at 6.3 pH, and gave full outside sunlight. Recovered within 2 hours. Am I overfeeding???"

According to the direction on the bottle you mix 1/4 teaspoon of A and 1/4 teaspoon of B to a gallon of water every time you water your plants. 
That is 1/4 the amount used for hydro so I think you are over feeding it.

Date:
04 Jul 2000
Time:
23:15:25

Comments

Hey Ron tell me if you think this setup sounds ok. I want to go with a passive reservoir type setup. I was gonna use 2 kitty litter trays and 10 2 liter coke bottles.

I cut the necks off the 2 liter bottles. At the bottom of the bottles I poke holes and up the sides 1/2 way. Then i fill the bottles with grow rocks.

Now i fill the kitty liter pans about 3" of nutrient solution and use air pumps and air stones to aerate the pans. Sit the 2 liter bottles in the pans and cover the water with black plastic bags.

Does this sound like a setup that would work?

I just don't know if it would work. Let me know if it does.

 

Date:
05 Jul 2000
Time:
13:19:54

Comments

Excellent site!

Ron, on page 20 you told a reader that mercury vapor lights would not work very well. Just wanted to report that many years ago I had very successful crops with one 1500w mercury vapor. Perhaps not as well as halides or sodiums may have been, but never-the-less, crops were very healthy, even through flowering.

Thank for the great resources

sjm

I would agree. I was thinking of the efficiency and cost of using mercury vapor as it pertains to lumen- per- watt.
You also could grow successfully if you filled an entire room with 4 foot florescence bulbs but the cost of electricity compared to the growth you get is not cost effective. 
The future of grow lights is Fusion Lights. They will make HID obsolete for growing.  

Date:
05 Jul 2000
Time:
14:30:29

Comments

See query July 4, 2000, @ 09:27:16 Ron, Since I have been overfeeding by about 4x the nutrients, would that account for "Leggy" growth, and getting pot-bound again? I guess I'll have to move it into a bigger pot (again)...Thing's getting too heavy to lift! Any further suggestions? Thanx for the quick reply.

Leggy growth could be from not enough light or genetics of the plant. (Wrong verity.)

Date:
06 Jul 2000
Time:
09:41:11

Comments

Hey Ron, two questions. First, what is the maximum time a seed should geminate under all proper conditions. Second. If a plant is over fertilized were the leaves are scorched and turning brown what measures can you take to help the plant revive. let say the plant is in dirt.

Pingman

Few days to germinate in dirt or vermiculite and about 24 to 48 hours in a wet napkin.

Date:
06 Jul 2000
Time:
12:53:51

Comments

I'm looking for a company to assist our family farms in a complete hydroponics conversion. Not just an equipment supplier, but a company that can plan, build, install, train, etc. The whole nine yards.

Any suggestions?

There is a hydroponic company in Hawaii that will be partners with you and give you all the money and help you need. But they won't even talk to you if you don't have at least a 5 acre greenhouse. 
But I can't remember their name. They use to be here in Florida but moved to Hawaii because of the perfect greenhouse growing conditions. 

Date:
06 Jul 2000
Time:
19:39:04

Comments

Any suggestions? www.cropking.com they are in ohio. excelect people!

Date:
07 Jul 2000
Time:
04:32:58

Comments

Re: Family farm conversion

If you want someone who's not commercially involved, I would suggest the nearest state university that has an agriculture department. There is generally a graduate student looking for thesis material. Contact a professor, schedule an appointment and talk about your plans. That's a pretty big jump to convert a whole farm into a hydroponics operation.

Tailwheel

Date:
07 Jul 2000
Time:
04:34:37

Comments

When plants in soil get over fertilized to the point that the leaves are burning or turning brown, leach the pot with pH balance water to get rid of the extra nutrient, and purge the mineral salts. Use at least four gallons of water. If you can't measure the pH of your water, don't worry...Seems most tap water is about 3 to 4 in pH. 6.5 seems best for soil grown plants. If your pot has one of those drip catchers on the bottom, take it off, and allow the plant to drain completely every time you water. If it cannot drain, the roots will begin to rot. After purging the pot, don't fertilize again for a few days. Try using Formula One from www. wormsway.com.

Date:
07 Jul 2000
Time:
05:22:14

Comments

Differences between planting hydro and ground.

On June 1, I transferred plants bought from Home Depot into my 16 bottle system. I had a cucumber left over, so I put it into the ground. The plant in the ground is about 3 times the size of the ones in the hydro system. The difference is, that the hydro plants have several fruit and the one in the ground has only 1 fruit. The hydro plant roots are just now peeking out of the holes in the cups, so obviously, the hydro roots are smaller resulting in smaller plants and leaf structure.

The question? Is this normal?

The reason hydro plants do not need as much roots as with dirt is because you are force feeding the plant every 30 minutes. With dirt plants the roots need to go searching for food and water in the ground to grow. Thus all the energy goes into root production instead of fruit production as with hydroponic plants. 

I just finished another system 49 cups, using 1 liter water bottles and Dixie 16 oz. cups. I have a hell of a time finding 2 liter soda bottles, but the caps are the same and I can change later to 2 liter bottles when I collect them. I planted white corn from seed into most of the cups and transferred the plants from my first system to the new one. It looks pretty crowded, but if the thought about smaller plants is true, I should be OK. I'll try to get pictures off to Ron today. The system is 50 in. X 50 in. and uses a 20 gal. nutrient solution on a 30 min. timer. I plan to use it for corn, peas, and other crops that grow up, not out.

Yesterday, I bought a storage box at K-Mart that's 24"X36"X8" deep. I can make 9 4" dia. holes in the lid about 7-1/2 in. apart, and use 4 sprinklers inside the box which will be the tank. It's a 19 gal capacity and I figure that I can use a 10 gal. nutrient batch as the spray will be contained in the box itself. I will send Ron pictures as the project is finished. I experimented with several spray heads to find something that would work using a low pressure pump, and finally had to modify a off the shelf head to work. I can adjust the spray to any shape I want using a Rio 600 pump. I have a design in mind that I can connect 5 of these trays together and have 1 tank feeding all 5. The system will be 10 ft. long and 3 feet wide.

Finally, I have been using the 1 tsp. Miracle grow, 1/4 tsp. Calcium Nitrate, Epson salts/gallon formula. My first fruit I grew got blossom end rot. This indicates a lack of Calcium according to information I've found on the web. Ron, would you suggest that I increase the amount of Calcium nitrate in the solution?

Tailwheel

Yes you should double the Calcium Nitrate and Epson salts for mature plants. The 1/4 teaspoon is for seedlings and young plants.

Date:
07 Jul 2000
Time:
14:54:00

Comments

Random comments and questions:

Regarding using an external pump (PVC Ebb and Flow) and needed to get the system to drain back to the reservoir: If done correctly, a tap can be placed anywhere over the reservoir and a small air/drain hole can be drilled on the bottom side of the PVC. The pump should have more than enough capacity to fill the system 'til the overflow takes over and when the pumps quits, the system will gravity drain through the tap hole back into the reservoir. By changing the size (number?) of holes, drain time can be changed. Too fast? Tape/glue a hole shut, drill a smaller hole. A LOW POINT should be found (or made) to help guide the water, but if you build a little "dam" around the drill hole, you can keep the nutrient from running up and down the horizontal PVC if it becomes a problem.

Regarding larger systems and proper filling, in addition to placing the inlet in the middle of the system, if the ends are also joined, then filling will be aided. In long/large systems, I would think that the distance from inlet to over-flow and from over-flow to one/both ends would effect how (well? fast?) the system fills. Then again, since the system fills for 30 or more minutes at a time, this is probably not a problem. Sigh. I just figured it out.

Ron (or anybody): How long does it take your system to fill ('til the over-flow takes over) and how long does it take to drain?

Each of my systems fill at different rates because of the different size pumps and the number of bottles I am filling. 
So as Einstein said "it's all relative."

Also, on a 30 minute cycle, your roots are fully submerged for at least 30 minutes (more if the system drains slowly). What is the max that will not hurt the plants? (I'm having a hard time finding timers).

If you use grow rocks as your medium they hold a lot of oxygen between waterings so that helps but if you want to be sure your plants are getting plenty of oxygen then put an air stone in your reservoir to come on when your pump does.

I am considering building my own timer (micro microcomputer) which should switch selection of both on and off times -- and cycle continuously. If I get a little more fancy, I could also have it quit cycling at specific times, and/or add other inputs (fluid high, fluid low, etc.). Knowing the fill/drain and max submerged times would help me figure things out.

Build one and I will sell it for you here on HOL. Another member is working on plans on how to build one with parts from Radio Shack.

So far, I've got a Gurgle Garden (which I'm upgrading to an AquaFarm -- http://www.ns.net/~bennu/farmplan.html -- awesome directions) and a simple bubbler (lost the URL, but it was to a "counter-culture" page and one pic showed a root mass as big as the 5-gallon container!) I'm using Miracle Grow but will probably spring for some GH nutrient (MaxiGro?) Any comments?

P.S. Anybody tried growing fruit w/ these guys? Specifically, strawberries or melons? I read somewhere that attempts at growing blueberries hydroponicly weren't practical due to the type of plant (woody shrub? perennial?) the blueberry is. I just want to use these guys for something nifty so I can brag to my YF.

Marc Mailto:marcus_anarcus@geocities.com

Date:
08 Jul 2000
Time:
22:22:18

Comments

ron i want to thank you for the info that i got from your web page i am the fellow that glued my cups to the bottom of the bottles and that was the rong thang to do i changed like you said and every thang is doing grate keep up the good work. claude ps you never get to old to learn i am 72 and you taught me so thank again

Date:
09 Jul 2000
Time:
10:09:35

Comments

Hi Ron, What do you suggest to put in the bottom of the one gallon system, to keep the roots from plugging up the drain hole.---thank you--luke

I use a piece of 40 % nylon shade cloth because I have so much of it. You can use any kind of screen that will last for awhile.

Date:
09 Jul 2000
Time:
11:54:46

Comments

To Anybody out there in hydro-cyberland! Has anyone herd, or talk to Ron Kleiman lately, or know of his whereabouts, maybe an e-mail address. I sure cant find him.

Rey

Here is some more clues. He was from Washington State. Maybe Seattle. He worked for Boeing, I think. 
I would have more but that was years ago and about 4 computer crashes ago. 

Date:
09 Jul 2000
Time:
15:18:16

Comments

Hey, Ron; When taking cuttings (clones) from a flowering plant, do I need to put something on the "wound" on the mother? I plan to use Olivia's cloning gel, and take the clones hydro, once they are strong enough to transplant from a hummus/vermiculite/perlite mix. What do you recommend as nutrient solution strength for developing clones during the period between cutting and transplanting into hydro system?, -and- Do I need to treat the wound on the mother?

No and about 600 ppm.




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