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Question and Answer Page 55

Subjects

simple system hydroponics Christmas tree Starting seeds in Rockwool
Cloning greenhouse where typhoons occur lighting question.
temp. hydroponic crops be grown? special types of seeds what type of bulb should I use?
a nft system how much lumens per sq. ft. 400w MH fixtures for 89 dollars
water doesn't  rise enough big problem with damping off  it could get pretty cold down there.
Date:
12 Sep 2000
Time:
22:00:07

Comments

Re: the bubbler pages...

Like Tailwheel, I'm not into recreational pharmaceuticals or psychoactive gardening, but I did find a related page that REALLY shows how a simple system can give big results:

http://www.overgrow.com/iss2/m_bubbler_1.html

My very first system was a poor-variation on one of the auto-drip designs... aquarium pump into a "T"-fitting under the nutrient fluid level -- as air leaves one side of the "T" and escapes up the INLET of the "T" (leading to above the media), it pulls spits and spurts of the nutrient solution with it. I used perlite for the media, and "off the shelf" liquid ferts for the nutrients. It was miserable. The PH kept going through the roof, killing the roots of anything I plants (nasturium seeds, coleus, some other junk). I bought the parts to make a "proper" system, but gave up and now just have a large coleus sitting in nutrient solution on top of an aquarium bubbler stone. I've gotten so disgusted, I haven't even checked the PH or TDS in a couple of weeks. Sigh.

I am looking for something that I can (now) grow indoors -- as I screwed up my other projects and fall (and winter) is on its way... I'm in Virginia and it DOES get cold up here! I built a cloner that I thought would be good for mints, geraniums, and sages, but I can't get the plants to root.

Marc, in Va

Date:
13 Sep 2000
Time:
06:31:16

Comments

Have you heard of Israel Corporation of Agricultural Applications (I.C.A.A). We are asking proposals from them for developing a controlled greenhouse for commercial use.

juliet

No but their is a lot of hydroponic greenhouses in the mid-east. Something to do with their soil like not any.

Date:
13 Sep 2000
Time:
07:37:46

Comments

Attn: Marc in VA.

Re: Cloning

I'm a long way from being an expert, but what I've gleaned from what I've read about the subject, consider the following:

Ph is one of the most important factors.

The cutting must be positioned with about 1/4 inch sticking out from the bottom of the cup, just above the nutrient. NOT immersed in the solution.

The temperature of the solution should be between 70-75 degrees to insure a blanket of humid air between the top of the solution and the bottom of the tank lid. This may require you to get a immesible fishtank heater.

It may be better to use a planting mixture of equal amounts of peat, vermiculit,perlite to absorb and retain moisture, but still be able to furnish the plant with oxygen.

Once the plant has developed roots, you should be able to transplant into anothe grow media without any problems.

Hang in there, don't give up. I'm already on my third planting this summer and have yet to see any real positive results of my efforts, but I get a kick out of experimenting with the different systems. I'm already thinking about how to setup a greenhouse so I can fool around with the plants this winter.

Tailwheel

Date:
14 Sep 2000
Time:
07:48:09

Comments

at what temp. should hydroponic crops be grown?

75 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for most plants.

Date:
14 Sep 2000
Time:
08:35:37

Comments

ACCORDING TO RESEARCH DOES HYDROPONIC OR GEOPONIC GROW LARGER AND TASTE BETTER

Taste the same but does grow faster than with dirt. That's my research anyways. 

Date:
15 Sep 2000
Time:
04:23:13

Comments

i am a beginner that is using a nft system attempting to grow potato plant.

i built this system myself using a roof pan that is about 2 inches deep 1 foot wide and 6 ft long, filled with perlite. will this be sufficient?

my second question is how thick should my nutrient level be? would 1/25th of an inch be enough? what r your suggestions on this type of plant to make it succeed

please send answer to dignon28@aol.com

any help would be wonderful thank you very much and please excuse any misspellings or punctuation mistakes.

Never tried the roof pan system yet so I can't help you. I did see a story about a university that used that method to grow sweet potatoes.  They grew under black plastic stretched over the roof pans. I will be trying the same method in the future.

Date:
15 Sep 2000
Time:
07:23:42

Comments

What all are you planning for the hydroponics Christmas Tree?

I think some colorful blooming annuals around Christmas time would be nice. 

Date:
15 Sep 2000
Time:
13:08:29

Comments

Parts received. One problem though. The water level when the pump is on doesn't even rise enough to overflow. It only reaches about have way up the 2L bottle. I'm using an 80gph pump with 15gal. resvoir filled about halve way. I guessing it is a result of loss of pressure but since no leaks were found could it be the pump is too small. If so could I drop another 75gal. pump in and use a "T" to connect the two. Please let me know what you think.

J. Wright

Yes that sounds like your problem. You can double up on the pumps. Some pumps are weak so a 120 GPH or up  would be better for the 11 plant garden.

Date:
16 Sep 2000
Time:
06:36:35

Comments

Dear Ron, I realize you mostly do hydro construction on this bulletin, but I need to ask.... I know nothing competes with the sun, but what kind of lumens per sq. ft. would I be looking for if I was going for EXCEPTIONAL results? Granted that all other conditions are optimum. Thanx.

I'll have to look it up.

Date:
17 Sep 2000
Time:
15:37:31

Comments

Howdy Folks! Frequent reader, 3rd time poster.... I have a 6 plant system (outside) that I have put 3 clones in about 4 weeks ago, they are about 14"-16" high, 1 is doing great and the other 2 have suddenly appeared with yellow spots and/or holes in the leaves. I inspected for insects and found 2 types. The first is a little dark colored worm about 1/2 inch long, the other is a tiny green insect that appears to be kicked back at a Sunday buffet. How can I get rid of these unwanted pest without hurting my babies? What should I use, and can I apply it directly to the plants? By the way, these babies will be coming inside in a week to go under 400 watt MH....Any help would be greatly appreciated....Virginia420

Date:
17 Sep 2000
Time:
18:56:58

Comments

Hey Ron, I saw that you were working on a hydroponics Christmas tree and was wondering what plant are you using (pine?) I can't wait to see how it turns out! Mandy

I will finish it way before Christmas and post pictures to show how to build your own.

Date:
18 Sep 2000
Time:
12:38:52

Comments

Would you, please. advice me were I could have hollogen ligting and trucks for the best price. Thank you, Edward. etabac60@excite.com

Date:
18 Sep 2000
Time:
18:18:36

Comments

I'm looking for science project results, Does water w/sugar, w/fertilizer, or plain water work best?.

Date:
18 Sep 2000
Time:
18:59:25

Comments

What cover would you recommend for a greenhouse where typhoons occur regularly. These typhoons have winds that reach 100mph. Someone suggested polycarbonate. I live on an island in the Pacific where humidity is 80% and average temps range from the high 60's to 90's. Thanks about replying to a previous question I asked sometime ago.
juls

I would use polycarbonate over a half circle shaped greenhouse so the wind will have a better chance of passing over if your lucky.

Date:
19 Sep 2000
Time:
04:34:09

Comments

Attn: Juls

Re: Typhoon proof greenhouse

I've been through typhoons many times when I lived in Taiwan and I can tell you that debris and wind will destroy any lightweight structure you attempt to build such as a greenhouse.

Actually, the temperature and humidity you describe are pretty much great for growing outside, just provide a little shade like Ron does in all the pictures shown on this site. Fortunately, you can move a hydro garden and put it in the garage temporarily if a typhoon threatens.

If you make a web search for "AVRDC", you can link to the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center in Taiwan. Their goal is to research growing in hot, humid areas. Their website has been helpful to me. Often when typhoons occur, there is no power to circulate nutrient, and they have developed a non-circulating system so plants can survive easily.

Good Luck,

Tailwheel

Date:
18 Sep 2000
Time:
19:04:11

Comments

I am new to hydroponics. Do you have to use special types of seeds in order for the plant to grow? Or can I just open a pack of tomato seeds that I bought in Kmart? If so, how do I start from seeds?
j

Yes you can use store bought seeds. Start them in vermiculite and then transplant them to hydro when they get about 4" tall.  

Date:
19 Sep 2000
Time:
00:03:55

Comments

Hey Ron, I asked you the other day about indoor lighting and lumens per sq. ft. I guess I meant, what is the absolute point of diminished returns with regards to the lumens used by a (light-loving!) plant. Given that all other growth factors are optimum like co2,food,etc. It's just hypothetical anyways, I dont have the $$$$$$ for a dozen 1500 watters! Realistically though, I think like 100-125watts per ft. would have fairly good results. Sorry to babble, thanx for your time and a kick-ass website!

Maybe this will help. Picture 1 or the hole page. (193 KB)

Date:
19 Sep 2000
Time:
04:56:53

Comments

Attn: j

Re: Growing Seedlings

I've had good luck using seeds bought from any nursery or other store. In fact, I'm sprouting old seeds I've had in the garage for 5-6 years.

Just wet a paper towel, then wring it out to where it's moist, (not too dry) then spread the towel out flat and scatter a few seeds in the middle. Loosely fold the towel over the seeds making an envelope that will fit into a plastic sandwich bag. Insert the envelope into a bag, seal it, and put the bag in a warm place where it can remain at any temperature over 72 degrees. Maybe on top of your water heater is one place.

After 3 days, hold the bag up to the light and you can see through it. If any sprouts develop, you will see them clearly. If no sprouts are seen, then check them daily until they appear. I then transplant the sprouted seeds into any small container using Scotts seedling mix. (bought at any home center) and water them until the second set of true leaves appear. Then transplant them into your hydro garden.

Tailwheel

Date:
19 Sep 2000
Time:
05:14:47

Comments

Attn: Bill S. in California

If you still read this forum, please contact me by email. tailwheel@asia.com I just finished a small garden that's working well with tomatoes in direct sunlight.

Tailwheel

Date:
19 Sep 2000
Time:
17:41:02

Comments

this question goes out to ron, tailwheel,or anyone else who wishes to reply. i had a big problem last year with damping off disease starting seeds in soil. i am going to try small rockwool cubes this year. is there any precautions i need to know about? i built a small ebb & flow system for the seeds. can i still have the damping off problem by keeping the rockwool too wet? this is my first year at this hydro greenhouse project. i am growing various types of hot peppers & tomatoes in n. florida. TIA, george

Date:
19 Sep 2000
Time:
19:51:37

Comments

George, I had problems with root rot using rockwool. If you decide to go that way make sure your cycle is designed to let the rockwool dry out some. Watch the pH too. Rockwool does have some pH stability problems too. There are some new growing medias (like rockwool) that are better. I'll see if I can track down a name later.

CM

Date:
20 Sep 2000
Time:
03:47:52

Comments

Attn: George in FL

Re: Starting seeds in Rockwool

I tried one of the small rockwool seed starting kits bought from my local hydro shop without success. The seeds sprouted, but there was so much moisture retained by the rockwool that the roots rotted. I did'nt add water after planting the seeds, just left the clear plastic cover over the rockwool slab and let it do what it's supposed to. I wound up trashing it and now just use the method outlined above in my answer to j.

I've tried nursery plants, but I feel that because they are mass produced, little attention is paid to disease. I seem to have more trouble with molds and other problems in my gardens, but they do OK in the ground. My homegrown seeds seem to be more disease free.

In reference to pepper seeds, I've had a lot of trouble getting them started. For some reason they just seem to be more demanding in getting them to sprout and even then, when I put the sprouts in starting mix or seed mix, they grow slowly. Tomatoes are no problem, if you don't stand out of the way they will knock you down in their haste to grow.

I'm in So. Calif. and the conditions here are very hot and dry. Maybe Ron has better answers for you cause he is in FL and has more experience with the conditions there.

In any event, if you try rockwool starting, I'd like to hear your results and methods.

Tailwheel

Date:
20 Sep 2000
Time:
10:59:17

Comments

George,

I've been sprouting my pepper seeds in seedling mix (from the garden supply store). I've have great luck doing it this way. I use a 72 seedling tray for a 10x20 flat. Moisten the mix and follow the directions on the seed envelope. I'm pretty close to 100% germination and 100% to vegetable stage. I place the flat under flourescent light and transplant into hydro (ebb&flow, NFT, or aeroponic) after second set of leaves. So far, I have had no disease problems at all.

CM

BTW, I've had great luck with ebb&flow and NFT (nothing easier than NFT). But my peppers grown aeroponically have outgrown all other methods (nearly double the speed of ebb&flow).

Date:
19 Sep 2000
Time:
21:33:17

Comments

Ron, New grower here, lighting question. I am going to be using the 11 plant system, basically 4 1/2' x 4 1/2' enclosure-topless for the lighting. i have 1- 150w hps light and 2-400w MH lights. Do I need this much lighting?-will it help my yield if I use it all? I want as much product as possible from my plants. Does the amount of light add to yield? Basically- are the two MH better than using just one of them? And these are the types of MH lights used in factories and industry. Since I am leaving it "topless" should I also use a fan? It will be in a basement where it can get pretty cold if the temp. gets low. How much light, what about the heat? Please help. phil.

That is a lot of light for that space but you can't have to much light especially when compared to the sun. If you had a two arm mover then I would use the HPS and 1 MH. You want to mimic outdoors as much as you can when you try to grow indoors. That means temperature around 75 - 80 degrees and add a fan for the wind because it helps to strengthen the plant stems. 

Date:
21 Sep 2000
Time:
04:39:15

Comments

Attn: CM

Re: Peppers in aeroponics

How about a description of your aeroponic setup. Pump brand, size, and model. Tank size, media used, nutrient used, etc. Maybe a web page pointing to something similar.

Tailwheel

Date:
23 Sep 2000
Time:
06:41:25

Comments

Hi Folks, I recently bought a used 400 watt metal halide grow system that did not come with the bulb, however, written on the reflector it states to use only "M59 type bulb". I have seen several types of M59 bulbs, some are vertical, some have more numbers and letters located after the M59 on the box. This is a horizontal reflector with a mogul base, what type of bulb should I use? Does it have to be made for burning horizontal or can I use the standard vertical burning bulb? Somewhat confused, any help would be gratefully appreciated. Virginia420

Date:
24 Sep 2000
Time:
11:42:16

Comments

Well Virginia420 Some bulbs are universal. If you happen to get the wrong bulb, as long as its 400 watt metal halide, the effect will only be a shortened lifespan on the bulb. Of Course metal halides only last about a year, when they are right so....I would try to find a horizontal or universal.

Bulbs are expensive the best place i have found to get them is off Ebay, sometime they are amazing bulb deals. I found this vendor through ebay, just email info@quickgrow.com. I know there 1000 watt bulbs are like 42 bucks, so there 400 gotta be cheap. But if you are willing to wait then just check ebay every day. Just don't get it sent to your grow address...Better safe than sorry.

Sorry for clogging up the board but I think its important to say that im suggesting info@quickgrow.com because they are cheap, I have never ordered from them yet, only did pricing research. i plan to order from them though.

Giga-Funk

Date:
24 Sep 2000
Time:
23:33:40

Comments

Ron, here is some helpful info. www.grainger.com has a sale going on through Oct. I recently purchased two 400w MH fixtures for 89-yes 89 dollars a piece. They also have their bulbs on sale for 18.95. The fixtures came with instructions on how to remove the ballast for a remote option. I ran a twelve foot piece of wire to my ballast, and the transformer and housing sit outside of my grow space. Great to reduce heat! Basically I got two 400 watt Metal Halide fixtures with remote ballasts (Bulbs included) along with reflectors, for $228.47 (that included tax)!! What a deal. Others should take advantage of this (unless your not into saving money). www.grainger.com their called hi-bay fixtures--BDP

I have been using Graingers supply stores for years and I didn't even know they sold lights.

Date:
24 Sep 2000
Time:
23:43:30

Comments

Ron, I am using the 11-plant sys, in my basement. I have no problems during the veg. Stage, but when I plan on going 12-12 for flowering it could get pretty cold down there. My house water pipes never freeze even in the coldest of winter, but it still probably gets down to the 40's. What do I do for heat-small heater? Do I place it inside my grow area? How will low temp. affect my plants? What about the temp. of my reservoir? How do I run my heater along with my lights and not get too much heat? It will be o.k. during the 12 hrs off, but I am worried when the lights will be on.. 6'x 6'x 6' 2-400w MH, 175 HPS will be added just before flowering stage. Please help me. - "Cold in them thare basements" 

Those new Ceramic heaters are safe to use. Just make sure it has a thermostat and set it to about 65 degrees. If your reservoir is outside your room then you should use a reservoir heater if it gets to cold.




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