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Question and Answer Page 56

Subjects

mixture for seedling, and for mature; how fast of a drop in pH can the plants take. grow tomatoes using a light source
15 feet but yielded poorly winter greenhouse. what should the dimensions of the reservoir be?
tube in my co2, best time to prune Do I need to change the nutrient supplement
"Foliar feeding" what size ends do you use in watering of the plants meter that can measure the moisture content in the medium
someone on ebay is selling your *free* hydro garden plans. how far from the plants should i have my lighting fixture. can gray pvc electrical conduit be used.
Date:
25 Sep 2000
Time:
18:27:39

Comments

Even though rockwool cubes seem saturated, is there still ample oxygen for roots?

They claim that it does but I have had much better results with grow rocks. 
I will test different mediums and solutions and post the data soon.

Date:
25 Sep 2000
Time:
19:17:08

Comments

Ok I've read all the letters to date [anybody else with a question should do the same, the repetition is mind numbing]
so a few questions?

When you gave your miracle gro formula you gave a mixture for seedling, and for mature; but then you gave ppm for 3 stages of veg + flowering. Is the first just a shorthand for those mixing there own without an expensive meter for PPM or shouldn't the mixture change with the 3 stages of veg + flowering?

So I know it's not Calcium Chloride it's Calcium Nitrate. I have a book Beginning Hydroponics by Richard E. Nicholls 1977, that suggests Calcium Sulphate which is what gypsum and Plaster of Paris are made of. Household item [plaster of paris] anyone know why I can't/shouldn't use it. It's very soluble does it precipitate out easily?

Just curious why is there never any discussions about NPK. Is it just understood that whatever formula you use these three are in over abundance?
Thanks
P.S. The site is much better than a lame book from 1977!

The formula for seedling and mature plants is from a commercial mix of Fertilizer (Miracle-gro), Calcium Nitrate, and  Magnesium Sulfate.
The ppm discussions were in reference to liquid hydroponic solution formulated for hydro like General Hydroponics or Formula One.
 I am using the commercial mix with the tomato plants I am growing now.
Never heard the plaster of paris thing.

Date:
25 Sep 2000
Time:
19:46:04

Comments

Hi Ron, I'm brand spanking new to this game. I live on a 40foot boat, currently in Malaysia. I'm planning a trip off shore for a while (about 6months) and would like to be able to get fresh veggies and herbs to cover the period...ie "grow as you go "! What do I do to get started? Obviously I have very limited space , also its not easy to get stuff here or in Thailand, so it'll have to be "do it yourselfable"

Barbara Jones S/Y Cuppateea, Langkawi, Malaysia

Date:
25 Sep 2000
Time:
19:51:07

Comments

many, many years ago when i was young and indestructible i grew many crops using industrial high-bay HID fixtures. they are much cheaper than commercially available "grow" lights and work just as well. the reflectors supplied with these types of fixtures are not very good for plants however. using 1000 watt halide and sodium vertical units, i made my own 6-foot round reflectors out of 4 wedges of sheet aluminum from boeing surplus (a favorite shopping spot here in western washington for all sorts of goodies) i had thought about remote-mounting the ballast boxes but i had enough headroom at the time so i ran the lights in their as-designed configuration and they worked perfectly, at about a fifth the cost of a commercially available lighting system. these lights are usually intended to light large areas for at least five years or so (my halides lasted for 2 years, i never wore out the sodiums. :) i recommend them highly.

marty in seattle-

Date:
27 Sep 2000
Time:
09:50:11

Comments

Ron,
I did and indoor tomato which reached 15 feet but yielded poorly so i switched to coleus. The problem is that the new growth on a solid scarlet plant is quite pale. Any info on what nutrient i need to add to regain color?
archie demarest - boulder colorado.

I lean more toward the engineering side of building systems than how to grow plants in them. If you only new how bad I abuse my plants by not controlling the ph or feeding them strait water because I don't have time to mix up some fertilizer.
I can't kill a plant if I wanted to and the only reason I can think of is I build good gardens.
 
I promise myself to do a better job this season of keeping the right mix.   

Date:
27 Sep 2000
Time:
13:37:19

Comments

Thoughts and comments welcome- regarding possibility of raising salad greens in a terrarium for personal consumption.
These veggies require no fruiting in their growth cycle. In essence, I want simply to extend the process of sprouting. For one thing, the devises being sold for this process simply don't' work, or at least, they don't work well enough for me. Does the basic idea have merit? Any experience to share with me?
Regards/Bill

Date:
28 Sep 2000
Time:
01:44:45

Comments

Ron, If i plan to tube in my co2, won't the fan on my plants blow the co2 away from them? I'm gonna make it with via fermentation. Where should I position my fan? Thanks, - wanting the gas

That is always a problem. You need to make the room as air tight as possible, then it wont mater if it blows around.
co2 is heavier than air so it will eventually float to the floor so the fan will blow it around so the plants will have a better chance of utilizing it.

Date:
28 Sep 2000
Time:
01:49:46

Comments

Can I grow Ginger by hydroponics method on commercial basis

I loved her on Gilligan's Island.

Date:
28 Sep 2000
Time:
02:12:15

Comments

Ron, I have the 11-plant set up, i am using the 3-part flora series for nutrients, running 2-MH 400w for lights, and need a little info on "Foliar feeding"-not sure on the spelling. Anyway-using a spray bottle and misting the plants. Would this help/hurt anything? How often? If i do this should I use the same mixture as I do for my tank, or would you suggest a different mix. I read somewhere that using 1 tsp baking soda mixed with a gal. of water would be good for this because it would discourage fungus growth on my plants. What do ya think? Wantin to mist a bit.

Foliar feeding is very good for plants. Only use at the proper mix that it says on the bottle. I wouldn't use any home made mixes because you could burn them up but 1 tsp of baking soda sounds OK. Let us know if it works because fungus and mold is a big problem for indoor growers. 
Also don't mist with your lights on; for obvious reasons. 

Date:
28 Sep 2000
Time:
06:37:45

Comments

can ginger grown by Hydroponics on commercial basis if yes may I have the relevant information

no

Date:
28 Sep 2000
Time:
13:56:04

Comments

One of the hottest products to ever hit the Hydroponic gardening stores in British Columbia is now available throughout North America. Go to the following website and if you are interested in this product please email us at ssi@island.net and we can tell you more. http://sneakyboyproductions.com/bigredshredder/

Date:
28 Sep 2000
Time:
15:52:52

Comments

Just thought that you would like to know that someone on ebay is selling your *free* hydro garden plans. And also using your images. Just thought you might like to care.

I will contact the internet police immediately. 

Date:
30 Sep 2000
Time:
06:27:40

Comments

Hi I am doing an independent research project on hydroponics and i need a lot of background information. Do you know of any good online resources? Norah

Date:
01 Oct 2000
Time:
23:21:46

Comments

Ron, when adjusting my pH level, how fast of a drop in pH can the plants take. On my pH down, the bottle suggests slight increments of .5 within a 24hr period. (but I think that is when dealing with fish). What if my pH is way out of whack and is in need of a dramatic change right now? Say it is over 7 and needs to get down to 6. How fast can this change take place. I want to do it immediately.--Please help, and thank you.--Brigin down the pH.

Change it till you get it right. Just do it in small increments to keep from yo-yoing up and down. It is a good idea to check it again a few hours later after it is well mixed. 

Date:
02 Oct 2000
Time:
22:23:43

Comments

how do you prep the ph in rockwool slabs on an ebb and flo system ?

Date:
03 Oct 2000
Time:
08:43:33

Comments

what kind of pump do you suggest for the 11 plant system?

Date:
03 Oct 2000
Time:
10:48:57

Comments

Reference to the question about which pump to use. Check page 4.

Date:
04 Oct 2000
Time:
05:49:37

Comments

I'm not sure I understand the set up in side the 2 litter bottles. could you give a small run through of the set up using grow rocks and perlite?

Date:
04 Oct 2000
Time:
17:06:17

Comments

hey ron,george in crescent city fl.this will be my first year with a winter greenhouse.will be growing various hot peppers,tomatoes,& some herbs using the drip system in a 12 x 24 greenhouse.i am trying to estimate how much heat i will need to get thru the winter.books say 75 degrees is the optium temp.should i try to maintain this temp 24 a day or just during the nite & exceptionally cold daytime temps.don't want to under or over estimate the system.tia,george

75 degrees is strictly for indoor growing. Green house growing is a whole new ball game. The ideal system for hydroponic growing would be a covered greenhouse with plastic sides that could be rolled up as soon as the sun started to heat things up. Shade cloth also helps when it gets too hot and also helps to keep the bugs out.
I hope to have my greenhouse roof on before the first frost or all the pictures of plants that you see in HydroRon Live will be dead.

Date:
04 Oct 2000
Time:
22:17:07

Comments

i have a very leafy strain when is the best time to prune in the morning night never?

Whenever

Date:
04 Oct 2000
Time:
23:00:49

Comments

If nutrient freezes, is there any reason why it still couldn't be used?

No.

Date:
05 Oct 2000
Time:
10:04:37

Comments

I LOVE HYDROPONOCS

me too

Date:
05 Oct 2000
Time:
10:51:52

Comments

I am interested in making a hanging version in my classroom. How would I even go about this???

Chris

Try the vertical garden.

Date:
05 Oct 2000
Time:
11:05:24

Comments

my question is what size ends do you use in watering of the plants. how much water dripping into pots

I only use gph drip ends to restrict the flow slightly on the first few plant sites because the water flow is stronger closer to the pump. . I'd just use one-quarter inch plastic tubing. the water just flows 15 minutes on 15 off.

Date:
05 Oct 2000
Time:
20:25:13

Comments

hi, i did a search on this already, but i didnt find anything that helped me out. how far from the plants should i have my lighting fixture. right now it is about 2ft away, but im wondering what is optimal. thanks campy

2 ft. is fine With glass in your hood and ventilation you could go closer.

Date:
06 Oct 2000
Time:
02:26:02

Comments

Attn: Archie Demarest in Boulder

Re: Plant color

I had a chat with a nursery man the other day about fertilizers. He mentioned that the addition of epson salts brings out color in the plants. Greens are greener, reds are redder, etc. Most fertilizers have in the neighborhood of 3 to 3-1/2% epson salts added.

Tailwheel

you can also soak your feet in it

Date:
06 Oct 2000
Time:
12:54:18

Comments

I have a basement that gets no sunlight. Can I efficiently grow tomatoes using a light source and hydroponics? Great site and I'm looking forward to learning from all yall.

it if you use HID lights you can. but don't try to grow with florescent lights.

Date:
06 Oct 2000
Time:
18:57:04

Comments

RE: 11 plant garden what should the dimensions of the reservoir be? What would I do if I want to build for the 11 plant garden but for less plants? how cna i addapt the plans? thanks

It really doesn't matter want this size of your reservoir is. The garden doesn't even really need to sit on top of the garden as long as the pump and overflow hoses are long enough from the garden to the reservoir.

Date:
07 Oct 2000
Time:
07:10:46

Comments

let your imagination run wild :)

recently i built a 4-plant, X-shaped garden. it's very compact, sits on top of a 3-1/2 gal bucket. i used 1/2" pvc, but used 1" to 1/2" reducing ells for the bottles so they screw on just like the 11-plant. a cross is used in the center, and another cross is used on one of the legs as the overflow and fill/drain connection. i used a mini jet 404 pump ($12 at the local aquarium store) on this one and it works great, fills the bottles in about 3-4 minutes. it could almost be turned into a hanging garden, but it weighs over 30 pounds full of water and grow rocks....

Date:
07 Oct 2000
Time:
16:38:17

Comments

How can I grow potatoes in hydroponics?

Roy in UK

I'm going to try. I will let you know how it goes.

Date:
08 Oct 2000
Time:
05:24:52

Comments

Frozen nutrient

Yes you can still use it, but you must thaw it out first. Pumping ice is difficult at best.

Date:
08 Oct 2000
Time:
20:00:57

Comments

Ok, I hope this doesn't seem like a dinky question compared to all of the other "high-tech", and "big-word" questions. So,: I just started the 11 Plant Garden system, and I am growing tomato plants. My question is: Do I need to change the nutrient supplement or the nutrient substance itself, when the plants get larger? -amanda-

you need to increase the strength of your solution as your plants mature. But if you are using a two part "Grow and Bloom" nutrients then yes you would be changing the supplements as you went from one to the other. You would also be adding even more supplements if your mix called for adding micro nutrients to your solution. 

Date:
09 Oct 2000
Time:
07:20:43

Comments

Is there a meter or prob that can measure the moisture content in the medium used for hydroponics? I am looking into growing tomatos using the bag technique.

Thanks Joe

Date:
11 Oct 2000
Time:
11:32:18

Comments

Suggestion for the person looking for a moisture meter. Look at foothill-hydroponic.com. They have one listed but it doesn't give a description or picture. I have never needed one and am not sure why one would be needed, but if I'm missing something, someone please let me know.

Date:
09 Oct 2000
Time:
12:00:16

Comments

I have a question on the 11 plant system. The pump comes on and fills the growing media area. After the pump shuts off I assume the fluid in the media (bottles) slowly drains back down through the pump. So you end up with a flooded bed and then damp media bed cycle. Am I looking at this correctly?

Yes you are.

Date:
09 Oct 2000
Time:
19:38:58

Comments

I recently built a pvc nft system using lengths of gray pvc electrical conduit. Is this the same as the white stuff, and/or does it contain anything harmful to plants?

No. It is even better because it is more UL protected than white pvc.




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