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Question and Answer Page 67

Subjects

Do you grow it in soil for a few weeks? where to get all those 2-liter bottles. a basic drain/flood system
correct amount of fertilizer per gallon doesn't have access to electricity flowers are falling off.
48" shop light fluorescent add the nutrient solution to the water? most profitable plant
can I have a constant flow where does the seeds go? what is bad about hydroponics?
How do you prune peppers Is my solution too mild ? can you grow sprouts, herbs and lettuce on a boat ?

Date:
17 Mar 2001
Time:
14:54:30

Comments

GROW ROCKS= ARE LAVA ROCKS THE SAME AS GROW ROCKS AND WERE CAN I BUY THEM LOCAL I'M IN SEATTLE, WA.

Look in the Seattle phone book under Garden Supply Stores and you will find a half dozen places to buy grow rocks and they are different than lava rocks.

Date:
17 Mar 2001
Time:
18:07:54
 

Comments

How do you start a seedling so it can be put into a hydro-bucket/basket?

Do you grow it in soil for a few weeks?

yes

Date:
17 Mar 2001
Time:
18:34:28

Comments

HI Ron: I'm a novice to hydroponics. I built already my 11 plants pvc system. I have a fertilizer called: DYNA-GRO and the formula on the label reads: 7-9-5. and also says that it contains 11 trace elements (don't know what that means) but it has no indication about the correct amount of fertilizer per gallon for, say, tomatoes or peppers. I'm assuming that 1/2 tsp of fertilizer for a gallon would be enough to start. Do you know the brand? do you know the correct amount per gallon? PLEASE !!!HELP!!!. CARLOS ESPINOZA PLANTATION FL.

That's what my guess would be. 1/2 teaspoon is about standard for young plants then I would increase that to a full teaspoon as they mature. Trace elements are needed along with N-P-K for healthy plant growth.

Date:
18 Mar 2001
Time:
15:30:10

Comments

How does the temperature of the water in a hydroponic plant effect root growth?

I don't know

Date:
18 Mar 2001
Time:
17:24:31

Comments

hey im new to this in my little grow room and i mean little, i have my plants under a 48" shop light fluorescent with 2 fluorescent lights on them, one is a plant/aquarium light the other is a sun simulator full spectrum, they seem to be growing well with them however my question is if i leave the lights on 24 hours a day, with this speed up there growth or kill them, i thought a plant was like a system, give it twice the light twice the water twice the food and twice the work that they would get fully grown in half the time. or am i just a plant murderer...

Even if you leave those shop lights on longer than 24/ 7 you can't grow much more than starter plants. Fluorescents are only useful for the first two weeks of plant life. 

Date:
19 Mar 2001
Time:
07:53:46

Comments

RE: 24/7 lights

The theory seems to make sense, but I've read that all plants require some rest period for them to fully take advantage and process the chloroform that is produced by the lights. I know people that leave the lights on 24/7 during the growth stage and only shorten the "days" when it's time to bloom.

Just my $.02

Erik me@erikhoover.net

Date:
19 Mar 2001
Time:
07:55:24

Comments

Hello! I'm reading a very good book on growing tomatoes and it has a blurb about pruning the roots. It says it causes the plant to go into stress mode and produce more fruit. Anyone tried this? Thinking of trying it out on a test plant to see if it can turn a under-producer into a worthwhile plant. Keep on growing!

Erik me@erikhoover.net

Date:
19 Mar 2001
Time:
09:50:10

Comments

Ron, first off GREAT SITE! I cant believe I've been working with hydroponics for ten years and haven't searched out this place before. Q- I've always used the same old drab system, double buckets an hydrocorn with a drip and just need a change. The system Im going to is 4" PVC, with 4" mesh pots inserted into precut holes in the pipe. Now... can I have a constant flow just running over the roots throughout the lighting cycle or would I be better off with a timed feeding? Theoretically I would feed in one end and drain out the other with the roots suspended into the solution. I looked around the site for the answer but didn't see this discussed, if it's staring me in the face somewhere (probably is) my apologies. Thanks in advance

That is just a form of NFT growing. Yes the water has to flow continuously.

Date:
20 Mar 2001
Time:
04:00:31

Comments

Re: GREAT SITE

Better take another look at your design. I believe that a 3" net pot is about the largest you will be able to use in a 4" pipe. For a 4" net pot, 6" pipe is more like it.

Tailwhe

Date:
19 Mar 2001
Time:
16:09:47

Comments

What are the best books to get a complete novice/idiot into hydroponic gardening. I want to grow peppers if that makes a diff. TIA

Date:
20 Mar 2001
Time:
04:08:37

Comments

RE: Novice/idiot pepper grower

You don't need a book to read to get started. Just do it. All the information you need is right here at this website.

I would suggest that you can use the 11 plant system for peppers, but you should use a 32 oz cup, grow rocks, and trim the 2 liter bottle a little taller for the larger cup. This should give you enough root room for pepper plants. Flood and drain every 15 minutes.

Tailwheel

Date:
20 Mar 2001
Time:
14:17:04

Comments

How do you prune peppers grown hydroponically? I need help please.

You clip any new flower clusters that form after the first few peppers start growing. The key is to let the fruit that's left to grow to the same size at harvest. 

Date:
21 Mar 2001
Time:
03:39:47

Comments

Tailwheel- :-0 Thanks for the heads up, I assumed a 4" pot would taper down to 3" at the bottom allowing a 3 1/2" opening to accomodate 1/2-3/4 of the total length of the pot. I'll burn that bridge when I get to it but know (now) to double check the sizes. Thanks

Date:
21 Mar 2001
Time:
03:49:10

Comments

Attn: Pepper Pruner

I've never heard of anyone pruning their vegetables, unless you're talking about trimming the roots of some plants grown hydroponically in an ebb & flow system.

What are you talking about?

Date:
21 Mar 2001
Time:
22:51:16

Comments

Ron, haven't been to your site in a while so this idea might have been posted a while ago. I remember people wondering where to get all those empty 2-liter bottles. Well it may be a bit humiliating but I found a gazillion of them in my city's local recycling bins. Just try to ignore the funny looks you get. Besides your sort of recycling anyways right?

I have been known to climb into bins and freak people out when they are tossing bottle in and I am tossing them out. I even had a University Professor with a long stick and nail going through bins collecting bottles for his gardens.

Date:
24 Mar 2001
Time:
21:09:55

Comments

Misc Comments:

To the person who doesn't have access to electricity... I think you mean, to 120 V AC (like from the power company) -- hey, most folks in California are in the same boat (grin).

You have a couple of options for pumping water. One is not to hard and will let you use standard Rio pumps: Get a marine battery or deep-cycle batter (Wal-Mart, about $36) and run a power inverter ($30, if you shop) from it. The standard ($36) battery has about 1380 watt-hours energy (115 AH * 12 v). The converter is _supposed_ to be about 90% efficient, so that leaves you about 1242 WH. If you use the Rio 180 (rated at 3.4 W for about 45 gph at 2 foot head) you can run it for 400 hours continuous before needing to recharge the battery (remember, DEEP cycle or marine -- this kind of discharge will ruin an automobile battery). Seeing as you don't need to run it CONTINUOUSLY, you can get a longer time between charges. Suppose you use a timer and set it to do 10 minutes every 1/2 hour... (20 min/ 60 min), that's three times the amount of time... 1200 hours to max discharge. About 50 days. Personally, I'd do it much less -- how about once a month, give the battery a good charge. Heck, get two batteries and charge one while it rides around in the trunk of your car... once a month, swap'em.

Even easier -- the heck w/ the inverter, get a marine bilge pump. Get the smallest on you can find, as the larger ones will pump a LOT of water. Figure it this way... if you've got a multi thousand dollar boat at the dock, if there's ANY water building up in the bilge, you want it out ASAP. Anyway, if you get a 12v marine bilge pump, you run it directly. All you need to add is the timer.

If you've got more $$ than I do, you can charge your battery where it sits... The 3.4 W pump, run for 10 minutes every 30 minutes, will only use 13-14 watts per 12 hour day (you don't have to run the pump during the dark, accord to the stuff I've read here). You only have to replenish those 14 watts to the battery each day. ASSuME 6 hours of good strong light a day, you only need about 2 and a half watts at 13.8 volts, or 175 milliamps to fully charge the batt. You can get some great solar battery chargers that will more than top that for not much $ (current prices are about $7/watt for solar cells). Heck, you can do even better with a stack of cheap surplus NiCd batteries to run the pump w/ the solar battery charger to recharge them. Wow, I think I'm on (to) something here... too much caffiene, I think. Sorry, I got a little carried away. Suffice it to say, if you've got enough sunlight to grow yer plants, you've also got enough to power pumps to circulate your nutrient. (I think I figured out my summer project... grin).

To the person who was talking about the "patio container system" (box), filled w/ soil (earth), with the reservoir in the bottom... it's call an "Earthbox" and there are a ton of pages that talk about it. OK, maybe only 50 pounds of pages. It's an over-priced system, meant for those who have no interest (or confidence) in experimenting. It's a very simple system -- water reservoir in the bottom, media (soil) area on top, and the two meet through capillary action where two columns of the media (soil) descend into the reservoir. From what I've read, you may have to replenish the reservoir a couple of time each WEEK (not each day) in HOT weather... in normal wx? Who knows. If you're lazy (I am), You'd hook up a hose and a float-valve in the reservoir, and let it replenish itself when it gets low. Because fertilizer is added directly to the media (in a "band"), you don't mess with mixing nutrients. Personally, I think that their way is probably not as good as good old hydroponics -- nutes in the fluids, nothing in the media -- but then, I'm not selling an over-priced system to old folks who don't want to build stuff. I'm all FOR building stuff (hm... where did I put those solar cells?)

You could build a similar system for about $10, or, you could pay $30 (and about $7 shipping) to buy one. The earthbox site tells you everything you need to know about it, including their "magic" "fertilizer band" -- it is not a hydroponics system, although it could be converted into one easily. For more info, read the container gardening forum at Garden Web... http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/contain/

Hey, they also have a hydro forum, but there's better info here, by far. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/hydro/

Luck, folks

Date:
27 Mar 2001
Time:
10:25:24

Comments

I want to become hydroponically competent. Do you have a good reference for the hydrotyro?
I would like to start a small business raising plants and selling (retail and wholesale when I become efficient enough).
Lots of energy, but spinning wheels!!!
Rick D. rykpa@yahoo.com

Date:
28 Mar 2001
Time:
06:11:49

Comments

Hi, I was wondering if you had a good recipe for hydroponic nutrients, I live in an area that is far from modern civilization but I have access to just about any kind of manure you can think of, even elephant. but I'm nowhere close to any grow shops and having them shipped is out of the question. I sure would appreciate any help, thanx, Tim

Date:
28 Mar 2001
Time:
15:10:58

Comments

How are you supposed to add the nutrient solution to the water?? Is there a certain way?

Just add and mix well. Follow directions on the bottle or box.

Date:
28 Mar 2001
Time:
18:47:45

Comments

what is hydroponics and how is it similar and different from soil growing

Date:
28 Mar 2001
Time:
19:09:02

Comments

man i am going to try to go with the 11 plant garden and i need to know where and what the best soil for the seeds

where does the seeds go?

They go in this first. And when they get 3 or 4 inches tall then put the plants in your system.

Date:
28 Mar 2001
Time:
23:08:07

Comments

Ron, Just spent I don't know how many hours reading on your site, MY GOD MAN, HOW MUCH HAVE YOU SPENT ON PVC OVER THE YEARS? Just curious.

Date:
28 Mar 2001
Time:
23:44:08

Comments

yes Ron, how much do you spend on pvc ? do you have a pvc pipe manufacturing plant you not telling us about ? :)

Home Depot and Lowe's should hang my picture in their stores and pray to it every morning when they come to work.

Date:
29 Mar 2001
Time:
00:28:27

Comments

Are there any (second-hand, or flea market) type forums USED GOODS????????

Date:
29 Mar 2001
Time:
01:40:54

Comments

Re: how do you add nutrient to water

you measure it, toss it in, and stir

Date:
29 Mar 2001
Time:
01:43:51

Comments

RE: what is hydroponics and how is it similar and different from soil growing

Hydroponics is the growing of plants in a nutrient solution. There is no soil involved, only an inert medium in most cases.

Date:
29 Mar 2001
Time:
05:50:44

Comments

Hi Ron. I have new chrysanthemum cuttings in a 11-Plant for a week with a mild nutrient solution of GH Flora with 15 ml of each part for 5 gal. The new growths are VERY twisted and deformed. The cuttings are from a chrysanthemum in soil, which has no problems like this !!! Is my solution too mild ? Recently, I've moved and my new house is in a "hard water" zone and my previous was in a "soft water" zone, but I use my "old" soft water nutrients. Can I have a problem with this. Thank you for support.

My guess would be yes to both your question. I really don't know that much about plants. It just seams like I know a lot about plants from the years of pictures I've posted but it's really the hydro systems I build that does the job.
Plus I don't post pictures of  the frankenstein plants that I have grown over the years. Don't want to scare the kids.
I have to go cut down about 30 peppers plants today that are covered in bugs and mold. My motto is if it don't start flourishing fast then jerk it out and toss in the compost pile. Because their are plenty more bedding plants waiting at my local nursery that just can't wait to get their roots out of that nasty dirt and into one of my gardens.

Date:
29 Mar 2001
Time:
12:11:17

Comments

I have a 11 plant garden first time grower everything's growing great, how tall can they get before they go in to flowering stage, how close can they get, can they grow into each other, is space a real problem?

Date:
29 Mar 2001
Time:
17:51:03

Comments

can you grow sprouts, herbs and lettuce on a boat ?

If so how? (using what method ?)

Date:
30 Mar 2001
Time:
00:12:29

Comments

Ron, thinking about coming to Florida soon. Would you be willing to give a "tour" of your layout?

Yes

Date:
30 Mar 2001
Time:
01:43:02

Comments

Does the overflow pipe go back to the supply tank?

Date:
30 Mar 2001
Time:
03:59:34

Comments

RE: Does the overflow pipe go back to the supply tank?

Yep - it sure does

Date:
30 Mar 2001
Time:
04:23:22

Comments

I have a basic drain/flood system with a 270 hps. I'm using Ionic solution and have the light on from 8am to 8pm. I flood 4 times a day. I'm growing peppers (bell and habanero) and tomato plants (indoors). Every night, right before the light goes out and the last flood, the leaves of the plants droop (wilt?). When I get up in the morning they are back to normal (the pump does not flood at night). The plants look very healthy. Why is this happening and is this normal? I can't find any info on the net about this and my hydro book doesn't mention it. Thanks for any ideas you might have! Craig

Date:
30 Mar 2001
Time:
16:17:54

Comments

all you new people learning hydroponics, go threw the pages on this site. learn that way before you ask simple questions, i did. give ron a chance to get to some of us with real grow questions.

Date:
30 Mar 2001
Time:
17:45:09

Comments

craig, try at least once an hour & only long enough to wet the medium. i water every 30 min. i think you are starving your plants. once at midnight keeps everything wet even though photosynthesis cannot take place without light of some sort. george

Date:
31 Mar 2001
Time:
09:55:47

Comments

Thanks George for your suggestions. I really appreciate it. And to the JACKASS with the comments above: I DID GO THROUGH ALL OF THE QUESTIONS (It took over an hour - very informative). I also called the lady at Worms Way (Tampa) and she said that this behavior was normal. I simply wanted a second opinion.

Date:
01 Apr 2001
Time:
08:16:06

Comments

Hi Ron

All my hydro tomatoe plants are picture perfect and have all the flowers on them , but the flowers are falling off. Night time temp is 70 and sometime the day temp gets to 80 to 85. Do you have any ideas ron with whats happening?

Thanx Scott from Canada

I use a product made by Green Light called Tomato Bloom Spray 2. An aid to increase tomato set and in the production of larger crops. It is a natural plant hormone product and works well for me. You can also use it on Peppers, Beans, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Melons, Okra, Strawberries and Grapes.

Date:
01 Apr 2001
Time:
23:42:06

Comments

RE: flowers are falling off.

Your temperature seems to be fine. Is your setup indoors ? You may be having pollination problems. Try using a soft artists brush and gently brush in inside of all your flower. Don't clean the brush between flower or plants.

Date:
02 Apr 2001
Time:
12:42:33

Comments

Does the power head pump come in 240 volts version for Australia/New Zealand usage ?

Pete

no sorry

Date:
03 Apr 2001
Time:
06:06:32

Comments

what is the most profitable plant to grow for profit?

tomatoes

Date:
03 Apr 2001
Time:
07:42:09

Comments

what can you tell me that is bad about hydroponics?

my e-mail is myonlyloveisu@hotmail.com

finding the correct nutrients and chemicals for pH control and the equipment needed like pumps, timers and lights at a decent price. 

Date:
03 Apr 2001
Time:
10:34:28

Comments

can you grow sprouts, herbs and lettuce on a boat ?

If so how? (using what method ?)

You could have 2 or 3 11 plant gardens on a medium sized houseboat. They only take up 5 sq ft.




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