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Question and Answer Page 81

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Subjects

wondering if the only source of lighting is HID grow potatoes hydroponically? transplant your germinated seeds
water problems, lower plants that are hitting the ceiling? light cycle for proper flowering.
you supposed to add nutrient to the solution? what kind of timer start out growing lettuce.
baking soda instead adjustable overflow pipe best watering routine?
How long between waterings a submersible pump in the gurgle system tried to grow a avocado tree
Date:
26 Nov 2001
Time:
11:01:15

Comments

Spinach?

yuk!

Date:
26 Nov 2001
Time:
15:00:50

Comments

Hello , I am a newbie at horticulture and very interested hydro gardening. Q: I am building the 11 plant set-up , I have a good external pump ,115v ,magnetic coupling impeller, unsure of the flow rate tho,1" inlet port 1/2" outlet, would over kill be possible, too much flow in the system? also does the system drain back thru the pump at the end of the cycle to drain the system completely or maintain some kind of level ? I am not clear on the watering cycle,soo much to read. Q. Thinking of building a chamber on the discharge side of the pump with an air stone inside to airate the flow during the watering cycle only , my concern is if I airate the resivoir it could possibly cause the pump to cavitate reducing pump flow and also to help reduce dissipation of nutrients with all the bubbling going on full time in the res. may also help maintain temperature . Any thoughts please...

You can't have to much bubbling in your system. And yes the water does have to drain back through the pump until the next watering cycle about every 20 minutes or so. An external pump could be a problem if it wouldn't let the water in the garden drain back to the reservoir every time.

Date:
26 Nov 2001
Time:
18:57:13

Comments

Hey Ron, love your site! I got up to page 50 of the bulletin board archives and didn't see my question answered so here goes. I am new to this and was wondering if the only source of lighting is HID, will plants still grow, or do they need some sunlight? I am assuming they will grow with HID only, but want to know for sure before I go too far. I live in a condo and the only space I have available is the basement. Also, I am an electrician by trade and just happen to be doing a project where we are replacing a bunch of HPS and MH high bay fixtures and lucky me, they still work. I've already been given the go ahead to take what I want, so if I can grow with HID only I'm in like Flynn. In one of your posts you commented on finding cheap fixtures. Here is a couple of ideas: Check around with any local warehouses or industrial facilities and try to talk with one of their engineers. They may be doing a lighting upgrade and make you a hell of a deal. Also check with your local electrical contractors. They may be in the middle of such a project. Industrial surplus places are an option likewise. If you strike out everywhere be sure to leave your name and number for any future happenings.

I'm afraid so. Without sunlight or at least indirect sunlight, HID is the only way to go. 
You are on the right track.  I bought 3 - 400 Watt factory MH lights at a flea market for 30 bucks apiece. I took them apart and added a long cord to make the ballast remote. They were 220 volt but being an amateur electrician, no problem.
Just don't forget to buy new bulbs. Just because they still burn don't mean they don't need replacing. Every year for MH and every two years for HPS.
  

Date:
27 Nov 2001
Time:
04:55:51

Comments

To people with water problems, In some areas the tap water is not the best, but a cheap solve to this problem is to buy a Pur Water Filter, and fill up the reservoir from there. This has worked for me.

Date:
27 Nov 2001
Time:
12:41:45

Comments

I used to use a brand of fertilizer called Suncor, but I can't find it now. Does anybody know if it's still made and how to get it?

I'm looking for Nutri-sol myself.

Date:
27 Nov 2001
Time:
21:05:48

Comments

I am doing an assignment on merchandising, displaying and selling hydroponic lettuces. I need information on the nutritional value of lettuces, their use, storage requirements and recipes in which they are used. I also need information on display conditions (temp, lights), how you can tell when they aren't saleable, and what you can do to ensure freshness while on display

If I new all that I'd be growing and selling lettuce myself.

Date:
28 Nov 2001
Time:
15:15:15

Comments

This is likely a pretty stupid question, but I'm in the process of building a garden now, my question is: How often are you supposed to add nutrient to the solution?

Every time you add water to your tank. If you just added water it would dilute your solution to a lower ppm. That's fine too if that is what you want to do.

Date:
30 Nov 2001
Time:
09:41:42

Comments

What do hydroponics have to do with tetrahydracarbonol content?

nothing

Date:
30 Nov 2001
Time:
11:42:18

Comments

do you have plans of your banana tree bucket drip system anywhere? I would like to try it

Comments

Hydroponic banana bucket plans - www.gurglegardens.com

Date:
30 Nov 2001
Time:
12:36:06

Comments

What is the best type of light to use? Agrosun, Sunmaster........

The kind you can afford.

Date:
01 Dec 2001
Time:
09:15:05

Comments

Ron, I have read your entries on using baking soda for a basic PH raiser. I have also read the Howard M. Resh book, and I have been using his suggestion of the baking soda instead of the $25.00 gallon KOH dilluted solution from hydro store. I'm pretty sure thats what it is. My question is, since you do large scale systems, have you tried this. Have you had any long term side effects. I grow tomatoes using Hydro-gardens 4-18-38 chem grow + epsom salt+ cal nitrate powered mixes. This saves me a lot of money and seems to work better than the liquid solutions, that I've tried. The liquid solutions seem to be very weak in most areas of N-P-K. I've read that you like Formula one A and B, Isn't that very expensive for you? Better be one damn good tomatoe! Sam sgolwala@hotmail.com

I only used Formula One for one season until I realized it cost me a fortune and switch to the same you are using. I haven't used baking soda for pH control because my well water is close to perfect after I add the nutrients.   

Date:
01 Dec 2001
Time:
11:03:50

Comments

I have bought a timer with 14 on\off settings per day. how do i divide time for 11 plant system. More per day and 3 or 4 at night?? Also do the plants need as many cycles per night as day with 12\12.How long between waterings with 24\0 with 14 setting timer. I am new to hydro but have much exp. in dirt (not that it takes much skill:) Your forum is great and 11 plant system is easy and cheap. I built it in about 1:30. thanks for the help. DR. Greenthumb

You don't need to water at night. You need to water as long as it takes to fill the garden.( about 1 or 2 minutes) at least every half hour during the light period. That's 3 1/2 hours with your timer. Not enough on and offs.  

Date:
01 Dec 2001
Time:
15:48:14

Comments

I'm doing a science project for my school. My question is In which liquids do plants grow best in (I am only going to use two plants. probably pansies and petunias)? I need some more ideas on what to write about. Pleas help.

Date:
02 Dec 2001
Time:
10:00:26

Comments

how do you prepare rockwool before planting?

Soak it in the nutrient solution.

Date:
02 Dec 2001
Time:
18:28:58

Comments

How do you grow potatoes hydroponically? I would prefer to grow them outside. I was thinking a raised bed that contained clay pebbles and pearlite. Use a drip system that had a feed back to nutrient solution. Any ideas. Email me at somersfam@alltel.net Thanks, Tim

Yes I grew a small red potato in grow rocks once. I also saw on TV where a guy was growing sweet potatoes under black plastic in a NFT trough system with no medium. I got to try that method soon.  

Date:
02 Dec 2001
Time:
19:22:53

Comments

any tips on how to lower plants that are hitting the ceiling?

I use a string on a spool so I unwind some of the string and lower the plant to the left or right and then lower the next one where the previous one was. Continue on down the line of plants until the end and then the next time they need lowered, you lower them in the other direction.
Ron

Date:
02 Dec 2001
Time:
20:58:16
Remote User:
 

Comments

Thanks for the help on watering. I am using a 1'lift@ 185 gph. Its a little overkill but was the only pump I could find. Should I barely open the valve until it fills and empties within say 2 to 5 min or?? min. Also, what kind of timer do i get and where? Thanks DR Greenthumb

The timer you buy will determine how long you have to water. I use 15 min. on 15 min. off 24 hour timer. So that will give your pump 15 minutes to fill the garden to the right height. Your plants don't need to be watered for that long but a cycle timer that lets you set the on time by minute increments cost a lot more. 

Date:
02 Dec 2001
Time:
22:00:42

Comments

Do you know of any way to create an adjustable overflow pipe for the 11 cup system? I would like to be able to adjust the water height in the cups. Also, I am looking for square shaped PVC pipe. Any suggestions as to where I may have luck finding it? By the way... This is the best hydro site I have found on the web. Very informative! Thanks.

Just don't glue the parts of the overflow. I don't. Because the garden isn't under pressure it doesn't leak

Date:
03 Dec 2001
Time:
07:35:54

Comments

Could you use a submersible pump in the gurgle system instead of a air pump? Would it achieve the same effect? Also should the system run all day or just when the sun is out? Thanks

Yes you can but then it would be called a drip garden because it wouldn't gurgle anymore.

Date:
05 Dec 2001
Time:
08:35:44

Comments

"Gurgle System" Air pump works better with gurgle system as it aerates the solution as it pumps it. Also if pump craps out you can find one anywhere. Submersible flows to much for one drip ring (like a running faucet), so if you are to use one power, power four drip rings with it!!

Date:
03 Dec 2001
Time:
12:58:47

Comments

Ron, Thanks a bunch!! Great site!

At what point are you supposed to transplant your germinated seeds into the growing medium? I have started several tomato plants and have a mixture of 1 part to 1 part lava rocks and perlite. How do I secure the seedling in the medium? And if I have plants that are already a couple weeks old (growing in pellets), how do i transplant them??

When they get big enough to grab a hold of without damaging them. Wash any loose material off the roots that could plug up your pump before transplanting. Remember that the water in your garden drains back through the pump when it shuts off. So any loose debris will end up clogging the propeller in your pump. 

Date:
03 Dec 2001
Time:
14:19:07

Comments

How to grow Lettuce with hydroponics

In a NFT system.

Date:
03 Dec 2001
Time:
18:00:51

Comments

Ron or anyone, Some plants require a flowering light cycle for proper flowering. My tomatoes have started producing flower clusters under 18 hours on 6 off. Will they produce more clusters of flowers if I switch the light to 12on 12off. Do tomatoes require a flowering cycle for good production. If so how long do I run the flowering light cycle. Should I switch back to 18on 6off after that.

Tomatoes are indeterminate which means they are not affected by the number of hours of light or dark periods. As long as the right environment is provided they will produce fruit year round. For totally indoor growing under HID's then 18 hours is fine to compensate for less light.

Date:
03 Dec 2001
Time:
21:43:35

Comments

Planning to start out growing lettuce. Already have 1000W MH we use for starting seeds.

Want to use ebb & flow.

Any suggestions for media? Will the clay balls work with a small-seeded plant like lettuce? This is leaf lettuce and it is not practical to transplant it.

Steve

Have you thought about using rockwool starter cubes. They can go directly into a growrock system.

Date:
03 Dec 2001
Time:
22:01:33

Comments

how many ounces in a cup

8

Date:
04 Dec 2001
Time:
09:12:29

Comments

Using the 11 Plant system, what is the best watering routine? My plants are about a week in after transplanting from soil and I'm unsure of the timing. Currently, I'm set for an hour on and 2 hrs off. My timer is an hourly timer. Would 1 hr on - 1 hr off be better?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Yes. If you plants show any signs of wilting between waterings then you need to water more frequently. 

Date:
04 Dec 2001
Time:
10:31:51

Comments

I want to start a passive hydroponics project, and would like to know what kind of materials am i going to need to start?

Date:
04 Dec 2001
Time:
12:08:43

Comments

I have a question dealing with genetically engineered seeds. I have to prove my teacher wrong that trust tomatoes are one of the best Genetically Engineered seeds. I was interested if anyone had any resource information about the pros and cons of this type of seeds. not to mention if some on new of a good web site to check out beside, Cropking and Hydro-gardens.

Thanks Brent

Date:
05 Dec 2001
Time:
05:57:06

Comments

lettuce grower wannabes

http://search.excite.com/search.gw?c=web&s=%22hydroponic+lettuce%22

Date:
05 Dec 2001
Time:
06:01:18

Comments

A cup is 8 ounces or approx. 1/4 liter.

Date:
05 Dec 2001
Time:
15:40:52

Comments

My brother is into hydroponics. Any ideas for stocking stuffers? He lives in another state, so I don't have any info on the system he uses. Thanks, Colleen

Date:
05 Dec 2001
Time:
17:51:02

Comments

Ron or anyone I was wanting to know if your guys every tried to grow a avocado tree in your systems. I'm starting some plants with my kids and thought i would transplant them in the spring to see how big they can grow. May be will get my greenhouse finished this summer.

Frank

I have had a problem trying to grow woody plants like roses and shrub type plants. Plants that love water do best in hydroponics so if avocado falls in that category it might be possible. 

 

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