Mar
31
2014

How to Prevent Early Spring Flowering

Growing outdoors successfully hinges on how happy your plants are. Giving them a good start from day one makes a big difference, as well as the timing of when you decide to put your plants outside. But when is too early to plant your garden? This depends greatly on your geographic location and sun exposure of your garden location. The general consensus in planting zones north of Central California is to put your plants outside around memorial day weekend or … Continue Reading

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Jan
27
2014

Maximizing PAR output with a new double-ended system

So as with the introduction of any new technology, there is a slight learning curve that needs to be addressed to ensure optimum performance.  The first most noticeable difference is that the double ended bulbs look considerably different than standard HID bulbs. The bulbs no longer fit a mogul socket; they are in fact tapered at both ends and require a special fixture in order to operate. Gavita appears to have been the first on the scene, and are the … Continue Reading

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Sep
06
2013

How to Prevent Plant Diseases

Benjamin Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and he may have been referring to plant health and disease prevention. Rather than discussing the vast array of grey black fuzzy brown wilting diseases lets focus on prevention. It’s far easier. Light, air, and water are the most important factors to plant health. A healthy plant in prime conditions will be far less likely to fall victim to disease. Plant health depends on good light and … Continue Reading

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Jul
12
2013

Am I Over Watering My Plants?

Watering potted plants during the summer months can definitely be tricky. In high light and high temperature situations, with transpiration, evaporation, and water utilized during the photosynthetic processes taken into consideration, most plants need a healthy dose of fresh water daily. Although the leading cause of death among potted plants is under watering, symptoms of over watering can be similar and hard to distinguish as times. In both instances,  leaves curl, can yellow, and drop from the plant.  Usually an … Continue Reading

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Jun
09
2013

Caring for Transplanted Plants

This is a continuation of How to Transplant Cuttings and Seedlings. Once your plants have been placed in their new home it is not uncommon, during the first week, for your plants to show signs of stress.  After about a week you should start to see them take to their new environment with thriving new growth.  A healthy vigorous vegetative growth phase is key to having a bountiful, successful harvest.  Here are a couple things that will assist in boosting … Continue Reading

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Jun
04
2013

Vitamin B1 and Your Garden

Anyone can improve upon nature by providing their garden with specific plant vitamins that assist in steady, healthy, and (most importantly) rapid growth rates. Researchers have demonstrated that plants naturally produce Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B-1, in the foliage and transport it to the root zone. There it is utilized by root tissues to assist in new growth or cell generation. Additionally, symbiotic organisms such as beneficial bacteria and fungi use Vitamin B-1 to regulate their metabolism. In this … Continue Reading

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May
01
2013

How to Transplant Cuttings and Seedlings

Spring is here which means anyone with a garden is bound to do some type of transplanting.  A well executed transplant is one key to having a bountiful harvest.  Whether you garden in soil, soilless, or hydroponics, there are a few helpful hints that will make this transition nice and easy for you and your garden.  The number one goal when transplanting any full grown plant or newly rooted cutting or seedling is to reduce or eliminate “transplant shock”.  We … Continue Reading

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Apr
25
2013

How To Organically Control Caterpillars in Your Garden

A common pest to most outdoor and greenhouse gardens are caterpillars. These are ravenous feeders that, when left unchecked, do lots damage. There are a few precautions that you can take that will defeat these quickly and safely. First step is knowing what to look for to identify caterpillar activity. One sure way to tell is when you see your flowers partially eaten and small black specks are left around the area. Those are the droppings of the caterpillar and … Continue Reading

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Apr
01
2013

Cold Frames for a Head Start To Spring Gardening

Cold Frame Basics The term “cold frame” typically refers to a low profile covered structure used to protect plants from the elements. Often cold weather, and excessive wetness or moisture can hinder the growth of small plants – so a cold frame can be a viable solution to nurture the plants to a size where they can withstand the elements. As far as greenhouses go, the term cold frame actually has more than one meaning. Basically, the different groups that … Continue Reading

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Mar
04
2013

Managing Spider Mites in your garden

Spider mites are one of the most common garden pests and can be found feeding on the leaves and stems of vegetables, plants, fruit trees, and vines.  Spider mite control becomes increasingly difficult once the pest has been well established in the garden so early detection is very important.  Although related to insects, mites are not insects but members of the arachnid class along with spiders and ticks.  The spider mite also known as “web-spinning mite” is the most common … Continue Reading

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Jan
08
2013

The least toxic pest and disease control sprays

When looking at spray options in relation to pest management, it is important to look at what you are trying to achieve.  If you are growing fruits, vegetables, or greens; the least “toxic” approach is always best.  Over the years a number of products have been developed to combat the various pests in the garden, with some having more successful than others.  With all the choices these days on the shelf, here is a breakdown of some of the least … Continue Reading

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Dec
03
2012

Relative humidity in your indoor garden

What is Relative Humidity? Humidity is a term used to describe the concentration of water in the air. Warmer air can hold more water vapor; the maximum amount of water that air can hold is contingent upon the temperature of the air; the warmer the air the greater amount of water vapor that can be held.  The capacity of water that the air can hold changes with temperature.  The temperature also influences the volume of water that the air can … Continue Reading

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Nov
05
2012

Reducing Aphid Infestation

Aphids are soft-bodied insects that use their piercing sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap. They usually occur in colonies on the undersides of tender terminal growth. Heavily-infested leaves can wilt or turn yellow because of excessive sap removal. While the plant may look bad, aphid feeding generally will not seriously harm healthy, established trees and shrubs. However, some plants are very sensitive to feeding by certain aphid species. Saliva injected into plants by these aphids may cause leaves to … Continue Reading

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Oct
03
2012

Do you hand-water and burp?

Here is an often time over-looked trick for all you container gardeners who water by hand.  What I am curious to know is, do you burp your hose?  What I mean is, do you clean out your hose after you water, and do you do the same before you water the next time?  This is something that is often overlooked by beginning gardeners and it is a simple trick that will help keep all your plants happy… Here is what … Continue Reading

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Oct
03
2012

Do you suck or blow?

Now you ask yourself, what is the difference between scrubbing and exhaust?  It is rather simple really, exhaust empties the air out of the growing space, and scrubbing cleans the air while keeping it in the growing space.  Do you want to keep CO2, but get rid of smell?  Scrubbing is a good option for those who have a closed room system, or for folks who need some extra filtering.  Scrubbing will help keep garden odors in the room, while … Continue Reading

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Aug
28
2012

Tips and Tricks : How to increase your harvest!

How to increase your harvest! As your plants begin to flower, their metabolism begins to increase and there are several tricks gardeners us to get the most out of their plants.  Here is one.  We will use our friend the tomato to illustrate these principles in action.  And to let my biased be known, it is the belief of this author that organic methods will yield a tastier fruit than their conventional counterpart; however these conventional methods will yield a much … Continue Reading

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Aug
28
2012

What are my late term options for fighting garden pests?

What are my late term options for fighting garden pests? One of the most common problems we talk with folks about is fighting garden pests late into the plant’s life-cycle.  As it gets later in the season, what options are available to the gardener?  First, I can’t go any further without saying, that prevention is the key to avoiding any sort of issue.  Preventative spraying during the vegetative cycle, and continuing into the beginning of the fruiting/flowering phase is one … Continue Reading

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Aug
09
2012

Is a PK boost right for you?

As a gardener and more specifically as an indoor gardener, it is my complete control of the environment that truly makes my garden a masterpiece. Monet’s paintings of his garden are well known, where every brush stroke contributes to the beauty of his work; such is the same for my garden, where one of my most important strokes is my use of a pk boost. There comes a moment during the plant’s development when the need for phosphorous and potassium … Continue Reading

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Jun
06
2012

Grow Room Cooling Techniques

My grow room or garden is way too hot. What can i do? Summer’s here and the time is right…for heat issues.  Mastering grow room cooling techniques in your hydroponic garden is important during the summer months because a garden can suffer greatly when heat gets out of control.  If you are among the fortunate few who live in a cool coastal climate, these tips may not be for you.  For the rest of us, here are some tips to … Continue Reading

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Jun
06
2012

Why hard water is bad for your plants and how to fix it

Should I Use Reverse Osmosis Water in My Garden? Water quality is a crucial element to any garden’s success; whether you are a container and soil gardener, or hydroponic farmer, you know this statement rings true.  Have you had problems with nutrient lock-out?  Yellowing plants?  Check the parts-per-million (ppm) of the water you are using.  Many successful gardeners believe that using a reverse osmosis system to make pure, clean water, is one of the best things for your garden.  The … Continue Reading

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