Temperature is a major factor in determining the growth rate and productivity of your plants. Transpiration and photosynthetic rates increase as temperatures rise, eventually reaching a maximum level of productivity. This increase in transpiration (plant respiration) allows for higher CO2 uptake, and a faster growth rate. As temperatures reach the upper limits for your crop, the plants reach a break-even point where they will begin to use more energy for respiration than is being created by photosynthesis. When temperatures reach these extremes, growth can come to a halt. Each plant species has a minimum, optimum and maximum temperature at which they grow. Photosynthesis is performed optimally between 80-86°F for the plants you'll be growing, so you'll want to maintain your garden at this temperature range to ensure the fastest growth rates possible.
Temperature is a major factor when considering the growth rate and productivity of your plants. When temperatures reach extremes, growth rates rapidly decline and the plant will die. Photosynthesis is performed optimally between 80-86°F.
Transpiration and photsynthetic rates increase as temperatures rise, eventually reaching a maxiumum level of productivity. This increase in transpiration (plant respiration) allows for higher Co2 uptake and a faster growth rate.
Carbon Dioxide Enrichment
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring gas in Earth's environment, currently averaging 383 parts per million (ppm) around the globe. This number fluctuates depending on location and time. For example, current environmental factors are causing the levels to increase every decade. The level of carbon dioxide in any given atmosphere has the ability to alter both the growth rate and toxicity of your plants, as CO2 is a vital molecule used during photosynthesis.
CO2 is converted into sugars via a redox reaction called the Calvin Cycle. Part of the energy created during photosynthesis powers this reaction. These sugars are then used for plant growth, or again for the transpiration process. The maximum amount of CO2 most plants can absorb is 1500 ppm under optimal growing conditions. Enriching your garden with a higher level of CO2 vs atmospheric levels, can have many added benefits for your crop.
These benefits include, but are not limited to:
• Increased tolerance to extreme temperatures
• 30-%50% faster growth rates and higher yields!
• Higher toxicity in resinous plants!
• Higher overall product quality!
Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment- Site of Duke University's test center for the effects of CO2 on plant growth.
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, performed by a team of scientists at Duke University, discusses the effects CO2 has on every day plants found in the forest. One plant they chose for in-deph alaysis was poison ivy.
The team conducted the study over a 6 year period at the Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) in Duke Forest. They dispersed carbon dioxide into a set of outdoor environments, to mimick levels similar to those they predict for our global atmosphere in 2050. The results were, compared to plants in the the control environments (natural atmosphere), poison ivy in CO2 enriched areas grew 149% faster, and produced 153% more urishol (the toxic resinous ingredient that causes rashes)!
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Nutrients are essential requirements for plant growth. Plants absorb nutrients through both their roots and leaves, and combine them with sunlight, CO2, and water to create simple sugars, carbohydrates, and proteins for food.
The three major elements plants require for growth, are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, normally abbreviated N-P-K. The numbers on the labels of the nutrients you use, represent the percentages of the essential nutrients it contains. The other minor elements your plants require for healthy development, include calcium, magnesium, iron, and sulfur.
is an essential element for the synthesis of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are used for cell division and thus for plant growth and development. Since all plant enzymes are made of proteins, nitrogen is needed for all of the enzymatic reactions in a plant. As such, N is a major part of the chlorophyll molecule and is therefore necessary for photosynthesis. Lastly, nitrogen improves the quality and quantity of dry matter in leafy vegetables and protein in grain crops.
Deficiency symptoms include pale plants, red stems and stunted growth. Rapid yellowing of lower leaves progressing up the plant causes early maturity in some crops, which results in a significant reduction in yield and quality.
Add any chemical fertilizer containing nitrogen. Treated plants recover in about a week.
plays a major role in energy storage and transfer during photosynthesis and transpiration. Phosphorus is part of the RNA and DNA structures, which are the major components of genetic information. Seeds have the highest concentration of phosphorus in a mature plant, and phosphorus is required in large quantities in young cells, such as shoots and root tips, where metabolism is high and cell division is rapid. Phosphorus also aids in root development, flower initiation, and seed and fruit development.
Deficiency symptoms are slow or stunted growth, red stems. Smaller leaves that are dark green. Lower leaves yellow and die.
Add chemical fertilizer containing phosphorus. Affected leaves will not show recovery but new growth will apear normal.
acts as an enzyme activator that promotes metabolism, part of which includes regulating the plant's use of water by controlling the opening and closing of leaf stomates, where water is released to cool the plant. In photosynthesis, potassium has the role of maintaining the balance of electrical charges at the site of ATP production. Lastly, potassium improves disease resistance in plants, the size of grains and seeds, and the quality of fruits and vegetables.
Deficiency symptoms include bleaching along the edges of leaves (chlorosis) affecting the older leaves first. Symptoms also include slow and stunted growth, weak stems and reduced size and quantity of fruit and seeds.
Add any chemical fertilizer containing potassium. Treated plants recover in about a week.
has a major role in the formation of the cell wall membrane and its plasticity, affecting normal cell division by maintaining cell integrity and membrane permeability. Calcium is an activator of several enzyme systems in protein synthesis and carbohydrate transfer. Calcium indirectly assists in improving crop yields by reducing soil acidity when soils are limed.
Deficiency symptoms calcium is not mobile, so deficiency symptoms first appear on the younger leaves and leaf tips, where the growing tips of roots and leaves turn brown and die. Without adequate calcium, newly emerging leaves may stick together at the margins, which causes tearing as the leaves expand and unfurl. This may also cause the stem structure to be weakened. Buds and blossoms fall prematurely in some crops.
Treat by foliar feeding with one teaspoon of dolomatic lime per quart of water until condition improves. Link Here
is essential in forming plant proteins. It is actively involved in metabolism of the B vitamins biotin and thiamine and co-enzyme A. Sulfur also aids in seed production, chlorophyll formation, nodule formation in legumes, and stabilizing protein structure.
Deficiency symptoms includes yellow new growth with stiff, thin and woody stems. Symptoms may be similar to nitrogen deficiency and are most often found in sandy soils that are low in organic matter and receive moderate to heavy rainfall.
Mix one tablespoon of Epsom salts per gallon of water until condition improves.
is a major constituent of the chlorophyll molecule, and it is therefore actively involved in photosynthesis. Magensium is required to stabilize ribosome particles and also helps stabilize the structure of nucleic acids. Magnesium also assists the movement of sugars within a plant.
Deficiency symptoms affect older leaves first. Leaf tissue between the veins may be yellowish, bronze, or reddish, while the leaf veins remain green.
Add any chemical fertilizer containing magnesium. Treated plants recover in about a week.
is essential for plant metabolism (photosynthesis and respiration). Iron is essential in the synthesis and maintenance of chlorophyll in plants. Iron is strongly associated with protein metabolism.
Deficieny symptoms include pale leaves with dark green veins on growing shoots. pH imbalances make iron insoluble. Usually observed in alkaline or over-limed soils.
Foliar feed with chemical fertilizer containing iron or rusty water.
acts as a plant enzyme system, activating several metabolic functions. Manganese is involved in the oxidation-reduction process in photosynthesis.
Deficiency symptoms include necrotic and yellow spots form on top leaves. Manganese deficiency occurs when large amounts of Manganese are present in the soil.
Foliar feed with any chemical fertilizer containing manganese.
is necessary in the synthesis of RNA formation and in cellular activities. B has been shown to promote root growth. Boron has been associated with lignin synthesis, activities of certain enzymes, seed and cell wall formation, and sugar transport.
Deficiency symptoms includes growing shoots turn grey or die. Growing shoots appear burnt.
Treat with one teaspoon of Boric acid (sold as eyewash) per gallon of water.
is a necessary component of two major enzymes in plants, nitrate reductase and nitrogenase, which are required for normal assimilation of nitrogen. Molybdenum is required by some soil microorganisms for nitrogen fixation in soils.
Deficiency symptoms resemble those of Nitrogen because the function of molybdenum is to assimilate nitrogen in the plant. Older and middle leaves become chlorotic, and the leaf margins roll inwards. In contrast to nitrogen deficiency, necrotic spots appear at the leaf margins because of nitrate accumulation. Deficient plants are stunted, and flower formation may be restricted. Mo deficiency can be common in nitrogen-fixing legumes.
Foliar feed with chemical fertilizer containing molybdenum.
is required in tryptophan synthesis, which is necessary for the formation of indole acetic acid in plants. Zinc is also an essential component for plant metabolism and has a role in RNA and protein synthesis.
Deficiency symptoms include white areas form at leaf tips and between veins. Occurs in alkaline soils.
Bury galvanized nails in the soil. Chemical fertilizer containing Zn can also be used.
causes leaf tips to appear yellow or burnt, (in hydroponics) roots will turn thin and brown.
To correct, remove part of the nutrient solution and replace with fresh water.
When buying nutrients (other than the ones already recommended), make sure they are chelated. Chelates are compounds that make a number of nutrients (especially micronutrients) more bio-available to your plants. A properly developed nutrient line will contain the correct ratios of these elements, to prevent issues such as nutrient deficiency, reduced growth rates, disease, and poor yield. If you are growing with hydroponics, make sure you use nutrients made specifically for hydro systems, or you may encounter clogging issues.
Most manufacturers offer an organic and synthetic nutrient line for your plants. Which you choose, is up to your personal preference. Organics are more of a "raw" source of food that must be broken down in order to be used by your plants, while synthetics tend to be more immediately available for use. In soil, naturally occurring beneficial bacteria, help to break down the organic nutrients faster. Using beneficial bacteria (VooDoo Juice) in your hydro system will also assist in speeding up this process. Many gardeners report better looking and tasting produce using organic nutrients.
In hotter grow rooms, plants will generally use more water than nutrients, which can cause the nutrient solution to become a bit salty in nature. In cooler grow rooms, the opposite generally occurs where the solution can become dilute. These changes affect the rate at which your plants absorb the remaining nutrients from your solution. If you have a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter you can regulate your nutrient levels easily by checking the .ppm of your solution. If the ppm reading is high, then more water should be added. If the reading is low, then more nutrients can be added. The optimal level for most plants is 600-1200 parts per million (ppm), although this changes depending on species. We recommend that you follow the manufacturer's TDS guidelines for the brand of nutrients you use.
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Potential Hydrogen (pH)
pH is a unit of measurement determining the acidity or alkalinity of a given solution such as your hydroponic water. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with acidic solutions being less than 7.0, and alkalinic solutions being higher than 7.0.
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The pH of your hydroponic water and nutrient solution affects the ability of your plant to absorb various nutrients from it. For hydroponic gardeners, a pH maintained between 5.5-6.3 is recommended for best nutrient uptake. For soil, this number changes to 6.0-6.5. Maintaining your pH at these levels will ensure the best overall health for your plants. Going above or below the optimal range for your garden, will cause various nutrients to become unavailable to your plants. Iron, for example, becomes unavailable when the pH goes above 6.5.
When using hydroponics your pH will fluctuate constantly, as plants use water and nutrients at various rates. It is recommended that you check and adjust your pH daily if possible, and always after changing your nutrient solution. Depending on your specific system, it may take the pH in your reservoir 30-60 minutes to fully adjust after adding pH up/down solution. It is recommended that you allow the pH solution to circulate fully, prior to checking your levels and making any further adjustments.
Hydroponic Water is the most essential part of your hydroponic system. One of the most important factors when it comes to hydroponic water, is temperature. The temperature of your water determines how much dissolved oxygen your solution can hold. As the temperature of your solution increases, its ability to hold dissolved oxygen decreases.
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Dissolved oxygen is used for root respiration, in similar ways that plants absorb CO2 through the stomata of their leaves. Maintaining your reservoir at a lower temperature, with higher levels of dissolved oxygen, can have a large impact on plant health and root growth. The recommended temperature range for hydroponic solutions is between 67° and 75°F, with optimum being 68°F. If your temperature goes over 85°F, it can cause root damage. Depending on your individual situation, a water chiller may be required in order to maintain your temperatures at the recommended levels.
Since plants use dissolved oxygen from the nutrient solution at a continuous rate, supplementation is required to maintain constant levels. To replenish the level of dissolved oxygen within your solution, air diffusers and aeration stones attached to an air pump, provide an excellent solution.
Relative Humidity is a measurement of the amount of water within the air of any given environment. Dry environments have a low relative humidity, whereas wet environments are the opposite. If your indoor environment remains too wet (80% or higher), it can lead to serious issues such as mold, mildew, and root rot.
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The humidity level in your garden also has a substantial impact on the development of your plants. When levels are lower than 50%, plants tend to grow more compact, with thinner leaves that use less water. If levels remain lower than 20%, water evaporates more rapidly from the leaves, and your plants may not be able to absorb more, fast enough to maintain development. This causes them to close their stomata to prevent dehydration, which slows the rate of transpiration and growth. When levels are higher than 60%, growth rate increases and plants grow broader leaves that use more water. If levels remain higher than 90%, water evaporates from the leaves at a much slower rate, causing transpiration and growth rate to again decrease.
For optimal results in your indoor garden environment, it is recommended that you maintain the relative humidity between 40-70%. A simple thermometer/hygrometer is all you need to monitor the levels in your garden. A dehumidifier may be necessary if you find that it is difficult to maintain your environment within the optimal range.
Cloning Guide 1-2-3
FROM BEGINNER TO EXPERT: STEP BY STEP CLONING GUIDE
Cloning is taking a cutting (a small section of stem up to a sizeable branch) and nurturing it to grow roots of it's own by fortifying it with hormones and/or vitamins. Cloning is one of the most efficient ways to proprogate a plant because the process results in asexual proprogation, rather than sexual proprogation, as it is in seed germination. This takes the guess work out of sexing the plant for flowering. Cloning also ensures that the new plant has the same DNA makeup as it's donor (parent) plant, which is useful for isolating desired phenotypes. Another added benefit of cloning is that it is much faster than starting from seed. A clone will be fully rooted and growing by the time a seed of the same species has germinated.
How to Clone
When it comes to clones there are a few "tricks" so to speak. The first is to assess the quality of your donor plant-you want to make sure it is healthy and thriving. Taking cuttings from the new growth (top of the plant) will ensure the healthiest cuttings possible, giving you the highest chance for success. Taking cuttings from the bottom branches, smaller/underdeveloped branches or an unhealthy plant will cause for slower rooting times and overall poor health of the plant. Clones from these branches will often turn out dwarfed causing them to be smaller with lower yields.
Once you have selected a healthy branch, cut the stem at a 45 degree angle. This allows maximum exposure of the inside tissue to your cloning gel, for faster rooting. Your cutting should be about 4-6inches in size. Next, dip about 1inch of the cut end into your cloning gel and place it into a rooting plug (such as Rapid Rooters or Sure to Grow). When choosing a rooting medium, make sure that it keeps the cutting moist but not too wet. If the cutting is kept too wet, it will root rot, causing plant death. Next, place your cutting and plug into a 2" clone basket then into your cloner.
Over the next 24hours, your cutting will wilt due to the stress of being cut from it's donor plant. Mist the cutting with water every 12 hours, for it is constantly losing water through respiration but has no roots to replenish it. It is also recommended to place a dome over the cutting to keep the humidity levels at around 70%. With proper humidity levels, dissolved oxygen in water and lighting, the cutting will stand up in about 1-2 days. If your cutting has not recovered by the 3rd or 4th day, discard and try again. However, if it successfully stands up, in about a week's time, your cutting will become a clone! Did you know that Hydro Grow's LED Grow Lights spectrum induces faster rooting than tradtional lighting by up to 2 days?
Ok, it's rooted, what's next?
Once you have a clone, it's time to transplant it into its final home: a 3" basket. There will be a lot of extra room around the clone "plug", so you'll need to fill this in again with growing media. The most popular on the market is Hydroton, which is a bit heavy but works great. Another great product is Grow Stones, a very light and porous "rock" made from recycled glass. It packs together very tightly and therefore holds the plants much better than Hydroton. Lastly you could also use Sure to Grow for your growing media, as they make many different sizes and varities to fit any basket, or rockwool.
1. Take cuttings, about 4-6" in length, from the top of your plant.
This ensures that you are taking the healthiest cuttings from new growth.
2. Cut the stem at a 45° angle.
This allows maximum exposure of the inside tissue to your cloning gel.
3. Dip the cutting into a cloning gel of your choice.
Cloning gels cautizers the cut area as well as supplementory nutrients and vitamins to help speed up the rooting process (Dutch Master Replicator recommended).
4. Place the cutting into a plug.
The plug keeps the cutting moist while allowing enough oxygen to pass through, which is an imporant factor for rooting. (Rapid Rooters or Sure to Grow recommended).
5. Place the plug into a 2" basket and then into your cloner. Mist the cutting with water every 12 hrs and keep the humidity level at 70%.
Your cutting with probably wilt due to the stress of being cut from the parent stock. If the cutting does not recover in 3-4 days, discard and try again.
6. With proper humidity level, dissolved oxygen level in the reservoir, and lighting, your cutting will become a cloine in about a weeks time!