Document Sample

          I N D O O R       G A R D E N I N G


                                     YEAR ROUND

                                                                                                                       NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007
                                                                                                                       30 >    DIAGNOSIS FOR DUMMIES
                                                                                                                               by Matt LeBannister
30 >
                                                                                                                       38 >    YEAR ROUND ASPARAGUS PRODUCTION
                                                                                                                               by Dr. Mike Nichols

                                                                                                                       46 >    HYDROPONIC FERTILIZER SOLUTIONS
                                                                                                                               by James W. Brown

                                                                                                                       52 >    URBAN CEA
                                                                                                                               by Erik Biksa

                                                                                                                       60 >    BACK TO BASICS - Plant and Soil Nutrition
                                                                                                                               by Des Warnock

46 >

                                                                                                                        38 >

52 >
                                                                                                                        max facts                           DEPARTMENTS
                                                                                                                       10 > AROUND THE WORLD                 8 >       FROM THE EDITOR
                                                                                                                            WITH HYDROPONICS
                                                                                                                                                            10 >       MAX FACTS
                                                                                                                       14 > HYDROPONIC
                                                                                                                            SYSTEMS 101:                    18 >       ASK ERIK
                                                                                                                            AEROPONIC GROWING
                                                                                                                                                          20 >         NEW PRODUCT PROFILE
                                BACK TO BASICS                                                                         16 > GROWING
                                                   Plant and Soil Nutrition
                                                       INTRODUCTION                                                         HYDROPONICS                   66 >         MAX MART
                                                                                                                            HEALTH WATCH:
                                                    In a world where “miracle cures” that claim to help us grow

60 > Des Warnock
                                                   healthy crops seem to appear daily, how do we know what is

                                                   actually best for them, and for ourselves for that ma�er, given
                                                   we’re the ones consuming them? Maybe with the invention of
                                                   computers and fast access to information, those of us that really
                                                   want the best for our crops’ health, as well as our own, can wise

                                                                                                                            WHEATGRASS                                 CHECK YOUR GROWING IQ
                                                   up and learn what we need to know, but we can’t persuade others

                                                                                                                                                          70 >
                                                   to do the same unless they really want to do it.


                                                                                                                                                                  MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   7
                                                                                                                                        FROM THE EDITOR
                                                   IT’S AMAZING HOW FAST 2007 HAS GONE BY but I’m proud to end
                                                   the year with this latest issue of Maximum Yield. Going into our 11th year
                                                   publishing Maximum Yield, there are a lot of progressive new features
                                                   lined up to debut in 2008 that I know you’re going to enjoy. We also have an
                                                   exciting indoor garden expo world tour planned for 2008, so keep your eyes
                                                   peeled for our official announcements. Judging by the schedule, it’s going
                                                   to be a really fun year.
                                                      Before we get to 2008, though, we need to finish out 2007. This holiday
                                                   issue of Maximum Yield has a lot to keep you busy through the holiday
                                                   growing season.
                                                     Kicking off the articles is Ma� LeBannister, a new face to Maximum Yield.
                                                   Ma�’s a very knowledgeable guy and really wants to share that with all of
                                                   the readers. His first article, Diagnosis for Dummies, is a great jumping on
>> JAKE BRZOVIC                                    point for growers who are having some beginner’s difficulty or for advanced
                                                   users to polish up their skills.
                                                     Speaking of knowledgeable guy’s, Erik Biksa has the first of an on-going
                                                   series entitled “Urban: CEA”. This is a great series for people who are
                                                   looking for information on how to grow hydroponically if you’re strapped
                                                   for space. Using a condo se�ing, Erik has all the information you’ll need to
                                                   get yourself growing in no time flat. This article alone is reason to file this
                                                   issue of Maximum Yield away into your growing collection.
                                                      Don’t forget to check out our new web site for all the latest news in the
                                                   indoor gardening world and for an archive of every article we have ever run
                                                   in Maximum Yield.
                                                     If you have anything you would like to see grace the pages of Maximum Yield
                                                   in the new year, let me know by dropping me a line at jake@maximumyield.
                                                   com. Happy growing and happy new year.

                                                       PRESIDENT Jim Jesson

                                                        PUBLISHER / EDITOR       CANADIAN DISTRIBUTION            UK DISTRIBUTION
                                                           Jake Brzovic          Allies Wholesale Garden Supply   Ikon International
                                                                                 Brite-Lite Group                 Growth Technology
                                                       BUSINESS MANAGER
                                                          Linda Jesson
               VOLUME 10 – NUMBER 4                                              Eddis Wholesale
              November / December 2007                  CREDIT MANAGER           Hydrotek                         AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTION
                                                          Debbie Kyle            Quality Wholesale                Futchatec
   Maximum Yield is published bi-monthly by                                                                       Hydraspher
        Maximum Yield Publications Inc.                    ADVERTISING SALES     USA DISTRIBUTION                 SupplyNet
               2339A Delinea Place,                          250.729.2677        Bloomington Wholesale            Growth Technology
               Nanaimo, BC V9T 5L9               Hydrofarm
     Phone: 250.729.2677; Fax 250.729.2687.       General Hydroponics              FRANCE DISTRIBUTION
  No part of this magazine may be reproduced     National Garden Wholesale /      GHE
     without permission from the publisher.                                      Sunlight Supply
                                                      PRODUCTION & DESIGN
                                                          Pentti Tikkanen
    The views expressed by columnists are a
 personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect             Alice Joe
      those of Maximum Yield or the Editor.
         Publication Agreement Number 40739092

<...AROUND THE WORLD WITH HYDROPONICS .................................................>
                                                                             Hydroponics Comes to Moldova Courtesy of
                                                                             Northwestern College
                                                                           A group of students and faculty from Northwestern College
                                                                          has returned to Iowa a�er a trip to the European country of
                                                                          Moldova to set up a small aquaponics project. Using a 250-gal.
                                                                          (950-L) water tank, the team installed the self-sustaining system
                                                                          at a home in the developing nation. Aquaponics, of course, is
                                                                          derived from hydroponics. It combines raising fish and growing
                                                                          vegetables, using the fish to clean the water and recirculate it.
                                                                          The system sustains around 100 carp at a time, and will be used
                                                                          to grow tomatoes. The project will not only help the family but
                                                                          the entire community.
                                                                           Research and experiments took four years, but Northwestern
                                                                          College has now created a kit that can be installed in many more
                                                                          places. Northwestern sells the inexpensive kits to relief agencies
                                                                          around the world and hopes that families who receive the kit can
                                                                          replicate it once they understand how it works.
                                                                          (Source: Radio Iowa)

     12th Annual SolFest Draws
     10,000 People
  The 12th Annual SolFest was a huge
success, drawing more than 10,000 through
the gates of the Solar Living Institute in
Hopland, CA. Sponsored in part by the
likes of General Hydroponics and Toyota,
SolFest is a showcase of alternative energy
and “green” products.
  Located in Mendocino County, the 12-                200 Greenhouses Exported from Spain to Iraq
acre (~5 ha) living area is open year-round         The Murcia region in southwestern Spain is well known for its variety of fresh fruits
and features eco-friendly amendments               and vegetables — in huge amounts and in every size desired. Greens growing in that
such as a mini-farm, bike-powered energy           area are known for having the best colours and shapes and for having a great taste.
generators, electric-car charging stations          The Murcian farmers have been specialists in growing fruits and vegetables for decades,
and more solar panels in one spot than             and because of the high importance of the agro sector in that area, are also known for
you’ve seen in your life.                          their development and use of the latest technologies.
  Independent media journalist Amy                  Now the government in Kurdistan has seen its chance to grow vegetables and fruits
Goodman was one of the featured speakers.          using the Murcian model and is buying 200 plastic greenhouses and other agricultural
For more information on SolFest, visit             supplies from the Murcia region, which will be donated to local farmers.                                    An agreement was signed by Murcia and Kurdistan last year for a pilot project to
                                                   modernize Kurdistan’s agro sector. The aim of the Kurdish government is to help
                                                   local farmers obtain a higher yield. Experience in Murcia showed that tomato farmers
                                                   could increase their average yield per square meter from half a kilo (~1 lb.) obtained by
                                                   conventional methods to up to nine kilos (~20 lb.) using the new methods.
                                                   (Source: Kurdistan National Assembly)

          Hydro                                             Most garden pests can be controlled by natural means,

                                                            eliminating the need for pesticides or chemical use.
                                                            - Peggy Bradley

     Fun with Aerobic Composting
 Compost. It’s a popular word these days, thrown around in many          • With initial construction of your compost, build it in layers of
different areas of indoor and outdoor gardening. Pre�y much             like materials. One layer of weeds, grass clippings, etc., followed by
anything that can be broken down organically makes good compost        a layer of kitchen scraps, and so on. Soak each layer with water.
material — kitchen scraps, glass clippings, and even newspaper.          • Add a smaller layer of activator (manure) on top.
 So we figured it was about time we discussed one form of                • You don’t need to cover the top but you can use thick newspaper
composting that you can do in your back yard — aerobic                 or a heavy material to contain it.
composting. This is an open-composting method, either in a pile or       • If you cannot turn your compost, cover it with a black plastic
bin that does not have a lid. This allows the natural elements — the   bag and weigh it down. You’ll have a rich organic compost soon
air, sun, and rain — to do their work. With the help of constant       enough.
turning (about every week), you will have a successful compost           • Make sure your compost is directly on the ground, not on
in six weeks or less.                                                  concrete or any other man-made substance.
 While the composting process will generally happen by itself, here      This is just a quick checklist; you should be able to start your
are a few tips that will help maximize your composting efforts:         aerobic composting with li�le help or guidance. Just use a li�le
 • The higher the compost the be�er. Height will help the compost      common sense and get your hands dirty. It’s the most enjoyable
retain heat.                                                           way to learn!

                                                              to clogging, so the small fi�ings might need      • Positives. This is a great system for
     Hydroponics 101 – Pt 2                                   to be taken apart and flushed in hot water,      extremely healthy roots. Since your
 Last issue we looked at the basic NFT                        or a shot of compressed air through the         plant’s roots are not encumbered by soil
system. This month we’re taking a look                        system might be needed to unclog it.            or a nutrient bath, they breathe deeply
at the more intricate aeroponic method of                      • Difficulty of Setup (9 out of 10). This is     and show their appreciation by growing
growing. Check out                       the granddaddy of all home construction.        well.
for last issue’s instalment of Hydroponics                    It takes a little work and precision to          • Negatives. There are three downfalls
101.                                                          successfully set up your misters, and           to this system: price, complicated setup,
 Aeroponic Garden.                                            keeping your psi high enough to deliver         and price. It will cost you more than any of
 The name itself explains what it is. In                      your nutrients equally and efficiently could      your other options to set up, but you do get
most gardens the plant roots are supported                    take some fine-tuning. This one rates a nine     what you pay for. Pre-fabricated systems
in a soil or nutrient bath. In an aeroponic                   on the meter unless you happen to have a        can control cost and will work just as well
garden, however, the roots are suspended                      NASA technician in your back pocket!            as pu�ing something together yourself.
in air. Aeroponic cultivation provides
the most optimized environment for the
exchange of CO2, oxygen, water, and
 • Price. Price can vary greatly. One new
product for the kitchen costs only around
$150, with no work required, whereas a
custom system can be up to three times
as much.
 • Space. Allow about 4 x 8 �. (120 x 240
cm) of space for a 20-plant system.
 • Maintenance. Keep an eye on pH
and nutrient levels, as for most soilless
gardening. Misters are the standard form
of delivery for your nutrient and are prone

��������� ����� ������������������������ �������������

                                • Fully decomposed coconut fiber                          • Specifically                        • Specifically
                                  flushed of excess sodium.                                 formulated for                        formulated for
                                • Stable pH & E.C.                                          outdoor use.                          automated hydrogardens.
                                • Aged 18-28 months to avoid                              • Also suited for                     • Also suited for
                                  pH and nutrient imbalance.                                self-watering                         self-watering planters
                                • 30% air content.                                          planters with                         w/ small-midsize plants.
                                • Works great with Triflex.                                 larger plants.

       Grow right in the bag*


     Hydroponics Health Watch:                     rinse them, and then spread them evenly on
                                                   two layers of paper towel in plastic trays.
                                                                                                  watering is the most important part. Too
                                                                                                  much water will lead to the dreaded root
     Wheat Grass                                   The paper towel will actually hold enough      rot, just like growing in any other soilless
  Welcome to the second instalment of the          moisture to help the seeds germinate. No       system. Of course, too li�le water and the
hydroponics health watch. If you missed            other media are required. Germination will     growth rate will decrease dramatically. Trial
this column last month, you missed a quick         be best at temperatures around 20ºC–22ºC       and error might be required for your first
how-to on growing watercress. Check back           (~68ºF to 72ºF). Lower temperatures will       crop to really perfect the method. If your
at for that article.          slow the germination process, but will         seeds are ever si�ing in water, you know
  Although the average child might cringe at       also work.                                     you have over-watered. They will begin to
the thought of eating something like wheat                                                        rot and could develop fungal or bacterial
grass, this vegetable, which is perfect for                                                       growth.
hydroponic production in small systems,                                                            Approximately five days into growth you
can be consumed in an easy-to-drink juice                                                         can start to incorporate a small amount of
form made from freshly cut young sprouts.                                                         nutrients. Again, use a fine mist of low-
Without cooking or heating, the wheat                                                             strength nutrients with an EC of around
grass contains a high level of chlorophyll,                                                       0.4–0.8, lower if high rates of evaporation
as well as beta-carotene, B group vitamins,                                                       are starting to occur. Nutrition of your
vitamin C, minerals, amino acids, and                                                             wheat grass is really going to be dependent
enzymes.                                                                                          on the type of nutrient you use. A�er about
  Growing wheat or barley grass is one of                                                         a week of further growth, the grass can
the simplest hydroponic systems to set up.                                                        be cut and juiced at whatever stage you
It requires no media or soil, making it a very                                                    prefer. Generally, the younger it is when
clean and easy-to-use system for producing                                                        you cut it the be�er the health benefits.
fresh juice every day. Forget about an apple                                                      A�er harvest, the root mat can be rolled up
— a glass of wheat juice a day will keep the                                                      and composted and the trays cleaned and
doctor away!                                                                                      sterilized, ready for the next crop.
  When you purchase your wheat grass                Cover the trays with plastic for two days      With proper planning, you can have a
or barley grains, they should be those             to keep the moisture locked in. Once you       glass of wheat grass juice with every lunch.
specifically developed for their sprouting          detect germination, you can safely remove      Simple to grow but containing elements for
ability. That way you ensure a chemical-           the plastic and lightly mist the germinating   great health, think about making wheat
free seed. Soak them overnight, drain and          seeds with water, as they require it. The      grass your next hydroponics project!

>         ASK ERIK
                                              Do you have a question for Erik? Forward it to with
                                              the words “Ask Erik” in the subject line, and your answer will be printed in an
                                              upcoming edition.

Hello Erik,

What are the pros and cons of                               together to produce higher lighting intensities.
using LED grow lights vs. other                             However, the distance at which they emit light
types of grow lamps?                                        at higher intensities is not very far.
                                                              In my opinion LED lamps would be very well
Thanks for your help.                                       suited for production of low growing crops
                                                            such as greens, herbs, and dwarf vegetable
Dave Miller
                                                            varieties. Because LED lighting can be
                                                            tailored to very specific spectral outputs, they
                                                            could be used to supplement conventional
Hello Dave,                                                 HID-lit gardens to produce crops of higher
  Light Emitting Diode (LED) technologies                   quality. They can also be used to maintain a
look to be NASA’s first choice in grow room                  vegetative lighting cycle while the HID lamps
construction. LED lights are an extremely                   are running 12/12 to conserve power and
efficient light source, and the spectra can                  allow the use of “flip-flop” relay systems in
be tailored for plant growth functions, so no               the vegetative growth phase.
energy is used to produce wavelengths that                    LED lamps would be extremely well suited
the plants will not require. In fact, plants                for the propagation of seeds and cuttings.
grown under LEDs can look more black, as                    They emit little heat and provide gentle
no green light is being reflected. Green-light               and even lighting, all within the exact light
wavelengths are typically not absorbed by the               wavelengths the plants require. Small-
plants, but reflected. For aesthetic purposes,               scale closet-style grow chambers could be
LEDs can be tailored to allow plants to                     improved with LED lighting.
receive light wavelengths similar to the sun’s                At present LED lighting is more expensive
spectrum. But this means energy is being                    than conventional HID lighting systems.                the quality of the smaller stature plants was
used to create wavelengths that the plants                  But the lack of heat they emit means                   extremely good and the plants appeared
do not require.                                             that exhausting or air-conditioning grow               exceptionally healthy while growing. The yield
  LED lights last much longer than HID lamps                room air will be minimized. The LED lamps              was modest.
and their lumen to watt ratio efficiency is                  operate only a few degrees above ambient                Any growers who have tried this or any other
considerably higher. Although LEDs are a                    temperatures. They can also be mounted at              new technology should feel free to drop me
very efficient source of light, they tend to                 any angle so that all parts of the plants can          a line here at Maximum Yield to share their
lack the sheer intensity that metal halide                  receive light.                                         experiences and opinions.
and HPS lighting systems offer. The individual                A colleague has a friend who finished a crop
LED bulbs are very small and are banked                     exclusively using LED lighting. Reportedly             Cheers, Erik Biksa

      >>         Product Spotlight
                 ask for these exciting new products at your favourite indoor gardening store.

 Rambridge Wholesale Supply is proud to announce the introduction of Planters’ Pride Fiber Grow
Pellets. Fibre Grow Pellets are available in bulk cases of 1000 for the indoor gardening industry. In
addition to being made from a highly renewable resource, Fiber Pellets offer numerous advantages
over traditional growing pellets, such as
 • Higher resistance to mould,
 • Visibly faster plant growth,
 • Greater water absorption,
 • Longer retention of moisture,
 • Faster expansion (up to 10 times).
 Don’t wait to try out this amazing new product. Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more

 National Garden Wholesale introduces the very useful Sun Hut XL and XXL. These practical growing environments, measuring 4
x 4 x7 �. (120 x 120 x 210 cm) and 4 x 8 x 7 �. (120 x 240 x 210 cm), have a thick, black canvas exterior with a reflective white plastic
interior. These unique garden areas feature a high-quality metal frame and a bracket to support an exhaust fan and filter. The Sun
Hut XL includes two 4-in. (~10-cm) duct flanges and the Sun Hut XXL includes two 6-in. (~15-cm) duct flanges. Two Sizes to meet
every gardener’s needs!
 Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more information.

                                                    > PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT
                                                       CUSTOM AUTOMATED
                                                       PRODUCTS OFFER LARGE
                                                       SCALE LIGHTING CONTROL
                                                       MADE EASY!
                                                     The MLC-16 and MLC-24 represent the latest in large-scale
                                                   lighting control. They are capable of controlling up to 24 lights
                                                   from one time clock or controller. The MLC-16 and MLC-24
                                                   outlets are all controlled by one 120-V “trigger cable.” Simply
                                                   plug the trigger cable into a 120-V, 24-hour timer or lighting
                                                                                        controller. The MLC-16 and
                                                                                          MLC-24 feature standard
                                                                                          240-V (NEMA 6-15) outlets,
                                                                                          into which your ballasts
                                                                                          are plugged. The MLC-16a
                                                                                          and MLC-24a use 120-
                                                                                          V (NEMA 5-15) outlets,
                                                                                          allowing the user to run
                                                                                          ballasts at 240 V without
                                                                                                having to change out
                                                                                                        the ballast
                                                                                                           p o we r
                                                                                                           T h e
                                                                                                 four banks of four
                                                   lights. The MLC-24 controls six banks of four lights. Each bank
                                                   of four lights is protected by a 20-A circuit breaker. The MLC-
                                                   16s are rated for 80 A at 120/240 V and the MLC-24s are rated
                                                   for 120 A at 120/240 V.
                                                     Most recently, CAP
                                                   has introduced
                                                   MLC-8D, MLC-8Da,
                                                   MLC-16D, MLC-
                                                   16Da, MLC-24D, and
                                                   MLC24Da. These
                                                   units all have dual
                                                   trigger cables. This
                                                   allows the user to use
                                                   one lighting controller
                                                   to power two rooms
                                                   on different time
                                                   schedules, or bring half of
                                                   the lights on and then the other half a few
                                                   minutes later to avoid a large power spike. Just plug
                                                   each trigger cable into its own 120-V timer and it will control
                                                   up to half of the lights. This CAP item definitely makes it easy
                                                   to handle large-scale lighting.
                                                     For more information on Custom Automated Products visit
                                                   CAP’s website at To order these and
                                                   other CAP products visit your local indoor gardening retailer
                                                   for more information.

  Custom Automated Products introduces an
incredible new line of products. C.A.P. Xtreme
Lighting features top of the line lighting equipment. Switchable
Ballasts available in 250, 400, 600, and 1000 watts. The new
line of reflectors feature high quality made components and air
coolable options. All of the Xtreme products have an unprec-
edented LIFETIME WARRANTY. In addition to the Xtreme
                                              products, C.A.P.
                                              has developed a
                                              value priced line of
                                              lighting equipment.
                                              ValuLine products
                                              include ballasts,
                                              ranging from 250-
                                              1000 watts, and the
                                              LumeWing, a budg-
                                              et conscious reflec-
                                              tor. The ValuLine
                                              products carry a 5
                                              year warranty. For
                                              more information
                                              about C.A.P. prod-
                                              ucts contact your
                                              local retailer.

 For too many years soil growers
have been waiting for a reliable
system for hand watering their
gardens. The Current Culture
H y d r o p o n i c s T. D . S . o f f e r s
gardeners a pump-driven, no-
hassle approach to the important
task of feeding and watering the
garden. The T.D.S. allows you to
effortlessly apply nutrient solution
or brewed teas straight from any
reservoir, barrel, or cistern, directly
to your plants.This convenient method
enables growers to more accurately dose         plants with the
proper volume of solution.
 Our system includes a Li�le Giant 5-MSP 1200 GPH sub pump,
Dramm EZ Grip on/off valve, 3/4-in. (~2-cm) inline water meter,
Dramm 16-in. (~41-cm) water wand, and an 8-ply (no kink)
Gilmour 5/8-in. (1.5-cm) H.D. 25-�. (7.5-m) garden hose. The
T.D.S. is also available with a 2760 GPH sub pump and a 50-�.
(15-m) garden hose for larger applications up to 45 x 45 �. (13.5
x 13.5 m). Combine the T.D.S. with the Neptune’s Cauldron Tea
Brewer and the Blue Lagoon aerated reservoir for the ultimate
hand watering system.
 Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more

                                                                     MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   23
                                                    > PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT
                                                       NICKEL CITY WHOLESALE
                                                       UNVEILS GARDEN
                                                       STARTER TRAY
                                                    Nickel City
                                                   Wholesale is proud
                                                   to announce another
                                                   new product for the
                                                   AeroGarden line.
                                                   Shipping this fall is
                                                   the Garden Starter
                                                   Tray, a fast, easy,
                                                   clean and foolproof
                                                   seed starter that
                                                   allows gardeners to get a jump on the outdoor growing season.
                                                   You can start up to 70 seedling indoors in an AeroGarden with
                                                   no dirt and no mess. From there, it’s just an easy transplant into
                                                   your outdoor garden. Using a specially designed tray that uses
                                                   biodegradable, nutrient-rich grow pods for starting seeds, the
                                                   tray fits into any standard or Pro100 AeroGarden. It only takes
                                                   two to six weeks for seedlings to be ready for transplant. Refill
                                                   grow pods and nutrient tabs are available. Visit your local indoor
                                                   gardening retailer for more information.

                                                       GRODAN® APPROVED
                                                       AGRO-WOOL GRANULATE.
                                                     Agro Dynamics, a
                                                   Grodan company,
                                                   introduces Agro-
                                                   Wool™ Absorbent
                                                   Granulate, a new
                                                   domestic rockwool
                                                   f l o c k . A g r o -Wo o l
                                                   has been tested and
                                                   approved by both
                                                   Grodan and Agro
                                                   Dynamics as a quality
                                                   horticultural medium.
                                                     Tests show that at initial soaking the pH rise in Agro-Wool is
                                                   significantly less than our previous Agro Dynamics Horticultural
                                                   Wool in the yellow bags. This is because the limestone content in
                                                   Agro-Wool is lower. The new wool is also easier to work with. In
                                                   recent trials one store owner in Florida remarked, “My customers
                                                   love it. It is easy to handle, and when dry it is easier to mix with
                                                   other media.”
                                                     Agro-Wool comes in a 20-lb. (9-kg) imprinted bag and a larger
                                                   40-lb. (18-kg) bag. Currently only the absorbent is available.
                                                   The Grodan-branded absorbent and repellent granulates (45-lb.
                                                   (~20-kg) bags) made at the Grodan factories in Europe will still
                                                   be available, giving your customers a choice.
                                                     Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more

 Blackjack Plant Food “Grow Formula”
uses a unique blend of natural ingredients
that through a special process allows
the plants to feed uninterrupted for up
to three months of vegetative growth.
When turning light back to flower, a quick
application of the bloom formula will
allow the plants to feed uninterrupted
through to the end of their bloom cycle.
Low odour and a quick-and-easy application make it perfect for
customers that are likely to have trouble with their indoor or
outdoor gardening.
 Bags of plant food are pre-measured for each size of soil bag the
retailer stocks. Larger-size boxes of both Grow and Bloom are
available. It doesn’t hurt to have a successful grow for customers
who are new to indoor gardening. Blackjack Plant Food delivers
no-hassle plant growth for the customer. The enriched soil may be
used as a grow medium for Naturalponic water culture.
 The full line includes both grow and bloom fertilizer, with
optional water conditioner and foliar spray.
 Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more information.

  The 24 -7 Nutrient Meter
from Control Wizard
Products is a great all-
round meter for nutrient
applications needing
constant monitoring. It
measures ppm, pH, and
temperature, and with
its large illuminated display it is easy to read from a distance.
Calibration screws are conveniently located on the front for easy
  Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more information.

 Pamper your plants with the new Dutch Nutrient Formula
product Carbo-Logic. It’s the logical solution to indulge your
plants. Sugars and starches are vital to a plants growth, and the
organic Carbo Logic will enrich your plant. Whatever you may
be growing, Carbo Logic will provide larger fruit, bigger blooms,
and a sweeter taste. There is nothing but benefits when using
Carbo Logic for your plants.
 It’s time to spoil your plants and allow them to bloom to their
full potential using Dutch Nutrient Formula’s Carbo Logic. For
pricing and more information on how Carbo Logic can benefit
you, please visit your local indoor gardening retailer.

                                                                     MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   25
                                                    > PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT
                                                    It has long been the goal
                                                   of nutrient manufacturers
                                                   to produce the ‘ultimate’
                                                   concentrated one-part
                                                    The problem has always been
                                                   that certain components react
                                                   chemically with each other
                                                   causing an irreversible “lock
                                                   up” and a useless, insoluble
                                                   white sludge when high
                                                   concentrations are combined
                                                   in a single bo�le. The typical
                                                   “solution” has been to either reduce the concentration of
                                                   phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sulphates (four of the
                                                   six essential macro-ingredients!) or to simply reduce the overall
                                                   nutrient concentration.
                                                    Flairform GreenDream nutrients effectively “encapsulate” the
                                                   reactive components within a single, highly concentrated solution.
                                                   Then, all components fully dissolve in the nutrient tank and
                                                   become completely available to the plant. In a very real sense,
                                                   GreenDream is a super-concentrated two part system in an easy
                                                   to use, easy to dose, economical one part container!
                                                    Beginning this fall, Flairform’s complete “seed-to-harvest” line
                                                   of products will be available in the United States and Canada.
                                                    Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more

                                                      PYTHOFF IS NOW
                                                      AVAILABLE IN CANADA!
                                                         Flairform’s Pythoff is a new tool for
                                                   maintaining nutrient system sterility and
                                                   condition. For years, it has been successfully
                                                   used in Australia and New Zealand to fight
                                                   bacterial and fungal infections and to maintain
                                                   healthy nutrient solutions.
                                                     Pythoff is a hydroponic nutrient conditioner
                                                   based on “monochloramine” technology which
                                                   is used world-wide to safely, economically and
                                                   effectively sanitize large scale commercial and
                                                   residential water supplies.
                                                      Pythoff is safe for all phases of the plant
                                                   growth cycle –quite literally from seed to
                                                     Pythoff is easy to use and remains effective for days throughout
                                                   the system.
                                                      Most of all, Pythoff is economical and cost effective for use
                                                   during the entire growing cycle.
                                                    Beginning this fall, Flairform’s complete seed-to-harvest line of
                                                   products will be available in the United States and Canada.
                                                    Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more

    VORTEX « L »
  Atmosphere is a company who stays close to its customers and
listens to their needs. This is why Atmosphere has introduced
three new models of Vortex Powerfans namely, the vtx 6L (235
CFM), the vtx 8L (591 CFM) and the vtx 12L (820 CFM). These
newly added models deliver similar CFM’s than the higher output
of most competitors’ inline blower but at a fraction of the cost of
its Vortex Powerfans counterpart. They carry the same 10 year
warranty and are also speed controllable.
  Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more

                                  More than just sugar in a bo�le,
                                 FloraNectar was formulated by
                                 our scientists to optimize the
                                 greatest transference of sweetness
                                 and aroma into your fruits and
                                  FloraNectar contains all-natural
                                 raw cane sugar, molasses, malt
                                 syrup, select plant-based esters,
                                 L-amino acids, organic acids,
                                 polyflavonoids, vitamins, and
                                 essential minerals. This unique
                                 blend of ingredients helps your
                                 plants regulate enzymes that
                                 trigger specific reactions involved
in maintaining optimal metabolism. This allows your plants to
achieve a balance between respiration and photosynthesis in high-
intensity growing environments, where the rate of respiration can
sometimes exceed the rate of photosynthesis.
 As a result, FloraNectar ensures optimal metabolic rates during
the flowering and fruiting phase when nitrogen levels have been
reduced. During the vegetative phase, FloraNectar promotes
a sturdier plant structure with shorter internodes to support
heavier yields.
 FloraNectar fulfills the additional energy requirements of your
plants throughout all phases of growth and during stressful times
of transition. Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more

                                                                      MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   27
     TECHPRO II™ RELEASE                                                 Temperature is measured by thermistors on all models and
                                                                       reported with every reading.
     TECHPRO II™ TP1, TPH1,                                              Results display instantly on a Liquid Crystal Display. Up to 20
     AND TH1                                                           readings can be stored in memory for easy record management.
                                                                         All instruments are backed by a Two Year Limited Warranty and
 Myron L Company announces its new TechPro II™ series of
                                                                       lifetime service and technical support.
Conductivity/TDS/pH/Temperature instruments.
                                                                         Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more
 Myron L’s TechPro II instruments have all the functionality of
the previous TechPro line but have been completely redesigned
to include new and improved features with greater performance.
The TP1, TPH1, and TH1 deliver the accurate, precise,
repeatable results you require in critical water quality parameter
measurements of Conductivity and TDS (TP1 and TPH1), pH
                                                                          PROFESSIONAL PH AND
(TPH1 and TH1) and Temperature.                                           MOISTURE METERS
 All TechPro II models are waterproof, buoyant, easy-to-use, and        Control Wizard Products now has two professional-grade pH
easy-to-calibrate. The rugged exterior protects internal electronics   and moisture meters for soil growers. The Accurate pH 7 is the
and fits comfortably in your hand. Lightweight and completely           best of both worlds for shallow depths. For deeper depths, up to
portable, these instruments are ideal for use in the field, while the   12 in. (~30 cm), use the Accurate pH 8. They are both relatively
highly stable circuitry gives you the results you need in the lab.     inexpensive and are manufactured to high-quality standards.
 To take a reading, simply rinse and fill the cell cup, then press       Operation is simple. The meters work by utilizing the electronic
the bu�on of the parameter you wish to measure.                        ground field effect of the earth and two dissimilar metals. No
 Both the TP1 and TPH1 feature long-life internal electrodes           ba�eries are required and they come with a one-year limited
and measure conductivity ranging from 0-20,000 microsiemens/           warranty. Simply clean the electrodes and place the meter into
ppm.                                                                   the soil. A pH reading is automatically displayed. Press the green
 The TPH1 and TH1 use a unique internal pH sensor to prevent           bu�on and a moisture reading is displayed.
breakage and prolong the sensor’s useful life. You can use a two-       Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more
or three-point pH calibration for maximum accuracy.                    information.

                              Current Culture brings you the
                             revolutionary Under Current modular
                              hydroponic system. This invention
                               breaks new ground in the world of
                                hydroculture. The Under Current
                                 combines deep-water culture, drip
                                  irrigation, and patent pending
                                   Sub Current Culture to create a
                                    hybridized and unique method
                                     of plant cultivation.
                                       This innovative application
                                     circulates hundreds of gallons
                                   of solution per hour beneath
                               plant roots. An inline Mag Drive
                              pump provides peripheral negative
                              pressure by thrusting nutrients back
                            to a return module (Epicentre). From
this point the solution is drawn from module to subsequent
module, causing a type of perpetual fluid motion. Eight gallon
(~4 L) growth chambers are interconnected via 2-in. (~5-cm)
conduit, allowing nutrients unobstructed passage through the
plant’s root zone. The Under Current supercharges the solution
with dissolved oxygen, creating a hyper-aerobic condition ideal
for beneficial micro-organisms. Nutrient circulation 24/7 ensures
that PH and EC are uniform throughout the entire system.
 The Under Current is the industry’s first and only pump-driven,
recirculating, modular deep-water culture system. Available in, 4-,
6-, 8-, and 12-site models. Designed specifically to accommodate
HID lighting footprints. The Under Current is compatible with
reverse osmosis and/or auto dosing systems. Great for beginners,
built for professionals.
 Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more

 A t m o s p h e r e ’s n e w Vo r t e x
Powerfans V-Series inline duct
fans and boosters combine
high performance and quiet
operation. These fans are
powered by a permanently
lubricated and balanced
external rotor motor
equipped with a mixed-
flow impeller. The heavy duty
galvanized steel and hammertone
epoxy baked finish contributes to the
sound dampening and superior rust prevention. Furthermore the
V-Series fans operate at lower RPM making them even quieter.
They come with a 3 year factory warranty and are 100% speed
 Visit your local indoor gardening retailer for more
                       MORE NEW PRODUCTS ON PAGE 62!
                                                                      MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   29
                        Diagnosis for Dummies:
                        A Reference for the Rest of Us
                                                        by Matt LeBannister

                                                      WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF
                                                      INDOOR GARDENING. It is an
                                                      exciting one, but when you move
                                                      a garden indoors you take on
                                                      Mother Nature’s role and become
                                                      responsible for all aspects of plant
                                                      development. It may seem onerous
                                                      at times, but it doesn’t have to be.
                                                      Any seasoned gardener will tell you
                                                      tales of the myriad problems he or
                                                      she has faced over the years with
                                                      regard to plant health, but some
                                                      basics are discussed here that will
                                                      save you time and trouble.

     MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA Novtember / December 2007
 Assuming you have an ambient temperature in your growing
space between 65ºF and 85ºF and humidity in the range of 40
percent, most plant problems fall into two categories. Usually
you will discover a nutrient problem such as toxicity, deficiency,
or lockout. Otherwise there is likely a pest or disease present, for
example, mites, gnats, molds, mildews, and wilts. By learning
the early signs of plant problems and by using the process of
elimination you can quickly make a diagnosis.
 The first step that every gardener should take once a nutrient
disorder is established is to flush the plant well with pH-bal-
anced water. This flushing can do no harm and will remove any
excess salts from the medium and the plant itself. Next, make
any necessary changes to the feeding schedule to prevent future
 Table 1 shows a quick guide to help you determine whether your
plants require more nutrition or have been given too much. These
are the most common nutrient disorders that are encountered by
the average indoor grower.

                                                                       MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   31
  The solutions to these problems are rela-        the sleeve of your shirt. With some due dili-   also be one of the most devastating because
tively simple once they have been identi-          gence they can be prevented, but if allowed     each female can lay up to one hundred
fied. For any toxicity problem, flush with           to grow unchecked, extreme measures may         eggs. Spider mites have eight legs; can be
pH balanced water or a clearing solution           be needed to eradicate the problem before       yellow, white, brown, two-spo�ed or red;
and correct your feeding schedule accord-          it quickly eradicates your crop.                and appear as tiny specks on the under-
ingly. A deficiency can be corrected by add-          A few tips that will help greatly and apply   sides of leaves. Webbing is a sure sign that
ing more of the nutrient that your plants are      to any of the problems are described below.     the infestation is in the advanced stage.
missing. Using a well balanced, two-part           First, cleanliness is particularly important
nutrient should avert this problem before          and, indeed, next to godliness. Most pests
it ever starts. Always check the pH of the         prefer to consume organic waste ma�er,
nutrient solution. The pH of your nutrient         so keep your growing space free of debris.
solution is directly related to the uptake of      Remove dead leaves and all expired organic
the nutrient by your plants. Dri� too far out      ma�er from the room, including the top of
of the plants’ optimal range and you will          the media. Keep tools clean and wash them
find nutrient discord common.                       a�er each use to prevent spread of disease
  The use of humic acid, which chelates            throughout your plants.
the micronutrients, and fulvic acid, which           If you believe there is a possibility of an
chelates the larger nutrients, will help pre-      insect a�ack or mold or disease, quarantine
vent any deficiencies and almost always             the suspected plants immediately. It is al-
increase the yield and quality of your crop.       ways recommended to sacrifice the plants
There are many products on the market that         that are affected, to protect the healthy. You
contain these specialized ingredients.             may find it necessary to surrender half of         Spider mites
     PESTS AND DISEASE                             your crop, but with a quick diagnosis the
  Mites, gnats, molds, and wilts can sneak         other half can be saved.                        Damage:
their way into a grow room without leaving               SPIDER MITES                               Mites will suck the sap out of the leaves.
a trace as to how they got there. They may         Identification:                                  This gives leaves a pocked appearance
be introduced by infected plants, by air con-        Spider mites are the most common pest         and causes yellowing because of failure to
taining fungus and mold spore, or even on          found a�acking indoor plants. They can          produce chlorophyll.

  For light infestations, pine and neem oil are favorites for control-
ling mite populations; it is organic and safe to use until harvest.
For heavier infestations a miticide may be necessary. Products
with a pyrethrum base are favoured, but mites can adapt to any
remedy quickly, so you need to switch remedies o�en. For very
bad infestations the entire grow room will have to be cleaned out
and disinfected with a five percent bleach solution. Lower the
room temperature and increase the humidity to deter the pest.
  Larvae grow 4–5 mm
long and have trans-
lucent bodies with
black heads. Adults are
black, 2–4 mm long,
and have wings. You
will find them around
the base of the plants,
trying to hide in the
growing medium.
They thrive in a damp
                              Fungus gnat
  Fungus gnats eat fine root hairs and scar larger roots, causing
plants to be stunted. The larvae prefer to eat decaying organic
ma�er. The root wounds can invite wilts.
  The best solution is to use beneficial nematodes, a natural way
of dealing with larvae and available at most indoor gardening
stores. To control the adults, yellow or blue sticky cards can be
very effective.
  Thrips are 1–1.5 mm
long, are very fast mov-
ing, and come in a va-
riety of dark colors as
well as white and grey.
They can also have
stripes. They like to
hide under leaves and
prefer to jump to safety
rather than fly. You will
see the black specks of
thrip feces.                                                   Thrips
  Thrips scrape leaf tissue to suck out the juices within. The dam-
age looks a lot like that of mites.
  Spray with pine or neem oil or a pine- and neem-based product.
Blue sticky cards also work well for population control. A preda-
tory mite is an excellent biological option.
  Whiteflies look like a small white moth, about 1 mm long, and
will usually appear at the top of the least healthy plant first. Eggs
can be found on the underside of leaves.

                                                                         MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   33
  Whiteflies                                             DAMPING-OFF
                                                     This fungal condition is found in grow-
                                                   ing media. It is caused by Pythium,
                                                   Fusarium, or Botrytis fungi.
                                                     It a�acks seedlings and cu�ings, caus-
                                                   ing them to rot where the stem meets the
                                                   growing medium, making them eventu-
                                                   ally fall over.
                                                     Damping-off is aggravated by a combi-
                                                   nation of the following: fungi present in
                                                   the growing medium, overwatering, and
                                                   excessive humidity. Lower the humid-
                                                   ity and exchange the air, and use sterile
                                                                                                                          Powdery Mildew
                                                   growing media. A weak concentration of
 Damage:                                           H2O2 as a media soak, and a five percent       Damage:
 Whiteflies feed in the same way as mites           bleach solution on cu�ing tools is a good      Leaves will yellow and eventually the
and thrips, so the symptoms of damage              idea.                                         plant will die.
are the same.                                           POWDERY MILDEW                           Control:
 Control:                                            Identification: Powdery mildew is lim-        To prevent and control mildew, exchange
 Very similar to mite control. Hang yellow         ited to the upper surfaces of leaves. Small   air frequently and keep humidity in the 40
sticky cards just above the canopy. Insecti-       spots will form there and progress into a     percent range. A sulphur-based product
cidal soap or pyrethrum-based aerosols are         fine white powder that will almost cover       will kill molds, mildew, and fungi, but can
also effective. As far as biological means,         leaves, new shoots, and buds. Plants can      leave a bad taste in the plant. Pine oil is
the wasp Encarsia formosa is the most              be infected for weeks before they show        organic and biodegradable and will control
helpful predator.                                  the first signs of the infection.              the problem without affecting taste.

 This fungus causes healthy roots to go from white to a mushy
brown. If it progresses, the base of the stem can turn brown.
 Plant growth will slow. If it is not stopped early enough, the
plant will die.
 Always make sure you use a sterile growing medium. Don’t
overwater and make sure there is lots of available oxygen to the
root zone.

 Root Rot

 Viruses are the last problem a grower wants to face. They can be
spread by insects, other plants, and by the human hand.
 Viruses usually destroy a plant’s fluid conduit system. The
plant’s growth will be stunted and it will look sickly. Leaf spots
usually appear.
 Once your plants have a virus there is li�le that can be done.
Dispose of any infected plants; you might be able to save the rest
of the harvest. Always use fresh sterile media and disinfect tools
and hands before working in your garden.
 Now that you know about the more common health problems
you could see in your indoor garden, take that knowledge and a
keen eye back to your plants. Never forget that prevention is the
key. The best plant problem is the one you never get!

                                Ma� LeBannister is thrilled to be
                                the newest writer for Maximum
                                Yield Magazine. He is 22 years old
                                and for over 2 years has worked
                                at Homegrown Hydroponics.
                                Ma� manages the retail store at
                                Homegrown’s head office in Toronto
                                and as of late has been traveling the
                                Trade Show circuit as their resident
   expert. “I hope to make a big splash in the indoor gardening
   industry through Maximum Yield. You never know how this
   business will grow”. Ma� extends his services to you, the
   Maximum Yield reader, via 1-800-INFO-GRO.

                                                                        MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   35
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                                               I get about 20% more root growth
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Ralph’s to their feed programs,               and healthy. I strongly recommend
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                                                             MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2007   37
                                                        There is a steadily increasing consumer interest in the availability
                                                       of fresh asparagus in supermarkets on any day of the year. Histori-
                                                       cally asparagus has been grown in temperate climates, with the

                                 by Dr. Mike Nichols   young spears being harvested in the spring; the summer being
                                                       used to replenish the carbohydrates in the root system, which
   Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand    provide the “food” for the spear production the following spring;
                                                       and the tops dying down and the plants then becoming dormant
                                                       in the late autumn and winter. It is possible to harvest an autumn
                                                       crop of asparagus in temperate climates, but this is generally lower
                                                       yielding than a spring crop, and production of new spears ceases

 38 MAXIMUM YIELD CANADA November Decemober 2007

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