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Keeping your cool: Growroom ventilation tips and tricks

Posted on October 16, 2018 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Keeping your cool: Growroom ventilation tips and tricks

 

 

Modern commercial glasshouse climate control for production horticulture is a mammoth task; it includes the control of vents, windows, fans, heaters, shades, misting, humidity systems, carbon dioxide (CO2) dispersal and the list goes on. Recent technological advancements in machine automation involve precise computer control and regulated growing environments that are remotely monitored by external experts on a regular basis. For hobby and personal horticulturalists it can be a daunting and expensive task to set up an optimized and controlled environment but hopefully we can help to simplify.

 

 

Ventilation is as important as water, light, heat and nutrients (Cervantes, 2015). If we understand the basic requirements of our chosen crop it’s actually quite a simple and affordable process to optimise the environment. We need to recognize the required hardware capabilities and the desired ranges to select the appropriate ventilation and environmental control equipment.

 

 

The most important factor for hobby indoor or small greenhouse growers is selecting the appropriate fan(s) and vents to control airflow and temperature. Fans are predominantly used to control growroom climate by extracting the stale warmer air and by providing your plants with a source of fresh, cool air. Calculating the ideal fan size for small growrooms in the Australian climate generally states that we require a complete exchange of the air in the room every 60-120 seconds (Palmer, 2015). This provides enough air movement to remove most of the heat from HID lighting and prevent stagnant pockets of stale air forming. With stale air, stratification around the leaves is likely to slow growth and cause problems with mould and rot. The internal air must be moved via the use of natural currents or mechanically to imitate outdoor climates and environmental conditions.

 

 

 

Calculating the fan size for a small growroom is a fairly basic formula. It’s important to remember that we should balance the air intake and extraction to create atmospheric negative pressure. It’s important to use a larger exhaust fan than intake and the generally accepted ratio is 1:4 (Cervantes 2015). This ensures that all extracted air passes through a carbon filter for the removal of pathogens and undesirable odours. This can put some pressure on the grow tent stitching and wall lining. If the intake fan is more powerful than the exhaust, your growroom will balloon and leak odour. Most common indoor grow tents have lower mesh vents that lightly filter the inward airflow and these importantly reduce the strain on the tent if an appropriate intake fan is not used.

 

 

To determine the cubic size of a growroom, we must calculate the length x width x height of the area. For example, if you have a 1m x 1m x 2m tent – the cubic volume is 2m3. Once we have established the volume of the room we add 25% to factor in the reduction from ducting, friction and filters (Palmer, 2015). For our ‘example tent’ the required air exhaust would be 2.5m3 per minute (2 + 25% of 2). To allow for a complete air exchange every 60 seconds we multiply our 2.5m2 x 60 = 165 CMH (Cubic meters per hour) The recommended corresponding intake fan would be ¼ - ½ the size of this exhaust fan. It’s better to purchase a fan with a larger CMH capacity and run the fan at a lower setting for better longevity and quieter audible fan noise.

 

 

It’s also worth remembering a useful lesson from high school, hot air rises, so our exhaust will ideally be pulling air from the top of the room and our intake ducting pulling fresh, cold air into the lower expanse of the room. A vent fan will pull air much more efficiently than it will push it; try to arrange your fan location accordingly. Additionally, indoor gardens can often take advantage of existing air-conditioning, household heating or ventilation systems but be careful of expensive operating costs for these units!

 

 

Once we have installed the exhaust and intake fans our plants should be receiving a plentiful amount of clean air. Delivering fresh air to plants ensures they will have adequate CO2 to continue plant growth. An internal air mover and intake fan can assist with providing fresh, CO2 rich airflow. Without CO2, plant growth ceases and a plant is unable to produce the sugars/fuel for growth and metabolism.

 

 

In commercial greenhouses one industry trick is to capture the CO2 generated by flue emissions from the heating boilers, then vent it back into dispersing mechanisms for the plants to use. As most home horticulturalists lack this equipment, there are a number of innovative products for small-scale CO2 dispersal using chemical reactions, decomposition or compressed gas that can all be implemented effectively. Using a CO2 tank with a regulator and solenoid valve is the most cost-effective means of improving your growroom CO2 levels during the day. Plants cannot use CO2 during the night, boosting during dark hours is a waste of money, natural resources and can be harmful to the plant.

 

 

For small indoor tent environmental control ventilation is also fundamental for temperature and humidity management. Always plan your temperature management to be able to cope with extreme high and low temperatures expected in your climate. Grow room temperatures should always be kept above 13oC and below 30oC as temperatures outside these parameters will slow/stop plant growth.

 

If we control sudden temperature fluctuations drastic changes in humidity are reduced, which diminishes the chances of rot and mould forming. Smart dimming switches and controllers for HID lighting are beginning to replicate the sunrise and sunset in nature with the intention of reducing drastic temperature and humidity fluctuations. If humidity is too high it will slow evapo-transpiration, reduce water movement in the plant and diminish the plant’s cooling ability (Cervantes, 2015). High humidity also encourages disease spores that can attack during the day or night!

 

 

In Australia, heat management is generally the biggest issue in small growrooms. HID lamps and ballasts radiate warm temperatures, however with smart reflector selection the heat generated by your lamp(s) can be directly exhausted outside the room. Coolcells or Cooltubes directly attach ducting and fans onto your luminaire and can be linked together for superior heat control efficiency. It’s worth investigating if you can dissipate the warm air into the roof or outside the building (through a chimney or into the walls) but always ensure you consider any unwanted fragrances and your neighbours.

 

 

When regulating the temperature and humidity, it’s important to remember that accurate monitoring is essential. Modern technology has provided digital thermometers, hygrometers, thermostats, humidistats and much more advanced sensory and regulating equipment. Ensure you are testing the temperatures and humidity readings above and below the canopy level for an accurate interpretation of your growroom climate.

 

 

The last tip for growroom environmental optimisation comes in the form of appropriate crop management and pruning techniques. De-leafing in commercial production horticulture encourages easier crop management and considerably improves air circulation around the plant. Depending on your crop, it’s recommended to prune out lower spindly branches and foliage that are not receiving much light.

 

 

Calculating ideal environmental conditions isn’t overly difficult, it just requires a little planning and preparation. Always plan for the entire duration of your crops lifespans, especially coming into summer or winter extremes of our harsh and unforgiving Australian climate.

 

Prepare for the worst, so you can provide the best and give your plants an immaculate environment!

Mills Nutrient and Additives (New Product)

Posted on August 9, 2018 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Mills Nutrients is designed from the ground up for performance, versatility, and ease of use. Made in the Dutch tradition of a two part base along with additives that provide your plants with everything they need and nothing they don’t. Mills is a pioneer in the field of bio-mineral plant nutrients, utilising the best sources to optimise growth rates, yield, flavour, and aroma. Years of testing in soil, coco-coir, and hydroponic systems; in sterile systems or with beneficial biologics; in professional greenhouses and with hobbyist growers alike have led to a complete, easy to use line of products of unprecedented quality, providing all the nutritional elements your plants need with any growing method.

 

Mills Nutrients is designed, manufactured and bottled entirely in Holland.

 

Mills Basis Nutrient

 

 

Basis A&B Nutrient

Made from top quality ingredients with a focus on bio-availability, Mills Basis A&B has all the macro and micro-nutrients your plants need, carefully balanced to insure proper nutrition in both vegetative and bloom stages.

 

With everything in the right proportions it makes it easier for growers of all skill levels. Novice growers can simply use as directed, confident that their plants are receiving a balanced diet; advanced growers can save precious time not having to identify and address specific nutrient deficiencies one at a time. Tested thoroughly in soil, coco, and hydro, Basis A&B is a solid foundation for your plants’ to grow on.

 

Start-R

Start-R - for use with seedlings, vegetatively growing plants and plants in early bloom. It has 2 forms of nitrogen that, when used with our Basis A&B, change the NPK to a higher Nitrogen content suitable for seedlings, vegetative growth, and plants in early bloom.

 

Mills Start-R

 

Mills Nutrients C4

 

C4

C4 is designed to assist plants’ delivery of carbohydrates, macro and micro-nutrients, and trace minerals to developing flowers and facilitate the triggering and maturation of complex essential oils appropriate for the early and mid stages of flower development.

 

When used with Basis A&B it alters the NPK to have a higher phosphorus and potassium levels to help initiate growth of fruits and flowers. C4 is works in conjunction with beneficial biologics to feed tender flower sites and maintain overall health of the plant.

 

Ultimate PK

Ultimate PK is a unique Phosphite based bloom stimulant formulated for the last weeks of flower development. Phosphite is an extremely available form of Phosphate that promotes healthy root systems and helps insure proper nutrient intake and plant health late in the bloom cycle. Ultimate PK is specially designed to act as a hardener, bulker, and ripener to push your production to the limit.

 

Mills Ultimate PK

 

Mills Vitalize

 

Vitalize

Vitalize is formulated to make your plants healthier, heartier, and more resistant to stress. Developed in conjunction with Rexil Agro BV, the inventor and leader in Silicic Acid Agro Technology, years of testing in various environments around the world have led to a uniquely bio-available form of silicon that can be used as a root soak or foliar spray to improve growth and yield, increase nutrient uptake, and improve pathogen and stress resistance. In addition, when used in combination with beneficial biologics, Vitalize stimulates the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil and works synergistically with them to promote overall plant.

 

Mills Pays The Bills

 

 

See Mills Australia on Instagram

Comparing EC, CF & PPM

Posted on August 9, 2018 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Comparing EC, CF & PPM

Electro Conductivity or Conductivity Factor (EC x10) is the ONLY Accurate measurement if relaying Nutrient strength to another Person as different PPM meters have been made with different scales for some reason? Ie EC X500 ECx560 or the most Common in Hydro ECx700

 

EC CF PPM

0.2 2 140

0.4 4 280

0.6 6 420

0.8 8 560

1.0 10 700

1.2 12 840

1.4 14 980

1.6 16 1120

1.8 18 1260

2.0 20 1400

2.2 22 1540

2.4 24 1680

2.6 26 1820

2.8 28 1960

3.2 32 2240

3.6 36 2520

Terpinator

Posted on December 18, 2017 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

It's Finally Here! Terpinator is the one and only 100% organic product of its kind, formulated to increase the concentration of Terpinoids in aromatic plant oils and glands.

 

Terpinator is completely water-soluble and a certified organic product and can be used in both a soil and hydroponic-systems.

 

Terpinator has been formulated to increase the concentration of terpinoids in aromatic plant oils and glands. This increase in terpenes occurs by utilizing fundamental plant metabolites through a proprietary reaction.

 

The unique composition of the Terpinator provides the basic building blocks that plants require to produce flavorful oils. Plants that produce these flavorful oils have a unique chemistry that we have captured through a patented scientific process. By using naturally occurring plant and biological compounds, unique enzymatic pathways within a plant's body are utilized to enhance the production of Terpinoids and plant oils.

 

Herbs like sage, mint, rosemary and many others have trichomes that contain Terpinoids. These glands are brought to their maximum potential and size using Terpinator along with any nutrient regiment. Terpinator also catalyzes steps in a plants normal metabolism that will protect, and prolong fragrances of your plant's dried fruits and flowers.

 

Terpinator shows best results at the recommended regiment of 15-30 ml's per gallon. It is recommended using this product during your entire flowering cycle throughout every feeding and during flush.

 

Terpinator may be used during the vegetative stages as well, suggested around 5-10 ml's per gallon for use.

 

The longer you use the Terpinator, the more pronounced your results will be. It has a neutral PH composition and will not raise or lower your nutrient balance more than 200 PPM.

Origns of Hydroponics

Posted on November 21, 2017 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Cannabis has its origins “on the steppes of Central Asia, specifically Mongolia and southern Siberia,” writes University of Kansas science Professor Barney Warf in his journal article “High Points: An Historical Geography of Cannabis.”

 

While pointing out that others have suggested its origins to be in China’s Huang He River valley, the Hindu Kush Mountains, or Afghanistan, Warf believes that “biogeography fluctuated over time, largely in response to the waxing and waning of Pleistocene glaciers from which it took refuge.”

 

According to Ernest L. Abel, author of Marijuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years, cannabis likely flourished in the dump sites of prehistoric hunter gatherers. There is much archaeobotanical evidence from the upper-Paleolithic period of the use of cannabis hemp, and the plant’s geographical distribution can be attributed to its value as a food source, for fiber, and for its use in shamanic rituals.

 

Just like dogs, cannabis came to hold great importance due to its versatility. This one plant could cover many crucial needs, including use as a high protein food source, a medicine, oil for fuel, and fiber for cordage, nets, clothes, and paper.

 

Indeed, cannabis became one of the first known agricultural crops. Considering the history of humans is widely regarded to have begun 250,000 years ago, with the development of agriculture coming only 10,000 years ago, the cannabis plant could be considered one of the catalysts of modern human civilization.

 

There is much evidence of cannabis use in ancient China. It is also believed the first writings on the medicinal use of cannabis appeared here in The Great Herbal. Dating back to 2737 BCE and credited to Shen Nung, this reference book is still used by many practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, although the validity of this text and its author remain puzzling to historians.

 

Also, The Book of Odes or She King, a book of Chinese poetry from 2350 BCE, contains numerous references to the use of industrial hemp. Modern researcher Ethan B. Russo adds in his article History of Cannabis and Its Preparations in Saga, Science, and Sobriquet that “physical evidence of ancient cannabis usage has been reported from the Yanghai Tombs in the Turpan District of the Xinghian-Uighur Autonomous Region in China.

 

A large amount of cannabis radio-carbon dated to 2,500 years ago was found in the tomb of a Caucasoid male, dressed as a shaman,” resembling other such findings throughout the Tarim Basin.

 

Traveling with Chinese farmers into Korea, cannabis eventually spread to India between 2000 BCE and 1000 BCE. Promoted in the Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms), cannabis as one of the five sacred plants of India used as medicine and burned ritualistically as an offering to Lord Shiva.

 

It was used for its psychotropic qualities and became fully integrated in the Hindu culture as a religious sacrament. As in other cultures, the plant also became a common crop used to make flour, fabric, and cordage.

 

Over time, cannabis arrived in the Middle East between 2000 BCE and 1400 BCE. From here, cannabis spread throughout Africa. The Scythians carried it into southeast Russia and Ukraine. The plant was then picked up by Germanic and Scandinavian tribes and brought into Western Europe.

 

(The importance of cannabis hemp was not lost on the Europeans, but its usage did change. In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII declared cannabis use satanic and sacrilegious, thus disconnected the European consciousness from the medicinal and psychotropic uses of cannabis for several centuries to come.)

 

Cannabis hemp also became of great importance for rulers seeking to build empires and maintain massive standing armies. Rome maintained huge hemp arsenals throughout the Roman Empire and hemp production assumed a place of great importance to European superpowers like France and Britain. The French developed a strong hemp growing culture over centuries, while the British relied almost entirely on colonies in India to provide for their substantial needs.

 

It was hemp sails, nets, and rope that propelled the great European fleets and armadas, enlivening trade routes and eventually bringing the cannabis plant to the Americas. The first cargo of cannabis seed arrived with the Puritans in the early 17th century and in the colonies, British law required settlers to grow cannabis hemp.

 

By the 18th century, hemp farming was well-established. It was considered a patriotic duty to grow hemp. George Washington heavily promoted it, while Thomas Jefferson bred different varieties of hemp and began developing early technology to process hemp fiber.

 

In the 19th century, the medicinal use of cannabis was inspired by noted German, French, and British medical scientists who came to obtain substantial quantities of the plant from colonies in India and North Africa.

 

By the latter part of the Victorian era, and only decades prior to the onset of the American prohibitionist mindset, cannabis medical products were as common as today’s toothpaste and cold remedies.

 

Pharmaceutical companies such as American Druggist Syndicate, Wm. S. Merrell Company, and Lloyd Brothers were mass producing cannabis products such as corn plasters, cough syrup, and elixirs for pain relief and numerous other ailments. The Victor Remedies company even marketed a soothing “infant relief” tincture that was one part cannabis indica, one part “sweet spirits”, and one part chloroform.

 

Meanwhile, recreational use of the plant had made its way to the art communities of Western Europe through their colonial connections to Africa and Asia, and in the case of the US, by way of immigration via poor migrant workers south of the border.

 

In the first two decades of the 20th century, numerous hemp processing machines were produced for farmers. By 1919, G.W. Schlichten was awarded a patent for a fiber-processing machine called a decorticator, a machine that would finally mechanize what had been up until then a slow process based on human labor.

 

For unknown reasons, though, the machine was never marketed. Hemp farmers and state agricultural departments eventually put pressure on farm machinery companies like International Harvester to invest their energy into fully mechanizing the hemp fiber harvesting process.

 

Advancements in the industrial processing of hemp would signal the return of a lucrative hemp fiber industry in the mid 1930s that could now compete head-to-head with the cotton gin. But this initiative to industrialize the hemp fiber industry would soon clash with a whole new set of industrial competitors: the new chemical and petroleum giants.

 

The powerful DuPont chemical company was in the early stages of developing synthetic fibers, including nylon. Industrialists such as William Randolph Hearst began to view hemp as a threat to their business interests in fiber and paper manufacturing.

 

(Alternately, Henry Ford saw hemp as an escape from the tightening control of oil magnates; he built a car that not only ran on hemp-based biofuel, but was also made from plastic compounds derived from hemp.)

 

Then Harry J. Anslinger entered the picture. Originally working for the United States Bureau of Prohibition, in 1930, Anslinger was appointed commissioner of the newly founded Bureau of Narcotics under the jurisdiction of the United States Treasury Department. Combining the financial might of government and industry in collusion with Randolph Hearst’s media, Anslinger eventually had every state sign on to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

 

This required anyone interested in growing hemp to apply for a tax stamp, a stamp that the Treasury Department wasn’t handing out. This sleight of hand took the farmers by surprise.

 

Although this new war on marijuana was designed to vilify a resource that stood in direct competition with logging interests and newly founded industrial commodities such as synthetic fibers and pharmaceuticals, the plan was implemented through racism. Anslinger’s use of the Mexican slang “marijuana” in his propaganda, for example, was designed to fool American farmers who did not know that this was a word referring to the hemp plant.

 

In much the same way that Nixon would later energize the war on drugs to target hippies and African Americans, Anslinger used racism and fear as a powerful tool in his attempt to wipe cannabis and hemp out of the public consciousness.

 

Even though high-ranking figures like Mayor LaGuardia of New York City conducted their own studies proving that the recreational use of cannabis contributed to none of the anti-social concerns Anslinger used as justification for prohibition, Anslinger worked aggressively to have the report discredited.

 

Future governmental studies funded by the Nixon administration in the U. and the Pierre Trudeau government in Canada reached the same conclusions as the LaGuardia Commission, yet Anslinger, who ruled in his drug czar role from 1930 to 1975, made certain that very few would be allowed the opportunity to study cannabis under legitimate scientific conditions.

 

To this day, in the United States, cannabis remains listed by the federal government as a Schedule 1 narcotic, which means the cultivation and the study of the plant is almost completely prohibited.

 

Nevertheless, where you find tyrants, you will always find rebels. Since the 60s, anti-prohibition mavericks and historians such as Ed Rosenthal, Terrence McKenna, Marc Emery, and Jack Herer have tirelessly led a conscious reclamation of cannabis history.

 

Today, industrial cannabis applications have again entered public consciousness, and Canada is currently the world leader in hemp production with over 80,000 acres devoted to the crop.

 

There is also great interest in the future of cannabis medicine, especially since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, researcher at the University of South Carolina, believes that “these cannabinoids give us an opportunity to study the functions and see how we can exploit and manipulate these cannabinoids and their receptors to find cures for a large number of diseases for which there are currently no cures.”

 

In recent years, pharmaceutical corporations have also applied for patents on an array of synthetic drugs to target the endocannabinoid system.

 

It was recently reported in economic trade journals that the pharmaceutical market for cannabinoid medications could be worth US$20 billion by the year 2020.

 

These advancements have helped blow open the gates into the realm of experimentation and investment into new cannabis strains, as well as the development of numerous cannabis products including edibles, oils, and safer smoking technologies.

 

What’s more, the University of British Columbia has embarked on the first large-scale study to properly map the genetic makeup of the cannabis plant (due to its status as a controlled narcotic, the actual genetic history of the cannabis plant has been muddled).

 

Today, there is great pressure on governments to end the war on drugs. Though some are concerned that drug prohibition in the US could rise to new sinister heights under the Trump regime, Canada appears poised to usher in an era of legal cannabis and society as a whole appears to be on the cusp of a new era where cannabis may return to the position of reverence and service it once occupied.

 

There is little doubt that the cannabis plant deserves to take its place next to the dog as a contender for the title of “man’s best friend.”

 

Written by David Owen Rama

What is PH all about

Posted on September 27, 2017 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)


STEALTH GARDEN July 13, 2017

We received the following query through our website:

 

"Hi, I just wanted to know why soil A & B requires a higher pH level then hydro and cocos? What happens in soil substrate that makes it different? I love science, can you plz explain?

Bill"

 

We thought our response might help others out there with similar questions.

 

Hi Bill,

Thanks for getting in touch,

 

That’s a fairly complex question, with no simple answer. But I’ll try to give you a basic run down of my understanding, and some links for further reading.

 

Firstly, I take it you understand the pH is a level of acidity/alkalinity of an aqueous or soil substrate. It essentially measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution.

 

The pH of a substrate influences the ‘cation exchange capacity’ of a soil, that is, it’s ability to hold and exchange different ions. Ions are positively or negatively charged compounds (divided into cations or anions, e.g Ammonium NH4+ or Nitrate N03- ) that interact to feed the plant, bacteria and fungal life in the soil.

 

Cations & Anions

(Image Credit GrowersUnderground.com)

 

 

The ability for any plant to uptake nutrients is influenced by this exchange of compounds in the soil and in hydroponic solutions, as shown in the pH availability chart (attached). The different positive and negative compounds, bacteria, water, and other various lifeforms, enzymes and bits and pieces all interact in this delicious soil melting pot to change forms to ideally benefit roots and microbial activity.

 

ph nutrient availability chart fertiliser hydroponics soil

 

Hydroponic solutions are calculated so that the A/B nutrients and additives all mix harmoniously to achieve a stable pH with the right compounds for a plant to easily absorb.

 

In soil, the natural bacteria and enzymes play a more significant role in breaking down the different compounds into absorbable forms. It’s also shown that various forms of beneficial bacteria/mycorrhizae and trichoderma populate better in slightly less acidic conditions (e.g. closer to pH 6.5, but remember that pH is a logarithmic measure).

 

We also have to take into account that different pH levels can change the likelihood of various root diseases and negative organisms occurring in a substrate or water solution. Commercial hydroponic facilities generally run a fairly acidic solution (5.5 - 5.8) as this partially decreases the chance of root disease such as pythium. But the aeration, moisture content, water temperatures, dissolved oxygen, water movement and other factors also all contribute to bacterial populations and interactions, positive and negative.

 

With effective plant nutrition in soil or hydroponics, a combination approach of mineral nutrients (in easily absorbable compounds), chelating acids (humid & fulvic) and organic additives (sea kelps etc that must break down to feed the plant/beneficial bacteria), all work symbiotically to provide the plant with a full and healthy diet, ensuring it can reach it’s full phenotypic potential.

 

So it’s not quite as simple as ’the plant gets more Nitrogen at pH 6.0 than 7.0’ as theres a plethora of factors all contributing to the different compounds and living organisms at work. But hopefully this gives you an idea why pH is crucially important to crop nutriment, and why there are so many theories about the ‘best’ approach of feeding your favourite plants!

 

References and Reading material:

Make sure to download our H&G Growers Journal for free at this link:

 

TANNING YOUR PLANTS: THE CURIOUS EFFECTS OF UVA AND UVB

Posted on March 26, 2017 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

TANNING YOUR PLANTS: THE CURIOUS EFFECTS OF UVA AND UVB

STEALTH GARDEN SUPPLIES March 07, 2017

While getting your tan on is a favorite holiday pastime, we often forget the nasty consequences of too much sunlight on our skin. UV light is harmful to plant tissue too, but research shows that it can also benefit our little green friends.

 

Sunlight is the portion of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation that includes infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (UV) light. It’s these ultraviolet light waves that can cause harmful radiation to our dermal tissue. But, how have our floral friends evolved to deal with this UV light energy?

 

Well, UV radiation can be harmful to plant tissue too, but modern research is proving there are also several distinctly positive responses to UV radiation.

 

What is UV light?

Let’s take a step backwards and look at the basics. Ultraviolet light is an electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength from 10-400 nanometers (nm). This is a shorter wavelength than visible light but longer than X-rays.

 

This radiation can be broken down into three bands:

 

UVA (320-400 nm)

UVB (290-320 nm)

UVC (100-290 nm)

Radiations with wavelengths from 10-180 nm are sometimes referred to as vacuum, or extreme, UV. These radiations propagate only in a vacuum. Thanks to the ozone layer, only UVA and UVB rays reach the Earth’s surface. UVC rays can’t make it through, which is lucky as they could have catastrophic effects.

 

How does UV light affect plants?

As sunlight shines down upon a crop, plants expose the surface of their leaves to capture solar rays. While some of this light energy is used in photosynthesis, some of it regulates different developmental processes—such as advancing growth in good conditions or causing deviations for survival during periods of stress—to optimize the photosynthetic processes and detect seasonal changes. This light-mediated development of form and structure is known as photomorphogenesis.

 

The different developmental or physiological changes are induced by a plant’s photoreceptors, which detect specific wavelengths of light. Photoreceptors are also sensitive to light quantity, quality, and duration.

 

For example, plants growing beneath the canopy use phytochromes to sense the reduced amount of light reaching the plant and regulate such processes as shade-avoidance, competitive interactions, and seed germination.

 

However, it is extremely difficult for scientists to match specific responses to individual photoreceptors. Typically, multiple photoreceptors will interact to produce a single change.

 

Also, some photoreceptors like phytochromes are sensitive to more than one light wavelength. (Phytochromes, which mediate many aspects of vegetative and reproductive development, are responsible for absorbing red and far-red light but also absorb some blue light and UVA radiation.) (See: On the Dawn of a Grow Light Revolution: How Plants Use Different Wavelengths for more information on this.)

 

When it comes to UV radiation, there are several other photoreceptors responsible for absorbing those wavelengths. Cryptochromes, phototropins, and Zeitlupe (ZTL) are the three primary photoreceptors that mediate the effects of UVA. UVB light is primarily mediated by the UV-R8 monomer (shown below, image credit WikiCommons).

 

UVR8 Monomer

 

It has been proven that UV light influences photomorphogenic responses including gene regulation, flavonoid biosynthesis, leaf and epidermal cell expansion, stomatal density, and increased photosynthetic efficiency. However, don’t forget that UV radiation can also damage membranes, DNA, and proteins.

 

That’s why many plants undergo photomorphogenic changes designed to protect them from these rays when their photoreceptors sense the presence of radiation. For example, numerous agricultural crops can synthesize simple phenolic compounds and flavonoids that act as sunscreens and remove damaging oxidants and free radicals.

 

In certain crop species, these phenolic compounds can be extremely desirable and it can be beneficial to the farmer to enhance this aspect of production.

 

How can growers use UV energy without causing damage to their crops?

Although this is a fairly recent field of botanical science, there are reports of dramatic increases in essential oil production by flowering crops grown under lightbulbs with higher UV output. Modern metal halide (MH) and ceramic metal halide (CMH) lamps often include precisely calculated and optimized amounts of UVA and UVB output.

 

Click to see the NEW HORTIVISION FINISHER GLOBE HERE!

 

High UV bulbs are generally recommended for use in the last two weeks of a flowering cycle once the generative development is completely established. This allows for a crop to continually develop in size and growth vigor while also protecting the flowers and canopy with increased resin production.

 

Like all aspects of horticulture, balance is the key to effective UV use. Too much or incorrect ratios of PAR/UVA/UVB will not help, but the correct amounts could encourage some incredibly useful results.

 

Timing is also an important part of UV application. When given UVB throughout the entire growth cycle, sensitive plants such as leafy greens often display reduced growth (plant height, dry weight, leaf area, etc.) and photosynthetic activity.

 

Generally, the effectiveness of UVB also varies both among species and among individual strains or genetics of a given species. If you’re looking to utilize UV in your garden, it’s worth discussing with your local hydroponics store about the best approach for your chosen plant species.

 

Overall, it’s worth discussing and researching the best applications of UV in your garden whilst catering to your specific plant’s physiological requirements.

 

If we use this technology correctly, we can enjoy the delicious benefits of plant sunscreen. This means your flowers will smell better, your fruit will taste superior, and your herbs will have a higher potency in the kitchen.

 

Enjoy the tan!

 

Thomas Forrest

 

Acknowledgements:

 

*Forrest. T.A, 2017, originally published in 'Maximum Yield Indoor Gardening Magazine USA', March Online Edition, available at:

MASTER GROWER TIPS FOR VIGOROUS VEGETATIVE GROWTH

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

MASTER GROWER TIPS FOR VIGOROUS VEGETATIVE GROWTH

Extract from the House & Garden Growers Journal:

 

As your seedlings or cuttings develop, their root mass expands and lateral roots grow thin root hairs to more efficiently uptake nutriment and water from the substrate. Your plant is currently in a vegetative state of growth as the roots, a stem and leaves progress.

 

For photoperiodic plants that depend on the light/dark cycle to determine their growth stages, they can usually be kept in a vegetative state as long as they receive a minimum of 16 hours light per day.

 

A healthy, happy green vegetative plant will always yield the most delicious fruits or flowers. To achieve the best results with your vegetative crops, always ensure to follow our 5 helpful tips for vigorous results:

 

1. Environmental Control:

 

Maintain a healthy airflow throughout the growroom, this prevents stratification of air surrounding the leaves, ensures adequate CO2 and encourages stronger stems through the production of lignin and cellulose. Keep a slightly higher humidity during the vegetative period; between 60-70% is generally ideal for lush green growth.

 

2. Nitrogen Power!

 

The plant uses high levels of Nitrogen during vegetative growth but lower levels are required during the seedling, clone and flowering stages. N is mainly responsible for leaf and stem growth and is most active in young buds, shoots and leaves. Being mobile within the plant, N deficiencies are easily remedied with a foliar application of Nitrogen N27% or Magic Green.

 

3. Love the blues

 

For indoor horticulturalists: The spectral quality and quantity of your grow lighting is essential. Using lamps that emit a higher ratio of blue/white light encourages shorter internodal spacing, stronger cell development and thicker stems. Traditionally some growers use Metal Halide globes during the vegetative state for stockier plants but we suggest adding 315w LEC luminaires. These lamps have an incredibly high colour-rendering index; ensuring powerful vegetative growth and increased essential oil and resin production in flower.

 

4. Nature makes the best flowers

 

The H&G Range has incorporated a number of organic compounds into our feeding regime. These organic biostimulants encourage much faster plant development through a range of natural biological processes. They gently interact with the roots, the substrate, the mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria and this stimulates a more efficient uptake of nutrients. Enzymes help to break down dead root matter and convert unusable compounds into more absorbable forms. Sea Kelp also provides a whole assortment of delicious trace elements and even aids as a stress reliever, while feeding and encouraging beneficial bacteria development!

 

5. Keep your pH in check!

 

The pH (The acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution) affects the uptake of certain nutrients and should be carefully monitored in both hydroponic and soil cultivation. The influence of hydrogen ions (H+) affects the capacity of positively or negatively charged ions within the soil, water or growing medium. Our range of nutrients is pH stable, which ensures they will adjust the pH when added to water at the correct ratios. However as plants grow they use certain compounds and the root exudates and mucilage influences the ratios within the water. It’s always worth checking the pH of your reservoir and runoff with an accurately calibrated pH pen. Also note that not all tap water is created equal.

 

During the vegetative state your plants leaf and stem development is powerful and exciting. They will thrive if given the right conditions and grow into a beautiful fruiting crop. For best results always ensure to follow our recommended feed charts and don’t overwater!

Hemp Protein Organic

Posted on September 26, 2016 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

About Hemp Protein

 

Our hemp protein powder contains all the amino acids in great proportions (learn more on our nutrition page) and as well as being voted the best raw protein, it is the best gluten free, vegan protein and plant based protein known to man! Our latest product is this high quality plant based vegan hemp protein. Containing all the amino acids this is not the ‘hemp fibre flour’ you may have tried before – this is a super fine grade of super hemp seed nutrition. Recommended by the best body builders and trainers world-wide as a preference to soy or pea protein for it’s quality and taste. Hemp protein is an ideal VEGAN and VEGETARIAN and, unlike pea protein and whey protein, supports a truly sustainable Australian hemp industry for food, fibre, fuel, paper, building and bioplastics.

Why Hemp Foods Australia Hemp Protein Powder?

 

We have launched a new hemp protein product that is locally made. Unlike the ‘hemp flour’ which some have labeled hemp protein, this is a true protein focused product that is very fine. Our organic protein powder is made by cold-pressing whole hemp seeds which separates the seed from the oil. A very fine powder is then created by cold-milling and then sieving (physical separation), a natural process that does not use heat, chemicals or solvents. This is a true protein powder, nutritious and full of amino acids, not a ‘hemp flour.’

 

Is it Raw, Vegan and Organic Hemp Protein Powder?

 

Yes, our plant based product is made using a mechanical process only. We only produce hemp seed based products in our factory. Hemp protein is one of the most nutritious and beneficial proteins available for vegetarians and vegans. Our factory is dedicated to processing only organic hemp seed based products and guarantee that you will get as much protein as possible in the most natural way. It is environmentally friendly, grown without the use of pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Additionally, hemp protein supports a truly sustainable Australian hemp industry for food, fibre, fuel, paper, building and bioplastics.

 

How to Use Hemp Protein Powder

 

Hemp protein powder has a mild flavor that easily blends with many foods. The protein and fiber help to slow digestion, prevent spikes in blood sugar, and help the body to sustain energy. Hemp protein powder can be mixed in with smoothies and shakes, or sprinkled on yogurt, cereal or fruit. Try mixing it into your salad dressing, soup stock, burgers, or nut butters. The powder can be used in any baked good, and can replace some of the flour that is used. Although hemp protein powder is not psychoactive in any form and is legal in nearly every country in the world, please check with laws in your country before using.

 

Why Should I Try Hemp Protein Over Whey or Soy Protein?

 

Whey protein is not a natural product, and does not promote a sustainable industry. Whey protein may have some benefits, but only if used in moderation. Consuming too much whey protein could put extra strain on kidneys as well as increase body fat. Read this article for in-depth analysis of whey protein: http://su.pr/7h8RWF Many processed foods use soy in their ingredients and studies have shown that the trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may contribute to pancreatic disorder. Soy also increases the body’s requirements for vitamins B12 and D. Independent studies on soy, soy protein and its side effects can be found in the links on our hemp milk page. Hemp contains a higher content of essential amino acids than either whey or soy and has a higher rate of digestibility, thereby allowing the body to use it more efficiently.

 

What are the Hemp Protein Powder Benefits?

 

Yes, and it contains all the essential amino acids in great quantities. An important aspect of hemp seed protein is a high content of arginine (97mg/g protein) and histidine (23 mg/g protein), both of which are important for growth during childhood, and of the sulfur containing amino acids Methionine (20 mg/g protein) and cysteine (16 mg/g protein), which are needed for proper enzyme formation. Hemp protein also contains relatively high levels of the branched-chain amino acids that are important for the metabolism of exercising muscle. Hemp protein contains over 61mg/g of protein of Leucine – higher than cashews or chia seeds. The oil found in hemp seed consists of essential fatty acids that the body is unable to produce on its own. The Omega-3 fatty acid in hemp seed oil lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, and may have an effect on Alzheimer’s disease. The Omega-6 fatty acids help maintain brain functions and bone health, as well as stimulate hair and skin growth.

Grow Phase Strategies for Better Results

Posted on February 28, 2016 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Grow Phase Strategies for Better Results

 

Plant grow phase is also called vegetative growth phase or veg phase, and it’s way more important than most growers realise.

The success of your plant bloom phase—bud size, harvest weight, taste and smell, plant health—are greatly determined by how well you treat your plants in grow phase.

In grow phase, your plants develop:

their major root structure and network

their main stalks and sub-branches

their metabolic functions

their leaves

Grow phase starts from the time a seedling sprouts, or the time a cutting is rooted, and ends when you switch your lighting to 12-12.

How do you know your grow phase is going well? Here’s what you see:

Aboveground growth of at least one inch per day

Root growth of one inch or more every two days

Five or more sets of true leaves within two weeks of a seedling sprouting.

Healthy, fully-formed, lime-green leaves

Thick stalks

Short, dense plants that stand up fine on their own with no support

Increasing use of water and nutrients

How can you ensure you get the fastest, strongest, and most useful grow phase plants?

Call Green Acres sales staff. Tell them the system you’re growing in, the type of water you’re using, how old your plants are, whether they’re cuttings or seedlings. Ask them advice on what grow phase hydroponics base nutrients to use, and what parts per million.

Note that the parts per million (ppm) of your hydroponics base nutrients should start lower than manufacturer’s recommended dose, and gradually climb as plants get larger.

Put fan breeze directly blowing on your young plants to strengthen their stalks.

Use Roots Excelurator, H&G Multizme &Nitrogen, or similar products.

When plants have five sets of true leaves, cut or pinch the top leaf set from the main stem. This creates branching and dense growth, instead of plants that are too tall.

If using a dimmible digital ballast, dim down from 600W to 400W in grow phase.

Keep your nutrients water at 18 approx deg Celsius, and keep the water aerated.

Measure hydroponics nutrients water run off and pH. If the nutrients water run off ppm elevates to at least 400 ppm more than the ppm you’re sending in, or if the pH deviates more than .4 pH points—call the nutrients manufacturer to ask about the pH deviations. In the case of the 400 or more ppm elevation, do one feed cycle with only reverse osmosis water to flush out the root zone.

Use only reverse osmosis water.- Tas water is usually fine.

Routinely inspect your plants grow phase for pests and diseases.

If growth rate slows or stops, or if leaves go off-colour or show signs of leaf tip burning, do nutrients problems diagnosis, and check to make sure you’re not over watering.

Give your veg phase plants at least four weeks in grow phase so they have adequate roots, stalks, and branches. If you’re doing sea of green or screen of green (SCROG), and/or if you’ve got limited height, you may have to trim or train your plants to keep them low. But do everything possible to give them at least four weeks, if not 5-7 weeks, in grow phase.

The simple fact is that a high-yielding bloom phase can only be achieved if you build your plants properly during marijuana grow phase. Now you know how to do it!

 


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