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Current Culture H2O Fresno, CA. 93722 U.S.A. web: email:

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From the Editor Page Five Ask Erik Page Seven BioEner getic Agricultu re Page Nine 25 years of hydro The Bad Page T weleve Page Fifteen Hydro Lost Scienc e Chartin g Plant Stress Page Sevente en Felix Inden Photos Page Ninetee n

Evan Folds:

Page Twenty One

U Swirl Compos t Tea Page Twenty Three HYDRO Scripts Gear Reviews Page Twenty Six Thanks and Praises Page Twenty Eight Support and Affiliat es Page Twenty Nine Jeff Edwards has been a fixture in the hobby hydroponic industry since 1988. Prior to joining, he was the Assistant Director at NORML. Jeff went on to found and operate Home Harvest Garden Supply as a retail and ecommerce concern for the next 24 years. He is a founding and current board member of the Progressive Gardening Trade Association, formerly known as the Hydroponic Merchants Association. More recently, he has been offering marketing, advertising, and web development services to manufacturers, distributor and retail hydroponic businesses. He also hates typos.

Casey Jones Fraser is an obsessed gardener. He grows veggies, herbs, and flowers with both traditional and hydroponic methods. His years of botanical experiences have taken him everywhere from Jamaica to Northern California on a quest for more knowledge. You can read his articles in various hydroponics magazines, or visit his retail shop: Garden Grove Organics in the Northern Kentucky region of Greater Cincinnati.


Table of Contents

Evan Folds has a BS in Biology and a minor in Religion from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He is the founder and president of Progressive Gardens (, a retail gardening store specializing in hydroponic and organic gardening techniques. And Progress Earth (, the global distributor of the Vortex Brewer® compost tea system, whose focus is growing healthy people, plants & planet! Evan is a contributing writer for reputable international publications, including Maximum Yield, Garden Culture, Urban Farm and many more. He resides with his wife and two children in Wilmington, NC.

Jordan Gartenhaus

self now he focuses just on making gardens as fruitful as is scientifically possible. He spends a lot of his time optimizing grow spaces to is one of those people that always tries to figure out how or why things work the way they make the most of the resources available, and also strongly advocates quality automation do. To that end he earned a BS in mechanical systems. He would since he co-owns a company engineering, but shortly after graduating he realized his time spent in school created more that designs and sells their own automation equipment, but despite the conflict of interest questions about everything around him than he actually does provide excellent insight into answers. the “how” and “why” of gardening. If you want to In an effort to prevent from overwhelming him- reach him:

lb -Jeff EdwardsContent Advisory & Edits

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is a hard working member of the hydroponics industry that likes to share his knowledge-and ability for achieving extraordinairy yields with his fellow megawattage minded horticulturalists. He’s always working on improving crops, or if your prefer: taking clones 2 zones!

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Plug and Play: The Crossfire CO2 controller will automatically detect the presence of the sensor and start to use it. The readings and information for this sensor will be shown as #2 on the controller LCD

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Precision CO2 sensor: Dual Wavelength NDIR, altitude and temperature compensated. Designed specifically for greenhouse applications Light sensor to disable CO2 control if lights are off Temperature sensor for compensation and high temperature shut-off SPECS Power: 12VDC Connection: 4 wire: 2 for power, and 2 for RS-485 serial communications. The connection is via a 25 foot CAT5 shielded cable. A removable rubber bushing protects the CAT5 cable to sensor connection allowing convenient replacement of the cable for a more suitable length or type. Dimensions: 1.312” (33.5 mm) diameter, 4.4” (112 mm) long Interface: 9600 baud, Modbus protocol (9600,E,8,1).Sensor Type: Dual wavelength CO2 sensor + Light and Temperature sensors Compensation: Altitude and temperature compensated. Range: 0 – 10,000 ppm Accuracy: ± 50 ppm in the range of 0 – 1000 ppm & 5% of reading between 1000 and 10,000 ppm. Resolution: 1 ppm Repeatability: ± 20 ppm Calibration: 6-12 months depending on environment.

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From the Editor FAITH IN HYDRO SCIENCE? Welcome back again, friends. This Edition, it being our VIIth, we look to find some balance between nature and science. Often, we may perceive the two to be removed from one another yet factually, we may find they are really one and the same. Perhaps its more of a matter of the way we have developed or conditioned our brains to pick up and translate the “raw data” from the world around us, understand, store and ultimately relay and apply that data. It's hard to say how the human brain works, and there are sure a lot of them out there; seemingly very different yet with so many commonalities. This makes it especially curious and sometimes even amusing how an individual or a group can argue tooth and nail over a point-yet not realize they are talking about the exact same thing; just from completely different perspectives. Yet either side may adamantly proclaim to be “correct” and the other “not”. “So what's this got to do with anything hydroponic?” is what some of you may be asking. Well, quite a lot really. It seems somewhere along the way, people drew a line between “science” and “faith”. Science is simply a way of framing things where it is believed that tangible proof of a “law” can support it. Faith simply says, “it's like that-and you'll have to make your own evidence if you need it”. Yet, in the case of Science, major fundamental “laws” get completely blown out of the water every so often, dispelling the “proof” of certain phenomenon or behaviors-while still not making them any less true. The difference is now there is a new “law” as to the why. Turns out it was just “faith” all along. Now on the other hand, when people put all of their energy into “faith” and completely ignore Science, there is a good bet they are heading for some kind of disaster big or small just as quickly and surely.

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Science is a discipline. In real science it's not a matter of what is convenient, quick or easy: it's about following and documenting every possible detail along every necessary step that needs to be taken to reach the outcome. It's also about removing emotion from that outcome and simply stating the results-favorable or not. So it seems to achieve balanced critical thinking we need to sip from both the cup of Science and that of Faith. In this Edition, we offer a feature called “How Hydro Lost It's Science”. Its a factual look back on historical events that saw a young hydroponics industry transform from commercial and scientific applications to a stronger segment geared home growing enthusiests. Would it be fair to say hydroponics has gotten “dumbed down” over the years in order to make it attractive to a broader audience? Possibly. But on the flip side, you sometimes get people who don't want to see things become so widespread-kind of a “scarcity” mentality-it keeps the value high because the supply is low. I would say people take advantage of the fact that there is less formal science evident in our industry now, more than ever before-astonishingly while the hydroponics industry has grown to record global numbers.

So, maybe the next time someone interjects some Faith based knowledge into a growing discussion, you might be wise not to brush it off so quickly. If you really want to think critical, turn the scope and point it back in your own direction and weighin on where your information comes from in making your hydroponics decisions based on what you perceive to be “Science”. You may find you have had Faith all along!

Eri k Bi ksa the Edito r

Few companies divulge credible studies with regards to their products performance, in fact, we now have less showing on our labels than ever spite of the fact that hydroponics fertilizers and supplements now have a wider spectrum of ingredients and benefits than they ever have. This ridiculous phenomenon is in part the result of bad North American fertilizer labelling policies, but let's talk about that another day. The point here is that even the products you select, purchase and use to grow your garden are very much based on Faith rather than Science. Seriously, think about it.

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Looks li ke it s goi n g to be a Grozi n e ki n d of day

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HYDROPONICS: Heavier Yields?



The quick answer is like this: Per YEAR you have more yield potential in hydro, if you keep similar plant counts. If you bump up your plant counts to SOG (Sea Of Green) style numbers, you have the potential to yield more per CROP, as well as per year. While soil crops may be slower growing, especially during vegetative growth, the harder growth that is produced can have more dry weight, while fresh weights may be similar in comparing soil to hydro homegrown. So in part, the answer also depends on what parts of the plant you are using and how they will be processed or handled post crop. To explain how you can harvest more per year with hydro, while not changing plant counts, the difference comes with taking advantage of accelerated rates of growth that reduce the time it takes plants to

get to their desired size, as well as the level of control that is afforded to the grower and how quickly they can make changes to nutrient balances and uptake. Factoring turnaround time between crops is also another plus for hydro: scrub and sterilize the system and it's ready to plant again. When you combine the cropping time reduced in these areas, and work on losing even more time per cycle, you can effectively add a cropping cycle onto a calendar year. If you can shave two or three weeks from your vegetative growth phase and a week or more in your flowering phase each cycle...well, do the math. This gain spread out over several crops impacts what you can cut down from the same space every 365 days in a positive way. Shifting gears again, if you aren't concerned with increasing your plant count to whatever numbers are most productive for the space you grow in relative to the variety and your growing style, you may also be able to yield more per cycle, even at accelerated harvest rates by carpeting beneath your lighting with an army of short and productive plants.

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SOG style plantings pack in the space with solid and productive growth. Densities of one plant every four inches, while extreme, can be incredibly productive. Naturally this depends on how you set up and manage the garden-but in the end, insanely heavy harvests can be achieved in even less time when plants are triggered to flower after gaining a few sets of leaves in veg and being forced to flower right away. Good pruning pays here, btw. The type of system you select and how well it's suited to your style and plant varieties is going to play a big role in your potential level of success. There are proven cropping systems with the equipment list to match available to help you stack the cards in your favor, but ultimately it's going to come down to you: are you willing and able to find the time and financial resources to make the switch-and can you afford a set back or two while you perfect your hydroponic garden? If you can, there are rewards to be had.

AsK ERik Growing Questions? Email:

Cheers, Erik Biksa

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want d n a t c u d o r P a Have an Idea or zed i m o t s u c d n a d e m a multi-platfor eachr d n a g n i d n i f approach to ? t c a p m i l a e r r o ce f ing YOUR audien m o c . e n i z o r g @ s e l sa -Illegitimi Non Carborundum-

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e r u t l u c i r G A c i t e g r Bio-Ene GROWING FUTURE Life is alive. Sounds obvious right, but what is it that makes it alive?

1924 when he delivered a series of lectures over sense once they are experienced. And once you eight days that represented the very firstSchauberger reachave of experienced is noday. going back. Viktor them meansthem thattheresunny They can tion to chemical farming now knownwas as known The AgriViktor Schauberger provides some insight into as the the potential of be measured through This isn’t a riddle, this is serious stuff. All culture Course. he observed that wesuch spend “Water Wizard” andthe conundrum the systemwhen is not techniques as so witchraft and woo woo aside, surely there is Wilhelm Reich discovered the bion championed and Nikola the conmuch being time thinking about how an apple fell and maximized. dowsing, chromatogmore to life than what is physically here. Of Tesla the secrets of free energy. cept The list goes hit Newton on his head whenraphy he first considered of implosive or kirlian Life is alive. Sounds obvious right, but what is course this isn’t news to most, but rarely do we on. gravity, but relatively time considering energy. He made Conventional agri- no photography, but how it that makes it alive? apply this knowledge in the garden in any sort We have developed a means of communicating these the apple gotisupphysithere in the first place. many inventions culture these techniques of practical way. concepts from a platform we call BioEnergetic The cal realand question is not who is right or wrong, that capitalized mineral; are not accepted by This isn’t a riddle, this is serious stuff. All We live in an age materialism, con-is more agriculture. The concept is that living but what are we by scientific having small minds. on thesystems regenerative you plow andmissing you method witchraft andofwoo woo aside, where surelythe there forces ofenimplofertilize. science. cept and subtle energies and life retain a physical, mineral, biological and These concepts Organic are relevant and will help you to relevance life than of what is physically here. sion, most of which agriculture begins force are mocked in the face of the mighty sciergetic component. Not addressing all of them grow the best garden of your life, but you will are unknown to the to incorporate they can entificOfmethod, fertilizers and toxic rescue means that the potential of the system is not not find the answersthe of whyBut they work incerconvencourse this isn’t news to most, but rarely do public. biological comtainly be enjoyed chemistry. being maximized. tional ways. It takes faith, experimentation and we apply this knowledge in the garden in any sort But both to your in the garden. The It’s aofdifficult We are not collectiveConventional agriculture is physical and minmost ponent. of all listening plants. practicalsubject. way. RudolfagriculSteiner wasI have methods of growing realm of of energized subtle en-waly comfortable with the idea of energy or vibraeral…you plow and you fertilize. Organic experienced the results a spiritual scicompletely ignore ergies is the of newland tion being so influential on plants and living ture begins to incorporate the biological comter, BioDynamic preps effecting an acre entist that cre- with the energetic of elefrontier of farming systems. We are much more content believing that ponent. But both methods of growing completely a tablespoon physical material, seeing ated the BioDynamic ment of life. and gardening. The But life is static and comprised of only what is ignore the energetic element of life. crops jump 4″ overnight using a field spray. We li ve in an age of material of agricul-I didn’t believe any of it concepts of vorism, physical, and can be measured. BioDynamic agriculture is a methodmethod that works either before I tested where the replicable concept and relevance of ture in 1924 when BioDynamic agritexing, resonance, But we all know that life doesn’t work like strictly with energetics, but mostly ignores the it for myself. subtle energies and life he delivered a seculture is a method implosion, homefothe rce less are you know. that. further you look other aspects of growing like mineral balance The point is that if you apply the static scienmockedThe in th e face of the mighty sciries of lectures that works strictly opathy, potentizaThe more you aim to prove the more backed into a and biological diversity. Think of it this way, tific method to a dynamic reality you are always en tifi c me thod , fertilizers and toxic over eight days with energetics, tion, vibration and corner you become. conventional growing is drowning, organics is going to end up using the “science” to undermine re scue ch emistry. that represented but mostly ignores frequency will make Life is a conundrum for sure, and one that cantreading water and BioEnergetic growing is swimthe value of the wholistic system and telling the very first rethe other aspects more sense once not be answered by normal “science” that comes ming where you want to go. you arelike right. Think it. action to chemicalyourself of growing theyabout are experifrom text books. The hopeless skeptic will The subtle energies that act as the glue to farming nowour known mineral balance and enced. And once you throw the baby out with the bathe water here, physical reality are taken for granted mostly ly ve ti ec ll as The Agriculture biological diverhave experienced ect. We ar not co ult subjcuriosity a diff It'sthose but oficgenuine will recognize because we cannot see them; but they exist, in bration Course. sity. Think of it them there is no the idea of energy or vi th great e wi tablof comfor that some the minds of the past did not the same way that stars exist in the sky on a s. em st sy this way, convengoing back. l on plants and living uentia so infl being their spend lives researching these concepts for sunny day. They can be measured through techis fe li Wilhelm Reich distional growing is at believing th We are much more content nothing. or the kir-bion covered drowning, organics Viktor Schauberphysical, rep- niques such as dowsing, chromatography comprised of only what is d an ic at st Viktor Schauberger me was known as the “Water Wizlian photography, but these techniques are not and Nikola Tesla is treading water ger provides some asured. and can be e bl ca li ard” and championed the concept of implosive accepted by scientific method science. the secrets of free and BioEnergetic insight into the The list growing is swimming conundrum when he energy. He made many inventions that capitalized But they can certainly be enjoyed energy. in the garden. goes on. where you want to observed that we on the regenerative forces of implosion, most of The realm of subtle energies is the new frontier We have developed go. spend so much time which are unknown to the public. of farming and gardening. The concepts of vorBut we all know that a means of comthinking about how Rudolf Steiner was a spiritual scientist that texing, resonance, implosion, homeopathy, potenlife doesn’t work like m for conundru a is Life these The subtle eneran apple fell and created the BioDynamic method of agriculture in tization, vibration and frequency municating will make more that. The further you sure, and one that canconcepts from a gies that act as hit Newton on his look the less you not be answered by normal platform we call the glue to our head when he first know. The more you “science” that comes from BioEnergetic agriphysical realconsidered gravaim to prove the more text books. The hopeculture. The conity are taken for ity, but relatively backed into a corner less skeptic will throw cept is that living granted mostly beno time consideryou become. the baby out with the bath systems retain a cause we cannot see ing how the apple water here, but those of physical, mineral, them; but they exgot up there in the genuine curiosity will biological and enist, in the same first place. >>> recognize that some of the ergetic component. way that stars exgreat minds of the past Not addressing all ist in the sky on a did not spend their lives researching these concepts for nothing.


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By Evan Folds

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Rudolph Steiner

The real question is not who is right or wrong, but what are we missing by having small minds. These concepts are relevant and will help you grow the best garden of your life, but you will not find the answers of why they work in conventional ways. It takes faith, experimentation and most of all listening to your plants. I have experienced the results of energized water, BioDynamic preps effecting an acre of land with a tablespoon of physical material, seeing crops jump 4 inches overnight using a field spray. But I didn’t believe any of it either before I tested it for myself. The point is that if you apply the static scientific method to a dynamic reality you are always going to end up using the “science” to undermine the value of the holistic system and telling yourself you are


Think about it.

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Rock Resinator incorporates cutting edge blending technologies to provide a consistent and reliable product, with the results delivered sure to Rock your grow!

Rock Resi n ato r

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Rock Resinator is easy to use and concentrated too! For most applications, just add Rock Resinator beginning the second week of flowering through harvest at a rate of 4mL per gallon of nutrient solution for a mild solution. For a stronger solution, use up to 8mL per gallon. Always shake well before use. Trusted by Growers Rock Resinator is used and trusted by thousands of plant growers, both professional and hobbyist, around the globe. -Suitable for all grow systems and media -Stronger and high quality components -Long shelf life elements

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nf I o II s art dward : P E t a y RO f are r Jef OF HYD he Ulg e T S ide e w Her y Ins E YEAR ad and rt two : B V tr at pa dus TY FI ve The eing i r , N b d ar TWE Goo This we e s h an . “T ies ly me r e l S ura nat

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Controllers and timers, pH and nutrient testers, carbon filters, inline fans, even hydroponic nutrients these are just a few of the lines where there can potentially be an overwhelming amount of choice for newbies to have to make.


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Jef y B


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CHOICES If you read Part 1 in my Grozine series, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, you probably remember seeing Choices as being one of the “good” things I highlight. And in the general scheme of customer satisfaction, they are… until the choices become overwhelming or excessive. And in many segments of the hydroponic industry, they have. EB Note-So true, talk to any newb who first flips through a commercial hydro Ad rag, and they will have less of an idea of what they want or need versus before they looked. What are we offering people: SOLUTIONS not confusion! A prime example is HID lighting. An indoor gardening novice is forced to make a choice between dozens of different wattages and types of ballasts, scores of reflectors,

and then hundreds of lamps and only after wading through all of these options, will they have a working product. I'm not trying to pick on any one segment of the hydroponic

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industry, but there are many product areas that seem to have an overwhelming number of offerings relative to the number of actual consumers in the marketplace.

To illustrate this point, I'll refer to a very interesting study conducted in a California gourmet food store where researchers set up a booth of jelly samples, during which they switched the number of offerings between 24 flavors and six flavors every few hours and recorded the number of people who would stop by and sample and/or purchase the product. Not surprisingly, 60 percent of the market customers were drawn to the large assortment while only 40 percent were drawn to the smaller number of jars. What was surprising, however, was that

30 percent of the people who stopped at the booth with the smaller assortment actually purchased the jelly, while only 3 percent of the potential customers made a purchase when the larger assortment was displayed. Research also shows that consumers who made a purchase from an excessive number of choices often feel a sense of buyer's remorse afterwards, feeling less satisfied about their initial purchase thinking that maybe they could have done better. Bottom line to retailers, offer a broad selection of products, but keep in mind the potential sales lost to overwhelming the uninitiated. Provide a clearly defined path for complicated product lines and be sure you have knowledgeable employees guiding the process for newcomers.

WEIRD PRICING Price wars in hydro have definitely lowered the cost associated with beginning an entry level indoor or hydroponic garden. But I really have to address the weird suggested retail pricing schemes that many manufacturers of products in the hydro niche seem to have adopted. Many of the MSRP's I've seen lately look like they were created by someone who plays the lottery way too much. Why would you price a quart of nutrient with a MSRP of $13.15? A liter by a different manufacturer has an MSRP of $22.41. Another has gallons at a recommended retail of $35.87? Who comes up with these prices? EB Note-My wager is either on drunken Leprechauns or Corporate Stooges, lol >>>

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And it's not just nutrients; there are oodles of hydroponic products for sale that have weird pricing. Consumers and growers alike look at weird pricing with a general sense of suspicion. It doesn’t fit with what they have been accustomed to seeing price wise their entire lives. There is a reason most items are priced ending with a .99 or a .95. While there is very little difference in revenue to the retailer on an item that is marked $2.00 versus one that is marked $1.99 or $1.95, the reason this is done is that consumers gravitate to the initial dollar number, as we have been conditioned to accept the .99 as the way products are naturally priced. The brain says a dollar at $1.99, versus two at $2.00. Hydroponics manufacturers would do well to study the phenomenon of psychological pricing to gain a

larger share of consumer trust and loyalty. I dare say consumers will buy more of a product that is priced at 12.95 versus one that is priced at 13.15 with the minor loss on revenue for each bottle easily made up for in the increased sales of the product. PRODUCT SAFETY As competition has increased over the years, some members of the industry have offered products that would be considered sketchy at best, and downright dangerous at their worst. While many of the larger manufacturers have generally placed a high value on customer safety issues, some have cut corners over the years or brought products to market prior to adequate long-term testing. Many of the cheap imports and basement built products are not certified as safely constructed by North American standards.

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High-powered electrical equipment is being marketed without the benefit of UL or ETL Certifications; nutrients are mixed with undisclosed and potentially hazardous ingredients; pest controls with “proprietary ingredients” are offered without the benefit of EPA approval; it seems that some members of the industry don’t have a problem playing fast and loose with their customer’s safety. The fact that most garden centre transactions occur in cash, means notification to customers about potential safety issues or recalls is virtually impossible. Caveat emptor!

EMPLOYEE KNOWLEDGE You would think that someone working for a grow store or hydro shop would be able to answer some basic questions about plant growth or the products they offer. Actually, one would think that the employees of a store that does nothing but sell products designed to help plants grow might know a bit more than the basics of horticulture. Sadly, in far too many circumstances, this simply isn’t the case. Customers are being provided with bad information every day by employees of stores who have a narrow view of horticulture. A recommendation you get from one store may be totally at odds with advice garnered from a different store. You don’t need to cut your light cycle back to 12 hours on to get tomatoes to bloom, an erroneous bit of employee provided information I have heard countless times. It’s important for store personnel to know the difference between a short-day flowering plant, a long-day flowering plant, and a dayneutral plant (the category

of which a tomato falls under). It’s important that they know the difference between a monoeicous plant and a dioeicous plant. There’s probably nothing worse than losing an educated customer due to an employee who can’t communicate on a similar intellectual level. Unfortunately, many product recommendations aren’t based on efficacy or efficiencies; they’re made on profit margins. Stores and their customers would be far better served if employees were provided with some basic horticultural training and comprehensive product information they need to correctly guide their customers to success. Obviously, due to space limitations, this is not an all-encompassing list of the “bad” in hydroponics. These are primarily my pet peeves and strictly my personal opinions. In the next instalment, however, I will address and call out some of the truly egregious examples of poor taste and stupidity in hydro, aka “the ugly”. You’ll definitely want to stay tuned!

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H ow H ydr o Lost I ts Sc i e nce

onics in l account of how home hydrop tua fac A : ive lus Exc e zin A Gro re? We'd like ence-have you seen it anywhe North America lost it's Sci it back, please.

Dude Wheres MY Science ?

ic community of hydr Now at the same Did the puppy that oponics was fo rm ul ation, growing meth home hydroponic scie ods time, over in annce go an d ot he r other camp, we have related equipment astray, or perhaps get lost an d management techniqu a handful of mersomewhere along the es way fo ll ow in g an opposite line. chants and entreduring the last coup le of Li ke mo st pre neurs (that’s hi decades-when the ho storical events, me hyth er e are causal factors, French for “broke”) droponics industry in North an d ev en pur an suing the supply interesting stoAmerica has reached record ry to be had. Shall of hyd roponic prodlevels of interest we beand regi n? ucts to the homes of lated sales? North Americans as For people who have a viable and interIn some ways, it ce been rtainly in th e hy est dr ing way to grow oponics game a did. If you have be en follong time, you may you r own foods and lowing hydroponics remember in North th e HS Athe Hydroponic Soornamentals. IniAmerica for the last twenty ciety of America. Fo tia lly, this was to thirty years-ok, r newer so a lot en tr an ts, the HSA basicall done by mail order of us didn't get in y to it the be ga n as Adv a ertisements-first formal society of day we were born-you would scientists and acad a sma ll Ad here, actually be able to emia that chart a ha d a st ro then a quarter page ng tooth for hysteady decline in th e amount droponics as an appl the re, finally by of credible scientif ied sciic data en ce in horticulture, agrithe early 90's there that is presented to home cu lt ur e an wer d e several comto some extent hydroponics enthusia sts to home hydroponics ap pan ies demonstrate the effi aggressively plicacacy of ti on s. sporting full page products-i.e. living up to mail order Ads, and their claims, as de monstratLooking back, the HS more hydroponics ed by replicable an A (which d repeatst il l ex is ret ts ail shops opening able growing tests. in some form today at: http://www up the ir doors. .lisare in .c om /h A few of the folks ydroponics/) was If one were to char t these initially comprised fro m Camp “A” eventhings, what we migh of ret see se ar ch er s, and the Society, tually migrated over is a rise in the in terest ba se d on me to mb Camp “B” and vice of home hydroponics ership fees and and resi mi lar was able to pay versa. By the early lated sales starting for to rise th e pu bl ic 90's, there were a ation of research in the late 90's an d repapers conducted by sig nificant number ally ramp up in and members around an d ot he rs. It served othof members in the the year 1997-while at the er ar ea s to HSA o, that were from same time a decline and an Annual in the Meeting was key to the bud amount of authentica ding young creating tion and an d cu lt iv and scattered Merating a collective discovery by the sc ientifof growing minds. chant side of the industry. In fact, as the cross over

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continued, it became Finally, it all the opinion of numcame to a head one bers of members that evenin g in July relative to where during the annual the member fundHSA Conference in ing was coming from, San Jose , USA in there was not ad1996. equate Merchant representation on the Frustrated, a HSA Board-or concern group of hydroponas to what may benics merchants with efit the merchant vested interests community versus the in seei ng the home scientific commusector grow and nity, as related to knowing it was gohydro. ing to take a coorAfter much rabble dinated effort to rousing on the part do that , met late of the merchants, one afternoon in a one chair on the room after voicing HSA Board was aftheir frustrations forded to the Merto no avail earlier chant sector-many in the day and for felt this was highly times pr ior through unrepresentative; the HSA. especially with who was footing the bill It was agreed by for the affairs that the grou p that were growing into there was a need mini-conventions and for them to create trade shows. Some their own assoindustry insiders ciation, one that noted that it was better represented rare to see either their needs in the of the two camps commercial marketmingle after hours, place to further while there are no- growth. On the spot table exceptions a cheque was writcoming from either ten to help cover side of the fence initial costs: the that was gradually HMA-Hydroponic Merincreasing in height chants So ciety was and breadth. born. At inception,

there was an alliance of somewhere between thirty and fifty retailers, manufacturers and hydroponics services providers.

The HMA Board was officially enacted on November 16th, 1997. The first HMA Annual Meeting that followed was in 1998, and while very grass roots in its nature, was akin to the “trade show” scene we now know today. These meetings were always conducted as “trade only” events and the Industry as it was then was more or less shut down for a few days to reform together for a weekend at a shared location. People could relax and be themselves among their industry peers, unencumbered by customers, while networking and making decisions that would affect future sales and whom was going to be buying from whom. >>>

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CONTINUED Although mostly American, the initial HMA shows had global attendance, with people coming from USA, Canada, France, Germany, South America, New Zealand and beyond. Scientists are rarely known to be good business people, so the HSA faded from out of the light-and with it, a lot of the Science, namely by way of published research papers that went along with the group for the hydroponics community we recognize today. While it turns out the growing public is results driven, i.e. “show me, don't tell me” by way of word of mouth and the fact that hydroponic crops can be harvested and weighed in only months, as many times a year as you like, the industry continued to grow. And grow we have. Just look at the Global Hydroponics Industry today-for better or worse, hydroponics is a household word. The technology once thought never destined for home use, is accessible by just about anybody of any budget. While it still helps to have a green thumb, growing has never been easier. Now, on the other hand the Industry is awash with all kinds of products claiming this that and the other. Some of them live up to their promises and others… well, not so much. Besides actually proving a claim,

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presenting hydroponics information in a proper scientific format (while making it accessible) opens up so many doors in so many ways. Hydroponics is an exciting way to get students, young and old alike, interested in Science and important things like living systems and ecology. When people can branch off from the mainstream and explore a world of research, for example featuring the products and technologies that are available to them from their gardening store, they start to learn about things like the Scientific Method, Critical and Objective Thinking...along with a Healthy dose of wonderment and the incredible mysteries that nature holds. Garish product claims and scantily clad chicks will get people's attention, but guess what: we have it-AND the world is watching. Maybe we can do something with that, eh? We already know how to sell products, so let's pick-up from that afternoon back in 1996 and start to weave a little more scientific material back into our growing cornucopia. In doing so, we write our history as rooted and steeped in Science-with a healthy dose of shenanigans, naturally.

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Distress Signals

By Jordan Gartenhaus It's exciting to think that despite the fact that humans have been working with plants for over 10,000 years we still have a lot to learn. For instance, amazingly, simple visual inspections are still the most prevalent tool people employ for detecting plant stress. This, despite the fact that human eyes can only detect a tiny fraction of the entire electromagnetic spectrum of light. Think about that for a minute. Is it possible the plants are telling us something that we as humans can't see?

But light is made up of much more than just the mixture of the reds, greens and blues that are perceptible to humans. The other seemingly invisible wavelengths of light seem to interact with a plant's surface in ways that we're only now beginning to understand.

When light comes in contact with an object, some photons are absorbed and some are reflected depending on the energy of the photon and the composition of the object's surface. The color you perceive is a result of the photons that were reflected back to your eyes. So when you look at a healthy green leaf, you're seeing “green� because the red and blue light is being absorbed by the pigments within the leaf, and the green light is reflected back to you.

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For example, plants don't absorb near infra-red (NIR) light particularly well. When NIR light comes in contact with a leaf it will either pass right through, or it will be reflected by the spongy mesophyll cells within. Interesting to note is that the fraction of light that is reflected by the mesophyll cells strongly correlate with a plant's general state of well-being. A healthy plant tends to have a more dense mesophyll layer and will reflect a lot of light, while a plant that isn't doing so well will have a porous mesophyll layer that will allow a lot of light to pass through it. And as we established before, leaves look green because they're absorbing the other visible wavelengths that we can see (i.e. red and blue) and are producing chlorophyll. If chlorophyll production were to taper off, then the absorption of light in the red and blue regions should taper off as well. After all plants don't just store light, the electromagnetic energy is either used internally, or is reflected back.

If we pair this phenomenon with the notion that plants strongly reflect NIR li ght then we ca n create some po werful tools to help us spot pa tterns that we wouldn't otherw ise be able to see.>>>

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CONTINUED e scientists hav y, ll ta n e id c DVI, Not coin ey call the N h t at h w d e p n develo nce Vegetatio e r e f if D d e z : or Normali ed as follows t la u lc a c is Index. It


d)/(NIR NDVI = (NIR-Re

This has historically been used to identify “live plants” from “everything else” in satellite images because it does so well at identifying vegetation. It does this by comparing the amount of NIR light with and without the red wavelengths. Since healthy plants very strongly reflect NIR light, and very strongly absorb red light, an NDVI value close to “1” would be a strong indicator of healthy plant life, and a value of “-1” would indicate something that isn’t a plant, or at least not one that’s living.

That’s great for satellite images, but what about a home garden? Step one is sourcing the requisite equipment, but fear not. The equipment you need in order to take NIR images is surprisingly easy to come by. In fact, most digital cameras today can register infra-red light. The catch is that camera manufacturers also install filters to block infra-red out since it doesn’t contribute anything beneficial to a final image. So you can either modify your digital camera to work, or you can just pony up and buy a real infra-red camera (they aren’t too expensive anyway). Once you have your camera you can start snapping pictures.

There are some subtleties to take note of however.

If you take this one more step, then the tools become really powerful.

First, the simplest way to go about taking these pictures is with a single camera.

Just looking at a NDVI image can be a useful in comparing the health of a current crop to previous ones, but trends are hard to see with the naked eye.

If you use two cameras then the perspective will be different between the two images, which will make creSo brilliant people have developed ating an NDVI image more challengsoftware that will analyze NDVI images ing (that isn't to say impossible, and provide a “score” based on how much photosynthetic activity is present. however, Also, make sure to put your camera into “manual” mode if From this, you can chart the score it is a point-and-shoot so it doesn't over time and watch it rise and fall. do funny things with the aperture or shutter speed during each shot. As before, you will start to see a patOnce you're ready, you need to take two pictures to create your NDVI image.

tern emerge as the NDVI values vary naturally as the plant matures. But you will also undoubtedly see trends emerge when the plants encounter what they perceive to be stressful conditions.

One picture should just be infrared, and the other picture should be You’ll notice a sharp drop in photosynall visible wavelengths. If you're good thetic activity, and if it’s unexpected with digital image manipulation soft- then there’s a strong possibility that ware then you can add, subtract, and your crop’s in trouble. divide the images in order to create your NDVI image. Although this technology is far from mature, it’s also arguably underutilized. If you're not so well versed with Photoshop and the like, there are The cost of equipment required to online tools and walk-throughs avail- generate a real NDVI plot is reasonable, able to help you get started. and the software required in order to Now it’s time to build your database.

Above: “Mess-so-Fill” Cells aka mesophyll The only real hurdle in utilizing this technology is in building your own database of NDVI images. But, if your crops are consistent and you don’t mind tinkering a bit then this could be an incredibly powerful tool for your tool box.

analyze the NDVI images is available with a Google search.

Just taking a series of these images isn’t going to tell you much. The value of these images is in comparing them to known examples of healthy, and unhealthy vegetation. If you snap a picture of your crop every day and take a note about what the plants were up to you’ll notice a correlation with plant health and the NDVI. That’s because NDVI is tied so closely with photosynthetic activity.

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Feli is a photography extraordinaire, and is based out of Cologne, Germany. Be sure to visit Felix Inden Photodesign on Facebook to marvel at the range of exciting shots he regularily updates.


“I was born in Spain and raised in Chile, where I learned to love our nature and biodiversity as a child. At that time i hadnt any interest in photography, but I already loved to be outside and see how fascinating and diverse this world can be. Later on, I started to get interested in botanics and learned the gardeners profession in a botanical garden in Cologne, Germany, where I have lived since I came back from South America. My photography is focussed on nature, landscapes and architecture. As I grew up as photographer in the age of digital photography, I realized postproduction can bring some amazing results. Since that I enjoy every kind of multishot technique as panorama stitching, focus stacking and so on. In my landscapes I try to show feelings I had while I was outside and in the macro sector i like to maximize depth of field to get results with big sharpness and detail.�

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5 gal mix Use-From point plant is rooted until last week of veg.

Hello folks and welcome to lbs. journal and another dope edition of Grozine.

Water once a week. Each gallon treats 50 gallons of water.


s out Today's article is special for all you gardener er there needing help with developing roots and bett arThis utilizing organics into their feeding regime. Rockticle also ties into my last articles on “Bottle today et varieties” and the “Short Squats”. My article is on Compost Tea.

Feed 1:50, Foliar 1:25

PRODUCTS: Vermicrop worm casting (VWC)

used I wanted to drop a couple recipes that have been the with high success over the years and are easy on ogrowers pocket. So let's cut to it, I'm not a micr into go to biologist by any means so I'm not going osed details about what exactly a compost tea is comp the of. If you are interested in the subject, take listic time and do your research. A Compost Tea in simp ts. terms is a beneficial microbe soup for your plan rinco for There are multiple benefits and purposes the porating compost teas into the feeding regime and results are astonishing. that There are so many compost tea recipes out there gara g bein people have developed in their time of cially dener. Some recipes are better than others. Espe ect when the person has a grasp on the general subj nce and is able to add certain elements that will enha t and affect that specific stage in growth the plan esimpr the r is going through. I've always been unde know sion that the plant is the Boss. It will let you look ts if your tea is beneficial or not. If your plan right like they're praying to your lights your on the track. tranToday I wanted to drop a rooting/Veg recipe; a pe. sition recipe; and finally a flower bloom reci on There are many brewers available for brewing tea if the market today so feel free to use your brewers you have one already. ed beIf not, then all you need are the products list and dry low. General rule of thumb is to put all solid all materials in cheese cloth or filtration bag and liquid directly into RO water.

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Alaskan Magic Compost (AMC) GrowMore Seaweed (GMS) Advanced Nutrients H-2 (H-2) GrowMore Mendocino Honey (MH)

CONSTRUCTION R E W E R B C I S A B O T HOW 5 gal bucket Air pump Tubing Air stones filter bag Cheese cloth or

cket and bag at top of bu h ot cl se ee ch *Place mpletely contents don't co so le nd ha to r 12e ti stone and brew fo r ai in e ac Pl . submerge 18 hours.

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PRODUCTS: BioFloral Compost (BFC)


Wiggle Worm Casting (WWC) Maxicrop Seaweed (MCS)

Use - Last week of veg and during transition into flower. First two weeks into 12/12 flip.

Botanicare Humega (BH) Hi Brix Molasses (HBM) Vital Earths OG bloom 4/3/4

*Water once a week. Each gallon treats 50 gallons of water.

apFor serious brew Vortex plications, this d below, Brewer, above an ul livcreates a powerf crops ing solution for

RATIOS Feed 1:50, Foliar 1:25

(VEB) Vital Earths Guano 7/7/2 (VEG) *Add 1/2 cup (BFC) to cheese cloth bag *Add 1/2 cup (WWC) to cheese cloth bag *Add 5 Tbsp (VEG) to cheese cloth bag *Add 100ml (MCS) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Add 100ml (BH) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Add 100ml (HBM) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Add 15ml (VEB) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Place cheese cloth bag at top of bucket and tie to handle so contents don't completely submerge. Place in air stone and brew for 24-36 hours.

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Use- Weeks 3-7 in flower once a week in 12/12 cycle.Cut out last two weeks of bloom. *Water once a week. Each gallon treats Primordial Sol.SEA PRODUCTS: GREEN (PSSG) BioFloral Compost (BFC) Wiggle Worm Casting (WWC) Maxicrop Seaweed (MCS) Botanicare Humega (BH) Hi Brix Molasses (HBM)

Vital Earths OG bloom Finish 2/5/0 (VEBF) Vital Earths Guano Finish 0/9/0 (VEGF) Alfalfa pellets (AP)

*Add 1/2 cup (BFC) to cheese cloth bag *Add 1/2 cup (WWC) to cheese cloth bag *Add 5 Tbsp (VEGF) to cheese cloth bag *Add 5 Tbsp (AP) to cheese cloth bag *Add 100ml (MCS) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Add 100ml (BH) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Add 100ml (HBM) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Add 15ml (VEBF) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Add 5ml (PSSG) to 5gal RO water in bucket *Place cheese cloth bag at top of bucket and tie to handle so contents don't completely submerge. Place in air stone and brew for 24-36 hours.

Wel l I hoprpeov e thtoesbee a re ci pe s ul so ur ce fo r su cc es sfew in g n ee ds Yo u yo ur br se e re su lt s th e sh ou ld ex t day af te r ve ry n Te as ar e gr ea t to ap lt io n at e to any fe ed in co rp orle or m di a D oe sn t sc he du if yo ur al l hydr o m at te r in g in so il te as or gr owbe n ef its to al l br in g p way to en su re a ch ea ch pl an t he al th to p n ot ow th al l th ro ug h an d gr cycl e Ke ep ou t th e um bs gr ee n A s th os e thfl ip pi n g cl on es to al ways zo n es

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So a guy walks into a Hydro Store...

Preface -- So a customer I haven’t seen in

a couple of years comes in-turns out he was on a hiatus from indoor growing. He said he wanted to go back inside after problems with his outdoor tomato crop-cold temps and heavy rains were murder on the roots. He said he wanted to shoot the works indoors-no more taking chances outdoors Here's what happened when he decided to take my advice:



Customer: Yeah, I was on hiatus from indoor gardening. But this summer’s outdoor tomato crop was a bust. We had too much rain and cold night time temps in the early part of summer. I ended up with root rot and other disease problems. I’m here to get lights, fans, filters, containers... Everything!

CJF: That's too bad about the outdoor crop, but your indoor grow op won’t have rain or cold temps; that’s for sure. Do you need seed starting supplies?

Customer: No, but that’s the other thing I need to discuss. I got nearly a hundred cuttings from my buddy. He had some premium genetics, but he also had spider mites. The clones all have roots now, but when I removed the domes from my trays, mites were all over the leaves.

CJF: So all of these plants have spider mites, but you only have rooted cuttings? No large plants?

Customer: Exactly. So what’s the best way to spray these little plants for mites? CJF: The best way may be a dip, not a spray. Make a solution of bug spray in a widemouth quart mason jar. After your cuttings have been watered with a mild nutrient solution, dip them. Take each plant, one at a time, and dunk the leaves and stems completely into the jar. Customer: Nice! That will get total coverage! I need to transplant them and move them into the vegetative cycle. Will this dip method affect the timing? CJF: Not by much. Whichever pest product you use, mix it at the mild dosage rate. Some bug killers will slow plant growth slightly, but the goal is eradicating the mites. Get setup to transplant, and dip each one just before transplanting into the new containers. Wait for the leaves to dry before putting the plants under lights. After a couple of days, they should begin growing like normal.

Customer: That sounds easy enough. Will all the mites be dead?

Customer: Cool, I can do that. I expected to spray for at least two weeks anyway. Do you have any other advice on dipping?

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CJF: I hope so, but I doubt you’re that lucky. Spider mites are persistent, so spray with the same product 3-5 days later. Continue treatments for two weeks.

CJF: Just make sure the plants have been watered recently. Dry plants will absorb too much bug spray in the dip. This absorption can burn leaves, and cause serious damage. If you can totally knock out all pests now, you will stay bug free all winter long. So once you kill off these mites, don’t get any more cuttings from your friend!

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“The Editor� Flow-Knives Custom Hand-made in Austria by a cool guy. Contact Flow via FB to get started.

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t r e the straight dope < E x p rock absorbAlight

Hydro Product Reviews

We are always aprehensive about applying foliar sprays. A misapplication and you can fry all of the foliage off your favorite plants overnight. Growers can also run into problems from, sun scorch or mildews resulting from bad foliar applications. So when we read the label and were told “to spray “for at least four hours before the lights go out” we were all like-whoa, what? Is that right? So we did. Next day? All good-great actually!

A welcome option for growers; especially propagators-ideal for when transporting too to help keep young plants vibrant.

What-Small sterile and hygenic pads that give off co2 gas at a steady rate for about 48 hours (or longer). They keep well. To activate, just lightly mist with water and roll up and stick into an empty plant site under your prop dome.

Plants in early bloom had darkened up and grew an extra inch over the usual. Then we did it again a few days later-even better! OK, so we can tell you 100%, follow this and you will see these kinds of results while avoiding the usual potential problems

GZ Rated-For propagation of cuttings, it just

What: Add 50ml to 950 ml water-no need to worry

stealth ro 200

about pH and spray with lights ON. Plants can process light reactions more quickly and are supplied with minerals and bio-active ingredients.

GZ Rated: We like. Firstly, because it takes the

worry out of spraying the crop and secondly, because we feel good about the application when we see our plants respond favorably every time (applied every few days from veg to mid bloom, then stop) Good value-you don’t need much product to make a difference; sprays can be efficient this way.

green pad JR We had tested The Green Pad Jr during the germination process with a variety of plant types, including vegetables, ornamentals, etc. a while back Overall, the results were favorable. It was an easy and inexpensive way to keep a steady supply of CO2 (carbon dioxide) avaialble to emerging plants. However, a lot of growers are seeing their biggest bang with the JRs when it comes to producing cuttings. Cuttings are very stressed. Think about itthey are limbs chopped from parent plants that

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shift gears to root and become new plants for future crops. The higher levels of co2 seem to produce more robust plant material.-which is cheap and easy to accomplish with this method.

makes sense. And for the price, why the f*&k not? The GDP is the bigger version-we may test these out in a tent with LEDS somewhere down the line.

We shouldn’t brag about having an insane water supply, but we will because it highlights what we have put this 200 Gallon per Day Reverse Osmosis Water Filter through, or rather, what we have put through it. OK, so a 190 ppm water supply and a pH of around 7.9 isn’t the worst, BUT when you have it coming out at 90 psi at times-which can be enough to ocasionally blow leaks in regular plumbing, you get a sense of what life is like for our test Stealth 200. Now do that for...well, m,uch longer than we care to mention. Let’s say embaressingly long between filter changes and maintenance. Still delivers 0 PPM.

What-HydroLogic Systems “meat and potatoes” re-

verse osmosis filtration system. intended to bring marginal water down to 0ppm helping microbial life and nutrient absorption.

GZ Rated-This one is still kicking from a few years ago-we can’t say that about a lot of gear, and this wet girl sees a lot of action. Solid gear.

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We Have Serious Issues That Everyone Can See. SEE OUR GROWTH Get Caught Up on ALL of our back Editions, 100% Free and Easy to Share. Our Universal Reader allows you to experience our interactive Editons from any platform and on any device. Desktop, Mac, Android, iPhone; doesn't matter, it's all good! Check it, yo.

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Thanks and Praise Flo or Dra ins Caf fe Ame B Brica Q s nos Coming Next: Cropping Systems-yeah, we skipped it in this one Manage Your Harvests Like a Boss Growing Catastrophies 25 Years of Hydroponics Part III Best Gear Reviews

H a r ve s t F e s t iv a ls F ir e p la c e s Ro o m 2 6 3 F irst A mend ment

More, More & More!

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Grozine Edition VII (Seven)