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Europe March/April 2014


Humidity 101 Lights & CO2 What the pH? Humidity 101 ... and more! 2014 INDOOR GARDENING EXPO TOUR TACOMA NOVI SAN FRAN BOSTON April 5-6

MAY 31 - JUNE 1

july 26-27

october 18-19


CONTENTS March/April 2014





Lights and CO2: Pros and Cons



By Matt LeBannister



Humidity 101: Basics for Your Growroom


By Clif Tomasini & Mike Steffes

Starting Plants from Cuttings By Frank Rauscher

Growing and Propagating Shamrocks By Kyle L. Ladenburger


Mycorrhizae: The Straight Story Part 2 By Dr. Robert G. Linderman


What the pH: Deciphering the Ups and Downs of pH By Helene Isbell


The Dirt on Soil and Potting Mixes


From the Editor


You Tell Us


Letters to the Editor


Max Mart


Ask the Experts


Industry's Latest


Max Facts




Product Spotlight


Coming Up Next Issue


Do You Know

By Grubbycup


Cheap and Easy Starts: How to Germinate Seeds at Home By Heather Rhoades


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014




With its crazy storms and unprecedented flooding, many are likely eager to bid winter 2013-14 adieu, and what better way to celebrate the onset of spring than by showing your indoor garden some love! From starting plants from cuttings, to everything you need to know about pH and humidity in the growroom, to lights and CO2, to evaluating mycorrhizal products, this issue of Maximum Yield has got plenty of tips to help growers achieve, well, maximum yield. In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve also included a feature on growing and propagating shamrocks—beautiful and easy-togrow plants that make great gifts. For even more tips and tricks, as well as a from the viewing of the latest products and technologies to hit the indoor gardening industry, come and see us during our first stop on the 2014 Coast to Coast Grow Like a Pro Indoor Gardening Linda Jesson Expo Tour in Tacoma, Washington, April 5 and 6. Visit for more information, including an interactive floor plan for the event, special accommodation rates and free VIP tickets. Thank you to all those readers who have entered our I’m a Fan contest. We have enjoyed what our readers have had to say and we know the winners have loved spending their prizes at their favourite retail shops. You can win too. Tell us how much you enjoy reading Maximum Yield by going to or emailing and you’ll be entered to win monthly $100 cash prizes to spend at your local grow store. We will choose a new winner every month and a grand prize winner will be drawn in December to receive $1,000 to spend at the indoor garden shop of their choice.

Message Editor

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Maximum Yield Publications Inc. Snail-mail: 2339 Delinea Place, Nanaimo, BC V9T 5L9 Email: Twitter: Facebook:


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Maximum Yield is published bi-monthly by Maximum Yield Publications Inc. 2339A Delinea Place, Nanaimo, BC V9T 5L9 Phone: 250.729.2677; Fax 250.729.2687 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission from the publisher. If undeliverable please return to the address above. The views expressed by columnists are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of Maximum Yield or the editor. Publication Agreement Number 40739092

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER - Jim Jesson GENERAL MANAGER - Don Moores BUSINESS MANAGER - Linda Jesson EDITORIAL Editor Linda Jesson Assistant Editors Julie McManus - Jennifer McGarrigle - ADVERTISING SALES Sales Manager Ilona Hawser - Account Executives Kelsey Hepples - Katie Montague - Jed Walker - Robyn Jesson - DESIGN & PRODUCTION Art Director Alice Joe Graphic Designers Jennifer Everts Dionne Hurd Jesslyn Gosling ACCOUNTING Tracy Greeno - Katie LaFrance-

UK DISTRIBUTION Direct Garden Supplies Dutchpro Nutriculture UK CANADIAN DISTRIBUTION Brite-Lite Group Biofloral Eddis Wholesale Greenstar Plant Products Inc. Hydrotek MegaWatt Northern Hydroponic Wholesale Quality Wholesale USA DISTRIBUTION Aurora Innovations BWGS General Hydroponics Humboldt Wholesale Hydrofarm Hydro International National Garden Wholesale / Sunlight Supply Nickel City Wholesale Garden Supply Tradewinds AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTION Dome Garden Supply Futchatec Growlush Australia Growth Technology Holland Forge House N Garden

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Twelfth I’m a Fan Winner

Thirteenth I’m a Fan Winner

Darcie and her daughter Anna, from Armstrong, British Columbia, are the 12th winners of Maximum Yield’s I’m a Fan contest. Darcie says, “I started gardening because my three-year-old daughter wanted to grow food and she was so dedicated to her garden all summer. She was heartbroken that the garden would be done after the fall harvest so we picked up your magazine at our plant shop and now she is growing tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, strawberries, dragon fruit, lemon trees and orange trees in our basement. Thank you for all of the wonderful information, it has helped keep her hobby going year-round.”

John Brady from Largo, Florida, is the 13th winner of Maximum Yield’s I’m a fan Contest. John says, “I have been a fan of Max Yield since it was nothing more than a few pages per issue. Since then, Max Yield has become the industry standard for information and the logical comparison to which all are held up to. Best of all, it is still free. I keep my issues as a reference for any and all problems or new endeavours. The many expos I have been fortunate to attend are always a highlight of the year.”

Editor’s Note: Thank you for the great response, Darcie, and congratulations on winning Maximum Yield’s I’m a Fan contest. We hope you and Anna enjoy your $100 gift certificate at your favourite indoor gardening shop, TLC Hydroponics and Garden Supply.

Editor’s Note: Thank you for the great response, John, and congratulations on winning Maximum Yield’s I’m a Fan contest. We hope you enjoy your $100 gift certificate at your favourite indoor gardening shop, Simply Hydroponics.

I’m a Fan Grand Prize Winner

Constantly Researching

Congratulations to our 2013 Maximum Yield I’m a Fan Grand Prize Winner. Steven R. Van Vranken has received a grand prize of $1,000 to be spent at his favourite indoor gardening shop, Indoor Garden Depot in Vancouver, Washington. Steven says, “I have posttraumatic stress disorder, so I don’t get out much, but when I do I find my way to the grow store and when there’s a new magazine available, it makes my day. I can’t believe it’s free. Thank you.” Editor’s Note: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Steven. We’re happy to have you as a fan. We hope you enjoy the new growing system you plan to obtain this year.

The reason I love Maximum Yield is because you guys are constantly researching new ideas and products, basically putting the latest in technology at our fingertips! You guys have started a movement, and I’ll follow for life. Jason G., via email

Learning a Lot

Only mag I read anymore. Learn a lot of what I know from there. Very informative articles good for newbies and novices alike. @abel49er21, via Twitter

CONTRIBUTORS Grubbycup has been an avid indoor

Helene Isbell has a passion for plants. A California native, Helene resides in San Diego where she promotes urban agriculture and sustainable living. She has also been a dynamic player in the hydroponic industry for the past decade. She has incorporated her love of horticulture with hands-on experience, arts and culture, integrated marketing and education. She is the southern California rep for High Caliper Growing/Smart Pots.

Kyle L. Ladenburger is a passionate

Matt LeBannister developed a green thumb as a child, having been born into a family of experienced gardeners. During his career, he has managed a hydroponic retail store and represented leading companies at the Indoor Gardening Expos. Matt has been writing articles for Maximum Yield since 2007. His articles are published around the world.

Dr. Robert Linderman is a retired

Frank Rauscher is a certified horticulturist and consultant for the gardening industry. He’s a contributing author to several publications and was writer and editor of the Green Pages. Frank finds analysing plant stress and finding solutions exciting. He is very much at home bringing new ideas to the field of horticulture and indoor gardening.

Mike Steffes has worked in a range of scientific and technical fields from plant cell culture to LCD prototyping, water softening to filtration systems design. He enjoys the hands-on excitement of brainstorming and prototype creation. Mike also has a passion for writing. He works in the R&D department for Quest products and can be reached at

Clif Tomasini is the product manager

gardener for more than 20 years. His articles were first published in the United Kingdom, and since then his gardening advice has been published in French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Czech and German. He is also considered one of the world’s leading authorities on crochet hydroponics.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

research plant pathologist and former research leader at the USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon. He is also a courtesy Professor Emeritus at Oregon State University. He’s been in the industry for nearly 50 years and is currently the science guy for two companies: Plant Health, LLC and Santiam Organics, LLC. of Quest Dehumidifiers and Climate Control Equipment, a division of Therma-Stor in Madison, WI. Clif has worked for Therma-Stor since 2003, and has extensive product and application knowledge. Clif holds an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a B.B.A from Northwood University.

indoor and outdoor gardener. He is also a freelance garden writer. With nearly 10 years experience in the industry working for Age Old Organics, he is well versed in numerous growing methods with a focus on soil health.

Become a Maximum Yield contributor and have your articles read by 250,000 readers throughout USA, Canada, UK, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Every issue is available on, which has thousands of unique visitors monthly.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



What is the best way to control primary mould? Roger I am not entirely sure what you are referring to as primary mould, but I do know how to battle moulds, mildews and fungi. The best solution, in my opinion, is sulfur. Sulfur kills moulds and mildews on contact. Sulfur can be bought in powdered form that can be dusted on the plant leaves. I like to use a soft brush and dust the leaves gently, as if I am a detective dusting for prints. This is most effective if you only have a few plants. For getting rid of mould on a large scale, I recommend using a sulfur burner. A sulfur burner will vaporise sulfur pellets, filling your room with a sulfur mist. When doing this make sure your ventilation is off for 10 minutes or so. Also make sure there are no exposed flames such as a pilot light because exposed flames can ignite the sulfur mist. There are other methods that are less effective but will do the trick. You can spray the plants with a diluted ammonia/water solution at one part ammonia to 20 parts water. This is effective and relatively safe. Neem tree oil sprays and pine tree oil sprays can also help eliminate mould. There are a wide range of copper-based fungicides available, which are highly effective but only practical on a small scale.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

To help prevent a recurring mould problem, try to lower humidity levels and temperature in your growroom. Also, keep your growroom immaculately clean and wash equipment in between crops. All of these solutions should be available at any quality hydroponics retailer, and the staff should be able to walk you through whichever choice you make. I hope this helps.

Sincerely, Matt LeBannister Matt LeBannister developed a green thumb as a child, having been born into a family of experienced gardeners. During his career, he has managed a hydroponic retail store and represented leading companies at the Indoor Gardening Expos. Matt has been writing articles for Maximum Yield since 2007. His articles are published around the world.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014




Slug Pellet Ban to Impact Spud Growers Potato growers are set to be the hardest hit by the European Union ban on methiocarb slug pellets, which account for about half the slug control market for spuds. Sales of these poison-bait pellets, such as Draza forte and Decoy Wetex, are set to be banned by the end of August this year due to the risk to grain-eating farm birds. The withdrawal will limit growers to two products—metaldehyde and ferric phosphate—and will leave crops more susceptible to slug damage. Independent potato specialist John Sarup uses methiocarb as his No. 1 product against slugs and says the ban is a major setback to the potato sector. “When you look at the variety portfolio, Maris Piper is still head and shoulders above everything else in terms of the planted area and it is one of the most susceptible varieties we have, which makes the ban even more worrying,” he says. (Source:


GROWING TIPS, NEWS AND TRIVIA Scientists Study GM Crops A genetically modified crop boosted with a dietary supplement could be grown for the first time in Britain as early as this year following a request by scientists to conduct a controversial field trial at a heavily-protected research site in Hertfordshire. Researchers have applied to grow the first GM plants designed to produce high yields of the same omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, which are linked with a healthy diet. They could receive the go-ahead within three months and the first GM seeds could be sown this spring on the same high-security plot of land where GM wheat trials took place successfully over the previous two years. Scientists say the main aim of the research is to produce crops that could be made into food for farmed fish, which cannot grow healthily without a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, currently derived from wild-caught marine organisms. (Source:

Eat Fruit, Not Juice Fruit juice is so high in sugar it should not count as part of a healthy five-a-day diet, the government’s obesity tsar has warned. Juice drinks have been singled out as a particular concern for lack of fibre and other nutrients as well as being high in calories. Even pure fruit juice contains a large amount of naturally occurring sugar, but people end up drinking too much of it because they do not see it as unhealthy. Dr. Susan Jebb, a professor of diet and population health at Oxford University, says: “I would support taking [fruit juice] out of the five-a-day guidance. Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has got as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks.” Fruit also makes people feel fuller, helping to cut down on the need for other snacks. (Source:


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Pesticides and the Human Brain The European Union says pesticides may harm human brains. Two neonicotinoid chemicals may affect the developing nervous system in humans, according to the European Food Safety Authority, which proposes that safe levels for exposure be lowered while further research is carried out. The decision is based on studies that showed the chemicals had an impact on the brains of newborn rats. One of the pesticides was banned in the EU last April amid concerns over its impact on bee populations. Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides that make every part of a plant toxic to predators. The pesticides have become popular across the world over the past two decades as they are considered less harmful to humans and the environment than older chemicals, but a growing number of research papers have linked the use of these nicotine-like pesticides to a rapid fall in bee numbers. (Source:

Brits Still Shunning Veggies Brits are still not meeting the five-a-day message more than 10 years since the campaign was launched, a survey of more than 2,000 people has revealed. Only 10% of those surveyed were tucking into five portions of vegetables or more on an average day and a shocking 6% were eating no vegetables at all, the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy has discovered. The association says the results of the survey are extremely concerning, as a healthy intake of vegetables should be closer to seven-a-day with just a couple of portions of fruit. The YouGov survey suggests that the East of England is the “healthiest” region in the country for getting their five-a-day, though even here only 13% are hitting those levels. Respondents in the North East and South West had the poorest intake of vegetables, with just 6% consuming their five-a-day or more. (Source:

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014




Urban Garden Thrives in Bomb Shelter What do you do with a bomb shelter when you’re no longer getting Blitzed by the Nazis? For decades, Londoners have searched for ways to make use of old bomb shelters lurking deep underground. They’ve become data centres, dusty storage rooms and, now, the first underground urban farm, thanks to a couple of foodie entrepreneurs and a Michelin-star chef. The cavernous bunkers near Clapham North Underground station once housed up to 8,000 Londoners during the Blitz. When Richard Ballard and Steven Dring of Zero Carbon Food first leased the underground space, they had to rip out hundreds of bunk beds unused since the Second World War. Then they got to work, setting up a hydroponic garden of peashoots, arugula, radish and more—all softly illuminated with purplish-pink LED light. (Source:

Fibre Wards Off Heart Disease Increasing consumption of fibre-rich foods can lower risk of both cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, a new study published in the British Medical Journal has found. Researchers at the University of Leeds reviewed literature concerning dietary fibre intake and cardiovascular disease risk in healthy populations. The study looked at the following fibre intake: total, insoluble (whole grains, potato skins), soluble (legumes, nuts, oats, barley), cereal, fruit, vegetable and other sources. Results from analyses of total, insoluble, fruit and vegetable fibre intake showed that the likelihood of getting a cardiovascular or coronary heart disease steadily lowers with increasing intake. (Source:

Brussels Sprouts for Babies Women who are trying for a baby should tuck into a regular helping of Brussels sprouts, an expert claims. Studies suggest 9% of all conceptions take place over the Christmas period, making December the most fertile month of the year. But while parties and festive tipples are thought to be partly responsible for this trend, Neema Savvides, a nutritional therapist at the Harley Street Fertility Clinic, says the increased consumption of sprouts could also play a role because the mini cabbages are bursting with folic acid, which is essential for boosting fertility in both men and women. Brussels sprouts also increase sperm levels and help line the womb with the right nutrients, raising sperm survival chances, she says. The vegetable contains a phytonutrient called di-indolylmethane, which helps women absorb balanced levels of the hormone oestrogen. (Source:


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Plant Biosecurity Strategy Environment ministers are drafting a new plant biosecurity strategy that will safeguard the future of the UK’s trees and plants against the threat of diseases like ash dieback. A key element has been the development of a risk register highlighting 700 possible threats to Britain’s trees and plants. The register will not only identify threats in a timely fashion, it will also help a range of groups, including nurseries and woodland managers, to consider and manage risks effectively. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has created a new chief plant health officer post that will lead on the risk register and contingency planning. (Source:

Farming On Mars In an interview with Xinhua, Wieger Wamelink with the Dutch research institute Alterra of Wageningen University says researchers have found that it is possible to grow different types of plants in the soil of Mars. Researchers did an experiment with 14 plant species on artificial Martian and lunar soil, provided by NASA. A total of 840 pots were planted with 4,200 seeds, and the experiment lasted 50 days. “Some species such as rye and cress were already sprouting within 24 hours,” says Wieger. “Eventually plants on Mars soil were even blossoming.” All plants germinated in the Martian soil, but the lunar soil did not prove fruitful. (Source:

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014




HOTTEST ITEMS Ask for them at your local indoor gardening store.

Dutchpro’s Starter Pack for Hydro and Coco All the nutrients and supplements you need for grow and bloom are available in one box. This authentic Amsterdam designed canal house starter pack is the perfect introduction to Dutchpro’s award-winning range of nutrients and additives at a significantly reduced price. This Dutchpro Hydro/Coco Starter Pack contains everything you would need to conduct a small grow. Not only does this pack give you a taste of the amazing hydro/coco grow and bloom nutrients, but it gives you a whole selection of Dutchpro additives and supplements to boost your plant growth. Grow schedules and instructions are included. Take a chance today and experience the benefits of the award-winning Dutchpro range. For more information, visit a retailer near you.

Nutriculture’s New Wilma Building on the success of the Wilma XL range launched late last year, Nutriculture is pleased to announce a completely new and improved Wilma range for 2014. Produced in 18 new sizes to suit the most common growroom spaces, the improved Wilma comes with unique new features, including a handy nutrient mixing tap, multiple pot locators per tray to give the grower the ability to switch between pot sizes and more drippers per pot on the larger systems. A collaboration between Nutriculture and Atami, the Wilma range is designed specifically for growers looking for the flexibility of growing in pots, combined with the accurate feeding and increased yields that are possible with active hydroponics. For more information on the new Wilma, visit an indoor garden retail shop.

Dutchpro’s Multi Total: Grow Media Improver Dutchpro’s Multi Total is a grow media improver that aids the key processes necessary for turning organic material from dead plant matter into beneficial nutrients. It sparks off significant root growth by improving soil structure (in terms of water retention) and promotes nutrientproducing bacterial life in the substrate. Multi Total also stimulates the cationic exchange of minerals and micronutrients, and improves resistance against fungi and stress situations. This product is suited for every irrigation system, as well as most soil, hydro and coco set-ups. It’s available in 250-ml and 1-, 5-, 10- and 20-L bottles. Visit an indoor gardening retail store for more information.

Cocogreen Professional Grade Buffered Coco Cocogreen Professional Grade Buffered Coco is used worldwide by high-profile commercial hydroponic farmers. It is manufactured by the world’s largest manufacturer of buffered coco and coir products. The product is lighter and fluffier than other brands and it has a lot more air in it, which is fantastic for healthy plants and promotes rapid root growth. It encourages plants to take in more nutrients so they get bigger, quicker. Cocogreen has full control over the supply chain. From the plantations and treatment centres, to the testing laboratories and logistics, Cocogreen monitors every aspect of each product’s direct journey to the shops in the UK, providing growers peace of mind and complete reassurance they are purchasing a consistent, high-quality product. If you want results like the pros, Cocogreen Professional Grade Coco is the growing medium you have been waiting for. Visit an indoor gardening retail store for more information.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Overgrow by Optic Foliar A dynamic, multipurpose, ready-to-use spray that combines all necessary sprays into one dynamic solution, Overgrow provides solutions for increased growth, deficiencies, pests and pest management. Match that with the ability to spray in full sunlight with no resulting burning and no need to spray the undersides of leaves and you have the only all-in-one spray with no negative side effects from leaf burn to residuals. Overgrow will prevent and combat all problems attacking your leaves, ensuring you always get a healthy harvest. For more information, visit a local retail store.

Smart Fill Filling Support Sleeve High Caliper Growing, makers of the Smart Pot®, would like to introduce the Smart Fill. The Smart Fill filling support sleeve is an expandable plastic sleeve that holds the Smart Pot upright to make filling easy. Designed for the Smart Pot, the Smart Fill can fit pots from 245-L all the way up to 1,515-L sizes. The Smart Fill is sure to make filling Smart Pots faster and easier. Easy to use and re-useable, the Smart Fill will last for years. Quit hiring your mates to come help you fill your Smart Pots, use a Smart Fill and save time and money. For more information, visit an indoor gardening retail store.

CANNA COGr The less familiar line of CANNA is called CANNA COGr. This coco line consists of the same high-quality products as the CANNA COCO line, but growers are able to control their growth better via the Vega and Flores nutrients. CANNA COGr Vega ensures healthy and strong plants that produce long, vigorous growth. CANNA COGr Flores stimulates fruit development and provides an unequalled juice production and large fruits. Both nutrients contain all the essential elements for optimal growing and optimal flowering. Not familiar yet with the CANNA COGr line? Visit and for more details and be sure to visit an indoor garden retail store for even more information.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



Dynamic Duo Bloomstimulator by Atami Following its well-known Dynamic Duo Bloombastic with Rootbastic, Atami has now introduced its new Dynamic Duo Bloomstimulator with Blossom Builder Liquid—an indispensable combination for the flowering period. Bloomstimulator makes for an increase of the sugar production, allowing for an even better-tasting product. The flowers become bigger and more compact, but preserve their charasteristic scent and taste. Blossom Builder Liquid contains a unique PK ratio of 1-1.5 (20-32) and is highly concentrated. Just using 0.25 to 0.5 ml per 1 L of water will increase the size and weight of your fruit. Products are to be used as a finisher during the last two to four weeks of the ripening phase. Right now, buy 1 L of Bloomstimulator and get 50 ml of Blossom Builder Liquid for free. For more information, visit an indoor gardening retail store.

Dutchpro’s Take Root: Superb Root Stimulator Take Root is a growth stimulant capable of radically improving the inner and outer qualities of young plants. The active components are of natural origin, including several plant hormones and micronutrients. These combine to boost cellular division, cell elongation and nutrient transport—all of which help with overall root development during early vegetative growth. In addition to this, Take Root also slows down the aging process for prolonged good health. This product is suited for every irrigation system, as well as soil, hydro and coco set-ups. It is to be used with cuttings and young plants. Take Root is available in 250-ml and 1-, 5-, 10and 20-L bottles.

10’ x 10’ Gorilla Grow Tent The Gorilla Grow Tent line now includes the 10’ x 10’ (3.05-m by 3.05-m) indoor growroom. Gorilla Grow Tent is known for having the tallest, strongest, thickest, most durable line of grow tents and accessories. Engineered with a patent-pending, adjustable extension system, this Gorilla Grow Tent enables the indoor home gardener to increase the height and size of their grow tent up to 0.91 m higher than standard heights. Standard features include double, reinforced structural poles for no-stress accessory and component suspension, 25-cm port holes that zip up on both ends and tool pouches. Visit an indoor garden retailer for more information.

CANNA COGr Board The CANNA COGr board is a compressed slab that consists of a sophisticated mix of coconut grit, coconut fibre and coconut granulates. The COGr board has the unique ability of absorbing large amount of nutrients, moisture and air, which are made available to the plant immediately. Because the COGr board is delivered dry and in pressed form, it is ideal for transportation. Visit and for more details and be sure to visit an indoor garden retail store for even more information.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

4’ x 4’ Gorilla Grow Tent Gorilla Grow Tent’s new workhorse tent is the 4’ x 4’ (1.22-m by 1.22-m) grow tent. It is the perfect grow tent for nine 19-L soil pots or six BubbleFlow Bucket hydroponic re-circulating deep water culture buckets. Also available is a 0.61-m extension kit that will enable the tent to reach 3.05 m in height. This feature is unique to the grow tent market and is the No. 1 reason for the popularity of the Gorilla Grow Tent line. The 4’x4’ is designed with the extremely thick 1680D IR-blocking fabric mesh insulation that is essentially three to nine times thicker than any other tent on the market. Because of this feature, the 4’ x 4’ Gorilla Grow Tent maintains perfect temperature and humidity throughout while eliminating odour and sound. Visit an indoor gardening retail store for more information and to view a demo.

CANNA COGr Buffer Agent The CANNA COGr board comes pressed, and is therefore not buffered. To buffer the CANNA COGr board growers need to use CANNA COGr Buffer Agent. Want to know more about the CANNA COGr Buffer Agent? Visit and for more details and be sure to visit an indoor garden retail store for even more information.

Alien Flood and Drain and DWC Systems Alien Hydroponic Systems has developed a range of systems that have taken hydroponics to the next level. The Alien Flood and Drain System features no float switches, electronic level sensing, 32-mm pipe and fittings, fastflowing pumps and a collapsible aquatank. It’s available in 11-L or 20-L pot sizes. The Alien DWC System produces larger yields while using fewer plants and its design leads to a superoxygenated nutrient solution, uniform pH and EC and explosive root growth. It’s available in 20-L or 27-L pot sizes. To find out more about either system, visit a local retailer.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



Green Birthday Line of GHE WaterFarms To celebrate the manufacture of GHE’s 150,000th WaterFarm, the company is happy to announce the availability of its special, limited edition green birthday line of WaterFarms. The WaterFarm is an excellent introduction to hydroponics. It delivers top performance and is reliable, easy to use and inexpensive. Growers can use them wherever they want: in a sitting room, an office, a veranda, a greenhouse or a nursery—for any project. WaterFarms can be used for indoor gardens for mother plants and collectibles, in the house for decorative purposes or for growing culinary plants of all sizes. The volume of the WaterFarm is 15 L in a 30.5- by 30.5- by 37-cm container. It is also available in standard grey, and there is also a special green AquaFarm available while quantities last. Visit an indoor garden retail store to pick one up before they’re gone.

Rhino Fans Rhino, the trusted name in growroom ventilation, is proud to introduce the new Rhino Fan range. This new line of fans is both highly efficient at drawing air from growrooms and operates extremely quietly. It is available in sizes to suit growers of different scales who can choose between a single, twin and thermostatically controlled version so they have an option for their individual needs. Fully compatible with growers’ existing Rhino products, Rhino Fans are heavy duty and include a new, 25.40-cm fan manufactured from steel for those who need a larger fan of the highest durability. This means that no matter what type of grower you are, there’s a Rhino Fan to suit your needs. For more information, visit an indoor gardening retail store.

Pure Kapow Natural Fungicide and Insecticide Spray Pure Kapow’s active ingredient is super-refined essential lemongrass oil from India, which is one of the greatest and safest natural pesticides and fungicides on the planet. Lemongrass oil is also a 25B-compliant substance, which means the EPA and Department of Agriculture have listed it as safe for the environment when used as a pesticide. Kapow is strictly a bug and fungicide killer and can be sprayed on fruits, vegetables and foliage to combat mites, thrips, aphids, white flies and eggs. It can also be used on mould, mildew and most leaf-dwelling insects. It is safe to use up to, and including, the day of harvest. For more information, stop by an indoor gardening retail store.

Dutchpro's Starter Pack Soil This Dutchpro Starter Pack Soil contains everything you need to conduct a small-scale grow and more. Not only does this pack give you a taste of the amazing soil grow and bloom nutrients, it give you a whole selection of Dutchpro additives and supplements to boost your plant growth. Grow schedules and instructions are included. This is the perfect introduction to Dutchpro nutrients and additives and gives you the opportunity to give the award-winning Dutchpro range a try at a significantly reduced price. For more information, visit your local hydroponic supplies store.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014





Rapidly growing plants, especially those boosted by CO2, need as much light as possible. Fluorescent lights, even T5s, are not intense enough to really maximise the benefits of the extra CO2. Replacing fluorescent bulbs and changing them for different stages of growth—bloom and vegetative —can be costly. After a year of use the lumen output of these bulbs will have dropped dramatically. In my opinion, fluorescent bulbs are not ideal when enriching your garden with CO2.

LED Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a hugely important component in the process of photosynthesis and, therefore, overall plant health. This is especially true for rapidly growing plants. There is roughly 300 to 400 ppm of CO2 in the air we breathe and growing plants can use that up quickly. Growth can dramatically slow when the CO2 levels drop below 200 ppm. Enriching your growroom to 1,200 to1,500 ppm of CO2 is the logical next step to improve plant development. At this range, plant growth is accelerated as much as two to three times and crop yields can be increased by 20 to 30%. For CO2 enrichment to be effective, one must have all other aspects of your indoor garden running perfectly. One main factor that I have been asked about recently is lights and which style of lights are the best for gardens using CO2 enrichment. Here I offer some pros and cons regarding the most popular types of garden lights. Just keep in mind much of this is based on personal opinion. Each of the following varieties will do the job, some just better than others.

FLUORESCENT Fluorescent light bulbs come in a number a varieties. The most popular for gardens are the newer T5 high output bulbs. They usually come in banks of two or more and are generally 60- to 120-cm long.

PROS Fluorescent light bulbs create even lighting and can be positioned all around the garden, even vertically. They can be placed close to the leaf canopy, are low wattage, saving you some money on your electricity bill, and are low heat.

CONS The fact that they are low heat can be a bad thing when enriching your growroom with CO2. Plants benefiting from CO2 enrichment can tolerate higher temperatures and actually prefer it. A room temperature of 29ºC will boost the metabolic rates of the plants and speed up growth.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

LED stands for light emitting diode. They are relatively new to the market and are no doubt the future of indoor gardening.

PROS LEDs use an extremely low amount of electricity. They also give off next to no heat and can safely touch the leaf canopy without the risk of burning. LEDs can last upwards of 10 years without requiring replacement.

CONS There are downsides to using LEDs in CO2-enriched gardens. LED light fixtures are not really available in larger sizes yet and most CO2-enhanced gardens are at least 3 m by 3 m. It is really hard to regulate the amount of CO2 in a space any smaller than that and most LEDs on the market today are really only suited for 1.2-m by 1.2-m spaces. The spectrum on most LEDs are neutral and not interchangeable for the bloom and vegetative stages of plant growth. LEDs are also low heat which, as mentioned with the fluorescent, can hinder plant growth. There is no doubt in my mind that LEDs are the future of indoor gardening and will someday replace all types of gardening lights, but right now I feel like they are still unproven. That, coupled with their lack of heat and intensity mean they are not ideal for CO2-enriched indoor gardens unless they are set up in large arrays.



HID High intensity discharge (HID) is a broad term for metal halide (MH), high pressure sodium (HPS) and mercury lamps. They come in a variety of strengths and spectrums.

PROS A 1,000-W HID bulb can cover an area as large as 2.4 m by 2.4 m or higher. You can interchange MH bulbs for the vegetative stage of plant development and HPS for the bloom stage of plant development, maximising the PAR watts within each spectrum. This is also cost effective compared to fluorescent bulbs, especially when you consider the digital ballasts available that can fire both MH and HPS bulbs. HID bulbs do give off considerable heat, but this can be beneficial for plants being enriched with CO2 as they do best around 29ºC.

CONS High levels of heat can be detrimental if it causes evaporation of the nutrient solution in your reservoir. This can cause the nutrient levels to become too concentrated, leading to nutrient toxicities and leaf burn. One must be vigilant and constantly check and maintain the ideal nutrient-to-water ratios. HIDs do need annual replacement to maintain high lumen levels and spectrum. They are high-wattage lights so you will spend more on electricity than the previously mentioned alternatives. In my opinion, HIDs are still the go-to light when enriching your garden with CO2. They are tried and tested, have the heat the plants will crave and are intense enough to efficiently cover larger areas. All of these lights will work fine when adding CO2 to your garden. My choice of HIDs over fluorescents and LEDs is largely based on personal opinion and anecdotal evidence. Don’t be afraid to try things out for yourself or consult your local hydroponic retailer for their expert opinion.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014


by Kyle L. Ladenburger

Small-leafed shamrocks are great plants to own and can live for many years. They are easy to grow, make an excellent addition to any plant collection and are easily gifted to others. Shamrocks can even be sold for a handsome profit. Best of all, they are easy enough for any level of gardener to propagate. There have been times in my life when I have known that what I was doing was truly the right thing. Times when my actions needed no affirmation from others for me to know, right down in my heart, that they were not only right, but important. These moments can happen anywhere at any time—at work or at home, volunteering or doing a hobby. When something is right, it just feels good. And one activity that has given me this feeling since the first time I tried it is growing and propagating shamrocks. Shamrocks (Oxalis species) are small trifoliate (leaf structure having three parts) plants with delicate little flowers that bloom on a nearly continual basis. Shamrocks grow well in containers and make excellent houseplants that can be placed either indoors or out, depending on the season. These plants are a true pleasure to own and their popularity is on the rise.

“PROPAGATION OF A SHAMROCK CAN BE DONE ONE OF TWO WAYS. THEY CAN BE STARTED FROM SEED, BUT ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION IS THE METHOD MOST GROWERS USE.” It seems to me that five or six years ago, it was a rare treat to see a shamrock in a retail setting, but now they are at every garden centre and farmers’ market I visit. I am not surprised at how popular these plants have become. I got my first shamrock when I was 20 years old, as a gift from my grandmother, and it is one of the most


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

visually appealing plants I have ever owned. During the daylight hours the leaves stand erect on slender stems that lean aggressively towards the light. At night the leaves fold downward and stay closed firmly together. My first shamrock has been with me for eight years and four houses and I now have two plants, one green and one purple. When the shamrocks start to get crowded in the pots, I simply split them up and give some away as gifts. It’s a fun and easy way to share the plant with friends or even sell them at a place like a farmers’ market. Propagation of a shamrock can be done one of two ways. They can be started from seed, but asexual reproduction is the method most growers use. Asexual reproduction (a mode of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single parent) of a shamrock plant is done by dividing or separating the rhizomes from one plant and then replanting them. Rhizomes are similar to plant bulbs and are found just beneath the soil. This is a relatively easy procedure that doesn’t take long to complete. First, carefully remove the shamrock, rhizomes and all, from its current pot. Remove any excess growing medium that may still be attached to the rhizomes and gently separate them. The rhizomes are not connected to one another and will separate easily. Prepare new containers with your choice of growing medium, provide shamrocks with a well-draining soil for the best results and plant the separated rhizomes with the pointed ends facing upwards. Be sure the rhizomes aren’t planted too deep and leave only the top of each uncovered. Lightly cover the exposed part of the rhizome with more growing medium and water thoroughly. If the newly planted rhizomes still have shamrock stems and leaves attached, they will droop until the

rhizomes begin to root and establish themselves. I would advise removing any remaining top growth prior to replanting the rhizomes. New growth should appear in a few days after planting. When caring for a growing shamrock, pay attention to a few key conditions. The first is light requirements. Shamrocks prefer moderate to bright sunlight. If the stems appear to be stretching and the leaf growth is stunted, this may mean that the plant needs more light. When watering, be sure to keep the shamrock’s soil continuously moist but not soaking. Shamrocks do not grow well during prolonged dry periods. A well-drained growing medium will allow the grower to water frequently while avoiding the potential of over saturation, which can cause serious problems in the root zone. When watering a shamrock, allow the water to drain thoroughly from the holes in the bottom of the container. Never let the shamrock sit in standing water. Shamrocks grow best when fertilised once a month. A general purpose fertiliser such as a 10-10-10 will work just fine. Like other bulb plants, shamrocks can have a dormancy period. About twice a year the leaves can become wilted and the plant may look like it is dying. When this happens, the grower can cut back on watering, remove the dying leaves, and soon enough the plant will be growing strong again. Personally, I don’t allow my shamrocks to go into their dormant stage and they grow well all year round. Growth may slow down at times but it doesn’t seem to affect the overall health and vigour of the plants. It is up to each individual grower as to whether to allow the dormancy stage or not.


Growing and propagating shamrocks is a great way for novice plant owners to get used to dealing with a plant that can be split apart to form new ones. Shamrocks should be divided about every year or two. They make wonderful gifts and can also be sold for profit. Shamrocks make an excellent addition to any plant collection. They are both elegant and whimsical at the same time and can live for many years. As I stated earlier, the leaves close tight together when the sun goes down, a pleasurable event to witness in the evenings. In honour of these great little plants, I would like to close with an expression of mine: “When the day is done and out of sight, they close their eyes and say good night.”

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



by Dr. Robert G. Linderman

The term mycorrhizae describes the symbiotic relationship between specialised soil fungi and the roots of most plants on Earth. In part one of his three-part series, Dr. Robert G. Linderman provided the straight scoop on mycorrhizal fungi and what they are good for. In this article, he talks about evaluating mycorrhizal products, inoculating plants and cultural practices that enhance or harm the formation of mycorrhizae.


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A close-up of arbuscules (nutrient exchange sites) within root cortical cells. Mineral nutrients are delivered from the soil to the roots by the endomycorrhizal fungus and carbon nutrients, resulting from plant photosynthesis, are provided to the fungus by the plant.

Microbial content and

The most important part of my last article was to describe the benefits that mycorrhizal fungi give to their host plant partner: improved root development, improved transplant success, increased yield and quality, greater tolerance to plant diseases, improved soil structure due to aggregation, improved fertiliser-use efficiency, improved tolerance to soil drought and improved tolerance to soil toxicities, like salinity. So now, let’s address how to evaluate mycorrhizal fungi products from the label, how to inoculate your plants and what cultural practices may enhance or harm the formation of mycorrhizae and thus the benefits you seek. These comments are largely for endomycorrhizal fungi.

Greetings again, plant people. Dr. Bob Linderman here, a retired research plant pathologist with a 50-year career focused on ornamental and nursery crop diseases and There are many mycorrhizal fungi emphasising the epidemiproducts on the market. How do ology and control of soilyou decide what to buy? Some of the borne, root-infecting, fungal claims are complete bogus, some are plant pathogens, and the biolmisleading. For example, microbial conogy and application of beneficial tent and spore numbers of mycorrhizal fungi micro-organisms, especially mycorrhizal are often confusing. Some products include fungi and antagonistic rhizobacteria. This is the both endo and ectomycorrhizal fungi, plus a second instalment of a three-part series giving the lot of other bacteria and fungi. straight story on mycorrhizae based on my knowledge and experience on the subject. In the first instalment, I described what mycorrhizae is—the symbiotic relationship between specialised soil fungi and the roots of plants—and how this relationship benefits the growth and health of plants. Given that these relationships have been helping plants grow for some 460 million years, they definitely have proven their worth. An important point to remember is that there are three main types of mycorrhizal fungi and each type forms with different plant groups. The largest group, the endomycorrhizal fungi, form an association with many different plants, including most crop plants. The second group, the ectomycorrhizal fungi, colonise roots of pines, firs, oaks, eucalyptus, hazelnut and birch. The last group, ericoid mycorrhizal fungi, associate only with ericaceous plants like rhododendron, blueberry and azalea. And don’t forget that some plants simply don’t form mycorrhizae, so The increased number of antagonistic bacteria against a root rot pathogen in the rhizosphere don’t bother to inoculate cabbage, broccoli, soil of plants inoculated with a holistic mycorrhizal product (red bars) compared to nonmycorrhizal plants (green bars). beets, turnips, radishes and carnations.

spore numbers of mycorrhizal fungi are often confusing.”


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Evaluating Products

Depending on which plants you plan to inoculate, such as tomato transplants, for example, only the endomycorrhizal fungi will associate with tomato, and the ectomycorrhizal fungi are wasted. On the other hand, if you are planting hazelnut trees, the ectomycorrhiza part is needed and the endomycorrhizal fungi are wasted. And don’t be deceived by the spore numbers listed, which are often a combination of all the fungi. Ectomycorrhizal fungal spore numbers are usually much higher than endomycorrhizal fungi numbers. To determine the endomycorrhizal fungi numbers for your tomato plants, consider how many spores per gram of product are listed. I have seen labels listing several endomycorrhizal fungi but with a total of less than one spore per gram—not enough to do much good! Different endomycorrhizal fungi species have different soil preferences, so providing a mixture of species allows the plant and its soil environment to determine the best of the lot. Often the label includes a long list of other bacteria and fungi, supposedly ones that could help your plant. The truth is that most of those microbes are thrown in to convince you that the combination would be good. Many on that list may be of little or no benefit to the inoculated plant. Products that are truly holistic are the ones where the endomycorrhizal fungi are produced in such a way that the end product contains a team of microbes grown up with the fungi from the beginning. I call that the mycorrhizosphere phenomenon and the resulting benefits to plant growth and health are the results of the team effort. Back to spore numbers, sometimes the spore number listed can be in the hundreds of endomycorrhizal fungal spores per gram. Such high spore numbers are not likely the product of pot culturing, but rather

In vitro antagonism of bacteria streaked at the top of a petri dish against the root rot fungal pathogen on the bottom. When the fungus grows near the bacterium, it is inhibited by chemicals produced by the bacterium.

the spores are produced in vitro (on roots grown under sterile conditions); those spores may form mycorrhizae but without the benefits that would result from spores produced on plant roots. This topic is the focus of current research, but initial studies seem to indicate that higher spore count doesn’t always mean better results.

To deliver the spores to the roots,

you could use a root dip approach with soluble products. That method gets the inoculum right to the roots.”

How to Inoculate

I have heard stories of people being told to coat seeds with endomycorrhizal fungal spores. In fact, that is bad advice. First of all, the fungi don’t produce millions of spores, so what might get stuck on seeds would be very few spores at best. You don’t want the spores stuck on the seed coat, anyway; you want them to be near or in contact with the plant roots. To deliver the spores to the roots, you could use a root dip approach with soluble products. Or you could dust the roots while transplanting with granular products.

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Finally, you could place granular products under or around the root ball of transplants or in the furrow under the seed at planting. Those methods seek to place the inoculum where new roots will make contact with spores and initiate the mycorrhizal symbiosis as quickly as possible. In that process, spores near the roots will germinate, and the germ tube will grow toward the root, contact it, and grow into the root. The fungus will spread inside the root, but will also grow out from the root into the surrounding soil to mine the soil for mineral nutrients and water. The microbial associates then begin to assemble the team due to the selective influence of food leaking from both the roots and the endomycorrhizal fungus. If the product already has those team members included and waiting, the team can form and function right from the get-go. Products that have only endomycorrhizal fungus spores take a long time to assemble a good team of microbial associates. Failure to form an effective team could mean failure to reap the potential benefits of the mycorrhizal association. Once mycorrhizae have formed, the fungal partner will go where the roots go, so the earlier the association is established, the sooner plant growth will be enhanced, and the sooner the plant will yield its products. In these cases, more inoculum is better than too little, so use enough that will ensure early and thorough root colonisation. Some people want to inoculate plants already in the soil or potting medium. This can be difficult because you cannot easily deliver inoculum to as many roots as with pre-plant inoculation. Drilling holes around the plant and filling them with inoculum mixed into the soil could result in some mycorrhizae establishment, but not as much as any pre-plant treatment. Injecting fungal spore suspensions into the root zone is also possible, but mycorrhizae formation would be limited to the injection sites, and it would take time to spread to other areas of the root system. The fungus will eventually spread, but it takes longer before plant benefits are recognised.

Endomycorrhizal fungi (stained blue) showing internal colonisation of root and external colonisation of soil (washed away) with new spores produced at the end of the fungal hyphae (upper left corner).

If you think you might have some root

diseases, choose a fungicide that will not inhibit the mycorrhizal fungi.”


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the fungicides that target those fungi do not harm mycorrhizal fungi. For other root diseases, however, the fungicides of choice are often inhibitory. I can tell you which ones are good and those that are not good, so contact me. And if you want to know if you have formed mycorrhizae, I can help you there, too. We analyze roots sent to us to determine the level of mycorrhizae formation. If you suspect a root disease, I can analyse roots for pathogens and recommend treatment (if possible) that will not interfere with the mycorrhizae.

Cultural Practices

Once you have inoculated your plants with mycorrhizal fungi, there are some things to keep in mind as you manage your plants, specifically fertilisation and pesticide applications. For most crop plants grown in soils or potting mix, fertilisers with a high amount of available phosphorous can be inhibitory, so choose fertilisers with low phosphorous in their formulation. This is truer for potting mixes than for soil. Better yet, choose organic fertilisers instead of inorganic fertilisers. And if you think you might have some root diseases, choose a fungicide that will not inhibit the mycorrhizal fungi; if pythium or phytophthora root rots are involved, most of

Next Instalment

In my third and last instalment, I will introduce some exciting products built around the mycorrhizosphere phenomenon. My hope is that you will have come to better understand what mycorrhizal fungi are all about, and how to better harness their power in growing healthier plants that yield more high-quality products with superior flavour and nutritional value. I will conclude with some cautions about mycorrhizal products that are on the market, and guide you to the ones you need to use. Just knowing that folks want to use mycorrhizal fungi pleases me and makes my studies and teaching worthwhile. Photos courtesy of the author.

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Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014


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Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



On a basic level (no pun intended), pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. It is a term used in chemistry to measure the activity of hydrogen (hydroxyl and hydroxide) ions in an aqueous solution. The concept of pH was primarily introduced to science in 1909 and shortly thereafter revised and developed into the modern definition and measurements that are used today. While it is agreed that the “H” in pH represents hydrogen, it is debated whether the “p” stands for power or potential. Either way, “the power of hydrogen” or “potential hydrogen” both help clarify the abstract definitions often associated with the mysterious symbol.

THE pH SCALE The pH scale is a tool used to determine the pH level of a given substance. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 the most alkaline and 7 the neutral midpoint. The pH scale is logarithmic, meaning that each value above or below neutral represents a tenfold increase in acidity or alkalinity from the previous unit. For example, a pH level of 4 is 10 times more acidic than a pH level of 5, and a hundred times more acidic than 6. On the other end of the spectrum, a pH level of 9 is 10 times more alkaline—or basic—than 8. This makes it crucial to take accurate readings when testing pH levels of a nutrient solution.

WHY IS pH IMPORTANT FOR PLANTS? pH affects just about everything, and plants are no exception. pH levels affect many factors in a plant’s life cycle. That’s why it is important to consider the pH level of the soil or medium plants are being grown in, as well as the solution they are being watered with.

CERTAIN PLANTS GROW BETTER IN ACIDIC OR ALKALINE ENVIRONMENTS Just like animals, different plants have different food preferences. Plants such as citrus fruit, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, potatoes and orchids are prime examples of acid-loving plants. Plums, poppies, sage, cherries and sunflowers are plants that prefer a more alkaline environment. Many plants are tolerant of a wider range of acidity and alkalinity, including beans, broccoli, garlic, peas, melons, onions and corn, to name a few.


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AVAILABILITY OF NUTRIENTS Plants rely on a specific group of macro- and micronutrients to provide the bulk of their sustenance. Without proper nutrition, plants experience deficiencies and perform under par. Mineral nutrients are only soluble within a solution when the pH level is balanced within a prime range (usually around 5.5 to 6.2). Macronutrients tend to be less available in soils with low pH, whereas micronutrients are less available in high pH soil. If pH levels stray from the ideal range, vital nutrients will be rendered unavailable to the plant, and the plant will be unable to eat the food it needs.

DISEASE CURE AND PREVENTION Certain diseases thrive in environments that are too acidic or too alkaline. For example, powdery mildew (a common garden nightmare) thrives on the surfaces of leaves with a slightly acidic pH. By treating the plants with a foliar application with a high pH (around 8), it will kill the mildew spores and help prevent re-occurrence of the disease.

WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL pH RANGE FOR PLANTS GROWN IN SOIL? While different plants have varying ranges of pH to achieve optimal growth, most plants cultivated in soil will perform best when grown in a pH range of about 6 to 6.5. When growing in soil, the grower will ideally test the soil and the solution used to water the plants. If the soil is homemade, there are test kits available to check the pH of the soil. Most commercial-grade specialty soils that come pre-bagged have already been tested and pH balanced. The water is what differs from region to region and must be carefully monitored on a regular basis. The pH of the nutrient feed solution should be checked after adding fertiliser and adjusted to reach the optimal range of 6 to 6.5. pH adjusters designed for horticultural applications are available at most hydroponics stores or specialty nurseries.

WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL pH RANGE FOR HYDROPONICALLY GROWN PLANTS? As with soil, plants grown hydroponically have pH preferences depending on plant variety. In general, plants in hydro tend to do better in a slightly more acidic environment than plants in soil.

A pH range of about 5.5 to 6 is ideal for most hydroponic growth. It is particularly important to consider pH in hydro, as all of the plant nutrition is coming from the fertiliser solution. Too high or low of a pH level will prevent either macro- or micronutrients from being absorbed by the plants. When growing with hydro, the medium used—whether it is inert or not—will have a slight effect on pH levels.

WHY DOES THE pH OF A NUTRIENT SOLUTION FLUCTUATE? In a nutshell, the explanation to this question is that plants use different elements, such as nitrogen, at different rates. As plants eat, they deplete certain substances and tend to raise the pH as they digest the fertiliser in the solution.

HOW IS pH TESTED FOR HORTICULTURAL PURPOSES? PAPER TEST STRIPS: These are among the most inexpensive and simple methods of testing pH. Paper strips infused with pH-sensitive dye are dipped into the nutrient solution being tested. The colour that appears on the strip corresponds with a colour chart that determines the pH level. LIQUID INDICATOR SOLUTIONS: Similar to the paper test strips in that they use colour, the liquid indicator solution is a popular and reliable method for novice or budget growers. A small sample of nutrient solution is taken from the reservoir in a container provided in the test kit. A few drops of pH-sensitive liquid are added to the solution and change to specific colours depending on the pH level. The colours correspond with a chart that determines the pH.

They use a glass bulb electrode to precisely determine the pH of the solution being tested. Digital meters must be stored properly and calibrated often. They are notorious for breaking down and can be a source of frustration for growers who rely upon their precision. When using digital meters, it is important to keep them clean and wet while storing them. It’s also a good idea to have a liquid test kit on hand for backup.

HOW IS pH ADJUSTED FOR HORTICULTURAL PURPOSES? Many common household items will have an effect on the pH level of pure water. Some of these include lemon juice to lower the pH or baking soda to raise it. However, for the serious grower, it is recommended to use pH adjusters that are specifically designed to work well within a hydroponic nutrient solution. pH down (acid) lowers pH levels, while pH up (base) raises them. There are several brands of pH up and down available in the hydro industry. Choose brands that do not add dyes to their pH adjusters, as artificial dyes have no added benefit to the health of plants. Look for adjusters that contain at least two to three acids in the pH down and two to three bases in the pH up. This will provide for a more stable pH level with less drastic fluctuation. There are many important factors to consider when growing beautiful and bountiful plants, and pH ranks high in importance among them. Understanding why pH is important and how to manage pH balance helps to ensure happy plants. Attention to detail in the garden provides for a much deserved and rewarding end result; treat your plants right and enjoy the bounty of healthy harvests!

DIGITAL METERS: High-tech (compared to the previous methods), accurate and easy to use, digital meters are the most logical choice for professional growers.



mixes, and g in tt o p r o il o s r u o y as really in on your dirt. Ever question what w t ir d e th 's re e h ll, e W wing? how it affects your gro


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THE DIRT ON SOIL & POTTING MIXES Soil is a combination of minerals, organic matter, air and water. On a farm, plants are often grown directly in soil fields. Container gardens on the other hand, often use potting mixes or growing media that contain little actual soil. The minerals in soil are usually in the forms of sand, silt or clay. The reason that clays pack together so tightly—good for pottery, but not as good in large amounts for plants—is particle size. A pile of boulders will have lots of airspace between them, while a pile of pebbles will fit together much closer. Sand, silt and clays are just finer grades of rocks. Ideally they have a surface that will allow for air and water to nestle between the particles. Too much clay in soil allows it to pack so closely together that it can limit the amount of air available and cause difficulties with growth. This is why soils high in clay are often amended with a lighter media. At least a little clay can be beneficial because the large surface area allows for easier mineral access for the plants. Also, since clay tends to have a negative charge, it attracts positively charged nutrient ions, allowing them to be held to await the root system. Granite dust can be used as a substitute or to diversify the mineral content of a media.

“LIMES—SUCH AS SHELL MEAL, LIMESTONE OR DOLOMITE—CAN BE USED TO RAISE PH IN ACIDIC CONDITIONS AND ARE A SOURCE OF CALCIUM (AND, IN THE CASE OF DOLOMITE, MAGNESIUM).” There are drawbacks to using soil in containers. It is heavy, which makes sense since it is mostly a pile of tiny rocks and moisture. It also drains best in containers that are larger and deeper than are usually convenient. And since drainage is critical, soil as a container media is prone to overwatering. While these limitations have little impact on a field of flowers, they do have an impact when used in flower pots. To overcome these problems, potting soils are often made out of lighter materials known as soilless mediums. Some media holds water better than others, which means that plants can go longer between waterings, but the trade-off is they are more apt to have overwatering issues. Rockwool, for example, holds water well, but cannot be allowed to sit in water for long or else the plants will drown. On the other end of the spectrum, clay pellets do not hold water as well and must be watered often, but they are difficult to overwater. Perlite has a nice balance of water retention and aeration, but floats when dry. Commercial soil mixes are available, which can be convenient. One benefit to purchasing premixed potting mixes is that they often include a variety of components and save the consumer from having to store too many half-filled bags of ingredients. Also, mixing large amounts of potting mix by hand can be strenuous work and miscalculations with the 42

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amendments used in the recipe used can be damaging to the plants. Still, potting mixes can be made at home, and almost every gardener I’ve run into who mixes their own has their own recipe. For a general purpose potting soil, mix the following:

1 TO 2 PARTS PLANT COMPOST (homemade or from a trusted source)

Plant compost can be made at home with relative ease in a backyard compost bin. Make sure the compost is mature before use. It should be broken down into unidentifiable bits and have a pleasant, earthy aroma. I use compost made from garden/lawn waste and veggie scraps. If purchasing, obtain clean, high-quality plant compost that does not contain biosolids. Composted animal manure can be substituted for up to half of the total compost.

1 PART PEAT, COIR OR WOOD CHIPS Although peat has been a staple of potting mixes for many years, there is concern about over-harvesting and environmental impact. Fortunately, coir (a byproduct of the coconut industry) is both a renewable resource and an acceptable alternative. I have switched to coir entirely in my own garden. The quality of coir on the market today is much improved from some of the early versions available to the consumer. Since the peat and coir are used interchangeably, a combination of the two can be used. Wood chips vary greatly in size and quality, so inspect carefully before purchasing.


starting source of nitrogen. Phosphorus can be added in forms like rock phosphate, which has a very slow release time, making it a good choice to add to the starting mix, bone meal or highphosphorus guanos and manures. Potassium is found in potash and langbeinite, which can be added to the base mix. By adding nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium sources to the starting mix, reliance on early additional fertilisation is reduced. As these initial sources are used up, additional nutrients can be top-dressed and watered into the mix, or replaced by normal plant feedings. Three other amendments to consider adding to the mix are kelp, lime and mycorrhizal fungi. Kelp adds many helpful micronutrients, beneficial plant hormones and small amounts of other plant growth aids, such as enzymes. Limes—such as shell meal, limestone or dolomite—can be used to raise pH in acidic conditions and are a source of calcium (and, in the case of dolomite, magnesium).

The compost and coir hold water well, and adding perlite or vermiculite helps lighten the mix. Although my personal preference is for the larger perlite in potting mixes, most of my potting mix perlite comes from my hydroponic system and is of the smaller variety, which also works. Expanded recycled glass is similar in function to large perlite.


Earthworm castings contain an array of beneficial micro-organisms and bacteria picked up as it passes through the worms.


Several of the beneficial additives in these mixes can be helpful in even small amounts, so including some with your homemade mix can improve the overall quality of the product. Mix the three (or five) ingredients well, and use as you would normal potting mix. This is a nice starting place, but there are other amendments that you might want to consider as well. Silica sand or rock powder, for example, can be included to add weight to the mixture and for the slow release of trace minerals over the course of the season (just use these in in moderation). Nitrogen additives—such as alfalfa meal, blood meal, cottonseed meal, seabird guano, feather meal or fish meal—can give the plants a Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



“ONE BENEFIT TO PURCHASING PREMIXED POTTING MIXES IS THAT THEY OFTEN INCLUDE A VARIETY OF COMPONENTS AND SAVE THE CONSUMER FROM HAVING TOO MANY HALF-FILLED BAGS OF INGREDIENTS IN THE GARAGE.” Limes are commonly used to offset the lower pH of peat (if used), so should not be used if a large amount of earthworm castings have been added, as they also raise pH. Adding mycorrhizal fungi powders can introduce a colony if one is not already present. A light dusting of the roots during transplanting can make sure the powder comes in contact with the host roots. There are a variety of other recipes available to try, and other additives and amendments that can be used. Making perfect potting soil is much like making the perfect meatloaf; there is a general consensus about approximately what should be in the end-product, but the exact details on ingredients and amounts vary from person to person. In my own garden, I use a combination of homemade and commercial potting mixes. I mix my own more often than not, but if I need more potting mix than I have compost ready, I use a couple bags of store-bought, or I’ll throw in some premium mix in along with the other ingredients if I’m making a large batch.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Since I send any healthy potting mix back through the compost pile after harvest (after rinsing if I suspect a lot of salt residue), along with the new material being composted, the potting mix is continually being refreshed and re-amended, and waste is kept to a minimum. Even if a gardener chooses the convenience of purchasing a commercial potting mix over making their own, they should have some understanding of the ingredients so they can make informed selections. Although gardening non-hydroponically is commonly referred to as soil gardening by lay people, soil is actually an uncommon container growing media. Soilless mixes are much more common. Starting with a good potting mix can make a world of difference in how well a container garden performs.








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Maximum Yield | March/Arpil 2014


Cheap and Easy Starts:

How to Germinate Seeds at Home

by Heather Rhoades

Buying plants is expensive, but if you learn how to germinate seeds, you’ll never have to worry about spending too much for plant starts again.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



set very low or even the top of your TV, anywhere that has a very low, steady heat. You should always keep your seed germination container out of direct sunlight, even if the package specifies they need sun to germinate. If you need the sunlight, place in indirect light. Check your seeds often to see if they have sprouted. Germination time for seeds varies and should be marked on the packet. Once they have sprouted, vent the container by opening it a little bit. If using a paper towel, move the seedlings to proper soil. Otherwise, transplant seedlings when they have two true leaves.

Factors That Affect Seed Germination Many people will tell you that one of the most expensive parts of gardening is buying the plants. The best way to avoid this problem is to simply grow your own plants from seeds. Once you learn how to germinate seeds, you will always be able to have cheap plants. It is easy to get started with cheap seed starting.

How to Germinate Seeds Start with seeds that are less than two years old, a soilless seed starting medium of some kind and a container that can help hold moisture in. A soilless seed starting medium will ensure that the seeds and seedlings are not killed by too much salt or salinity (frequently found in soil or even regular soilless mixes). The soilless seed starting medium can be an actual soilless seed starting mix from your local nursery, or a folded paper towel. If you choose to use a paper towel, you will need to move the germinated seeds to soil or another growing medium after they have sprouted. The container you select should hold in moisture. A plastic container is ideal for this. Some people might use a Tupperware container while others might use a Ziploc bag. The next step is to dampen (but do not soak) the soilless seed starting medium and place it in the container. This will ensure that the seeds continuously receive the appropriate amount of moisture. Now, find a warm place to put your seeds. Warmth is another important factor that affects seed germination. Many people find that the top of their refrigerator is ideal, but you can use a heating pad

The factors that affect seed germination vary from plant species to species, but there are a few that are standard. The most common factors that affect seed germination are moisture, salinity and heat. If the seeds you are growing are not germinated in what is considered a standard way, the seed packet will state this in the directions. Contrary to popular belief on how to germinate seeds, sunlight is not a standard factor that influences seed germination (unless otherwise stated on the seed packet). In fact, sunlight can do more harm than good as it might overheat the seeds and seedlings and kill them. Now that you know how to germinate seeds, you can grow your own cheap plants!

Maximum Yield | March/Arpil 2014


Basics for Your Growroom by Clif Tomasini & Mike Steffes

Despite ever-improving channels of knowledge in the hydroponics industry, there are still breaks in the general awareness on humidity controls in the growroom. Clif Tomasini and Mike Steffes fill us in.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Indoor gardening is following the course of most emerging industries in that solutions borrowed from mature industries are adapted to fit new needs. Over time, outdoor plant products, filters, fans, building supplies and lighting technologies have all been adapted to better fit the needs of the indoor gardener. As the marketplace continues to develop, information about product performance continually passes among growers, retailers and manufacturers. This shared information eventually leads to improved products that result in better, and more efficient, grow techniques. Rapid changes might occur as an industry moves towards maturity, and gaps in knowledge can be common as users strive to keep up with the new tools, supplies and equipment, while manufacturers get caught up in developing and not take time to communicate with the end user. Thankfully, there are industry publications to provide a bridge. Thanks to information published over the past several years, indoor growers have become aware that too much humidity can cause disease, rot, mould and mildew—and that this is especially true when plants get to be dense and full. However, which solutions work best and why, or even how much moisture needs to be removed from a growroom, are areas in which awareness isn’t as common. This article addresses humidity controls in growrooms.



What is the Difference Between Humidity and Relative Humidity? Rule #1: Relative humidity (RH) is not the same as

absolute humidity

Absolute humidity is the quantity of moisture in the air—for example 100 pints of moisture in a growroom— whereas relative humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air relative to the maximum amount of moisture that could be in the air (75% relative humidity = 75% of the maximum moisture content).

Rule #2: A warm environment can support more water vapour than a cool environment A 27°C room can have twice the moisture in it as the same room at 16°C. In other words, a room that is 27°C and 50% RH during the lights-on cycle can reach 100% RH if the temperature drops to 16°C. When relative humidity reaches 100%, this is called the dew point—as the temperature drops, liquid water, or dew, will quickly condense out of the vapour. Adding a small heater to raise the temperature by several degrees in an otherwise cool, wet growroom is a simple way to reduce the percentage of relative humidity when the lights are off and can be a useful stopgap measure while working on a longer-term solution.

Rule #3: Your key to mould control is moisture control Mould growth requires fungal spores, organic material and moisture. Spores are ubiquitous and difficult to remove through filtration, so moisture is the only variable you can realistically control. The idea is to solve any moisture problems before they become mould problems. Experts consistently agree that 50% relative humidity or lower is your target for preventing mould.

Rule #4: Humidity equalises rapidly While temperature stratifies and requires air movement to achieve balance, humidity equalises rapidly. This is useful because it means dehumidifiers don’t require duct work in most growrooms. Rapid vapour equalisation also poses a challenge because water evaporates quickly, forcing growers to reduce evaporation by cutting unnecessary water exposure to open air.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



What are My Options to Control Humidity? Ventilation Ventilation is best for small growrooms and can work well for most hobbyists. This solution works by diluting the water vapour, which works well in dry climates with moderate temperatures year-round but comes up short during humid seasons or in humid climates. An example of using ventilation to keep a growroom dry is when the conditions outside of the room are controlled by the use of a grow tent. Growers using this method should filter the incoming air with pleated air filters to help prevent the introduction of pests and other airborne contaminants. One major issue with using ventilation is that it does not work well for growers using supplemental CO2. Another downside to ventilation is that it will have some effect on room temperature. Even if outside conditions are very dry, less than optimal results will be achieved if conditions are extremely hot or cold at different times of the day.

How Much Moisture Does My Air Conditioner Remove? With so many variables in play, there is no general rule of thumb to estimate water removal based on air-conditioner model, brand, air temperature, run time or room size. Fortunately, there is a relatively easy method any grower can use to find out how much moisture their air conditioner removes. Collecting runoff from the air-conditioner is usually a fairly simple task. Water from a 24-hour period is sufficient for finding your water removal rate, but the longer time period, the better. Yet, collecting water over a fourhour period—with air conditioning running, of course— is enough to estimate the amount of moisture your airconditioner would remove in 24 hours.

Air conditioning Air conditioning works well at removing moisture when lights are on, temperatures are near 27°C and there is a need for cooling. Using an air conditioner to dry a room when the lights are off is not recommended. Excessively cold temperatures can stress plants. Air conditioners use great amounts of energy to remove moisture and as temperatures go below 21°C, air conditioners tend to freeze up. Supplemental heat can be used to drive the need for cooling and to prevent the air from getting excessively cold and freezing up the air conditioner. The problem with this is that supplemental heat requires lots of energy and quickly becomes expensive to maintain. It isn’t wise to use your cooling system as a long-term moisture management solution.

Dehumidifiers Dehumidifiers are the only sure way of controlling humidity at all times. Commonly available dehumidifiers are designed for light use in residential basements, but there are companies that build high-quality, high-capacity commercial-grade dehumidifiers. These are extremely energy efficient, don’t create excessive heat and will last for many years. For smaller growrooms, removing the condensate bucket and attaching a garden hose to drain the water, if needed, can modify basement-style dehumidifiers. Larger operations will want to consider the extended reliability and moisture removal capacity of commercial-grade dehumidifiers. Also, for best performance, install air-conditioner vents and dehumidifiers as high in the room as possible to ensure that cold or hot air is not blown directly on plants. This will assist with water drainage from the equipment as well.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014




Conduct this experiment during a time when moisture is most problematic, such as when plants are large and the external environment is humid. Don’t forget that air conditioners often don’t run continuously when the lights are off. In other words, if the air conditioner runs constantly when the lights are on, but only for, say, 30 minutes when the lights turn off, your air conditioner isn’t removing any water for a major portion of the cycle.

How Much Moisture Needs to be Removed to Protect My Plants? Plants transpire about 99% of the water they receive, so the amount of water your plants receive is approximately the amount that needs to be removed each day. For example, 30 plants each receiving 1.89 L per day is 56.78 L total water per day. If you water every other day, divide by two to get an average per day. Use the results of your moisture collection experiment to subtract whatever water your air conditioner removes from your total input water. If you have a remainder then that is the water that must be removed by a dehumidifier. It just so happens that dehumidifiers are sized by their capacity in pints per day. It is important to check these numbers at the peak of the plants’ growth or the final two weeks of flowering. A little understanding and a little investigation coupled with a bit of math is all you need to ensure you have the right equipment to protect and grow your investment under all circumstances. If this humidity 101 lesson still leaves you with unanswered questions, the experts at your local hydro shop should be able to help, or try submitting a question to Maximum Yield experts by going to

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



PLANTS from cuttings by Frank Rauscher

Want some new cultivars for your garden, but also want a way to guarantee their quality? Well, this is a perfect opportunity for some DIY cutting.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

Why would anyone want to go to the trouble to start a plant from a cutting when it is so easy to just go out and buy a small plant at the nursery? Well, it’s not always so easy to locate that certain plant you want to grow, and it’s even tougher to find it in a healthy condition. And what if you want certain unique characteristics in your specimen? Not every plant of the same genus, species or even same variety will have the same exact traits. Only clones, or cultivars, can guarantee identical characteristics. Grafted clones can be hybridised to produce certain benefits, such as sweetness or health, or to create a new type of fruit. If you’re not so interested in developing some new type of fruit or plant, remember that grafting allows you to produce as many of that awesome tomato plant you had last year as you can. Another reason for wanting to start a new plant from a cutting could include the fact that the original or mother plant doesn’t produce many seeds; a new plant started from a cutting off the old one can produce more seeds. So, let’s get started. The basic process to start a plant from a cutting, after we have selected the

“Only clones, or cultivars, can guarantee identical characteristics.” plant we want to clone, involves cutting off a section from the mother plant and getting it to create some roots so we can transplant it. That sounds simple enough, but if we aren’t particular about the time of year we cut, where on the plant we cut, what we cut with and how we plan to get the new roots started, it’s not likely we’ll have easy success. Plants are generally woody or herbaceous. Woody plants have three categories: arborescent (single trunk, such as an ash tree), fruticose (large and woody with many trunks, such as a ligustrum) and suffrutescent (shrubs or vines that are only woody at the base; these are often also considered herbaceous).The suffrutescent group would be the easiest to start from a cutting within the woody grouping.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014


STARTING PLANTS FROM CUTTINGS Herbaceous plants are generally the easiest to start from a cutting. These also have three main subgroupings: annuals, which only live for one season or one year (the celosia is an example); biennials, which complete their life cycle in two years (for example, carrots); and herbaceous perennials, which continue for at least three years (an example would be asparagus). Tomatoes are an interesting case as it they are actually perennials that are cultivated as annuals and are, in my opinion, one of the easiest to start.

“Tomatoes are actually perennials that are cultivated as annuals.” The best time of year to take a cutting from a plant will depend on what type of plant it is. We want to try to get soft wood or new growth cuttings. The interior cellular walls need to be active and so more easily encouraged to reproduce. For outdoor plants, the odds favour spring. For indoor or hydroponic plants, it will depend more on the plant’s current life cycle than the time of year. You want the plant specimen to be in top health, with no signs of nutrition insufficiency or disease. The plant should also be properly hydrated, not over-watered or suffering from drought. The cells in the plant tissue will need moisture to begin knitting themselves back together and creating the root system you need. Do a thorough inspection of the proposed plant before deciding.


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

The first cut on a rosemary plant. When making a new cut, try to take soft wood or new growth.

Don’t forget to look for insects, although chances are many of the insects that might be on your plant are too small to see without a microscope or at least a good magnifying glass. Next, prepare for cutting and restarting. You will need pruners; a razor blade (box cutters provide safety); distilled water; containers for disinfectant, water and rooting hormone; containers with drainage for potting; bleach; soilless potting mix; plastic wrap or plastic bags or a humidity dome; and a pencil or cotton swab (for making soil holes). After selecting a good, healthy specimen, you will need to perform the cutting. You’ll want to prune off your specimen where it grows and then bring it inside where you are set up to do the rest of your starting process. Make sure your pruners are sharp and clean. Cut your specimen from green, non-woody stems near the tip of a branch, not near the base. Once inside the house, you will make your final cuts before restarting. Using a sharp knife for this cut is key as it will reduce trauma and avoid failure. The blade should be cleaned and sterilised. Wash with soapy water first to remove any dirt or grease, and rinse using distilled water. Dilute the bleach at 10 parts to one, submerse the blade and rinse again. Wipe dry with fresh tissue paper. Now cut back your specimen to just below a node on the stem. Nodes exist where a leaf or

“If you choose to root in soil, a good quality potting mix is important.” petiole was attached. After you make this cut, you will want to remove all but a few leaves with your blade—keep this in mind when choosing where you cut; the larger the leaf, the fewer needed. The new little root system will need to provide nutrients for the leaves you left on the specimen and too many leaves but too much stress on the new roots, while too few will fail to provide sufficient photosynthesis. Make a final cut on the specimen at the middle of the end node. This is the spot where the plant has the best chance to generate roots. Before planting, wash off the tip in distilled water to ensure cleanliness. The amount of time between this final cut and insertion into your prepared potting mix is critical. Be prepared and transplant at once. While rooting hormone is not always necessary—some plants will even root in water—it does stimulate a plant to generate new roots and can increase your chances of success. Put an adequate amount of hormone into a container (you cannot return the unused hormone to the bag), then dip the new cutting in water and then into the hormone before putting into the potting mix. Only a moderate amount of hormone should be on the cutting, so tap off any excess. Whether you prefer rooting in water or soil, it will take a week or two before the cutting is ready to transplant. There are pros and cons to rooting in water. While you can see the roots and moisture is always available, some plant types do better with more oxygen available and sometimes transplanting into soil later can be an issue. If you choose to root in soil, a good quality potting mix is important. Soil has clay, silt and sand in it and can inhibit tender new roots. A sterile soilless mix with only fine particles is best. After all, you don’t want all your efforts to be wasted because of pests in the soil. Germinating mix is pre-sterilised, but you can sterilise your own in the oven at 82°C for about 30 minutes (just don’t let the temperature go over 93°C). Pre-moisten the soil with your distilled water (avoid using tap water that could contain chlorine), but

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



do not saturate it. The combination of adequate air and moisture is what your fragile little plant needs to develop roots. Use your pencil for making a 2.5-cm-deep hole in the potting mix, which reduces any trauma created by pressing the stem into the mix and helps the hormone to stay attached. Keeping the potting mix adequately moist is your next concern. Covering the pot with clear plastic, but allowing enough room for the leaves and making a couple small holes for ventilation, will do the trick. By reducing evaporation like this, you won’t need to be adding more water and risk drowning the plant. The new plant needs UV light but not strong direct sun. After a week or two, you can poke some more holes in the plastic to allow oxygen and drier air to help it adapt. During this period you will need to check and add water. Don’t overwater, though—plants need air in the soil as well as moisture. A gentle tug on the plant after a couple weeks will indicate if it has developed roots and is ready for transplanting. Remember that insects love new plants like this, so even after transplant, you might want to keep it indoors for awhile. Though the process sounds a bit complicated at first reading, it is actually quite easy once you understand it and have tried a couple times. If this is a first time for you, you might want to try a tomato plant. Tomatoes are easy to root and you’re almost assured success. Starting a plant from cuttings is a fun new way to take your next step in gardening. Try it, and don’t give up if you don’t succeed at first. The end result is a plant that you will certainly be proud to show your friends.

“Cut back your specimen to just below a node on the stem.”


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



A warm environment can support more water vapour than a cool environment. A 27°C room can have twice the moisture in it as the same room at 16°C. In other words, a room that is 27°C and 50% relative humidity during the lights-on cycle can reach 100% relative humidity if the temperature drops to 16°C.

Grafted clones can be hybridised to produce certain benefits, such as sweetness or health, or to create a new type of fruit. Grafting also allows you to produce as many of that awesome tomato plant you had last year as you can. Another reason for wanting to start a new plant from a cutting could include the fact that the original or mother plant doesn’t produce many seeds; a new plant started from a cutting off the old one can produce more seeds.



Some media holds water better than others, which means that plants can go longer between waterings, but the trade-off is they are more apt to have overwatering issues. Rockwool, for example, holds water well, but cannot be allowed to sit in water for long or else the plants will drown.

Mycorrhizae is the symbiotic relationship between specialised soil fungi and the roots of plants. The benefits mycorrhizal fungi provide to their host plant partner include: improved root development, improved transplant success, increased yield and quality, greater tolerance to plant diseases, improved soil structure due to aggregation, improved fertiliser-use efficiency, improved tolerance to soil drought and improved tolerance to soil toxicities, like salinity.



High intensity discharge (HID) is a broad term for metal halide (MH), high pressure sodium (HPS) and mercury lamps. They come in a variety of strengths and spectrums.


The concept of pH was primarily introduced to science in 1909 and shortly thereafter revised and developed into the modern definition and measurements that are used today. While it is agreed that the “H” in pH represents hydrogen, it is debated whether the “p” stands for power or potential.


Shamrocks (Oxalis species) are small trifoliate (leaf structure having three parts) plants with delicate little flowers that bloom on a nearly continual basis.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



The Bluelab team celebrating their win at the Export NZ awards.

Maximum Yield recently sat down with Chris Winslade, VP of sales and marketing at Bluelab, to talk about simplicity, practicality, sustainability and the phrase “if it dries, it dies.” Tell us a little about how your company started. Prior to 2004, Bluelab was known as NZ Hydroponics International Limited, which was started in 1978 by two very enthusiastic hydroponic experts. In the mid-1970s, there were just no cost-effective solutions available in New Zealand for the serious grower wanting to measure and control pH and conductivity, so the founders decided to do something about it. With little resources and a heap of ingenuity, they set about designing and manufacturing their own products. Like many companies in this industry, Bluelab morphed through various incarnations to become the organisation it is today.

What is your company’s philosophy? “Improving life with world-leading, water-based measurement systems for productivity and quality.” Everything we do is about living up to our customer promise of being: Simple—everything you need, nothing you don’t Practical—built tough for the real world Handy—user friendly Expert—accurate and reliable


Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

What is your most popular product today? Why do you think that is? Our Bluelab pen range (Bluelab pH, ppm and EC Pens) are sold worldwide and have given customers—whether first-time growers or professionals—easy, quick and reliable measurements of the parameters that are important to them (pH, ppm/EC and temperature). However, no grower can go past the famous Bluelab Truncheon Meter—it’s simple, practical, handy and expert!

How important is it to take care of one’s control equipment? What happens if you don’t? What is the best way to care for it? It’s paramount! Successful crops don’t just happen. Hydroponics gives us the most control possible over plant growth. That control depends on knowing as much as possible about the growing environment. It’s why we need accurate measuring systems. They tell us when things are going well and when they are turning for the worse. Accurately measuring and controlling the growing environment begins with well-maintained pH, conductivity and temperature instruments.

pH pH probes don’t last forever. Their life depends on the number of readings you take, contamination from the type of solution you are measuring, different temperatures of the solutions, age of the probe and if it has ever dried out. You can extend their life with a few simple habits: • • • • •

Keep your pH probe clean Always rinse after use Keep your probe glassware wet—if it dries it dies! pH probes are fragile, so be gentle with them Storing in RO, distilled or deionised water will kill a probe • Calibrate the pH probe at least monthly. • Calibrate to two points: pH 7 and pH 4

Conductivity and temperature To care for conductivity/temperature meters and probes: • Clean and test monthly to remove built up nutrient salts (if a Bluelab EC/ppm instrument is reading low, it means it needs cleaning) • Always rinse after use • Always leave the shroud on the probe tip or you will get strange readings • Calibration is not required for Bluelab Conductivity/Temperature probes Above all, it pays to read the instructions provided with the instrument. Not all brands work the same way, so it is important to get to know your instrument of choice. If you look after it, it will look after you.

I see that you have pH meters, probes and pens. How are these technologies different and how are they similar? Bluelab’s pH Meter, Soil pH Meter, Combo Meter and Guardian Monitor all use replaceable pH probes. This means you do not have to replace the meter when the pH probe dies; you just have to replace the pH probe. The Bluelab pH Pen is a smaller, cheaper and more compact meter (pocket style), whereas

the pH probe is not replaceable. Both meter and pen styles measure from 0.0 to 14.0 pH, and all meters have the same simple push button calibration method. The Bluelab Combo Meter and Guardian Monitor have the advantage of measuring conductivity and temperature as well as pH.

How important is sustainability to the indoor gardening industry? How does your company help with environmental practices in the industry? As the industry grows, so does our need as a manufacturer to ensure we are acting responsibly towards our environment. To support our local environment we recycle and reuse, compost waste and worm farm at Bluelab. To support the rest of the planet, we added “Bluelab is also Green” and “Think Green” to our brand portfolio. We try in any practical way to build longevity into our products and endeavour to provide the customer with everything they need and nothing they don’t. We use packaging that is supplied from sustainable forestry; we withdrew paper manuals from our products and opted for a recycled and keep-me “Getting Started” guide to not only reduce paper use, but also reduce transport costs. For any change we make or forward planning, the impact on the environment is considered.

What’s in store for Bluelab in the future? We want to continue to delight our customers with products and service. This is most important to us. What I can tell you is that Bluelab will be around for a long time and a good time.

The ever-enthusiastic team at Bluelab.

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



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Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

INDUSTRY’S LATEST Introducing Alien Hydroponic Systems

RAW Soluble in the United Kingdom

Alien Hydroponic Systems are the latest manufacturers to hit the hydroponics scene and the company’s products are rapidly becoming the systems of choice through the UK and Europe. The company was started by a consortium of expert growers and electronic engineers who had become frustrated with the inherent problems with systems currently on the market. The team set out to address the issues associated with modular flood and drain and DWC systems. Using their experience and research, Alien Hydroponic Systems developed revolutionary ideas to create a range of systems that have taken hydroponics to the next level. To learn more, visit

RAW Soluble is a fully water-soluble additive line-up comprised of 12 essential element building blocks to supplement nutrient feeding programs. Now available in the United Kingdom through Easy Grow, RAW Soluble is made of 100% water-soluble powders and contain zero fillers or dyes. These single-element solubles are the building blocks for all growers. Because these supplements are individualised, gardeners have the option of precise customised formulation to resolve plant problems quickly and optimise vegetative, early-flower and full-flower cycles. These soluble powders also help growers spend less while producing more, and now include complete grow and bloom formulations. Guides to the RAW range are provided, indicating the benefits and roles of each essential element and bi-stimulant soluble powder. Visit for more information.

Galaxy Digital Logic Ballasts Galaxy® Digital Logic™ Ballasts are dimmable, select-wattage ballasts with multiple modes of operation, including a lamp Turbo Charge® feature. Ballasts come with pre-programmed cycle settings and digital timer integration. The optional remote control can be used for integrated timer programming and operation. A low-current, staggered ignition delay feature eliminates circuit inrush overload and protects lamps for increased lumen maintenance. Ballasts have a built-in, self-diagnostic feature: the internal ballast programming will protect the unit in the instance of open circuit, short circuit, over/under voltage or high temperature exposure. Galaxy Digital Logic Ballasts are designed with optimised, non-air-cooled aluminum housing. An included hour meter allows users to manage lamp and ballast age for maximum performance. Dual, universal lamp cord receptacles are compatible with Sun System® reflectors and other brands. Ballasts also come with an LED digital display. Visit an indoor garden retail store for more information.

Tacoma Expo Ready to Roll The 2014 Grow Like a Pro Indoor Gardening Expo Tour kicks off in the United States in Tacoma, Washington, at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center April 5 and 6. Don’t miss the first opportunity to see the latest gear for 2014. For more information, special hotel rates and your complimentary VIP ticket go to Can’t make it to the Tacoma expo? The tour also makes stops in Novi, Michigan (May 31 and June 1); San Francisco, California (July 26 and 27); and Boston, Massachusetts (Oct. 18 and 19).

Product Spotlight Want to learn more about the latest products to hit the indoor gardening market? We’ve got the details at Check out the product spotlight section.

Free Digital Subscription Receive Maximum Yield in your inbox every month. Simply subscribe to the digital edition of Maximum Yield by filling out the form at

Are You A Fan? Thank you to all those readers who have entered our I’m a Fan contest. We have enjoyed what our readers have had to say and we know the winners have loved spending their prizes at their favourite retail shops. You can win too. Tell us how much you enjoy reading Maximum Yield by going to or emailing and you’ll be entered to win monthly $100 cash prizes to spend at your local grow store. We will choose a new winner every month and a grand prize winner will be drawn in December to receive $1,000 to spend at the indoor garden shop of their choice. Maximum Yield | March/April 2014


MAXIMUM YIELD distributors

Listed alphabetically by shop name.

1st Hydroponics Unit 5 K-Line House, West Rd. Ipswich, Suffolk UK IP3 9FG Tel: +44 (0) 1473 279829

Aquaculture Unit 3, Pkwy One, Pkwy Dr. Sheffield, South Yorkshire UK S9 4WU Tel: +44 (0) 8456 445544

Brite Lite Hydroponics Unit 11 Roman Ind. Es. Croydon, UK CRO 2DT Tel: +44 (0) 2086 834424

21st Century Garden Unit A6., Bounds Green Ind. Es., Ringway London, Greater London UK N11 2UD Tel: +44 (0) 2083 614659

Aquatech Horticultural Lighting Unit 3F, Spa Fields Ind. Es. New St. Slaithwait , Huddersfield, West Yorkshire UK HD7 5BB Tel: +44 (0) 1484 842632

3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 52, Rober t Court Ind.E s. Britten Rd. Reading, Berkshire UK RG2 0AU Tel: +44 (0) 1189 874758

Ashton Hydroponics Ltd. Unit 3 Park Parade Ind. Es. Welbeck St. S. Ashton-Under-Lyna, Manchester UK O4L 67PP Tel: +44 (0) 1613 391673 ____________________________

Bub’s allotment The Rural Granary Business Centre Unit 4 North Street Hellingly, East Sussex UK BN27 4DU Tel: +44 (0) 7528 098103 ____________________________

3 Counties Hydroponics The Lodge, 113 Invicta Rd. Dartford, Kent UK DA2 6AY Tel: +44 (0) 1322 273444 3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 13., Chiltern Bus. Ctr. Cowley, Oxford UK OX4 6NG Tel: +44 (0) 1865 771747 3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 11, Olds Close, Olds Approach Watford, Herts UK WD18 8RU Tel: +44 (0) 1923 774486 3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 12., Yew Tree Ind. Es., Mill Hall Aylesford, Maidstone UK ME20 7ET Tel: +44 (0) 1622 790456 3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 10., Woodley Yard Cherstsey Bridge Rd. Chertsey, Surrey UK KT16 8LF Tel: +44 (0) 1932 562174 3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 9., Galley Hill Yard Waltham Abbey, Essex UK EN9 2AG Tel: +44 (0) 1992 652301 A-Zee Hydro Ltd. Unit C4, Suttons Bus. Ctr.New Rd. Rainham, Essex UK RM13 8DE Tel: +44 (0) 1708 551199 ____________________________

Acorn Horticulture 65 Deep Ln. Sheffield, UK S5 0DU Tel: +44 (0) 1142 458581 ____________________________

Avagrow Ltd 29B Heaver Trading Est., Ash Rd., New Ash Green Kent TN15 7HJ +44 (0) 1474 248286 ____________________________

Aztec Garden Unit 1A Roughan Ind.Es. Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk UK IP30 9ND Tel: +44 (0) 1359 271876 _____________________________ Basement Lighting Ltd. Unit 3, The Old Maltings, George St. Newark, Nottinghamshire UK NG24 1LU Tel: +44 (0) 1636 650189 Big Stone River Garden Center Unit 1 East Gate Grimsby, Lincolnshire UK DN3 29BA Tel: +44 (0) 1472 241114 _____________________________

Bill & Ben’s Hydro World Unit D15 & D16 Erin Trade Centre Bumpers Way Chippenhamm, Wiltshire, UK SN14 6LH Tel: +44(0) 1249 447796 _____________________________

Addloes Lighting & Hydroponics 16-A Maple Rd., Winton Bourmouth, Dorset UK BH9 2PN Tel: +44 (0) 1202 524525;

Blooming Borders Unit 3, Borders Bus Pk. Longtown Carlisle, Cumbria UK CA6 5TD Tel: +44 (0) 1228 792587

Allbright Unit 6., The Rise Edgware, Middlesex UK HA8 8NR Tel: +44 (0) 2089 582426

Bradford Hydroponics 9597 Manningham Ln. Bradford, West Yorkshire UK BD1 3BN Tel: +44 (0) 1274 729205

Animal and Garden Supplies Ltd. Unit 1 Eastlake Close, Litchard Ind. Es. Bridgend South Wales, UK CF31 2AL +44 (0) 1656 663030 Anglia Hydroponics 62 A Straight Rd. Boxted, Colchester, Essex UK C04 5RD Tel: +44 (0) 1206 272677 Boss Hydroponics Unit 79 (A) Carlton Ind. Es. Barnsley, South Yorkshire UK S71 3HW Tel: +44 (0) 8456 445544 Aquaculture Unit 3, Asher Ln. Bus. Pk. Asher Ln. Ripley, Derbyshire UK DE5 3RE Tel: +44 (0) 8456 445544


Branching Out Unit E, The Old Brewery, Durnford St. Ashton Gate, Bristol UK BS3 2AW Tel: +44 (0) 1179 666996 Bright Green UK Ltd. 42-44 Princess Rd., Hull, Yorkshire UK HU5 2RD Tel: +44 (0) 1482 341925 ____________________________

Brit Crops Ltd Unit 9 OJ’s Ind. Pk.Claybank Rd. Portsmouth, Hampshire UK PO3 5SX Tel: +44 (0) 2392 669111 ____________________________

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014

BudMaster LED Glan Y Mor Rd. Llandudno Junction Conwy. Gwynedd North Wales, LL31 9RU UK Tel: +44 (0) 8000 43LEDS ____________________________ Chrissie’s Garden Unit 33 Portsmouth Enterprise Ctr. Quartermain Rd. Portsmouth, UK PO3 5QT Tel: +44 (0) 2392 667887 Clever Green 35 Ketley Bus. Pk. Waterloo Rd., Telford, Shropshire UK TF1 5JD Tel: +44 (0) 1952 257200 Crofters Bio Gardens Unit 2, Bloomsgrove Ind. Es.Ilkeston Rd. Radford, Nottingham UK NG7 3JB Tel: +44 (0) 1159 782345 D-Teks Ltd. Unit 28 & 29 East Coast Bus.Pk. Kings Lynn Norfolk UK PE34 3LW +44 (0) 1553 770177 Discount Hydroponics 1 Bus. Bldg. Waltergrave St. Hastings, East Sussex UK TN34 1SJ Tel: +44 (0) 1424 428186 DS Progrow Hydroponics Warehouse Unit 16 Blaydon Business Centre Cowen Road. Blaydon Newcastle UK NE21 5TW +44 (0)792 563 4520 Eastbourne Hydroponics 47 Upperton Rd. Eastbourne, East Sussex UK BN21 1LT Tel: +44 (0) 1323 732241 Eighteen Twelve Ltd. Unit 11 Whitehall Properties Towngate Wyke, Bradford UK BD12 9JQ Tel: +44 (0) 1274 694444 Elements Hydroponics 44 Auster Rd. Clifton Moor, York UK YO30 4XA Tel: +44 (0) 1904 479979 Enhanced Urban Gardening 152 London Rd. Workingham, Berkshire UK RG40 1SU Tel: +44 (0) 1189 890510 Esoteric Hydroponics Ltd. 8 Martyr Rd. Guildford, Surrey UK GU1 4LF Tel: +44 (0) 1483 596484 Fast Grow Hydroponics Unit 3 Webnor Ind.Es., West Midlands Wolverhampton WV2 2LD +44 (0) 1902 404247

Future Garden Chelmsford 15 Rob Johns Rd., Widford Ind.Est., Essex, Chelmsford CM1 3AG +44 (0) 1245 265929 Future Garden Ilford Unit E., The Acorn Centre Roebuck Rd., Hainault Bus.Pk., Essex, Ilford IG6 3TU +44 (0) 0208 265929 Garden Secrets UK Ltd. Unit 3 Hollybush Est. Whitchurch, Cardiff UK CF14 7DS Tel: +44 (0) 2920 651792 Garforth Hydroponics Back off 11a main street Leeds, UK lS25 1DS Great Stuff Hydroponics 30 C Ellemeres Ct. Leechmere Ind. Es. Sunderland, UK SR2 9UA Tel: +44 (0) 1914 474098 Greater Manchester Hydroponic Garden Unit 3, The Courtyard, 157 Bolton Old Road, Atherton, Manchester, M46 9RE Tel: +44 (0) 1942 884612 Green Daze Hydroponics Ashington Unit 9 Waterside Ct. North Seaton Bus. Pk. Ashington, Northumberland UK NE63 0YG Tel: +44 (0) 1670 818003 Green Daze Hydroponics Gateshead 10 Wellington St. Gateshead, UK NE8 2AJ Tel: +44 (0) 1914 789107 ____________________________

Green Fever 18 Hartsill Rd., Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire, UK ST4 7QU Tel: +44 (0) 1782 414448 ____________________________ Green Life 190 Hessle Rd. Hull, East Yorkshire UK HU3 3BE Tel: +44 (0) 1482 222425 ___________________________

Greenfinger-Hydroponics Unit 3 Park Works, 16-18 Park Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, KT2 6BX Tel: +44(0) 208 546 3444 ____________________________

Greenfinger-Hydroponics Unit 59 T Marchant Estate, 42-72 Verney Road, South Bermondsey, SE16 3DH Tel: +44 (0) 207 394 0629 ____________________________


Greenfinger-Hydroponics Unit 38 Silicon Business Centre,28 Wadsworth Road, Perivale,UB6 7JZ Tel: +44 (0) 208 998 2034 ____________________________ GreenKeeper Hydroponics 141 Brook St. Chester Cheshire, UK CH1 3DU Tel: +(44 (0) 1244 630501 ____________________________

Green Spirit Hydroponics Ltd. Unit 6, Rockingham Business Park, Rockingham Row, Birdwell, UK S705TW Tel: +44 (0) 1226 399837 ____________________________

Green Spirit Hydroponics Ltd. 8-10 Stanley St. Sheffield, UK S3 8HJ Tel: +44 (0) 1142 753353 ____________________________ Green Stream 12-14 Vivian Rd. Harbourne, Birmingham UK B17 ODS Tel: +44 (0) 1214 262675 Green World 1618 Market Vaults Scarborough, UK YO11 1EU Tel: +44 (0) 1723 370900 Greener than Life 575- 577 Holderness Rd. Hull, East Riding UK HU8 9AA Tel: +44 (0) 1482 374201 Greengrass Indoor Gardening Supplies Unit 5A Alexander Ct. Hazleford Way Newstead, Nottingham UK NG15 0DQ Tel: +44 (0) 1623 755055 ____________________________

Greenhouse Effect Unit 2 Eagle Farm Cranfield Rd. Wavendon, Milton Keynes UK MK17 8AU Tel: +44 (0) 1908 585283 ____________________________ Greenleaf Systems Unit 26, Millers Bridge Ind. Es., Seymour, Bootle, Liverpool UK L20 1EE Tel: +44 (0) 1519 331113 The Green Machine Ltd. Unit 1A., Felin Puleston Ind.Es., Ruabon Rd. Wrexham, UK L13 7RF Tel: +44 (0) 1978 265090 The Green Room (Indoor Gardens) Ltd. Unit 61 Riverside III, Sir Thomas Longley Rd, Medway City Estate Rochester, KENT ME2 4BH Tel: 01634 716764

Greens Horticulture Unit F Totterdown Bridge Est, Albert Rd. St. Philips, Bristol, Somerset UK BS2 0XH Tel: +44 (0) 1179 713000 www.

GroWell Hydroponics – Dudley Unit 52 Enterprise Trading Estate Hurst Lane, Dudley DY5 1TX 0845 345 6991

Hi9THC Ltd. Unit 34, Lillyhall Business Centre, Jubilee Rd. Workington Cumbria UK CA14 4HA +44 (0) 7821 914646 Unit 24, Port Talbot Business Units Addison Rd Port Talbot, UK SA12 6HZ Tel: +44 (0) 1639 888891

Greenstream Hydroponics 12-14 Vivian Rd. Birmingham, Harbourne UK B17 0DS Tel: +44 (0) 1214 262675 ___________________________

GroWell - Fullham 1 Royal Parade 247 Dawes Rd. Fullham, London UK SW6 7RE Tel: +44 (0) 8453 445174

High Street Hydroponics Unit 56 Hebden R., Berkley Ind.Es., Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire DN15 8DT Tel: +44(0) 1724 857191

Hydropower 300 Holton Rd. Barry, Vale Of Glamorgan UK CF63 4HW Tel: +44 (0) 7725 551479

Greensea Hydroponics Unit 1G. Gregory Rd. Mildenhall, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk UK IP28 7PP Tel: +44 (0) 1638 715350 ___________________________ Greenthings Hydroponics Unit 1, Adjewhella Chapel Barriper Camborne, Cornwall UK TR14 0QW Tel: +44 (0) 1209 611870 Grotec Hydroponics 393 Manchester Rd., Rochdale, Greater Manchester UK OL11 3PG Tel: +44 (0) 1706 750293 Grotech Ltd. Unit 21. Saddlers Hall Farm, London Rd. Basildon, Essex UK SS13 2HD Tel: +44 (0) 1268 799828 Grow 4 Good Ltd. 22i Beehive Workshops Durham, UK DH1 2X1 Tel: +44 (0) 1913 757667 Grow Centre Unit 11 NorthBridge Works., Storey St. Leicester Leics UK LE3 5GR +44 (0) 1162 510800 The Grow Den 2 Hothfield Rd. Rainham, Kent UK ME8 8BJ Tel: +44 (0) 1634 239333 The Grow Den Ltd. Unit 13., Eaves Ct., Eurolink Com.Pk., Bohan Dr. Sittingbourne, Kent UK ME10 3RY Tel: +44 (0) 1795 426264 Grow Green Ltd. 15-17 Green Ln., Castle Bromwich Birmingham, UK B36 0AY Tel: +44 (0) 121 241 6445 Grow Green Trade Ltd. Unit 4 Castle Trading Est. La Grange, Tamwarth, UK B79 7X0 Tel: +44 (0) 1827 62766 Grow Shaw 96-98 Shaw Heath Rd., Stockport, Manchester UK SK3 8BP Tel: +44 (0) 8452 725266 Grow Zone UK Unit 7, West Court, Crantock Street Newquay, Cornwall UK TR7 1JL Tel: +44 (0) 1637 806115 GroSupplies Sovereign House, Ellen Terrace Sulgrave, Washington, Tyne & Wear NE37 3AS Tel: +44 (0) 1914 153345 GroWell Hydroponics – Coleshill Units 9-11 Coleshill Trade Park Station Road, Coleshill Birmingham B46 1HT Tel: 0845 344 2333

GroWell - Hockley Heath Ivy House Farm, Grange Rd. Hockley Heath, Solihull UK B94 6PR Tel: +44 (0) 8433 571640 GroWell - Mail Order Division PO Box 3255 Warwick, UK CV34 5GH Tel: +44 (0) 8453 455177 GroWell Hydroponics – Wembley Brent Trading Estate North Circular Road, London NW10 0JF 0843 357 1642 GrowinGreen Unit 6, Queens drive industrial estate, Newhall, Swadlincote, DE11 0EG Tel: +44 (0) 1253 675722 Growing Life #6 Newington Green Rd. London, UK N1 4RX Tel: +44 (0) 2070 339541 Grow Hydro Unit 11 NorthBridge Works., Storey St. Leicester, Leics UK LE3 5GR Tel: +44 (0) 1162 510800 Hackney Hydroponics 265 Wick Rd., Hackney E9 5DG +44 (0) 20 8533 0497 Happy Daze Hydroponics Unit 4 Craven Court Hedon Rd. Hull, UK HU9 1NQ Tel: +44 (0) 1482 224299 ____________________________

Holland Hydroponics 17 Rondin Rd., Ardwick, Greater Manchester UK M12 6BF Tel: +44 (0) 8458 720570 Holland Hydroponics Express Unit 4 Leeds Rd. Trade Park. Leeds Rd., Huddersfield, UK HD2 1YR Holland Hydroponics Handbridge Mill 5 Parliament St. Burnley, Lancashire UK BB11 5HG Tel: +44 (0) 8458 720590 The Home Grower Ltd. Unit 8, Oak Court, Crystal Dr. Smethwick, West Midlands UK B66 1QG Tel: +44 (0) 1215 411446 Huyton Hydroponics & Gardening Supplies Huyton, Mersey Side UK Tel: +44 (0) 1514 820101 Hydro 1 Stop Unit 35 Deykin Pk. Ind. Es. Deykin Ave. Aston, Birmingham UK B67HN Tel: +44 (0) 1213 280876 Hydro Hobby Unit 4 Brook Farm, Stoneleigh Rd. Gibbet Hill, Coventry UK CV4 7AB Tel: +44 (0) 2476 414161 Hydro Station Ltd. Unit 10 Hillfoot Ind. Es. Hoyland Rd. Sheffield, South Yorkshire UK S38AB Tel: +44 (0) 1142 491636 Hydrodragon Ltd. 113-115 Alfred St. Roath Cardiff, South Glamorgan UK CF24 4UA Tel: +44 (0) 2920 490333 Hydroglo Ltd. The Top Store South Rd., Towerhamlets Dover, Kent UK CT17 OAH Tel: +44 (0) 1304 203199 Web:

The Grow Home Hydroponics Unit 26 Bolney Grange Ind.Pk., Burgess Hill West Sussex RH17 5PB +44 (0) 1444 244414 ____________________________ Happy Gardens Ltd. Unit 9, Kelham Bank Ind Es., Kelham St. Doncaster, South Yorkshire UK DN1 3RE Tel: +44 (0) 1302 761386 Haverhill Hydroponics Centre Unit 14 Spring Rise Falconer Road Haverhill, Suffolk CB97XU Tel:+44 (0) 01440709474 The Head Gardener Unit 11, Barton Bus. Pk. Eccles, Manchester UK M3O OQR Tel: +44 (0) 1617 079860 HFM Pyrotechnics Ltd. 165A Londford Rd. Cannock, Staffordshire UK WS11 OLD Tel: +44 (0) 1543 500800

Hydrogrow Systems Ltd. Unit 7, Acton Bus. Pk., Fields Farm Rd. Longeaton, Nottingham UK NG10 3FZ Tel: +44 (0) 1159 730007 Web: Hydrolite UK Ltd. 215 Denman St., Radford, Nottingham UK NG7 3PS Tel: +44 (0) 1159 785556 Hydroponic Corporation Unit 20, Deeside Ind. Es., Zone 1 Deeside, Flintshire UK SH5 2LR Tel: +44 (0) 1244 289699 The Hydroponic Warehouse Unit 15., Bay Airport Ind.Es., Kingston Pk. Newcastle, Tyne and Wear UK NE3 2EF Tel: +44 (0) 1912 862045 Hydroponica Ltd. 130 Doncaster Rd. Wakefield, Yorkshire UK WF1 5JF Tel: +44 (0) 1924 362888

Hydrosense 47 Scarrots Ln. Newport, Isle of Wright UK PO30 1JD Tel: +44 (0) 1983 522240 Hygro Hydroponics Unit C -55 Sunningdale Road, South Park Industrial Estate, Scunthorpe Lincs, UK DN17 2TW Hylton Hydro Rockington Nursery Blackness Rd. Sunderland, UK SR4 7XT Tel: 01 9155 18453 Hytec Horticulture Old Wales Wood Colliery, Mansfield Rd. Sheffield, UK S26 5PQ Tel: +44 (0) 1909 772872

Mousehold Garden Center 63 Mousehold Ln. Norwich, Norfolk UK NR7 8HP Tel: +44 (0) 1603 413272 Mr. Beam Hydro Rose Grove Selby Rd. Askern, Doncaster UK DN6 0ES Tel: +44 (0) 1302 708297 New Age Hydroponics Unit 1 Albert Pl., Albert Mill Lower Darwen, Lancashire UK BB3 OQE Tel: +44 (0) 1254 661177 New Leaf Hydroponics 1 Horsewater Wynd, Hawkhill, Dundee UK DD1 5DU Tel: +44 (0) 1382 202556 Norfolk Lights & Hydroponics Centre Ltd. Unit 2 Guardian Rd., Ind. Es. Norwich, Norfolk UK NR5 8PF Tel: +44 (0) 1603 666199 ____________________________

The Inner Garden Ltd. Unit 14., Cornish Wy., West, Galmington Taunton, Somerset UK TA1 5NA Tel: +44 (0) 1823 274791 Junction 10 Hydro Unit 55, Owen Road Industrial Estate Willenhall, WV13 2PX Tel: +44 (0) 1215 686850 Kernow Grow Ltd. 11 D. Kernick Ind. Es. Penryn, Cornwall UK TR10 9EP Tel: +44 (0) 3300 104420 King Of Green 18-24 Saint Helens Rd., Westcliff on Sea Westcliff, Essex UK SS0 7LB Tel: +44 (0) 1702 347536 Kitbag Hydroponic Warehouse 22 Pool Bank St. Nunaeton, Warwickshire UK CV11 5DB Tel: +44 (0) 2476 641033

Northwich Hydroponics Centre Ltd. Unit-7, Kingfisher Court, Denton Dr., Northwich Cheshire UK CW9 7TT Tel: +44 (0)1606 215 585 ____________________________ NuGreen Hydroponics Unit 4 Stirchley Trad. Es., Hazelwell Rd. Stirchley, Birmingham UK B3O 2PF Tel: +44 (0) 1216 855900 One Stop Grow Shop Unit 8, Fenton Ind. Es., Dewsbury Rd. Fenton, Stroke-On-Trent UK ST4 2TE Tel: +44 (0) 1782 212000

Lancaster Hydroponics Unit 18 Lansil Ind.Es., Caton Rd. Lancaster, Lancashire UK LA1 3PQ Tel: +44 (0) 7961 279279

Peterlee Hydroponics 9 Lister Rd. Peterlee County Durham, UK SR8 2RB Tel: +44 (0) 191 5861752

Leeds HydroStore Unit 5 Felnex Rd. Leeds, West Yorkshire UK LS9 0SS Tel: +44 (0)113 249 4730

The Persy Grow Shop 4 Kings Mews. Brighton, East Sussex UK BN3 2PA Tel: +44 (0) 1273 777335

Lothian Hydroponics 172 S Mid St. Bathgate, West Lothian UK EH48 1DY Tel: +44 (0) 1506 650501 Makes Sense Grow Shop The Annex Rear of #20, Barden Rd. Tonbridge, Kent UK TN9 1TX Tel: +44 (0) 1732 507201 Manchester Hydroponics Unit 1A, Reliance St. Newton Heath, Manchester UK M40 3AG Tel: +44 (0) 1616 887333 Matilda’s Planet 1 Green Pl. Kenfig, South Wales UK Tel: +44 (0) 7895 567843 Mellow Yellow Hydro Ltd. Unit B1A Towngate Works., Dark Ln. Mawdesley, Lancashire UK L40 2QU Tel: +44 (0) 1704 822609 Midland Hydroponics Russells Garden Centre Baginton Coventry UK CV8 3AG Tel: +44 (0) 2476 639109 Midnight Garden 6 Howlbeck Rd., Guisborough, UK TS14 6LE Tel: +44 (0) 79333 449661

The Plant Pot 69 Ratcliffe Gate, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire UK NG18 2JB Tel: +44 (0) 1623 422711 Plant Life Unit 11, Riverside Wy., Ravensthorpe Ind Es. Dewsbury, West Yorkshire UK WF13 3LG Tel: +44 (0) 1924 492298 Plantasia Brill View Farm Ludgershall Rd. Bicester, Oxfordshire UK OX25 1PU Tel: +44 (0) 8707 555225 Progrow Unit 63 Christian Mill Business Park Tamerton Foliot Rd. Plymouth Devon UK P16 5DS +44 (0) 1752 771667 ____________________________

Reading Hydroponics Unit 15 Albury Close Reading, Berkshire UK RG30 1BD +44 (0)11 8 939 4998 ____________________________

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014


MAXIMUM YIELD distributors Rootzone Hydroponics Ltd. Unit 2 & 3., The Green Bus.Ctr., The Causeway Staines, Middlesex UK TW18 3AL Tel: +44 (0) 1784 490370 Sale Hydro 71 Dane Rd., Sale Manchester, Lancashire UK M33 7BP Tel: +44 (0) 1619 739899 Email: Sea of Green UK 25 Eastcott Hill Swindon, Wiltshire UK SN1 3JG Tel: +44 (0) 1793 617046 ____________________________

Somerset Hydro Unit4 Technine, Guard Ave Houndstone Business Park Yeovil Somerset BA22 8YE Tel: +44 (0) 1935 420720 ____________________________ South Coast Hydroponics Unit 8., Enterprise Ind. Es., Enterprise Rd. Horndean, Portsmouth UK PO8 0BB Tel: +44 (0) 2392 598853 Southern Hydro Centre 9 Mamesbury Rd. Southampton, Hampshire UK S01 SFT Tel: +44 (0) 2380 704080 Southern Lights #1 25 Fratton Rd. Hampshire, UK PO1 5AB Tel: +44 (0) 1705 811822 Southern Lights #2 19A Grace Hill. Folkestone, Kent UK CT20 1HQ Tel: +44 (0) 1303 210003; Tel: +44 (0) 1303 252561

St Albans Hydroponics Unit 5 London Rd., Bus.Pk., 222 London Rd. St Albans, UK AL1 1PN Tel: +44 (0) 1727 848595 Starlite Systems 226 Albert Rd., Plymouth, Devon UK PL2 1AW Tel: +44 (0) 1752 551233 Sub-Garden Supplies T-2 Leyton Industrial Village, Argall Ave., Leyton, London UK E10 7QP Tel: +44 (0) 2085 39956 Sunrise Hydroponics 127 Newcastle St., Burslem. Stoke on Trent, Staffshire UK ST6 3QJ Tel: +44 (0) 1782 813814 Thetford Urban Gardens Ltd. 25 Brunel Way, Thetford, Norfolk, UK IP24 1HP Tel: +44 (0) 7780 232169

Listed alphabetically by shop name.

U Grow London Studio12, Imperial Studios, 3-11 Imperial Rd. London, UK SW6 2AG, Tel: +44 (0) 2073 843388 UK GroWorks 94 Upper Wickham Ln. Welling Kent UK DA16 3HQ +44 (0)208 854 5160

The Grow Shop 14 Brews Hill , Nauan, Co. M Fath Ireland OLI Tel: +44 (0) 1772 204455


UK GroWorks Unit 4 Belltower Ind.Es., Roedean Rd., Brighton UK BN2 5RU +44 (0)127 362 4327 UK GroWorks Unit F16 Northfleet Ind.Es., Lower Rd., Gravesend UK DA11 9SW +44 (0)132 283 8131 Warehouse Hydroponics Bank Quay Trading Est., Slutchers Ln. Warrington, Cheshire UK WA1 1PJ Tel: +44 (0) 1925 637837

Progrow Scotland Unit 6., Nasmyth Square Houston Ind.Es. Livingston, West Lothian Scotland EH5 45GG Tel: +44 (0) 1506 430830 Abergreen Horticulture Ltd Arch 8 Palmerston Rd. Aberdeen, Granpian Scotland AB11 5RE Tel: +44 (0) 1224 574737 Edinburgh Organics 6C W. Telferton Edinburgh, Scotland EH7 6UL Tel: +44 (0) 131 669 0493 Kingdom Hydroponics Unit #12 Carbery Pl., Mitchelson Ind. Es. Kirkcaldy, Fife Scotland KY1 3NE Tel: +44 (0) 1592 655611 ____________________________


Toddington Hydroponics Center Griffin Farm Unit 9., Toddington Dunstable, Bedford UK LU5 6BT Tel: +44 (0) 1582 664765

Culture Indoor Island 37 Eyre St. Newbridge County Kildare Ireland Tel: +35 (0)45 437639

Trafford Hydroponics Ltd. 136 Higher Rd. Urmston Manchester UK M41 9AZ +44 (0) 1612 227838

Culture Indoor Island 4-A Slaney Court. Dublin Ind.Est Glasnevin Dublin Island Dublin 11 Ireland Tel: +35 (0)18 603917

Triangle Hydroponics Unit 6 Bornemouth Central business park. South Cote Rd. Bornemouth BH1 3SJ Tel: +44 (0) 1202 556661

Northern Lights 9 Dunluce St. Larne Antrim, Northern Ireland BT40 1JG Tel: +44 (0) 2828 278485

Hamilton Hydro Ltd. Unit 13&16 Murray Court, Hillhouse Industrial Estate, Hamilton Scotland ML3 9SL +44 (0) 1698281148 ____________________________ Hydra Hydroponics 41 Tower St., Edinburgh, Scotland EH6 7BN Tel: +44 (0) 1315 611332

Glasgrow 15 Parnie St. Glasgow, Scotland G15RJ Tel: +44 (0) 1415 527522 EZ Grow Perth 77 Scott St. Perth, Scotland PH2 8JR Tel: +44 (0) 7521 59730 U-Grow Organic Unit 11 North Canal Bank St., Port Dundas, Glasgow Scotland G4 9XP Tel: +44 (0) 1413 413352

hungary BABYLON grow Csurgói street 15., Budapest, Pest megye Hungary Tel: +36 (0) 20 381 2802 Gomoa Trade Kft. Lágymányosi street 5., Budapest, Pest megye, Hungary 1111 Tel: +36 (0) 20 566 1186 Gomoa Trade Kft. Petofi avenue 50. Szeged, Csongrád megye, Hungary 6725 Tel: +36 (0) 20 406 2182 Gomoa Trade Kft. Kazinczy street 3. Pécs, Baranya megye, Hungary 7621 Tel: +36 (0) 20 351 4294


In spite of all our modern technology and information, hydroponic disease outbreaks still can get the better of us. Here’s a primer on how to identify, get rid of and prevent moulds and mildews in your growroom.


Insect infestations are one of the less entertaining parts of gardening. While proper garden hygiene can reduce the frequency of insect attacks, even the best kept gardens can suffer from a siege by an invading insect horde. While there are many treatment options available, extracts from the neem tree are often used to treat a variety of insect problems.


Applying fertiliser is not as easy as it seems. Here are the top 10 errors Donald Lester has seen people make over the years. Read, learn and don’t repeat! 66

Maximum Yield | March/April 2014


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Maximum Yield | March/April 2014



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Hydroponics gardening resources by Maximum Yield, a free how-to hydroponics gardening and indoor gardening monthly magazine that is distribu...