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AUSTRALIA November-December 2009







HAPPY PLANTS in one week!


for optimal results GEAR



On-line extras at

CONTENTS november / december 2009 FEATURES 18

pH Management for Optimal Results


The Nutrition of Your Plants: Essential Points


Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

by Bob Taylor

by Luis Bartolo

by Lee McCall



Not Convinced? Why Water Quality is Essential to Plant Health by Trevor Holt


Community Supported Agriculture: Food with the Farmer’s Face On It by Michael Bloch


Heirloom Seeds: Defining Authentic by Charlene Rennick



From the Editor


Letters to the Editor


10 Ask Erik 12 MAX Facts


14 Product Spotlight 34 Talking Shop 38 You Tell Us 43 Check Your Growing IQ 44 Retail Directory


46 Coming Up in January/February 46 Do You Know? MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


FROM THE editor

jessica raymond

‘Tis the season when your indoor garden may take a back seat to growth projects outdoors. Crops are craving your attention from every angle, and keeping optimal levels is becoming a challenge. With all this multitasking, helping hands in the form of simplified, automated technology may be the answer to awesome yields indoors and out. For help with automation, check out this issue’s “You Tell Us” with Jim Fah and his take on plant driven water and feeding systems. The days are hot and you and your plants are craving some serious hydration. But just as you wouldn’t want to ingest chemically-treated water, your plants deserve the utmost quality water. Australian Trevor Holt delves into the issue of water quality and provides proven tips on keeping it pure. In an effort to keep a focus on the local, we are introducing a new column, “Talking Shop” featuring Australian retailers across the continent. This issue introduces the van Aurich family of Aquaponics WA in Canning Vale, Perth. Your favourite local grow shop could be featured next. Submit a request for a retail shop you would like to see by emailing

Speaking of local, flip to page 40 for Michael Bloch’s take on food cooperatives or “Community Supported Agriculture” and how you can get involved in this green approach to food sharing. And don’t forget to stay involved in the Maximum Yield community by subscribing to our free, monthly E-News, keeping you connected to the industry’s latest news, current events, tips, tricks, sneak peaks and our special reader-submitted “Listen In” where your questions are answered by the most knowledgeable individuals in the field. Stay connected to for updates on our exclusive 2010 contests for our Aussie readers. Happy holidays from Maximum Yield! Jessica Raymond, Editor

letters to the editor

Shine a Light on Me

Fresh Water

Danny Presley

Thank you Donette Lamson

Do plants require high lumens as with H.I.D and HPS lighting? Will the lower lumen 300 LED create the same results as 600 watt HPS?

Referring to a 300 watt LED versus a 600 watt HPS lighting system, which one would yield better depends upon a few things. However, as a short answer, it's more likely that if you took the best 600 watt HPS set-up and put it against the best 300 watt LED set-up, you would likely find the LED system would provide a higher yield. Again though, many factors are conducive as it’s like comparing boats to cars. Erik Biksa

Retailing Inspiration

I own a retail store in Brisbane, and we carry your magazine. We all love the information that you folks have to offer and find we are getting rid of them as fast as we order them. I would like to recommend more features on Australian retail stores. It’s nice to hear what others like us are working on in their area of the country. Thank you and keep up the good work. Michael McLean Look for our new column “Talking Shop” and Canning Vale’s Aquaponics WA starting with this issue of Maximum Yield. Serving to inspire readers and retail stores alike, Talking Shop will feature hydroponic retailers across Australia and their initiatives to bring hydroponics to growers around the world.


MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

Do you have any articles or data on reverse osmosis for hydroponic growing?

Richard Gellert has a great article: RO Logic: A Thinking Man's Guide to Reverse Osmosis is an excellent feature that is sure to provide you with the background and education that you are seeking on this topic. You can find RO Logic by following the link below: article_sh_db.php?articleID= 356&yearVar=2008&issueVar =July/August For Richard’s latest article Calcium and Magnesium: Beyond the Obvious, pick up the Sept/Oct issue of Maximum Yield Australia or visit

Maximum Yield reserves the right to edit for brevity. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Write us at: Maximum Yield Publications Inc. 2339A Delinea Place, Nanaimo, BC V9T 5L9 or Email us at:

Coming up on the Web Speed Read

1. Maximum Yield’s all-new E-News is available monthly. Featuring the industry’s latest news, tips and tricks for indoor growing and even a reader-inspired section “Listen In,” you don’t want to miss out on what E-News has to offer. Sign up at 2. In his latest video, Sure To Grow’s chief grower Matt Geschke demonstrates how to assemble a mini DWC cloner. He is joined by Jeremy Borger. 3. With the help of Matt LeBannister, beginner and veteran growers alike will have the knowledge to weed through the myriad pest and disease control products available and choose the best one for their situation.

“[Sustainability] is not a singular idea but a complex paradigm that many previous civilizations employed, and through its implementation they enjoyed great wealth and prosperity.” Matt Geschke

Join Maximum Yield on Facebook ( and participate in discussions with other readers on the topics that matter the most to you. Stay updated on upcoming 2010 Indoor Gardening Expos, post photos and be the first to hear about exclusive online reader contests.

Latest News • Skip the harvest with this invention by Cho Woong – the garden that allows you to pick produce fresh from your fridge. • As part of a green design challenge, students are innovating working models for affordable and renewable ways to grow food. • The Quite Contrary Urban after School Farm educates children on growing and selling produce, recycling and other eco-friendly topics.

Tell us what you think at We’d love to hear from you.


Bob Taylor is the chief chemist of Flairform ( - an Australian based manufacturing company. Bob was an approved NATA signatory and an official registered analyst for the government’s chemical analysis monitoring program of all fertilizers registered in Western Australia.

Jose Luis Pinheiro Bartolo is the

Lee McCall graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a concentration in Culinary Arts. Culinary school opened the door to research and work with hydroponics and organic production. Currently, Lee attends business school in Denver and focuses on continuing advancements with Maximum Yield and indoor gardening technology.

Michael Bloch is the owner and

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


VOLUME 7 – NUMBER 4 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2009 PRINTED IN AUSTRALIA 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 a personal opinion 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 SALES DIRECTOR - Lisa Lambersek EDITOR - Jessica Raymond ADVERTISING SALES 250.729.2677 Linda Jesson - Lisa Lambersek - Ilona Hawser - Julie Madden - PRODUCTION & DESIGN Pentti Tikkanen - Alice Joe - Wes Cargill - ACCOUNTING - Lee Anne Veres

stay connected



president of Biobizz Worldwide Inc., a global leader in the production of hydroponic organic fertilizers and soil mixtures. He is passionate about the organic market and providing the highest service and perfectionism that comes direct from his heart and is projected to all aspects of his life. editor of, an online resource powered by renewable energy. The site offers a wide variety of earth friendly tips, green guides, advice and environment-related news to help consumers and businesses reduce costs, consumption and environmental impact.

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTION Futchatec Growth Technology Holland Forge Hydraspher SupplyNet UK DISTRIBUTION Growth Technology Hydrogarden Northern Hydroponic Wholesale Nutriculture UK CANADIAN DISTRIBUTION Brite-Lite Group Biofloral Eddis Wholesale Greenstar Plant Products Inc. Hydrotek MegaWatt Quality Wholesale USA DISTRIBUTION Aurora Innovations BWGS BWGS East BWGS West General Hydroponics Hydrofarm Hydro International National Garden Wholesale / Sunlight Supply R&M Supply Tradewinds

Trevor Holt is the owner of Sydney-

based Hydro Masta Pty Ltd. He has over 20 years of experience in the hydroponics industry. Their website ( contains a full library of hydroponic help tips and ideas, plus their online store of over 800 quality products. Email

Become a Maximum Yield contributor and have your articles read by 250,000 readers throughout USA, Canada, UK and Australia. Maximum Yield is the largest free-to-consumer indoor gardening magazine in the world. Every issue is available on, which has thousands of unique visitors monthly.



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

Hello Maximum Yield, It seems like there are more and more articles, forums and gardeners talking about LED grow lights these days. There are lots of different opinions out there. So far you guys have never steered me in the wrong direction. So what do you think? Should I consider replacing the HPS light in my hobby garden with one of the higher output LEDs, and what kind of results should I expect if I do? Thanks, Fredo

Fredo, I always do my best to help keep the readership informed and up-to-date on the many new technologies that are emerging for indoor growers. It takes a while to draw accurate conclusions about new technologies, and often while we are trailing the latest and greatest, the technologies being tested are advancing. So, sometimes our data becomes obsolete due to improvements or changes in the technologies being tested. I expect to see lots of advances in LED (light emitting diode) lighting for horticultural crops in the next while. This may lead to some major changes in the way people grow indoors, and the number of people that grow indoors; possibly paving the way to a horticultural renaissance of sorts. My conclusions regarding LEDs are only as up-to-date as the time of this writing. By the time you read this in print, there will likely be more advances in the way of LEDs. At present, high output LEDs, which typically range from 0.3 watts up to 3.0 watts (per diode) are capable of producing very healthy plant growth. The higher the wattage of the diode, the more light they can emit; resulting in better cropping potential. Firstly, power consumption for lighting is drastically reduced, typically by up to six to 10 times! Now factor in that the diodes and fixtures emit negligible amounts of heat, and you further reduce your electrical consumption that is associated with keeping temperatures in the optimal range with exhaust systems or air-conditioning. The initial cost of an LED fixture is quickly offset with the savings in electricity, and the fact that cooling equipment purchases and power consumption are greatly reduced or eliminated. So far it has been found that using one of the higher end high-output LED plant lighting systems comprised of one watt or greater per diode for a total of near 100 watts total can help to give results comparable to a 250 watt or even 400 watt HPS lamp. While the electrical savings is very significant, the fact that the lighting does not heat up the growing area allows for very efficient use of supplemental carbon dioxide; offering the potential to increase yields. Because they are so cool running and the fixture requires very little space, you can set-up an LED lit garden in just about any space that is tall enough for your desired crop. Best of all, your garden can run near silent, as minimal air movement and exchanges will be required. Lots of growers find that using LEDs help to reduce their watering requirements also.


MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

However, while it has been noted that LEDs emit only light wavelengths that the plants need, making them very efficient, it seems that there is the need for further development on just what it is the plants need in terms of light wavelengths exactly, and how this changes through the various growth phases. Many growers report that they can significantly increase their growth rates and yields by coupling a small amount of fluorescent lighting with their cool running LED systems. The extra “warm” and visible light wavelengths emitted by the fluorescents seem to give flowering plants that little something extra to produce better versus just blue and red LEDs alone. LED manufacturers are refining their diode colour ratios to help create the ideal spectrum for plant growth. Interestingly, the pioneers of LED light growing are learning that different plants seem to have different needs in this regard, and further to that, these needs change through the various growth phases. So for the space allotted here, I will say that a high quality and high output fixture, coupled with a minimal amount of supplemental fluorescent lighting can produce some nice results that should satisfy the hobbyist looking to produce a small crop for their own well being. Larger scale HID gardeners should watch this technology closely, as it seems more and more likely that LEDs may have the potential to replace their HIDs in the not too distant future. Greenhouse growers, wishing to supplement lighting levels or increase day lengths may find high-output LEDs especially attractive. Look for more research and information from myself and in the many pages of this magazine for further developments in this exciting growth technology. Cheers, Erik Biksa

MY For previous “Ask Erik” features go to



hydroponic news, tips and trivia from around the world

Pretty but Poisonous – Australia’s Cape Tulips One of Southern Australia’s worst agricultural weeds, Cape tulips, invaders of natural ecosystems, are the center of study for the use of biological control agents, such as the rust fungus Puccinia moraeae. A one-year study on one and two leaf Cape tulips has been initiated by CSIRO and the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia in an effort to outwit these unpalatable and poisonous weeds. Introduced to Australia from South Africa in the mid-19th century as garden plants, Cape tulips have become a major pasture weed in Western and South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. According to the researchers, Cape tulips are suitable targets for biological control because there are only a few close relatives among Australian native species and no related crops. The initial study will yield information on the aggressiveness of the rust on Cape tulips and assist in determining its biological control potential. (Source:

Project Futuna Gets Go Ahead

Change to Australia’s Pesticide Legislation

Hydro Masta Pty Ltd. has been awarded a contract to supply a 2,000 plant hydroponic lettuce system for the island of Futuna in the pacific. Funds have been made available jointly by AUSAID and assistance from the Sous Prefecture of Futuna, under the aegis of the Project of Sustainable Agriculture in the Pacific (DSAP). The objective of the DSAP is to improve food security and the livelihoods of target farm families in the Pacific. As the project develops in the coming months Hydro Masta will be updating their website with pictures and progress reports of the installation and follow up details of its operation.

Australia’s pesticide registration and permits are currently under review, which falls under the duty of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act. Greenhouse and vegetable growers, according to Dr. Stephen Goodwin, are not well served and have to rely on permits to gain access to pesticides. Two consultants have been appointed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to prepare a discussion paper on the various issues for stakeholder comment. Few papers have been submitted, including one from the AHGA identifying a range of issues concerning the industry. To date, outcomes include the following: a written submission forwarded to DAFF consultants; industry has been represented at a meeting to further present concerns about pesticide availability and the unfairness of the current regulatory system; DAFF has been requested to convene the Minor Use Forum.



Australia’s Landscape Exposed A Digital Elevation Model (DEM), produced by scientists from CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, is said to revolutionize geological applications, land-use studies and soil science in Australia. Approximately 90 per cent of Australia’s vegetation cover was removed from satellite images, producing the most detailed DEM available to date. Released last year, the DEM exposes intimate details, allowing for a clearer view of Australia’s landscape and how water moves across its surface, how it came to be its present shape and how variable the soil terrains are. This technology has resulted in a vegetation height map that could calculate biomass, provide carbon emission data and information on water resources. The final phase of building the one-second resolution DEM, set to be completed in the next year, will include data on Australia’s river network to produce a drainage-enforced DEM. (Source:


MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

New HAL Chair to Implement Strategic Direction for Australia’s Horticultural Market The Board of Horticulture Australia (HAL) has appointed Tasmanian fruit grower Tim Reid as the inaugural independent chair of the new Office of Horticultural Market Access (OHMA). With experience and passion in the area of market access and his dedication to the horticulture industry, he was the ideal choice to lead the new office, according to acting CEO Vanessa Goss. Tim will immediately be put to work to help set up a strategic and operational direction to ensure that individual industries, and all of Australian horticulture, will benefit from improved market access for Australia’s $8.6 billion horticulture industry. OHMA will drive the delivery of market access outcomes via three pillars: raising the profile of Australian horticulture; supporting and contributing to official negations; and supporting and guiding science inputs into market access. Horticulture is the third largest agricultural industry, and Australia, though a small player in the Southern Hemisphere is showing considerable growth potential to serve the Asian markets and the European and North American markets. (Source:

Young Chef and Waiter Finalists Tour Victoria’s Crop Production Sites The annual Electrolux Appetite for Excellence program for 2009 invited 13 Young Chef and Young Waiter state finalists to tour two key regions of Victoria to encourage a deeper understanding of Australia’s food production processes. The purpose of the tour was to educate the next generation of leaders in the food sector by giving the competition finalists a week-long course about growing and handling practices, issues faced by producers and environmental credentials of conventionally-grown produce. Winner of Young Chef of the year, Victorian Matthew Dempsey, said he earned a deeper appreciation of the passion that Australia’s top producers have and the work that goes into growing the products he works with in his restaurant daily. Other finalists said they gained much knowledge on viable farming and the technological advancements being used in modern farming. The tour provided an opportunity for the chefs and waiters to meet and discuss with pioneers, producers with 20 to 30 years in the industry.

Superthrive Originator Dr. John A.A. Thomson Recipient of Lifetime Environmental Awareness Award Dr. John A.A. Thomson, originator of Superthrive®, received a surprise visit from America’s Natural Master Gardener, Nick Federoff, on behalf of Sustainable Environmental Education (SEE) to award him their highest recognition “Lifetime Environmental Awareness Award.” Dr. Thomson’s environmental contributions that are best known are his worldwide-used product Superthrive® and its outstanding effects: reforestation; increased volume, grade and speed of crops overcoming adverse growing conditions; eliminating interior toxicity, reviving trees and other plants; normalizing and perfecting plants; and improving reaction of gardening for children, handicapped and committed persons. Dr. Thomson recalls early factors in his environment awareness: “My grandfather was an orchardist, and my parents supported the protection of wildlife and national parks advocated by President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir. His parents also provided him with vegetable and flower seeds when he was seven years old. He also credits school biology classes and possibly the earliest known college class in ecology in 1931. (Source:

Evolution not a One-Way Street Research Proves Scientists have identified a key gene that was transferred from a Sicilian plant into a close relative. The researchers unravelled the history of an Italian interloper, a close relative of the common weed groundsel, which was first discovered 300 years ago. This region of DNA modifies the flowers, making the weed more attractive to pollinators. The results demonstrate how natural genetic exchanges can allow important traits to be transferred between species. This goes against the typical view of evolution as a one-way street in which each species evolves as a separate, independent genetic lineage. Hybridization between closely related forms may allow evolutionary cross-talk in which valuable genes can be exchanged and preserved. The result is greater flexibility and potential for diversity during evolution. (Source:


MY MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


PRODUCT spotlight

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

The Brand New Elements is Here The new Nutrifield Elements is a premium four part nutrient specifically optimized for grow and bloom phases. It has been scientifically formulated by Dr. Mohammad Dakakni using pharmaceutical grade salts. Nutrifield Elements contains each of the 16 key macro-, secondary and micro-elements required for plant nutrition and also contains essential amino acids, enzymes and natural plant stimulants. Two years of scientific research is contained in every bottle. Available in one litre, five litres and 20 litres. Visit your local grow shop to learn more.

Introducing Aquaponics Grow Bed Media Ökotau Easy Green GmbH is proud to announce Aquaponics Grow Bed Media – the most essential hydroponic component for aquaponics systems. Great for growing all plants: vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers. •  good plant and root support (sustains proper oxygen levels around the root zone) •  higher plant growth and yield •  better water buffering/excellent drainage •  made from 100 per cent natural clay, and round and lightweight •  pH neutral/contains no nutrient, no toxic chemicals/ compounds •  medium (used within the hydroponics grow beds) will act as a bio filter (stripping off ammonia, nitrates and phosphorus, hence the freshly cleansed water can then be recirculated back into the fish tanks) •  is available in 50 litre bags

Introducing Brix+ Brix Plus is a unique formula designed to achieve maximum yields. Scientifically designed using only the highest quality ingredients, Brix Plus is readily available for direct absorption into your favourite flower or herb. This 100 per cent totally organic product contains the following naturally derived active ingredients: amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, triacantinol, enzymes and proven biological enhancers. Brix Plus: •  improves colour •  improves taste •  improves yield •  is a ready to use formula Available in one litre, four litres, 10 litres and 24 litres. For more information on Brix+ visit your local Aussie hydro shop.

Commercial and hobby growers are encouraged to visit your local hydroponic retail store for more information.

Merlin-Garden Pro Pump Gets Upgraded Hydro-Logic has improved the popular Merlin-Garden Pro pressure booster pump. The pump is needed when the pressure entering the Merlin-GP reverse osmosis filter is less than 40 PSI. By boosting the pressure to 65 PSI, the pump allows the Merlin-GP to flow faster and produce more water per day. We have upgraded the armature components to allow the pump to run for longer periods before it thermal cycles. The original pump had a thermal cycle switch, which protected the pump from overheating. The pump would shut down for a short period of time when it got too hot from continuously running. Now those run times have been extended due to the upgraded parts. We have also added an external heat sink to help pull heat away from the pump. The heat fins snap directly onto the pump and enable it to help you produce the purest water possible. Contact the nearest hydroponic retail store for more details. Pure water’s not magic. It’s logic. 14

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

Earth Juice Sugar Peak Line of Plant Foods Earth Juice Sugar Peak line of plant foods is a one part organic and mineral fusion plant feed and booster for hydroponics, coir and soil growing. The built-in convenience of a single formula is that it doesn’t require any additional supplements or additives. Sugar Peak’s liquid formulations are easily adaptable to a variety of plant requirements and growing environments and are the ideal choice for the hobbyist who demands premium results without the hassle and mess of mixing multiple formulas. For indoor/outdoor plants, soil and hydroponics. The Earth Juice Sugar Peak line of plant foods includes: Leaf Growth™, Flowering™, Grand Finale™ and Briximus Maximus™. Ask your local grow shop to stock the Earth Juice Sugar Peak Line today.

Premium Coconut Coir Alternative CocoNot Now Available CocoNot is a natural and organic substitute for coconut coir, peat moss and other soilless mediums and conditioners. CocoNot is made by a special six step process to provide a perfect ratio of grinds and pith, providing the plant with an exact medium structure for optimal root growth and moisture capacity. CocoNot has the least environmental impact compared to its substitutes. •  no salt means no initial rinsing or salt lock-out •  better air-to-water ratio •  higher porosity means roots can spread easier and breathe better •  porous micro structure •  pH buffered to 6.0-6.5, great for nutrient uptake •  slightly charged with nutrients N-Mg-Ca The “heavy-harvest gardeners” little secret is now available in a two cubic foot bag and also available in a ready to use pre-filled CocoTek Basket. Visit your nearest hydroponics retail store to learn more.

Introducing NeemShine™ At last a Neem Oil Leaf Shine that easily mixes with water and covers more evenly than traditional neem oil products. Hydro-Organics’ NeemShine is available in a variety of sizes. Ask for them with your favourite retail store. MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


PRODUCT spotlight

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

GrowSpot Bloom Booster LED Grow Light The GrowSpot Bloom Booster LED grow light is a supplemental grow light specifically designed to enhance the flower/bloom cycle. When used with HPS, CFL, metal halide, T5, LEDs or other grow lights, the GrowSpot Bloom Booster provides amazing flower power lighting for your crop. The GrowSpot Bloom Booster screws into a standard light socket and runs cool to the touch so they can be placed very near the plant canopy. Available in 15 watts and 110 or 220 volts. Glow Your Own®. Ask your local grow shop to carry the GrowSpot Bloom Booster from Sunshine Systems.

GlowPanel 45® LED Grow Light Featuring all new electronics the GlowPanel 45® LED grow light is now 30 per cent more energy efficient than previous versions with no loss in light output! The new GlowPanel 45® LED grow light sips a miniscule 28 watts of power yet surpasses the performance of a 250 watt HPS. Suitable for all stages of plant growth. The balanced spectrum of the GlowPanel 45® promotes strong root development, rapid growth, tight internodes and bountiful yields. The GlowPanel 45® grows fruits, flowers, vegetables, herbs and more. The GlowPanel 45® runs cool to the touch and emits virtually no heat. Simply plug it in and Glow Your Own®. Ask your local grow shop to carry the new redesigned GlowPanel 45 from Sunshine Systems.

Sure To Grow in Development of the Storm Hail Crouton

The Smart Garden™ Organic Range by Nutrifield™ is Changing Names

STG is in late stage development of another revolutionary product to compliment the new Storm series. The Hail Crouton or mini cube, is designed to meet demand from growers who want to use STG in large bucket and net pot systems. Our STG grow room trials have been very encouraging. Matt the Grower has been all over this and believes this product could be a "game changer". We have samples out to 10 growers who will field test for us and give us their feedback. If they see the same success we are seeing, expect this product to be available by year’s end. Consumers interested in this product should contact their local indoor gardening store.

Liquid fertilizers and plant additives are commonly used throughout all forms of agriculture, though are more prevalent in the hydroponics and home garden sector. These products are an excellent source of key plant elements, with many providing organic supplements. Intensive scientific research has shown there is another important relationship that enhances plant growth. Beneficial micro-organisms are the missing link in agriculture today. They are responsible for a number of important functions in plants, including nitrogen fixation, disease control, nutrient accumulation, media aggregation, etc. Nutrifield has been at the forefront of this technology for the last seven years and has decided to change the names of each of their beneficial micro-organisms with easy-to-remember names: Disease Protector formerly Tri Boost, Compost Tea and Plant Solution formerly Take Off, Oxygen Supplement formerly Bioxy, Plant Starter formerly X10 Boost, Growth Burst formerly Multi Burst and Water Cleaner formerly Bio Kleen. More information can be found at your local hydroponics retailer.


MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

The Missing Link – Oxy-Gen Generator Now Available The Oxy-Gen Generator outperforms previous methods of aeration, due to increased levels of saturation. Oxy-Gen offers: •  more sunlight – supplement with HID lighting •  food – formulated high-quality nutrients •  CO2 – injection of CO2 gas, CO2 generators •  climate control – ventilation fans, air conditioners, humidifiers, de-humidifiers, heaters •  water – filters, RO units Plants breathe oxygen through their roots. As the water warms, oxygen levels decrease, making oxygen supplementation necessary. The Oxy-Gen alleviates this problem by raising oxygen levels. The results – healthier water, increased oxygen levels, increased fertilizer uptake, faster growing and larger producing plants. This is all accomplished with one or less amps of electricity, in nutrient tanks up to 1818 litres. For more complete information about this innovative new technology, please contact your local retail distributor.

Stealth Hydro Mistic Clone System Now Available with STG Storm Clipper Clone Puck Stealth Hydro joins a growing number of hydroponics system manufacturers that are now including and recommending STG Storm series inserts as the media of choice for their systems. "Systems manufacturers don't have a horse in the race when it comes to the media they recommend; media by and large is not a revenue source for them. Their primary concern is that their customers use the best media available, to achieve the best results possible in their systems. Stealth saw better success with the Storm Clipper clone puck than with the neoprene puck they sold for years. It made their system better and they have generated more sales because of it," says Cary Senders of Sure To Grow. The Storm Clipper fits all clone systems and is the only puck that is designed to be taken from the clone system to the next stage of growth. For more information contact your local hydro shop. MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


pH Management

for Optimal Results

by Bob Taylor, Chief Chemist of Flairform

This article explains how to keep the pH of nutrient solutions between 5.0 and 6.5. This helps make sure all nutrients are available for root up-take, and minimizes the risk of plumbing blockages.


MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

Optimum pH for Nutrient Solutions For nutrients to remain dissolved and, therefore, available for uptake by roots, it is critical to maintain the pH between 5.0 and 6.0 - with an absolute maximum of 6.5 (figure one). High pH values, or those above 6.0, are to be avoided more than low values of 4.5 – 5.0. The effect of low pH upon the stability of nutrients is relatively insignificant. The precise pH at which precipitation of macro-nutrients starts is determined by the combined concentrations of calcium and sulphate. Except for fertilizers low in calcium and sulphate this problem commonly occurs at pH 6.5 where the net* EC is 2.5 mS, or pH 7.0 for 1.5 mS solutions. Hence, to avoid precipitation, higher nutrient concentrations generally must be held at lower pH values. *Assume make-up water has nil EC. In spite of this precipitation problem, some references advocate pH values well above 6.5 for some plant varieties - conditions which risk depleted concentrations of the above mentioned elements. This is incorrectly justified by quoting the chart in figure two as proof.

Figure one: This is what can happen to a working nutrient solution when pH is above 7.0: Calcium, sulphate (and the trace elements copper, iron, manganese and zinc) can precepitate and become unavailable to the roots, and cause plumbing blockages. This freshly made ‘bloom’ nutrient solution (EC 2.5mS) was at pH 7.5 for less than one hour. To help prevent this, use a nutrient that possesses a high ph buffering capacity.

pH recommendation of 6.2 - 6.3? Although this is a popular recommendation, it has no scientific basis. It appears to have gained mythological status from the early days of hydroponics when the only cheap means of measuring pH was the common ‘bromothymol blue’ pH indicator used for testing fish tank water. Interestingly, the lowest pH value able to be determined by that indicator is about 6.2. Hence, this value has unfortunately become an entrenched recommendation in some sections of the hydroponic industry.

Figure two: This chart is often used to justify pH’s above 6.5 as being suitable for hydroponics. However, note that this data is based on soil culture.

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


pH Management for Optimal Results Adjusting Nutrient pH The working nutrient pH should be checked at the following times: 1. When working nutrient solutions are first made. 2. After the addition of top-up water or additives - especially if they are highly alkaline. 3. In re-circulating systems, pH should be checked on a daily basis because the uptake of water and nutrients causes pH to change (figure three). It is best to adopt a pH maintenance regime that prevents pH from getting too high. If pH is too high for a long enough period of time, the resultant precipitate usually cannot be redissolved (figure one). How to Minimize pH Fluctuation 1. Use a nutrient brand that is highly pH buffered, particularly when using highly alkaline water. 2. Supply at least 10 litres of nutrient for each large plant. Failure to do this will magnify pH (and EC) fluctuations, especially during hot and dry weather where water uptake and evaporation are excessive. Note, to avoid excess water uptake and evaporation; keep air temperature below 30°C and relative humidity above 50 per cent. How to Adjust pH Step 1. Measure the pH: Use either a liquid pH indicator or an electronic pH meter (see sections below). Before measuring the pH, ensure that the nutrient is well stirred and that the sampling container is clean. Step 2. Choosing a target pH: Note that it is inconvenient and unnecessary to hold pH at a single point value. Therefore, choose a target pH that minimizes the amount of pH maintenance:


If your pH tends to continuously rise (the most common trend), then at each adjustment reduce the pH to about 5.0 using a pH down product. This will give you a much larger pH “safety” margin than if adjusting to, for example, 5.8. If pH tends to continuously fall, at each adjustment increase the pH to about 6.0 using a pH up product.

Step 3. Adjusting the pH: Add a small amount of pH down or up product*. Then stir well and check pH. Repeat this process until the target pH is achieved. *Important: Pre-dilute the dose into one litre (or at least 100 fold) of water before adding to nutrient, then rapidly stir the nutrient as you add this mixture. Failure to do this may cause permanent precipitation of essential nutrients. Also, if accidental overdosing to above 6.5 occurs, reduce the pH back to below 6.0 as quickly as possible using pH down.


Handy Hints for Adjusting Nutrient pH Add “high pH” (alkaline) additives before adding nutrient: Most additives will affect nutrient pH at least slightly. The best technique to adopt with those that elevate pH significantly is to 20

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

Figure three: Simplified illustration of how nutrient uptake effects pH of the nutrient solution.

add them to the water and adjust the pH down to 6.0 prior to adding the nutrient. The less preferred but simplest alternative is to pre dilute the additive in a separate volume of raw water. Then once this solution is added to the nutrient solution, quickly lower the pH to below 6.5. Note that a white cloudy precipitate (calcium sulphate) may form when the pre diluted additive initially merges with the nutrient solution (figure four ‘a’). However, because the initial particle size of the precipitate is small, it will usually re-dissolve if the pH is immediately re-adjusted.


Do not pre-adjust pH of raw water: Note that the pH values being discussed here are the values of the working nutrient solution - not your make-up water. Unless your make-up water has a high alkalinity, do not bother attempting to adjust its pH prior to the nutrient being added. If you attempt this procedure you will typically get wild pH swings either side of the pH target without ever landing on the target value.


Estimating the volume of acid (especially for larger systems): Step 1. Take a one litre sub-sample (or known volume) of working nutrient. Step 2. Add a few drops of pH indicator (figure five ‘a’). Step 3. While stirring this solution, measure the volume of acid required to turn this solution yellow – figure five ‘b’ (Yellow indicates a pH of 6.0 with most broad range liquid indicators). Step 4. Multiply the volume of acid by the volume of nutrient in your reservoir. That calculation will give you the volume of acid required to adjust the entire volume down to pH 6.0, for example. Copyright © 2006



Figure four: This is what can happen when an undiluted high pH additive is added to the working nutrient solution (left). Unless pH is quickly corrected to below 6.0-6.5 the precipitate will remain (right).

Figure five: pH indicator’s are useful for determining how much acid needs to be added to the nutrient reservoir.

Total volume of nutrient ÷ Volume of sub-sample x volume of acid


If this volume is very small (most likely if a highly concentrated acid is used), to ensure accuracy you will require the use of a finely graded pipette. A better method is to allocate a portion of acid specifically for conducting this calculation and dilute it by a known amount - for example 10-fold. Ensure to compensate for this dilution when calculating how much of the concentrated acid to add to the reservoir.

Measuring pH with 'Indicators' pH indicators are undoubtedly the simplest and most reliable method of measuring nutrient pH. Although they will not distinguish between, for example, a pH of 5.2 and 5.3, wide range indicators with good colour resolution can be: •  fast and user friendly •  extremely accurate and reliable •  economical In comparison, pH meters require constant up-keep (i.e. cleaning, calibrating and correct storage), but even then may not give reliable readings. pH indicators work on the principle that the colour produced by the particular dye used in the indicator formulation is dependant on the pH of the solution (figure six). Experience shows if you are aiming to adjust pH to 5.5 (orange) then an accuracy of +/- 0.2 is achievable. Because of their fundamental accuracy, reliability and easy of use, wide range pH indicators are the preferred method for measurement of pH in nutrient solutions. Note that pool and aquarium pH indicators are usually not suitable because unlike broad range indicators, they do not operate below pH 6.0. Taking pH Readings Step 1. Before measuring the pH ensure that the nutrient is well stirred, especially after pH up or down products are used. This is one of the most common mistakes made when testing pH (or conductivity). Also, ensure that the sampling container is clean. Step 2. Using the sampling vial, remove a small sample of nutrient from the nutrient reservoir, add a drop of the indicator, mix, and then compare the final solution colour with those on the coloured reference chart (figure six). Step 3. If the pH is not between 5.0 and 6.5, adjust it immediately.

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


Copyright © 2006

pH Management for Optimal Results

Figure six: This is the colour range produced by a wide range pH indicator within the optimum pH range 5.0 to 6.5. Note the ease with which pH change can be detected.

Measuring pH with pH Meters pH meters employing a glass electrode are useful for precise pH measurement in nutrient solutions but require frequent calibration, proper storage and handling to ensure accuracy and reliability. The principle on which such meters operate is based on the fact that when glass of a certain composition separates two aqueous solutions having different hydrogen ion concentrations, a voltage is developed between the two faces of the glass. The electronic meter is simply a very sensitive voltmeter which measures that voltage but is calibrated in terms of pH units instead of volts. Obtaining pH Readings Step 1. Make sure the meter is calibrated. Step 2. Remove a ‘representative’ sample from the nutrient reservoir (figure seven): •  Stir the nutrient thoroughly prior to sampling. •  Ensure the sampling container is clean. Step 3. Rinse electrode in distilled water before immersing in the sample. Wait a few minutes before switching the meter on and recording the pH. Wait longer if the sample’s temperature is significantly different from 25°C. Step 4. If the pH is not between 5.0 and 6.5, adjust it immediately. Step 5. When complete, rinse the electrode with distilled water. Store the electrode in a proper storage solution when not in use.

Figure seven: Thoroughly stir nutrient reservoir before sampling. Then leave the electrode in the sample for a few minutes before switching the metre on and taking the measurement. Do not immerse the electrode deeper than ~20mm.



MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

The nutrition of your plants

Essential Points by Luis Bartolo

Plant Growth Processes Plant growth processes are the subject of many studies by plant physiologists and biochemists. A comprehensive account of these processes is outside the scope of this present work, the object of which is to deal with the outward and visible signs of imperfections in the plant activities caused by faulty mineral nutrition. Nevertheless, it is useful to understand the main processes involved and to realize that the symptoms we shall be discussing later have a physiological basis. They are not direct and unchangeable signs of the specific deficiencies but result from the derangement of the complicated mechanism of the plant’s vital activities. The main processes involved in plant development may be summarized as follows: Absorption: Intake of water and mineral elements by the root system. Carbon assimilation or photosynthesis: Intake of carbon dioxide from the air by the leaves, and reaction of gas with water in the leaf in the presence of green chlorophyll to form sugar and free oxygen. Formation of protoplasm: Protoplasm is the living material of the plant, consisting mainly of proteins, complex compounds of nitrogen built up by the plant from more simple compounds of this element. Respiration: The combination of oxygen with various food substances synthesized by the plant, especially sugars, whereby energy is produced. Transpiration: Loss of water from the plant, mainly from the leaves. Translocation: The movement of materials within the plant. Storage: Storage of reserve products in various organs and tissues. During growth there is a continuous building up of complex compounds of carbon and nitrogen and breaking down of these into more simple 26

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substances, in which water and oxygen are intimately concerned. These processes together comprise plant metabolism. In the course of the metabolic processes, innumerable substances are formed such as sugars, starch, cellulose, acids, lignin, tannins, amino acids, proteins and amides. Many plants also produce special products, for instance nicotine in the tobacco plant. For the normal functioning of the above processes there must be an adequate intake of water by the plant to maintain the plant cells in a more or less turgid condition. Since water is being continuously lost at a varying rate from the plant, intake and movement within the plant tissues must be capable of quick adjustment to these changes. As a result of metabolic activities, plants develop special organs of growth and reproduction, each of which has its special characters and makes particular demands on the nutrient supplies of the plant. With all plants there are well-defined seasonal growth cycles. Annuals such as cereals begin from the seed and give rise to seedlings, which later flower, form grain and ripen off. Perennial deciduous trees such as apples and pears begin growth in the spring. They use stored reserves of food, form leaves, make shoots, blossom, form fruits and subsequently, shed their leaves, but meanwhile pass on reserve foods to various storage organs in preparation for the next season’s growth. Coincident with these growth cycles, there are well-defined chemical cycles of nutrient elements and elaborated products in the leaves, stems and roots. It will be shown later that these cycles are of great importance in considering phosphorus deficiency effects and in diagnosing their causes. The Plant Environment Nutritional problems must be considered in relation to all the conditions in which plants live, and not merely in terms of the amounts of plant nutrients contained in or added to the soil. For example, those who are accustomed to growing plants know that low temperatures may result is no growth and high temperatures may result in injured plants. An optimum temperature may vary depending on whether the plant is young or old. Similarly, light is of great importance and plants may be put in special positions to obtain a maximum supply of light at one stage and may be shaded at another. MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


The Nutrition of Your Plants: Essential Points

“Perennial deciduous trees begin growth in the spring. They use stored reserves of food, form leaves, make shoots, blossom, form fruits and shed their leaves, but meanwhile pass on reserve foods to various storage organs in preparation for the next season’s growth.”

Cherry blossoms

The actual duration of the daily period of illumination also affects growth. There are plants that are classified as requiring “long day” conditions to complete their growth cycles and others that need “short day” conditions. If the special long or short day periods are not forthcoming for the respective classes of plants requiring these, their growth cycles are abnormal and they may fail entirely to produce flowers, grain or fruit. The humidity of the atmosphere, as distinct from the water supply in the soil, is of importance in determining the water conditions within the plant. These are dependent on both water intake by the roots and water loss from the leaves, the latter being largely influenced by the air humidity. Even the presence of adequate quantities of plant nutrients in the soil is no guarantee that the plant roots will absorb them. However, even when they would be considered as being present in suitable forms for absorption, other factors may prevent this from taking place. An example of this latter condition is afforded in poorly aerated soils where lack of oxygen near the roots may prevent them from actively absorbing mineral nutrients. The problems of such influences in the plant environment are complicated by the fact that they do not act independently, but their effects are modified by one another. Thus, the effects of light intensity or period of daylight may vary with different temperature conditions. The requirements of plants for different nutrients may be affected by conditions of light, temperature and water supply, and by other factors of the general environment. Thus, the need for nitrogen may be less under conditions of relatively low light intensity whereas the need for potash in these circumstances may be greater, these facts being of importance in growing tomatoes under glass. The effect of nitrogen in relation to light may be shown by growing a plant under normal light conditions with insufficient nitrogen, when the leaves will show the well known 28

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symptoms of nitrogen deficiency - pale green, yellow, orange and red tints. If such a plant were then shaded, the leaves will turn a darker green and growth may be visibly increased. It can be shown that the lowered light conditions result in an increase of solubility, a breaking down of proteins, thereby rendering the nitrogen of these available for growth processes. Iron and zinc deficiency symptoms may be less severe under conditions of low light intensity, whilst boron deficiency effects are less severe and magnesium deficiency effects are more pronounced in wet seasons than in dry ones. The raw materials needed for plant growth consist of carbon dioxide, which is obtained from the atmosphere through the stomata of the leaves, water and the so-called mineral nutrients, which normally enter the plant through the medium of the roots. The importance of water and carbon dioxide in the nutrition of plants is apparent, as water often comprises 80 to 90 per cent of the total weight of growing plants. Carbon and oxygen together may account for over 80 per cent of their dry matter, the solid matter remaining after water is removed. The mineral nutrients, measured by the ash content of the plants, often contribute from five to 15 per cent of the dry matter. (The mineral residue is obtained when the organic matter is destroyed by heat). It has been shown in recent years that certain organic compounds, known as growth promoting substances or hormones, are capable of producing marked growth responses such as increased root growth, shoot and leaf curvatures, stimulation

"Carbon and oxygen together may account for over 80 per cent of plant's dry matter, the solid matter remaining after water is removed." or suppression of sprouts, increased fruit setting and prevention of fruit abscission. These growth responses occur in plants, and some are also present in soils and natural manures. They appear to perform important functions in the growth of plants. Examples of substances of this kind which can produce growth responses are 13 indole-acetic acid, 13 indole-butyric acid, phenyl acetic acid, A, naphthalene-acetamide, vitamin B1. At present, it is not clear to what extent growth substances are absorbed by plants from soils, although it has been shown that vitamin B1, which occurs naturally in soils, can be obtained in this way. This was an aperitif and we hope it will serve to let you get to better know your plants. It’s only then that you will get the best MY from them.

For an archived list of Luis Bartolo’s previous articles visit

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


"When a garden becomes infected with harmful spores or insects, time-consuming extremities are required to revive optimal homeostasis."

Cleanliness is Next to

Godliness by Lee McCall


MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

Constructing an efficient indoor garden to work accordingly with the fluctuations of the outdoor climate can be initially labour intensive. Attentiveness and prior research is required in order to implement the correct equipment to create a successful garden. For optimal operation, containment and isolation is essential to any custom layout or design. Also depending on the area, weather demographics will determine the need for certain heating and cooling. If and when there is an imbalance in the environment of a garden due to external factors, the risk of detriments increases and production is affected. Even with ideal equipment and design, hobbyists and commercialists may experience a variety of dilemmas if the growing area is not maintained and cleaned regularly. Aside from inevitable dead leaves, cleanliness of a garden should not centre on only removing physical debris and trash from the area. Of course the piling up of dead plant matter is never wise to ignore or make habit of; focus on aspects of the garden that are penetrable from outside sources. Intake points for fresh air exchange should always be filtered in some form or fashion, even if the provided source is another area not from outside. Many different gardens fall victim to a menu of damages resulting from fungus and insects acquired through untreated

air from the outside world. When a garden becomes infected with harmful spores or insects, time-consuming extremities are required to revive optimal homeostasis. In conjunction with proper sanitation practices, this is when the extra time spent studying pre-design and layout before hand assists greatly. Healthy plants resulting from healthy environments, increases the resistance to insects and disease. Poor airflow and high humidity levels can fuel insect and fungal reproduction. In my experience, spidermites and powdery mildew infections are the most common flaw that many simply cannot rid their crops of once transmitted. Battling spidermites and other plant pests is a good indication that a garden was not up to peak performance in one way or another. Treatments to reduce insect populations may prove to be very expensive in ways of time and money depending on severity of the issue. Health and vigour will definitely show through rate of production and yield, on how bad a garden was affected. Either way, hindrance is almost guaranteed amongst the garden. Consumables require post-treatment to rinse produce of residual counteractants. Do not use systemic treatments on consumable crops unless hazards are known and products are certified food-grade safe. Foliar applications are the most common form of treatment since the majority of plant attacking insects feed upon the leaf tissue itself. Action must take place when lights are off as this is when plants are in their downtime of production. Foliar spraying when lights are on increases the chance of burning foliage. Consistent

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Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

"One microscopic spore is capable of recreating an entire colony of mould." applications are recommended to maximize the effectiveness of whichever active ingredient is chosen for utilization. Every three days an infested garden should receive regular treatments to disrupt breeding cycles amongst plant pests. Once a problem is considered controlled, apply one to three more applications for insurance purposes, to prevent re-infestation. The majority of many crop infesting insects are apt to develop immunities to those who insist on using the same treatments over and over again. Always change up pesticide regiments by active ingredient to minimize resistance and tolerance build-up. If plants are in their beginning stages of life when a bug problem occurs, anywhere from clone to mature vegetative growth, submersing the entirety of the plant structure apart from for the root mass is optimal. This method allows complete uniform coverage of all possible contact points where bugs are possibly present and feeding. It also aids in rinsing away a vast amount of viable eggs that are attached to the plant in many areas inaccessible to foliar penetration, such as the under sides of leaves. Upon selecting the proper foliar treatments for your garden, always consider a wetting agent to incorporate with the spray. Wetting agents, also known as surfactants, help to emulsify the many oil-based control products into the water of which it is diluted. Along with using tepid to luke-warm temperature water for oil-based applications, the surfactant will allow the spray to maximize coverage 32

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

of surface area on the leaf, rather than bead up and roll off the exterior. Vitality boosters like seaweed or kelp complexes, B-vitamins and silica supplements are great additions to blend with your choice of foliar treatment. Along with the insecticidal effects of the pesticide, the other additions promote healthy metabolism and immunity function to maintain productivity and overcome the stress of insect attacks. Indifferent from bug attacks, but considered just as detrimental, fungal problems can appear out of nowhere. This can be extremely frustrating to any grower due to the fact initial discovery of certain moulds or fungus usually means it has been present in abundance for a while without identification. Powdery Mildew, an extremely common form of a nuisance fungal attack, will seek refuge in any high humidity, low airflow situation. Destroying many fruit and flower bearing plants after much hard work has been spent creating it, this mould is extremely hard to rid gardens of. Patches of this fungus appear on foliage and fruits causing undesirable aromas, flavours and physical appeal. Roses and squash are particularly favoured by these reproductive spores, and once infected steps similar to that of a pesticide regiment should put into effect to combat the fungus. Neem oil complexes provide both properties of anti-fungal and natural pesticide all in one bottle; other companies have synthesized bacterial solutions that counteract the fungal production on the tissue surface itself. Whole milk actually serves as one of the best household remedies that give impressive results upon application. For foliar or submersible treatments, dilute one tablespoon of fresh whole milk into a quart of high quality, preferably distilled water. This easy solution serves as an effective cheap treatment, but should never be over applied. Sulphur-based products are equally effective as anything else, but they carry over the staining smell of sulphur to your garden. For larger, mature gardens that are unable to receive steady foliar treatments, sulphur vaporizers, also known as sulphur burners, provide immediate coverage to all possible points of a garden if given the proper dispersion time. Flooding the infected area with sulphur fumes, the mildew refuses to co-exist in the same atmosphere where sulphur is present, and can easily be knocked out of commission. The problem gardeners have with combating mildew production is that one microscopic spore is capable of recreating an entire colony of mould. Airborne, these spores will multiply through gardens covering walls, equipment and anything in contact with the grow room. Thorough sterilization is imperative if mildew occupies more than half of the garden. Ozone generators are known for sterilization purposes, but have never made a vast impact for me when used to combat powdery mildew. Train yourself to possess clean habits and practices when in and around your garden. Transferring equipment or plants from

Two spotted spidermites.

one grower’s garden to your own without pre-treatment for these natural atrocities is a guaranteed window for spreading these plant-transmitted infections. Heavy foliar feeding can leave residual build up on walls, floors and equipment, so maintain a steady routine of cleaning these areas with peroxide, alcohol or bleach solutions. Utilize protective coverings to the original floor and walls, such as plastic tarp or poly to protect from staining or permanent damage. Protect gardens from open crawl spaces or areas exposed to outside contaminants. Shop vacuums that boast wet and dry properties are handy for accidental spills and dead leaf removal. Practice the art of cleanliness to ensure a garden next to godliness. MY

The top 10 ways to keep the grow room clean and plants happy can be found at

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009



AT A GLANCE Company: Aquaponics WA

From left, Delia, Maurice and Robert

Owners: Robert, Delia and Maurice van Aurich

From humble beginnings, Aquaponics WA launched under the direction of Robert and Delia van Aurich in 1983. The husband and wife team began experimenting with hydroponic technology and developed a customer base of devoted hydroponic growLocation: ers before the technique was even a category in the phone book. Delia, daughter of an Lot 12 Warton Road, Canning Vale Italian migrant and expert in horticultural methodology and Robert, a Dutchman and Perth, Western Australia technical, hands-on personality, proficient in the construction of greenhouses, hydroponic systems and irrigation, preferred hydroponically-grown produce to soil-grown Toll Free: with all its associated problems (i.e. weeds, pests and disease). 800-640222 With backgrounds in horticulture, Robert and Delia’s qualifications for this retail Website: venture are extensive. In 1989, both Robert and Delia were awarded a diploma in horticulture from the Bentley campus of TAFE. Robert also worked as a paid consultant/lecturer for a variety of institutions including the TAFE college of Murdoch, the Email: students of which regularly visit their site to gain field experience for the hydroponic component of the horticultural diploma. Awesome success in initial growth trials of various crops combined with an increasing difficulty in getting supplies from Australian distributors prompted them to relocate Aquaponics WA to Canning Vale, Perth in late 1989. In pursuit of increased exposure, Rob and Delia rapidly constructed greenhouses, enclosures and hydroponic demonstration systems.Visitors from around the country came to view Delia’s custard apples, bananas, pineapples, coffee, “It’s not really work when I do what I mangoes, pawpaw, lychees, sapote, guava and star-fruit, love and it’s my hobby.” which were thriving during the bitter Perth winter, much – Delia van Aurich to Delia’s delight. The temperature-controlled tropical dome also housed hybrid, table and cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, snow peas, asparagus, potatoes, carrots, silver beet, chillies and capsicums in the 350 square metre ventilated greenhouse. The family is proud of their 1500 square metre greenhouse and show room, and love when customers express awe of the vine-ripened, fresh tomatoes and capsicums and delicious, plum strawberries. Family Ties Upon returning to home following a stint in Sydney, their son Maurice committed himself to the family business, Aquaponics WA is proud to showcase to customers, their 1500 m2 greenhouse and putting to good use his planning, reporting and marketing show room. 34

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

Aquaponics WA decided, in the interest of the changing needs of the customer, to register a new company. Hydroponic Xpress’ focus is purely on supplying the retail needs of its many customers. Currently there are seven full time staff members working in the business. In 2005 Hydroponic Xpress was nominated for the Prime Minister employer of the year for service to disabled employees.

Responding to the changes in the industry, Hydroponic Xpress was opened as a retail solution to meet the needs of its customers.

skills accumulated over the five years in Sydney and three years at Curtin University where he earned a bachelor of business degree. Recently, their daughter Erica Roberts joined the team to offer her expertise in graphic design, artwork and printing. Hydroponic Xpress With the changing legislations around Australia in the hydroponics sector, the frenzy of retail hydroponic outlets opening were not keeping pace with the changes. At this time

Growth Ten years ago, Aquaponics WA purchased from just one or two hydroponic growers. To date they are now up to over two dozen. Whilst preferring to source Australian suppliers, Aquaponics WA looks the world over for leading edge technology. The ethos of competitiveness, quality, range and service to their customers is their driving force. They understand the need for seasonal supply and maintain stock levels above client expectation; after all they have only a limited window of opportunity in their planting programs. Regarding their business philosophy Delia attributes their success to servicing the customer’s needs properly and timely, carrying the best range and offering the best service and best deals. “It’s not MY really work when I do what I love and it’s my hobby.”

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


Not Convinced?

Why Water Quality is Essential to Plant Health by Trevor Holt

When choosing an appropriate site for a hydroponic set-up we sometimes overlook the quality of the water which supplies the site. The way you water your plants and the amount of water you give them can be a major factor in the overall health of the plant.You have to ask the question, "How clean is the water?� Most town water should be suitable for plant growth, however, I would advise you to invest in a water purification system, not only for the plant's benefit but also your own! It is my view that you just don't know what your suppliers are throwing in the water to make it safe to drink. A few years ago we experienced a Cryptosporidium and Giardia outbreak in Sydney. As well as people getting sick, there was a major rush of growers experiencing root zone problems. No matter what they did the problem continued to haunt them. Initially, they blamed everything from the nutrient they were using to propagation gels, additives and the advice they received. As each case was investigated they found that even though all systems, lighting, airflow, growing methods and nutrients used were very diverse, all growers had the same problem. Naturally a common denominator was researched – and it was, of course, water. Some growers were hard to convince, considering they were on 'town supply' and, therefore, the over-riding belief was the water quality must be of a high standard (if it's safe to drink it must be okay for my plants). Not so. Did you know that over 50 different chemicals can be legally added to our town water supply in order to make it safer to drink without us even knowing? Listed below are just a few of the major ones which can also affect your plants: Calcium Oxide or hydroxide, potassium aluminium sulphate, liquefied chlorine, sodium silicofluoride slurry, sodium hypochlorite solution, fluorosilicic acid and various other 36

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

electrolytes. This is not taking into account the number of chemicals that are added to our water supplies unintentionally. Most of our catchment areas are exposed to the elements, some of which may include lead, copper, pesticides, herbicides, asbestos and raw sewerage to name a few. I've seen plants that look absolutely amazing when small and as soon as they are exposed to the main system, they crash. Why? Poor water quality. Even if you are drawing your water from bores or rainwater off the roof, you still run the risk of not only collecting water, but a high mineral load, which when fed to your plants can affect the nutrient levels, potentially giving your crop toxic shock. Rusty, galvanised or copper pipes also contribute to higher levels of heavy metals such as zinc (zincalume) and iron in the solution. If these metals are present in any quantity, your plant will experience toxicity symptoms even if you are using a balanced full spectrum nutrient. A good way to check if your water is suitable is via a digital salt meter (nutrient tester). If you get a reading in water above one conductivity factor (CF) you would be wise

to consider a water purifier of some sort. The purer the water and the more neutral the pH in your water supply, the better. Before I continue, I have to tell you that out of all the growers who were experiencing root zone problems, only one continued having problems (eventually driving the client to abandon hydroponics) because he was the only one who didn't buy a water purifier. For a small investment of around $200, he lost a fortune, (think about that!) Over-watering is a common problem with novice and experienced growers alike. Commonly known as 'killing plants with kindness', most growers assume that the plant will take as much water as you can throw at it. This is another fallacy. If the water you are supplying to the plant does not have the right oxygen, nutrient, pH and water mix, the plants can actually drown in a saturated mess. Oxygen is unable to get to the plant and consequently they start to suffer, developing deficiency symptoms. Brown, blotchy leaves turn down and start to wilt. The grower panics and throws more water and nutrient in the system, unwittingly overdosing their beloved plants; end result...the plant dies. If you experience this, you need to drain off the media completely.You can gradually bring the plant back to good health by feeding it oxygen-rich pure water. Good drainage is essential to the recovery process; therefore, consider the media (substrate) you are using. If you are doing everything right, new growth should start to appear in approximately two weeks. Plants generally take about that long to recover from a stress situation. Under-watering produces very similar symptoms; however, they can occur more quickly with more dramatic consequences. It can be a scary sight to check your garden and find your entire crop has suddenly wilted overnight. The problem is a result of one thing: lack of water. Check that your water pump is working and is clear of any root matter or fine media particles. Take the pump apart and clean it thoroughly. If this is the problem, it is easy to rectify and the plants should recover

Commonly known as 'killing plants with kindness', most growers assume that the plant will take as much water as you can throw at it. If the water you are supplying to the plant does not have the right oxygen, nutrient, pH and water mix, the plants can actually drown in a saturated mess.

with no noticeable damage within a couple of hours. Once the watering cycle resumes, hourly checks to mark the recovery progress would be adhered to. Regular maintenance of everything that services the growing environment is essential, which will ultimately lead to a successful end result. Try to visit your greenhouse or grow room once a day to avoid any of the above mentioned catastrophes, especially during the flowering stage. Think of it this way: "A little maintenance a day keeps the problems away," and you'll get to reap the benefits at harvest time. Oxygenation’s Role in Healthy Water Oxygen keeps a plant's root zone healthy and allows the uptake of nutrients. Oxygen is the key to a high growth rate. Without oxygen around the roots, the root cells would die leading to root rot (pythium) problems and the eventual death of the plant. You cannot grow in water unless you have dissolved oxygen in it, so a well oxygenated nutrient solution is essential for a healthy root zone. The fine root hairs take up the nutrients and oxygen, and obviously the more root development, the more nutrients the plant can take up, hence a healthier plant and better yields! If you have still and stagnant water you're asking for trouble because that will cause root death due to oxygen depletion, which in turn could cause pythium (a fungal disease) to run rampant, or even attract harmful bugs like the sciarid fly (fungus gnats). Recirculating systems add that essential element to hydroponics: oxygen. When oxygen increases, so does growth, and in many ways it is more important to consider than nutrients. Root zone temperature also plays a very important part in overall tank control, and the ability for plants to take up oxygen, water and nutrient. The ideal root zone temperature is between 20 and 24°C. If the temperature falls below 20°C plant growth will begin to slow, and if it reaches 14°C, plant growth will stop altogether. On the other hand if the root zone temperature rises above 24°C the need for oxygen by the plant increases as the dissolved oxygen that is in the tank decreases. This can have a devastating effect on the plant and can accelerate outbreaks of pythium spores and other root zone diseases. My golden rule of oxygen - plants cannot take up their nutrients unless oxygen is present. The more oxygen, the faster the uptake of nutrient... but watch the temperature too! MY MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


YOU TELL US Maximum Yield talks with Jim Fah about plant driven watering and feeding via the Smart Valve system as an alternate paradigm for hydroponic production.

Jim Fah, Agricultural Scientist Autopot Smart Valve MK2

Maximum Yield: What was the inspiration behind the creation of the Smart Valve?

Jim: As an agricultural scientist, I observed that individual plants had different water and food requirements. And plants know what their needs are. In order to harness this plant intelligence, I invented and developed the Smart Valve. The Smart Valve makes the irrigation system a slave to the individual plant, not vice versa. How it Works The original Smart Valve, introduced in 1990, is the embodiment of KISS (Keep it simple stupid) design principles. With only two moving parts, it delivers a measured volume of nutrient solution to the growing site and shuts off further flows until the plant has used the entire allotment of solution. As nutrient is consumed, beneficial oxygen is drawn into the plant’s root zone. MY: All of these technological advancements are great, but where is the simplicity in it all?

Jim: The Smart Valve requires no batteries and minimal maintenance. It is non-recirculating meaning nutrient is delivered directly to each grow site and is entirely used by the target plant. Nutrient is not reused across multiple plants, so water born viruses and pests are not propagated. Smart Valve installations do not suffer from nutrient depletion, because fresh nutrient is delivered directly to each unit. 38

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

The media needs to have an open structure to allow oxygen to be drawn into the root zone, and to support the plants as required. In a recent development, a melon plantation in Malaysia successfully raised commercial quantities of first-grade sweet melons using no grow media at all. The melon plants were grown using 30 centimetre trays in bags that were closed to protect the root zone form light and algae growth. This development resulted in tremendous labour savings for the operation. MY: So what can I grow with this system?

Jim: If you can think of a plant, it has probably been grown successfully in a Smart Valve system. Grown in Melbourne greenhouses and grow rooms are favourites like tomatoes, capsicum (bell pepper) and cucumber. But why stop there. All manner of foliage including lettuce, pod (peas and beans), cabbage, Chinese greens and Pak Choi grow successfully too. A distinguishing feature of the system is that it grows root and tuber vegetables as well. Potatoes, turnips, carrots, garlic and beets have all been grown at high yields. They have been used to grow fruit trees such as olive, cherry, citrus, apple, pear and coffee. Some growers are even experimenting with wine grapes. MY: Are there any other uses for the Smart Valve system?

Jim: Flemington racecourse utilizes a Smart Valve system for massed floral displays at key race meetings. Beautiful orchids

Massed planting of petunias in Autopot planters. Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne.

show equivalent increased yields. But one of the features of this installation is the huge variety of plants it can support. I use a single general-purpose nutrient formula to feed all the plants in my grow room. Wine Grapes growing in Autopot 12� pot. Development project at commercial vineyard.

MY: Are there any environmental attributes to the Smart Valve system?

Decentralized Growing In a Smart Valve system, mixed nutrient is stored in a central reservoir and distributed at low pressure via poly pipe to valve locations. As long as the reservoir can be located higher than all the grow sites, the entire system can be gravity fed. In larger systems, or systems that include hanging baskets, a low-pressure pump can be used. In pump fed systems, nutrient is mixed as needed in the distribution system. In greenhouses in Melbourne, over 1,000 Smart Valves in a variety of pots, trays and drippers and spread over a couple hundred metres are fed from a single 50 watt pump.

Jim: A plant driven system needs to deliver only what each plant determines it needs. Nutrient is only delivered when the plant has used the previously delivered nutrient. A modest solar panel and battery is capable of providing enough energy to run large installations. This makes the systems attractive even in remote and difficult areas, or in emerging communities where steady power supplies are not always available. Fancy lettuce on display at Autopot showrooms

MY: Let’s talk about the differences between mono-culture and diversification.

MY: What does the future hold for plant driven watering and feeding systems?

bloom in Smart Valve systems, as do a wide variety of flowering plants. Even cacti, succulents and bonsai flourish.

Jim: As discussed above, Smart Valve systems can grow a bewildering variety of high yielding crops. While mono-culture may be the current norm in commercial growing operations, the ability to grow a variety of crops with the same system opens up a variety of options. Diversified cropping is generally required in a domestic situation. As much Art as Science Commercial growers or keen enthusiasts may want to use highly specific nutrient mixes to maximize production of a particular crop. Mono-culture Smart Valve installations will

in Melbourne.

Jim: This is a relatively new field of research. Ongoing research programs are delving into plant driven technologies and how to take advantage of what nature has provided to us, as is research on how to better understand plant needs and responses to external stimuli. We are striving to place this technology where it can help relieve hunger. MY For current issues and ongoing research on plant driven watering and feeding systems, visit

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


by Michael Bloch

Community Supported Agriculture: Food with the FarmeR's face on it

Natural food cooperatives are a form of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) where people band together to source organic produce grown locally by small farms and companies. It usually requires a little work on the cooperative members’ part; but there are other variations with a more direct connection with a farmer. How Community Supported Agriculture works In the direct model, a farmer will offer shares of the farm’s crop or produce to the public. The cost of the share, membership or subscription will vary widely. In return, the shareholder, member or subscriber will receive produce on a regular basis from the farm. Some farmers will offer choices based on customer preferences, while others will take more of a pot luck approach. Some CSA farms go beyond fruit and vegetables, offering eggs, dairy, meat and poultry. Sometimes farmers will join forces in order to provide a wider range of food options that CSA shareholders can select from. A brief history of modern Community Supported Agriculture According to EarthRise Farm, a CSA and educational farm in Minnesota, the CSA concept can be traced to Japan in the mid 1960s. 40

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

Food cooperatives have been in existence in Japan since the late 1800s, but in 1965, a group of Japanese women who wanted to source fresh produce for their families more directly approached a local farmer with the idea. The farmer agreed and a contract was drawn. In Japan, CSA is known as “teikei,” which translates to “food with the farmer’s face on it.” A lecture outline from The Centre for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems states the 10 founding principles of the teikei system in Japan are: 1. mutual assistance 2. intended production 3. accepting the produce 4. mutual concession in the price setting decision 5. deepening friendships 6. self-distribution 7. democratic management 8. learning among each group 9. maintaining the appropriate group scale 10. principle of steady development The first documented CSA farm in the U.S. commenced in 1985 in western Massachusetts. Within four years, there were 37

more control over operations and spread the risk by having many individual customers or small buyer groups. How is the food distributed? Depending on the arrangement, the food may need to be picked up from the farm, but some farmers will transport it to a drop-off point in a nearby town or city. In existence in Japan since the late 1800s, CSA has provided families with local, fresh produce as well as community development and education.

CSA operations in the U.S. and Canada. By 1994, the number of CSAs in the U.S. was around 400. Data collected in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that 12,549 farms in the United States reported marketing products through a CSA arrangement. Benefits of Community Supported Agriculture For the consumer, participation in CSA means ultra-fresh produce at very reasonable prices. Often farms offering a CSA program will also be environmentally aware, meaning the produce may be organic, or grown/raised with minimal chemicals. One of the great dangers in the modern world of food is that we tend not to know or care about the types of resources and practices that go into creating it. Food production is becoming an increasingly heavy burden on the environment, often focusing on quantity rather than quality. CSAs provide consumers with a greater connection with their food and this familiarity tends to create more interest in how their food is grown and the work involved. CSA farms also often encourage visits from families, which can be a great educational experience not only for adults, but for children too. For farmers, the CSA model allows them to receive income before planting and harvesting commences. It can help with financial and crop planning for the year ahead. Instead of being held hostage by large corporations, the farmer can also have

CSA caveat emptor Caveat emptor is Latin for “let the buyer beware.” An important aspect about getting involved with a CSA is the willingness to accept risks, those being: • The farm may not produce the items you want. • The farm may not produce anything at all during some seasons. For example, there may be a drought or tornado that wipes out the farm’s crop. Like the farmer, this is the risk that the CSA shareholder will need to take. In a good or average year, the shareholder will likely receive far more than their money’s worth, but in a bad year, perhaps nothing at all.You’ll likely be asked to sign a contract when joining a CSA farm acknowledging this issue, so as with any contract, read over it carefully. Finding a CSA farm near you I wasn’t able to find a directory in Australia, but Food Connect ( offers a natural food cooperative service throughout the country.You might also want to try a more specific search on Google using your town/city name. If you can’t find a CSA near you, perhaps contact farms reasonably close by to ask them whether they would consider the concept! MY

An important aspect of CSA is accepting the fact that the farm may not produce items you want or it may not produce anything during adverse growing seasons. offers a natural food co-op throughout Australia.

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


Heirloom Seeds: Defining Authentic

by Charlene rennick The debate continues for dedicated heirloom seed-saving hobbyists and serious collectors with private or public seed vaults: is there a definitive point in time at which a seed can be identified as an heirloom?

Standardizing the Definition of Heirloom An interesting point of reference for dedicated heirloom seed seekers is the origin of the seed. The convoluted history of the seed and integrated diversity from which it originated leads to a corresponding difficulty identifying and standardizing a definition of said seeds. Heirloom seed enthusiasts appreciate the seed for its natural evolution, open-pollination genesis and manufacture-free authenticity; yet it is this very attribute that makes it elusive to verification and control by heirloom seed seekers. The quandary is that heirloom, by definition, means it is a result of open pollination. There is no hybridizing, controlled environment or selective reproduction. If an heirloom seed produces a plant that has desirable characteristics over and above any other variety, preserving it in any way or restricting the pollination variables will condemn it as a hybrid. Sowing the seed and letting nature take its course is part of the uniqueness of the heirloom varieties. Contaminating the pollen, even through open pollination with the pollen of a hybrid, exposes the seed to censure. Hybrids Infiltrate the Market in the 1950s The age of seeds is among the topics of controversy. Some contend that any seed originating after 1950 is not an heirloom variety. Denouncing any seed developed after the introduction

of hybrids in the 1950s, solves the problem for some. Others argue that seeds which pre-date World War II are the only genuine recipients of heirloom status. While the debate over lineage will continue, there is some substance to the dispute that excluding seeds from Heirloom status simply because they were packaged by a commercial seed company, is taking the definition a bit too literally. Does it need to be rare to be an heirloom? Is it possible to accept that a good quality variety that germinates and cultivates easily can be mass marketed by an Heirloom-compassionate company? Often, large commercial plots devoted to open pollination sow and then harvest seeds only from the parent plant. Seeds are saved and stored for the purpose of re-sowing them. Hubbard squash, seeded melons, potatoes and pumpkins have been great examples of successful open pollinated varieties. Heirloom Seeds: Rare Treasure or Mainstream Expectation? Diminishing the quality and reputation of an heirloom seed because it has enjoyed commercial success or because it is available for mainstream purchase doesn’t necessarily make it less of an heirloom simply because it isn’t rare. Heirloom characteristics isolate their hardiness as cultivars; they germinate easily and flourish readily. Because plants are allowed to evolve, we continue to enjoy the quality that random selection provides for us. MY


MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

CHECK YOUR growing I.Q.

by Erik Biksa


1. What are some of the advantages of using enzyme type hydroponic/soilless nutrient additives? a) makes it possible to reuse soilless growing mixes (peat, coco, etc.) b) reduces the window of opportunity for pathogens such as pythium c) converts dead root matter into food source for the plant d) all of the above e) none of the above 2. Why might it be advantageous to apply an enzyme based product at double strength during the last week before harvest while “flushing� the crop? 3. Which of the following are beneficial bacteria that may be used to inoculate plants/soil for improved crop performance? a) Bacillus b) Streptomycetes c) Actinomycetes d) Pseudomonas e) Trichoderma

4. Certain soil based bacterium are able to provide a release of beneficial plant growth regulators such as cytokinins to crops. a) true b) false 5. Salicylic acid is useful for: a) colourful visualizations b) triggering a plant immunity response c) lowering the pH of nutrient solutions d) auditory hallucinations 6. Mycorrhizal fungi can expand the surface area of a root mass by as much as 700%. a) true b) false

ANSWERS: September - October 2009 quiz 1) c 2) a 3) d 4) d 5) a 6) uses less gas, emits less heat, possibly safer.


Answers to this quiz will be printed in the January - February 2010 issue of Maximum Yield. MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009




ACT South Pacific Hydroponics #2 - 84 - 86 Wollongong St., Fyshwick ACT 2609 South Pacific Hydroponics 70 Oatley Court , Belconnen ACT 2617

(02) 6239 2598 (02) 6251 0600

NEW SOUTH WALES ABC Aquaculture 54 Wahroonga Road, Kanwal NSW 2259 ASE Hydroponics Factory 10/45 Leighton Pl., Hornsby NSW 2077 Ballina Hydro 3 Ray O’Niell Crescent, Ballina NSW 2478 Brunswick Hydro & Aquarium Supplies 19 Booyun Street, Brunswick Heads NSW 2483 Criscete Hydroponics and Organics Unit 2/15 Kam Close, Morisset, NSW 2264 Dr. Van Der Bloom’s Hydroponics Supplies 5/5 Forge Drive, Coff’s Harbour, NSW 2450 Dubbo Hydro & Tobacconist 42c Victoria Street, Dubbo West NSW 2830 Ezi Grow Hydro 177 Mt Druit Road, Mt Druitt NSW 2770 Ezi Grow Hydro 1B/340 Windsor Street, Richmond NSW 2753 Ezi Grow Hydro 56 Fish Parade, Bathurst NSW 2795 Ezi Grow Hydro - Head Office 18 Part Street, Eglinton NSW 2795 Favgro Hydroponics Growers 107 Glenella Road, Batehaven NSW 2536 Felanza - Hydroponics 140 Princess Highway, Arncliffe, NSW 2205 General Hydroponics 7/14 Sunnyholt Road, Blacktown NSW 9676 Green Sky 17 Beaumont Street, Rose Bay NSW 2029 Grow Australia Factory 1/5 Sefton Road, Thronleigh NSW 2120 Grow Your Own Unit 6/34 Alliance Ave, Morisset NSW 2264 Happy Grow Hydro 15/The Crescent Street, Penrith NSW 2750 Home Harvest 423 Princess Highway, Rockdale NSW 2216 Hyalite Moorebank 6/376 Newsbridge Road, Moorebank NSW 2170 Hyalite Villawood 2/21 Birmingham Avenue, Villawood NSW 2163 Hydro Masta 100 Station Road, Seven Hills, Sydney NSW 2147 Hydro Masta Pty Ltd 76 Beecroft Road, Epping NSW 2121 Hydro Net 2/14 Aific Street, Long Jetty NSW 2261 Hydro Place 1/68 Nelson Street, Wallsend NSW 2287 Hydro Shop and Reptile Supplies 2/390 The Esplanade, Warners Bay NSW 2282 Hydro Shop Pty Ltd Unit 1/5-7 Channel Road, Mayfield West NSW 2304 Hydro Supplies 57 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Hydro Wise B/385 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty NSW 2261 Hydroponics Grow All Year 14 Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 Hygrow Horticulture (Greenlite) 252 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction NSW 2022 Indoor Sun Shop 745 Victoria Road, Top Ryde NSW 2112 Indoor Sun Shop Unit 2/109 Junction Road, Moorebank NSW 2170


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(02) 9473 5000 (02) 4973 5179 (02) 4732 2870 (02) 9567 8841 (02) 9824 3400 (02) 9723 7199 (02) 8812 2845 (02) 9869 3011 (02) 4334 6955 (02) 4965 6595 (02) 4958 1489 (02) 4960 0707 (02) 9326 0307 (02) 4333 5700 (02) 6921 5911 (02) 9369 3928 (02) 9808 6511 (02) 9822 4700

International Fans PO Box 120, St. Mary’s NSW 2760 Kyper’s Tools and Hydroponics Stuart & Tincogan Sts, Mullumbimby NSW 2482 Lismore Hydro 1/106 Canway Street, Lismore NSW 2480 Lismore Hydroponics rear of 28 Casino St., South Lismore, NSW 2480 Northern Nursery Supplies Pty Ltd 14-16 Nance Road, Kempsey NSW 2440 Nowra Hydro 68 Bridge Road, Nowra NSW 2541 Nutriflo Hydroponic Systems 19/5 Daintree Place, Gosford West NSW 2250 Parkview Plants 250 Princess Highway, Nowra South NSW 2541 Port Pumps and Irrigation 20 Uralla Road, Pt Macquarie NSW 2444 Quik Grow 510a Great Western Hwy., Pendle Hill NSW 2145 Quick Grow 823 King Georges Road, S. Hurstville NSW 2221 Quik Grow Pty Ltd 490 Parramatta Road, Petersham NSW 2049 Simple Grow Hassall Street & Windem, Wetherill Pk NSW 2164 Tweed Coast Hydroponics 2/58 Machinery Dr., Tweeds Head South NSW 2486 Uncle Wal’s Gardenland 31 Crescent Avenue, Taree NSW 2430 Underlights Hydro 3/319 High Street, Maitland NSW 2320 Westside Lighting & Electrical (Ezi Range) PO Box 274, Mascot NSW 1400 Wollongong Hydroponic Center 318 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500 NORTHERN TERRITORY Katherine Hydroponics Centre 17 Rundle Street, Katherine NT 0850 QUEENSLAND A Happy Medium Hydroponics Unit2/10 Central Court, Browns Plains QLD 4118 Allgrow Hydro 13 - 58 Bullock Head St., Sumner Park QLD 4074 Aquatic Oasis Unit 2/33 Smith Street, Capalaba QLD 4157 Billabong Hydroponics Lot 1, Billabong Court, Childers QLD 4660 D-Bay Hydroponics Shop 5/404 Deception Bay Road, Deception Bay QLD 4508 E.T. Grow Home Unit 1/4 Windmill Street, Southport QLD 4215 Eye Lighting Australia Pty Ltd PO Box 306, Carole Park QLD 4300 Green Power Hydroponics 2/80 Beerburrum Road, Caboolture QLD 4510 Grow Hydro 22 Mining Street, Bundamba QLD 4304 Gympie Army Desposals 92 Mellor Street, Gympie QLD Hyalite Varsity 5/11 John Duncan Crt.,Varsity Lakes QLD 4227 Hydroponic Roots & Shoots Lot 3 Herberton Road, Atherton QLD 4883 Hydroponics & Garden Supplies 93 Cook St., Portsmith QLD 4870 Hydroponics Today PO Box 785, Stanthorpe QLD 4380 Indoor Solutions Unit 2 / 79 Oxford Tce., Taringa QLD 4068 J&K Hydroponics 10 Wacol Station Road, Wacol, Brisbane QLD, 4076

MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009

(02) 9833 7500 (02) 6684 4928 (02) 6621 3311 (02) 6621 3311 (02) 6563 1599 (02) 4423 3224 (02) 4323 1599 (02) 4423 0599 (02) 6581 1272 (02) 9636 7023 (02) 9546 8642 (02) 9568 2900 (02) 9604 0469 (07) 5524 8588 (02) 6550 0221 (02) 4934 4304 1 800 661 475 (02) 4225 8773

(08) 8972 1730

(07) 3809 3322 (07) 3376 7222 (07) 3245 7777 (07) 4126 3551 (07) 3204 8324 (07) 5591 6501 (07) 3335 3556 (07) 5428 1133 (07) 3816 3206 (07) 5482 6711 (07) 5593 7385 (07) 4091 3217 (07) 4035 5422 (07) 4683 3133

(07) 3271-6210

KY Garden 3/31 Argyle PDE, Darra Brisbane QLD 4076 Nerang Hydroponic Centre 27 Lawrence Drive, Nerang QLD 4211 North Queensland Hydro Supplies Shop 2B/20-22 Fleming St., Townsville QLD 4810 Northern Hydroponics 383 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870 Pioneer Hydroponics 194 Doyles Road, Pleystowe QLD 4741 SA Hydroponics Shed 3, 1191 Anzac Avenue, Kallangar QLD 4503 Simply Hydroponics Gold Coast 42 Lawrence Drive, Nerang QLD 4211 Sunstate Hydroponics 1137 Ipswitch Road, Moorooka QLD 4105 Sunstate Hydroponics 67 Aerodrome Road, Maroochydore QLD 4558 The Hydroponic Warehouse Shop 3/73 PIckering Street, Enoggera QLD 4051 Tumbling Waters Hydroponics 2 Clarkes Track, Malanda QLD 4885 Walsh’s Seeds Garden Centre 881 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350 SOUTH AUSTRALIA Amazon Aquariums & Gardening Unit 5, 16 Research Road, Pooraka SA 5095 Ascot Park 753 Marion Road, Ascot Park SA 5043 Barry’s Hardware Saints & Main North Rd., Salisbury Plains SA 5109 Black Max Ozone Generators PO Box 429, Noarlunga Centre SA 5168 Bolzon Home & Garden 103 Tolley Road, St Agnes SA 5097 Chocablock Discount Variety Store 15-17/1220 Grand Junction, Hope Valley SA 5090 Complete Hydroponics 1581 Main North Road Salisbury East SA 5109 Country Hydro 434 Saddleback Road, Whyalla SA 5600 D & W Dependable Hardware 45B Kettering Road, Elizabeth South SA 5112 Festive Hydro 2 Kreig Street, Evanston Park SA 5116 Fulham Gardener Nursery 597 Tapleys Hill Road, Fulham SA 5024 Futchatec Distribution 4 Symonds St. Royal Park, 5014 Glandore Hydroponics 644 - 646 South Road, Glandore SA 5037 Greener then Green 52 - 54 Cliff Avenue, Port Noarlunga South SA 51 Greenhouse Superstore Lonsdale 35 to 37 Aldenhoven Road SA 5160 Greenhouse Superstore Royal Park 4 Symonds St. Royal Park SA 5014 Ground-Up Service Nursery 3 Copinger Road, Pt. Pirie SA 5540 Hackham Garden & Building Supplies 32 Gates Road., Hackham SA 5163 Hindmarsh Hydroponics 39a Manton Street, Hindmarsh SA 5095 Highland Hydro 14/1042 Grand Junction Road, Holden Hill SA 5088 Hong Kong Hydro 13 Research Road, Pooraka SA 5095 Hydro Heaven Kane Motors-Hunt Road, Mount Barker SA 5251 Hydro Sales & Service 1 Salisbury Crescent, Colonel Light SA 5041 Hydro Technics 321 South Road, Croydon SA 5008

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(08) 8359 1800 (08) 8357 4700 (08) 8281 4066

(08) 8265 0665 (08) 8396 3133 (08) 8258 4022 (08) 8645 3105 (08) 8287 6399 (08) 8523 5100 (08) 8235 2004 (08) 8447-1122 (08) 8371 5777 (08) 8386 2596 (08) 8382 0100 (08) 8447 5899 (08) 8264 9455

(08) 8346 9461 (08) 8395 4455 (08) 8260 2000 (08) 8391 1880 (08) 8272 2000 (08) 8241 5022



Hydro Warehouse 181 Seacombe Road, South Brighton SA 5048 Hydro World 40 Folland Avenue, Northfield SA 5085 Island Salads - Kangaroo Island PO Box 78, Kingscote SA 5223 Koko’s Hydro Warehouse Unit 2/2 McGowan Street, Pooraka SA 5095 Larg’s Bay Garden Supply 239 Victoria Road, Largs Bay SA 5016 Martins Road Hydro # 5- 353 Martins Road, Parafield Gardens SA 5107 Mitre 10 Drive In 152 Hanson Road, Mansfield Park SA 5012 New Age Hydroponics 135-137 Sir Donald Bradman Dr., Hilton SA 5033 Owen Agencies 17-19 Railway Terrace, Owen SA 5460 Professional Hydro 4/522 Grange Road, Fulham Gardens SA 5024 Professional Hydro Shop 5/645 Lower North East Road SA 5075 Professional Hydroponics 113 Maurice Road, Murray Bridge SA Soladome Aquaculture & Hydro 44 Chapel St., Norwood SA 5067 South Coast Hydroponics 6/25 Gulfview Road, Christies Beach SA 5165 South East Hydroponics 1A Lindsay Street, Mt. Gambier SA 5290 State Hydroponics 174 Semaphore Road, Exeter SA 5019 Tea Tree Gully Hydro 32 Famechon Cresent, Modbury North SA 5092 Two Wells Hardware 86 Old Port Wakefield Road, Two Wells SA 5501 West Garden Centre Peachey Road, Elizabeth West SA 5113

(08) 8377 1200 (08) 8262 8323

(08) 8260 5463 (08) 8242 3788 (08) 8283 4011 (08) 8445 1813 (08) 8351 9100 (08) 8528 6008 (08) 8353 0133 (08) 8365 5172 (08) 8532 3441 (08) 8362 8042 (08) 8384 2380

(08) 8341 5991 (08) 8264 9455 (08) 8520 2287 (08) 8255 1355

TASMANIA Advanced Hydroponics 26 Mulgrave Street, South Launceston Tas 7249 Ezy Grow 625 East Derwent Highway, Lindisfarne Tas 7015 Garden World 717 West Tamar Highway, Legana Tas 7277 Growers Choice 225 Main Road, Derwent Park Tas 7009 Hydroponic World 322 Bass Highway, Sulphur Creek Tas 7316 Organic Garden Supplies Tas 17 Don Road, Devonport Tas 7310 The Hydroponic Company 69 Charles Street, Moonah Tas 7009 The Hydroponics Company 289 Hobart Road, Kings Medow Tas 7428

(03) 6344 5588 (03) 6243 9490 (03) 6330 1177 (03) 6273 6088 (03) 6435 4411 (03) 6424 7815 (03) 6273 1411 (03) 6340 2222

VICTORIA Albury Hydroponics 62 Thomas Mitchell Drive, Springvale Vic 3171 All Seasons Hydroponics 3 Springvale Road, Springvale Vic 3171 Banksia Greenhouse and Outdoor Garden 530 Burwood Highway, Wantirna Vic 3152 Barb’s Hydro and Nursery 15 Wallace Avenue, Interverloch Vic 3196 Bayside Hydroponics Factory 2/8 Rutherford Road, Seaford Vic 3196 Belgrave Hydroponics 1642 Burwood Highway, Belgrave Vic 3160 Brew ‘N’ Grow 4 - 479 Nepean Highway, Edithvale Vic 3199 Casey Hydro 12 The Arcade Street, Cranbourne Vic 3977

(03) 9540 8000 (03) 9540 8000 (03) 9801 8070 (03) 5674 2584 (03) 9775 0495 (03) 9754 3712 (03) 9783 3006 (03) 5996 3697

Casey Hydro 78 Spring Square, Hallam Vic 3803 Chronic Hydroponics 31 Anderson Street, Templestowe Vic 3106 Complete Garden Supplies 580 Ballarat Road, Sunshine Vic 3020 Discount Hydroponics 752 Waverley Road, Chadstone Vic 3148 Echuca Hydroponic Nursery & Supplies 23 Ogilvie Avenue, Echuca Vic 3564 Echuca Pump Shop 128 Ogilvie Avenue, Echuca Vic 3564 Excel Distributors Pty Ltd 2/41 Quinn Street, Preston Vic 3072 F.L.O.W. Plants and Environments 66B Chapel Street, Windsor Vic 3181 Gardensmart 810-834 Springvale Road, Keysborough Vic 3173 Global Hydroponics 10 Knight Avenue, Sunshine Vic 3020 Greenleaf Hydroponics 9a Church Street, Traralgon Vic 3844 Greenleaf Hydroponics Factory 7, Industrial Park Drive, Lilydale Vic 3140 GreenLite - Ringwood 291 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood Vic 3134 Grow 4 XS Rear 24 Simms Road, Greensborough Vic 3088 Grow-Tek Hydroponics 141 Military Road, Avondale Heights Vic 3034 Holland Forge Pty Ltd. 5 Hi-tech Place, Rowville Vic 3178 Hyalite Bayswater 4/19 Jersey Road, Bayswater Vic 3153 Hyalite Centreway 42 Wingarra Ave, Keilor Vic 3036 Hyalite Global 10 Knight Avenue, Sunshine North Vic 3020 Hyalite Westend 3 Third Avenue, Sunshine Vic 3020 Indoor Garden Company 29 Glasgow Street, Collingwood Vic 3066 Impact Distribution PO Box 2188, Salisbury Downs 5108 Jackson Cellars Cnr Bailey & McLeod Sts., Bairnsdale Vic 3875 JB Lighting 492 - 500 Neerim Road, Murrumbeena Vic 3163 Just Hydroponics Factory 11 29/39 westwood Drive, Deer Park Vic 3023 Latrove Valley Home Brew Supplies PO Box 802, Morwell Vic 3804 Living Jungle 345 Sommerville Road, Footscray West Vic 3012 Melton Hydroponic Supplies 18/10 Norton Drive, Melton Vic 3194 Midtown Hydroponics Factory 1, 821B Howitt St., Wendouree Vic 3355 Mirror Brand 110 Dynon Road, South Kensington Vic 3031 One Stop Sprinklers 1 Burwood Highway, Wantirna Vic 3152 Pam’s Home Brew & Hydroponics 61 McArthur Street, Sale Vic 3850 Palms & Plants 175 Salisbury Highway, Salisbury S.A. 5108 Shepparton Hydroponics 87A Archer Street, Shepparton Vic 3630 Simply Hydroponics 5/ 411-413 Old Geelong Rd.,Hoppers Cros. 3029 Sunlite Hydroponics 1/104 Shannon Avenue, Geelong West Vic 3281 Sunray Hydro 157 Tenth Street, Mildura Vic 3500

(03) 9796 3776 (03) 9646 8133 (03) 9311 9776 (03) 9568 1860 (03) 5480 2036 (03) 5480 7080 (03) 9495 0083 (03) 9510 6832 (03) 9769 1411 (03) 9356 9400 (03) 5176 0898 (03) 9739 7311 (03) 9870 8566 (03) 9435 6425

(03) 9764 1372 (03) 9720 1946 (03) 9331 5452 (03) 9356 9400 (03) 9311 3510 (03) 9416 1699 (08) 8250-1515 (03) 5152 1366 (03) 9569 4399 (03) 8390 0861 (03) 5133 9140 (03) 9314 0055 (03) 9746 9256

Supply Net International P/L PO Box 171, Highbury Vic 5089 The Hydroponic Connection 397 Dorset Road, Boronia Vic 3155 Waterworks Hydroponics Unit 1, 5 Brand Drive, Thomastown Vic 3074 WESTERN AUSTRALIA Accent Hydroponics Unit 2/141 Russell Street, Morley WA 6062 Aqua Post Unit 2B 7 Yampi Way, Willetton WA 6155 Aquaponics Lot 12 Warton Road, Canning Vale WA 6155 Creative Hydroponics 1/95 Dixon Road, Rockingham WA 6168 Great Southern Hydroponics Shop 1, 21 Hennessy Road, Bunbury WA 6230 Greenfingers World of Hydroponics Albany Hwy & Kelvin Rd.,Maddington WA 6109 Greenfingers World of Hydroponics Unit C 14-16 Elliot Street, Midvale WA 6056 Greenlite Hydroponics 4/91 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill WA 6060 Growsmart Hydroponics 47768 South Coast Highway, Albany WA 6330 Hydro Nation 41A Rockingham Road, Hamilton Hill WA 6163 Hydroponic Solutions 1/1928 Beach Road, Malaga WA 6090 Hydroponic Warehouse Unit 7/627 Wanneroo Road, Wanneroo WA 6065 Hydroponica 317 Guildford Road, Maylands WA 6051 Isabella’s Hydroponics 66 Jambanis Road, Wanneroo WA 6065 Johnson’s Nursery Garden Centre 30 Blencowe Road, Geralton WA 6530 Neerabup Organic & Hydroponic Supplies Unit 1, 21 Warman St. Neerabup WA 6031 One Stop Hydroponics 947 Beaufort Street, Inglewood WA 6052 Perth Hydroponic Centre Shop 4, 171-175 Abernathy Road, Belmont WA 6104 Southwest Hydroponics Lot 29, Pinjarra Road, Mandurah WA 6210 The Grow Room 1/1451 Albany Highway, Cannington WA 6107 The Highlife Co. 303 Rokeby Road, Subiaco WA 6008 The Watershed Water Systems 150 Russell Street, Morley WA 6062 The Watershed Water Systems 2874 Albany Highway, Kelmscott WA 6111 The Watershed Water Systems 1/146 Great Eastern Highway, Midland WA 6210 Water Garden Warehouse 14 Drake Street, Osborne Park WA 6017

(88) 264-3600 (03) 9761 0662 (03) 9465 1455

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MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


COMING UP IN DO YOU january-february 2010



Lighting Systems Demystified Trevor Holt briefly describes some lighting types and their functions in a simplified format for reading ease.

Selecting and Maintaining Healthy Mother Plants Matt LeBannister introduces the right way to preserve plant strain favourites through cloning of a healthy mother plant.

CEA: Creating the Perfect Room, Right out of the Box Erik Biksa examines CEA (controlled environment agriculture) as an affordable method of increasing yields and why, now more than ever, this method is so accessible.

Stop Hydroponic Odours Christopher J. Kline outlines six methods that will keep your hydroponic system smelling clean and fresh.

Conductivity in Hydroponics Bob Taylor explains how to successfully use conductivity as a tool for controlling nutrient concentration.

Exclusive Contests for Aussie Readers Beginning January 1, 2010, we will be accepting submissions for our first-ever, reader-submitted Cover Contest.Your artwork could be published on the cover of the internationally available Maximum Yield for growers everywhere to see! Details and the official entry form can be found at Maximum Yield is kicking off its biggest contest to date in Australia. The Win Big! Grow Big! online reader contest will run bi-monthly all year long. Readers will have a chance to win the best products from the largest manufacturers every second month throughout 2010. Don’t miss out on you chance to take home the products that will help you grow the biggest yields ever. Details at Online Extras In addition to our incredible selection of articles in January/February Australia, you gain access to online extras.Visit for tips, photos, articles and more, that you won’t find anywhere else.

recommendation for a pH of 6.2-6.3 has 1 The no scientific basis. It appears to have gained mythological status from the early days of hydroponics when the only cheap means of measuring pH was the common bromothymol blue pH indicator used for testing fish tank water. valve, used to enhance irrigation systems, 2 Ais smart made up of just two moving parts, which deliver a measured volume of nutrient solution to the growing site. a plant’s transpiration rate increases 3 Inandhotitsweather, water requirements may double or triple. However, its nutrient needs do not increase. Japan, where food cooperatives may have 4 Inoriginated, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is known as “teikei,” which translates to “food with the farmer’s face on it.” 50 different chemicals can be legally added to 5 Over town water supplies, without residents’ knowledge, in order to make it safer to drink. will not grow in water unless it contains 6 Plants dissolved oxygen. The fine root hairs take up the nutrients and oxygen, allowing for increased root development. can avoid excess water uptake and 7 Growers evaporation by keeping the air temperature below 30°C and the relative humidity above 50 per cent. seeds are defined by and appreciated for 8 Heirloom their natural evolution, open-pollination genesis and manufacture-free authenticity.

Check to stay informed about upcoming 2010 Indoor Gardening Expos.

hydroponic systems tend to be co9 Drip-to-waste located with pumps and controller, thus requiring large and complex infrastructure.


MAXIMUM YIELD Australia - November/December 2009


AUS Nov/Dec 2009  

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

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