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Australia September-October 2012





Eco-Friendly Lighting Trends



Lighting Issue

Feed Your Crops

Naturally 6 Natural Nutrients




Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012


CONTENTS September/October 2012


18 38 30


Nutrients—Beyond Macros and Micros by Dr. Lynette Morgan


The Complexities of Defining and Measuring Light Energy by Eric Hopper



by Matt LeBannister


The Four Elemental Building Blocks of Growing


From the Editor


Talking Shop


Letters to the Editor


You Tell Us


Simon Says




MAX Facts


Do You Know?


Product Spotlight


Coming up in Next Issue


Growers Know


Organic Nutrients for a Sustainable Tomorrow

by Chris Pianta



Beyond the Basics by Ryan M. Taylor

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


FROM THE EDITOR | Jessica Raymond Nutrients and lighting, the most requested and asked about topics by Maximum Yield readers, are our main focus this issue, and we know you will love reading each page from cover to cover. Nutrients can be very interesting from a plant’s perspective and we explore this by kicking off our section on nutrients is “Beyond Micros and Macros” by Dr. Lynette Morgan, who discusses why a nutrient solution’s composition determines the health and growth rate of your plants. Lighting is a main component of your indoor garden area, so we’re sharing a selection of articles to help you plan a light scheme that your crops will love. Finally, small space gardening, tissue culture, best cleaning practises and an abundant selection of new product profiles round out this Sept/Oct issue.

Jessica Raymond, editor

Countdown to Long Beach The Long Beach Indoor Gardening Expo—open to the general public November 4, 2012— is the final stop on our 2012 “Grow Like a Pro” Tour. With over 250 booths and more than 110 unique exhibitors, the Long Beach Expo promises to wrap up the year with a fabulous event. For more information, flip to page 53 or visit

contributors Eric Hopper has over 10 years of

Dr. Lynette Morgan holds a B. Hort.

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

Chris Pianta, AgroSci CEO, has over

Raquel Neofit is a freelance writer

Ryan Taylor is the founder and

experience in the hydroponic industry as both a retail store manager and owner. He continuously seeks new methods and products that could help maximize garden performance. Eric resides in Michigan where he and his family strive for a self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.

for the horticulture, travel and lifestyle industries. She has a background in business and radio, and is an avid believer that hydroponics is the future. Follow Raquel’s writing on her blog, Black Thumbs Guide to Growing Green—the misadventures of the vertical herb gardening movement— and My Food Story on Facebook.


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Tech. degree and a PhD in hydroponic greenhouse production from Massey University, New Zealand. Lynette is a partner with SUNTEC International Hydroponic Consultants and has authored five hydroponic technical books. Visit for more information.

25 years of experience in the lawn and garden market. He managed two successful startups and developed programs for Franks Nursery, FTD, Profile Soil Products, Martha Stewart, Agway and GROWELL. Chris is a holder of two United States patents. He earned his B.S. in Environmental and Professional Horticulture from UConn.

president of the Taylor Horticulture Company. In addition to growing a wide variety of hydroponic and bioponic crops, he also specializes in the manufacturing of hybrid hydroponic systems and consults with horticulturalists on methods for optimizing their production processes. Ryan is obsessed with hydroponics and his cat.

Become a Maximum Yield contributor and have your articles read by 250,000 readers throughout USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. 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.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR VOLUME 10 – NUMBER 3 September/October 2012


After reading the editor’s letter from the July/August 2012 issue of Maximum Yield Australia, I love the fact that you explain the issue so well and break down plant science and chemistry. I happen to love growing and I have read a lot of books on the topic. I have gone through the trials and errors. I just wanted to let you know it is a great letter, as is the magazine in general. Keep up the good work. Thanks, Terry D. Haight Jr.

First-class Feedback

Know Then Grow

I am new to hydroponics and trying to download an article from written by Rob Samborn titled "TDS and EC Metres for Hydroponics Explained." Is it possible to get a copy of this article? As a beginner to hydroponics and a new reader of Maximum Yield, the magazine has helped me no end. Kind regards, Geoff Splatt We recently revamped our website and are in the process of uploading our archived articles to the site. Stay tuned to for dozens of new featured articles every month.

As I am sure you all are aware, your publication is absolutely top-shelf. At least half of my indoor gardening success has come from the education I have received while reading Maximum Yield (MY). It is a privilege to have access to articles written by these accomplished experts, doctors and educators. Many of the articles about the state of modern horticulture—such as the renovation of large urban buildings for the purpose of indoor produce production—have enlightened me to issues I might never have stopped to think about otherwise. After looking long and hard for a reliable and constant modern gardening periodical, I have found more outstanding, useful and simplified (for those of us with no doctorate) information in MY than in any other publication. Thank you all for the great publication. For what it's worth, Jeff S.

Subscribe to Win

Every month we give away a special issue of Maximum Yield to one lucky eNews subscriber. If you aren’t subscribed, you can’t participate. Get involved, share your thoughts and participate in discussions monthly and you could win. Sign up today at so you can start winning! Maximum Yield Team Maximum Yield reserves the right to edit for brevity.

We want to hear from you! Maximum Yield Publications Inc. Snail-mail: 2339 Delinea Place, Nanaimo, BC V9T 5L9 E-mail: Twitter: Facebook: 8

Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

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 editorial Editor-in-chief Jessica Raymond Assistant Editor Jessica Skelton ADVERTISING SALES 250.729.2677 Ilona Hawser - Ashley Heppell - Hayley Jesson - Emily Rodgers - Kelsey Hepples - PRODUCTION & DESIGN Art Director Alice Joe Graphic Designers Liz Johnston Denise Higginson Jennifer Everts ACCOUNTING Tracy Greeno - Tara Campbell -

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTION Dome Garden Supply Holland Forge House N’ Garden Hydroponic Generations Plant Symbionts UK DISTRIBUTION Growth Technology Future Harvest Development Europe Nutriculture UK Direct Garden Supplies Dutch Pro Maxigro Hydrogarden CANADIAN DISTRIBUTION Brite-Lite Group Biofloral Eddis Wholesale Greenstar Plant Products Inc. Hydrotek MegaWatt Quality Wholesale USA DISTRIBUTION Aurora Innovations BWGS General Hydroponics Humboldt Wholesale Hydrofarm Hydro International National Garden Wholesale / Sunlight Supply R&M Supply Tradewinds


What is a good disinfectant to clean out hydroponic units that can be used while growing a crop? Thanks, John

There are many more people inoculating hydroponic systems with various microbe armies in today’s high-tech gardening environment. This is tempered by those people that feel the best way to run a hydroponic system is with zero tolerance to life forms, taking hydroponics back to its sterile roots. There is definitely a case to be made in both circumstances. Remember that whichever approach you take, having a clean growing area is the key to success; dirty spaces and equipment will always develop more problems than those that are clean and organised. Since your question relates to the disinfecting approach, let’s start there. When choosing the disinfecting route, there are a couple of options that can be useful while actively growing. An option that is popular with growers is the use of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can act as a disinfectant as it disassociates into water and free oxygen. This disinfecting effect will be temporary and might only last a few hours. Be cautious when using this substance, however, especially when diluting high concentrations in water. A better option would be a type of continuous disinfection, rather than a staggered application of hydrogen peroxide. If you are concerned about water contaminants, you might want to consider installing an inline UV sterilising system placed between the reservoir and the hydroponic units. A small bulb blasts the water with UV light as it passes through the filter. As long as this type of unit is well-maintained, it will virtually eliminate all biological issues within your water supply. Whether you are culturing helpful biology or banishing all biology, in both situations you want to be sure to focus on 10

Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

dissolved oxygen levels since most pathogenic organisms thrive in low-oxygen environments. This is directly related to water circulation and temperature, so ensuring water movement and low temperatures will both help dissolved oxygen. Also consider the use of supplemental oxygen supply, ranging in sophistication from air pumps to electrolysis systems. Something that more gardeners are attempting is to bring specific biology into their system. The concept behind this is to inoculate with beneficial organisms that will displace or outcompete undesirable ones. This is a delicate process that is gaining more traction, and for good reason; it can be very effective. There are a variety of bacterial- and fungal-based products available in the market. These organisms are generally quite aggressive and will form what is called a biofilm on roots, thereby protecting the plants by essentially creating a perimeter shield. These organisms secrete all sorts of substances that can do much more that protect your plant. Check with your local shop to learn more about biological inoculants. Part of what makes organisms effective is their release of enzymes, which break down unwanted material. It is also possible to take advantage of enzyme-based products, which will do a great job cleaning up a system without adding biology into your set-up. There are several quality options, so research this opportunity if you don’t want to look at a living army in your water. Above all else, remember to take the time to scrub down your equipment and growing area between cycles. If you don’t, you might be setting yourself up for problems. MY


hydroponic news, tips and trivia

MAXFACTS hydroponic news, tips and trivia AUSVEG Supports Coles’ Commitment to Australian-grown Vegetables AUSVEG, the peak industry body for Australia’s vegetable and potato growers, has endorsed Coles supermarkets’ support initiative of the nation’s vegetable growers. Coles has announced that all 30 lines of their house-brand frozen vegetables will be sourced from Australian growers. “Consumer studies have shown that 80% of people want to purchase Australian produce and support their local farmers. Today’s announcement is an excellent step towards giving the consumer the choice to make those decisions,” said AUSVEG public affairs manager William Churchill. Last year imported vegetables reached a record high of $651 million of produce being brought into Australia, with $231 million of that being frozen vegetables. “We’ve steadily seen an erosion of Australian produce in the frozen vegetable sector as domestic growers are unable to compete against cheap imports without assistance. Thanks to this new partnership…local growers now have a fighting chance,” said Mr. Churchill. Coles’ support of local growers has ensured that about $40 million of frozen vegetable sales are going to be supporting local vegetable farmers. (Source:

2012 VET Outbound Mobility Project Chisholm Institute of Tafe is sending four Victorian horticulture students to Holland and the UK to investigate the industry’s newest technology and to discover the future of hydroponics and indoor gardening. They will be gone from September 8 to 16. Each student will maintain a personal blog and the head teacher will upkeep a generic blog of the trip; you can follow their adventures at The four lucky Victorian horticulture students—Kate George, Stuart Abela, Kate Penny and Will McIntosh—set to take on Europe.

Plants Could Use Light Even More Effectively for Food Production

Scientists from Wageningen University have concluded that it is possible to develop plants that produce even more food by reducing the level of pigments that make no contribution to photosynthesis. This discovery mainly applies to protected cultivation, such as in greenhouses, as at least some of the non-photosynthetic pigments have a protective function. (Source:


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

“Purple Wonders” Almost Ready for Market A scientist at Cornell University has developed a new commercial strawberry variety—the “Purple Wonder”—that is said to be the darkest in colour ever. The new fruits start off white but develop to a deep burgundy shade all the way through the berry as they mature. The new strawberry was developed in association with Burpees and a plant patent will be filed on it later this year. (Source:

Photo credit: Michael Lamond PCA secretary Saskia Blanch with former chairman Graeme Smith receiving a lifetime membership to the PCA from new chairman Marcus Brandsema

Talking About the Future

Carbon-Neutral Coffee Company República Coffee, known for its organic and Fair Trade products, has become the first Australian food company to be certified “carbon neutral” by Low Carbon Australia. The Carbon Neutral Program is a voluntary plan that encourages Australian businesses to measure, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with business operations or products. The program is administered by an organization called Low Carbon Australia, on behalf of the Australian Government. To attain carbon neutrality, República Coffee reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by recycling paper and cardboard, changing the company vehicle to a more efficient model, reducing lighting usage, purchasing an energy-efficient photocopier/printer and turning off computers when they are not in use. (Source:

The Hydroponic Farmers Federation (HFF) held their biennial conference in Ballarat this past July. They focused on the future of hydroponic businesses and addressed some of the troublesome issues that all farmers will face in the future. Talks included the introduction of the carbon tax and how it will affect growers, the availability of government grants, labour recruitment, sourcing alternate energy sources, carbon farming in intensive greenhouse horticulture, organic hydroponics, year-round berry fruit production, the profitability of upgrading a low-tech greenhouse site to a high-tech site and controlling cost input for the commercial market. The trade exhibition gave growers the chance to learn about new glasshouse management technology, the opportunity to catch up with Tony Bundock and learn how the Chisholm Glasshouse can train their management and staff, and the occasion to meet medium suppliers, equipment wholesalers and glasshouse builders. Representatives were also on hand from Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) and, of course, the HFF to answer any questions that arose. The biggest news to come out of this year’s HFF conference, however, was the announcement that Chairman Graeme Smith was retiring and handing the keys of PCA over to Marcus Brandsema. Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012




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

Bluelab’s Carry Case: Convenient, Functional, Protective Bluelab is excited to introduce a new accessory that makes transporting and using our meters even easier. The Bluelab Carry Case provides a custom fit so you can use and read your Bluelab Meter right from the carry case. A firm outer casing also offers impact reduction for your meter. There are two pockets in the top of the case especially made for meter probes. The internal strap is a tidy way to tuck away the probe cables. Removable and adjustable straps provide even more comfort and convenience. The strap can be hung on the wall or used over your shoulder, keeping the meter safe and dry while only the probes go into the nutrient container (in-between use, we recommend placing dry probes into the pockets). Visit your favourite hydroponics shop to learn more.

Announcing House & Garden’s Multi Zyme

Introducing Xtreme Boost

House & Garden Multi Zyme is a useful growth stimulator, rich in enzymes, co-enzymes and vitamins. Multi Zyme accelerates and simplifies the growth process. It breaks down and dissolves dead root material when watered and also increases the plant’s resistance to pests and disease. Enzymes convert nutrients into chunks that can be readily absorbed by the plant. For more information and to purchase House & Garden’s Multi Zyme, visit your favourite hydroponics shop.

Xtreme Boost consists of 23 different proteins, natural flowering hormones and vitamins, and organic macroand micronutrients from kelp and vegetable matter. This was specifically designed for the flowering and ripening of your plants. Xtreme Boost enhances metabolic growth, stimulates bud development, promotes enzyme production, improves resistant to disease, encourages fruit swelling and increases essential oils. For more information, visit your local indoor gardening retailer.

Sunlight Supply’s Hydro Flow Sunlight Supply®, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of the Hydro Flow. Hydro Flow is a new line of irrigation fittings that offers strength and durability. Our complete line of fittings is known for its superior performance and reliability. Hydro Flow offers every fitting needed for any indoor or outdoor gardening application. Our exclusive soft-feel fittings use a special plastic resin that makes them friendly to the hand and fingers, without sharp edges. These non-corrosive plastic fittings are guaranteed to provide a secure, watertight and airtight connection. For more information, visit your local indoor gardening retail shop.


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Introducing EZI-ROOT Hormone Solution EZI-ROOT hormone solution is a unique, scientifically formulated rooting hormone that provides a superior strike of cuttings—both hardwood and softwood. EZI-ROOT contains hormones NAA and IBA, which, in combination, are generally more effective across a wide range of species than IBA alone. EZI-ROOT doesn’t use alcohol to dissolve the hormones; therefore, it’s non-phytotoxic to plants. Instead, it contains a wetting agent that helps break down the surface tension, wax and sap, resulting in more effective delivery of the hormones to the cutting. EZI-ROOT is used on a wide range of native crops from Western Australia to Queensland and is approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). EZI-ROOT is now available in all good hydroponic retail stores.

Announcing Bluelab’s New Soil pH Pen Bluelab’s newest hand-held meter, the clever Soil pH Pen, will help you manage the success of soil-grown crops. In soils or growing media, pH strongly influences the availability of nutrients and the presence of microorganisms and plants in the soil. Now you can closely monitor and adjust pH levels right from the palm of your hand for optimum plant health and performance. Use the sturdy and removable dibber to create a hole in soils and media, and the Soil pH Pen will provide a pH and temperature reading (in either degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius) of soils and media, so you know that the right nutrients will be made available to your plants. This pen will also measure solutions. Visit your favourite hydroponics shop to learn more.

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012



Fast Fit™ Tray Stand Sunlight Supply®, Inc. is pleased to announce the arrival of the Fast Fit™ Tray and Light Stands. These revolutionary “no hassle” tool-less light and tray stands allow for quick and simple assembly in minutes. Designed and engineered for the pieces to simply slide together, the Fast Fit is truly a pioneer in the industry. The Fast Fit Tray Stands were created with heavy-duty steel and interlocking components. The simplicity makes it easy to configure. Never mess with nuts, bolts, wrenches or screwdrivers again with Fast Fit. Accommodates popular brand trays and reservoirs. Assorted add-on options available for many configurations and uses. Patent pending. Visit your nearest indoor gardening shop for more information.

Introducing Xtreme Juice

The Digital Revolution is Here—Introducing Quantum Digital Ballasts

Xtreme Juice contains 14 identified bacilli (mainly nitrogen fixers that convert ammonium, nitrate and nitrates to a plant-available form) and 72 macro- and micronutrients. It also produces a large variation of enzymes, recycles organic matters in soil and increases soil microbial activity as food source for bacteria. Finally, Xtreme Juice increases efficiency of mineral fertilisers, helps retain moisture and forms biofilms in the root zone. For more information, visit your local indoor gardening retailer.

The 600 W dimmable electronic ballast from Quantum Horticulture, hugely popular in the United States, is now available in Australia complete with a three-year warranty.The Quantum 600 W can run at 100%, 75% and 50%, and is ideal for hardening off new plants.The Quantum 600 W strikes both HPS and MH lamps, runs 15% cooler than other electronic ballasts and has a stable frequency range. Digital ballasts, unlike old-style magnetic ballasts, eliminate lamp flicker and utilise the maximum power available to power the light source. Give your plants the best light source available. Get yours today and see the difference. Available now at all good hydroponic stores.

Super Sprouter’s Propagation Station Start your growing season early with everything you need to start your seedlings. The Super Sprouter Propagation Station includes a 25.40 by 53.34 cm Super Sprouter Seedling Heat Mat®, a 72-site Seed Cell Tray Insert, a 25.40 by 50.80 cm Propagation Tray, a humidity-controlled 17.78 cm NGW® Propagation Dome with vents and one Clonex® Cloning Gel packet. It is proven that seeds grow better with ambient temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above room temperature. The Super Sprouter Seedling Heat Mat® will provide even, warm temperatures for your plant starts, and the dome will give your plants more room to grow and offers humidity control. Visit your local hydroponics store for more information.


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Introducing Xtreme Veg Xtreme Veg is an all-in-one root and growth stimulator, made from organic matter and kelp, for all stages of plant growth. Xtreme Veg consists of 23 different proteins, natural growth hormones and vitamins. Xtreme Veg stimulates explosive root growth and promotes larger leaves, thicker stems and enzyme production; enhances plant health; increases plant tolerance to stress conditions; and protects the plant from harmful diseases. As it strengthens the plant’s natural immune system, it guarantees the fastest and healthiest start for your plant. For more information, visit your local indoor gardening retailer.

Introducing the Cutting-edge Nano Lux Digital Ballast The new Nano Digital Ballast uses cutting-edge circuit board technology, making it less than ½ the size and ¼ the weight of a standard digital ballast but retaining all the features. The soft start and soft dim features ensure maximised light usage without wasted lumens. The Nano runs 20% cooler than any other ballast while still providing the brightest PAR light output available. This cutting-edge ballast has the ability to run both HPS and MH lamps, and gives an energy savings of up to 30% compared to magnetic ballasts. This ballast is the new standard in the industry and has the most stable output frequency while eliminating lamp flicker. Ask for the Nano Ballast at your local hydroponic shop.

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


Nutrients: Beyond Micros and Macros


BY Beyond Macros and Micros

Dr. Lynette Morgan

by Dr. Lynette Morgan

The nutrient solution is the foundation on which hydroponic plant growth is based. Its composition, in terms of essential nutrient ions, oxygen, microbial life and other beneficial elements, determines the health and growth rate of your plants…

May/June ‘10 UK & CAN 4 to 4.5 pages

While most growers are familiar with the essential macro and micro elements required for crop growth, plant matter has been found to contain well over 60 elements and soils are typically composed largely of aluminium (Al), silicon (Si) and iron (Fe). Plant tissue has been found to contain elements as diverse as lead (Pb), gold (Au), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), uranium (U), sodium (Na) and many others, and the levels of these often reflect those found in the soil. In hydroponics, it has been found that plants will absorb and accumulate numerous non-essential elements from the nutrient solution; however, being non-essential does not necessarily mean these extra elements are not beneficial to different plant species. Most of the potentially beneficial elements only need to be present in the nutrient solution or root zone in such minute


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

quantities that some find their way into the plant’s environment through natural means: water supplies, growing substrates or even as dust in the air. With many of the beneficial elements required at just a fraction of a part per million (there is such a fine line between a safe amount and toxicity), the best method of incorporating these into a nutrient solution is with the use of commercially prepared hydroponic supplements, many of which are organically based. Available nutrient concentrates feature a number of the proven beneficial elements, such as selenium (Se), nickel (Ni) and others, as well as a good balance of the essential macro- and micronutrients. In the future, we can expect to see the range of beneficial elements in commercially prepared nutrients increase as scientists uncover more of the secrets of advanced plant nutrition.

Tomato plants have been found to respond well to supplements of silicon and titanium.

Why incorporate nutrient supplements? Many studies have demonstrated that certain non-essential elements have beneficial effects on the growth and development of many plant species. In fact, it is likely that additional essential micro elements will be identified in the future (especially from those that are currently only required in extremely low levels and thus difficult to identify and quantify). Secondly, many hydroponic growers are interested in the health-giving properties of the fruits and vegetables they produce and there is a growing area of research “Plant matter has been into supplementing some found to contain well over of the human essential 60 elements as diverse as elements into plant lead, gold, mercury, arsenic, material. Although plants uranium and sodium.” need a certain diet of their own essential nutrients, humans require many others. We obtain these nutrients from our food, and while many are present in animal products, we get certain amounts from eating plants. Many of the crops we eat contain the extra elements we need, although they aren’t essential for the plant itself. There has been some concern that hydroponic crops grown with carefully formulated, salt-fertiliser-based nutrients don’t contain the full range of extra elements required for a healthy diet. This is not entirely correct, as most water sources contain small amounts of numerous minerals found in soils. These do find their way into hydroponic crops in quantities comparable to well-grown field crops. However, the hydroponic nutrient solution can be boosted with small amounts of the same potentially beneficial nutrient elements found in healthy soils. This, in many cases, will then produce more nutritionally complete fruits and vegetables than those grown in many heavily cropped soil systems.

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


Nutrients—beyond macros and micros The use of soluble forms of silicon as an additive in hydroponics is not new; many cucumber and rose growers are aware of the benefits of adding silicon to the nutrient solution, whether it is in an organic or non-organic form. Silicon in cucumbers, for example, reduces the incidence and severity of powdery mildew and other fungi. Silicon contributes to the strength and thickness of cell walls, helping to keep leaves in a good position for good light interception and to resist attacks by fungi and insects. Silicon also assists with the absorption and translocation of several macro- and micronutrients and plays a role in allowing plants to survive and thrive in adverse growing conditions, such as high salinity or excess elements in the solution or soil. Silicon in solution should, however, not be considered a micro element; levels as high as 140 ppm have been shown to have the most significant results since silicon is naturally found in many plant tissues at up to 10% or higher (dry weight). In the past silicon has been a difficult element to supply at high rates in hydroponic nutrient solutions. Chemical forms, such as potassium metasilicate, not only have a very high pH, but tend to form a glassy-like substance, which blocks drippers and emitters when the enriched nutrient solution comes into contact with the air. These days more forms of silicon are available on the hydroponic market and nutrient products and supplements containing silicon as a macro element are readily available and easy to use.

Different plant species often vary in their response to many beneficial nutrients and supplements.

Human nutrition can be improved by having plants naturally incorporate human beneficial elements into their tissue at increased levels. This way, they are incorporated into plant tissue in a much more biologically active form, which is more suited to human intake. For example, hydroponic garlic grown in Se-enriched nutrient solution has been shown to have potent anti-cancer properties, which are a consequence of the form of selenium that develops inside plant tissue. The potential for enrichment of human diets with beneficial elements and organic supplements in hydroponic crop production is huge and something that even small growers can take advantage of. Silicon: The missing macro element Silicon (Si) is much more than a trace element in many plant species. In fact silicon is considered to be a beneficial macro element for many crops with a wide range of benefits for hydroponic crop production. Several plants need silicon for growth including rice, sugar cane and tomatoes. Silicon is transported from the roots and travels up to the shoot in the xylem vessels and is deposited mainly as hydrated silicon dioxide or as polysilicic acid. Once silicon has been incorporated into plant issue in this form, it can’t be redistributed throughout the plant, so it needs to be in constant supply if the entire plant is to contain a useful amount.


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Use of beneficial nutrients in crops like wheatgrass, grown for their healthgiving properties, might give an extra boost to human nutrition.

Hydroponic garlic might be one crop where health-giving compounds can be intensified with the use of advanced plant nutrition.

Beneficial micronutrients Some of the beneficial micronutrient supplements have undergone considerable investigation by scientists, while others are only just being looked into. Aluminium has been shown to be particularly beneficial when supplied at low concentration to plants species adapted to acidic soils. Tea plants show increased antioxidant properties and increased growth in the presence of Al in the root zone. Cobalt concentrations in plants are typically in the range 0.1 to 10 ppm on a dry-weight basis and Co is often found in low levels in natural water sources (0.04 ppm). At low levels, Co can have a number of beneficial effects in leguminous plants “Like humans, plants like peas where application need a certain diet of of eight ppm increases their own essential growth, nodule number and nutrients.” weight, as well as seed pod yield and quality. Cobalt might also play a role in slowing leaf aging and disease resistance in some species. Since Co is also essential for human health, addition of this element to nutrient solutions can enhance the nutritional quality of hydroponic food. While Se enrichment of food crops for human health has been an area of recent study, Se might also have a beneficial role in plant growth and development. Plant tissue contains less than one ppm of Se in most species; however, this element is chemically similar to sulphur, a plant macro element, and appears to be metabolized via the same mechanisms. Trace amounts of Se have been found to stimulate growth in a variety of plant species (including ryegrass, lettuce and potato) and to provide the plants with more resistance to ultraviolet radiation. There is also evidence that boosting levels of this element in hydroponically grown plants can help protect from biotic stress, such as fungal diseases. Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


Nutrients—beyond macros and micros

Potato growth has been found to be stimulated by the addition of trace amounts of selenium.

Hydroponic garlic grown in selenium-enriched nutrient solution has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Titanium (Ti) is another element whose role in plant development and metabolism has been studied for over 90 years. While plant tissue is generally low in Ti content, being 0.1 to 10 ppm on average, this element is present in soil in relatively high concentrations. Studies have found that the chlorophyll content of hydroponic tomato plants increased when Ti was added. When maize was provided with this element in solution, the yield increased by 25 to 30% and the concentration of sugars in the grain also rose. Another interesting potential beneficial element is iodine (I). Iodine has been found to stimulate the synthesis of cellulose and the lignification of the stem tissue that helps the mechanical strengthening of the plant. Iodine has also been found to increase the concentration of ascorbic acid in plants and the amount of total free amino acids in crops grown in solution culture. Iodine seems to increase salt tolerance in plants by facilitating a lower chlorine uptake. Other beneficial elements that might play a role in plant growth and development include silver (Ag), cerium (Ce), chromium (Cr), lanthanum (La), rubidium (Rb), tin (Sn), serium

(Sr), vanadium (V) and tungsten (W). It is likely there are other elements whose quantities in plant tissue are so minute it is hard to quantify their role or presence, but will lead to some exciting discoveries in plant nutrition in years to come.

Hydroponic nutrient supplements come in a range of forms ready for use in even the smallest systems.

Cucumbers are a crop well known to respond to high levels of silicon.


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Organic nutrient supplements While individual beneficial elements can be added to nutrient products in fairly precise quantities via the use of fertiliser salts, they can also be supplemented with organic additives and mineral products. Organic concentrates derived from natural materials contain a wide spectrum of elements, including levels of macronutrients, micronutrients and beneficial trace minerals. Organic supplements might not be as precise as using fertiliser salts of beneficial elements; however, good-quality products are likely to contain a wide range of beneficial elements and potentially other growth-promoting compounds like humic and fulvic acids. Seaweed, for example, contains a wide range of minerals, some of which are known to be beneficial for plant growth and disease resistance. However, many decades ago, scientists

Silicon can assist with reducing the incidence and severity of powdery mildew in crops such as cucumbers and roses.

also found that naturally occurring cytokinins in seaweed could provide a growth stimulator effect. The level of naturally occurring cytokinins and the growth effects are, of course, largely dependant on the species and source of seaweed and obtaining a stable extract for use in hydroponics. However, extracts of certain species of seaweed have been shown to improve root and shoot growth and improve stress resistance in some crops by increasing the natural production of antioxidants in the plant. Compost and vermicast-based extracts might also have the added advantage of boosting beneficial microbe levels in the root zone and provide a wide range of beneficial elements. Natural mineral, clay or earth extract products have been available for boosting the menu of elements for hydroponic plants for many years. These are a good way of safely incorporating rarer elements into nutrient solutions, although they should be considered a slow release form of supplement. MY References P Tlustos et al. “The role of titanium in biomass production and its influence on essential contents in field grown crops.” Plant and Soil Enviro, no. 1 (2005): 50, 19-25. EAH Pilon-Smits et al. “Physiological functions of beneficial elements.” Current Opinion in Plant Biology (2009): 12:267-274. E Diatloff et al. “Rare earth elements and plant growth II. Responses of corn and mungbean to low concentrations of lanthanum in dilute, continuously flowing nutrient solutions.” Journal of Plant Nutrition (1995): 18(10) 1977-1989. C M Steveni et al. “Effect of seaweed concentrate on hydroponically grown spring barley.” Journal of Applied Psychology no. 4 (1992): 173-180.

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


The Complexities of Defining and Measuring Light Energy by Eric Hopper

Light is light, right? Well, human eyes perceive light as colour, with each shade corresponding to a different wavelength. However, there are also some light waves that have frequencies too high or low for us to see. Light, it seems, is pretty darn complex‌ 24

Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Light energy is an extremely complex property to measure. In order to better understand light energy and its relation to our world, we have developed many ways to quantify light. Light measuring terminology Luminous intensity: a measurement of the light power emitted from a point source within a solid angle of one steradian (light is emitted in a spherical shape and a steradian is a cone section of the sphere used as a standard unit of measurement, stemming from the point of luminance). Luminous flux: the measurement of the perceived power of light. The unit of measurement for luminous flux is the lumen (lm). Lumen: unit of measure for luminous flux. One lumen represents the luminous flux of light produced by a light source that emits one candela of luminous intensity over a solid angle of one steradian. Candela: unit of luminous intensity based on the standard luminous intensity per square centimetre of a blackbody radiating at the temperature of solidification of platinum (2,046ºK). One candela equals 1/60th of the luminous intensity as the standard blackbody intensity. Lumens are for humans: The luminosity function

For me, and many others, the common terminology used for light measurement is just downright confusing. The good news is that only a basic understanding of lumen-based measurement needs to be had to evaluate horticultural lighting sources for their effectiveness on photosynthesis. The most important concept to understand is the concept of the luminosity function, which is the standardized model of the human eye’s sensitivity to different wavelengths. Lumens, candela, luminous flux and luminous intensity are all intertwined and

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


The Complexities of Defining and Measuring Light Energy

weighted by the luminosity function. What this means is all lumen-based measurements are structured around a human’s ability to perceive light. What is most interesting about luminosity function, however, is that a human’s perception of light differs greatly from a plant’s perception of light. The human eye is extremely sensitive to green and yellow wavelengths. In fact, the way we perceive the brightness of a light source depends on the amount of green and yellow light emitted from that source. Plants, on the other hand, reflect most green light and use only a small portion of yellow light for photosynthesis. Wavelengths and colour The most common way we define light colour is by its wavelength and the most common way to express light wavelength measurements is in nanometres (nm), which is one billionth of a metre. Humans have a visible spectrum of 380 to 780 nm, which accounts for all of the colours we see. Light wavelengths measuring below 380 nm are considered ultraviolet and light wavelengths that measure above 780 nm are considered infrared. The human eye is most sensitive to 550 nm (green light).

the 410 to 460 nm range (blue light) and the 630 to 670 nm range (red light). These two ranges of absorbable wavelengths of light are known as photosynthetically active radiation, or PAR.

“all lumenbased measurements are structured around a human’s ability to perceive light.”

PAR is for plants Most plants appear green to our eyes because they are reflecting green light, not absorbing it. Plants possess a special molecule known as chlorophyll, which absorbs sunlight and uses its energy to synthesise CO2 and water (using the process known as photosynthesis). Interestingly, chlorophyll—which actually gives the plant its green colour—uses a relatively small portion of the visible light spectrum. The two types of chlorophyll (a and b) absorb ligh in 26

Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Measuring light for horticultural purposes

When measuring the amount of usable light for photosynthesis, we need to measure a light source’s PAR output. Thankfully, the indoor horticultural industry has answered the call for plant-specific light measuring devices and has started to introduce PAR-specific light meters. Most of these meters give a measurement of the total amount of light energy being produced in the 400 to 600 nm range. These meters are not perfect, however; they fail to exclude the 170 nm of mostly unusable light between 460 and 630 nm and they don’t take into consideration the peak nanometres of absorption for chlorophyll

a and b. Nonetheless, these meters bring us toward a new era of light measurement devices for the hobbyist horticulturist and give the consumer the ability to compare available lighting technologies to each other. When using a PAR meter, a grower can compare bulbs by their spectral output instead of just a perceived brightness. Eventually, even more accurate measuring devices (like nanometre-specific sensors) will be available at a reasonable cost and offer indoor gardeners a comprehensive analysis of their lighting in terms of PAR output. Also, don’t throw away that old candela or luminous flux meter. Although these meters won’t tell you the amount of usable PAR energy emitted from a light source, they can still be used as a comparative tool in your indoor garden. For example, a luminous flux or candela meter could be valuable in determining beneficial cross patterns from reflectors, determining the best light footprint, measuring the effectiveness of reflective materials for light diffusion, etc. Colour temperature— Kelvin

Kelvin is actually a unit of temperature measurement, but it is also used to represent colour in regards to lighting applications. The Kelvin colour temperature scale is determined by corresponding temperature with the colour emitted by a blackbody object as it is heated. This scale is a common method of rating horticultural bulbs for their peak colour output, and many horticultural bulbs are intended for a specific purpose that can be represented by their Kelvin rating. For example, high pressure sodium with a 3,000 K (red light) is commonly used in a fruiting or blooming room where a peak in red light would enhance ripening. Another example would be a

specialty metal halide bulb with a 7,000 K (blue light) rating, which is used specifically for vigorous vegetative growth.You’ll find most horticultural bulbs have a Kelvin rating in the blue or red spectral range. Again, this is to target the specific wavelengths used for photosynthesis. However, it’s important to note that these bulbs emit a full spectrum of colours, not just the colour represented by the Kelvin scale. Although the Kelvin colour temperature scale is used to represent colour output, it does not define a specific wavelength; therefore, it is not interchangeable or convertible with nanometres. Ultraviolet (UV)

Although plants only use specific wavelengths for photosynthesis, scientists believe that other light spectrums could also benefit plants. In fact, there have already been many discoveries that link certain light wavelengths to beneficial organisms and hormonal responses within plants. Ultraviolet light, for example, can cause hormonal changes that directly affect the structural growth of many plants. Some plants have even evolved specific oils for protection against UV lighting or to reverse the light’s negative effects. Some scientists also believe ultraviolet light is key for young plants to build resistances to harmful bacteria and other pathogens. Over millions and millions of years, plants have not only evolved their shape, but also the way they absorb and are altered by light energy. One example is the chlorophyll molecules that allow them to absorb particular wavelengths for photosynthesis. Although we have yet to fully understand the way plant evolution is linked with light energy, we do know that a plant’s perception of light cannot be broken down to a single denominator or measured by the perceived brightness of a light source. Our science to measure light is evolving and as our knowledge of light energy in relation to plant functions expands and evolves, so will the technology used to measure it. MY Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


Organic Nutrients for a



In the quest for a sustainable future, it is not enough to simply grow our own food. We must also grow in a knowledgeable, responsible and environmentally friendly way using appropriate systems, growing mediums, nutrients and more‌ 30

Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

by Matt LeBannister

organic nutrients for a sustainable tomorrow

"Seaweed and kelp grow in vast underwater forests and can be harvested from the ocean, grown naturally or farmed, or can be gathered off beaches as they inevitably wash ashore." Everyone wants a sustainable future to live in and we, as gardeners, tend to strive toward this goal in our own ways. There are always some choices that are better than others—certain lights are more energy efficient than others, a number of greenhouses allow us to use the sun’s energy to provide light and heat, and some growing mediums are reusable and sustainable. This article is going to focus on a different, yet related, area: organic, sustainable nutrients.

Seaweed and kelp One such organic sustainable nutrient is seaweed, including the large brown variety known as kelp. Seaweed and kelp grow in vast underwater forests and can be harvested from the ocean, grown naturally or farmed, or can be gathered off beaches as they inevitably wash ashore. Since seaweed is extremely fast growing and does not harm native species—in fact, many animals feed, live and raise their young in dense kelp forests—these underwater plants are ideal candidates for a sustainable source of organic nutrients for the indoor garden. However, seaweed- and kelp-based organic nutrients are not only just a great choice because of how environmentally friendly they are. They are also full of what plants need. While having insignificant NPK levels, kelp-based nutrients


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

do contain over 70 essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and plant hormones. This is what enables kelp to grow half a metre a day, reaching lengths exceeding 30 m. These fertilisers also contain natural antibiotic properties that can suppress harmful bacteria while promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. Organic, kelp-based fertilisers help facilitate the uptake of nutrients and can help relieve the stress in cuttings and plants after being transplanted. It is possible to dry seaweed and kelp into meal that can be mixed into your growing medium. There are also many liquid forms of seaweed-based fertilisers that are water-soluble, which can easily be added to a hydroponic reservoir, hand watered into planters or foliar sprayed. A benefit to liquid kelp-based fertilisers is that they are assimilated by the plants immediately, while kelp and seaweed meal can take up to a month or more to be assimilated by plants.

Seabird guano

Seabird guano is an organic nutrient that is sustainable and can be collected with minimal disturbance to the wildlife and ecosystem. Seabird guano—the droppings of fish-eating seabirds—is high in nitrogen, phosphorous and calcium, with an average NPK around 10-10-3. The best seabird guano comes from Chile and Peru, where the Humboldt current along the coast keeps the rains away and prevents the decomposition of the guano. Seabird guano is water-soluble and has little odour,

Maximum Maximum Yield  | September/October Yield  | July/August 2012


organic nutrients for a sustainable tomorrow

and can be assimilated by plants in one to four months when applied in powder form. For use in hydroponic systems or for quicker assimilation, liquid seabird-guano-based fertilisers are recommended. Or, as a DIY project, you can wrap powdered seabird guano in a nylon stocking and soak it in a bucket for one to three days to make your own liquid fertiliser that won’t clog pumps or drippers in hydroponic garden systems.

Worm castings Worm castings—also known as vermicompost or worm humus—are the organic materials that have been digested by worms. Nutrient levels vary depending on what the worms have been fed, but there is usually some nitrogen and many trace elements. Worm castings are an excellent choice because it won’t reach toxic levels of nitrogen and burn plants. They also promote healthy soil and beneficial bacteria and fungi. Worm castings should be used in conjunction with some other organic nutrient because vermicompost will help break it down, making the nutrients more easily assimilated by the plant. Worm castings can also be used to help soil and soilless mediums retain more water. However, worm castings are dense and can cause the medium to have poor aeration, so be careful not to over apply. Worm castings are an environmentally friendly option for an organic garden fertilizer because converting biowastes into a plant-friendly nutrient reduces the waste that goes to landfills. Worm castings are more readily available to plants than regular compost, which can take years before it is safe to use in a garden.

"Worm castings are also a cost-effective solution for plant nutrients that could be utilized by poorer nations and regions where soil conditions are less than ideal."


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Worm castings are also a cost-effective solution for plant nutrients that could be utilised by poorer nations and regions where soil conditions are less than ideal.

Fish emulsion Fish emulsion is a soluble liquid fertiliser made of fish waste that has been heat and acid processed. It contains many micronutrients, has an average NPK of 4-1-1, and releases nutrients quite fast. Fish emulsion is beneficial for tender plants like seedlings and cuttings, and can be top-watered used in a hydroponic solution or foliar sprayed. The only downside of fish emulsion is that is can smell pretty foul—even the brands that are “deodourised” can have a bad odour. Fish emulsion is a great sustainable source of organic nutrients for plants. With fish stocks steadily depleting, fish farming is becoming more common and the runoff water from these farms is loaded with fish emulsion. Indeed, many fish farms are collecting the runoff water, processing it and selling to indoor and commercial gardeners. Some farms are also turning to aquaponics to incorporate gardening into their system. Here, the runoff from the fish farms is pumped to greenhouses and hydroponic systems, providing plants with the nutrients they need to thrive. You can make your own fish emulsion if you have a fish tank at home. Whenever the water in the tank needs replacing, just use it to water your plants.

Making your own compost tea Another way to get a soluble organic fertiliser that is environmentally responsible is to make your own compost tea. By making it yourself, you can control exactly what is going into the substance. Some common ingredients are fish emulsion, soluble seaweed or kelp, molasses, worm castings, processed insect manure and seabird guano. To make your own compost tea, fill a nylon sock with your combination of

water-soluble organic nutrients and soak them for a few days in a bucket filled with water. The sock will filter out anything that might clog up pumps or drippers used in hydroponic systems. After a few days, the compost tea will be ready to be added to a hydroponic reservoir or diluted and top-watered. Another way to make compost tea is to get an old drip coffee maker (you can easily find one at thrift shops and reuse stores). Insert a coffee filter, add your water-soluble organic nutrient mix into the filter and run water through the coffee maker, just as you would when making coffee. The nutrient will percolate through the filter and you will end up with a coffee pot full of compost tea. A warning, however: making your own compost tea can stink, so it might be best to create it in a shed, the garage or on a porch or balcony. Nutrient contents will also vary, so testing with an EC or PPM meter will help you dilute the solution to a plant-safe level. Every choice we make has an effect on the world and those around us. There are consequences to our actions. Starting a garden is a step in the right direction, but we must always try to be better. Think of the where your plants’ nutrients come from and what effect harvesting or creating that nutrient might have on the ecosystem. Using organic nutrients from a sustainable source can make gardening that much more environmentally friendly and, gradually, lead to a better tomorrow. For references see MY Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012




Elemental Building blocks

of Growing by Chris Pianta

Fire, water, earth and soil used to be the building blocks of the world. While atoms and string theory have taken over their places in science, there’s no denying that the four elements still play a critical role in growing healthy plants…


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

In ancient Greek times, well before the concept of chemistry, physics and even basic agriculture, all matter in the world was made up of four primary elements: fire, water, earth and air. These four elements—not atoms, not string theory, not bending of the fabric of time or space—were the ancient building blocks of the world. Funny, these same four elements are the critical building blocks to healthy plants. The big four—fire (temperature), water (hydration), earth (soil) and air (porosity)—are the basics to a proper soil environment and, following that, healthy roots and plants. Humans have spent the better part of the last 100 years “improving” on nature in agriculture through chemistry. We have proven that with the right management, we can grow grass on concrete and plants in Styrofoam, but there is a price to pay for ignoring the basic four. Only recently have we realised that ignoring the basics results in a decline in soil health and quality.

Fortunately, we also grasped that properly utilising the assets nature provides us with—and understanding the relationship between the big four and soil microbes— will improve our crops’ quality, yield and sustainability. Physical amendments for native or manufactured soils are primarily used to adjust porosity, either by adding capillary or non-capillary pore space in the soil, in order to enhance water and air movement. This will also help regulate the thermo capacity of a soil, which does not transfer heat very well at all (hence why soil is a great insulator), and promotes the health and vigour of the flora and fauna growing in it. Chemical amendments add nutrients to the soil or adjust the soil acidity. Out in southeastern Australia, acidity is a major issue with native soils. A pH below 6.0 reduces the availability of nutrients, especially nitrogen, and results in poor appearance and growth. It is an annual rite of spring for homeowners to cover their lawns with pulverized or pelletised lime; after all, you will waste every dime you spend on fertilisers if your pH is not right. Biological amendments might be the “new” horizon, but they have been unknowingly used for centuries. As much as we loved (still love?) to use cow manure in the garden to help hold water and provide nutrients, it was really the power pack of microbes in the manure that result in the benefits to our plants. Soil microbes interact with plant roots symbiotically to promote cell development, the uptake of water and the absorption of nutrients. So, instead of using a “life is better with chemistry” thought process (with which all you do is add more fertilisers to get the results you need), it is clear that a properly biologically active soil can significantly reduce your need for fertilisers, and still produce a better plant. Our big four building blocks all play a role in our success as growers and horticulturalists, so don’t over think and don’t over tech a process that has worked successfully without human intervention for hundreds of millions of years. Keep it simple. Base your systems on what nature evolved the plant to grow in and you and your plants will see success. MY

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


Beyond the Basics:



Growing Systems With MIST

by Ryan M. Taylor

Hydroponic systems are traditionally classified according to the irrigation method employed, which can cause confusion to beginning growers. Ryan Taylor explains the MIST system, which classifies grow systems according to modularity, irrigation, substrate and technology. Believe it or not, I actually like my in-laws—since the time I began wooing their daughter, they have taken an active interest in my hydroponics career and have made me feel like part of their family. In other words, they are a far cry from the “monsters-in-law” cliché. Recently, they decided to build a hobby system of their own and it didn’t take long for them to become frustrated and call me for help.You see, hydroponic systems are typically named after the type of irrigation system they employ, regardless of the other features the system might include. Compounding this confusing tendency, readers might be talked into believing there is one best way to build a particular type of system.


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

I suspect that my in-laws are not alone among beginners in their level of confusion. If our industry is to continue to expand, we really need to develop a more useful and specific set of criteria with which to classify hydroponic growing systems—rather than just lumping them together based on the irrigation method they use. A set of four basic dimensions could be used to classify hydroponic growing systems, for instance, and each system could then be described according to how it employs each of these four dimensions. This classification protocol would make describing particular grow systems both simpler and more precise, and would go a long way toward dispelling the confusion faced by many new growers.

The MIST classification system MIST is an acronym that can be used to describe the four major dimensions of any growing system: modularity, irrigation, substrate and technology. Each dimension describes a particular aspect of the system, with each aspect represented as a continuum of possibilities between extremes. Modularity refers to the degree to which plants are interconnected by substrate and nutrient solution. At one extreme, plants are grown in individual pots, buckets or bags that are completely independent of one another. At the other extreme, plants are densely grown in beds or troughs—we refer to this arrangement as being “tightly coupled” because all the plants share the same substrate and nutrient solution. In between these two extremes is a virtually limitless array of arrangements where plants are “loosely coupled” between each other. One example might be a flood-and-drain system in which individual substrate-filled buckets are packed densely on a bed; in this case, the plants share irrigation solution but not the root substrate. Irrigation refers to the method of supplying water, nutrients and other growth aids to the plants. This is a complex dimension with many sub-dimensions, four of which are described below: • Flow describes whether the system solution is moving or stationary and the rate at which it changes.

• Level characterises the amount of solution in the root zone at a given time, ranging from a thin film to a deep basin. • Origin refers to the point at which solution is applied to the plant; major points of origin include foliar (leaf) feeding, top-feeding of the substrate and sub-irrigation from below the substrate. • Waste is a sub-dimension concerned with the use- ful life of the nutrient solution: systems are said to be open if solution passes through the root system just once before being discarded, whereas systems are closed if the solution is recirculated over the life of the crop—in practice, growers often use a hybrid strategy, combining solution add-backs with periodic replace- ment of the entire solution.

Substrate refers specifically to the growing media in the root zone. At one extreme, plant roots are grown without media at all, absorbing nutrient solution through misted air or by hanging in a periodically flooded chamber. More often than not, though, an inorganic or organic substrate is used to provide both anchorage and nutrient solution to the plant.

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


beyond the basics

Substrates are characterised by their qualities, including water holding capacity, porosity and cation exchange capacity. By creating a mix that balances these properties effectively, higher yields can be produced than with stand-alone substrates. Technology refers to the operational power of the system. Fully passive systems rely on manual aeration and irrigation of the nutrient solution, while fully active systems are automated with timers, water pumps, air pumps and so on. In practice, most systems use a combination of both passive and active modes, employing both grower-power and technology for system operations. The MIST classification system can help growers across all levels of expertise by providing them a useful framework for designing their own grow operations and allowing them to better understand the basic principles behind hydroponic systems and more critically evaluate the available literature. Although some combinations of system dimensions will work better than others, the possibilities are virtually infinite! MY

Dimension Modularity


Beyond the Basics *(From Mar/Apr ‘12 Aspect Minimum Hybrid Containers Independent Loosely Coupled CAN) Flow Static Mixed





Waste Substrate





Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012


BY Add Back + Discard None Inorganic/Organic Ryan M. Taylor Passive Selected

Table 1: The MIST Classification System


A hybrid substrate composed of a 50:50 mix of coco and LECA.

Top-feed Open


Maximum Tightly Coupled

Sub Closed Mixed Active

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Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


growers know



Tissue Culture


Nico van Rooijen in Majestic Selections Mother stock herb house.



Who: Magestic Solutions Where: 461 Heatherton Rd., Clayton South, Victoria, 3169 What: Tissue culture breeders and

tissue culture plug producers of dianellas, aloe, lomandra, liriope, agapanthus, cordylines and more; seedling plug producers and herb plantlet plug producers. GROWERS KNOW


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

by Raquel Neofit


Eighteen years ago, Nico van Rooijen created Majestic Selections to service the cut flower industry and to begin a battle to cultivate the umbrella fern, an untameable bush native. “We were exporting it [the umbrella fern], but I always thought it was sub-standard being picked in the bush. I always thought it could be better,” Nico says. So, he tried cultivating the fern through tissue culturing, a scientific process that uses antibiotics and precise nutrition to create a super healthy mother stock plant that, in turn, produces high-health clones. While the fight still rages between

this grower and that stubborn fern today, the venture did helped Nico win a different battle— a battle on the business front. He discovered a rising interest for other fern varieties for landscaping, and he knew the process of tissue culturing would be perfect for fulfilling this demand. “If you grow from seed, you get different heights, different widths and different colours, and when you look at the whole sweep, it looks dirty,” Nico says. “Whereas with tissue culture plants, they’re all even—same height, same colour same spread, and it looks like you’ve painted a canvas.”

“ provide WE CAN

& it’s just


believe. taken off LIKE YOU WOULDN’T

As time progressed, an opportunity presented for Nico to become involved in the laboratory side of things. After some initial research, Nico discovered there was a greater market for tissue culture plugs than for plantlets supplied in agar. Most nurseries couldn’t handle the hardening-off (or, acclimatisation) processes that tissue culture plantlets require. As such, it would be better value for smaller nurseries to buy plugs than to spend money on extra equipment. So, they developed Young Plants to specialise in seeds grown in plugs. “We can provide everything in the market, and it’s just taken off like you wouldn’t believe, but that’s because of our quality. It’s not because the market’s increasing,” Dianne Barr, Majestic’s operations manager, says. “We’re going through over 1,000 trays a week and we’ve only been running this business for two years,” adds Kelianne, Majestic’s master seeder.

Majestic property Majestic has three labs working on tissue cultures. They run labs in Thailand and Indonesia, but research and development is based in Victoria. This later property sits on about 20 acres, is home to about 100 glasshouses.

Gabi and Brooke prepare cuttings for plants.



As I’m studying little dianellas in the tissue culture deflasking station, Dianne fills me in on the purpose of tissue culture. “The only reason to really tissue culture plants is if there is no other way to grow them on mass,” she says. “If you can grow them by seed, you’d do it; but if you want a standard plant—all one particular characteristic and the same colour—that’s uniform, you’d do it by tissue culture.” Once deflasked, the plantlets are planted in a small plug tray with a mix of coco coir, perlite and “jungle juice,” Majestic’s own special blend of nutrients and hormones. And since majestic introduced biological controls, along with the IPM program, they haven’t sprayed for years. Next, the plantlets require hardening off before making their way out into the world. To do this, they are housed in heavy fog while they produce functioning roots. Since tissue cultures are cultivated in artificial environments, they need careful handling. The knowledge of when they are ready to be moved is a skill Dianne emphasises that a grower must have. “With tissue culture, you need the least amount of variables,” Dianne says.

Deflasked and planted in coco-filled plugs.

Looking to the future I ask Dianne how the bottom falling out of the building industry affected Majestic. “We thought we’d been smart and avoided the GFC, but it’s actually hit us a few years on,” she answers. However, Majestic is not worried. “The other thing is [that] normally, when people go through financial low times, they stop spending on holidays and things, and they nest [by] spending more time in the garden,” says Dianne. Majestic has also found veggie gardens becoming more popular now, and they believe the indoors will come back in vogue and the vertical garden market will keep growing. And looking to the future? There are lots of things Majestic wants to do in terms of building the business and expanding; in fact, they have another expansion planned for before the end of the year. As for Nico, the umbrella fern is still his dream. MY

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


talking shop

Richo’s 4 Hydro AT A GLANCE Company: Richo’s 4 Hydro Hydroponics Owners: Peter and Julie Richardson Location: Unit 7–22 Frankin Lane Joondalup, WA 6027 Phone: 08 93014462 Email: Motto: “We will help you grow, and hopefully we will grow.”

Julie and Peter Richardson, owners

Family-run for the Future Peter and Julie Richardson got into the hydroponics business through the advice of family and they’ve haven’t looked back. In fact, they’re looking forward… For the most part, it’s parents who help steer and support their children down a career path. For Peter and Julie Richardson, however, just the opposite occurred. “My daughter Samantha came back from living in New Zealand and said that growing hydroponically was very big there, and that we should open a store,” Peter remembers. Despite being a bricklayer for 35 years (Julie was his partner in this venture), Peter took the advice and did his research. There were not too many hydroponic shops in the local area,


Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

so he and Julie opened Richo’s 4 Hydro Hydroponics on April 1, 2011. The couple quickly found out that starting a brand-new business is not easy. First of all, their new store—located in a block of eight units—was an empty shell. So, they had to put in an office and shelving for all the products. Then there was the challenge of filling the shop with all the right products, at the right prices, and knowing all there was to know about that stock. “Knowledge of products is a must,” says Peter, who believes customers

are looking for good, friendly service and advice. As such, Richo’s focused on making knowledge of products and helpful advice its main strength. Currently, Richo’s 4 Hydro Hydroponics carries all types of equipment and accessories required by indoor gardeners. When it comes to brands, the shop currently stocks Canna, Hy-Gen, Dutch Master, and House and Garden, just to mention a few. Still, even with great products and good prices, running a shop six days a week, every week, with no breaks by themselves (and with the occasional help from daughters Samantha and Sarah) is tough. However, the biggest challenge in the whole start-up process continues to be informing customers about the business. Adverts in local papers and flyers, adverts in shops and word of mouth slowly helped

to start the business, but the Richardsons have found that a website is the key to building the company. “You must be able to advertise far and wide,” he explains. “I had one [a website] before, but it was not very good. I am now in the process of building a new one that I can sell online.” Yet, despite all the challenges, Peter and Julie are excited for what comes next for

their family-run business—they hope to expand in the future—and for hydroponics in general. “We feel that hydroponics is the way of the future with water being in short supply.” In fact, the team at Richo’s 4 Hydro Hydroponics has already started planting the seeds, as it were. They’ve approached a primary school and hope to introduce hydroponics there by the end of this year. MY

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


You Tell Us

Jim Ramsahai, general manager of Can-Filters B.V., talks to Maximum Yield about the company’s two market divisions, various brands and YouTube videos…

MAXIMUM YIELD (MY): How did Can-Filters get its start?

Jim Ramsahai: It all started with the fact that the brother of the owner was spraying cars in his backyard and he blew the polluted air outside. The neighbours, of course, started complaining; it all went to court. The judge decided he could still go on with this activity [but] he…had to find a solution for the polluted air. This all resulted in the first cylindrical filter with activated carbon. Now, 25 years later, Can-Filters is the standard [in regards to] filters, covering the whole world with locations in Holland, one in Canada and two in the United States. MY: Who is in charge of researching and developing new product ideas for the brand? Jim: We are continuously in the process of innovating and improving our products. It all starts with our sales people listening carefully to the clients, who tell them what they need. They [our sales people] communicate it with our research and development department. At the same time, we have an industrial division of Can-Filters… All the feedback we get from our industrial clients are processed for the benefit of the hydroponics markets as well. MY: Why do indoor gardeners need fans?

Jim: Fans are needed in growrooms for several reasons. Lighting causes heat and fans will remove the heat by refreshing the air. Plants transpire a lot; fans remove the water from the room. Plants consume carbon dioxide; you have to bring in fresh air for breathing. If you have odour concerns, fans in combination with Can-Filters will provide odour control. MY: What should growers be looking for

in a fan when shopping? Jim: First of all, you need a fan that fits your filter. Normally, we advise that a fan has 20% more capacity than the filter [it will be used with] in order to compensate for the pressure drop. Then, depending on the specifics of the garden and the money you want to spend, you have big choice. 48

Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

MY: What are the differences between Can-Filters, Can-Fan, Max-Fan and Can-Lite products?

Jim: “Can-Filters” is our brand name for filters. In our program, we have three different lines of filters: The Original Line, the 38-Special and the Lite Line. We are the only manufacturer providing palletised carbon (Original and 38-Special) and light carbon. Can-Fan is the brand name for our Germanbased ventilation system. In this program, we have different ventilation systems: Can-Fan, Max-Fan and ISOMAX. Can-Fan is the “normal ventilation” like the RK (plastic), RS (steel), RKW (temperature control) and the four-speed. These are all top German-manufactured ventilation systems with one rotor. Max-Fan is a patented, unique product that includes both a rotor and a stator. The rotor creates the airflow and the stator uses airplane aerodynamics technology to turn the swirl of the airflow into a beam, resulting in less friction with ducting and, therefore, a higher efficiency. For ISOMAX, we took the Max Fan and build a silencer around it. MY: What makes CanFilters “Simply the Best”? Jim: Our 25-year experience on markets all over the world, combined with our innovative attitude to improve all the time and…our experience in the mainstream industry. Lots of companies pretend they have an industrial division; we don’t pretend. We have an industrial division for more than 15 years and [it’s] still going strong.

“Can-Filters is the standard [in regards to] filters, covering the whole world with locations in Holland, one in Canada and two in the United States.” MY: What safety and efficiency concerns to growers need to be aware of? Jim: When you buy a fan, an easy-to-use wiring schedule is always included in the box. Position the fan in a way that no body parts are exposed to danger. Also, no fans on the floor; keep them out of water danger. We only sell electrically approved fans. The consumption is lower and, therefore, has better efficiency. MY: What kind of advice can indoor growers expect to gain from watching the videos on Can-Filters’ YouTube channel?

Jim: What we want the videos to [relay] is that there is lots of copy product on the market. Those products don’t deliver what they promise. A lot of the time, certain suppliers state capacities on boxes that are made up. With a simple test, we show to everybody the difference between quality products like ours and cheap, low-quality copies. MY: What innovative products and ideas can our readers expect from Can-Filters in the future? Jim: Can-Filters has always been the most innovative company in our segment of the market. Our mission statement has always been to look for the best products, using the technology of tomorrow in order to create products consumers love to use. We are now in the progress of releasing eight new filters on the markets all over the world…. in the Can-Fan range, we will introduce the next generation of Max Fans and ISOMAX within 12 months. MY Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


MAXIMUM YIELD distributors

AUSTRALIA ACT South Pacific Hydroponics #2 - 84 - 86 Wollongong St., Fyshwick ACT 2609 (02) 6239 2598 South Pacific Hydroponics 70 Oatley Court, Belconnen ACT 2617 (02) 6251 0600 NEW SOUTH WALES ABC Aquaculture 54 Wahroonga Road, Kanwal NSW 2259 (61) 2 4393 3131 ASE Hydroponics Factory 10/45 Leighton Pl., Hornsby NSW 2077 (02) 9477 3710 Ballina Hydro 3 Ray O’Niell Crescent, Ballina NSW 2478 (02) 6686 7321 Brunswick Hydro & Aquarium Supplies 19 Booyun Street, Brunswick Heads NSW 2483 (02) 6685 1552 Criscete Hydroponics and Organics Unit 2/15 Kam Close, Morisset, NSW 2264 (02) 4973 5779 Dr. Van Der Bloom’s Hydroponics Supplies 5/5 Forge Drive, Coff’s Harbour, NSW 2450 (02) 6651 9992 Dubbo Hydro & Tobacconist 42c Victoria Street, Dubbo West NSW 2830 (02) 6885 1616 Ezi Grow Hydro 177 Mt Druit Road, Mt Druitt NSW 2770 (02) 9832 1610 Ezi Grow Hydro 1B/340 Windsor Street, Richmond NSW 2753 (02) 4588 5826 Ezi Grow Hydro 56 Fish Parade, Bathurst NSW 2795 (02) 9832 1610 Ezi Grow Hydro - Head Office 18 Part Street, Eglinton NSW 2795 (02) 6337 1485 Favgro Hydroponics Growers 107 Glenella Road, Batehaven NSW 2536 (02) 4472 7165 Felanza - Hydroponics 140 Princess Highway, Arncliffe, NSW 2205 (02) 9556 1494 General Hydroponics 7/14 Sunnyholt Rd., Blacktown NSW 9676 (02) 9676 8682 Grow Australia Factory 1/5 Sefton Road, Thronleigh NSW 2120 (02) 9473 5000 Grow Your Own Unit 6/34 Alliance Ave, Morisset NSW 2264 (02) 4973 5179 Happy Grow Hydro 15/The Crescent Street, Penrith NSW 2750 (02) 4732 2870


Hobby Grow 6/46 Through Street, South Grafton NSW 2460 (04) 2283 8069 Home Harvest 423 Princess Highway, Rockdale NSW 2216 (02) 9567 8841 Hyalite Moorebank 6/376 Newsbridge Road, Moorebank NSW 2170 (02) 9824 3400 Hyalite Villawood 2/21 Birmingham Avenue, Villawood NSW 2163 (02) 9723 7199 Hydro Masta 100 Station Road, Seven Hills, Sydney NSW 2147 (02) 8812 2845 Hydro Masta Pty Ltd 76 Beecroft Road, Epping NSW 2121 (02) 9869 3011 Hydro Net 2/14 Aific Street, Long Jetty NSW 2261 (02) 4334 6955 Hydro Place 1/68 Nelson Street, Wallsend NSW 2287 (02) 4965 6595 Hydro Shop and Reptile Supplies 2/390 The Esplanade, Warners Bay NSW 2282 (02) 4958 1489 Hydro Shop Pty Ltd Unit 1/5-7 Channel Road, Mayfield West NSW 2304 (02) 4960 0707 Hydro Supplies 57 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 (02) 9326 0307 Hydro Wise B/385 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty NSW 2261 (02) 4333 5700 Hydroponics Grow All Year 14 Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 (02) 6921 5911 Hygrow Horticulture (Greenlite) 252 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction NSW 2022 (02) 9369 3928 Indoor Sun Shop 745 Victoria Road, Top Ryde NSW 2112 (02) 9808 6511 Indoor Sun Shop Unit 2/109 Junction Road, Moorebank NSW 2170 (02) 9822 4700 International Fans PO Box 120, St. Mary’s NSW 2760 (02) 9833 7500 Kyper’s Tools and Hydroponics Stuart & Tincogan Sts, Mullumbimby NSW 2482 (02) 6684 4928 Lismore Hydro 1/106 Canway Street, Lismore NSW 2480 (02) 6621 3311 Lismore Hydroponics rear of 28 Casino St., South Lismore, NSW 2480 (02) 6621 3311 Northern Nursery Supplies Pty Ltd 14-16 Nance Road, Kempsey NSW 2440 (02) 6563 1599

Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Retail Stores listed alphabetically by city in each state.

Nowra Hydro 68 Bridge Road, Nowra NSW 2541 (02) 4423 3224 Nutriflo Hydroponic Systems 19/5 Daintree Place, Gosford West NSW 2250 (02) 4323 1599 Parkview Plants 250 Princess Highway, Nowra South NSW 2541 (02) 4423 0599 Port Pumps and Irrigation 20 Uralla Road, Pt Macquarie NSW 2444 (02) 6581 1272 Quik Grow 510a Great Western Hwy., Pendle Hill NSW 2145 (02) 9636 7023 Quick Grow 823 King Georges Road, S. Hurstville NSW 2221 (02) 9546 8642 Quik Grow Pty Ltd 490 Parramatta Road, Petersham NSW 2049 (02) 9568 2900 Simple Grow Hassall Street & Windem, Wetherill Pk NSW 2164 (02) 9604 0469 Tweed Coast Hydroponics 2/58 Machinery Dr., Tweeds Head South NSW 2486 (07) 5524 8588 Uncle Wal’s Gardenland 31 Crescent Avenue, Taree NSW 2430 (02) 6550 0221 Home Grown Aquaponics 13/8a-8b Hartley Drive, Thornton NSW 2322 (02) 4028 6388 Westside Lighting & Electrical (Ezi Range) PO Box 274, Mascot NSW 1400 1 800 661 475 Wollongong Hydroponic Center 318 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500 (02) 4225 8773 NORTHERN TERRITORY Katherine Hydroponics Centre 17 Rundle Street, Katherine NT 0850 (08) 8972 1730 QUEENSLAND A Happy Medium Hydroponics Unit2/10 Central Court, Browns Plains QLD 4118 (07) 3809 3322 Allgrow Hydro 13 - 58 Bullock Head St., Sumner Park QLD 4074 (07) 3376 7222 Aquatic Oasis Unit 2/33 Smith Street, Capalaba QLD 4157 (07) 3245 7777 Billabong Hydroponics Lot 1, Billabong Court, Childers QLD 4660 (07) 4126 3551 D-Bay Hydroponics Shop 5/404 Deception Bay Road, Deception Bay QLD 4508 (07) 3204 8324

E.T. Grow Home Unit 1/4 Windmill Street, Southport QLD 4215 (07) 5591 6501 Eye Lighting Australia Pty Ltd PO Box 306, Carole Park QLD 4300 (07) 3335 3556 Green Power Hydroponics 2/80 Beerburrum Road, Caboolture QLD 4510 (07) 5428 1133 Grow Hydro 22 Mining Street, Bundamba QLD 4304 (07) 3816 3206 H2 Gro Pty Ltd 2 Sonia Crt., Raceview QLD 4305 (07) 3294 3253 Hyalite Varsity 5/11 John Duncan Crt., Varsity Lakes QLD 4227 (07) 5593 7385 Hydroponic Roots & Shoots Lot 3 Herberton Road, Atherton QLD 4883 (07) 4091 3217 Hydroponics & Garden Supplies 93 Cook St., Portsmith QLD 4870 (07) 4035 5422 Hydroponics Today PO Box 785, Stanthorpe QLD 4380 (07) 4683 3133 Indoor Solutions Unit 2 / 79 Oxford Tce., Taringa QLD 4068 J&K Hydroponics 10 Wacol Station Road, Wacol, Brisbane QLD, 4076 (07) 3271 6210 KY Garden 3/31 Argyle PDE, Darra Brisbane QLD 4076 (07) 3375 9098 Nerang Hydroponic Centre 27 Lawrence Drive, Nerang QLD 4211 (07) 5527 4155 North Queensland Hydro Supplies Shop 2B/20-22 Fleming St., Townsville QLD 4810 (07) 4728 3957 Northern Hydroponics 383 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870 (07) 4054 5884 Pioneer Hydroponics 194 Doyles Road, Pleystowe QLD 4741 (07) 4959 2016 SA Hydroponics Shed 3, 1191 Anzac Avenue, Kallangar QLD 4503 (07) 3285 1355 Simply Hydroponics Gold Coast 42 Lawrence Drive, Nerang QLD 4211 (07) 5596 2250 Sunstate Hydroponics 1137 Ipswitch Road, Moorooka QLD 4105 (07) 3848 5288 Sunstate Hydroponics 67 Aerodrome Road, Maroochydore QLD 4558 (07) 5479 1011 The Hydroponic Warehouse Shop 3/73 PIckering Street, Enoggera QLD 4051 (07) 3354 1588

Tumbling Waters Hydroponics 2 Clarkes Track, Malanda QLD 4885 (07) 4096 6443 Walsh’s Seeds Garden Centre 881 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350 (07) 4636 1077 SOUTH AUSTRALIA Amazon Aquariums & Gardening Unit 5, 16 Research Road, Pooraka SA 5095 (08) 8359 1800 Ascot Park 753 Marion Road, Ascot Park SA 5043 (08) 8357 4700 Barry’s Hardware Saints & Main North Rd., Salisbury Plains SA 5109 (08) 8281 4066 Bolzon Home & Garden 103 Tolley Road, St Agnes SA 5097 (08) 8265 0665 Chocablock Discount Variety Store 15-17/1220 Grand Junction, Hope Valley SA 5090 (08) 8396 3133 Complete Hydroponics 1581 Main North Road Salisbury East SA 5109 (08) 8258 4022 Country Hydro 434 Saddleback Road, Whyalla SA 5600 (08) 8645 3105 D & W Dependable Hardware 45B Kettering Road, Elizabeth South SA 5112 (08) 8287 6399 Festive Hydro 2 Kreig Street, Evanston Park SA 5116 (08) 8523 5100 Fulham Gardener Nursery 597 Tapleys Hill Road, Fulham SA 5024 (08) 8235 2004 Futchatec Distribution 4 Symonds St. Royal Park, 5014 (08) 8447-1122 Glandore Hydroponics 644 - 646 South Road, Glandore SA 5037 (08) 8371 5777 Greener than Green 52 - 54 Cliff Avenue, Port Noarlunga South SA 51 (08) 8386 2596 Greenhouse Superstore Lonsdale 35 to 37 Aldenhoven Road SA 5160 (08) 8382 0100 Greenhouse Superstore Royal Park 4 Symonds St. Royal Park SA 5014 (08) 8447 5899 Ground-Up Service Nursery 3 Copinger Road, Pt. Pirie SA 5540 (08) 8264 9455 Harvest Time Hydroponics Shop 3/146-148, Findon Road, Findon SA 5023 (08) 8244 0222 Hindmarsh Hydroponics 39a Manton Street, Hindmarsh SA 5095 (08) 8346 9461

Highland Hydro 14/1042 Grand Junction Road, Holden Hill SA 5088 (08) 8395 4455 Hong Kong Hydro 13 Research Road, Pooraka SA 5095 (08) 8260 2000 Hydro Heaven Kane Motors-Hunt Road, Mount Barker SA 5251 (08) 8391 1880 Hydro Sales & Service 1 Salisbury Crescent, Colonel Light SA 5041 (08) 8272 2000 Hydro Technics 321 South Road, Croydon SA 5008 (08) 8241 5022 Hydro Warehouse 181 Seacombe Road, South Brighton SA 5048 (08) 8377 1200 Hydro World 40 Folland Avenue, Northfield SA 5085 (08) 8262 8323 Koko’s Hydro Warehouse Unit 2/2 McGowan Street, Pooraka SA 5095 (08) 8260 5463 Larg’s Bay Garden Supply 239 Victoria Road, Largs Bay SA 5016 (08) 8242 3788 Martins Road Hydro # 5- 353 Martins Road, Parafield Gardens SA 5107 (08) 8283 4011 Mitre 10 Drive In 152 Hanson Road, Mansfield Park SA 5012 (08) 8445 1813 New Age Hydroponics 135-137 Sir Donald Bradman Dr., Hilton SA 5033 (08) 8351 9100 Owen Agencies 17-19 Railway Terrace, Owen SA 5460 (08) 8528 6008 Professional Hydro 4/522 Grange Road, Fulham Gardens SA 5024 (08) 8353 0133 Professional Hydro Shop 5/645 Lower North East Road SA 5075 (08) 8365 5172 Professional Hydroponics 113 Maurice Road, Murray Bridge SA (08) 8532 3441 Seaton Hydroponics 129 Tapleys Hill Road Seaton SA 5023 (08) 82682636 Soladome Aquaculture & Hydro 44 Chapel St., Norwood SA 5067 (08) 8362 8042 South Coast Hydroponics 6/25 Gulfview Road, Christies Beach SA 5165 (08) 8384 2380 State Hydroponics 174 Semaphore Road, Exeter SA 5019 (08) 8341 5991 Tea Tree Gully Hydro 32 Famechon Cresent, Modbury North SA 5092 (08) 8264 9455 Two Wells Hardware 86 Old Port Wakefield Road, Two Wells SA 5501 (08) 8520 2287

Urban Grow Solutions 1/111 Main Sth Rd, O’Halloran Hill, S.A 5189 (08) 8322 0040 West Garden Centre Peachey Road, Elizabeth West SA 5113 (08) 8255 1355 TASMANIA Advanced Hydroponics 26 Mulgrave Street, South Launceston Tas 7249 (03) 6344 5588 Ezy Grow 625 East Derwent Highway, Lindisfarne Tas 7015 (03) 6243 9490 Garden World 717 West Tamar Highway, Legana Tas 7277 (03) 6330 1177 ------------------------------------------

Green Acres Hydroponics Unit 1 46-48 Bingalong Rd, Mornington, TAS 7018 (03) 6245 1066 -----------------------------------------Growers Choice 225 Main Road, Derwent Park Tas 7009 (03) 6273 6088 Hydroponics Systems 131 Main Rd, Moonah, TAS 7009 (03) 6278 3457 Hydroponic World 322 Bass Highway, Sulphur Creek Tas 7316 (03) 6435 4411 Organic Garden Supplies Tas 17 Don Road, Devonport Tas 7310 (03) 6424 7815 Tas Hydroponic Supplies 99 Lampton Avenue, Derwent Park Tas 7009 (03) 6272 2202 The Hydroponic Company 69 Charles Street, Moonah Tas 7009 (03) 6273 1411 The Hydroponics Company 289 Hobart Road, Kings Medow Tas 7428 (03) 6340 2222 VICTORIA Albury Hydroponics / Cappers Hydroponics 62 Thomas Mitchell Drive, Springvale Vic 3171 61 (02) 6024 4029 All Seasons Hydroponics 3 Springvale Road, Springvale Vic 3171 (03) 9540 8000 Banksia Greenhouse and Outdoor Garden 530 Burwood Highway, Wantirna Vic 3152 (03) 9801 8070 Barb’s Hydro and Nursery 15 Wallace Avenue, Interverloch Vic 3196 (03) 5674 2584 Bayside Hydroponics Factory 2/8 Rutherford Road, Seaford Vic 3196 (03) 9775 0495

Belgrave Hydroponics 5/ 60-68 Colby Drive, Belgrave Heights Vic 3160 (03) 9754 3712 Brew ‘N’ Grow 4 - 479 Nepean Highway, Edithvale Vic 3199 (03) 9783 3006 Casey Hydro 12 The Arcade Street, Cranbourne Vic 3977 (03) 5996 3697 Casey Hydro 78 Spring Square, Hallam Vic 3803 (03) 9796 3776 Chronic Hydroponics 31 Anderson Street, Templestowe Vic 3106 (03) 9646 8133 Complete Garden Supplies 580 Ballarat Road, Sunshine Vic 3020 (03) 9311 9776 Discount Hydroponics 752 Waverley Road, Chadstone Vic 3148 (03) 9568 1860 Echuca Hydroponic Nursery & Supplies 23 Ogilvie Avenue, Echuca Vic 3564 (03) 5480 2036 Echuca Pump Shop 128 Ogilvie Avenue, Echuca Vic 3564 (03) 5480 7080 Excel Distributors Pty Ltd 2/41 Quinn Street, Preston Vic 3072 (03) 9495 0083 F.L.O.W. Plants and Environments 66B Chapel Street, Windsor Vic 3181 (03) 9510 6832 Gardensmart 810-834 Springvale Road, Keysborough Vic 3173 (03) 9769 1411 Global Hydroponics 10 Knight Avenue, Sunshine Vic 3020 (03) 9356 9400 Greenleaf Hydroponics 9a Church Street, Traralgon Vic 3844 (03) 5176 0898 Greenleaf Hydroponics Factory 7, Industrial Park Drive, Lilydale Vic 3140 (03) 9739 7311 GreenLite - Ringwood 291 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood Vic 3134 (03) 9870 8566 Grow 4 XS Rear 24 Simms Road, Greensborough Vic 3088 (03) 9435 6425 Holland Forge Pty Ltd. 5 Hi-tech Place, Rowville Vic 3178 (03) 9764 1372 Hydroware 59a Lara Way, Campbellfield, Vic, 3061 (03) 9357 8805 Hyalite Airport West Unit 4/504-506 Fullarton Road, Airport West 3042 (03) 9331 5452 Hyalite Bayswater 4/19 Jersey Road, Bayswater Vic 3153 (03) 9720 1946

Hyalite Global 10 Knight Avenue, Sunshine North Vic 3020 (03) 9356 9400 Hyalite Westend 3 Third Avenue, Sunshine Vic 3020 (03) 9311 3510 Indoor Garden Company 29 Glasgow Street, Collingwood Vic 3066 (03) 9416 1699 Impact Distribution PO Box 2188, Salisbury Downs 5108 (08) 8250-1515 JB Lighting 492 - 500 Neerim Road, Murrumbeena Vic 3163 (03) 9569 4399 Just Hydroponics Deer Park Unit 11 29-39 Westwood Drive, Deer Park, VIC 3023 (03) 8390 0861 Just Hydroponics Geelong Unit 7 36-38 Saunders street, North Geelong, VIC 3215 (03) 5278 6478 Latrove Valley Home Brew Supplies PO Box 802, Morwell Vic 3804 (03) 5133 9140 Living Jungle 345 Sommerville Road, Footscray West Vic 3012 (03) 9314 0055 Melton Hydroponic Supplies 18/10 Norton Drive, Melton Vic 3194 (03) 9746 9256 Midtown Hydroponics Factory 1, 821B Howitt St., Wendouree Vic 3355 (03) 5339 1300 One Stop Sprinklers 1 Burwood Highway, Wantirna Vic 3152 (03) 9800 2177 Pam’s Home Brew & Hydroponics 61 McArthur Street, Sale Vic 3850 (03) 5143 1143 Palms & Plants 175 Salisbury Highway, Salisbury S.A. 5108 (08) 8285 7575 Prestige Hydroponics Pty. Ltd. S 2.10 Level 2, 343 Little Collins St. Melbourne VIC Australia 3000 61 4 187 81083

Simply Hydroponics Pakenham Factory 6/3-11 Bate Close Pakenham, Victoria 3810 03 5940 9047 Sunray Hydro 157 Tenth Street, Mildura Vic 3500 (03) 5023 6422 Supply Net International P/L PO Box 171, Highbury Vic 5089 (88) 264-3600 The Hydroponic Connection 397 Dorset Road, Boronia Vic 3155 (03) 9761 0662 Waterworks Hydroponics Unit 1, 5 Brand Drive, Thomastown Vic 3074 (03) 9465 1455 WESTERN AUSTRALIA Accent Hydroponics Unit 2/141 Russell Street, Morley WA 6062 (08) 9375 9355 Aqua Post Unit 2B 7 Yampi Way, Willetton WA 6155 (08) 9354 2888 Aquaponics Lot 12 Warton Road, Canning Vale WA 6155 1800 640 222 Bunbury Alternate Growing Supplies 8/13 Worcestor Bend, Davenport, WA 6230 (08) 9725 7020 Creative Hydroponics 1/95 Dixon Road, Rockingham WA 6168 (08) 9528 1310 Great Southern Hydroponics Shop 1, 21 Hennessy Road, Bunbury WA 6230 (08) 9721 8322 Greenfingers World of Hydroponics Albany Hwy & Kelvin Rd., Maddington WA 6109 (08) 9452 0546 Greenfingers World of Hydroponics Unit C 14-16 Elliot Street, Midvale WA 6056 (08) 9274 8388 Greenlite Hydroponics 4/91 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill WA 6060 (08) 9345 5321

Shepparton Hydroponics 87A Archer Street, Shepparton Vic 3630 (03) 5831 6433

Growsmart Hydroponics 47768 South Coast Highway, Albany WA 6330 (08) 9841 3220

Simply Hydroponics 5/ 411-413 Old Geelong Rd., Hoppers Cros. 3029 (03) 9360 9344

Hydro Nation 41A Rockingham Road, Hamilton Hill WA 6163 (08) 9336 7368

Simply Hydroponics 8, 59-61 Miller St., Epping 3076 (03) 9408 4677

Hydroponic Solutions 1/1928 Beach Road, Malaga WA 6090 (08) 9248 1901

Sunlite Hydroponics 1/104 Shannon Avenue, Geelong West Vic 3281 (03) 5222 6730

Hydroponic Warehouse Unit 7/627 Wanneroo Road, Wanneroo WA 6065 (08) 9206 0188

Hydroponica 317 Guildford Road, Maylands WA 6051 (08) 9371 5757

Guru Gardener 14 Molesworth St., New Plymouth 06 758 6661

Isabella’s Hydroponics 66 Jambanis Road, Wanneroo WA 6065 (08) 9306 3028

Otaki Hydroponics 1083 S.H. 1 South Otaki 06 364 2206

Johnson’s Nursery Garden Centre 30 Blencowe Road, Geralton WA 6530 (08) 9921 6016 Neerabup Organic & Hydroponic Supplies Unit 1, 21 Warman St. Neerabup WA 6031 (08) 9404 7155 One Stop Hydroponics 947 Beaufort Street, Inglewood WA 6052 (08) 9471 7000 Perth Hydroponic Centre Shop 4, 171-175 Abernathy Road, Belmont WA 6104 (08) 9478 1211 Reptile and Grow Store Unit 7 - 117-119 Dixon Road, Rockingham WA 6168 (08) 9527 2245 Richo’s 4 Hydro Unit 7/22 Franklin Lane, Joondalup, WA 6027 (08) 9301 4462 Southwest Hydroponics Lot 29, Pinjarra Road, Mandurah WA 6210 (08) 9534 8544 The Grow Room 1/1451 Albany Highway, Cannington WA 6107 (08) 9356 7044 Bloem PO Box 1816, Subiaco WA 6008 (08) 9217 4400 The Watershed Water Systems 150 Russell Street, Morley WA 6062 (08) 9473 1473 The Watershed Water Systems 2874 Albany Highway, Kelmscott WA 6111 (08) 9495 1495 The Watershed Water Systems 1/146 Great Eastern Highway, Midland WA 6210 (08) 9274 3232 Tru Bloomin Hydroponics 7/36 Port Kembla Dr. Bibra Lake, WA 6163 (08) 9434 5118 Water Garden Warehouse 14 Drake Street, Osborne Park WA 6017 (08) 9443 7993 NEW ZEALAND Easy Grow New Lynn 3018 Gt North Rd New Lynn, Auckland 09 827 0883 Easy Grow Manukau 15/69 Wiri Station Road, Manukau, Auckland 09 263 7560

House of Hydro 221 Waiwhetu Rd., Lower Hutt Wellington Pet and Garden 10 Fitzgerald Ave., Christchurch 03 377 2507 Grow and Brew 14a Flexman Place, Silverdale Auckland 09 426 2095 Green Day Hydroponics Cnr of Maunganui Rd & Tawa St., Mt Maunganui 07 575 4090 Switched on Gardener Number 189 (Lower) Dent Street, Whangarei (09)438 0223 Switched on Gardener Unit 159 Central Park Drive, Henderson (09) 837 1210 Switched on Gardener Unit 1/60 Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga (09) 576 0296 Switched on Gardener Number 1c Sunshine Ave, Hamilton (07) 850 8351 Switched on Gardener Number 513 Heretaunga Street West, Hastings (06) 876 7885 Switched on Gardener Number 62 Kaiwharawhara Road, Wellington (04) 472 5265 Switched on Gardener Unit 7/67 View Road, Glenfield (09) 443 0106 Switched on Gardener Number 1 Rata Street, New Lynn (09) 826 4444 Switched on Gardener Number 57 Cavendish Drive, Manukau (09) 263 4336 Switched on Gardener Number 427 Cameron Road, Tauranga (07) 579 9840 Switched on Gardener Number 1060 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt (04) 526 3913 Switched on Gardener Number 3 Pascoe Street, Nelson (03) 546 4769 Switched on Gardener Number 9 Buckley Road, Linwood (03) 381 0937 Switched on Gardener Number 143 Tuam Street, Christchurch CBD (03) 374 5682 Switched on Gardener Number 313 King Edward Street, Dunedin (03) 456 1980

Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012




Plant matter has been found to contain well over 60 elements.

The best method of incorporating beneficial elements, many of which are required at just a fraction of a part per million (so there is such a fine line between a safe amount and toxicity), is a commercially prepared hydroponic supplement.



Human nutrition can be improved by having plants naturally incorporate human beneficial elements into their tissue at increased levels.


Hydroponic garlic grown in selenium-enriched nutrient solution has been shown to have potent anti-cancer properties.

Organic, kelp-based fertilisers help facilitate the uptake of nutrients and can help relieve the stress in cuttings and plants after being transplanted. Seabird guano—the droppings of fish-eating seabirds—is high in nitrogen, phosphorous and calcium, with an average NPK around 10-10-3.

6. 7.


The two types of chlorophyll (a and b) absorb light in the 410 to 460 nm range (blue light) and the 630 to 670 nm range (red light). These two ranges of absorbable wavelengths of light are known as photosynthetically active radiation, or PAR.

When using a PAR meter, a grower can compare bulbs by their spectral output instead of just a perceived brightness.

Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012


Tissue culture is a scientific form of mass-harvest cloning from an extremely healthy plant called a mother stock plant.





loNG BEacH calIForNIa


NoVEMBEr 3 10 aM - 6 PM INduSTry oNly


NoVEMBEr 4 NooN - 5 PM GENEral PuBlIc adMISSIoN $10



Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012


COMING UP IN November-December Reuse, Reuse, Reuse Your Media Reduce the amount of refuse your garden creates by reusing your media. The benefits to doing so go beyond the environment.

ISSUE FOCUS: Media Madness & Ventilation

Ventilation and CO2: A Balancing Act

Discover what happens when ventilation and CO2 collide, and how to measure and control both using the latest technology.

Treat ‘em Bad and They’ll Taste Better: Improving Flavour Dr. Morgan shares some secrets for amping up the flavours in your hydroponic crops.

Plus: Hydroponic news, tips and trivia; hot new products; exclusive giveaways; Talking Shop and more! Maximum Yield Australia (November/December) will be available in November for free at select indoor gardening retail stores across Australia and on Subscriptions are available at and

COMING UP ON THE WEB Final Stop of the 2012 Grow Like a Pro Tour Combines Indoor Gardening and Hydrolife Expo This world-class event will be a combination Indoor Gardening and Hydrolife Expo featuring leading experts from the hydro, snow, surf, skate and bike industries. Held at the beautiful Long Beach Convention Center for the third year running, this expo provides the ideal location with the perfect mix of culture and climate. Visit for complete event O A PR! E details and to start K R I L TOU planning your vacation.



Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

We’re happy to announce we’ve got special group flight rates with WestJet to our trade shows. Visit us online at to receive the promo code.

Got Questions? Get Answers. Maximum Yield’s resident experts are available and ready to answer your modern gardening questions. Email or fill out the “Ask the Experts” question form on

Free Digital Subscription to Maximum Yield Now you can receive Maximum Yield free to your inbox every month. Subscribe to the digital edition of Maximum Yield by simply filling out the form at

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Maximum Yield  | September/October 2012



Maximum Yield |  September/October 2012

Maximum Yield AUS/NZ Sept/Oct 2012  

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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