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New Zealand September/October 2013




Consider Using

d i c A c Citri iPLUS i Hydroponic Hygiene The Truth About Composting Ten Tips for Starting Your First Garden

Maximum Yield’s




Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

CONTENTS Sept/Oct 2013



26 Clean and Green

Hydroponic Hygiene by Dr. Lynette Morgan


34 Composting: Is It Just a Load of Rubbish? by Steve Cownley

56 38


38 Transplanting from Aeroponics by Karen Wilkinson

42 Consider Using Citric Acid by Donald Lester

46 Ten Tips for Starting Your First Garden by Grubbycup


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


From the Editor


Growers Know


Letters to the Editor


Talking Shop


Ask the Experts




MAX Facts


Coming up Next


Product Spotlight



Do You Know



Message from the

Editor Linda Jesson

A successful garden provides many benefits: home-grown, fresh vegetables, flowers to add colour to your home, an activity that gets you off the sofa, the satisfaction of knowing that you produced what you are eating and being able to share the spoils with friends and family. But achieving success in the garden takes a bit of work and planning. In this issue, we get you off to a good start by breaking the growing process down into 10 easy steps. In “Composting: Is It Just a Load of Rubbish?”, we learn all about which materials should go in the compost pile, and which materials should never be added. Having issues with keeping fungi, bacteria and viruses out of your indoor grow space? We show you how to keep your indoor garden sparkling clean and problem free. In our Growers Know section, we expose the damp, dark world of underground mushroom production through an interview with Dr. Noel Arrold from Li-Sun Exotic Mushrooms. We also highlight some of the latest and best products available to growers and share some interesting news, tips and trivia. And if you haven't had a chance to check out any of the stops on Maximum Yield's 2013 Grow Like a Pro Indoor Gardening Tour, the final expo takes place October 26 to 27 in Long Beach, California. This world-class event will be a combination indoor gardening and hydro life expo featuring leading experts from the hydro, snow, surf, skate and bike industries. Check out for more information, as well as special accommodation rates, exhibitor lists, free VIP tickets and other updates. Questions or comments about anything you see in this issue of Maximum Yield? We'd love to hear from you. Simply email to share your thoughts.

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

Dr. Lynette Morgan holds a B.

Hort. 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.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Donald Lester is the product manager

at JH Biotech, a commercial fertilizer manufacturer with 28 OMRI-certified organic products. Donald has a master’s degree in agronomy with more than 10 years of agricultural research experience and 50 scientific publications to his credit. He is also director of SaferGro Laboratories, a home and garden products company located in Ventura, California.

Karen Wilkinson works for EZ-

CLONE Enterprises, Inc. as its social media editor. She came to them with a background in journalism and technical writing and is learning to grow, clone and write for the hydroponics community. She’s a budding gardener and loves growing her own vegetables.

Become a Maximum Yield contributor and have your articles read by 250,000 readers throughout the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, 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 I’m a Fan Winners Announced

Armando Mushik from Thermal, California, is the sixth winner of Maximum Yield’s I’m a Fan Contest! Armando said, “I am a fan of Maximum Armando Mushik Yield because it seems that every time I am thinking of something, or am moving to the next step in growing knowledge, the info is often provided by Maximum Yield. I call my hydroponics store three hours from my house to see when they will have the next copy. When they do, I drive to go get one, plus supplies. Thank you for everything and all the great information you provide and thank you for the free back issues available online.”

Great Source

I’m a fan of Maximum Yield because it’s a great source of information and there are a lot of good articles within each issue. Robert, Seaford, Victoria

Knowledge is Key

I believe knowledge is the best key to success. I feel guilty enough in this day and age running two 400-W lamps inside when the sun is free outside. Maximum Yield gives me the information I need to ensure my system not only runs at its peak potential, but highlights areas of potential change that can be letting me down, sometimes without me even realising it! In short, Maximum Yield magazine gives me a maximum yield! Craig, Yarraville, Victoria



Thanks for the kind words, Armando, and congratulations on winning Maximum Yield’s sixth I’m a Fan contest! We hope you enjoy your $100 gift certificate at your favourite indoor gardening shop, Green Coast Hydroponics. Shawn Curry from Houston, Texas, is the seventh winner of Maximum Yield’s I’m a Fan Contest! Shawn said, “Your magazine is what got me first interested in growing and gardening. Using Shawn Curry the information I read in your magazine has gotten me to experiment with many different growing techniques. To me growing is more than a hobby; it is also therapeutic. At age 20 I enlisted in the army infantry. I was in the third infantry division and in the initial invasion of Iraq. In 2004, I was honourably discharged from the army and I’ve been dealing with PTSD. I’m glad that two years ago I found your magazine because it is helping change my life for the better.”

We recently asked our Facebook fans: “Who supplements their indoor/ greenhouse with CO2? How are you doing it and to what level and what difference in growth or yields are you observing?” Below are some of the great responses we received.

Thank you for sharing you story with us, Shawn, and congratulations on winning Maximum Yield’s seventh I’m a Fan contest! We hope you enjoy your $100 gift certificate at your favourite indoor gardening shop, Ultimate Hydroponic Garden Supply.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

I do with a parts-per-million reader, flow regulator and CO2 tank that I refill weekly. I’ve seen enhanced yields as high as 20% from my standard production.” Don Using rapid air exchange, plus having the brew kit in the room adds extra CO2 to the atmosphere; it is only an increase of 2-300 ppm [sic], but during veg this helps.” Bailey

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

VOLUME 11 – NUMBER 3 September/October 2013 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 Linda Jesson Assistant Editors Julie McManus Jennifer McGarrigle

ADVERTISING SALES Sales Manager Ilona Hawser - Account Executives Kelsey Hepples - Katie Montague - Jed Walker - Taylor Doyle - PRODUCTION & DESIGN Art Director Alice Joe Graphic Designers Jennifer Everts Dionne Hurd Jesslyn Gosling ACCOUNTING Tracy Greeno - Ava Siemans -

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTION Dome Garden Supply Holland Forge House N’ Garden Growlush Hydroponic Generations Plant Symbionts UK DISTRIBUTION Growth Technology Future Harvest Development Europe Nutriculture UK Direct Garden Supplies Dutch Pro Maxigro Ltd. 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



I am starting to grow in an indoor closet, which is 76.20-cm wide by 1.83-m long by 1.52-m tall. I don’t know what type of reflector I should use. Do I need two for that length? What do you think about a 152.40-cm cool tube? What ballast is best? I was looking at the 600-W dual bulb. Or, should I just do one 1,000 W? Please help me out! Thanks, Karen Catalino

Casey Jones Fra ser


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

So your closet is 76.20-cm wide by 1.83-m long by 1.52-m tall. The good news is that I have grown in a similar closet; the bad news is that a 1.52-m ceiling doesn’t give you much vertical space. The best HID lighting for that space is either a pair of 600-W lights in a long glass tube, like you described, or a 1,000-W light on a mover. I personally prefer the 1,000 W on a mover, and I suggest you get a high-end mover that pauses at each end. This will give you more even growth and stronger plants. Heat is another issue, and the pair of 600-W lights in a cool tube might be the better option if high temperatures are a problem. Digital ballasts are a great option, and they have continued to improve in recent years. For two 600-W lights, I prefer two ballasts over one dual ballast. A dual ballast doesn’t save any electricity; it is simply one enclosure with two ballasts inside. If one of the internal ballasts fails, you’ll have to shut down both lights for repair or replacement. If you go with that option, I recommend keeping a spare magnetic ballast for emergencies. If you get a 1,000-W light, you might want to start with a digital ballast and buy a spare magnetic when you can. Then you will be able to use a top-notch ballast with a low-cost backup ballast in case of lighting failure.

Regarding retail stores and organic nutrients, you will need to do some legwork. There are tons of great stores in Australia, so start shopping around. Find a knowledgeable sales clerk who grows with organics. You can build a friendly relationship and exchange information each time you stop in. This type of interaction will give you access to expertise and troubleshooting, but you must find a reliable source with a deep understanding of organic plant science. If he or she doesn’t know much about beneficial bacteria and fungi, you’ve got the wrong clerk. One more thing: keep your plants short! With a 1.52-m ceiling, your plants will need to finish at about 0.76 m or shorter. Start flowering them at about 20 cm, keeping night temperatures above 18.33°C and day temperatures below 26.67°C. Give them B vitamins and carbohydrates along with low nitrogen base nutrients. These suggestions are key to growing short, stout plants with excellent quality. Casey Jones Fraser Casey Jones Fraser owns Garden Grove Organics in the United States. He has a degree in communications and electronic media. He believes that indoor gardeners can achieve the highest quality crops and maximum yields when proper science is applied. Since 1998, Casey has been testing various nutrients and supplements in search of outstanding harvests.



hydroponic news, tips and trivia

Avocado Exporters Band Together The trend for New Zealand avocado exporters to co-operate rather than compete in offshore markets has taken another step. The country's two biggest avocado exporters have joined forces in a new partnership‑—AVOCO—to sell their fruit in Australia, the country's biggest overseas market, where they had formerly been rivals. The partnership is anticipating higher returns this year and says the trade there could reach $50 million for the first time. AVOCO director John Carroll said New Zealand is a small supplier of avocados with 2% of the world's trade in the crop available for only a portion of year. (Source:


hydroponic news, tips and trivia Fruit Still Alive After Harvest: Study Produce you buy in the shops is still alive and all those blueberries and zucchinis are still responding to the time of day, say scientists. The study showed that post-harvest vegetables and fruits continued to perceive light so their biological clocks kept on ticking. The plants responded to the light by altering levels of chemicals that protect them from being eaten by insects and other herbivores. (Source:

Banana Flour Turning bananas into flour is the latest project for an innovative Far North Queensland banana farmer. Robert Watkins developed a prototype for a recyclable carton liner he affectionately dubbed the “banana blankey” to get his lady finger bananas to market and was well on his was to commercialising the product when he was named the ABC-Kondinin Group's 2010 Australian Farmer of the Year. His latest venture—banana flour—takes him into the food manufacturing industry and plans are to build a factory on the Atherton Tableland and adopt innovations that will improve efficiency and reduce labour costs. “It's a powder of such, which is a gluten-free product, extremely high in resistant starch and very nutritious,” said Watkins. “It's not new in the world; Africans have eaten it for thousands of years in some countries.” (Source:


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013



hydroponic news, tips and trivia

Magnificent Mushrooms

Bumper Year for New Zealand Wine Growers Last summer's drought was disastrous for many New Zealand farmers, but for wine growers, the conditions were near perfect and resulted in record production of 345,000 tonnes for the 2013 season. The season, which ended in early May, marked a rise of 28.5% on the short 2012 crop and was 5% higher than the previous record set in 2011. (Source:

Mushrooms may be the next wonder food. Research by Dr. Carolyn Lister's team at the Plant and Food Research location in Lincoln, New Zealand, shows eating mushrooms can benefit skin, teeth, hair, eyesight, bones, joints and even the brain. The study, commissioned by New Zealand’s leading supplier, Meadow Mushrooms, shows that mushrooms: assist the body in using the energy it gets from food, help support a healthy immune system, protect the body from free radical damage, contribute to reducing fatigue and promote growth and development in children. (Source:

Apple Industry Positives Despite weather troubles, South Australian apple growers had a good season. Susie Green, Apple and Pear Growers Association of South Australia CEO, said the quality of the fruit was excellent and that market conditions had also been good. Prices are a bit stronger than last year, but yields are down 10% from last year's bumper crop, she said. (Source:


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013



hydroponic news, tips and trivia

Fruit Fly Eradication Efforts Squashed South Australian citrus growers are concerned about a Victorian Government decision to cease fruit fly eradication efforts. The Victorian Department of Primary Industries said it is no longer economically viable to try to eradicate the pest and it will now just manage it. The chairman of Citrus Australia's State committee, Con Poulos, said the group has expressed its concerns about the issue to BioSecurity SA since last year. almost all of Victoria's fruit production zones are now affected by outbreaks, but the Sunraysia district remains fruit fly-free. (Source:

Grapes Get Green Light Table grapes from California will be allowed into Western Australia under strict import conditions. The Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) will amend its import conditions for fresh Californian table grapes into the state in response to a change in Commonwealth import conditions. The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry recommended that fresh table grapes from California be permitted entry to WA subject to appropriate bio-security measures. DAFWA director general Rob Delane said WA is free of several damaging pests and diseases including a fungus called Phomopsis viticola, which is found in many other grape growing regions in Australia and internationally. WA growers believe the fungal pathogen would decimate the state's table grape and wine industries. (Source:

Young People Needed in Agriculture

Veggie Program Has Healthy Results A weekly subsidized fruit and vegetable program was recently shown to significantly improve the health of indigenous children from low-income families. Researchers found the children required less antibiotics and there was a small but significant increase in their hemoglobin levels. The study involved children from 55 families living in New South Wales. Each family was given a weekly box of subsidized fruit and vegetables, valued at $40, as well as nutritional information and recipes. (Source:


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Scientists, engineers, software designers and entrepreneurs are needed in Australia's agriculture industry. The Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture says there's 4,000 graduate level positions available, for about 700 graduates each year. “We're trying to make a national campaign to raise food production and food exports from Australia and there really aren't enough young people going into the industry,” said Rick Roush, a University of Melbourne professor and member of the council. “We know that the average age of farmers is well over 50, but there's also a large shortage of people to work in the agricultural industry at a support level; people to work in research, agronomy and within companies.” (Source:






HOTTEST ITEMS Ask for them at your local indoor gardening store. Gnat Nix by Growstone

Introducing the scientifically proven, environmentally friendly fungus gnat control called Gnat Nix. Gnat Nix is free of harmful pesticides and chemicals and is made from 100% recycled glass. Plants love it. Gnats don’t. Gnat Nix is a non-toxic, chemical-free fungus gnat control and is considered a long-lasting top dressing effective under dry or moist conditions. It’s great for both indoor and outdoor use. University trials have proved Gnat Nix used as a top dressing is an effective physical barrier against fungus gnats. It prevents adult emergence from hatching larvae and deters females from laying eggs in the growing media. As a result, the lifecycle of fungus gnats is interrupted. All you need to do is apply a 1.5-cm thick layer of Gnat Nix to fully cover the surface of the growing medium in your growing containers. Visit a store near you to learn more.

Method Seven Prescription Optics Method Seven Optics, which delivers colour balance, clarity and protection while working under various grow lighting environments, has introduced prescription glasses for HPS, metal halide and LED lighting. Available in the patent-pending Rendition Series glass and the Carl Zeiss Vision Fission Series, these glasses come in several prescription options, including bi-focal and progressives. Now growers who require prescription glasses can enjoy colour, clarity and protection with Method Seven technology. Learn more at an indoor gardening store in your area.

Growlush Australia HDT Timer The Growlush Heavy Duty Timer (HDT) range of timer delay contact boxes are designed to carry large current loads and are suitable for large light and power operations. There are plug-and-play and hard-wire versions, both of which are fitted with an industrial grade of timer delay unit. The Growlush HDT timers come in four types to meet the needs of every grower. Please refer to the user manual for installation instructions and check the Growlush HDT voltage and wattage rating before connecting to any supply. Contact your local grow store for more information.

CANNA Coco After years of research, CANNA succeeded in being the first to develop a fertiliser specifically tailored to the characteristics of the coco substrate. Thanks to the special characteristics of the CANNA Coco substrate, CANNA Coco does not have a Vega and Flores version. Instead, CANNA has developed one unique formulation for both the growth and flowering phase. CANNA Coco is easy to use, dissolves directly and is extremely suitable for growing in many watering systems. For more information about CANNA Coco fertilisers, please go to a shop near you.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Sun System Light Emitting Ceramic 315 Sunlight Supply is excited to announce the arrival of the Sun System® Light Emitting Ceramic (LEC) 315 light fixture. Sun System LEC 315 utilises cutting-edge Light Emitting Ceramic™ technology, along with a specially engineered 98% reflective optical cavity. This product includes a highly efficient, agriculturally engineered Philips CDM-T Elite Agro Lamp. Get greatly improved full-colour light spectrum with higher amounts of beneficial UV and far red spectrums increasing the lamp’s growing power. The Sun System LED 315 provides high 1.95 PPF per second light source; 3,100-K colour temperature; high 92 CRI and 33,000 initial lumens (105 lm/W). The unique open-rated lamp construction reduces radiant heat from the arc tube and is suitable for open fixture use. This 50/60 Hz low frequency, square wave, highly efficient electronic ballast has a 50,000-hour life. Visit a local retailer for more information.

Method Seven Operator LED Optics Method Seven, the company that developed perfect colour-balancing optics for working under HPS lights, has introduced the first optics designed for LED grow lights. The Operator LED is part of Method Seven’s Fission Series manufactured by Carl Zeiss Vision. This lens offers the grower extreme clarity, focus and protection while working under LED lights. Growers can now experience daylight balance colour under the harsh conditions of LED grow lights and protect themselves from UV. The LED Fission lens is both lightweight and shatterproof. To learn more, visit an indoor gardening store in your area.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013



Gavita Master Controllers Gavita Holland introduces a line of electronic lighting controllers for the new controllable e-series DigiStar ballasts, plasma lamps and e-series Pro-line luminaires. Gavita Master controllers are extremely easy to use and have a full text interface in five languages on the bright green display and five-button interface. They feature centralized on/off/dim/boost control, auto-dim at high temperatures, emergency shut-down at critical temperatures, sunrise/sunset and alarm outputs and can optionally switch 2x15 amps accessories such as CO2 equipment and heating with the optional external contactor modules. Connecting the Gavita Master Controllers is a breeze due to the standard RJ connectors, enabling plug-and-play installation. The controller completely replaces timers and switchboards and eliminates ballast in-rush current. The EL2 controller can either steer one room with 50 ballasts, or two rooms alternating every 12 hours for optimal available power use. Visit a local gardening store for more information.


Gavita DigiStar E-series Ballasts

Hydroton is a unique, lightweight, expanded clay aggregate. It is ecologically sustainable as it is derived from a replenishable source: clay. Clay naturally has balanced capillary action to accelerate plant growth with an ideal surface for root structures and beneficial bacteria. Hydroton drains freely, is pH adjusted, free of harmful heavy metals and is inert. Growers can use Hydroton as a stand-alone grow media for most hydroponic growing systems, as well as mixing in with other medias such as coco, potting soil or rockwool for increased aeration and drainage. Visit a local retailer for further details.

Together with the Gavita Master controllers, Gavita Holland introduces the new DigiStar e-series electronic ballasts. The DigiStar e-series ballasts are not only dimmable by the selector on the ballast, but they also have RJ inputs for the Gavita master controller signal. This way you can centrally control them all. There is no need for a switchboard when you operate the ballasts with the controller; when switched off, the ballasts go into stand-by mode. Operating mode, lamp, voltage and temperature warnings are displayed by a three-colour status LED with a memory for warnings. The DigiStar e-series operates at a high frequency, requiring high frequency lamps such as the Gavita enhanced HPS lamp. They can be dimmed to 50% and boosted to 110% (400-W and 600-W models) or 115% (1,000-W models) and are available in 240-V and 120/240-V models. For further details, visit a retail store near you.

SuperCloset’s LED SuperNova Hydroponic Grow Box SuperCloset has added a new LED hydroponic grow box, the LED SuperNova, to its suite of hydroponics systems and its grow cabinet product line. The LED SuperNova is among the largest grow boxes on the market today standing at 198.12-cm high by 106.68-cm wide by 60.96-cm deep. The LED SuperNova grow box utilizes a proprietary spectrum to flower large yields in tight spaces. Heat is dissipated efficiently amongst the 2-cm aluminum circuit boards that are the backbone of the SuperNova LED lighting system. The benefits of the new LED SuperNova are immense; it uses about half of the electricity as a 600-W HID light while producing similar luminous efficiency. For more information, visit a local retailer.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

SuperCloset’s Big Buddha Box The Big Buddha Box is SuperCloset’s highest yielding hydroponic grow system. It is vertically oriented and contains four multi-shelved walls with 87-net cups nested within the tiered grow trays situated around a centralised light column that extends from floor to ceiling. The effect of this set-up is four lush walls of flora all growing towards the centre of the system. The heart of the Big Buddha Box is the Superponics hydroponics system that utilises both ebb and flow and deep water culture to achieve maximum oxygenation of the plant roots. The vertical Big Buddha helps growers quadruple their yields while only using half the electricity of a horizontally oriented hydroponics system. Fully automated pumps slowly raise and lower the water level in each lateral tank, which ensures roots receive equal levels of oxygen. For more information, visit a local retail store.

B’cuzz Blossom Builder Liquid Especially for the grower who only wants the best for their plants, Atami has expanded their B’cuzz range with the Blossom Builder Liquid, a finisher like no other. It is commonly known that as the flowering phase progresses, your plant’s need for phosphorus and potassium will increase as well. Especially for the final two to four weeks in this flowering phase, Atami has developed B’cuzz Blossom Builder Liquid. Blossom Builder Liquid ensures an improved structure of the fruit and creates strong, healthy and beautifully large fragrant flowers and fruit. Due to the unique P:K ratio of 9% and 19%, Blossom Builder Liquid meets all the needs of your plants. In addition, the higher level of phosphorus compared to potassium improves the hardening of the fruit. This product can be used in combination with soil, coco and hydro, and it is usable in any irrigation system. For more information, ask for it at a local retailer.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013



B’cuzz Bloom Stimulator For many plants, the flowering period is the most important period in the cycle. The B’cuzz Bloom Stimulator will force blooming at an early stage, which will start the flowering period earlier and ultimately make it last longer and happen more intensely. This bloom stimulator can be absorbed directly by the plant and it contributes to an explosive flower production. B’cuzz Bloom Stimulator is available in the following sizes: 100 ml, 500 ml, 1 L and 5 L. Find out more information at a retailer near you.

Hydro Series T5 Propagation Lights Hydro Series T5 propagation lights offer a headache-free solution for keeping young clones, seedlings and precious mother plants productive while saving electricity and keeping temperatures in propagation areas low. Designed by industry-leading reflector manufacturer Growlite and utilising 95% reflectivity aluminium, these propagation lights provide even light distribution with specially manufactured reflectors that increase lumen output. Because these lights feature cool running, high output fluorescent lights, they can be placed close to plants to maximise light absorption without risking heat burn, all while minimising growing temperatures. This versatile light can also be hung sideways for use as supplemental lighting for more mature plants. These fixtures are encased in a tough, powder-coated steel housing with side vents to allow for cool operation, and are backed by a three-year warranty. Extra value-added features include a series power outlet that allows multiple lights to be powered from a single electrical outlet, multiple on/off switches and a set of high output 6,500-K T5 bulbs so you can begin growing using these lights straight out of the box. The Hydro Series T5 propagation lights are offered in several configurations. Please visit your local store for more information.

Growlush Australia Industrial-grade Timer Boxes When using HID lighting you must control your lighting cycle with a contactor timer. This is because a normal domestic timer unit cannot withstand the high electrical conductive load required to ignite the HID lighting. Plugging HID lighting directly into a domestic timer unit will cause the timer to prematurely fail and lead to a potential electrical hazard that may result in your lights being fused either on or off. The Growlush Timer Box range is a professional, heavy duty industrial lighting switch that offers unrivalled quality and reliability. Items are professionally built with industrial relay and contactors and are rated at 20-A max. Each timer box comes with a protected resettable fuse, rubberised moulded plugs, a handy hanging bracket and a universal socket. There are two-, four-, six- and eight-socket versions available. For more information, Growlush Australia Industrial Grade Timer Boxes are now available from your local grow store.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

SuperCloset LED Trinity 3.0 Hydroponic Grow Box SuperCloset’s LED Trinity 3.0 grow box is 1.83-m tall, 1.83-m wide and 0.61-m deep. It features three independent lighting systems to allow indoor gardeners the ability to move plants, based on their age and height, through different grow environments. The LED lights used in the system are proprietary eight bandwidth spectrum LEDs that run on 700 mA. The LED Trinity 3.0 is a much more sustainable product than the traditional HID Trinity 3.0 and has garnered many accolades even in its short release. To learn more, ask about the LED Trinity at a local retailer.

CANNA COCO Substrates Growing in coco is among the most popular growing methods. Years ago, CANNA developed two different substrates: CANNA COCO Natural and CANNA Professional Plus. CANNA COCO Natural is an organic product free of harmful viruses or soil diseases. It has an excellent water/air system and provides the ideal circumstances for this cultivation method. This product is lightly buffered, meaning you have more control over the buffering process and have more influence on the plant’s growth and bloom. CANNA COCO Professional Plus is a pure, organic product with a homogeneous structure. It is free of harmful viruses and soil diseases thanks to CANNA’s unique production process, and it is fully buffered. It also has a complex water/air system that provides the ideal conditions. Just like the Natural, CANNA COCO Professional Plus contains trichoderma that protect the plant. Visit your local grow store for more information about both products.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


Clean & Green Hydroponic Hygiene

by Dr. Lynette Morgan

A little housekeeping can go a long way in keeping fungi, bacteria and viruses out of your grow space.

Many unseen nasties can cohabitate happily with plants in an indoor garden or greenhouse—after all, warmth, moisture and nutrients provide a cozy environment for a wide range of life forms. Fungi, bacteria and viruses all tend to have survival stages that can be carried over from one crop to the next, making cleanliness and hygiene an important aspect of growing healthy plants. This coupled with the fact that some fungi


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

in particular can also have a negative effect on our health means that growers need to do some housekeeping from time to time to make sure the growing area remains a pleasant and healthy place to relax in. While there are some efficient, hightech cleaning compounds on the market, smaller growers don’t necessarily need to invest in an arsenal of disinfectants, as some of the older, simpler versions still work well.

What are we dealing with? Fungal spores, bacteria and viruses are difficult to keep out of a growing area as they can hitch a ride on new plants, seeds, equipment, growing substrates, clothing and footwear, as well as in dust, air currents or water, or they can be carried in by insects and other pests. For hydroponic growers, algae can become a cleaner’s nightmare as it will flourish anywhere there is light, moisture and nutrients, creating a persistent, slimy mess that can harbour fungus gnats and shore flies. A heavy infestation of sucking pests such as whitefly will rapidly leave a thick, black, sticky residue over every surface—this is honey dew, which the insects excrete as they are feeding, and which then becomes colonised by sooty mould. The honeydew/sooty mould residue becomes difficult to remove—especially once it’s fully dried—and this is often the biggest cleaning challenge for most growers. Apart from pest grime, bio-films can develop on many surfaces creating a layer of organic material, which can shelter a range of pests and diseases such as fungal spores and insect eggs. Bio-films can also develop on the inside of nutrient reservoirs and growing channels, and these can harbour waterborne diseases such as pythium.

“Fungi, bacteria and viruses all tend to have survival stages that can be carried over from one crop to the next, making cleanliness and hygiene an important aspect of growing healthy plants.” Carry over to new plants Old plant debris—fallen leaves, trimmings, prunings and spent media—all create an ideal environment for pest and disease transfer. Some disease spores can survive for years inside old plant debris, while insect eggs may make the material a new source of infestations for many months to come. For this reason composting old plant material and growing media inside the growing area is not a good idea. Even growers who dump plant trimmings outside greenhouses have had issues with insect pests coming right back inside and carrying viruses with them. All old plant material should be bagged up, sealed and removed from the growing area immediately, particularly where decaying or diseased foliage or plants are being removed.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


Clean and green

Cleaning and disinfection products and procedures There is a huge range of disinfecting and cleaning products on the market registered for use in the horticultural industry. Some chemical disinfectants and cleaners have the potential to be toxic to plants if residues are not removed before planting the next crop, and extra care needs to be taken with compounds used to clean reservoirs, tanks and growing channels. There are several different types of disinfectants that are commonly used in greenhouses, pack houses and indoor gardens for plant disease control and general cleaning between crops. One of the oldest yet still quite effective disinfection agents is diluted household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), which provides a high kill rate for spores, bacteria and viruses when provided sufficient contact time. Bleach should be diluted to a 10% solution with water before use in a wellventilated area, and a contact time of 30 minutes should be allowed on surfaces being cleaned. Bleach residues, however, need to be thoroughly washed away before planting out the next lot of seedlings. The effectiveness of bleach can be increased by mixing a little goodquality detergent (a non-ionic surfactant) into the diluted bleach, which helps remove more grime and acts as a wetting agent. Other compounds typically contained in greenhouse disinfection

agents are quaternary ammonium chloride salts, hydrogen dioxide and chlorine dioxide. Seventy per cent alcohol can also be used for dipping tools and wiping surfaces, and needs no rinsing to remove residues. For those who want their indoor garden to remain “chemical free”, hot water and detergent combined with some elbow grease can be highly effective if all the surfaces are covered and well scrubbed. For stubborn grime, insect messes and sooty mould residues, using a paste of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can help as a scouring agent, but again it needs to be washed thoroughly after use. An old-fashioned household cleaning mixture of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and citric acid or vinegar is suitable for cleaning a range of surfaces in the growing area, including channel surfaces, tanks, equipment, walls and floors. There are also new products available that don’t use chemical compounds and have been designed especially for use in greener growing environments.

“For hydroponic growers, algae can become a cleaner’s nightmare as it will flourish anywhere there is light, moisture and nutrients, creating a persistent, slimy mess that can harbour fungus gnats and shore flies.”

Left above: The ultimate in cleanliness and crop hygiene. Left below: Sparkly clean and disinfected, ready for planting a new crop. Above: Commercial greenhouse growers need to take crop hygiene seriously to help prevent major disease outbreaks.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Clean and green

“Most plants are sensitive to many of the cleaning compounds we commonly use, including bleach, H2O2 and even repeat applications of soaps and detergents, so in-crop hygiene needs to be more delicate.” Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), also called hydrogen dioxide, is another popular ingredient in cleaning agents. H2O2 is a powerful oxidant and disinfection agent provided it is used at the correct dose (at least 200 to 300 ppm) and allowed a contact time of more than 15 minutes where spores and other thick dirt may have accumulated. H2O2 also needs to be well rinsed away or left to dissipate over a period of a few days, as even low levels of residue—as low as 10 ppm—have been found to have a negative effect on the growth of young and sensitive seedlings in hydroponics. Running a solution of bleach or H2O2 through empty solution culture systems such as NFT, DFT or aeroponics between crops is a good way to clear out any organic matter or disease spores from inside the irrigation lines; however, these need to be rinsed well and run with clean water for at least 24 hours

before replanting. Many growers who have a water supply that is considered hard—containing high levels of calcium—often find their pumps, tanks, irrigation lines and channels scale up with a hard white deposit. One of the most effective ways of removing this hard lime scale is with a soak of diluted acid (phosphoric or nitric), which will dissolve away the deposits; this method is particularly good for soaking drippers or emitters that are otherwise difficult to clean.

Hygiene during the cropping cycle While a good scrub with heavy duty disinfectant and cleaning agents is fine when the growing area is empty, maintaining hygiene when there are plants in place is another matter. Most plants are sensitive to many of the cleaning compounds we commonly use, including bleach, H2O2 and even repeat applications of soaps and detergents, so in-crop hygiene needs to be more delicate. Usually it is the nutrient reservoir that needs the most attention when the plants are growing, as algae, salt deposits, lime scale and other slime can all build up, particularly if some light is reaching the nutrient inside the reservoir. A quick drain, scrub and rinse should be all that’s needed to keep the nutrient tank in good condition when plants are still in the system. Any algae growing on other surfaces—such as on top of growing media, in return channels or on the floor where leaks occur—needs regular control. Putting light plastic film covers over the top of growing media is the safest and most effective way of preventing and killing algae, as chemical control agents can cause phytotoxicity to the roots. On hard surfaces such as floors and channel tops, algae can be sprayed or wiped with disinfectant, provided none of this makes its way back into the nutrient solution. Algae can be a problem in an otherwise clean growing area as it acts as a food source for fungus gnats, and the gnat larvae can cause serious plant damage when they feed on the roots, as well as spreading spores of certain plant pathogens. Prevention of pest and disease problems is just as important as cleanliness. For growing areas where dirty shoes may tramp in soil and other dirt, foot baths, even in a small growing area, can be important. A shallow tray with a nonslip mat on the base filled with diluted disinfectant

Left: Botrytis or grey mould spores become airborne and can land on surfaces all around the growing area, ready to infect a new crop. Middle: Algae growth on the top of rockwool cubes can become so thick as to retard nutrient flow down to the roots. Right: Algae will grow on all surfaces where light, moisture and nutrients are present.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

(bleach or some other product), placed in the doorway so that anyone entering has to step both feet into it, has been shown to prevent many fungal spores and insects from entering the growing area. Allowing only clean water, equipment and materials to enter the grow room and regular monitoring of the plants is also important for preventing disease outbreaks. Pruning knives, scissors and other tools should be cleaned between crops with a quick dip in alcohol or a strong bleach solution, as this prevents the carryover of any sap-transmitted viruses or other spores such as Botrytis, which can infect cut surfaces.

“If the water supply to the hydroponic system is not from a clean source, this can become a major obstacle to keeping a hygienic growing area.” Any new plants or seedlings being brought into the growing area should be thoroughly inspected for pest or disease problems and, if possible, quarantined away from the main growing system for at least a week. New plant material is one of the most common sources of pest and disease introduction, so it pays to know what the early signs of any problems may look like before introducing any new additions to the system. If the water supply to the hydroponic system is not from a clean source, this can become a major obstacle to keeping a hygienic growing area. Generally, municipal water supplies are treated with disinfectant chemicals, and although sometimes these chemicals—such as chloramines—can cause plant damage of their own, the water is usually free of plant pathogens. Collected rain or ground water may need treatment before use in hydroponic systems, although not all these water sources would be considered as contaminated for plant growth. Unclean water can contain a number of waterborne problems, including the dreaded pathogens phytophthora, pythium and fusarium. These days, small hydroponic growers have a good choice of water treatment options, with non-chemical methods such as ultraviolet light, ozone or reverse osmosis providing less risk than chemicalbased water disinfection agents. Keeping a clean, green growing environment is not only more pleasant to work and relax in—it provides some sensible preventive measures in the grower’s unceasing battle against the unwanted insect intruders and nasty disease pathogens that are always looking to invade your indoor kingdom!

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


Composting: by Steve Cownley

Is it Just a Load of Rubbish?

To compost or not to compost, that is the question.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

There’s no doubt about it, composting is a beneficial practice that any several organic materials self-respecting garthat should not be included dener should know in the compost pile unless how to do. We you know how to do it have been told that composting can properly and there are other be done with any materials that should organic material. never be added.” However, there are several organic materials that should not be included in the compost pile unless you know how to do it properly and there are other materials that should never be added. To compost or not to compost, that is indeed the question. Home composters have a variety of compostable materials available in their homes and backyards. Let’s begin with something our front lawn is always dying to dispose of: excess grass. Grass clippings from our lawn can be put to better use in a backyard compost pile. Hay clippings are also acceptable. Be sure to use green hay, which still has a lot of nitrogen in it. Other compostable materials include kitchen waste such as vegetable peels, fruit rinds, tea bags, eggshells and coffee grounds. These substances contain high levels of nitrogen. Make sure to keep pests away from your kitchen waste. A compost bin intended for kitchen waste works great or you can simply bury your waste in 20 cm of soil. It is best to avoid scraps of meat, milk products and leftover bones because they attract pests. Wood chips, wood shavings, sawdust, paper and other wood products are generally acceptable for a compost pile. However, be sure to stay away from chemically treated wood products. Arsenic is a highly toxic chemical that is sometimes used to treat wood. Using sawdust from such treated wood products is not recommended since the chemical will leak into the soil causing more harm than good. Plants that died due to a disease should not be included as there is still a possibility the disease that caused death might infect your future plants.

there are

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013



Studies indicate

Similarly, human, dog and cat wastes should that using compost can not be compossuppress the growth of ted because they diseases in crops.” contain organisms that could cause disease. Such disease might cause sickness in people or they might negatively affect your plants. Even though grasses can be used for composting, it is best to avoid weeds like morning glory, ivy, sheep and kinds of grasses that could grow in your compost pile. The weed’s seeds can survive the composting pile, which can be carried to your new garden. Choosing the right materials will determine how successful your compost pile will be.

Top Reasons for Composting

 The materials are free and readily available.  Compost provides nutrients and minerals needed by plants.  Compost benefits the soil structure. When applied to soil, compost improves the soil’s resistance to erosion, improves its retention of water, and in some types of soil (like clay), it can reduce the chance of compacted soil. This is also important for farmers since compost can make the soil easier to till, conserving time and fuel. With the right composting technique, you can kill troublesome weeds, pests and disease-causing organisms. High temperature composting will do the trick. However, this technique is not meant for backyard compost piles but rather a laboratory or industrial-type pile. Studies indicate that using compost can suppress the growth of diseases in crops. Other studies show that crops grown in compost-rich soils can better resist pests


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

and insect attacks. Observations in the field also show that plants grown using compost produce crops that can be stored longer. Using compost together with the soil can build soil carbon, which will eventually reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Compost works well as an antidote for soils that are toxic with agricultural chemicals. Compost can balance the levels of soil acidity, and help farmers switch to organic after years of using synthetic agricultural products.

Composting Myths

Composting is a natural and simple process and yet it has been complicated by fallacies, misinformation, myths and misunderstandings. Let’s discuss some of the more widely known composting myths.

Myth: Composting requires a lot of work. Truth: Composting is a natural process. All you need to do is gather the materials and let nature do her job. Composting is a low-maintenance activity as well. You only need to turn the compost pile every once in a while to keep the air flowing to quicken the decomposition process.

Composting is a

natural process. All you need to do is gather the materials and let nature do her job.” Myth: Composting is limited to farms and wide-open spaces. Truth: On the contrary, people living in urban areas with limited space can create their own compost bin from a trash can. How much space would that take up? Another technique you can use is vermicomposting, which involves feeding your table scraps to red worms that are kept in a contained bin.

Myth: Composting needs precise measurements. Truth: Even though composting is best achieved with the right combination of green and brown elements, exact measurements are not necessary. Compost piles work the same if you pile them haphazardly.

Myth: You need specially formulated chemicals as starters or activators. Truth: Despite claims that applying chemicals or activators to the compost pile speeds up the decomposition process, they are not necessary. Simply adding some finished compost into the newly formed compost pile serves as an activator to get things started. Myth: Adding yeast will boost the compost’s performance. Truth: This is not true. By adding yeast to your compost pile, you are simply wasting your money. Myth: Compost smells. Truth: Compost should not smell. If your compost smells bad, then you likely did a poor job picking the materials for the compost pile.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


g n i t n a l p s n a r T from

s c i n o p o r Ae by Karen Wilkinson Aeroponics is an innovative growing method that makes optimal use of its air-mist environment. There is no growing medium; instead, plants are grown in a closed or semi-closed environment where roots and lower stem are sprayed with a nutrient-water solution. The roots never stand in stagnant water and constantly receive oxygenated water, thanks to the mist cycle. Aeroponically grown plants are fast to respond to nutrients, as there is no medium between their roots and food. They can grow bigger and bolder than if grown in soil or other media—and due to the direct nature of aero, they have limitless growth potential. To go

down the cheesy lane, the sky’s the limit with aero! Transplanting is by far one of the most critical stages of a plant’s life—after cloning—and it requires much care and preparation, along with patience and a gentle touch. Just like the stress people feel when moving from one

“Aeroponically grown plants are fast to respond to nutrients, as there is no medium between their roots and food.”


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

home or office to another, plants feel similar moving pains. When taken from an aeroponics system to another grow medium, plants are at higher risk of getting broken roots, so handle them delicately. Also, try to limit the number of transplants, and if going into a container, choose one that is large enough for its roots to spread and live a long time. While there are many, some are more popular than others. We compiled a list of five growing mediums and detailed the benefits and potential drawbacks of each.

Transplanting from aeroponics

To aeroponics

To coconut fibre

A simple and smooth transition for the plants, aero-to-aero is the least messy transplanting method (though aero is arguably one of the most challenging grow methods). For the plants, there is virtually no transplant shock; with proper, plant-specific nutrients, they shouldn’t notice a thing.

A truly organic growing medium that’s gaining popularity in the grow world, coconut fibre can be used in soil and hydroponic gardening systems; some growers also mix it with perlite or expanded clay for increased drainage.

“When taken from an aeroponics system to another grow medium, plants are at higher risk of getting broken roots, so handle them delicately.”


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

To expanded clay A wildly popular and simple hydroponic growing medium, expanded clay is lightweight and nearly inert, meaning it’s pH neutral and releases virtually no minerals into the nutrient stream. Due to its incredible ability to hold oxygen and nutrients, expended clay is an ideal growing medium for rooted clones and mother plants. Next to soil, it’s the most versatile growing medium.

To soil One of the more forgiving growing mediums, soil is ideal for transplanting to if you want to grow outdoors and enjoy the pleasures of a little dirt.

To rockwool cubes Rockwool is comprised of spun rock, allowing it to retain great amounts of water. It also comes in many shapes and sizes, and holds onto air—which is perfect for a newly transplanted clone’s vulnerable roots. Like with most growing methods and techniques, there is no one right way, as it’s all up to the grower’s preference. So, do what works best for you and don’t be afraid of a little experimentation—it could end up increasing your plants’ yield and prove to be a great learning experience.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


Consider Using

d i c A c Citri by Donald Lester

Knowing the way citric acid works in a variety of situations can bring you closer to understanding its benefits in greenhouses, indoor gardens or protected cropping systems.

Citric acid

is a good general cleaner, and is the active ingredient in many bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions.”


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Citric acid has many uses in hydroponics and greenhouse environments. In greenhouses and farming operations, citric acid can be used to acidify water or nutrient solutions—and remove calcium deposits, scale and other hard water buildup from tubing, pipes, drippers, tanks, cooling pads, nozzles, glass, equipment and other surfaces. If run through the irrigation or drip system, citric acid not only clears and removes hard water, calcium, and scale deposits, but over time it can reduce the pH of the soil as well. Citric acid is responsible for the sour taste we experience when eating lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges or other citrus fruits. As an ingredient, citric acid is used in many industries you would not expect. Citric acid is a good general cleaner, and is the active ingredient in many bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. A solution with a citric acid content of 6% will remove hard water stains from glass without the need for scrubbing. Citric acid is also used to dissolve rust from steel.

Here is another example: tobacco is a leafy green plant with high levels of chlorophyll, which is alkaline or high pH. This alkalinity gives cigarette smoke a harsh flavour. Citric acid is added to tobacco during processing to reduce the alkalinity of the leaves. Citric acid is also added to cigarette paper to control the rate at which it burns, allowing the paper and tobacco to burn at the same rate. Many people confuse citric acid with vitamin C (ascorbic acid), but the two are different, if only slightly. Chemically, the only difference between ascorbic acid and citric acid is that citric acid has one additional oxygen atom. Vitamin C tastes bitter, just like most vitamins, so citric acid is used as a flavouring in many preparations of vitamin C to mask the bitter taste of ascorbic acid. At room temperature, citric acid is a white crystalline powder that resembles table salt and readily dissolves in water. Acids have different strengths. The acids commonly used in hydroponics and greenhouses—nitric acid, phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid—are all considered to be strong acids, whereas citric acid, acetic acid (vinegar) and ascorbic acid

In greenhouses

and farming operations, citric acid can be used to acidify water or nutrient solutions—and remove calcium deposits, scale and other hard water buildup from tubing, pipes, drippers, tanks, cooling pads, nozzles, glass, equipment and other surfaces.”

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


consider using citric acid

With the growth of the organics market over the years, citric acid has become popular because it is principally made from natural sources and certified as suitable for use in organic food production.”

(vitamin C) are considered to be weak acids. Citric acid may be weak, but the citric acid in a lemon is strong enough to power a clock. Those LED clocks plugged into a lemon at children’s science fairs are powered principally by citric acid reacting with the metal in the wires to create a crude battery. Citric acid is also used in beverages and candies, and although it is considered to be a weak acid, it is known to be capable of dissolving away tooth enamel over time. In fact, it is said that the citric acid in lemon juice will even dissolve a pearl. There have been several articles written about the basic principles of pH—how low pH is acidic and high pH is alkaline (or basic)—so I will not review that here. But if a solution (or the water for the solution) is high in pH, then the way to reduce that pH is to add an acid. Citric acid products for growers and greenhouse applications usually come as pH-reducing additives, with tables supplied to assist in approximating the amount of product needed to adjust the pH from a given level to the desired level. These tables are helpful, but it is generally better to use a pH meter to ensure accuracy. Perhaps the central issue in mixing any nutrient solution is the pH or acidity of the water and finished mix. Citric acid is ideal as an acidifier for nutrient stock solutions and pesticide solutions because it is much less likely to react with fertiliser


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

salts or pesticides than other acids. Use citric acid for acidifying water used to make concentrated fertiliser stocks and pesticide solutions, because high-pH water can hydrolyze or degrade pesticides that are added. By adjusting the pH beforehand, pesticide solutions last longer and their effectiveness is maintained. Some acids used for water acidification also supply a plant nutrient in conjunction with the acid. For example, nitric acid supplies nitrogen and phosphoric acid supplies phosphorus. The nutrient supplied can be beneficial to plant growth if not supplied in excess, but it can also react with fertiliser salts in concentrated stock solutions or with pesticides if mixed into spray solutions. Growers who acidify their water should adjust their fertilisation program to account for any nutrient supplied by the corresponding acid. For example, if using phosphoric acid, growers need to make

sure to reduce the phosphorus fertiliser they add accordingly to account for the phosphorus supplied by the acid. These calculations may be too complicated for a beginner, so using citric acid can simplify the process. With the growth of the organics market over the years, citric acid has become popular because it is principally made from natural sources and certified as suitable for use in organic food production. Industrial-scale citric acid production originally began in 1890, based on the Italian citrus fruit industry. However, microbial production of citric acid did not become important until World War I disrupted Italian citrus exports. Today, most citric acid is produced commercially on a large scale by feeding sugar to the bacteria Aspergillus niger. Citric acid is a weak acid that is relatively safe compared to the strong acids like nitric acid, phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid. Because citric acid reduces the pH of solutions it is also a good disinfectant, and it is sometimes used as a cut-flower preservative in vases to reduce the pH of the water to 3.5 to prevent the growth of micro-organisms. Citric acid is relatively safe to use, inexpensive, versatile in its uses, natural, widely available and certified for use in organic food production. With all of these benefits you should consider using citric acid in your greenhouse, indoor garden or protected cropping system.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


s p i T n Te

for Starting Your

First Garden

A respected and successful gardener breaks it all down into 10 easy steps.

by Grubbycup

Gardens can produce vegetables for the table and flowers to brighten your home; they can also provide healthy exercise for the body and comfort for your soul. If approached properly, gardening can be an inexpensive hobby that gives more than it takes. However, since a successful garden is a lot more fun to work in than one that isn’t doing so well, here are some helpful tips to get new growers off to a good start:

“A successful garden is a lot more fun to work in than one that isn’t doing so well.”


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


Plants need a plan

Take a look at your potential garden spaces. Well-lit spare rooms can become homes to indoor hydroponic systems, patios make ideal locations for container gardens, sections of back lawns can be transformed into productive plots and every balcony and windowsill can become an oasis of thriving greenery. Whatever the location, though, every garden space needs both light and water to thrive—so make sure your plans include ways to supply these needs.

“If you’re using an artificial light source, remember that light disperses exponentially over distance so plants twice as far away only receive a quarter of the light.”


Plants need light

Select an area that gets enough light for the plants you intend to grow. To do this, monitor the amount of sunlight that the space receives throughout an entire day, preferably during the growing season. Make note of how many hours of full and partial light the plants will receive. Greenhouses and indoor gardens will also require additional lighting such as high intensity discharge (HID) lamps or fluorescent T5s. Because it adapts so well to a wide variety of lighting conditions, the human eye has trouble discerning the actual magnitude of available light, but with an inexpensive light meter empirical readings can be recorded quickly and easily. If you’re using an artificial light source, remember that light disperses exponentially over distance so plants twice as far away only receive a quarter of the light. With natural sunlight height is much less of a factor because of the intensity and amount of available light, but shadows become more important since the light source moves over the course of the day.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


ten tips

Four Three

Plants need water

You might be able to supply a small indoor or windowsill garden with just a watering can, but for a large container garden or an outdoor soil garden of any size you should consider adding a drip system—or at the very least make sure your garden hose will reach far enough to meet your needs. Drip systems allow water to be released slowly over time in specific areas and can be a much more efficient use of water than irrigation rows or sprinkler systems. Drip systems are particularly advantageous in container gardens. Regardless of how the plants are watered, however, it is important that the garden has sufficient drainage and that slight watering mishaps will not cause unintended damage to floors or muddy puddles in foot paths.

Plants need a good home

Once your space has been selected, it must be prepared. A simple hand drawn map can be a good organisational tool in figuring out your layout. Empty pots can be arranged and rearranged in a space a lot easier than full ones, so take advantage and find a configuration that takes into account lighting, watering and access and is pleasing to the eye as well. Indoor spaces should be cleared of clutter and surfaces protected from drips and spills. Keep in mind that neither carpeting nor hardwood floors tolerate spills well and both can be easily ruined. Outdoor spaces should be cleared of debris and any large unwanted plants removed. If the area has never been worked, then you will likely have to dig and turn it to level it out. Covering the area with a thick layer of organic mulch and compost, preferably over a layer of newspaper (a good way to recycle!) will give you the benefits of weed control without exposing the area to herbicides or your hands to excessive blisters.

“It is easy to get carried away in the spring and start off by planting something in every spare nook and cranny.” 48

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


Plants need nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK) and more

Mix up a batch of the following and apply at 3.78 L per 3-m by 3-m area: • 16 parts seed meal or alfalfa pellets (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) • Four parts bone meal, rock phosphate or guano (phosphorus) • Four parts kelp meal (many micronutrients) • Two parts dolomitic lime (calcium, magnesium) • One part agricultural lime (calcium) • One part gypsum (calcium, sulfur) Reapply at 0.9 L per 3-m by 3-m area. area every couple of months throughout the growing season.

ten tips

“Look at plants that do well in gardens in your area—nearby gardeners are often great sources for information and if they save seeds they can also be a source of open-pollinated cultivars.”



Plants need the right home

Look at plants that do well in gardens in your area—nearby gardeners are often great sources for information and if they save seeds they can also be a source of open-pollinated cultivars. Check the available sunlight hours in your space and compare them to the listed requirements of prospective seeds and plants. Plants not normally grown locally can sometimes be successfully cultivated in greenhouses and indoor gardens, but for beginning gardeners, stick with plants suited for your zone.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Plants can often make more plants

Seeds from heirloom and openpollinated cultivars can be saved and even many hybrid varieties can be reproduced vegetatively from cuttings. Many plants produce pods with seeds that only need to be collected and dried to be used the following year. Some seeds—like tomatoes—require fermentation or some other treatment to render them viable, but this is often easily done. Check the specifics of each plant to find out how they are propagated. Purchased seeds tend to come in larger quantities than one gardener can use and swapping leftover seeds can be a cost-effective way to grow additional varieties without additional expense.


Baby plants need special care

Newly sprouted plants are vulnerable to a variety of perils. Environmental changes, water deficiencies and physical abuse can quickly kill tender sprouts before they can become established. For plants that tolerate transplanting well, starting sprouts indoors can give them a sheltered environment and a way for gardeners to get a start on spring planting even before the last frost. Plants started indoors should be hardened by gradually exposing them to their new environmental conditions. This is done by moving them to less sheltered locations in steps, or by introducing them to the new location for first a few and then several hours a day, over a period of a week or so. Plants moved from a sheltered indoor environment to the harsher conditions outdoors without hardening may die from shock, so care must be taken to allow them to get used to their new conditions gradually.

ten tips


Plants make compost, and compost makes plants

Green waste ingredients are a resource that can be made into valuable compost without incurring shipping costs or middleman markups. A pile of garden trimmings will eventually break down first into compost and then later into humus. To speed the process up substantially, use approximately equal portions greens and browns. Greens—such as alfalfa hay and grass clippings—have a low carbonto-nitrogen ratio: only about 20 to one. Browns—like leaves, cardboard and straw—have much higher ratios: from 40 to one up to 100 to one, or more. Since the ideal ratio for composting is around 30 to one, equal parts 20 to one material and 40 to one material will even each other out to the desired level. Stacked in a 0.9-m by 0.9-m pile, watered to the consistency of a wrung-out sponge, the centre of the material should start to heat up and become a hot compost pile. Hot compost piles break down plant material in a matter of several weeks and can reach temperatures of 54.4 to 71.1°C. If the compost pile doesn’t seem like it’s heating up, try stirring and turning the pile. Even if it doesn’t heat up, it will still make cold compost, which will just take a matter of months instead of weeks.


Plants prefer patient perseverance It is easy to get carried away in the spring and start off by planting something in every spare nook and cranny. The weather is nice, excitement is in the air and dreams of massive harvests of fresh


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

veggies and flowers can cause the most reserved and stable among us to succumb to a slight case of gardening mania! When you’re just getting underway, exercise restraint and only start as many plants as you are honestly willing to see through the growing season. Twenty welltended plants will produce much more than 40 that get ignored once the initial thrill wanes. Start small and care for your plants—learn their likes and dislikes. If all goes well, plant a bigger garden next year. If it doesn’t, try to find out why by learning more about gardening and then try again. Many homegrown vegetables are not only cheaper to grow than to

buy, but are also better tasting, too— the key to cost-effective gardening is to invest more knowledge and sweat into your garden than money. There is a kind of quiet pride that comes from a well-tended garden and you’ll certainly enjoy eating fresh produce that can go from living plants to the table in minutes instead of weeks. For those with enough patience and determination, the rewards of a successful garden can fill both bellies and hearts. Every successful gardener once grew their first plant—I cannot encourage you strongly enough to try it for yourself!

“There is a kind of quiet pride that comes from a well-tended garden and you’ll certainly enjoy eating fresh produce that can go from living plants to the table in minutes instead of weeks.”



Despite claims that applying chemicals or activators to the compost pile speeds up the decomposition process, they are not necessary. Simply adding some finished compost into the newly formed compost pile serves as an activator to get things started.

Citric acid may be weak, but the citric acid in a lemon is strong enough to power a clock. Those LED clocks plugged into a lemon at children’s science fairs are powered principally by citric acid reacting with the metal in the wires to create a crude battery.


3. 4.

Some disease spores can survive for years inside old plant debris, while insect eggs may make the material a new source of infestations for many months to come. For this reason composting old plant material and growing media inside the growing area is not a good idea.


Aeroponics is an innovative growing method that makes optimal use of its air-mist environment. There is no growing medium; instead, plants are grown in a closed or semi-closed environment where their roots and lower stems are sprayed with a nutrient-water solution.

Drip systems allow water to be released slowly over time in specific areas and can be a much more efficient use of water than irrigation rows or sprinkler systems.


Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Growers know


By Raquel Neofit

Damp, dark world of underground

mushroom production Raquel Neofit, on behalf of Maximum Yield, recently sat down with Dr. Noel Arrold from Li-Sun Exotic Mushrooms to learn all about Australia’s subterranean world of mushroom farming.

In the late ‘60s, before Noel Arrold became Dr. Noel Arrold, he acquired a grant while studying microbiology at the University of Sydney to examine the scientific principles behind cultivating mushrooms. After tweaking the conditions, he created the perfect damp growing environment to cultivate the spawn that produces topnotch fungi. In 1987, Noel decided to move to commercial mushroom farming after the perfect opportunity arose in the form of a subterranean railway tunnel. In 1866, a single-line tunnel linked Mittagong and Bowral in New South Wales Southern Highlands. Eventually proving itself outdated, a new double-line track was constructed in 1919 and the tunnel stood unoccupied until the ‘50s when it was converted into Australia’s first underground commercial mushroom farm. In the 1980s, Noel was producing spawn in his laboratory on the outskirts of Mittagong for commercial mushroom growers, but when he discovered that Li-Sun Exotic 56

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Mushrooms had become available and the dark and damp tunnel was part of the deal, he decided it was time to venture into the world of growing. Soon after he moved into the unknown field of exotic fungi. Noel was the first mushroom grower in Australia to produce fresh shiitake mushrooms. With Asian cooking on the rise in Australia, branching into Asian fungi delicacies was a smart move and you are likely to find Li-Sun Exotic Mushrooms in many well-known restaurants along the east coast. Li-Sun produces 1,500 kg of exotic mushrooms each week in this 650-m tunnel, which resembles the naturally occurring conditions of the forests in China, Japan and Korea—damp, dimly lit and cool. Constructed from limestone and Bowral red brick, only half of the tunnel’s area was in use when Noel moved in. He concreted in the remaining area and quickly increased the tunnel’s output. Noel might be leading the way in growing exotic mushrooms in Australia, but he’s a scientist at heart. Over

the years, he has discovered new methods for cultivating the spawn of certain species of exotic mushrooms and invested in a climate-controlled cropping room that offers better growing conditions to grow varieties like coloured oyster, enoki, king brown and chestnut. Here’s what he had to say about Australia’s subterranean world of mushroom farming.

“With Asian cooking on the rise in Australia, branching into Asian fungi delicacies was a smart move.”

Raquel Neofit: How do your mushrooms start out before being transferred to the tunnel? Noel Arrold: Our mushrooms are produced by mixing sawdust, lime, bran and moisture together, filling it into a plastic bag and then sterilising the bag at 121°C. The mushroom growing process begins with a spawn run. If you take a standard brown mushroom and stand it on its end on a piece of paper overnight, spores or seeds will drop out of it and form a spore print. Outside they would then get carried off by the wind and germinated. Inside you use something like boiled potato extract mixed with an agar substance so the spore print has something to cling to. We also use grains; the spawn grows all around the grain and then you have a carrier. As it grows it produces thin, cottonlike strands and this is what we call the spawn-run phase. RN: What are the conditions like in the tunnel? NA: Like the cool climate forests in Asia where these mushrooms grow naturally on dead trees. The temperature is 16°C and the humidity is 80% or more.

“the mushrooms grow closely side by side in the forest, so there isn’t a lot of room for pests to get at them.” RN: Do you have temperature controls? NA: We have a small hot water boiler at the northern end of the tunnel, which is 12°C in winter. The rest of the tunnel is 16°C or more year round. RN: What do you grow your mushrooms in? NA: Shiitake, enoki, wood ear, king brown, chesnut and nameko grow on sawdust blocks, oyster and shimejii are grown on pasteurized wheat straw. RN: What does it take to care for a crop of mushrooms? NA: Good spawn, temperature control during the spawn run and avoiding pests and disease. We don’t get a lot of pests,

Exotic mushrooms growing in Australia.

photos submitted

but if we do we throw out the entire bag. In natural growing conditions the mushrooms grow closely side by side in the forest, so there isn’t a lot of room for pests to get at them. The only bug we sometimes see is the manure fly that attacks all rotting material, but we don’t use or believe in using pesticides, we just throw the batch out and start again. Sometimes we can encounter different moulds—red or green—but they don’t affect the crop in any way. RN: Where do you see the future of mushroom growing in Australia going? NA: Expanding because of the influence of cooking shows like MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules. RN: And finally, do you have any tips for readers who might like to grow mushrooms at home? NA: Oyster and shimejii can be grown easily at home but you need to buy the spawn. Other species are harder to grow as the substance needs to be sterilised. A final interesting fact from Dr. Arrold—shiitake mushrooms have been grown in China since the 1100s and back then the Chinese would rub the blocks of green mould on cuts to help the healing process, effectively using the first penicillin before it was even discovered. Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


talking shop

At a Glance Company: Hyalite Hydroponics Owner: Greg Pano Location: Unit 4/19 Jersey Road, Bayswater, Victoria 3153 (Six other stores across Australia) Phone: (03) 9720 1946 Email: Website:

Will Noe


The Bayswater location of Hyalite Hydroponics is a one-stop hydroponic superstore where growers can find everything they need. The store has also become a community hub where gardeners come to share their growing techniques, information and knowledge.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Hyalite Hydroponics in Bayswater, Victoria is a central hub of hydroponic equipment, feeding programs, education, knowledge and practical advice. Our store manager, Will Noe, has been servicing the hydroponics industry for more than seven years, but his green thumb has been with him for a lifetime—just try leaving without a bucket load of new knowledge and advice on all matters gardening related. With more than 370 sq. m of floor space and a fully-loaded gardening inventory, Will can customise a hydroponic system specifically designed to fit your personal growing space and complete the package with a yield-driven feeding program and step-by-step instructions to make any installation a breeze. He’ll even teach you the secrets behind maximising yield from your first harvest! Hyalite Bayswater is a one-stop hydroponic superstore that’s managed to retain a general-store atmosphere, stocking cutting-edge products from industry leaders like Nutrifield, Lucious, Ezi Air, Mountain Air, Canna, House and Garden, Grotek, Dutch Master, Bloem, Sun Master and GE. Will believes they’ve created a niche in the hydroponic retail market because they keep things simple for gardeners. “Our greatest assets are our customers and we respect their ideas and opinions,” he says. “We offer free samples on new products so customers can guide us with their feedback—we only sell what works—and if it hasn’t been proven to work then we don’t sell it!”

“Will thrives on inspiring his customers to discover the great growing potential they hold. Hyalite has evolved into a community hub where gardeners come to share their growing techniques, information and knowledge.” Many of Hyalite's high-performance nutrient programs are recommended by our loyal customers. One example is the Nutrifield range, which is Hyalite's number-one selling range of hydroponic nutrient systems and a range the store stands behind 100%. “Our customers are getting amazing results using Nutrifield products and we strongly recommend them to our organic gardeners,” Will says. “It’s developed from pharmaceutical grade compounds and their range of additives is derived from natural and organic sources.” Will thrives on inspiring his customers to discover the great growing potential they hold and loves the fact that he’s on a first-name basis with most of their loyal customers—Hyalite has evolved into a community hub where gardeners come to share their growing techniques, information and knowledge. The future of the hydroponic industry has much more in store than anyone can imagine and the company plans to stay up-to-date with everything the industry has to offer. As Hyalite continues to grow and expand, we will continue to appreciate the opinions and

feedback of our loyal growers and be available to offer advice and guidance in your hydroponic gardening adventures. Will and his team are veterans in the art and science of pushing a plant beyond its limits. So pop in with all your hydroponic conundrums and Hyalite Bayswater’s winning team will guide you in the right direction for maximum yields and ultimate growth outcomes. Hyalite Hydroponics has been proudly serving the Australian market for 14 years; with seven locations throughout Australia and the flexibility of an easy-touse online store, we keep hours to suit everyone’s hydroponic shopping needs. Our Bayswater store is open six days a week from Monday to Saturday and Will, along with his dedicated team, are readily available to answer all your hydroponic gardening questions and help you plan your next set-up or feeding program. Just bring along the dimensions and a drawing of your growing area and we’ll do the rest! And, as the largest retail group in Australia, Hyalite can ensure competitive prices combined with excellent service. Shop online or browse our catalogue at

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


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


54 Wahroonga Road, Kanwal NSW 2259 (61) 2 4393 3131 ASE Hydroponics

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

Factory 10/45 Leighton Pl., Hornsby NSW 2077 (02) 9477 3710

100 Station Road, Seven Hills, Sydney NSW 2147 (02) 8812 2845

Ballina Hydro

Hydro Masta Pty Ltd

3 Ray O’Niell Crescent, Ballina NSW 2478 (02) 6686 7321

76 Beecroft Road, Epping NSW 2121 (02) 9869 3011

Brunswick Hydro & Aquarium Supplies

Hydro Net

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

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

Retail Stores are listed alphabetically by city in each state.

Northern Nursery Supplies Pty Ltd

14-16 Nance Road, Kempsey NSW 2440 (02) 6563 1599 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

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

Uncle Wal’s Gardenland

Ezi Grow Hydro

B/385 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty NSW 2261 (02) 4333 5700

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

57 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 (02) 9326 0307

31 Crescent Avenue, Taree NSW 2430 (02) 6550 0221

Hydro Wise

Home Grown Aquaponics

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

Factory 1/5 Sefton Road, Thronleigh NSW 2120 (02) 9473 5000

Stuart & Tincogan Sts, Mullumbimby NSW 2482 (02) 6684 4928

Grow Your Own

Lismore Hydro

Unit 6/34 Alliance Ave, Morisset NSW 2264 (02) 4973 5179

1/106 Canway Street, Lismore NSW 2480 (02) 6621 3311

Happy Grow Hydro

Lismore Hydroponics

15/The Crescent Street, Penrith NSW 2750 (02) 4732 2870


rear of 28 Casino St., South Lismore, NSW 2480 (02) 6621 3311

Walsh’s Seeds Garden Centre

Hindmarsh Hydroponics

Unit 1/4 Windmill Street, Southport QLD 4215 (07) 5591 6501

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

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

2 Clarkes Track, Malanda QLD 4885 (07) 4096 6443

Eye Lighting Australia Pty Ltd

881 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350 (07) 4636 1077

PO Box 306, Carole Park QLD 4300 (07) 3335 3556

SOUTH AUSTRALIA ------------------------------------------

Green Power Hydroponics

2/80 Beerburrum Road, Caboolture QLD 4510 (07) 5428 1133

H2 Gro Pty Ltd

Hydro Supplies

Hydroponics Grow All Year

E.T. Grow Home

Port Pumps and Irrigation

(02) 6885 1616 Ezi Grow Hydro 177 Mt Druit Road, Mt Druitt NSW 2770 (02) 9832 1610

Ezi Grow Hydro

Harvest Time Hydroponics

Grow Hydro

2/58 Machinery Dr., Tweeds Head South NSW 2486 (07) 5524 8588

1B/340 Windsor Street, Richmond NSW 2753 (02) 4588 5826

Tumbling Waters Hydroponics

5/404 Deception Bay Road, Deception Bay QLD 4508 (07) 3204 8324

250 Princess Highway, Nowra South NSW 2541 (02) 4423 0599

Unit 1/5-7 Channel Road, Mayfield West NSW 2304 (02) 4960 0707

42c Victoria Street, Dubbo West NSW 2830

D-Bay Hydroponics Shop

22 Mining Street, Bundamba QLD 4304 (07) 3816 3206 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

387 Progress Rd Wacol QLD 4076 +61 (07) 3271 6210 KY Garden

3/31 Argyle PDE, Darra Brisbane QLD 4076 (07) 3375 9098

Advanced Garden Supplies Advanced Garden Supplies

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

Slacks Creek Hydroponics

#13/22 Allgas St. Slacks Creek QLD 4217 (07) 3299 1397

Sunstate Hydroponics

1137 Ipswitch Road, Moorooka QLD 4105 (07) 3848 5288

Sunstate Hydroponics

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

D & W Dependable Hardware

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

13 Research Road, Pooraka SA 5095 (08) 8260 2000 Hydro Heaven

Hydro Sales & Service

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

Glandore Hydroponics

Shop 5/645 Lower North East Road SA 5075 (08) 8365 5172

Greener than Green

113 Maurice Road, Murray Bridge SA (08) 8532 3441

644 - 646 South Road, Glandore SA 5037 (08) 8371 5777

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

67 Aerodrome Road, Maroochydore QLD 4558 (07) 5479 1011

4 Symonds St. Royal Park SA 5014 (08) 8447 5899

The Hydroponic Warehouse

Ground-Up Service Nursery

Shop 3/73 PIckering Street, Enoggera QLD 4051 (07) 3354 1588

Hong Kong Hydro

1 Salisbury Crescent, Colonel Light SA 5041 (08) 8272 2000

45B Kettering Road, Elizabeth South SA 5112 (08) 8287 6399

383 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870 (07) 4054 5884

14/1042 Grand Junction Road, Holden Hill SA 5088 (08) 8395 4455

Amazon Aquariums & Gardening

North Queensland Hydro Supplies

Northern Hydroponics

Highland Grow & Flow

Kane Motors-Hunt Road, Mount Barker SA 5251 (08) 8391 1880

Nerang Hydroponic Centre

Shop 2B/20-22 Fleming St., Townsville QLD 4810 (07) 4728 3957

39a Manton Street, Hindmarsh SA 5095 (08) 8346 9461

3/8 Bredbo St Lonsdale S.A. 5160 (08) 8382 1191 ------------------------------------------

434 Saddleback Road, Whyalla SA 5600 (08) 8645 3105

27 Lawrence Drive, Nerang QLD 4211 (07) 5527 4155

Shop 3/146-148, Findon Road, Findon SA 5023 (08) 8244 0222

3 Copinger Road, Pt. Pirie SA 5540 (08) 8264 9455

Professional Hydroponics

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

Barb’s Hydro and Nursery

15 Wallace Avenue, Interverloch Vic 3196 (03) 5674 2584

Bayside Hydroponics

5/9 Rutherford Road Seaford, VIC 3198 (03) 9775 0495Belgrave Hydroponics

5/ 60-68 Colby Drive, Belgrave Heights Vic 3160 (03) 9754 3712 Brew ‘N’ Grow

Peachey Road, Elizabeth West SA 5113 (08) 8255 1355

4 - 479 Nepean Highway, Edithvale Vic 3199 (03) 9783 3006


12 The Arcade Street, Cranbourne Vic 3977 (03) 5996 3697

Advanced Hydroponics

26 Mulgrave Street, South Launceston Tas 7249 (03) 6344 5588 Aqua Hydroponics

Rear 45 Burnett St. New Norfolk Tas 7140 (03) 6294 9233 Ezy Grow

625 East Derwent Highway, Lindisfarne Tas 7015 (03) 6243 9490 Garden World

717 West Tamar Highway, Legana Tas 7277 (03) 6330 1177 ------------------------------------------

Casey Hydro

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

18 Princes Hwy. Doveton VIC 3177 (03) 9792 2966

Echuca Hydroponic Nursery & Supplies Green Acres Hydroponics

23 Ogilvie Avenue, Echuca Vic 3564 (03) 5480 2036

46-48 Bingalong Road, Mornington, TAS 7018 (03) 6245 1066 ------------------------------------------

Echuca Pump Shop

Growers Choice

2/41 Quinn Street, Preston Vic 3072 (03) 9495 0083

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

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

AAA Lush Hydroponics

2-4 The Arcade, Junction Village, Melbourne Vic 3972

128 Ogilvie Avenue, Echuca Vic 3564 (03) 5480 7080

Excel Distributors Pty Ltd

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

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


1/54 Lara Way, Campbellfield, Vic, 3061 (03) 9357 8805

Hyalite Bayswater

Simply Hydroponics Pakenham

4/19 Jersey Road, Bayswater Vic 3153 (03) 9720 1946 Hyalite Global

Factory 6/3-11 Bate Close Pakenham, Victoria 3810 (03) 5940 9047

Hyalite Westend

157 Tenth Street, Mildura Vic 3500 (03) 5023 6422

Hydroponic Central

PO Box 171, Highbury Vic 5089 (88) 264-3600

10 Knight Avenue, Sunshine North Vic 3020 (03) 9356 9400 3 Third Avenue, Sunshine Vic 3020 (03) 9311 3510 110 Dynon Road West Melbourne Vic. 3003 (03) 9376 0447 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 Hoppers Crossing

3/8 Motto Court Hoppers Crossing, 3029 (03) 8742 2830

Latrove Valley Home Brew Supplies

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

830-850 Princes Highway, Springvale, Vic, 3171 (03) 9546 9688 -----------------------------------------Holland Forge Pty Ltd.

5 Hi-tech Place, Rowville Vic 3178 (03) 9764 1372


Isabella’s Hydroponics

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

Greenleaf Hydroponics

Growlush Australia

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

Sunlite Hydroponics

Unit 4/504-506 Fullarton Road, Airport West 3042 (03) 9331 5452

345 Sommerville Road, Footscray West Vic 3012 (03) 9314 0055

Rear 24 Simms Road, Greensborough Vic 3088 (03) 9435 6425 ------------------------------------------

Hydroponic Warehouse

Hyalite Airport West

Living Jungle

Grow 4 XS

Simply Hydroponics Epping

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


9a Church Street, Traralgon Vic 3844 (03) 5176 0898

291 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood Vic 3134 (03) 9870 8566

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

Hydroponic Solutions

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

Greenleaf Hydroponics

GreenLite - Ringwood

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

10 Dilop Drive, Epping Vic 3076 (03) 9408 4677

PO Box 802, Morwell Vic 3804 (03) 5133 9140

Factory 7, Industrial Park Drive, Lilydale Vic 3140 (03) 9739 7311

Shepparton Hydroponics

Simply Hydroponics

10 Knight Avenue, Sunshine Vic 3020 (03) 9356 9400

Albury Hydroponics/ Cappers Hydroponics

62 Thomas Mitchell Drive, Springvale Vic 3171 61 (02) 6024 4029


Sunray Hydro

Supply Net International P/L

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

61 McArthur Street, Sale Vic 3850 (03) 5143 1143

4/91 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill WA 6060 (08) 9345 5321

Palms & Plants

Growsmart Hydroponics

175 Salisbury Highway, Salisbury S.A. 5108 (08) 8285 7575

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

Prestige Hydroponics Pty. Ltd.

Hydro Nation

S 2.10 Level 2, 343 Little Collins St. Melbourne VIC Australia 3000 61 4 187 81083

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

66 Jambanis Road, Wanneroo WA 6065 (08) 9306 3028 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 The Great Indoors

Unit 1/25 Gillam Dr. Kelmscott WA 6111 (08) 9495 2815 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

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 Guru Gardener

14 Molesworth St., New Plymouth (06) 758 6661 Otaki Hydroponics

1083 S.H. 1 South Otaki (06) 364 2206 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

7/36 Port Kembla Dr. Bibra Lake, WA 6163 (08) 9434 5118

Switched on Gardener

Water Garden Warehouse

Switched on Gardener

14 Drake Street, Osborne Park WA 6017 (08) 9443 7993

Number 143 Tuam Street, Christchurch CBD (03) 374 5682 Number 313 King Edward Street, Dunedin (03) 456 1980

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013


COMING UP IN November/December Organoleptic Quality—Which Nutrients Contribute to Good Taste? Providing an optimal supply of all the nutrients plants require is the best way to ensure good flavour. This article covers one of the most crucial elements in deciding how your crops will taste—sulfur—and how to deliver it to your plants.

Battle of the Bugs: A Guide to Beneficial Insects We take a look at one environmentally friendly weapon in the anti-pest arsenal— beneficial bugs—why growers should consider using these biological control methods in their gardens and which bugs to use against particular pest problems.

Physiological Disorders of Indoor Gardens Indoor gardening offers to plants conditions that are fully under the gardener's control, so when physiological disorders strike, they can seem strange, mysterious and even sinister. This articles outlines the signs and symptoms of different physiological problems, including issues specific to indoor gardens.


Stay in the Know with Maximum Yield’s E-News Every month Maximum Yield’s E-News brings you the latest news, tips and tricks, reader questions, contests and upcoming events. If you are not yet subscribed to our mailing list, sign up today at


Get Free VIP Passes to the Long Beach Expo There is only one more stop on the 2013 Maximum Yield Indoor Gardening Grow Like a Pro Expo tour. So, be sure to plan your next vacation to Long Beach, California, on October 26 to 27. Whether you’re a new or experienced gardener, this show will offer something for everyone. Stay tuned to where you'll soon be able to download and print free passes to Sunday's public day.

Meet the Team Throughout 2013 there have been a few changes at the Maximum Yield office, including the addition of some great people to the team. To learn more about our current roster, check out


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

Author Archives Has a particular Maximum Yield contributor caught your eye recently? Look them up using our online author archives. Simply visit

E-News Archives Every month, Maximum Yield sends out an electronic newsletter containing indoor gardening industry tidbits to our followers. We also keep all of that information posted on in case you ever miss something.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Compatible with Hand-held Devices No matter which smartphone or tablet you own, loading up your digital copies of Maximum Yield will now be possible thanks to multiple software upgrades and improvements. Readers can now view their digital copies of Maximum Yield in even more places!

Ask an Expert Maximum Yield’s resident experts are ready to answer your modern gardening questions. Email or fill out the Ask the Experts form on

Scan It Connect to instantly from your smartphone with our Quick Response (QR) Code found on the cover of every issue of Maximum Yield.

Maximum Yield | September/October 2013



Maximum Yield | September/October 2013

Maximum Yield NZ Sept/Oct 2013  
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