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UK May - June 2013


Indoor gardenING expo


Maximum Yield’s






July 27-28


CONTENTS May/June 2013


Pest ID & Control


Growing Stevia: A Natural Alternative to Sugar

by Dr. Lynette Morgan

by Michael Bloch

16 30

by Eric Hopper


Understanding Heirloomology by Matt LeBannister



From the Editor



Letters to the Editor

by Philip McIntosh


Simon Says

How to Pot and Repot Plants


MAX Facts


Product Spotlight


You Tell Us

Photosynthesis and Plant Nutrition 2 by Bentley Mills


Bloom Boosters by Helene Isbell

62 66

Of Moulds and Mildews

by Therese Cressman


The Aquaculture Component by Dr. Lynette Morgan


Eco-friendly Horticultural Lighting


Aphid 38


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


Talking Shop


Max Mart


Industry's Latest




Coming up Next Issue

FROM THE EDITOR | Linda Jesson To help ensure you see great results in or outside the growroom this time of year, this issue of Maximum Yield provides plenty of information to get your next crop off to a great start and a fantastic finish! We feature ways to get the best blooms from your flowers using carefully selected boosters, and highlight some ways to tackle moulds and mildews if you ever experience these common gardening problems. We also take a look at how to identify common pests in your garden (and how to control them), as well as the aquaculture aspect of aquaponics. In our regular Talking Shop department, we get to know Rob Bryant and some of the neat things he is involved in, and we also check in with Ecological Laboratories in our You Tell Us section. Don't forget to check out some of the latest products in our product profile section, and brush up on some neat things happening in the industry in our Max Facts section. From choosing eco-friendly horticultural lighting, to understanding photosynthesis and plant nutrition, this issue of Maximum Yield covers a lot of ground. If you find yourself with time to travel this season, consider joining us in Novi, Michigan from June 1 to 2 where we will be hosting our second Indoor Gardening Expo of the year. It will be our second time exhibiting in the Great Lakes area. You'll be able to see the newest and greatest products available to maximise your garden and be eligible to win huge prizes! Plus, it's always fun to meet with other growers. Denver, Colorado's show was a huge success and we look forward to seeing familiar friends and new faces in Michigan. Check out for complete details. And, speaking of winning huge prizes, we are now accepting entries for our annual Win a Growroom contest. Simply visit to find out how you can win a completely re-outfitted growroom made up of generous donations from some of the top names in the hydroponics and indoor gardening industry.

Message from the

Editor Linda Jesson

Please feel free to share this issue of Maximum Yield with the other gardeners in your life! Until next time, happy growing!

contributors Matt LeBannister developed a

Dr. Lynette Morgan holds a B.

Bill DeBoer is a laboratory scientist

Michael Bloch is the owner and editor of, an online resource powered by renewable energy. The site offers a wide variety of earth friendly tips, green guides, advice and environment-related news to help consumers and businesses reduce costs, consumption and environmental impact.

Eric Hopper has over 10 years of experience in the hydroponic industry as both a retail store manager and owner. He continuously seeks new methods and products that could help maximize garden performance. Eric resides in Michigan where he and his family strive for a self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.

Bentley Mills owns Georgia-based FloraHydroponics. He operates a one-acre commercial hydroponic greenhouse where he grows produce using deep pool floating raft technology. Bentley’s background in horticulture began while managing Micro Macro International (MMI). Bentley can be contacted at

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

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.

at Indiana-based steadyGROWpro. A master gardener intern, Bill is responsible for company’s laboratory operations, including the design and execution of research projects, plant propagation, seed germination and overall plant care. Bill has a BS and MS from Purdue University, and was previously a research technician for the US Department of Agriculture.

Philip McIntosh is a science and

technology writer with a bachelor’s degree in botany and chemistry and a master’s degree in biological science. During his graduate research, he used hydroponic techniques to grow axenic plants. He lives in Colorado Springs, CO., where he teaches mathematics at Challenger Middle School.

Helene Isbell has a passion for plants.

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


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Become a Maximum Yield contributor and have your articles read by 475,000+ readers throughout the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Maximum Yield is the largest free-to-consumer indoor gardening magazine in the world. Every issue is available on, which has thousands of unique visitors monthly.

COMING UP ON THE WEB Another Great Year of Expos Well Underway

Excitement is continuing to build for the 2013 Maximum Yield Indoor Gardening Expo Tour. We’ve wrapped up a great event in Denver, Colorado, and are gearing up for our next stop in Novi, Michigan on June 1 and 2. Start planning your appearance now and book your exhibit space today! Visit for all the latest.

Got Questions? Get Answers.

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

May/June 2013 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 Editor Jessica Skelton Assistant Editor Julie McManus ADVERTISING SALES Sales Manager Ilona Hawser - Account Executives Ashley Heppell - Emily Rodgers - Kelsey Hepples - Katie Montague - DESIGN & PRODUCTION Art Director Alice Joe Graphic Designers Liz Johnston Jennifer Everts Dionne Hurd ACCOUNTING Tracy Greeno - Tara Campbell -

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Tell us what you think at We’d love to hear from you. Connect to instantly from your Smartphone with our Quick Response (QR) Code, found on the cover of every issue of Maximum Yield. Now you can access the best products, the most in-depth articles and information, and the latest news at high speeds. Simply download the QR Code Reader software compatible with your Smartphone, scan the QR Code and your phone’s browser will automatically launch, redirecting you to It’s that simple!

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Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

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

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Thanks for everything

I would just like to thank the guys at Maximum Yield for doing a tremendous job on the article for The Grow Home on Talking Shop. Once again, many thanks. Terry Campbell, owner of The Grow Home, West Sussex (via Facebook) Editor’s note: Hey Terry, thanks for the feedback. It’s great learning more about the retail stores that carry our magazine. We appreciate your participation in the whole thing as well. Cheers!

Hi, Maximum Yield

I must tell you that since I read your November/December issue regarding community supported aquaponics (Max Facts, page 16), I have volunteered on the farm [in Bristol] and they have recently asked me to become a director. The Bristol Fish Project is just about to relocate and we have been looking at the eighth floor in an old bonded warehouse and it has a glass roof, which will be amazing if we get the space. Rob Bryant Editor’s Note: In his letter above, Rob is referring to a community-led aquaponics scheme being trialed in Bristol to see if urban fish farming is a viable option. The Bristol Fish Project is exploring a number of innovative techniques— from using black soldier fly larvae as fish food to utilising algae to balance the nutrients in the system—for more sustainable fish and vegetable production. Volunteers are being offered free or cost-price fish and green vegetables in exchange for working on the fish allotment project. Keep up with Rob and The Bristol Fish Project at and learn more about the retail shop Rob manages, Bill & Bens HydroWorld in this issue’s Talking Shop feature on page 74.

I’m a Fan Winners Announced

Santino Patterson from Bellmawr, New Jersey, is the second winner of Maximum Yield’s I’m a Fan Contest. Santino said, “Maximum Yield always has the best upto-date information on all the best new products and indoor growing techniques. It’s the only magazine I need to stay on top of all my horticultural needs. Maximum Yield is by far the most insightful indoor gardening magazine out there. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that it’s free! You just can’t beat it!” Thanks for the kudos, Santino, and congratulations on winning Maximum Yield’s second I’m a Fan contest! We hope you enjoy your $100 gift certificate at your favourite indoor gardening shop, Boyer Indoor Gardening. The following month, Tye Flowers from Indianapolis, Indiana, won the third Maximum Yield I’m a Fan Contest! Tye said, “With a last name of ‘Flowers,’ you would think having a green thumb would be genetic. That’s not the case here; although, I would say mine was greener than most when I started over 10 years ago. When I started out, local shops were great at starting me off on the right foot, but as I had more questions I found it hard to get consistent answers. Then I found the Yield! Well, I think you guys have set us straight. It’s like you guys publish certain months just for me. Sometimes I’ll flip through articles that are years old and still find answers. I’m guaranteed to learn something useful.” Thanks for the kudos, Tye, and congratulations on winning Maximum Yield’s third I’m a Fan contest! We hope you enjoy your $100 gift certificate at your favourite indoor gardening shop, Maximum Grow Gardening.

Would you like a chance to win Maximum Yield’s I’m a Fan contest? Tell us why you are a fan of Maximum Yield and you could win the monthly prize of a $100 gift card to your favourite indoor gardening shop, and also have a chance at the grand prize of a $1,000 gift card to your favourite indoor gardening shop. Simply send your testimonial, name, address, phone number and email address to, or fill out the online form at Contest closes December 14, 2013. Read what other people are saying at

Friendly Facebook Tips We recently asked our Facebook fans what has been giving them the best results for germination. Below is some of the great responses we received. Bena Mack “I soak in a paper towel until I see some spouts, then right in soil.” Brandon Fiore “Soaked rooters with RO water. I use Atami Rootbastic as soon as I see a tap root in the plugs.”


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Daniel Ornelas “The old paper towel method in a Ziplock bag, and put it somewhere warm and dark. Usually on top of a PC tower or my cable box. Seems to never fail. I can’t remember a seed that didn’t pop this way.”

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

SIMON SAYS SIMON SAYS Hey Simon, I have a problem with spider mites (seems like a common problem). I was thinking of cranking up my carbon dioxide levels to 10,000 ppm with my CO2 monitor to try and eradicate them. Would it work? Increasing the carbon dioxide levels to that completely unnatural concentration might actually be effective since I think it would be exceptionally hard for them to breathe. Of course, the danger of this is it would also be extremely harmful to people in and around the area. Even if you exhaust the room into a different area, the concentrations would still be highly elevated. I seem to remember talking to a scientist who mentioned that extreme levels of carbon dioxide can become phytotoxic, but I can’t recall exactly who gave me that information and I am not sure of the mechanism. Personally, I would not recommend the method you suggest. Spider mites are a severe problem for many indoor gardeners and there are various methods that can be efficacious at keeping these pests at bay. • Keep your growroom clean. This point can’t be stressed enough. If you are a serious gardener, your growing area should be tidy and free from debris. Also, avoid bringing problems in from outside by having air filters on your intake and also consider wearing clothing just for the growroom. It might seem like overkill, but consider how meticulous commercial greenhouses are. They understand that in an unnatural environment, the introduction of a pest can quickly spread out of control, so prevention is the best solution. • Be vigilant in your garden. Once a spider mite problem is detected, isolate the affected plants if you can move them, and then segregate them with a divider, but be sure to move them away from your other plants and try to reduce the amount of air movement around the affected plants. • Chemical options are still available and can be effective; however, please read the product’s label. All of it. Many of these products are exceptionally harmful if not applied exactly as recommended and licensed by the manufacturer. Their major downfall? Insects build up resistance far more quickly than humans because their lifecycles are shorter. This means that the spray that was very effective last year will be less effective this year. Use a rolling system of a variety of options to minimise the buildup of generational resistance. • We all know I love organics and I will continue that trend for this answer and remind all readers that there


14 14

Yield | May/June 2013 Maximum Yield USA | December 2011

are many organic alternatives now. Neem-based products have been leading the way for years, but now we have all sorts of plant extracts and essential oils that can impede the super web from forming in the middle of your crop. Note: if you have webbed super highways between plants remember that dismantling them and squishing them with your thumbs (physical removal) can actually do a great job at decreasing the population prior to using an insecticide (chemical or organic). Be sure to clean your hands properly after since you don’t want to move mites so they can come back later. • I can remember always telling clients in the shop that if I had a problem with gazelles in my backyard I would probably buy a lion. It’s a bit of a stretch, but that was my pitch on beneficial insects—nature has a solution. Commercial greenhouses around the world use predatory insects as their primary method to help mitigate pests. Most of these insects are available to home gardeners as well. In this case, there are a few types of mites that eat spider mites and there are more options on the horizon. For those of you that are not convinced on beneficials, consider these points: 1. Commercial farmers don’t use things that don’t work. 2. If you have a million mites in your room, buying 1,000 predators will not help you since they can only eat a certain amount everyday. 3. For large gardens the best approach can sometimes be to buy a bulk supply of predators prior to an outbreak. This acts as a pre-emptive move that can inhibit an explosion of the spider mite population. This can be a good insurance policy on short cycle annual plantings but is less effective in a perennial situation. So first you spot your mite problem by spending time in your garden, observing and noticing the issue early. Then you isolate your plants from further contaminating your crop. Try to physically knock down the population then apply a pesticide, organic if possible. Order your beneficial bugs and apply them as soon as they come in. Be vigilant with the remainder of the plants to make sure you have quarantined the mite population. MY


hydroponic news, tips and trivia

Making the Case for Ugly Fruits and Veggies A new United Nations campaign advises consumers to “buy funny fruit” or vegetables that would otherwise be thrown out because their size, shape or colour do not meet accustomed standards. Dubbed “Think-Eat-Save Reduce Your Foodprint,” the campaign is designed to change global practices that result in the loss of 1.3 billion tonnes of food each year. It’s aimed primarily at consumers, food retailers and the hotel and restaurant industry, and is based on three recommended actions: think, eat and save. In additonal to funny-looking product, consumers are urged to plan ahead, and retailers are urged to offer up discounts for food that is nearing its sell-by date, standardise labels and donate more food. (Source:

MAXFACTS hydroponic news, tips and trivia Trumpeting the Daffodil The daffodil is one of the few plants with a "corona", a crown-like structure also referred to as the "trumpet." New research suggests that the corona is not an extension of the petals as previously thought, but is a distinct organ sharing more genetic identity with stamens, the pollen-producing reproductive organs. Dr. Robert Scotland of the University of Oxford, who led the research, found that the corona only begins to form after the other parts of the flower are fully established. “This shows that the corona could not be a straightforward modification of either Species of seabirds could successfully return to their petals or stamens,” he explains. Rather, natural foraging habits following changes to European daffodil coronas are more genetically fisheries policies, scientists have suggested. The Eurosimilar to the hypanthium—a small pean Parliament recently voted to scrap the controversial cup-like platform of the daffolfil where its discards policy, which has seen fishermen throwing different parts are located. thousands of edible fish and fish waste back into the sea (Source: because they have exceeded their quotas. Scientists at Plymouth University believe this could have a negative impact on some seabirds, which have become used to following the fishing vessels and are increasingly reliant on their discards. But they say others could return to using foraging as their sole source of food, as long as there are sufficient numbers of fish to meet their needs.

Discards Ban Could Impact Seabird Populations



Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


hydroponic news, tips and trivia

Banana Fan Got a Surprise A woman had to contact the Scottish Society for the Protection against Cruelty to Animals after finding a tropical scorpion in a bunch of bananas she brought home from the supermarket. The incident happened at a house in in Dumfries. An animal rescue officer collected the sand-coloured desert hairy scorpion. It was taken to the charity’s Glasgow rescue and rehoming centre. The Scottish SPCA said a sting from the scorpion would have been sore, but not deadly. These types of scorpions are native to North America, so it’s likely the intruder had come over to Scotland with the bananas. (Source:

The Queen Accepts Gift A Plymouth pear tree, one of Britain’s rarest plants, has been given to the Queen to plant in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Gardener Arthur Watson, 63, offered the tree to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Edward Young, the deputy private secretary to the Queen, confirmed with Watson that the Queen would happily accept the gift. (Source:

Cash Support for New Farmers New farmers, who are ineligible for vital European funding, are set to benefit from cash support from the Scottish Government. Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has pledged £2 million of support for new entrants who are currently excluded from receiving single farm payments. “Scotland has a wealth of talented young farmers who are eager to farm and help shape the future of the industry in Scotland. We need these farmers. They are the future of our industry, but the current system leaves them disadvantaged,” Lochhead said. “I’m committed to supporting our new entrants and helping them get a fairer deal out of the next Common Agricultural Policy. This has long been a priority for Scotland.” (Source:


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Wet Summer Leads to Rise in Box Blight Members of London’s Royal Horticultural Society reported a massive increase in the number of cases of Cylindrocladium box blight in 2012. The reported cases of box blight caused by Cylindrocladium buxicola hit a 10-year high of 100, which is more than double the 2011 figure. Box blight is a fungal disease of box resulting in bare patches and dieback of box, especially in topiary and parterres. High rainfall during the growing season makes plants particularly vulnerable as young leaves are more susceptible to infection. (Source:

Top Five Garden Diseases The annual list of most prolific garden diseases compiled by London’s Royal Horticultural Society has placed honey fungus at the top of the charts for the second year running, based on enquiries received in 2012. Honey fungus spreads underground, attacking and killing the roots of perennial plants and then decaying the dead wood. It is the most destructive fungal disease in UK gardens. There are no chemicals available for control, the only effective remedy is to excavate and destroy, by burning or landfill, all of the infected root and stump material. Following honey fungus, the other common diseases reported were pythiums, leaf spots, rusts and phytophthora diseases. (Source:

Social Bees Mark Dangerous Flowers With Chemical Signals Researchers in France have concluded that some social bees use chemical signals to mark flowers where they have previously been attacked. To conduct the study, researchers simulated a predator attack and observed whether the bees advised the rest of their conspecifics of the danger of gathering nectar at a certain plant. Researchers built their study with the understanding that evasive alarm pheromones provoke an escape response in insects that visit a particular flower. They wanted to confirm that this was the case for social bees. Results indicate that, unlike solitary bees, social bees use this type of alert system on flowers to warn their conspecifics of the presence of a nearby predator. This study supports the idea that the sociability of bees is linked to the evolution of warning signals. (Source:

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



hydroponic news, tips and trivia

For 7 years Forever Flowering Greenhouses has been THE SOURCE for greenhouses materials, BREATHABLE blackout fabrics and all your Light Deprivation needs.

FFG, blazing the trail... Here we grow again! Forever Flowering Greenhouses is proud to offer:

Test for Mercury-Contaminated Water with a Mobile Phone Researchers at the University of Burgos, Spain, have developed test sheets that change colour when exposed to mercury in water, which will enable quick, cheap and on-site mercury detection. The results of the test can be determined by eye, but for more accuracy, the sheet can be photographed with a mobile phone and compared with colour reference values using an image editor program on the phone. The test sheets contain rhodamine, a florescent organic compound that acts as the mercury sensor. The research team calibrated these sheets to change colour when the mercury contamination in the water exceeds two parts per billion of divalent mercury-Hg(II). (Source:

Breathable Wall. A breath of fresh air. Rigid breathable blackout material you can build with. Get full air flow when your light dep tarps are covering your greenhouse. For indoor and greenhouse ventilating needs. Herb-based plant super food. Inoculated with beneficial bacteria and endomycorrhizae. With kelp, humates, micro nutrients, and sugars. DEM is a complete superfood for your plants and microbes.

Healthy Snacking The Dutch are spending more and more on snack vegetables such as small tomatoes, little cucumbers and mini peppers. In total, over €27 million was spent on snack vegetables in Dutch supermarkets in 2012. The purchase of snack vegetables increased by 337% from 2009 to 2012, while the growth of candy increased by only 16% in the past five years. This is shown in data gathered by the Snacks and Confectionery Study Centre. Snack tomatoes are especially popular with the Dutch. These tomatoes represent 92% of total sales of snack vegetables. (Source: 888.784.4687 20

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



HOTTEST ITEMS Ask for them at your local indoor gardening store. Xtreme Gardening Presents Azos

Start rooting and get growing, naturally! Azos is a beneficial microbe that can enhance growth while boosting root development. Great for rooting new cuttings naturally and fueling abundant growth during your vegetative cycle. Now available in a 3.63-kg size. For more information, visit a local retailer.

Royal Gold Fulvic Acid

BudBox Grow Rooms

Fulvic acid is a plant additive that increases nutrient uptake in plants and actively changes fertiliser salts on a molecular level. The most effective and most active brand of fulvic acid on the market, Royal Gold is manufactured by Future Harvest rather than being brought in as a fulvic acid powder and then diluted. Research has shown that under-watered plants will recover quicker when fulvic acid is applied and the growth and quality of plants will improve when Royal Gold is used all the way through a plant's cycle. For customers who have never used a fulvic acid before, they will be amazed by the results and as it improves nutrient uptake, growers get the best from their expensive PK additives and will be amazed by the explosive results. Visit a hydroponic store near you for more information.

BudBox Grow Rooms are one of the original indoor growroom environments and are still considered to be one of the best available. Developed and continually refined since 2003, BudBox remains at the forefront of the hydroponics growroom sector. BudBox Grow Rooms are available in ProWhite or Silver/Mylar interior finishes, and in a range of sizes from tiny to titanic. The product’s light-proof fabric exterior canvass, powder-coated steel support poles and super strong corner connectors make BudBox Grow Rooms the choice of the serious horticulturist. For more information, contact your local BudBox retailer.

CANNA Start CANNA Start can be considered the solution for your cuttings. CANNA Start is a special balanced one-part nutrient for seedlings and (rooted) cuttings. It can be used on various substrates like rockwool plugs, coco plugs, soil plugs and CANNA seedmix. It also gives you all the micro- and macro-nutritional elements for a seedling or cutting to develop into a strong healthy plant. CANNA Start works perfectly with all other CANNA nutrients. Once cuttings are transplanted into the final medium, simply switch over from CANNA Start to the CANNA nutrient. For more information about this and other CANNA products, visit a local gardening store.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

BudBox AquaTanks The BudBox AquaTank was modelled after a revolutionary concept in flexible, low-key water storage and management. Flat packed for ease of carriage and product positioning, AquaTank goes where no rigid and bulky water butt can go. Manufactured from super-strong, non-toxic PVC with universal hozelockstyle tap fittings means it can be used in conjunction with all automated and manual irrigation systems, including the recently launched BudBox System #5. Available in three sizes: 100, 250 and 400-L, AquaTank is the ultimate solution for flexible, convenient and secure indoor water storage. For more information, contact your nearest approved BudBox stockist now.

NEW Maxibright DigiLight Pro Select Power Pack 600-W

HSE 600-W Electronic Ballast System from Hortilux Schréder The new HSE 600W from Hortilux Schréder gives you powerful energy efficient lighting, increasing your yield by up to 20% compared with traditional domestic HID lighting systems. The advanced electronic ballast with Philips components powers the new Philips MASTER GreenPower Plus 600-W/400-V electronic lamp from your domestic supply. The most efficient 600-W HID lighting system in the industry, it gives you excellent PAR (grow light) output from the lamp per watt of power consumed. Cooling fins and a heat shield ensure safe thermal management. Two reflectors are available made from glass-coated aluminium for 97% light reflection. These are easily interchangeable without removing the lamp. The system comes with the Delta reflector for a deep and uniform spread of light ideal for plants up to 80 cm in height. Alternatively as a separate purchase is the Zèta reflector for extremely deep and broad coverage ideal for adult crops of 80 cm and above. Product comes with a three-year guarantee on the ballast fixture. Visit a retailer near you for more information.

Get maximum control throughout your plant growth. The new DigiLight Pro®Select 600-W digital ballast from Maxibright gives you the flexibility to power 250-W, 400-W and 600-W HID lamps with just one ballast. Choose from six power modes to run your lamps at normal power, super mode for 10% extra power or dimmed for ultimate light control throughout the growth cycle. Developed with new Surge Control® software, when multiple DigiLight Pro Select ballasts are started from the same power supply, they will safely ignite multiple lamps one at a time, eliminating electrical surges. Soft start technology gently starts lamps with a low current for significantly improved lamp life and to maintain continual efficient lamp output. Fast lamp restrike ensures hot lamps start as quickly as possible. Products includes a built-in diagnostic LED for fault finding. Check out your nearest Maxibright stockist for more information.

Bluelab EC Pen The Bluelab EC Pen is the ultimate handy solution for measuring conductivity. The Bluelab EC Pen is the latest innovation for hand-held conductivity meters. It provides a compact, quick and handy way to manage the success of your crops. The Bluelab EC Pen simply tells you that your plants have the right amount of nutrients in your solution and lets you know if adjustments are needed. Display options are available in °C, °F, EC, CF, ppm 500 and ppm 700. Teamed with the Bluelab pH Pen, you have a handy, convenient and accurate system for ensuring optimum plant growth and health. Now, isn’t that handy? Visit your local hydroponics shop for more information.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



Once & Done Feeder Paks Once & Done Organic and Natural Plant Feeder Paks are an efficient and easy method of feeding new transplants. Add to plant hole, backfill and remember to water. It’s that simple. Slow-release organic and natural fertilisers are combined in a unique biodegradable pack that keeps nutrients in the root zone, where they need to be. More nutrients near the roots mean more nutrients in the fruits. Combine with Mykos and Azos to support abundant growth for even the most heavy-feeding plants. Learn more at an indoor gardening store near you.

Photosynthesis Plus The culture consortium produced by Ecological Laboratories that is used on tens of thousands of acres of crops worldwide is the foundation for Photosynthesis Plus, which is a complete ecosystem in a bottle. The proprietary formulation and culture growth enhances product performance via selective adaptation, resulting in superior performance in aerobic, facultative, anaerobic and anoxic environments. What does it do? Photosynthesis Plus enhances plant functions at the foliar level and the root zone in both soil and soilless substrates. It enhances photosynthesis and biological function by allowing plants to capture and utilise radiant energy more efficiently. It also speeds uptake and distribution of essential macro- and micro- nutrients required for all plant metabolic functions and growth. In addition, this product also promotes plant vigour and reduces input costs while increasing yields. Ask for it at your local gardening shop.

Future Harvest Adds New Sunblaster Nanodomes Th new Sunblaster vented Nanodome incorporates the T5/ Nanotech reflectors combo, an unbeatable combo when it comes to getting your seedlings started. And just as the Nanotech reflector was made for Sunblaster T5s, the Nanodome was also made for them. This new high dome also incorporates Sunblaster ingenious light tracks. These light tracks receive all T5HO lamps with Nanotech reflectors and are engineered to receive light bi-directionally. Want to light four trays simultaneously? No problem! Just line them up side by side and use two Sunblaster 1.22-m. lamps to get the coverage you need. For more information, stop by your local gardening retail store.

New Maxibright Compact Power Pack 600-W The new Maxibright Compact Power Pack is a revolutionary new design of magnetic power pack for ultra-efficient lamp control, lower heat output and silent operation. The internal unit is finished with injection-moulded resin, allowing core heat to dissipate at a greater rate to prevent overheating. A matched digital Smart IgniterTM provides efficient lamp start-up, detecting as soon as a lamp is ready for restrike in the event of a power cut and when a lamp has reached its end of life. A precision-wound ballast gives it thermal and electrical durability. The wall-mountable case is complete with a handy carry handle for easy use. The Maxibright Compact is a Genuine Quality ballast, meeting specific EC and quality standards. It therefore gives the correct power to the lamp, offers guaranteed safety and has a nominal rated life span of ten years. For more information on the Genuine Quality mark, visit Check out a retailer near you for more information.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Samurai PK Samurai PK is the ultimate super boost for all fruits and flowers. It is made from the purest raw material, consisting of a pharmaceutical-grade natural mineral phosphate and potassium. Samurai PK stimulates the development of bud and fruit. It functions as one of the major players in the process of photosynthesis, nutrient transport and energy transfer. For more information, visit a hydroponics store near you.

Bluelab Guardian Monitor

Sun System HID Reflectors Sun System reflectors are designed and manufactured using Precision Photometric Computer Modelling to give the brightest and most uniform light output achievable in indoor plant lighting. Sun System reflectors are proven to give a measurable increase in light output and plant growth compared to standard budget reflectors, with up to 18% higher growth light output (PAR). Each reflector in the range is built with commercial grade galvanized steel housing with a durable, powder-coated finish. Ninety-five percent reflective MIRO glass-coated aluminium inserts are used for maximum light output. All Sun System air-cooled models have an airtight, aerodynamic design for powerful air cooling and hinged glass covers for easy access. This reduces ambient temperature in your growing environment, saving you money in energy costs for a highly efficient grow system. The range covers all sizes from the Low Rider at 70 x 52 x 20 cm to the Magnum XXL at 98 x 75 x 30.5 cm (length x width x height). Sun Systems reflectors are distributed in the United Kingdom by Maxibright. For more information check out your nearest Maxibright stockist.

With just one glance, the Bluelab Guardian Monitor magically measures all three critical parameters for successful growth: pH, conductivity and temperature, enabling growers to optimise these parameters as the crop progresses through each growing phase. The Bluelab Guardian Monitor is mounted to the wall or hung on a support. The pH and conductivity and temperature probes are simply placed into the reservoir. The Bluelab Guardian Monitor monitors crops 24 hours a day, providing the user with the ability to set high and low alarms. A flashing display lets you know if one parameter moves away from the ideal, allowing you to make the required adjustments quickly and effectively. Some of the Bluelab Guardian Monitor features include plant-safe green LEDs, large easy-to-read displays, a water-resistant design and an international power supply. Ask about the Bluelab Guardian Monitor at a hydroponics shop near you.

Dutchpro’s Original Grow Soil A+B Soft Water This is a complete grow feed purposely designed for soil. Our soft water formulations are especially designed for soft water areas. This product has all of the essential macro- and micronutrients necessary for exuberant growth. Recommended use is between 200 and 300 ml per 100 L of water, depending on the desired EC level. Never mix components in pure form with each other; instead add component A, water and then component B in equal parts (always rinse measuring cup well). Adjust pH level to the optimal level of 5.8 to 6.5 if necessary with pH- Grow from DutchPro. Available in 1-, 5-, 10- and 20-L.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



BudBox System #5 In keeping with the BudBox ethic of delivering optimum flexibility and premium operational values, the BudBox System #5 was launched February 2013 and has received great reviews so far. A unique irrigation system, it comes flat-packed for ease of carriage and storage and can be assembled in a matter of a few minutes. Five huge, fully interchangeable, 19-L grow pots deliver a vast space for maximum root development, whilst the low-profiling design of the 200-L nutrient tank/reservoir (only 20-cm high) gives unrivalled head room for maximum height growth for your plants. System #5 is designed to fit inside the BudBox XL, XXL, Titan+ and Titan2 range of growrooms. For more information, contact your local BudBox retailer today.

Xtreme Gardening’s Kryptomite Super Wash for Mites and Mildew Washing your plants with Kryptomite is fast and easy. Its ready-to-use proprietary formula is food grade, nontoxic and acceptable for use in organic crop production. Wash off those pesky critters and crawlers, and let powdery mildew become a thing of the past. This product is natural and safe for use during all stages of a plant’s life cycle, as well as during and after harvest. With Kryptomite, plant ailments and diseases can be prevented by practicing regular cleanings and timely attention to problems. Kryptomite wash, available in a 473.18-ml up-down sprayer, is the ultimate solution for natural gardening maintenance. For more information, visit a local retailer.

Exhale CO2 Bags

Plants growing indoors under artificial light often lack enough CO2 to efficiently photosynthesise. When plants are able to maximise the process of photosynthesis, the result is larger plants with larger yields. ExHale cultivates CO2 24 hours a day with no need to refill bottles or use expensive CO2 production units. The power of ExHale lies in the mycelial mass inside the vented cultivator. This mycelial mass cultivates CO2 and the one-way breather patch releases CO2 continually for up to six months. The ExHale Cultivator is designed for small to medium grow spaces, or more specifically one ExHale Cultivator will provide four to six plants with the CO2 they need. ExHale can be used for both vegetative plant growth as well as for fruit and flower production. Ask a local gardening supply store for more information.

New Maxibright CFL Pro Reflectors Compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) is ideal for propagation and growing larger plants, giving you energy efficient and affordable lighting with low heat output. The new Maxibright CFL Pro Reflector uses highly reflective anodised aluminium for excellent light output and even light distribution across your plants for optimum growth. For durability in humid growing environments, the Maxibright CFL Pro is built with a powder-coated steel body to prevent rust and corrosion. The reflector body has a built-in power switch to give you easy power control. Available in single and twin models, the single will run one CFL lamp (max 400 W) and the twin will run two CFL lamps (max 800 W). Check out the latest Maxibright Compact Fluorescent Lamp range also available: choose from red and blue 125 W to 300 W and new dual spectrum 250 W. Contact your nearest Maxibright retailer for more information.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Dutchpro's Keep It Clean Free your drip system from blockages and maintain the best working conditions possible with Keep It Clean! This plant-friendly cleaning agent removes and prevents algae and bacterial slime whilst also inhibiting the growth of fungi. Long-term preventive use ensures top results. This product is suited for every irrigation system and it’s not harmful for the plant. Recommended dosage is 10 ml per 100 L of water. Available in 1- and 5-L bottles. Visit a retailer near you for more information.

Bon Vivant Grow & Bloom Bon Vivant Grow & Bloom are one-part, ultra-premium base nutrient products containing all 16 essential elements required for optimum plant growth. Bon Vivant Grow & Bloom were produced from the highest and purest pharmaceutical-grade raw materials, which enhance your plants’ abilities to get the maximum absorption of nutrients. Bon Vivant Grow & Bloom were designed to work in coco, hydroponics and soil mediums. Bon Vivant Grow was designed to stimulate root, stems and foliage. Use Bon Vivant Bloom from first week of flowering cycle until harvest. Bon Vivant Bloom was designed to promote flower and fruit development, and enhance flavour and aroma. Visit a retailer near you for more information.

SuperCloset SuperLocker 3.0 Tight spaces were the impetus for the design of the SuperLocker 3.0. This is a 167.64- by 38.10- by 60.96-m grow cabinet that features a dual-chamber configuration. The top chamber is a mini-veggie chamber powered by a T5 light and supported by a 10-plant site SuperCloner hydroponic system. A SuperLocker 3.0 operator utilises this mini-veggie chamber to start seedlings and propagate smaller plants and clones. The bottom flowering chamber is powered by a 150-W lighting system (upgradeable to 250W) and supported by the SuperPonic-8 hydroponic system, which features both a top-feed-drip and deep-water-culture hydroponic application that feeds eight plants at a time. Visit a store near you for more information.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



Dutchpro's Original Bloom Hydro/Coco A+B This is a complete bloom feed that’s proven to be perfect for hydro and coco growing methods. It has all the essential macro- and micronutrients necessary for exuberant bloom. Use between 250 and 350 ml per 100 L of water, depending on EC levels. Never mix components in pure form with each other; instead add component A, water and then component B in equal parts (always rinse measuring cup well). If necessary, adjust the pH level to the optimal level of 5.8 with pH- Bloom from Dutchpro. Available in 1-, 5-, 10- and 20-L bottles.

The HSE Daylight Electronic Ballast System The new HSE Daylight electronic ballast system from Hortilux Schréder provides plants with the closest to natural sunlight. Daylight spectrum lighting is proven to prevent leggy plants by encouraging more lateral branches and closer internodal spacing. The results are stronger, healthier growth and high-quality yields. The HSE Daylight is complete with a Philips MASTERColour 315-W electronic lamp, a ceramic metal halide with excellent daylight quality (measuring 90 out of 100 in the Colour Rendering Index (CRI), where 100 is the measure of natural daylight). The highly efficient electronic ballast with Philips components has low energy consumption and is proven to provide plants with excellent PAR output. You can use the HSE Daylight for propagation and plants in the vegetative stage, or alongside your sodium lighting for balanced natural-quality light with excellent results. For perfectly balanced light coverage and maximum growth, set up the HSE Daylight in the centre of your system with a HSE 600-W ballast system at each side. There is a three-year guarantee on the ballast fixture. Visit a retailer near you for more information.

SuperCloset Deluxe 3.0 In response to customer feedback, SuperCloset, Inc., released the Deluxe 3.0 to replace the Deluxe 2.0. Standing in at an impressive 1.83 by 0.91 by 0.61 m, the split-chamber, dual-lighted Deluxe 3.0 exhibits all the success of years of constant design improvement. The top flower chamber features a professionally air-cooled, closedloop, 400-W (upgradeable to 600-W) lighting system and the SuperPonics-16 dual hydroponics system that features top-feed-drip and deep-water-culture hydroponic methodologies. The separate veggie chamber includes a T5 lighting system and the SuperCloner-50 hydroponics system, which is a bubbleponics hydroponics application. Together, these two chambers comprise the number-one-selling grow cabinet available. Contact a store near your for more information.

Liquid Ton O Bud, Budstart and Bud Boom Future Harvest Europe always considers what its customers have to say. One of the overiding questions they ask of them is regarding the availability of liquid forms of Budstart, Ton O Bud and Bud Boom, since some customers prefer the ease of use of liquid when compared to a powder. Future Harvest is pleased to announce that all of its plant-life products are now available in liquid form, including Bud Start, Ton O Bud, Bud Boom, Carbo Blast and the Hammer. The liquid forms of these products contain the same formula and activity levels as powders but are easier to use. For more information, ask for Ton O Bud at your local retail outlet today.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Bluelab Combo Meter The Bluelab Combo Meter is all you need for simple and reliable crop management. You can monitor pH, conductivity and temperature right from the palm of your hand. The Bluelab pH Probe and the Bluelab Conductivity/Temperature Probe are simply placed into the solution and the selected reading is displayed on the large screen. As the Bluelab Combo Meter is portable and does not require a power supply to operate (batteries are include), it can be used anytime and anywhere to help you manage your crop’s daily nutrient requirements. Calibration of the pH is simple with the push buttons on the metre. Conductivity and temperature do not need to be calibrated as this is locked in during manufacture. Additional features of the Bluelab Combo Meter include a low-battery indicator, an auto-off function, and over range and under range indicators. Visit your nearest hydroponics shop to learn more.

Apple Crumble ONA After endless requests for ONA to release a new scented product, they have gone and produced something that smells simply amazing. ONA Apple Crumble is now available from Easy Grow wholesale and it is flying off the shelves. It is a series of complex formulas that uses essential oil (organic) technology designed to simplify your odour control management. The product attacks, neutralises and destroys a wide spectrum of organic and non-organic odours. It can be applied to solids or liquids, or dispersed through the air in small or large volumes. ONA products are non-toxic and environmentally safe, which reduces work safety concerns and allows for aggressive odour management programs. For more information, ask a local gardening supply store.

CANNA Flush If you want to clean your substrate, or you have accidentally used too many nutrients, CANNA Flush is the product you need. It is very important for your plants to get rid of excess nutrients as they have a bad influence on your next growth. CANNA Flush effectively cleans the substrate without killing any useful bacteria or beneficial fungi, as can be the case when you use reverse osmosis or de-mineralised water. When CANNA Flush is used before harvest, it will get rid of all the excess, which will lead to a clean and tasteful harvest. If you want to know more about CANNA Flush, ask for it at your local gardening retailer.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



& Control

d i h p A

by Dr. Lynette Morgan

When many of us dream of our ideal hydroponic garden, the thought of plagues and pestilence don’t usually spoil the idyllic image. So, discovering a pest outbreak in carefully reared plants can come as a nasty shock...


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While it’s easy to understand how disease outbreaks can inadvertently fire up if fungal spores are brought in through ventilation and can travel undetected in the air, insect pests are another matter, right? After all, how hard can it be to screen out living critters, even if some of them are rather small and camouflaged? Unfortunately, plant pests are highly developed to travel from crop to crop, even if those crops are protected by an enclosed structure. What can be even more alarming is the fact that once a pest has invaded the comfort of a warm, secure indoor garden, they are usually free to wreak havoc without being pursued or annihilated by any of the natural predators that are present in outdoor environments. Also, since indoor plants are protected from cold winters, heavy rain, frost and snow, insects can happily exist year-round with little check on population growth. Since pests can quickly breed and cause significant damage in an indoor garden, growers need to be highly vigilant—both with prevention of infestations and with regular monitoring. The first step in this process is to know what you are looking for; however, plant pests are highly diverse in appearance, size, the damage they cause and the conditions that favour their population explosion.

Pest ID and Control November 2012 Lynette Morgan Pest myths 1,805 Words

First, let’s unravel some myths about pest attack in hydroponic gardens: Myth 1: Insect pest will only attack sick, weak plants. While this might be the case with certain opportunistic diseases, it's not with insect pests. In fact, insects love lush, plentiful and healthy growth because it provides them with a nutritious source of plant material or sap to feed on. Healthy plants are also guaranteed to provide food for the next generation of bugs. Myth 2: Indoor or enclosed gardens never get insect pests as they can’t get into the growing area. Having procedures and barriers, such as double-door entrances and insect mesh over vents can certainly help prevent many insect invasions, but they do not guarantee an outbreak won’t occur sooner or later. Many insect pests can be transported on clothing, on equipment and materials, on plant material brought in, in growing media and even in water. So exclusion, while helpful, is not always successful.


Woolly aphids are often mistaken for other insect pests. Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


Pest ID and control

hydroponic growers battle, so bringing a new potted house plant into the indoor garden is a source of many new infestations. Some pests thrive because of the environment— for example, thrips and mites favour a lower humidity and dry air—while others are not fussy and will take advantage of any succulent plant to make home.

“While there is a huge range of pests that infest hydroponic crops, indoor gardens tend to have a few common culprits.” Feeding damage caused by thrips on hydroponic tomato fruit.

Myth 3: Pesticides are harmful, toxic chemicals that aren’t used in hydroponics. While some pesticides are indeed fairly potent chemicals that we want to avoid in our own food production, there are an increasing number of safer options. Technically still pesticides because they kill pests, they belong to less-toxic and non-toxic classes of compounds. Pesticide use with a wide range of chemical classes is common in commercial hydroponics and many crops could simply not be grown economically without them; however, we are free to pick and choose the best options for pest control in our own gardens and to take advantage of new technologies. Myth 4: Household soap and oil sprays are safe and effective on insect pests. While careful application of these can smother some insect pests, prolonged and excessive use of soaps in particular has seen the destruction of some plants. Certain plants are more resistant to soap and oil sprays than others; however, sensitive plants can become badly damaged under some circumstances.

Pest identification

While there is a huge range of pests that infest hydroponic crops, indoor gardens tend to have a few common culprits. These include whiteflies, aphids, mites, thrips, fungus gnat larvae, scales, mealy bugs and caterpillars. Many of the pests that typically infest common house plants are also those that


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

For correct pest identification, growers are advised to use a magnifying glass to see some of the smallest invaders. Mites are usually too small to be seen without magnification; however, their damage can be severe and is often mistaken for a plant disease or nutrient deficiency since the pests are so hard to detect. Mites appear as tiny red or brown dots on the undersides of the leaves and they create fine webbing in the leaf axils. They also strip the epidermis of the foliage over time, giving a silvery or bronze appearance. Thrips are another in the tiny invader class. They are often very difficult to see without magnification, particularly because they move fast and zap undercover when the foliage is inspected. Thrips are small, black, elongated insects that can be winged or wingless, and they are most common in hot dry conditions. Thrip damage looks like small silvery flecks on the plant surface that can eventually give a bleached appearance. They also cause distortion of new growth, as they inject toxic saliva into plant sap. Of the slightly larger insects that can be seen on close inspection, aphids and whiteflies are the most common. Aphids are soft-bodied insects that come in a range of colours from green through black. There are a number of different species. Typically, aphids are found feeding in the top growing points of plant often right in the buds. In peppers, aphid feeding can cause distortion, twisting and deformity of the new leaves, which is caused by the toxins they inject when feeding. This is usually mistaken for a plant virus or disease. Whiteflies are a notorious and serious pest of

hydroponic crops. The adults are small, white flying pests, but it is the juvenile or scale stages of the whitefly life cycle that can suck a crop dry. These juveniles produce masses of sticky honey dew that sticks to all surfaces and grows a black mould (also called sooty mould), which contaminates leaves, fruit and growing surfaces.

“A nematode infestation can be hard to identify, although some species cause obvious root knots to develop on the root system.” While many growers regularly monitor the upper parts of their plants for insects, they often forget that there are some pests that inhabit the root zone. Wet areas and algae attract fungus gnats. Often, growers assume these small black flies are harmless; however, fungus gnats lay eggs in the surface of exposed damp growing media and the resulting larvae attack plant roots, causing damage and allowing the entry of pathogens like pythium into the tissue. Fungus gnat larvae look like small whitish worms in the growing media or attached to the roots. Root mealy bugs can also infest the root zone. These pests appear as waxy whitish deposits on the roots and in the growing media. Hydroponic crops are also susceptible to nematodes, microscopic eelworms that typically infect

Pest ID and Control November 2012 Lynette Morgan 1,805 Words 4.5

Mite damage on a hydroponic pepper fruit.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


Pest ID and control

crops through water supplies or organic growing mediums. A nematode infestation can be hard to identify, although some species cause obvious root knots to develop on the root system.

New issues with pests: super resistant bugs

Insect pests common in hydroponics are continuously evolving along with the technologies we use to control them. In fact, there are now super bugs: pests that have developed resistance to many of the spray controls that, in the past, were highly effective. Having a genetically resistant super bug population in a hydroponic garden is a grower’s worst nightmare, particularly if the insects become resistant to more than one product. The first indication that there is a problem with super bug populations is when a tried-and-true insect control spray, which is used on a regular basis, become less effective to the point where the insects are no longer controlled at all. This is due to the fact that the insects who initially had some resistance to the pesticide survived and bred, passing on their resistant genes to the next generation. The entire population then quickly developed resistance to the overused control option due to the pests’ fast breeding rate. The way to prevent this occurring in pest populations is to use a number of different control options and to rotate the use of different spray classes so that the pests don’t have the opportunity to develop longterm genetic resistance.

New control technologies

Some of the most effective technologies for pest control are actually some of nature’s oldest. The botanical compound neem oil, derived from the neem tree, has been used for insect control for centuries; however, only recently have extracts and formulations that dissolve easily into water become available for small growers. As well as having other modes of action, neem is an insect growth regulator, so it is a longer-term approach to breaking the insect life cycle. Although it is safe and non-toxic (being essentially a plant extract), hydroponic growers need to be careful with application of some neem products. Many of them are oil-based (or, emulsifiable concentrates) and should always be tested on a small area over a 48-hour period before spraying all plants. On


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

the other hand, the active ingredient in neem— azadiractin—can also be found in some nonoil-based sprays. Another option is to control insect pests with insect diseases in a process known as biological control. Products containing spores of certain fungal pathogens that target only certain insect pests are available. A good example is Bacillus thuringiensis, a fungus that targets caterpillars and is widely used in commercial horticulture. Others on the market include Verticillium lecanii, a common soil fungus used to control several different insect species, and Beauveria bassiana for aphid and thrips control. This technology is still evolving, so we are likely to see a larger range of products that work under a wider range of environmental conditions in the future.

“One of the control options that has much appeal to indoor gardeners is the use of beneficial insects.” One of the control options that has much appeal to indoor gardeners is the use of beneficial insects. These natural predators and parasites can be purchased and released into the garden to control certain pests. For example, ladybirds (Hippodamia convergens), lacewings (Chrysoperia carnea) and preying mantes (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis) are general predators that eat a range of pests. Encarsia formosa eats greenhouse whiteflies and Hypoaspis miles controls fungus gnats and spring tails. While beneficial bugs don’t always establish and survive after release, it is worth trying to develop a diverse ecosystem of these insects in a hydroponic garden, as this could put a serious dent in pest populations. Controlling insect pests in a hydroponic garden can take multiple approaches, from exclusion, hygiene and careful inspection and monitoring practices to quick and proactive control options. Growers need to experiment and try a range of different products and control methods in order to establish which approach is going to work best for them in the long-term battle against the invaders.

Growing Stevia:

A Natural Sugar Alternative

by Michael Bloch

If you’re looking to replace sugar in your diet for health or environmental reasons, Stevia is a great no-calorie, more earth-friendly alternative. The demand for cane sugar has seen vast swathes of land degraded over centuries. According to the World Wildlife Federation, sugar cultivation has been responsible for considerable soil erosion, habitat destruction, pesticide and herbicide poisoning of water and eutrophication, caused by nutrient and waste runoff. Refining of sugar also presents environmental issues. For many people, it’s health issues that lead them to seek sugar alternatives— and the products most often turned to are aspartame and saccharin. Aspartame is the chemical most widely used now,


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

present in large quantities in diet soda and many other processed foods. When ingested, it breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. Phenylalanine can cause problems for some, but methanol is a bigger concern. The methanol breaks down further into formaldehyde and formic acid, both known carcinogens. It poisons us and what we excrete poisons the environment. The major problem with aspartame is the scale of its use. The EPA

recommends a limit of consumption of under 8 mg a day. A quart of aspartamesweetened soda contains over 50 g of methanol. The health problems associated with aspartame are currently being hotly debated. One of the components

“a teaspoon of refined Stevia powder is about as sweet as a cup of sugar.” of saccharin is phthalic acid, which is used in plasticisers and for surface coatings. It’s a substance that has created considerable water pollution in China

and is banned in some countries. Stevia—which is also known as sweetleaf, honeyleaf or sugarleaf—is an herb from South America that is said to be a couple of hundred times sweeter weight for weight compared with cane sugar. To put that into context, a teaspoon of refined Stevia powder is about as sweet as a cup of sugar. It contains no calories and refined Stevia products have no bitter after-taste.

Stevia has been in use by the Guarini Indians of Paraguay for medicinal and sweetening purposes for 1,500 years and has been used extensively for decades in Japan. It has been approved for use in many countries, including the United Kingdom (as of November 2011) and the European Union. It can be found in health food

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“Stevia is stable when heated, so it can be used in a wide range of recipes requiring cooking.” stores and in some supermarkets as a dietary supplement. Stevia is available as whole leaf, ground leaf, powders or a liquid extract. The liquid and powder forms are the most potent, but even whole Stevia leaves are 20 to 30 times sweeter than cane sugar. Unlike aspartame, Stevia is stable when heated, so it can be used in a wide range of recipes requiring cooking. Stevia is a member of the chrysanthemum family and an herb that can grow in poor soils. Stevia is a subtropical perennial and is a little water intensive, but given its potency it could be well-suited to your own garden. Imagine having your sugar hit growing out in your backyard! Stevia plants have also been observed to have insect repelling tendencies, so it could be a perfect plant for an organic garden. So there you have it—a seemingly healthier and more environmentally friendly solution for your sweet tooth that can also assist with pest control in your garden!

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


Eco-friendly Horticultural Lighting April 2012 Eric Hopper 989 Words Things are looking brighter than ever in the world of horticultural lighting–and it's going to take a lot less energy to get the job done in the future...


We are in the midst of an ecological movement stemming from a heightened sense of awareness that our current path of over-consumption is unsustainable and detrimental to our planet. This global movement affects every industry and technology and challenges manufacturers to not only produce ‘green’ products but to do so in a manner that is eco-friendly. To this end, the horticultural industry has been making significant progress in developing new, energy-efficient light fixtures. Its main goals are to produce light technologies that consume less energy, produce more photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and contain fewer hazardous materials. Products designed under this multifaceted approach will reduce pollution created as a by-product of electricity production and reduce harmful waste that eventually contaminates our soil and water.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

eco-friendly Horticultural lighting

“Many growers do not realise they can reduce the amount of toxic material entering our soil and water by simply recycling their old bulbs.”

The future of horticultural lighting

Two lighting technologies stand out in my mind as being the future of ecofriendly horticultural lighting: LEDs and induction lighting technologies. Neither technology is new; in fact, induction lighting has been around since the 1890s—although the more advanced sulphur-plasma technology was developed in the 1990s—and LEDs were introduced in the 1960s. The expanded use of these forms of lighting in future horticultural applications will be due to advancements we’re now beginning to make in our understanding of plant physiology, combined with improvements in production methods that will lower costs.

LEDs Light-emitting diode (or, LED) technology is gaining huge popularity in the horticultural industry. This is due mainly to NASA, which continues to conduct plant-growth experiments under LED lighting. LEDs show immense potential as horticultural


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

lighting fixtures due to low energy consumption, cool operation and the capability to customise their spectral output to emit the specific wavelengths most usable by plants. All of these factors—combined with their longevity and durability—make LEDs the most viable eco-friendly solution for horticultural lighting. LEDs are also solid state devices that do not depreciate in their output of usable plant energy (PAR) like their HID and fluorescent counterparts—in fact, LEDs can be used for horticulture for up to 10 years without a substantial decline in PAR output. LEDs emit light in a very unique and efficient way that produces much less heat than standard lighting fixtures. In most indoor gardens, heat is considered waste and is generally removed by a fan or air conditioner; however, LEDs are able to reduce the energy consumption associated with the removal of excess heat by not producing so much in the first place. LEDs contain no mercury, but due to the presence of other compounds these bulbs should still be recycled after their long lifespan.

Induction lighting

Induction lighting illuminates without the use of an electrode, instead using an electromagnetic field to stimulate compounds found within the bulb.

Electrodes are generally the limiting factor in lamp life and efficiency, so it makes sense that induction lighting would be a great choice for a long-lasting, efficient lighting source. There are also certain higher-efficiency substances that can be used in electrode-less lamps that would react poorly with the metal electrodes used in standard lamps. For horticultural purposes, there are two types of induction lighting currently showing the most potential: sulphurplasma lamps and fluorescent magnetic induction lamps.


Sulphur-plasma lamps consist of a small fused quartz sphere (or bulb) containing a mixture of argon gas and sulphur

Magnetic induction fluorescent

powder. The sulphur and argon gas are excited by microwaves produced by a magnetron—which heats the sulphur, causing it to illuminate. What makes sulphur-plasma so exciting for the horticultural industry is the truly full-spectrum output it can emit and its long lifespan. A sulphur-plasma bulb is rated for 60,000 hours (five to seven years of continuous use) with virtually no depreciation of PAR. Although sulphur-plasma lamps are realistically years away from practical use in horticultural applications, their long life—combined with the absence of mercury and other hazardous waste—makes them a strong candidate to be a leading eco-friendly choice for the future.

As with standard fluorescent lighting, magnetic induction fluorescents use electricity to excite mercury vapour, which excites phosphors—thus producing light. The difference lies in the way the mercury vapour is excited. Magnetic induction fluorescents, like their name suggests, use electromagnetic induction to transfer energy through the glass envelope of the bulb to excite the mercury within. The absence of any electrode in the fluorescent light tube creates a multitude of ecologically friendly benefits. Electrodes found in standard fluorescents create an escape route for the gases in the tube—the escape of these gases decreases light output and requires more mercury to be used. Induction fluorescents require half the mercury content of comparable standard fluorescents, making them a much better choice for the environment. Although standard fluorescents need to be replaced about once a year

“Light-emitting diode (or, LED) technology is gaining huge popularity in the horticultural industry.”

because the usable light energy for plants diminishes as the bulb’s internal compounds break down or escape, magnetic induction fluorescents can be used continuously for five to seven years with little or no reduction in PAR. It should also be noted that the mercury used in induction lighting is in a solid form, which reduces contamination in case of accidental breakage and makes full recovery during recycling simpler. Magnetic induction fluorescents—just like LEDs—also produce much less heat than high-intensity discharge lighting, which reduces overall energy consumption.

Proper disposal of fluorescent, metal halide and high-pressure sodium bulbs

Many growers do not realise they can reduce the amount of toxic material entering our soil and water by simply recycling (versus throwing out) their old bulbs. Almost every recycling facility accepts bulbs and will actually salvage some of the components and compounds that can be reused. Contact your local recycling centre to find out the proper procedures for your area—recycling unwanted bulbs is a useful contribution to our planet’s bright future.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



Heirloomology Healthy, Safe, Eco-friendly by Matt LeBannister

Get set up to grow only heirloom—warm up your plate and palate with these delicious and distinct peppers.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Understanding Heirloomology The people have spoken and for the first time in ages the availability of heirloom fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers is on the rise. Seed-saving banks that distribute heirloom seeds to the home gardener have become more numerous and popular in recent years and many farmers are making the switch to growing heirloom strains, breaking into this new market in order to meet the demands of concerned consumers. Many farmers are able to reduce the use of expensive pesticides by growing a variety of cultivars, thus creating healthier, safer food and cutting operating costs significantly. Some grocers have started to specialise in different organic heirloom alternatives to the standard commercially grown hybrid varieties that have dominated produce sections for so many years. This groundswell of change is the result of a lot of hard work and education—growers and consumers alike have begun to seek a better way, and the food industry is beginning to listen. Heirloom or heritage strains are open-pollinated plants that are true, distinct breeding varieties. In modern agriculture, however, commercial farmers grow hybrid monocultures. They generally grow one type of hybrid vegetable that cannot reproduce, obliging farmers to buy seeds from large seed companies each year. Within a monoculture, there is very little genetic diversity, which means that a certain pest or disease could take out the entire crop. This is why farmers must use so much pesticide to protect their crops. For example, the great potato famine was largely the result of a monoculture of potatoes becoming infected with potato blight, leading to the widespread starvation of millions. Heirloom crops,

Heirloom crops provide more variety to the consumer.

It is hard to imagine ever tiring of the never-ending variety of heirloom peppers that can be grown in your own home.” 46

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

on the other hand, not only provide more variety to the consumer who might be tired of the same pepper varieties season after season, but they also allow farming to be safer. If a pest or disease attacks a farm that grows heirloom crops it might wipe out one strain, but genetic diversity would probably allow the other strains to survive. There are a huge variety of peppers—in every shape, colour, size and degree of heat. The first unique heirloom pepper strain we’ll discuss is called the Black Hungarian. This cultivar is a very hearty strain and can handle colder weather than most types. Black Hungarian peppers are quite productive and since they are an early type—maturing in about 70 days—they’re a great choice for short growing seasons. Black Hungarian peppers produce fruit similar in shape to a jalapeño, except the fruit starts dark purple (almost black) then turns red as it ripens. The foliage is ornamental, with green leaves and purple veins. In terms of taste and heat, Black Hungarian peppers are known for their great flavour, almost as spicy as a chili pepper but slightly milder in taste, which would put the heat somewhere around 1,000 to 5,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). The Scoville scale indicates the level of capsaicin (the chemical that creates the spicy flavour) present in the pepper—as a reference, green peppers are rated at zero SHU and jalapeño peppers are rated at around 3,000 to 5,000 SHU.

Understanding Heirloomology Black Hungarian peppers can be easily cultivated indoors in soil or soilless mixes or in hydroponics. During the vegetative stage, you should provide the plant with 18 hours of uninterrupted light, followed by 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness. They will grow to be 46- to 61-cm tall and will produce fruit ranging from 10- to 15-cm in length. Black Hungarian peppers do best in full sun with a pH range from 6.1 to 6.5 and they can be forced into blooming by switching the photoperiod to 12 hours of uninterrupted light followed by 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness— although they will often begin to flower on their own. You must pollinate these peppers when gardening indoors. To best accomplish this, use a small paintbrush—once your peppers begin to flower, simply touch the end of the paintbrush inside each flower a couple of times a day, which should ensure the spread of pollen from flower to flower. Another excellent heirloom pepper is the Matchbox pepper, a variety of the super chili pepper. Matchbox pepper plants grow 46- to 61-cm in height and produce small, 5-cm fruit that begins green and turns red as the fruit ripens. The peppers are often eaten when green, but have a little extra sweetness to them once they turn red. Matchbox peppers are quite fiery—they can be as hot as 30,000 SHU—and while the thick skin found on these peppers allows them to retain their flavour, it does make drying them difficult.

Black Hungarian peppers are almost as spicy as a chili pepper but slightly milder in taste.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

The world of heirloom peppers is one of endless possibilities, a world where every pepper has a unique flavour, colour and level of heat.” Matchbox peppers can be easily cultivated indoors. Peppers germinate best in warm environments, so when starting seeds use a heating mat or place the seeds in a warm place, such as the top of a fridge or a sunny windowsill. Just be careful not to overheat the seeds, as they will go dormant if temperatures get above 35°C. Matchbox peppers have pretty much the same requirements as Black Hungarian peppers, except that they are less tolerant of cooler temperatures and they are not recommended for short outdoor growing seasons as they can take 80 to 90 days to mature. Another type of heirloom pepper—rare, and one of the most unique I have ever come across—is called Grandpa’s Siberian home pepper. This type of pepper plant is really small, growing just one to 46-cm in height. Grandpa’s Siberian home peppers produce small fruit that are just a 1 to 2.5 cm in length and are red to purple in colour. The heat level of this particular pepper is around 1,500 to 4,000 SHU, giving it a nice amount of heat while still maintaining good flavour. What makes Grandpa’s Siberian home peppers so unique is that this variety was developed in Siberia and was bred to overwinter indoors. They are grown outdoors throughout a short summer season and at the end of the season they are just beginning to mature, which is when you bring the plants indoors—where they will continue to produce fruit all winter long. And the best part is that this variety can thrive on lower levels of light: all you need to successfully winter your Grandpa’s Siberian home peppers indoors is a sunny windowsill. Another great type of heirloom pepper is the Chimayo pepper, which originates from the farming town of Chimayo, New Mexico, famous for its chili. Chimayo pepper plants grow to be 46- to 61-cm tall and will produce tapered fruit that is 10- to 15-cm long. These peppers begin green and will turn red as they ripen and are said to be one of the most magnificent-tasting peppers available. The heat levels are on the mild side—measuring only 1,000 to 5,000 SHU— and they are ideal for drying because their flesh and skin is quite thin. The Chimayo pepper, which can be easily cultivated indoors, has a few characteristics that set it apart from other peppers. It’s an early variety, maturing in 60 to 70 days, and will actually begin to flower when it is still a seedling about 10-cm tall. This makes the Chimayo pepper a great choice if you are growing them outdoors in a short-season part of the

All you need to successfully overwinter your Grandpa’s Siberian home peppers indoors is a sunny windowsill.” world—and when growing them indoors, it simply means more peppers in less time. The world of heirloom peppers is one of endless possibilities, a world where every pepper has a unique flavour, colour and level of heat. Whether you are using peppers for chili, pickling, drying or just adding spice to any of your favourite dishes, it is hard to imagine ever tiring of the never-ending variety of heritage peppers that can be grown in your own home. Resources:

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013




2 Why it Matters P l a n t N u tritio n by Bentley Mills


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

The article in the last issue of Maximum Yield talked about the basics of photosynthesis and covered some of the processes involved. This time, we continue discussing photosynthesis processes that make nutrient sufficiency in plants possible.

Where we left off: th e l ight r e actio n

There are two separate photosystems over which the light reaction takes place: photosystem I and photosystem II. One of the main differences between the two photosystems is that antenna pigments of photosystem I absorb light predominately of a wavelength of 700 nm, while the pigments of photosystem II absorb light mostly from the 680-nm wavelength. The two photosystems are joined by an electron transport chain made of a number of proteins, many of which contain inorganic nutrients within them. When light energy is absorbed by the antenna pigments of the leaf, it is funnelled to the reaction centres of the two photosystems. Once the absorbed light energy reaches the reaction centre of photosystem II, a water molecule is split in the Hill reaction. Oxygen gas (O2) evolves when the water molecule is split and electrons are bumped to a higher energy level. Two inorganic nutrients, manganese and chlorine, are necessary for the Hill Reaction to occur. Without them, water molecules will not split and photosynthesis will not proceed. Zinc (Zn) has also been linked to the Hill reaction and deficiencies in zinc have been shown to result in impaired Hill reaction activity.

T h e H i l l r e actio n : 2 H 2 0 ➞ 4 e - + 4 H+ + O 2 (MN + Cl)

Photosynthesis leads to nutritious mint.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


Photosynthesis and Plant Nutrition 2

The big difference here is that the elecIt is from this reaction that oxygen is trons are not used to manufacture ATP, evolved in photosynthesis. It was once but instead they are used to reduce believed that the oxygen released from NADP to NADPH2. The NADPH2 is photosynthesis came from the breaklater used in the Calvin cycle in the down of carbon dioxide, but that has manufacturing of carbohydrates been shown not to be the case. After from carbon dioxide—non-cyclic being sent to a higher energy state photosynthesis. by the absorption of light energy in As stated earlier, photophosphotosystem II, the electrons from phorylation is the process by the water molecule are trapped by which ATP is created in the light a protein complex. This protein reaction. This is a very important complex strongly resembles process for it is the only time that an electron transport chain. It ATP is created during photosynincludes cytochromes, ferredoxin, thesis. And just like nearly every iron-sulphur proteins and plasother event that occurs in phototocyanin. Again, the importance synthesis, photophosphorylation is of plant nutrients is evident by the greatly affected by inorganic nutrients. presence of iron (Fe) in ferredoxin, Photophosphorylation takes place copper (Cu) in plastocyanin and sulin the protein chain that is located phur (S) in the iron-sulphur proteins. between photosystem II and photosysOnce the electrons have reached this tem I; more specifically, it occurs at the protein complex, they are moved along thylakoid membrane. the chain from one protein to another Initially, in photosystem II, a water down an energy gradient. As the elecmolecule is split up (the Hill reaction) trons move down this transport chain, into an oxygen molecule, two electrons the energy that they lose is used to add and four protons (H+). As discussed an extra phosphate to ADP in order earlier, the two electrons are sent to to make ATP. This process is termed a state of elevated energy photophosphorylation. due to the absorbance of As the electrons make their “ W h e n l ight e n e rg y is absorb e d b y light energy by chlorophyll way down the protein transport th e a n t e n n a pigm e n ts o f th e l e a f molecules and some other chain they will eventually come it is f u n n e l L e d to th e r e actio n pigments. Then, these to photosystem I. Once the electrons proceed to move to electrons have made it to phoc e n tr e s o f th e two photos y st e ms .” photosystem I via a protein tosystem I, a process that very chain, losing much of the closely mirrors what happened energy that they had at photosystem II gained in the process. occurs. Various This energy is not just antenna pigments lost though. It is used to absorb light energy pump the protons that of a wavelength of were released from the 700 nm and that splitting of water across energy is funnelled the thylakoid membrane to the reaction from the stroma region centre. Once the of the chloroplast into energy reaches the the thylakoid. Pumping reaction centre, it is all of these protons used to again elevate across the thylakoid the two electrons membrane sets up an to a higher energy electrochemical gradilevel. After reachent, which drives the ing a higher energy synthesis of ATP. state the electrons Protons naturally again move down will try to flow down an electron transthe electrochemical port system (much gradient (from high like they did after photosystem II). 52

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Photosynthesis and Plant Nutrition 2

Photosynthesis leads to strong leaves.

potential to low potential). In this case, the protons will try to move back into the stroma from the thylakoid. The protons move back across the thylakoid membrane into the stroma through an enzyme called ATP-synthase. When they move through this enzyme into the stroma, they are moving to an area of lower potential; so, the protons then must lose some energy along the way, right? Well they do, and this energy is used to put an inorganic phosphate ion, denoted Pi, to ADP, thus creating ATP. Inorganic nutrients are crucial to the functioning of this process. Iron, sulphur and copper are all parts of proteins that are critical in the movement of electrons from photosystem II to photosystem I. Calcium is also very important in this process because it maintains membrane integrity. Obviously, this is very important when considering the flow of protons and electrons across the thylakoid membrane. Phosphorous too, plays an important role. Not only is phosphorous added to ADP to form ATP, but, like calcium, it is important in maintaining membrane integrity. Toxicities, not just deficiencies, can have a detrimental effect on photophosphorylation. One well-documented toxicity that can have adverse effects on the production of ATP is ammonia toxicity. When ammonia reaches toxic levels in the plant, one of the many problems that can occur is the uncoupling of photosynthetic phosphorylation. The production of ATP becomes uncoupled due to the detrimental effects of ammonia on the thylakoid membranes. As mentioned earlier, the functioning of the thylakoid membrane is integral in the production of ATP. When the membrane becomes distorted in any way, ATP production will inevitably fall and the plant will suffer. Thus, it is important to not only know if you are 54

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

deficient in an inorganic nutrient but to know when nutrients might be at toxic levels as well. This is why tissue testing should be done on a regular basis. It is evident that inorganic nutrients have a major impact on the light reactions of photosynthesis. Nitrogen is in every amino acid in a plant; thus, it must also be part of every single protein in a plant, as well as being a major component of the chlorophyll molecule. Nitrogen is involved in nearly every aspect of the light reactions, as well as photosynthesis as a whole. Phosphorus also plays a big role in the light reactions of photosynthesis. It is phosphorus that is added to the ADP to form ATP that will be used elsewhere in the plant for energy. Phosphorous is also part of NADP, which is reduced to the NADPH2 that goes on to the Calvin cycle. Magnesium is the central component of the chlorophyll molecule and, therefore, is vital to the functioning of the light reactions of photosynthesis. Research has shown that up to 10% of the magnesium in the plant is held in chlorophyll. Manganese, chlorine and possibly zinc are essential for the Hill reaction to function. Iron, sulphur and copper are all parts of proteins that help move electrons between the two photosystems.

“ T h e dar k r e actio n o f photos y n th e sis b e gi n s with th e di f f u sio n o f carbo n diox id e i n to th e l e a f via th e stomata , whi l e ox yg e n — cr e at e d i n th e l ight r e actio n — di f f u s e s .”

T ra n sport o f photos y n that e s to ph l o e m a n d th e n to oth e r r e gio n s o f th e p l a n t ( th e dar k r e actio n / C a lvi n c y c l e )

The Calvin cycle is often referred to as the dark reaction of photosynthesis, which can be misleading as the Calvin cycle can occur both during day and night. However, light is not required for this reaction to proceed; hence the name. In the most general terms, the dark reaction of photosynthesis involves the evolution of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the plant, where it is used to manufacture carbohydrates. The actual cycle is much more in-depth than that,

however. Once again, inorganic nutrients play an important role in the many facets of the dark reaction of photosynthesis. As in the light reaction, inorganic nutrients have both direct and indirect effects on the dark reaction. The dark reaction of photosynthesis begins with the diffusion of carbon dioxide into the leaf via the stomata, while oxygen—created in the light reaction—diffuses. One plant nutrient that plays an essential role in the movement of carbon dioxide into the leaf is potassium (K). Carbon dioxide moves into the leaf through the stomata. The stomata, which are located mostly on the underside of the leaf, can be opened and closed by a plant as needed. The opening and closing of the stomata is regulated by guard cells that are located on either side of the stomata. The movement of potassium into the guard cells will determine whether they allow the stomata to remain open or closed. With potassium deficiencies, there will be problems in the movement of carbon dioxide into the leaves, as well as movement of oxygen out. Without much needed carbon from carbon dioxide, the plant may have to resort to mining carbon from inside the plant itself in order to manufacture much needed carbohydrates that will be used in respiration. In addition, oxygen has an inhibitory effect on photosynthesis. When levels of oxygen inside a plant get too high, photosynthesis rates could drop. Once carbon dioxide has diffused into the intercellular spaces of the leaves, it then moves into plant cells, where

Photosynthesis in action.

“ R u bisco is importa n t b e cau s e it is tho u ght to b e th e si n g l e most commo n prot e i n o n th e p l a n e t Earth .”

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


Photosynthesis and Plant Nutrition 2

“ W h e n orga n s s u ch as f low e rs ar e f ormi n g , th e r e is a gr e at n e e d f or potassi u m i n a p l a n t.”


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

it is transported into the chloroplast so that it can be integrated into a carbon skeleton via the Calvin cycle to form the precursors of starches, sugars, proteins and fatty acids. The Calvin cycle begins with one molecule of carbon dioxide entering the cycle and combining with ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate, a five-carbon sugar to form a series of three-carbon compounds. This reaction is catalysed by the enzyme rubisco. Rubisco is important because it is thought to be the single most common protein on the planet Earth. In addition, magnesium and perhaps manganese are essential for the functioning of this enzyme. Without the presence of at least one of these elements this enzyme will not function, carbon dioxide will not be fixed by ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate and the Calvin cycle will not proceed. After going through a reduction stage a molecule of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, a three-carbon compound, is produced. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate is then used in the synthesis of sugars, starches, fatty acids and proteins. Ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate is then regenerated and sent to combine with another molecule of carbon dioxide. A question could then be posed: how is glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, a three-carbon compound, produced and ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate, a five-carbon compound, regenerated while only adding one molecule of carbon dioxide? The answer is that the cycle must turn three times, thus adding three carbon dioxide molecules in order to produce one molecule of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. Most of the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate that is produced, moves into the cytosol of the cell, where it is used in a variety of reactions. Most of the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate that remains in the chloroplast is converted into starch and stored temporarily as starch granules that are later exported to the rest of the plant for use.

T ra n sport o f photos y n that e

After the products of photosynthesis—sugars, starches, fatty acids and proteins—are formed, they must be moved from their point of origin or source to a location where they are needed. Photosynthates are moved around the plant via the phloem tissue. Two elements in particular are crucial for the movement of photosynthate from source to sink. One of these is potassium. In addition to its many other roles in the plant, potassium serves to transport the products of photosynthesis around the plant. When organs such as flowers are forming, there is a great need for potassium in a plant. When deficiencies in potassium occur, there is often decreased flower set or a decrease in flower size and quality. The importance of potassium during times of high metabolic demand cannot be understated. Calcium is also important in the movement of photosynthate around a plant. Calcium has been found to be important in the loading of the phloem with the products of photosynthesis. If calcium were deficient, there would be problems with getting photosynthate into the phloem tissue and thus it would not be available to sink areas on the plant.

I n orga n ic n u tri e n ts hav e both dir e ct a n d i n dir e ct e f f e cts o n photos y n th e sis : Direct Effects

Usually reversible, such as rapid recovery of rate of net photosynthesis when a deficient element is reintroduced at the proper level (manganese in chloroplasts, for example).

Indirect Effects

Ions involved in synthesis of enzymes and pigments, those involved in transport, etc. Potassium has an indirect effect via control of stomatal opening and closing.

“ca lci u m is importa n t i n th e mov e m e n t o f photos y n that e aro u n d a p l a n t.”

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



by Helene Isbell The blooming stage is one of the most amazing parts of a plant’s life cycle, and we’ve figured out how to make it even more incredible.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

As conscious gardeners, we take great pride in the produce that we grow. The main goal in the garden is to cultivate the most delicious, nutritious, high-yielding fruits and flowers possible. Experiencing the bloom stage of a female plant’s life cycle is the fun part of growing that makes hours of tedious labour well worth the effort. It’s the sexy, seductive stage when the plant shows herself in all of her flowering glory. From bashful budding to ripe busty blooms, the flowering stage is the time in a plant’s life cycle in which it undergoes the most drastic transformation. It is oh so satisfying—the joyous ending when gardeners get to celebrate the fruits of their labour! As the horticultural industry advances in research and development, specialised fertilisers and supplements have been perfected to give plants the specific nutrients they need to grow into healthy producers. There are hundreds of fertilisers on the market and sometimes deciding which brand to use can be an overwhelming and daunting process. To choose a fertiliser that will produce the best results, it is important to understand the specific nutritional requirements of the crop during the different stages of the flowering process. Experienced gardeners might also choose to use a bloom booster, a potent formula designed to significantly increase the size of the crop’s final yield.

Entering the flowering stage Plants begin the flowering process when their light source is changed from 18 hours of sunlight down to 12 hours of sunlight per day. In the natural environment, this occurs when autumn arrives and the days begin to shorten and the sea-

There are hundreds

of fertilizers on the market and sometimes deciding which brand to use can be an overwhelming and daunting process.”

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


bloom boosters

cycle to the flowering cycle, their nutritional requirements also change. Specific macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and trace elements work together in the flowering process to aid in the formation of healthy flowers. Each ingredient in a nutrient mixture plays a different vital role, so making sure that all of the plant’s needs are met can be the biggest challenge for growers.

1,308 words Bloom Macronutrients of the flowering cycle Boosters Helene Isbell By preventing

sons begin to change. In an indoor garden, growers have the ability to control the seasons with indoor horticultural lighting. By setting the lights on a timer with 12 hours under lights and 12 hours in the dark, the indoor garden mimics the natural cycle of the sun. It sends a message to the plant, triggering the end of its life cycle and forcing it to reproduce. This is the stage in which the plants begin budding. A female plant produces flowers in hope that it will be pollinated by a male plant to produce seeds, which will carry on both parents’ genetics. By preventing male plants from entering the garden space and exposing females to their pollen, gardeners have the ability to create seedless varieties of flowering plants. However, if the plant is exposed to environmental stress, such as light leaks during the flowering process, there is the possibility that it could self-pollinate and produce seeds.

Macronutrients, sometimes referred to as base nutrients, are the primary elements that are the most vital in sustaining healthy plants. Metaphorically speaking, they are the main course in a plant’s meal plan, while micronutrients would make up the side dishes. The three main macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and at least one of these elements are found in all fertilisers. The ratio of those ingredients, known as the N-P-K ratio, represents the proportions of available nutrients by weight in that particular formula. It is delineated on the bottle by numeric values separated by dashes (the first number represents the volume of nitrogen, the second corresponds with the phosphorus and the third with the potassium). Nitrogen: this is the least important macronutrient in the flowering cycle. It encourages photosynthesis and chlorophyll production, aiding in vertical growth of foliage, and stem and leaf production. Nitrogen is necessary during the vegetative stage, but it should be used very sparingly or not at all during the flowering cycle. So, for the bloom cycle, choose nutrients with a low N value on the N-P-K rating.

male plants from entering the garden space and exposing females to their pollen, gardeners have the ability to create seedless varieties of flowering plants.”

The importance of nutrients The bloom cycle is the stage when plants are focusing all of their energy on producing big, juicy fruits and flowers. Indeed, as plants make the transition from the vegetative


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Phosphorus: this is an overall beneficial stimulant for flowering plants. It promotes the production of healthy roots and flower sites, as well as plays an important role in respiration, conversion of energy, and cell division and growth. Phosphorus also speeds up plant maturity.

Potassium: this is another important macronutrient during the flowering cycle. It transports liquid throughout the roots and stems of the plant and assists in enzymatic activity. Potassium also regulates fluctuations in plant metabolism, increases the amount of flower sites, fortifies plant growth, heightens the immune system and disease resistance of the plant and aids in overall plant vitality.

The other macros Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S) are three mineral elements that are categorised as the secondary macronutrients. These elements are generally needed in lower quantities than primary base nutrients. Calcium: this plays an important role in cell wall formation and division. Calcium is also a necessary component of the roots, stems, leaves and flowers of a plant. It increases fruit set and promotes beneficial microbial activity. Magnesium: this element is a key component of chlorophyll. It also increases the availability and efficiency of phosphorous, as well as activates and enables several enzymatic processes. Sulphur: this is an important constituent of amino acids. Sulphur also aids enzyme and vitamin development.

Micronutrients Micronutrients, sometimes referred to as trace elements, are other minerals that are vital to plant health. Each plays


sometimes referred to as base nutrients, are the primary elements that are the most vital in sustaining healthy plants.�

a specific role in supporting necessary functions in the plant life cycle. They are used in lesser quantities compared to primary and secondary base nutrients (hence, the term micro). The main micronutrients are boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), chloride (Cl), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn).

What are bloom boosters? Bloom boosters are specialised, multi-functional supplements designed to enhance the natural performance of plants during the flowering cycle. There are dozens upon dozens of bloom boosters to choose from, so considering their N-P-K ratios and specific features highly influences the success that they bring to the garden. Choosing the best bloom booster While the common goal of bloom boosters is to increase size, density and quality of the final yield, exceptional boosters will also assist with the ripening of the harvest. The boosters that produce the most dramatic results will contain daring levels of phosphorus and potassium. Some might contain vitamin B-1 to assist with shock that plants might experience during the powerful growth rates that result from the booster. To reduce the amount of products you introduce to the nutrient regimen, look for bloom boosters that are versatile enough to use not only as a finishing agent, but also during the first week of flowering to kick-start an aggressive bloom cycle. A well-rounded, clean bloom booster should be compatible with all lines of nutrients, be formulated with food-grade ingredients and be free of dyes and colouring agents. To witness a flowering plant transition through the different phases of its life cycle is nothing short of a miraculous experience. Nature has designed plants to be intuitive creatures; their cycles are triggered by the seasons to precisely perform the functions necessary to ensure their genetic survival. Modern science has allowed humans to perfect the natural process, resulting in yields of unprecedented proportions. With the use of premium-quality nutrients and power-packed bloom boosters, hobby gardeners and farmers worldwide are celebrating exceptional harvests. An expert nutrient schedule combined with the innovative technology continually emerging in the horticulture industry has the unique potential to produce gardens that boast the revolutionary results that will shape the gardens of our future.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


oF Moulds and

MIldews by Philip McIntosh

Ah, fungi and their relatives fungal protists. Wonderful organisms aren’t they? From a strictly biological point of view, they are indeed fascinating. From an economic perspective, they are a nightmare. Few things strike more fear into the hearts of farmers than the appearance of fuzzy or powdery growth on their plants. Hydroponic growers face the additional horror of finding roots engulfed by an unspeakably gross slime or rot away before their eyes. Ah, fungi and their relatives fungal protists… what a fascinating nightmare. What are commonly called moulds and mildews are usually members of kingdom Fungi. Fungi are eukaryotic (contain a nucleus), heterotrophic (obtain food from their environment) absorbers (they release enzymes into their environment to break down organic matter that they then reabsorb) that never contain chlorophyll (this separates them cleanly from all plants and plant-like organisms) and reproduce either sexually or asexually by budding or by the production of spores. (A note on spores: spores are not like seeds. Seeds contain a complete multicellular plant embryo, while a spore is a single cell that is specially designed for dispersal and survival. Some spores die relatively rapidly if conditions are right, but other spores


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

are more resilient and can remain dormant for quite some time until conditions are right for germination.) This puts them in alliance with other eukaryotic organisms, such as plants and animals. Although the disease symptoms fungi exhibit can be similar to those that accompany bacterial infections, fungi are nothing like bacteria (since they are eukaryotes, fungi possess a much greater complexity of cellular organisation and structure than bacteria). Fungi are a diverse lot. They range from single celled yeasts like Saccharomyces cerevisiae—used in bread and beer making—to the colourful and majestic mushrooms like Amanita muscaria, which rapidly appears after a good rain. However, mycologists do not always agree on exactly how they should be classified. Like plants, fungi have historically been classified on the appearance of their reproductive structures; however, not all fungi produce clearly observable reproductive structures. To make it even more difficult, some fungi produce different kinds of reproductive structures depending on the environment, or whether or not they are able to undergo sexual—as opposed to asexual—reproduction.

strategy. Mould spores are produced by the millions and float about easily in the slightest movement of air, which is one reason why moulds can be hard to get rid of. Spores tend to arise near the centre of the colony before radiating outward to cover the expanding mycelium. The mycelium is composed of a mass of fungal cells called hyphae, which are extending thread-like tubular cells. Mould spores are often quite colourful. Brown, black, green, blue, yellow, purple and shades of orange and red are commonly seen, and they provide an initial clue as to the species. Fortunately for growers, most moulds are saprophytes that gain their nutrients from already dead organic matter. However, some moulds are decidedly plant parasites, either by nature or by opportunity. Plant diseases caused by fungi include rusts, smuts and various forms of rot.


the disease symptoms fungi exhibit can be similar to those that accompany bacterial infections, fungi are nothing like bacteria." Mildews

Mildew... now there is an interesting term. It means different things at different times. Mildew is sometimes the name given to a foul-smelling and seemingly non-obvious fungus growing in a damp place where it is not supposed to. On the other hand, some fungal species have been given the specific names, such as powdery mildew or downy mildew.


What we generally refer to as moulds are fungal colonies that begin as a white fuzzy growth on some substrate, such as a piece of fruit or other bit of decaying organic material. However, the term mould is rather a catch-all, as it simply describes a fungal colony that is either producing no spores at all or eventually produces spores by asexual means only. Asexual spores are generated by the standard eukaryotic cell division process called mitosis. With the exception of variations produced by random mutation, all mould spores are genetically alike. This is not a good strategy for adapting to new environments, but it is an excellent short-term survival

Rust, pictured here, is a plant disease caused by fungi. Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


of moulds and mildews

Powdery mildews

appear as white powdery spots, usually on the older lower leaves first, but can spread to cover the entire plant if unchecked. " A powdery mildew is usually a member of the fungal order Erysiphales, and the ones of specific interest to hydroponic growers belong to the genera Podosphaera and Erysiphe. Powdery mildews appear as white powdery spots, usually on the older lower leaves first, but can spread to cover the entire plant if unchecked. The causative agents prefer moderate to high humidity and warm temperatures. The severity of the disease depends on many factors, including the variety of the host plant, the age and condition of the plant and the weather conditions during the growing season. Powdery mildews are a bit fussy, however, and a particular species will only infect a few types of plants.

Also, some fungi produce special penetrating hyphae that are capable of forcing their way into plant tissues or growing in through stomata—powdery mildew is one example. Heirloom cultivars also pose a problem for they require nothing short of close inspection and rigid adherence to procedures for proper environmental conditions. Treatment options for fungal diseases include pruning diseased leaves and stems or the complete destruction of diseased plants—better to intentionally destroy half a crop that to lose all of it to an unchecked infection. Diseased plants should be disposed of properly and not used in compost for future application. Anti-fungal treatment options that might be acceptable to organic and natural growers include compounds of copper and sulphur, or hydrogen peroxide. Other methods that are based on plant oils—for example, neem oil, bicarbonates and lipopeptides (a combination of a fatty molecule and a protein fragment)—are under investigation. Some say they work and other say they don’t. If pruning, removal, or organic-chemical methods fail, commercial fungicides do work; although, not everyone will consider this approach acceptable. With respect to the powdery and downy mildews, avoid overhead watering and application of nitrogen fertiliser late in the growing cycle. Mildews thrive on healthy turgid tissues such as those encouraged by application of nitrogen. A grower can also take proactive steps to protect a crop from attack by moulds and mildews. Good air circulation, elimination of overcrowding, appropriate watering practices and vigilance are the key to consistently healthy and disease-free plants.

Protecting against and treating fungal infections of plants

There are thousands of different plant diseases caused by fungi, including rusts, smuts, blights, damping off disease and rots. Fungal infections are particularly troublesome because fungal cells are in many ways similar to those of other eukaryotes (such as plants), which makes it difficult to find chemicals that will attack fungus yet be harmless to plants and people. There are some treatments available for particular fungal diseases, although these treatments might be only partially effective. Fortunately, most plants of commerce are available in disease resistant varieties. However, just because a plant is resistant to fungal infection, does not mean it is completely immune. Overcrowding, poor air circulation and unnecessarily high humidity will doom even the hardiest of varieties. And, even with the best of practices, sometimes fungal pathogens still appear. Like bacteria and viruses, fungi can find their way into a host plant through cuts or breaks in the plant epidermis (hence why it’s important to treat plants gently). 64

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Powdery mildew.

One of the most dreaded afflictions of plants in a hydroponics operation is pythium rot. Although pythium does appear to be rather fungus-like, it is actually a fungal protist. Close attention to hygiene, a solid program of system maintenance and cleaning, and the use of an ultraviolet sterilisation lamp in recirculating nutrient systems can help prevent the appearance of pythium. Also, maintaining an adequate oxygen supply and a temperature between 20 and 22°C in the root zone makes it difficult for pythium to gain a foothold.

References Anonymous. Root Disease Problems & Management in Hydroponic Systems. Colorado State University Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Green Industries of Colorado, Inc. Retrieved from html Edmunds, B., & Pottorf, L. P. (2009) Powdery Mildews. Colorado State Extension Service. Retrieved from http:// Moore-Landecker, E. (1996). Fundamentals of the Fungi. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


T O P O T W T O O H P RE D AN PLANTS rese by The



ner sily. n i g e elp b ly and ea h o t ned ts quick g i s e ips d pot plan t e s w the ot and re o l l o F ers p n e d r ga


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

To pot a plant start with clean, scrubbed containers, preferably sterilised for the best success. Coarse steel wool or metal scouring pads clean pots in a jiffy. Pot cleaning tips Most harmful organisms can be killed by placing a stack of pots on a cloth under the hot water faucet and running hot water slowly into the top pot for five minutes. Another option is this quick recipe for cleaning pots: 50/50 water and vinegar solution. Works well on both plastic and clay containers.

Getting ready to plant In planting, place a piece of broken crockery over the hole in the bottom of the pot and cover with a handful of soil (you can use a few small stones instead of crockery pieces). The idea is to allow water to drain (instead of being trapped in the pot) without losing soil. Placing a piece of broken crockery or a few rocks will provide filtered drainage.

How to pot a plant • • •

Hold the plant in the pot with its crown just below the rim and spread the roots out evenly. Fill the pot gradually with soil and firm it, without packing, as each handful is put in. Final soil level should be at least a half centimetre below the pot rim to allow for easier watering.

How to repot plants In repotting plants, remove as much old soil as possible from roots, particularly from the top of soil ball, disturbing roots as little as possible. Use a pot proportionate in size to the plant. Plants should be shifted to bigger pots as they grow larger.

Consider the container Unglazed clay pots provide ideal growing conditions for plants. They are porous, providing necessary air circulation to roots and have drainage holes in the bottom, making overwatering less likely.

Plastic pots are lightweight and easy to handle but, as in metal or ceramic containers, water evaporates slowly, so you have to be careful not to overwater. If drainage is not provided, water can accumulate in the bottom of the container. Then roots rot and give off gases toxic to the plant. If you find a pot unattractive, set it in a jardinière that better suits your taste.

When to repot a plant When the plant has exhausted the nutritive value of the soil in the pot, it should be transferred to a larger pot to maintain its normal growth.

Determine if a plant requires repotting First remove the plant from the pot. Do this by turning the plant upside down, supporting by two fingers on each side of the stem against the soil. Tap the rim of the pot on the edge of a bench or table. This will loosen the pot so it can be removed. If the plant requires repotting, there will be a heavy mat of roots showing through the dirt. If the roots have lost their healthy creamy white colour and instead are of rusty appearance, repotting is required at once. Handle the plant with care so that no more earth than necessary is disturbed or broken from the roots. Remove all the soil down to where the roots begin. The general rule of thumb is to select the next largest size of pot, putting enough soil in the bottom to raise the plant to a height where all roots will be nicely covered and the soil is at least one a centimetre from the top edge of the pot. A stick is handy for firming the soil around the edge of the pot. Always water thoroughly after potting, making sure all soil is well moistened. Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


Aquaculture Aquaponics TO

While many of you are familiar with the concept of aquaponics, as well as several basic components of aquaculture and hydroponics, there is some other information you need before you give freshwater aquaponics a try...


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

In 2009, total world aquaculture production of fish was still significantly lower behind wild caught production (55.1 and 90 million tonnes, respectively). However, aquaculture remains the fastest growing sector in agriculture, with an annual average increase of 6.6% from 1970 to 2008. The potential for profitable food production of fish and plants has never been more prominent. After all, aquaculture must supply a growing population and there is an open, global market to generate revenue. Also, there is need for growth and development of additional aquaculture and aquaponic facilities to meet domestic needs. So, growing fish through aquaponics sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well, let me break it to you quickly: not all fish are the same and not all are as easily cultured. So, even though you don’t need to have an advanced degree in aquaculture or prior experience, I still recommend starting simple. A first point to ponder is if your fish species of interest takes pelleted food easily. If not, you will have great plant production, but no fish to sell and lots of wasted feed. Personal experience has shown that yellow perch and striped bass and their hybrids are prone to stress and subsequent disease outbreaks. Freshwater prawns are certainly catching steam domestically, but they are best left to pond production as cannibalism is quite high! While popular, salmonids (trout and salmon) require

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Entries are now being accepted. Entries are limited to one per person. To enter and for more details, visit To ensure proper water-quality parameters are maintained for fish and plant health, promote denitrification and beneficial bacteria.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


The Aquaculture component

"Though proteins, carbohydrates and lipids are integral to fish production, it is the mineral premix found in fish diets that is most important to plants." pristine-water-quality parameters. For example, they need above 8 ppm of dissolved oxygen, which is only accomplished with colder water temperatures and/or injection of pure oxygen—an endeavour that is pricey and potentially dangerous to your aquatic friends. Therefore, it is recommended to try black/white crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus and Pomoxis annularis), bluegill and relatives (Lepomis spp.), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoniodes) and tilapia (Oreochromis spp.). In regards to fast growth, high-stress threshold and ease of accessibility, tilapia is arguably the best choice. Fish meal comprises the bulk of protein in most fish diets. Origins of this feedstuff are predominately harvested from marine fish like menhaden. The harvest of these fishes domestically has been capped, thus creating an exponential growth in price. Therefore, for aquaculture to be sustainable, fish meal cannot comprise the largest component of diets. Instead, alternative plant-based protein sources have been tested and utilised. Due to domestic supplies, soybean meal is one of the better sources of protein suitable in aquatic diets, but is not without problems (refer to anti-nutritional factors in soybeans for more information). Tilapia is considered an omnivore and is very tolerant to a high inclusion rate of soybean meal in pelleted diets. Though proteins, carbohydrates and lipids are integral to fish production, it is the mineral premix found in fish diets that is most important to plants. This mineral premix will contain most of the macro- and micronutrients needed for plant growth and development. However, be aware that fish will utilise a large component of the nutritional value of the pellets; as such, overfeeding will be integral for aquaponic systems to ensure there are no plant-nutrient deficiencies.


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Proper water-quality parameters are also paramount to fish and plant health. Ammonia is a waste product that is excreted via the gills, urine and faeces of fish. However, ammonia at a specific dose is detrimental to fish and plants. To forgo frequent and inefficient water changes, be sure to promote denitrifying and beneficial bacteria. Nitrosomonas spp. and Nitrobacter spp. in turn will convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate. It is this final form that is relatively non-toxic to fish and that can be

directly utilised by plant roots. For “seeding” the water, you can add fish waste via a low-density stocking of fish. Or, for fishless seeding, target a dosing rate of at least 1 ppm ammonia directly. This will promote colonisation by Nitrosomonas spp. bacteria. As the ammonia levels drop and nitrites increase, subsequent Nitrobacter spp. bacteria colonisation will occur. A critical component to keeping both types of bacteria healthy is having sufficient access to their food sources at all times. Therefore, if you are doing a fishless seeding, make sure you do not allow ammonia levels to reach zero, as this will eventually lead to a crash in the Nitrosomonas spp. Population, negating the whole process. Also, do not add fish to pre-seeded water if the levels of ammonia are 1 ppm or above.

This recirculating NFT aquaponics system is made from 7.62-cm PVC with non-toxic glue.

Both fish and plant roots alike are net consumers of dissolved oxygen. If values are too low, both will suffer from stunted growth or death. A give-and-take relationship exists between the ideal water temperature for fish production and the concentration of dissolved oxygen that will impact plant health. Given the constraints of temperature, dissolved oxygen should not fall below 5 ppm. Additional air pumps might be necessary for the fish effluent entering the hydroponic system. Another big water quality parameter is pH. Ideally, pH should be 6.5 to 7.5. At this range, macro- and micronutrients should not be tied up and the fish will not be bothered. It is important to note that while the above mentioned parameters are critical to both fish and plants, there are other tests—such as for calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, etc.—that might be important in monitoring the “nutrient” solution of the fish-culture water. Be sure to use available resources in the form of university extension publications and various textbooks on aquaculture and aquaponics for specific details. It’s worth it, as aquaponics truly offers an efficient means of sustainably growing food sources for an evergrowing human population.

These sweet bell peppers are lit under fluorescent tubes with grow bulbs surrounded by aluminum foil. The plants sit in plastic cups that have holes drilled at the bottom to allow the nutrient solution to run through the media.

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Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


You Tell Us

Laura Wiktarek in aquaponic laboratory Delvia Lukito and Mark Krupka in the lab.

Scott Berke of Ecological Laboratories recently sat down with Maximum Yield and shared a bit more about the core technology the company has become known for. How was the company started, and who are the people behind Ecological Laboratories? Ecological Laboratories, Inc. was started by brothers Michael and Barry Richter together with microbiologist Wally Thompson to develop, market and sell a unique blend of bacteria for waste water systems. What is your company’s current philosophy? We are strongly aware of our responsibility to environmental stewardship and sustainable development. By providing safe, natural products we allow our customers to also be good stewards of the environment so that it will be suitable for all of our children and grandchildren. Unlike many other marketers of bacterial products, we produce our own bacteria so we can be assured that everything we put our name on is 100% safe and effective.

Your company prides itself on making its own bacteria. Why is this important? There are a number of companies that sell products with bacteria in them. The majority of these companies buy their bacteria from third party producers. They get what they get. The bacteria in these products can vary from batch to batch, depending on which company the manufacturer bought their ingredients from that month and what QC practices were in place from the supplier ... by growing our own bacteria, and using our DNA sequencer to test our bacteria, we keep tight control over products so we know what goes into the bottle and can be sure that the grower is going to get the same blend of bacteria every time they open a new bottle of Microbe Life.

Can you share with readers what makes up the core technology you’ve become known for and describe how it has become the basis for your business? Our core technology is the unique, specialised bacteria we produce for plant, soil, water and fish health and improvement. By focusing on this core technology, we have been able to develop products that are far superior to any other in the market, which is why Ecological has risen to the top of the field. We have not only developed products that work better, but they are also natural and environmentally friendly. Providing effective, unique products like these has become the core of Ecological’s business. Dr. Tau, senior microbiologist 72

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

What are some of your more popular products and why do you think they are in such high demand? Photosynthesis Plus is the most popular product we offer. This is our prop blend of bacteria, including photosynthetic strains in a stabilized form with an extended shelf life. This is unique in itself, but the effect this product has on plant growth has to be seen to be believed. Among other thing, the bacteria actually improve the plant’s ability to do photosynthesis. You get faster growth, greater root mass and higher yields with reduced fertiliser and water usage. It is easy to understand why it is in such high demand. Also at the top of the list is the Nourish L, our rare earth humate. This is not Leonardite like so many others. This product is from naturally composted marine flora and fauna. It contains 72 elements and is a rich source of lignin, which supports beneficial bacteria and fungi. Additionally, it is certified for organic use! We also get a lot of requests for the Root Dip & Foliar Spray. This product is a concentrated blend of bacteria, humate and mycorrhizal fungi primarily used to soak plant roots before transplanting to help prevent root shock and stimulate growth. What is something about your company or team that might surprise our readers? There are many things about this crew that seem to surprise people. If I have to narrow it down, I would say that people most often seem surprised by the fact that a company with global business like Ecological has is really a relatively small family-owned business. You might also be surprised by the diverse background of the people that make up our staff. We come from all over and arrived here along very different paths. Next time you see us at a show, try and figure which one of us started out as a professional water skier, which one spends their time at home keeping and breeding snakes, and which one of the owners has been riding Harleys for over 40 years.

Ecological Laboratories’ facility

Keith Kozelka, microbiologist

How do your company’s practices impact the environment? Why is this important to you? We are an FDA and EPA registered facility, and we follow very strict practices in manufacturing to make sure that we don’t have a negative impact on the environment. At the same time, by manufacturing earth-friendly products, we hope to help the consumer be more environmentally friendly, whether it is growing plants with the need for less water, fertiliser and pesticide or returning cleaner effluent back to the groundwater from their septic system. What words of wisdom can you share about the business, the industry or the future of the industry? With better education, the role that beneficial bacteria play in the growth of healthy plants is going to be better understood by growers and that segment of the industry is going to explode.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


talking shop

AT A GLANCE Company:

Bill & Bens Hydro World


Rob Bryant


Unit D15/16, Erin Trade Centre Bumpers Way Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 6LH


01249 447796




“Keep Calm and Plant a Seed”


Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

Rob Bryant behind the counter.

Rob Bryant had a ton of horticulture experience already, so opening his own shop was the next logical step in pursuing a lifetime dedicated to growing his own food and helping others in similar pursuits. Exclusively for Maximum Yield, Rob shares a bit about his current efforts running Bill & Bens HydroWorld in Chippenham, Wiltshire. Hi there! Let me introduce myself. My name is Rob Bryant and I run Bill & Bens HydroWorld. I have experience in the horticultural business, having owned a Shiitake mushroom farm for eight years and being an allotment holder for just over six. I have been working on the newly opened hydroponic gardening centre based on the Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate at the edge of Chippenham town in the United Kingdom for roughly six months now. I decided to open the shop because of the lack of other grow shops in the Wiltshire County. It’s a bit like a hydroponic desert out there, and Bill & Bens HydroWorld is an oasis right in the middle! Recent weather conditions, rising food prices and climate change have made many people change to indoor gardening because of the reliability of the crops grown indoors hydroponically. More and more people are thinking about the environment, and with the cost of food being so high, it’s only natural that people embrace the future—and modern technology—to look after themselves. I believe that with the questionable chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers being used by commercial growers, everyone should have a go at growing their own. That way, they know exactly what they are putting into their body, as well as having a bit more money left in their pocket after their weekly shop. It took my co-worker James and I several months to get our shop open. It’s been a long, hard road and often very cold at times because it’s a big warehouse

in the depths of winter. I have found that there always seems to be more to do than I originally thought about. On one hand you’ve got the physical problems of fitting out the shop, and then secondly you have to make sure that it’s stocked correctly with the products people want, and that everybody knows about it once you’ve opened. As we have made it our mandate to specialise in hydroponics and alternative technology, we give the best of our knowledge and advice regarding alternative self-sufficiency lifestyles, along with spot-on service to customers face-to-face and online. Don’t worry, it is not all about hydroponics; we will also be selling traditional garden centre wares for the more traditional gardeners out there as well. Currently, we stock a range of equipment for both the indoor and the outdoor grower, including grow tents, soils and substrates, grow lights and air-control products (including fans and filters and a range of gadgets to automate the whole process). There are more and more indoor growing spaces being created whether traditional green houses, geodesic domes or indoor grow tents and many ingenious hydroponic plant feeding systems, from flood-and-drain to drip irrigation water systems. For the self-sufficient, green space restricted or physically challenged,

Inside the grow tent.

we are offering interesting new concepts like aquaponics, recycling water growing systems where you can grow fish as a crop and as a source of excrement that feeds your plants (this secondary process cleans the water). Some of the other growth technologies that we sell include aeroponics systems, which feed plants with a fine mist of sprayed nutrients onto the roots, and deep-waterculture bubblers. On display in our shop we have a large, completely assembled selection of hydroponic systems so we can demonstrate them to anyone looking to try something new at home. We also have a fully operational 2.4- by 1.2-m grow tent with an Aeros 4 Pot system (a cross between deep-water-culture and drip feed) and a 0.91- by 0.91-m floodand-drain system growing a variety of very healthy looking tomatoes, peppers and herbs. This is where we get the chance to test and compare all the new products coming onto the market; this helps us make sure we are giving the best advice we can to our customers. Today’s plant nutrients and growth stimulators have come a long way since the good old days of “fish and bone.” These new products are specially designed to boost your plants growth giving maximum yields. Stockists in our nutrient range include Canna, Hesi, Plant Magic and the whole Atami range, which includes B’cuzz and Ata & Ata Organics. I am currently looking into many other nutrient ranges including Metrop, which is a highly concentrated feed from the Netherlands, and GuanoKalong, an organic range of nutrients made from bat guano that originated in Africa. If we don’t already have exactly what a

Items on display at Bill & Ben’s.

customer needs we will be more than happy to source it for you. Bill & Bens HydroWorld is passionate about spreading the word about hydro-

“It’s a bit like a hydroponic desert out there, and Bill & Bens HydroWorld is an oasis right in the middle!” ponics and future growing technologies and have been supporting community projects like The Bristol Fish Project. Set up in 2012, the project aims to put quality food on financially deprived people’s plates. I am also talking to some schools and hospitals to see if we can work with them to promote horticulture for education and rehabilitation purposes. To discover this wonderful world of all things hydroponic, come and see us at Bill & Bens HydroWorld when you get some time, or visit us online at or find us on Facebook. Our store is open six days a week from 10 a.m. until 6.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays. We have ample offroad safe parking for the convenience of our customers. Meanwhile, just remember, keep calm and plant a seed!

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013



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Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

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Be sure to check out our “I’m a Fan” contest. Tell us why you are a Maximum Yield fan and we will put your name into a draw to win monthly gift certificates of $100 to your favorite indoor gardening shop! And a chance to win the final grand prize of a $1,000 gift certificate!

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YOUR AD COULD BE HERE! CALL 1.250.729.2677

IndustrY’s Latest Green Pad CO2 now Available in the United Kingdom

Drip Potz Systems Can be Used with Any Growing Media Drip Potz Systems are designed to be used with any pot that fits the saucers and with any growing media you choose to use. Drip Potz pump and deliver your nutrient solution directly into the top of your chosen growing media, and gravity will draw it down through the media to feed the roots. The pots are sat on elevated saucers, which catch any excess solution that runs off from the pots and drain pipes fitted below will take away the excess solution to the main Header Return Potz, where it can be recirculated back into the tank (the solution can also be run to waste). The design also allows you to clearly view the runoff from each pot (to ensure all your plants are being watered correctly) without moving any parts. All Potz Systems are designed for quick assembly, requiring no cutting or drilling of any parts and you can enjoy the ease of use and low maintenance with a Potz System whether you are a novice or pro grower. To learn more, see your local hydroponics equipment retailer.

Novi Expo Over 80% Sold Out– Is Your Company Represented?

Excitement is building for the upcoming 2nd Annual Novi, Michigan, Indoor Gardening Expo happening June 1-2, 2013. With over 100 companies already reserved and ready to showcase their products, the Novi Expo is promising to be a fabulous industry event! This will be our only East Coast show for 2013, so be sure not to miss the chance to showcase your products to thousands of retail shops and consumers. Can’t make it to the expo, but find you have questions that you’ve always wanted to ask the managers and founders of some of the world’s leading gardening supply creators and distributors? Send your questions to and we’ll see if we can’t find out the answers (without giving away too much, of course)!

Due to the incredible response and demand for our unique product, we are expanding The Green Pad CO2 Generators market. We are now distributed in the United Kingdom by Dutch Garden Supplies in Oldbury. They will be distributing all of our Green Pad CO2 generators, including the Original Green Pad for small to mid-sized gardens, the innovative Green Pad Jr. for propagation and our newest, The Grand Daddy Pad for larger gardens. With a unique natural chemical formula that reacts to humidity to release CO2 in your garden, the Green Pads gives you CO2 on demand. To find out more about where you can source The Green Pads, contact or visit

Maximum Yield Expands Social Media Activity Maximum Yield is pleased to announce we are going to have more Facebook and Twitter activity than ever before. Look out for us on your news feeds as we’ll be asking followers for their best indoor gardening tips and tricks. Some of the things we learn might find their way into our print editions! Also coming soon on Maximum Yield’s social media radar will be instructional videos from contributor Erik Biksa, who will share the videos on Maximum Yield’s YouTube channel.

MY CANNA Visit the CANNA website and stay up to date with the latest developments involving CANNA. You will also find the latest product news and CANNA promotions (there are some wild and wicked promotions to come), and you’ll receive information for your growing preferences. Sign up now at and bookmark your own favourite articles, personal growing schedule and recommended articles for your nutrient line of preference. Don’t forget to also subscribe to the newsletter so you get all the hot-off-thepress news in your inbox. Please note that the CANNA website is based in the United Kingdom and therefore some articles might not be relevant to those living in other regions.

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


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

Aquaculture Unit 79 (A) Carlton Ind. Es. Barnsley, South Yorkshire UK S71 3HW Tel: +44 (0) 8456 445544

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

Aquaculture Unit 3, Asher Ln. Bus. Pk. Asher Ln. Ripley, Derbyshire UK DE5 3RE Tel: +44 (0) 8456 445544 Aquaculture Unit 3, Pkwy One, Pkwy Dr. Sheffield, South Yorkshire UK S9 4WU Tel: +44 (0) 8456 445544

3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 52, Rober t Court Ind.E s. Britten Rd. Reading, Berkshire UK RG2 0AU Tel: +44 (0) 1189 874758 3 Counties Hydroponics The Lodge, 113 Invicta Rd. Dartford, Kent UK DA2 6AY Tel: +44 (0) 1322 273444 3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 13., Chiltern Bus. Ctr. Cowley, Oxford UK OX4 6NG Tel: +44 (0) 1865 771747 3 Counties Hydroponics Unit 11, Olds Close, Olds Approach Watford, Herts UK WD18 8RU Tel: +44 (0) 1923 774486 3 Countries Hydroponics Unit 12., Yew Tree Ind. Es., Mill Hall Aylesford, Maidstone UK ME20 7ET Tel: +44 (0) 1622 790456 3 Countries Hydroponics Unit 10., Woodley Yard Cherstsey Bridge Rd. Chertsey, Surrey UK KT16 8LF Tel: +44 (0) 1932 562174 3 Countries Hydroponics Unit 9., Galley Hill Yard Waltham Abbey, Essex UK EN9 2AG Tel: +44 (0) 1992 652301 A-Zee Hydro Ltd. Unit C4, Suttons Bus. Ctr.New Rd. Rainham, Essex UK RM13 8DE Tel: +44 (0) 1708 551199 ____________________________

Acorn Horticulture 65 Deep Ln. Sheffield, UK S5 0DU Tel: +44 (0) 1142 458581 ____________________________ Addloes Lighting & Hydroponics 16-A Maple Rd., Winton Bourmouth, Dorset UK BH9 2PN Tel: +44 (0) 1202 524525; Allbright Unit 6., The Rise Edgware, Middlesex UK HA8 8NR Tel: +44 (0) 2089 582426 Amazing Garden Supplies (Bridgend) Unit 6 Eastlake Close., Litchard Ind. Es. Bridgend, South Wales UK CF31 2AL Tel: +44 (0) 1656 663030 Amazing Garden Supplies (Bristol) Unit 3 Moravian Bus.Pk., Moravian Rd. Kingswood, Bristol UK BS15 8NF Tel: +44 (0) 1179 605566 Anglia Hydroponics 62 A Straight Rd. Boxted, Colchester, Essex UK C04 5RD Tel: +44 (0) 1206 272677


Aquatech Horticultural Lighting Unit 3F, Spa Fields Ind. Es. New St. Slaithwait Huddersfield, West Yorkshire UK HD7 5BB Tel: +44 (0) 1484 842632 Ashton Hydroponics Ltd. Unit 3 Park Parade Ind. Es. Welbeck St. S. Ashton-Under-Lyna, Manchester UK O4L 67PP Tel: +44 (0) 1613 391673 ____________________________

Aztec Garden Unit 1A Roughan Ind.Es. Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk UK IP30 9ND Tel: +44 (0) 1359 271876 _____________________________ Basement Lighting Ltd. Unit 3, The Old Maltings, George St. Newark, Nottinghamshire UK NG24 1LU Tel: +44 (0) 1636 650189 Big Stone River Garden Center Unit 1 East Gate Grimsby, Lincolnshire UK DN3 29BA Tel: +44 (0) 1472 241114 Bill & Ben’s Hydro World Unit D15 & D16 Erin Trade Centre Blumpers Way Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK SN14 6LH Tel: +44(0) 1249 447796 Blooming Borders Unit 3, Borders Bus Pk. Longtown Carlisle, Cumbria UK CA6 5TD Tel: +44 (0) 1228 792587 Bradford Hydroponics 9597 Manningham Ln. Bradford, West Yorkshire UK BD1 3BN Tel: +44 (0) 1274 729205 Branching Out Unit E, The Old Brewery, Durnford St. Ashton Gate, Bristol UK BS3 2AW Tel: +44 (0) 1179 666996 Bright Green UK Ltd. 42-44 Princess Rd., Hull, Yorkshire UK HU5 2RD Tel: +44 (0) 1482 341925 ____________________________

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

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013

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

Great Stuff Hydroponics 24 Collingwood Ct. Riverside Park Ind. Es. Middlesbrough, UK TS2 1RP Tel: +44 (0) 1642 224544

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

Great Stuff Hydroponics 30 C Ellemeres Ct. Leechmere Ind. Es. Sunderland, UK SR2 9UA Tel: +44 (0) 1914 474098

Chrissie’s Garden Unit 33 Portsmouth Enterprise Ctr. Quartermain Rd. Portsmouth, UK PO3 5QT Tel: +44 (0) 2392 667887 Clever Green 35 Ketley Bus. Pk. Waterloo Rd., Telford, Shropshire UK TF1 5JD Tel: +44 (0) 1952 257200 Crofters Bio Gardens Unit 2, Bloomsgrove Ind. Es.Ilkeston Rd. Radford, Nottingham UK NG7 3JB Tel: +44 (0) 1159 782345 Discount Hydroponics 1 Bus. Bldg. Waltergrave St. Hastings, East Sussex UK TN34 1SJ Tel: +44 (0) 1424 428186 Eastbourne Hydroponics 47 Upperton Rd. Eastbourne, East Sussex UK BN21 1LT Tel: +44 (0) 1323 732241 Eighteen Twelve Ltd. Unit 11 Whitehall Properties Towngate Wyke, Bradford UK BD12 9JQ Tel: +44 (0) 1274 694444 Elements Hydroponic Center 44 Auster Rd. Clifton Moor, York UK YO30 4XA Tel: +44 (0) 1904 479979 Enhanced Urban Gardening 152 London Rd. Workingham, Berkshire UK RG40 1SU Tel: +44 (0) 1189 890510 Esoteric Hydroponics Ltd. 8 Martyr Rd. Guildford, Surrey UK GU1 4LF Tel: +44 (0) 1483 596484 Future Garden (Chelmsford) 15 Rob Johns Rd., Widford Ind.Est., Essex, Chelmsford CM1 3AG +44 (0) 1245 265929 Future Garden (Ilford) Unit E., The Acorn Centre Roebuck Rd., Hainault Bus.Pk., Essex, Ilford IG6 3TU +44 (0) 0208 265929 Garden Secrets UK Ltd. Unit 3 Hollybush Est. Whitchurch, Cardiff UK CF14 7DS Tel: +44 (0) 2920 651792 Garforth Hydroponics Back off 11a main street Leeds, UK lS25 1DS

Greater Manchester Hydroponic Garden Unit 3, The Courtyard, 157 Bolton Old Road, Atherton, Manchester, M46 9RE Tel: +44 (0) 1942 884612 Green Daze Hydroponics Ashington Unit 9 Waterside Ct. North Seaton Bus. Pk. Ashington, Northumberland UK NE63 0YG Tel: +44 (0) 1670 818003 Green Daze Hydroponics Gateshead 10 Wellington St. Gateshead, UK NE8 2AJ Tel: +44 (0) 1914 789107 ____________________________

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

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

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

Greenfinger-Hydroponics Unit 38 Silicon Business Centre,28 Wadsworth Road, Perivale,UB6 7JZ Tel: +44 (0) 208 998 2034 ____________________________


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

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

Greenhouse Effect Unit 2 Eagle Farm Cranfield Rd. Wavendon, Milton Keynes UK MK17 8AU Tel: +44 (0) 1908 585283 ____________________________ Greenleaf Systems Unit 26, Millers Bridge Ind. Es., Seymour, Bootle, Liverpool UK L20 1EE Tel: +44 (0) 1519 331113 The Green Room (Indoor Gardens) Ltd. Unit 61 Riverside III, Sir Thomas Longley Road, MEdway City Estate Rochester, KENT ME2 4BH Tel: 01634 716764 Greens Horticulture Unit F Totterdown Bridge Est, Albert Rd. St. Philips, Bristol, Somerset UK BS2 0XH Tel: +44 (0) 1179 713000 www. Greenstream Hydroponics 12-14 Vivian Rd. Birmingham, Harbourne UK B17 0DS Tel: +44 (0) 1214 262675


GroWell Dudley Unit 52 Enterprise Trad. Es. off Pedmore Rd. Brierly Hill, Dudley UK DY5 1TX Tel: +44 (0) 8453 456991

Greensea Hydroponics Unit 1G. Gregory Rd. Mildenhall, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk UK IP28 7PP Tel: +44 (0) 1638 715350 ___________________________ Greenthings Hydroponics Unit 1, Adjewhella Chapel Barriper Camborne, Cornwall UK TR14 0QW Tel: +44 (0) 1209 611870 Grotec Hydroponics 393 Manchester Rd., Rochdale, Greater Manchester UK OL11 3PG Tel: +44 (0) 1706 750293

GroWell Fullham 1 Royal Parade 247 Dawes Rd. Fullham, London UK SW6 7RE Tel: +44 (0) 8453 445174 GroWell Hockley Heath Ivy House Farm, Grange Rd. Hockley Heath, Solihull UK B94 6PR Tel: +44 (0) 8433 571640 GroWell Mail Order Division PO Box 3255 Warwick, UK CV34 5GH Tel: +44 (0) 8453 455177 GrowinGreen Unit 6, Queens drive industrial estate, Newhall, Swadlincote, DE11 0EG 01253 675722

Grotech Ltd.

Unit 21. Saddlers Hall Farm, London Rd.

Growing Life

Basildon, Essex UK SS13 2HD Tel: +44 (0) 1268 799828

#6 Newington Green Rd. London, UK N1 4RX Tel: +44 (0) 2070 339541

Grow 4 Good Ltd.

22i Beehive Workshops


Durham, UK DH1 2X1

94 Upper Wickham Lane

Tel: +44 (0) 1913 757667

Welling, Kent, UK DA16 3HQ

Tel: +44 (0) 2088 545160

Grow Den


2 Horthfield Rd.,

Unit F16 Northfleet Industrial Estate

Rainham, Kent UK ME8 8 BJ

Lower Road, Gravesend, UK DA11 9SW

Tel: +44 (0) 1634 239333

Tel: +44 (0) 1273 624327

Grow Green Ltd.


15-17 Green Ln., Castle Bromwich

Unit 4 Belltower Industrial Estate

Birmingham, UK B36 0AY

Roedean Road, Brighton, UK BN2 5RU

Tel: +44 (0) 121 241 6445

Tel: +44 (0) 1322 838131

Grow Green Trade Ltd.

Happy Daze Hydroponics

Unit 4 Castle Trading Est.

Unit 4 Craven Court Hedon Rd.

La Grange, Tamwarth, UK B79 7X0

Hull, UK HU9 1NQ

Tel: +44 (0) 1827 62766

Tel: +44 (0) 1482 224299

Grow Shaw 96-98 Shaw Heath Rd., ____________________________

Stockport, Manchester UK SK3 8BP Tel: +44 (0) 8452 725266 Grow Zone UK Unit 7, West Court, Crantock Street Newquay, Cornwall UK TR7 1JL Tel: +44 (0) 1637 806115 GroSupplies Sovereign House, Ellen Terrace Sulgrave, Washington,

The Grow Home Hydroponics Unit 26 Bolney Grange Ind.Pk., Burgess Hill West Sussex RH17 5PB +44 (0) 1444 244414 ____________________________

Tyne & Wear NE37 3AS

Happy Gardens Ltd.

Tel: +44 (0) 1914 153345

Unit 9, Kelham Bank Ind Es., Kelham St.

Doncaster, South Yorkshire UK DN1 3RE

Tel: +44 (0) 1302 761386

GroWell Coleshill

Haverhill Hydroponics Centre

Units 8-11 Coleshill Trade Park, Station Rd.

Unit 14 Spring Rise Falconer Road

Coleshill, Birmingham UK B46 1HT

Haverhill, Suffolk CB97XU

Tel: +44 (0) 8453 442333

+44 (0) 01440709474

HFM Pyrotechnics Ltd. 165A Londford Rd. Cannock, Staffordshire UK WS11 OLD Tel: +44 (0) 1543 500800 Hi9THC Unit 3. Rope Walk,. Coach Rd. Whitehaven, Cumbria UK CA28 7TE Tel: +44 (0) 7821 914646 High Street Hydroponics Unit 56 Hebden R., Berkley Ind.Es., Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire DN15 8DT Tel: +44(0) 1724 857191 Holland Hydroponics 17 Rondin Rd., Ardwick, Greater Manchester UK M12 6BF Tel: +44 (0) 8458 720570 Holland Hydroponics Express Unit 4 Leeds Rd. Trade Park. Leeds Rd., Huddersfield, UK HD2 1YR Holland Hydroponics Handbridge Mill 5 Parliament St. Burnley, Lancashire UK BB11 5HG Tel: +44 (0) 8458 720590 Home Grower Ltd. Unit 8, Oak Court, Crystal Dr. Smethwick, West Midlands UK B66 1QG Tel: +44 (0) 1215 411446 Huyton Hydroponics & Gardening Supplies Huyton, Mersey Side UK Tel: +44 (0) 1514 820101 Hygrow II Hydroponics Units 3+4, 30 Oslo Road Suttonfields Industrial Estate HULL HU7 0YN, East Yorkshire Tel: +44 (0) 1482 833455 Hydro 1 Stop Unit 35 Deykin Pk. Ind. Es. Deykin Ave. Aston, Birmingham UK B67HN Tel: +44 (0) 1213 280876 Hydro Hobby Unit 4 Brook Farm, Stoneleigh Rd. Gibbet Hill, Coventry UK CV4 7AB Tel: +44 (0) 2476 414161 Hydro Station Ltd. Unit 10 Hillfoot Ind. Es. Hoyland Rd. Sheffield, South Yorkshire UK S38AB Tel: +44 (0) 1142 491636

Hydroponic Corporation Unit 20, Deeside Ind. Es., Zone 1 Deeside, Flintshire UK SH5 2LR Tel: +44 (0) 1244 289699 Hydroponica Ltd. 130 Doncaster Rd. Wakefield, Yorkshire UK WF1 5JF Tel: +44 (0) 1924 362888 Web: Unit 24, Port Talbot Business Units Addison Road Port Talbot, UK SA12 6HZ Tel: +44 (0) 1639 888891 Hydropower 300 Holton Rd. Barry, Vale Of Glamorgan UK CF63 4HW Tel: +44 (0) 7725 551479 Hydrosense 47 Scarrots Ln. Newport, Isle of Wright UK PO30 1JD Tel: +44 (0) 1983 522240 Hylton Hydro Rockington Nursery Blackness Rd. Sunderland, UK SR4 7XT Tel: 01 9155 18453 Hytec Horticulture Old Wales Wood Colliery, Mansfield Rd. Sheffield, UK S26 5PQ Tel: +44 (0) 1909 772872 Junction 10 Hydro Unit 55, Owen Road Industrial Estate Willenhall, WV13 2PX Tel: 0121 5686850 Kernow Grow Ltd. 11 D. Kernick Ind. Es. Penryn, Cornwall UK TR10 9EP Tel: +44 (0) 3300 104420 King Of Green 18-24 Saint Helens Rd., Westcliff on Sea Westcliff, Essex UK SS0 7LB Tel: +44 (0) 1702 347536 Kitbag Hydroponic Warehouse 22 Pool Bank St. Nunaeton, Warwickshire UK CV11 5DB Tel: +44 (0) 2476 641033 Lancaster Hydroponics Unit 18 Lansil Ind.Es., Caton Rd. Lancaster, Lancashire UK LA1 3PQ Tel: +44 (0) 7961 279279 Lothian Hydroponics 172 S Mid St. Bathgate, West Lothian UK EH48 1DY Tel: +44 (0) 1506 650501

Hydrodragon Ltd. 113-115 Alfred St. Roath Cardiff, South Glamorgan UK CF24 4UA Tel: +44 (0) 2920 490333

Makes Sense Grow Shop The Annex Rear of #20, Barden Rd. Tonbridge, Kent UK TN9 1TX Tel: +44 (0) 1732 507201

Hydroglo Ltd. The Top Store South Rd., Towerhamlets Dover, Kent UK CT17 OAH Tel: +44 (0) 1304 203199 Web:

Manchester Hydroponics Unit 1A, Reliance St. Newton Heath, Manchester UK M40 3AG Tel: +44 (0) 1616 887333

Hydrogrow Systems Ltd. Unit 7, Acton Bus. Pk., Fields Farm Rd. Longeaton, Nottingham UK NG10 3FZ Tel: +44 (0) 1159 730007 Web:

Matilda’s Planet 1 Green Pl. Kenfig, South Wales UK Tel: +44 (0) 7895 567843

Hydrolite UK Ltd. 215 Denman St., Radford, Nottingham UK NG7 3PS Tel: +44 (0) 1159 785556

Mellow Yellow Hydro Ltd. Unit B1A Towngate Works., Dark Ln. Mawdesley, Lancashire UK L40 2QU Tel: +44 (0) 1704 822609

Midland Hydroponics Russells Garden Centre Baginton Coventry UK CV8 3AG Tel: +44 (0) 2476 639109 Midnight Garden 6 Howlbeck Rd., Guisborough, UK TS14 6LE Tel: +44 (0) 79333 449661 Mile End Hydroponics 265 Wick Rd. London, UK E9 5DG Tel: +44 (0) 2085 330497 www.mile-end-hydroponic. co.ukMousehold Garden Center 63 Mousehold Ln. Norwich, Norfolk UK NR7 8HP Tel: +44 (0) 1603 413272 Mr. Beam Hydro Rose Grove Selby Rd. Askern, Doncaster UK DN6 0ES Tel: +44 (0) 1302 708297 New Age Hydroponics Unit 1 Albert Pl., Albert Mill Lower Darwen, Lancashire UK BB3 OQE Tel: +44 (0) 1254 661177 New Leaf Hydroponics 1 Horsewater Wynd, Hawkhill, Dundee UK DD1 5DU Tel: +44 (0) 1382 202556 Norfolk Lights & Hydroponics Centre Ltd. Unit 2 Guardian Rd., Ind. Es. Norwich, Norfolk UK NR5 8PF Tel: +44 (0) 1603 666199 North Devon Hydroponics Unit 4 , Abbey Rd. Barnstaple, Devon UK EX31 1JU Tel: +44 (0) 1271 314999 NuGreen Hydroponics Unit 4 Stirchley Trad. Es., Hazelwell Rd. Stirchley, Birmingham UK B3O 2PF Tel: +44 (0) 1216 855900 One Stop Grow Shop Unit 8, Fenton Ind. Es., Dewsbury Rd. Fenton, Stroke-On-Trent UK ST4 2TE Tel: +44 (0) 1782 212000 Planet Hydro Unit 11 NorthBridge Works., Storey St. Leicester, Leics UK LE3 5GR Tel: +44 (0) 1162 510800 Plant Life Unit 11, Riverside Wy., Ravensthorpe Ind Es. Dewsbury, West Yorkshire UK WF13 3LG Tel: +44 (0) 1924 492298 Plantasia Brill View Farm Ludgershall Rd. Bicester, Oxfordshire UK OX25 1PU Tel: +44 (0) 8707 555225

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


MAXIMUM YIELD distributors Progrow 5 Westwood Units, Alphinbrook Rd. Marsh Barton Trad. Es. Exeter, Devon UK EX2 8QF Tel: +44 (0) 1392 276998 Rootzone Hydroponics Ltd. Unit 2 & 3., The Green Bus.Ctr., The Causeway Staines, Middlesex UK TW18 3AL +44 (0) 1784 490370 Sale Hydro 71 Dane Rd., Sale Manchester, Lancashire UK M33 7BP Tel: +44 (0) 1619 739899 Email: Sea of Green UK 25 Eastcott Hill Swindon, Wiltshire UK SN1 3JG Tel: +44 (0) 1793 617046 ____________________________

Somerset Hydro Unit4 Technine, Guard Avenue Houndstone Business Park Yeovil Somerset BA22 8YE Tel: +44 (0) 1935 420720 ____________________________ South Coast Hydroponics Unit 8., Enterprise Ind. Es., Enterprise Rd. Horndean, Portsmouth UK PO8 0BB Tel: +44 (0) 2392 598853 Southern Hydro Centre 9 Mamesbury Rd. Southampton, Hampshire UK S01 SFT Tel: +44 (0) 2380 704080

Southern Lights #1 25 Fratton Rd. Hampshire, UK PO1 5AB Tel: +44 (0) 1705 811822; Southern Lights #2 19A Grace Hill. Folkestone, Kent UK CT20 1HQ Tel: +44 (0) 1303 210003; Tel: +44 (0) 1303 252561 St Albans Hydroponics Unit 5 London Rd., Bus.Pk., 222 London Rd. St Albans, UK AL1 1PN Tel: +44 (0) 1727 848595 Starlite Systems 226 Albert Rd., Plymouth, Devon UK PL2 1AW Tel: +44 (0) 1752 551233 Sub-Garden Supplies 45-J Leyton Industrial Village, Argall Ave., Leyton, London UK E10 7QP Tel: +44 (0) 2085 399563 Sunrise Hydroponics 127 Newcastle St., Burslem. Stoke on Trent, Staffshire UK ST6 3QJ Tel: +44 (0) 1782 813814 The Green Machine Ltd. Unit 1A., Felin Puleston Ind.Es., Ruabon Rd. Wrexham, UK L13 7RF Tel: +44 (0) 1978 265090 The Grow Den 2 Hothfield Rd. Rainham, Kent UK ME8 8BJ Tel: +44 (0) 1634 239333 The Grow Den Ltd. Unit 13., Eaves Ct., Eurolink Com.Pk., Bohan Dr. Sittingbourne, Kent UK ME10 3RY Tel: +44 (0) 1795 426264 The Head Gardener Unit 11, Barton Bus. Pk. Eccles, Manchester UK M3O OQR Tel: +44 (0) 1617 079860

Listed alphabetically by shop name.

The Home Grower Unit 8., Oak Ct. Odbury, West Midlands UK B66 1QG Tel: +44 (0) 1215 411446 The Hydroponic Warehouse Unit 15., Bay Airport Ind.Es., Kingston Pk. Newcastle, Tyne and Wear UK NE3 2EF Tel: +44 (0) 1912 862045 The Inner Garden Ltd. Unit 14., Cornish Wy., West, Galmington Taunton, Somerset UK TA1 5NA Tel: +44 (0) 1823 274791 The Persy Grow Shop 4 Kings Mews. Brighton, East Sussex UK BN3 2PA Tel: +44 (0) 1273 777335 The Plant Pot 69 Ratcliffe Gate, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire UK NG18 2JB Tel: +44 (0) 1623 422711 Thetford Urban Gardens Ltd. 25 Brunel Way, Thetford, Norfolk, UK IP24 1HP Tel: +44 (0) 7780 232169 Toddington Hydroponics Center Griffin Farm Unit 9., Toddington Dunstable, Bedford UK LU5 6BT Tel: +44 (0) 1582 664765 Triangle Hydroponics 31B., The Triangle , Bournemouth, Dorset UK BH2 5SE Tel: +44 (0) 1202 556661

Glasgrow 15 Parnie St. Glasgow, Scotland G15RJ Tel: +44 (0) 1415 527522

U Grow London Studio12, Imperial Studios, 3-11 Imperial Rd. London, UK SW6 2AG, Tel: +44 (0) 2073 843388 Warehouse Hydroponics Bank Quay Trading Est., Slutchers Ln. Warrington, Cheshire UK WA1 1PJ Tel: +44 (0) 1925 637837

ireland Northern Lights 9 Dunluce St. Larne Antrim, Northern Ireland BT40 1JG Tel: +44 (0) 2828 278485 The Grow Shop 14 Brews Hill , Nauan, Co. M Fath Ireland OLI Tel: +44 (0) 1772 204455

EZ Grow Perth 77 Scott St. Perth, Scotland PH2 8JR Tel: +44(0) 7521 597308 U-Grow Organic Unit 11 North Canal Bank St., Port Dundas, Glasgow Scotland G4 9XP +44 (0) 1413 413352



BABYLON grow Csurgói street 15., Budapest, Pest megye Hungary Tel: +36 (0) 20 381 2802

Progrow Scotland Unit 6., Nasmyth Square Houston Ind.Es. Livingston, West Lothian Scotland EH5 45GG Tel: +44 (0) 1506 430830

Gomoa Trade Kft. Lágymányosi street 5., Budapest, Pest megye, Hungary 1111 Tel: +36 (0) 20 566 1186

Abergreen Horticulture Ltd Arch 8 Palmerston Rd. Aberdeen, Granpian Scotland AB11 5RE Tel: +44 (0) 1224 574737 Kingdom Hydroponics Unit #12 Carbery Pl., Mitchelson Ind. Es. Kirkcaldy, Fife Scotland KY1 3NE Tel: +44 (0) 1592 655611 Hydra Hydroponics 41 Tower St., Edinburgh, Scotland EH6 7BN Tel: +44 (0) 1315 611332

Gomoa Trade Kft. ˝ avenue 50. Petofi Szeged, Csongrád megye, Hungary 6725 Tel: +36 (0) 20 406 2182 Gomoa Trade Kft. Kazinczy street 3. Pécs, Baranya megye, Hungary 7621 Tel: +36 (0) 20 351 4294

COMING UP IN July/August 2013 Nutrients for Good Taste

When we consider how to improve our crops, one of our main concerns is that we want them to taste absolutely fantastic—sweet or tart, but never bland. To better understand the science behind this, growers need to examine what it is that the roots actually take up.

Instrumentation Made Easy

From time to time, we all have problems with our hydroponic systems and plants. If we are lucky, it’s an easily resolved issue that doesn’t cause too much stress. Some things can baffle even the most experienced grower and that’s when a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting is required.

Maintaining Control in the Greenhouse

Latitude, and the amount of months a greenhouse will be in operation, will be two factors that determine whether heating or cooling will be the primary consideration for maintaining control in the greenhouse, or whether a combination of both will be required. 82

Maximum Yield | May/June 2013


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Maximum Yield UK May/Jun 2013  

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

Maximum Yield UK May/Jun 2013  

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