Maintaining a clean grow room can be the difference between a bountiful harvest and a disappointing season. Many indoor gardeners consider cleanliness a key component in maintaining a healthy growing environment. Here is a small list of things that can be paid regular attention to in your grow room to keep things healthy!
- Dedicate a set of clothes for the grow room. Pests are commonly brought in from outside on clothing/shoes/etc.
- Sweep daily. Any visible debris on floor should be picked up immediately.
- Keep your trash bin outside of the grow room (preferably covered).
- Set a schedule to to clean your hoods/lamps. This is a place where dust build up is commonly found in grow rooms.
- Keep pets out of the grow room at all times.
- Resevoirs and flood tables should be emptied and cleaned regularly.
- Maintain a log of recommended change times for all filters in your grow and change as needed. This includes water filters, air scrubbers, and carbon filters.
- Dedicate a small space for plant quarantine. This is where all new plants to be introduced to the garden should begin their life.
By regularly maintaining a clean grow room, you leave yourself the time and energy to focus on gardening instead of dealing with a mess that could have easily been avoided by following a few simple steps. If you have time to lean, you have time to clean!
Modern gardeners face an assortment of challenges on a daily basis, from climate control to nutrient regulation to pest issues. But for indoor gardeners especially, combating pest issues can be a headache from sunrise to sunset. Of all these pests, the spider mite may be the most feared. Spider mites are small (less that 1 millimeter) in size, and vary in color. They lay small, translucent eggs and many species are known to spin silk webbing to protect the colony from predators, thus the name “spider”.
One of the most difficult parts of dealing with spider mites is their short reproductive cycle. Spider mites thrive in hot, dry conditions. Under proper conditions, the two spotted mite spider mite can hatch in 3 days, and become sexually mature in as little as 5 days. A single female can lay up to as many as 20 eggs in a day, and live for as long as 2 to 4 weeks, laying hundreds of eggs in her short life cycle. From this stems our main issue: Pesticide Resistance.
When pests have a rapid reproductive cycle, and pesticides are not applied on a rotating schedule, their tolerance can build at extremely high rates. Pesticide resistance is a population-based phenomenon in which the group genetic composition shifts and individuals with genes that confer resistance to a pesticide begin to dominate the population, reducing the pesticide’s effectiveness.
Spider Mites have sharp, slender mouthparts used for piercing the plants epidermis. Look for small yellow or bronze spots along your plants leaves. Spider Mites prefer to conduct their business on the undersides of leaves but soon expand their territory as the mite colony grows. Within days or hours plants can become completely inundated by mites and covered in webs that provide transportation to different areas of the host plant.
Care can be taken to rotate crops, use pest-resistant varieties, plant pest-free transplants, conserve and release natural enemies, etc. Pest-specific tactics are available for particular situations; for instance, removal of all ripe strawberries from a field will eliminate reproductive sites for sap beetles.
For centuries, growers have been looking for ways to improve the quality of their crops. In hydroponic systems specifically, it is critical that we manage nutrient efficiency in all ways possible. There are many ways to improve the use of nutrients in your system, and by implying these practices in your garden, you can reduce nutrient costs and increase quality!
Using a microbial innoculant in your hydroponic system is an extremely effective way to increase nutrient uptake in your grow. Mycorrhizal fungi forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots of your plants; the naturally produced sugars from the plant are absorbed by mycorrhizae and in return, water and nutrients are delivered to the plant with minimal energy exerted. Fungal hyphae can reach cracks in the soil that are so small that not even plant roots can reach, therefore increasing the surface are of your “root system” and increasing nutrient uptake, water retention, and increasing drough tolerance. Popular mycorrhizae products include Orca, Mykos, and Photosynthesis Plus.
While there is still plenty of controversy surrounding humic substances in the scientific community, the agricultural community is “all in”. Humic acid is especially beneficial for unlocking nutrients that are otherwise unavailable to the plant. For example, if a phosphorus molecule is bonded to an aluminum one, the humic acid separates them, making the phosphorus available to the plant. It is also a fantastic chelator of micronutrients, increasing their bio-availability. Humic acid also acts as a carbon food source for microbes, stimulating their growth and overall activity. Popular Humic Acid products include FulPower, Diamond Nectar, and Nourish-L.
Having a well controlled environment can be the difference between a bountiful harvest and wanting to give up gardening. Extreme environmental conditions have been proven to have adverse effects on plants. When talking specifically about nutrient efficiency, heat stress should be the number one concern. Maintaining a temperature range that is recommended for your type of plant will greatly reduce stress, increasing your plants ability to uptake nutrients.
The unique composition of the Terpinator provides the basic building blocks that plants require to produce flavorful oils. Plants that produce these flavorful oils have a unique chemistry that we have captured through a patented scientific process. By using naturally occurring plant and biological compounds, unique enzymatic pathways within a plant’s body are utilized to enhance the production of Terpinoids and plant oils. Herbs like sage, mint, rosemary and many others have trichomes that contain Terpinoids. These glands are brought to their maximum potential and size using Terpinator along with any nutrient regiment. Terpinator also catalyzes steps in a plants normal metabolism that will protect, and prolong fragrances of your plant’s dried fruits and flowers.
Available at all Cultivate locations!!