Hydroponic Hops

xian1gApril 12, 2008

Not sure if this should fall under blogs or here. I recently started trying to grow hops hydroponically. I'm new to hydroponics. I've been updating every couple of days - but definetly need advice along the way..

here's what I've got so far.


I've seen a lot of interest on the internet about the idea of growing hops hydroponically indoors. The only confirmation I have found is an abstract from a research group that successfully grew hops hydroponically OUTDOORS. I wanted to try this experienment 2 years ago before I joined the military, but didn't have enough time or funds before I joined.

Last weekend a fellow Platoon Leader in our Company and I got together and brewed both of our first batches of beer in a long time. When we picked up the brew supplies the brew store just so happened to have some tettanger rhizones lying around.

This idea, and interest has never left the vualt of my mind, so I picked up the hop rhizones. Figured I'll build this one as it goes.

I dropped the rhizones into a 3 gallon rubbermaid tub with an airstone hooked up to an air pump. I used a metal dish dry rack, cut and tweeked, to keep the rhizones just above the water.

Within a week new roots have began to form and the first shoots have started shooting upward.

here's a picture of what I'm calling the 'rooter'.


This weekend I realized that over the next week the first shoots are about to get too tall, and need some light.

so here's the update.

went to a local hydroponics store. Bought a submersible pump and mister. Mesh bucket, 150watt HPS. Some root hormone, and blu moon grow. went over to target and bought a 45 gallon rubbermaid. I wanted to get a 55gal or larger, but could not find one. My reasoning for a larger rubbermaid is that I have read online of people growing hops outdoors in a 55gal pot. 45gals is going to have do for this experiement.


I cut a hole slightly smaller than the mesh bucket/cup in the lid of the rubbermaid. Attached the bucket to the lid. dropped the pump/mister into the bottom. Added 14 gallons of water and root/grow nutrients into the bottom. Hung the light, and am awaiting next week to add/do more.


I want to throw some sort of medium into the bucket to cover the rhizones when I take the makeshift lid off to let the shoots emerge.

I still need to get the chicken wire and make some sort of platform to hold the chicken wire (scrog). I intend on getting a 250watt MH (i'm still debating wether or not to just get another HPS instead of MH - MH is good for vegative, but HPS is better for bloom. The floro's supposedly help add to the aroma and flavor due to their mimmicking of the suns rays.)


My camera is at work, so next week I'll bring it home, take some pics and update.



I bought another submersible pump (264 gph) and with a few rubber caps and what not converted into a second mister.


I also bought another mesh bucket to seperate the two rhizones I have in order to fill up the chicken wire more evenly and quicker.


While there I also bought some 'root balls' basically to act a grow medium to cover the rhizones from the light to protect them from drying out.


the system seems to be much improved with these additions. I am getting much better misting capabilities with 600+ gph being circulated. I am hoping that having the second grow bucket allows me to fill up the chicken wire at a faster pace, thus shortening the vegative period. The rhizones seemed a little dry to my liking before adding the root balls and second pump. I also bought a set of light hangers that will allow me to easily raise or lower the light, unfortunately they won't come in untill monday.

the shoots seem to be responding very well to these new additions. Here is a pic from yesterday.



and a few pics from today for comparison.


with these phone pictures it's kind of hard to see, but the main shoot has thickened, greened, and started to produce its first leaflets at it's first node, and the top of the shoot has now surpassed it's second node.

the shoots have now been exposed to light for a little over 24 hours.


this pic isnt quite as good, but you can now see that the addition of the second pump is getting more mist into the mesh buckets wich should aid the young stage that these rhizones are in. hopefully.


allright, last picture update with the Camera Phone.. tomorrow it's back to work and I'll bring home the digi cam.

I picked up my 'sunlift' light mounts, and have already fallen in love with them. these light mounts allow you to easily move the light up or down.


not really a cool pic or anything, but hey, atleast there it is for reference.

allright, the main growth changes over the past 24 hours has been the development of the first leaves, and the shoots turning darker green from white. for reference

and here they are today....


and rhizone number 2


it's hard to see in the last pic, but even the shorter shoots are all starting to develop their first set of leaves.

the comparison pic of the tall shoot really shows wear the growth has been focused on over the past 24 hours.. those original leaves are laying out and soakin in some rays.

This weekend I'll build the 'scrog' chicken wire trainer, and hopefully shortly after that i'll pick up some much needed more wattage for these lil guys.

I'm fighting the urge to try and get a peak at the roots of the rhizone's to see how their doing.. for now, though, better left undisturbed.



that's everything I've got so far.. I will update again later on in the week with my digi cam. I am basically doing an 'aeroponics' set up combined with a 'scrog' set up. The concept is to grow a plant that normally gets much larger in a smaller space while still producing good yeilds.

one thing that does concern me is the need for vernalization in hops grown outdoor. I know other perenials are grown hydroponically with no problem. So this should be interesting to see how it turns out.

my theory is that I should be able to produce hops at an effecient time/space manner. Worst case scenario, I may have developed a great hop rhizone producer.

any thoughts suggestions are welcome. and hopes to bring hop growing to those who couldn't before.

I am really hoping to learn a lot from the other growers here, especially on the issue of 'vernalization' which is what I believe will cause the largest set of problems in my set up. I have read that vernalization might not be 'neccessary' as there are many hop growers who have been successfull in climates that never meet the

recommended 3 degree's celcius over their winter months.

April 09 update.

Most of the new growth appears to be in producing leaves and thickening of the stems, not as much heighth. The rhizone in the left basket seems to be producing more shoots vs the rhizone in the right basket seems to have no new shoots developing. I believe this to be due to the left Rhizone being much larger (about 2-3 times as much

girth) than the other rhizone.

I was slightly disappointed in the growth over the last 24 hours until I reviewed pics from 3 days ago.

pic from 3 days ago...


pic from 2 days ago...


and finally the pics i took last night..


as you can see... much growth has been had.. thickening of the stem,leaves, etc.



the rhizone on the left with shorter but more shoots


there has also been much leaf development over here... for comparison


and an actual picture of the left rhizone from tonight...


as you can easily see, this rhizone is busting out shoots... harder to see in the pic but there some decent root development hiding in there as well..

Unfortunately, my peek at the rhizone displayed some white

fungus/mold growth that has my concern. This same rhizone displayed some fungus/mold before shortly after I started 'sprouting' it in the 'rooter'... i simply scraped it off at the time.. It looks like I might have to take some sort of more vigilant stand against it. the rhizone on the right which has never displayed any fungus/mold

problems continues not too.

I measured the distance of my light, it was about 8-9 inches from the top of the rubbermaid. I have moved it up to 15 inches to be with in the 10-18 inches normally recommended.

I have more plans for updating this system but will wait to digress them more until I do them and post up pics.

as of right now everything is pretty hassle free... i'm sure within a month or two I'm going to have a lot more on my hands to deal with.

11 APR 08 Update.

Will get pics later.

just to pass on info before I forget... I noticed some of the leaves seemed to be curling downward.. some lacked that 'fleshy' leaf feeling and one had some browning on the edges.

I'm assuming (leaf curl is usually either light/ph/over watering/or nute's related) that my curling and lack of vertical growth were related to the light being too low.. Since I have raised the light to about 18 inches (another three inches from the other day) the little sprouts have been shooting up.

I also read earlier today that you should not add nutes

to 'sprouting' plants.. wait until they have some maturity (a few weeks/4 or so sets of good leaves)... so realizing this, I have added in about 6 gallons of water to attempt to avoid any sort of nute burn. I am also factoring this into some of the leaf curl that I have seen.

I need to get a PH test kit/ppm/ec, and preferablly a water test that shows how hard or soft the water is as well, and about time I throw some thermometers in the mix as well... I'm kind violating some rule number 1's by not having those already. - but as I said, I'm kind of

throwing this together as I go.

Kind of annoying trying to figure out the PH I should be at.. I have read some 'family members' like PH around 5.2 - 5.8... In soil Hops go something around 6.5 - 8.0. Since Hydroponics is usually a little lower than soil preferances I'm going to shoot get a PH level of 6.0 to start off with... depending on how things look after I get the PH tester.

Another rookie mistake I've been making is going 24 hours on with the light at this young phase.. You can 24 hours a day (allowing the young plant to acclimate to light) when the plants are more mature, but even then there is a recommendation for some darkness every 24 hour period to allow photosynthesis to stop while sugars for growth are produced. So, we are giving the plants about six hours of shut eye tonight.

well, if anyone read all of that, and has any thoughts and suggestions... I appreciate the help. (been taking information from this site to help me.. so figured I owed it to you guys to post this experiement here.

thanks in advance.

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Sorry, just figured out how to post pics in the text... for those that don't like to read.. here's the picture story/cliff notes:


first shoots. (after rooting) day 1

original aeroponic set up.

orignal light set up

second pump.

holes are cut in lid.

day 2

day 3

sunlift light system... soo nice.

day 4

day 5

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:16AM
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holy growth batman


alllright.. here's picture time. (I may be a little enthusiastic as I was on Staff duty all of yesterday till this morning and haven't seen these babes for 24 hours - and was dying to know how they were responding to the changes.)

This is the Rhizone on the right. since the last pic, he has grown about 2". It is now 5" tall. This shoot seems to be doing pretty well. It's leaves as you can see have matured to the state where they now look like hop leaves, as opposed to its 'baby' leaves that were three pronged. Unseen in the pic is that there are what appear to be little fuzzy white rootlets 1/4" long shooting out of the bottom of this shoot. (on top of the tremendous growth of white fuzzy roots shooting out of both rhizones now.)

Unfortunately the other two shoots on this rhizone continue to show no growth in heighth or leaf production. I also notice no new shoots sprouting.

(remember how these were all really short, just above the medium in the last pic)
This rhizone is really starting to take off. It has about 7 decent shoots and is producing about 7 more. The two tallest ones are doing pretty well. In the past 3 days both shoots have grown 5" recovering from the light burn/nute burn/over watering. The leaves on these two shoots are still 'immature' or 'baby' leaves as they are still 3 pronged.

The 5 smaller shoots on this rhizone show no real improvement in either heighth or leaves. I am starting to wonder about this. It seems in both rhizones one or two shoots (the taller ones) seem be doing all the growth, and the lowers one are struggling. I know that this is common in other plants (most of the growth hormones being in the top of the top shoot - hence when people do 'topping' by cutting off the top shoot the lower shoots tend to grow more.)

Both plants seem to have responded well to the flushing of nutes, less watering, higher light.

The left Rhizones fungus is still there but nearly as bad since I've cut the watering down.

Next weeks pay check = ph/ec meter so I can know what the hell is going on and do this right, 250watt MH w/sun lifts want the combo hps/mh for some great vegging, construction of the 'scrog' - at this rate it's going to be time to start training them soon, and a different media for the buckets - i'm not liking the root balls: too much water retention/may effect ph/not helping the fungus problem - going with either hydroton, and of course something for the fungus/mold. Possibly some timers for the pumps/lights. maybe an oscillating fan.

Paycheck after that, I'm looking to re-build the system to have a seperate resevoir for the nutes with the pumps running hoses running into the current plant mister (which will have a recirulating drain back to the nute resevoir). this should make monitoring ph/ec/ppm much easier, as well as refilling the res, but most importantly will give me more room for roots in the 45 gal plant aeroponic mister.

well there you go, something to look forward too. Plants are really responding well my change up on them.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:58PM
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This is freaking awesome. Do you think you will get hops the first year? I was under the impression it would be the following season. I am thinking of buying some Rhizones from freshops.com. I will be watching this thread like a hawk.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 3:39PM
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recrellim - thank god.. I thought nobody over was really paying any attention to this thread. I was merely continuing to update for the 'google' hit it might get for someone looking up 'hydroponic hops'...

so, i appreciate your enthusiasm. Whether or not I will get hops the first year will be a mystery. I've also read that - and read that it's do to the hops focusing their growth on the roots the first year, not hops. (as well as maybe something to do with vernalization) I pray it's not vernalization as that will be a tough hurlde to over come.

I'm hypothesising that it is the development of roots. If that is the case, aeroponics is excellent for root growth. I intend on growing out the roots to fill my 45 gal root resevoir, before going into flowering. This might cuase me to have to trim the hop 'bines' back several times. We will see... this is an experiement.

now in order to help you, here's an update.

few updates -

information on the nutrients that were used.

Brand: Blu Moon, all purpose grow

N-P-K: 1-1-3

when mixed 1 ounce each part of solution to 1 gallon should yeild total PPM of 1400-1500

Brand: Blu Moon, mega roots
adds amino acids, corbohydrates, enzymes, growth promoters, protieinds, vitamins, organicc acids and humus.

ingredients: humic acid, kelp extract, other organic acids, Yucca extract, Malic acid, Citric acid, and natural plant hormones. Add 1 tsp per gal, do not use more than 3 times, can be mixed with other fertilzers.


I followed both sets of instructions for 14 gals of water. Felt the possibility I might be getting nute lock up or nute burn, added 6 gallons of water to resevoir..

few pics from today...

right shoot.

she's reaching for the light.

left shoots

They are producing leaves and gong up in nodes.


I've come close to finalizing the plans for the next work on the actual aeroponic set up. To better demonstrate what my words would lack,
here is a link to something similiar.

aeroponics link

I want to set up the misters in the bottom of the root resevoir like this aeroponic set up. The only difference is I am going to have a sererate nutrient resevoir that is about 15 gallons. The pumps will remain in the nutrient resevoir and pump the water via hoses into the current root resevoir. Doing this will allow me to monitor/check/fill the resevoir with more ease.

In order to do this I will have to put the root resevoir on a stand so that I can use gravity to recirculate the excess water back into the nutrient resevoir.

progress should be made next weekend with pics.

Just made an order today:

Hanna Gro'Chek Continuous pH/TDS/EC/Temp - Got a good price on this one, only paid $130, saw it going for 200-230 on other sites. Can't wait to know what's actually going on with the plants.

7-Day Digital Heavy-Duty Grounded Timer - This is for the pumps. has 14 on/off settings, can go as short as a minute.

Single Outlet Analog Timer - this one is for the lights,

Hydroton Rocks - 10L (8-16mm) - time to get rid of rooting cubes. These 'rocks' are supposed to be pretty good for aeroponics.

Serenade Disease Control - Spray - fight the fungus.

pH Up Dry - 1.5 lb
pH Down Dry - 1.5 lb - time to get it right, and free up any nutes that be getting locked up.

should be here by the end of the week. Just intime for to work on the set up a little bit.

all this should help get the plants going 'right'....

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 12:33AM
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I like your aeroponic setup. I never thought of just adding a sprayer to the water pump. I was thinking about the second year thing. What if you changed your light cycle to 10-12 hours and then chilled your water to 40 somehow (maybe a wort chiller) for vernalization.

I believe the plant dies down during vernalization and will then shoot back up.

30 days veg
30 days vernalization
?? days veg and flowering

I can not wait to see the results.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 12:48PM
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This is awesome man. I have to commend you on pioneering.

I love the self-sustaining life and I also appreciate a good beer :D so this is the perfect combination.

I have a couple questions:
What N-P-K profile does hops need in veg and in flowering.

I like your aeroponic setup, but I see problems with the roots eventually entangling into the pumps, fortunately, you will be able to switch over to deep water culture (DWC) if it becomes a problem. I personally prefer DWC because its low maintenance and I find faster growth.

Fortunately your vertical screen (vscrog) will support the plants, otherwise I don't think the rubbermaid would be able to hold the weight.

I know quite a bit about hydroponic cultivation, but now-a-days I grow organically in soil because its a lot less work; sort of set and sit, no messing with it.

Well thats enough, I'll check back later and good luck!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 1:25PM
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Thanks for the heads up man. I'll re-evaluate once the shipment comes in and I actually see what's going on with my water.

That's a pretty good idea for the vernalization, provided that just letting the roots grow out doesn't work. Seems like a better idea than somehow trying to find a fridge to stick them in - I know hat supposedly the vernalization is best around 3 degrees celcius, but you can vernalize for longer time periods at higher temps.. hence a hydroponic water chiller might get the job done. thanks man.

I also agree, the pumps are going to get clogged and ruined by the roots.. this weekend, i'm making a nutrient resevoir, and will just have the hoses with misters plugged into a recirculating hose in the roots resevoir. I'll post up some pics when it's built. This should make refills, and monitoring of the nutes much simpler.

I have to look online for the the hops nute profile.



Doing well at about about 9-10 inches. Leaves getting larger. This shoot cracks me up.. I'm not sure if it's doing the 'heliotropic' following of the sun, or if it's looking for something to climb, but the top of the plant is doing vigorous 'hoola hoops' circling around throughout the day.

Also around 9-10 inches. Still hasn't developed mature 'hop' looking leaves. This is the plant that has some minor leaf curl that appears to have gotten slightly better.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 1:49PM
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I agree with the pioneering part. I have not been able to find squat on a documented project like this. You are putting a lot into this, I hope it works out. It seems like you will have to force the natural light/temp cycles to make it worth while (efficient).

There is a lot of great info on growing hops on the freshops website.
Can anyone tell me how to be alerted if new posts are made to this thread?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 5:03PM
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'Pioneering' has more downs than ups. It gets frustrating trying to take either general plant information, or relative plant information, or hops soil information, or non-hops hydroponic information and try to figure out what is the best answer. It's cool though, because I enjoy the experiementing process, and my main goal for posting this was becuase I knew that there had to be one or two other people out there who have thought of doing this, but have only heard 'no, it's not possible' or 'maybe, you can grow anything in the right system - but I don't know how, and there's no information on it.'

I can't find a nutrient profile for hops grown indoors.. imagine that.. So i'm just going to find a fertilizer with the highest nitrogen for the vegetative state, and highest potasium for the flowering state and run with it.

I've still got a lot of hurdles infront of me. I haven't even finished setting up the system yet. But, we'll get there, peice by peice.

As far as notifications.. I don't know of way either. But, I can assure, I am very eager and addicted to doing this. Every morning it's the first thing I do.. run in and check them out.. when I get home, same thing. Before I go to bed.. again.. and I try to spend whatever time I can checking for responses.

I try to post pics once every two or three days. So, there's your notification.. I guess.. jk. Next week I'll be out in the field training monday through friday, heads up.

on that note - does anyone have any suggestions for a nutrient profile for hydroponic hop growing?

I'll bring home my digi cam later this week to take a better pic. But, my rhizome that has the fungus on the root has a few leaves that are wilted downwards.. the leaves a dark green with some barely noticable 'light' maybe 'yellow' spots.

The new leaves it is producing do not show these signs at all. Only the leaves from when the nutrient level was full strength, light a little low, and watering all day and night.. any thoughts? I'm not to concerned as the new leaves seem ok, but the old ones are stagnat.

the rhizone on the right - no fungus what so ever shows none of these signs, so am convinced now that it might be due to the fungus. will post pic in a day or two..

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 10:29PM
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ok, I lied... Here are some pics of the leaves that have me just slightly concerned.

You can see the obvious wilting here. The top circle has the questionable light splotches, and the bottom circle has a slight browning at the edge. (pretty sure the browing was from the light being too low.)

the bottom leaf on the right, contrasts as darker green (possibly from the light being lower and nutrients be full strength? no splotches but wilting) as opposed to the leaf above it that is lighter and developed after I raised the light, diluted the nutrients, stopped watering 24/7, and started giving the plants 6 hours of dark as opposed 24/7 light.

and here is a leaf from the other rhizome that developed around the same time as the bad ones on the other rhizome. looks good. the set of leaves under it have some browning around the edges - presumed to be from the light, but no wilting and all the leaves on this rhizome are lighter in color than the 'wilting' darker leaves of the other rhizome...

not the best pics.. if needs be i'll bring home the digi if you guys need it..

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 10:39PM
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I'm confused by your setup. Are you growing your hops in a (very expensive) pile of PerfectStart/SureStart/Superstart pods? If so, why? I'm willing to fork out the cash if need be, but I'm having trouble seeing the benefit in this case. Could you enlighten me?

Secondly, I was under the impression that sea mist (I'm imagining a salt water spray) was the thing that made hops so tasty. Have you found this to be untrue or made arrangements for your plants to receive it?

And finally, what are your feelings towards HPS lighting? I've had a horrible experience with it, making my plants tall and spindly, only to fall over and slowly die. Are you getting better results?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I hope you answer them. The garden you save may be my own :).

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 5:03AM
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1. The set up is an aeroponics set up. I'm not done building it. As per the first post, I am building this as I go. Due to that, sometimes I have go with what is available, or what I can afford, and make do for the time being.

Aeroponics sprays a mist of water (usually nutrient rich) on the roots of the plant. Just another form of hydroponics. when growing with aeroponics you still want to put your cuttings/rootings/ or in this case rhizomes into some sort of growing medium (their roots will grow out of it eventually). What you see in the pics is actually a cheap starter pod for cuttings/seeds. The hydro store intown only had those and rockwool.

I don't like them. I have ordered hydroton clay rocks as noted in the 7th post above yours. These are clay rocks that have been expanded, and thus won't expand anymore. they are recommended for aeroponic set ups as they drain easily, add no ph, but do retain some water. I will let you know what I think of them once they come in. I hope that helps with the confusion.

2. As far as 'sea mist' a 'salt water spray'... I have never heard of this. Google didn't reveal anything on it, and i've read nothing in any of my searches on hops about 'spraying them with salt water to make them 'tasty'.. It doesn't make much sense to me, but maybe you can clue me in. I do know that there are some organic nutrients that do add flavor and aroma to hops/hydroponics. As well growing organically period supposedly helps. A salt water being used for hops which require fresh water, and could potentially run into problems from a salt residue build up is something I haven't heard of.

so, to answer your question, i'm not using sea mist, and don't have arrangements for my plants to receive it. I would appreciate it if you could provide some links and sources on sea mist, as I was unable to find anything using google.

3. HPS lighting is well known in the hydroponics world to be the king of flowering, while Metal Halide is known to be better for vegatative. There is some argument that using both of them together is better due to it being more like the actual suns light. During vegetative growth, plants grown under HPS will be more elongated than those grown under a MH will cause more compact growth. If your plants were tall and spindly and fell over and died, I'd suspect that you weren't giving them enough light, (your light was too small for the grow.

A general rule of thumb is about 50 watts per square foot of growing room.

Anything less than 400 watts doesn't really have the depth to penetrate plants that are a foot or taller.

the real thing you are looking at is lumens or foot candles. for flowering plants you want atleast 10,000 lumens per square foot to result in any decent flowering.

the farther away a light is from the plants, the more the lumens drop... I can't remember the exact formula but this is a close example.

1000 watt light that puts out 90000 lumens on a 9sq foot growing area. From 2 feet away = 10000 lumens sq foot. at 4 feet away, the lumens drop in half, = 5000 lumens per square foot.

due to the above rule is the reason why so many HID lights use glass to sheild the plants from the heat of the light with ducting and a blower or fan hooked up to the hood of the lamp to cool the lamp. this allows growers to drop the lights down closer to the plants, and get a higher intensity of light for the plants.

Like I said, using HPS isn't uncommon at all during vegatative, although MH is better. If your plants died, you probally didn't have enough light on them.

I've got my heart set on a 1000 watt yeild master reflector / with a digital ballast (which allows me to run either a MH or HPS - thus I'd do the class MH during veg and HPS during flowering)

but I may have to get a 400 watt MH in the mean time just to keep these growing ladies going well.

hope that all helps.. will have more updates later this weekend.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 10:54PM
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17 APR update...this is Day 13 for the hops.

I used a little bit of twine to support the hop bines as they were getting a little too tall for their own britches - just to tide them over until I build the scrog this weekend.

right bine,

It's actually more like 15" long - I raised the measurer just as I took the pic...

left bines,

as you can see, i'm getting about 3" a day, which isn't unusual for hops.. Although I really think once I get a Metal Halide going on them that should compact their growth.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 11:10PM
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What a great response! I'm embarrassed to say that I can offer no links that support my 'salt spray' position. It may not even be true or important. I have bought into the Scottish idea that hops and peat need to be hit with sea spray.

And I'm not even Scottish! Heh. But I have to disagree with you about your HPS comments. I have BLASTED my plants with 400W HPS light, like as little as 12" from the bulb, and so far they have always been weak and spindly (i.e. leggy), as opposed to those given MH light (Those do fine. short, compact, badass.)

I'm not trying to denigrate HPS. I've just had horrible luck with it and am trying to find a use for it. My system is HPS/MH switchable, and I DID spend the thirty bucks for the HPS bulb, but so far, I haven't found out how to benefit from it.

I'm hoping you can enlighten me.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 6:24AM
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There are many, many other places you need to look other than your HPS light for the reason why your plants died.

It is COMMON in the hydroponic world for 'those on a budget' to grow SUCCESSFULLY with only an HPS for flowering plants, as the HPS is BETTER for flowering than MH.

Unfortunately, most of the examples of this are for an illegal plant. Therefore I won't post the links. But, keep in mind, those illegal grower threads have lot of good information that can be applied to us normal hyrdro growers.

I would encourage you to either post your set up and tools, or ask yourself a few questions:

was your grow area more than 2ft x 4ft?
did you have a good (200$) ph/ec/tds meter?
what nutrients were you running (your pH/ratio/ec/tds)

you say you were 'blasting' them from 12" away????
that is WAY WAY too close for a 400 watt bulb, you should have fried them to death from that level. Even if you would have ran a glass covered/air cooled (with ducting and atleast a 265cfm blower/fan) you will still get 'radiant' heat damage, that's if you were even doing that. If you weren't, you probally fried them to death.

I will say one last time, you can grow just fine, and it is common to grow, with only an HPS light. You will get some 'elongation' or less compact growth due to this. But, an HPS light is not reason why your plants die. Other factors probally attributed to this.

HPS bulbs don't normally come in 400 watts.. It's normally 600 watts or K. I don't know, you are leaving out a lot of details to pinpoint what could have been wrong. But I can assure you this, an HPS bulb is not the reason your plants died. something else wasn't right. watts, lumens, nutes, temps, etc.

basically, I wouldn't give up on the HPS, I'd relook your system. there's soo much more I didn't cover.

hope that helps.. I'm not an expert, but i have read a lot. if you wan't to shoot a question, post what your set up was... two heads are better than one.

in the mean time, i'm fighting this grow by the day. - anxiously awaiting my hanna meter to come in so i can know what is going with my plants to help them out.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 2:14AM
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well, now.. now that you've got me speaking of METAL HALIDEs... ahem....

update.. 18 April, day 14.

I went to the hydro store to pic up some supplies for improving the aeroponics set up...

and accidentally walked out with this...

a 400watt Metal halide - much better for vegetative growth. I went with the cheaper, old magnetic ballast. This is an attempt to tide the ladies over with some much needed extra watts and blue light from the MH to slow down their elongation.

Now, the nice thing about this buy, is that I bought an Aircooled (6" outlets good for 1000w) reflector with glass.. So, All I need to do is buy a 1000watt digital ballast, and I'll be able to throw in a 1000 watt hps or MH, when the time comes. (along with ducting and a 465cfm centrifugal blower.)

I also went to lowe's and picked up some goodies for finishing off the set up...

(see the chicken wire in the background... getting ready to set up the scrog - and more.. i'll post as i build this weekend)

just another pic..

and here's a pic of the temporary trellis i've set up using twine until sunday when I get the set up finished off.

the ladies were too tall to stand on their own.

as you can see.. the set up is slowly getting there.. and i'm fighting to keep up with the plants.

right now I'm putting out about 52000 lumens, a big improvement over the 16000 i was putting out.

I'm dying to get my hanna meter so I can know what's going on with my plants. I've got a little 'under wilting' i'm fighting - could be nutes or watering.

oh... and yes.. even with a stationary light... hops still grow heliotropically.. (clockwise)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 2:31AM
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as promised. we are now at the 70 percent complete level - as far as my set up goes.

Behold, the scrog...

tools needed.. drill with 5/8's pandel bit.

rubber gromet, 5/8's OD, 1/2 ID

this is the drain plug. It will drain excess water from the root resevoir to the nutrient resevoir. Rubber gromet attatched to secure any leakage.

This is all three of the holes needed in the root res. two are for the 'figure eight' aeroponics watering system. one is the excess water drain.
(as you can see, i've already got algea growing - I should have taken the time and money to paint the inside black to fight this.. now I will have to fight this chemically.. Algea in the root res is no good. algea takes up nutrients, promotes fungus growth, etc... got a battle on my hands.)

here is the figure eight watering system. I have 14 misters attatched to the hosing to insure complete water cover. (i actually propped this up a little bit with some left over PVC to give it more height for the time being - you'll see why.)

here is why.. as you can see in this pic, i have excellent vertical coverage, but am lacking a little horizontal coverage.. this won't be a problem once the roots start hanging down, but for now, i'm just making sure.

here is the root resevoir stand. I built this to use gravity to drain excess water in the root resevoir (remember I'm pumping 500 plus gallons of water up there - out of a 14 gallon resevoir) back to the nutrient resevoir.

and here we are draining back in, and pumping back up.

and here is the set up in the nutrient resevoir with out the hoses to the root res hooked up.

whoah! somebody built a 20sq foot screen here... (actually a little more, I'll have to measure to be exact,) it's a 5' plus change by 4' plus change scrog net.

12" between the root resevoir and the scrog net to get a little extra growth, and to make sure if the hops harvest under the screen I can work down there.

as you can see I"m still using twin as a temporary trellis to get young bines up to the scrog.

and of course.. one more time... behold..

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 1:36AM
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Yeah it looks really nice. I noticed you wrote "Ive already got algae growing - I should have taken the time and money to paint the inside black to fight this.. now I will have to fight this chemically"

Make sure you paint the outside not the inside. I bought a scotch pad and scuffed up the outside of my first Rubbermaid. To get it thick enough you need to use a plastic spray paint. They usually have a flex additive that allows them to bend without cracking.

I think most of your problem is because your net pots are under you lid and you were not using hydroton. I think its more because of light leaks around those areas than thru the Rubbermaid. It's hard to say with those grey containers. I always used the dark blue ones.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 12:48PM
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Well, I'm back from the field. Time for an update.. The landlord did their inspection and didn't mind my little experiement, so I'm good to grow...

The hops lasted through the week. As I expected, there wasn't much growth, only about 4-5". I am assuming this is due to the root damage that happened when I pulled out the rooting cubes and replaced it with hydrotron clay pellets.

A lot of the lower leaves were displayed signs of underwatering (leaf tips curling down) and some sort of nutrient defeciency (yellow spots on some leaves, yellow retreating to dark green veins on others - and the lower leafs were very dry/crisp feeling... the newer leaves feel OK, but are still lighter and display some yellowing.)

so... they survived a week of me being out in the field - but are hurting.

that's the bad news... the good news is that I got my PH/Temp/EC/TDS meter in.... oh thank god... as well as my PH up and down, fungal fighter, digi timer, etc.

My meter showed the following...

PH - 7.4 ( why too high)

PPM - 685 (ok)

EC - 1485 (ok)

Nute Rez temp - 22 degree's C (ok)

It's safe to assume that a lot of my problems are coming from my tap water being way to high in PH. This will lead to the plant not taking up a lot of different nutrients.


with that said, here's what I did.

14 Gallon nute rez

Initial Tap water readings

PH - 7.98

PPM - 74

EC - 148

Temp - 23.6C

Nutes added:

25ml BCuzz Foliar wetting agent

25ml BCuzz Foliar Boost

50ml Hygrozyyme

7tsp BluMoon roots

18oz BlueMoon Veg

(all of these nutrients are at half the recommended strength - strongly advised for those who are using tap water not reverse osmosis water)

Initial readings with nutes (ph initially dropped to about 6.8 with the nutes added - I used a PH down to lower it more)

PH - 6.11 (shooting for 5.5 - 6.0)

PPM - 932 (shooting for 600-800)

EC - 1865 (shooting for 1100-1450)

Temp - 23.6

I believe that dropping down the PH I should see a lot of these little problems go away, and am expecting some good growth over the next week.

pic time...

as you can see, i've started to train the plants to the scrog.

the other bine..

the underside.

what do you think of those meter readings?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:00PM
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are you sure your EC is not 1. something. Most EC Measurements are. Usually when they are in the thousands they are either ppm or tds which is pretty much the same thing. get your ph down to what you want don't settle for less. don't worry about your nute level just do it. the only way to know if your gonna burn em is to try, right? their not gonna die, KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! GlassBlower

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:28AM
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hey bud,
I'm assuming you're glassblower from realbeer.com.. I'm at a point where your expertise will help out greatly.. I've been slightly confused with EC as of late.. I see a lot of 'my EC is 1' or '1.4' or '1.something'... my EC measures in a U (with a line down the front leg) S... US which seems related to MS... which has given me a tap water reading of something less than 200uS and an initial reading of 1400, and a final reading of 1800US (with the line going down)... versus the 1.3 or 1.whatever stuff... where are these 1.???? coming from...

I read an article saying to allow your nutes to run for an hour before making more adjustments.. so I posted this before that hour was up... several hours later.. it didn't really change, and I've dropped it down to 5.6.

I appreciate your heads up on the dry ph adjusting.. otherwise I would have screwed my plants up bad.. but, that being said, with your warning.. i love it... then again, i'm just tickled to know whats going on..

my humidity at the screen is reading 28percent... i've read i want 50-60 percent.. what can I do there?

Once again... thank for your help, man..

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:51AM
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just a few pics...

added a bubbler to the nute res to keep the water from being stagnate and add some more DO (dissolved oxegen to the mix).

here's a pic of the Hanna meter in action... continous monitering.. i love it.

and here's my digi timer.. 14 on/off settings. basically got it going on once an hour, 20min on 40min off, 25 min on 35 off, 30 min on 30 off, 1hour on 1 hour off, cycling through the day.

some pest and fungi fighters..

hygrozyme to fight fungi and algae, mega roots to get the ladies growing.

tap water conditioner in the event that i don't allow the water sit out over night before adding it to the nute res. the bcuzz, some samples sent in with my order.

and here's the local made blumoon veg nutes. I don't really like them, not enough nitrogen.

this is a bottom leaf with yellow spots.

here is a top leaf with a yellow tint. nute problem from ph.

another shot of it.

little bit of leaf wilt and brown edges.. this is some old damage.

here's another shot.

here are several leafs.. as you can see, i've got some effected by different things.. and some are doing ok.

and one shot of a good leaf for comparison.

the ladies seem to be bouncing back from my early mistakes. I expect sometime this week the growth should take off after they make a full recovery.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 5:05PM
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What kind of meter are you using. Give me the exact model number so I can look it up and research. I have no idea how your supposed to get an EC reading out of it but I will find out. thank you, Glassblower

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 1:42AM
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HI 991404 - http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=TEMCOHACL2&eq=&Tp=

reads in US/cm

appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 12:07AM
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Ok so here's the lowdown. If your meter reads 4650 your EC in metric is 4.65. Now your EC is 1.8. I hope that clears things up, I prefer to use metric, it's just easier to use 1.2 than 1200. My weak brain. LOL

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 6:47PM
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Rog man, i was wondering if that might be the case... Got another question for you...

For early veg, it's recommended to be between 600-800 ppm.. I can't remember EC.

Originally after I added my nutes, for the first 24 hours or so - my Ph kept climbing back up - which i understand to be normal, especially when using tap water.

My Ph is finally starting to stabalize for the most part. But, due to all the times I had to keep adding PH down, my PPM and EC went through the roof. I was at 1400 ppm.

I went ahead and 1/4 plain water change to do bring the ppm back down to something reasonable. Right now I'm sitting about about 1000, with out any real PH fluctuation.

did I make the right decision? was I headed for trouble with my ppm/ec climbing through the roof by constantly having to add the ph down?

sorry - i'm just starting to get the hang of this.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 10:38PM
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Update - 29 april...

still haven't brought home the digi from work, so these camera phone pics will have too do...

I also went ahead and uploaded all the pics to an album here for those who have had problems seeing the pics.

My PH was fluctuating back up for the first 24+ hours. Due to constantly adding in PH down, my PPM/EC jumped up higher than I was comfortable.

Over the past 24 hours my PH has started to stabalize (no longer climbing from 5-6, instead climbing from 5.4-5.6) Thus, I did a partial (1/4) plain water change in order to drop my PPMs and EC back to something more tolerable.

Today, I experienced the first good growth since changing the grow medium a week ago. One bine shot up about 3", the other bine is still not showing any new signs of growth.

I took a peek at their roots, and discovered that the bine that grew, has overcome the root damage that happened when I changed the medium. The other bine, is showing signs of new roots, but not as much..

this is the bine that grew.

this is the bine that is still recovering.

here are the roots that have recovered well.

another spot where the roots are finally growing out of the basket.

one last shot of the roots that have recovered well. they are about a 1/4-1/2 inch out of the basket.

I'm still awaiting the plant on the top to show good signs of recovery in color and leaf production. This weekend I'm getting different nutes, and I look forward to seeing how that will effect things. Right now, i'm just being patient, and waiting for the roots to recover, and start uptaking nutrients from the water which has been adjusted to the proper PH.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 11:41PM
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Ok, so taking extra precautions with concerns to your PPM is never a bad thing. Now, what I don't understand is your PPM rising because of a PH buffer. Try re-calibrating your meter EVERY time you use. Clean it contantly and always remember that PPM and EC readings take a min or two to be exact. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 8:06PM
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I was under the impression that "The new HI 991404 meters from Hanna are designed for continuous, high accuracy pH, EC/TDS and temperature measurements. These microprocessor indicators continuously monitor the three most important nutrient parameters in hydroponics, greenhouses and horticultural applications with a single instrument."

means I can continuously monitor the resevoir, and then just do calibrations once a week when I change the resevoir???

Also, adding a PH up or down agent, I would think that that should affect PPM, as PPM is basically how much 'stuff' is in your water and you are adding 'stuff' to your water??? am I not right? please point me in the right direction.

another mistake that might have been affecting this, is that I had mis-read the directions on the b'cuzz foliar spray as saying that I could add 1ml per gallon to the resevoir... it actually is just directions for another b'cuzz product... wonder if adding a foliar spray nutrient to a nutrient resevoir does any funky monkey business.

finally... I took your advice anyways.. and then took it a step further. I keep reading about RO water being so much better, and people never looking back once they use it. I thought this might be a little hyped up...

I WAS WRONG. USE RO WATER! reverse osmosis water is by far better. I will be purchasing an RO filter in a few weeks.

I went to the store and bought 15 gallons of distilled water. I added my nutrients at half strength and am sitting at 600ppm and 1.3EC, PH = 6.1 without adding any PH up or down. All of these readings are pretty much perfect, with room to play if I wanted too.


cliff notes:

did res change with RO water - will never use tap water again.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:02AM
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I just read that using powdered ph up or down, as well having your ppm meter sitting over the bubbler in your res can cause false high readings.. i was guilty of both...

i will mix my powder ph up and down in a liter container with water, and add that way in the future..

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:23AM
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Yes you were guilty. As with all powdered nutrients you want to pre mix than throw in the res. Now as far as your meter, I too have a "continuous" meter. False, I've found that in order to get the BEST readings requires cleaning and calibration at least daily. RO IS THE WAY TO GROW!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 1:53AM
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RO water is best if you are using a nutrient program that already has calcium and magnesium added.

General Hydroponics (my preferred nutrients) flora series has a 3 part. One part is Grow, another is Micro and the last is Bloom. They make a GH Flora Hardwater micro; this lacks the calcium and magnesium that is already present in your water because of calcium carbonate, so you don't have to ph down.

Ph down is typically phosphoric acid, which eventually breaks down into phosphorous, which ironically actually raises ph... so your ph will drift back up. Its best to use a nutrient that doesn't require much ph tweaking.

Be careful of purified water, softened water has a lot salts that will kill plants. Make sure its just RO or distilled water. The ph should be 7 out the bottle.

I personally don't like continuous meters, simply because the probes tend to gunk up with salts and get inaccurate readings.

I have one last suggestion/comment: I use fulvic or humic acid for ph down (no drift back up) and potassium silicate (brand name: Barracad or Silica Blast) for ph up. Fulvic/humic acid will chelate nutrients that are outside their optimal ph range. Potassium silicate will provide silica with potassium for really strong stems. The typical ph up/down has no actual benefits to them... so why use them?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:58PM
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Thanks for all the information.. I'm going to do some more reading up on those PH suggestions and will probally switch over. I've been reading a lot of good recommendations on the flora series and have been strongly considering it for the next time I purchase nutes.

I mixed my general hydroponics dry ph down in some RO water, but when I add it still adds to PPM - i've ordered some electrode cleaner and calibration solutions to do maintainance on the meter daily.

Any suggestions on why I still am having this issue?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:44PM
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for record - the general hydroponics ph down is made of ammonium sulfate, citric acid, urea phosphate

I believe this might be why it effects the ppm as ammonium sulfate is used in any fertilzers as a fast acting source of nitrogen when it breaks down.

any chem guys out there?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:42PM
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"for record - the general hydroponics ph down is made of ammonium sulfate, citric acid, urea phosphate

I believe this might be why it effects the ppm as ammonium sulfate is used in any fertilzers as a fast acting source of nitrogen when it breaks down.

any chem guys out there?"

Sorry, but their website and I must disagree: http://www.generalhydroponics.com/genhydro_US/phcalibration.html

Phosphoric acid is salt based, so it will be a dissolved solid.

EC/TDS measure the concentration by sending a small electrical field through the water and water doesn't actually transmit electricity through it; its the particles in the water the conduct electricity, so the meter measures the mount of electricity that is transmitted back to the Ec/TDS meter and then translated into a readout.

Don't worry about it raising your ph slightly, its suppose to do that.

I still highly recommend start using fulvic/humic acid for ph down and potassium silicate for ph up. Humic/fulvic acid will stain your roots, but there's nothing wrong with it; they also chelate nutrients.

"Humic substances may chelate multivalent cations such as Mg2+, Ca2+, and Fe2+. By chelating the ions, they increase the availability of these cations to organisms, including plants."

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:32PM
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Bubba 2008 -

I know - that's what through me off at first. But, I can assure, ON THE BOX I have - it states 'ingredients: ammonium sulfate, citric acid, urea phosphate'.

Those are the only ingredients listed.. I can shoot a pic if that helps.

I'm not as concerned about the PH rising a little bit day to day, as I can always lower it. I just don't like the PPM going up when I add the PH down becuase after a few days it makes my PPM too high.

guess I just have to start at lower PPM strength. It's also not nearly as big of deal now that I am only using the distilled water. With the tap water, everytime i adjusted the PH - my ppm would jump 50-100ppm by the time I got the PH low enough. Now, It only jumps 10-20ppm and I'm making smaller adjustments.

With your recommendation getting me reading, I'm sold on the fulvic acid/potassium silicate. I don't get off work until after the hydro shop is closed during the weekdays, so the weekends are the only time I can purchase.

I've also been pretty sold on the GH flora series for nutes.

once again, I appreciate all your help and patience. If there's any more information I can give that will help just let me know what you need to know.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:02PM
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Hmm, thats interesting about the ph down ingredients... I suppose thats an old bottle of ph down that must have been on the shelf at the hydro store for a while.

I actually live very close to General Hydroponics facilities and they're a really great company. I've called them with questions before and were very willing to help. You may be able to call them and ask them the NPK profile for Hops; I almost guarantee that they will know.

When asking for the Potassium Silicate, the store probably wont know what you're talking about. So you want to ask for Botainicares "Silica Blast" or Advanced Nutrients "Barracade"; those are the brand names. As for fulvic or humic acid, Advanced nutrients makes both, I would go with the Fulvic acid over the humic in your system, simply because the humic tends to be thicker and could possibly clog up your sprays (this is really unlikely).

Are you running any H202 (hydrogen peroxide) in your system? If you are then I would continue too. The reason I ask is because of root rot or other pathogens possibly effecting your plants health. There are two options for dealing with these potential problems (I like preventative maintenance). The first option is to use food/medical grade hydrogen peroxide (35% vs normal 8%); if you do get it, be very careful, it can bleach your skin. The second option is to use B. Subtilis (common name is "Hydroguard" from Botainicare), this bacteria will form on your roots and actually fight off bad bacteria/pathogens. By running either one of these products, you will be able to have the temps in your reservoir/root chamber get fairly high without allowing anaerobic bacteria to grow and kill your plants. The h202 will discourage algae as well, but needs to be replenished daily; it has a very short half-life and breaks down into h20 (water) and release the oxygen molecule into the air.

Hope any of this helps. If you want to contact me at anytime you can email me at dana@prairiesun.com

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 2:24PM
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Once again, I can't thank you guys enough for all of your continued help. I was able to pic up the GH Flora series, but will have to wait to pick of the fulvic acid and silicate. I did notice that the fulvic acid didn't have directions on how to use it for ph lowering.. any suggestions on amounts to add per gallon for lowering? Or just start small and play with it?

Currently I am using Hygrozyme, but want to switch over to H2O2 when I pick up the fulvic acid and silicate.

Also - I notice some people use epsom salts (for those who use GH Flora) and others recommend using cal-mag when using RO water. What are recommendations with these products?


04 May 08 - Day 29

I have been getting much more root growth over the past 5 days. The tops of the plants have also started grow again (since being hurt from earlier mistakes). I have yet to really hit any 'phenomenal' growth like I was seeing earlier.

I'm still trying to dial in hydroponics for Hops. With out someone having gone before me, all I have is general guidelines for other plants.

Here is what I'm noticing at this time.
1. Nutrient strength of 600-800ppm is still too high for these plants. The plants are taking up more water than nutes (I notice this as day after day my PPM goes up while my water level goes down.) I will shoot for 400ppm when I change out the nute res this week - as adding just what is being drank/evaporating is not dropping the ppm. I must be real careful with this - as I could end up nute burning my plants.

2. A real bone head mistake here. You have all seen my pics of 'yelllowing' leaves. I DON'T HAVE ANY YELLOW LEAVES. I couldn't understand why one of my plants and not the other was showing these yellow signs.. Until I stepped back and looked at the light hanging predominately over the 'yellower' plant. HPS lights produce a reddish glow - combined with the blead over from the MH blue next to it... My leaves looked yellow.

Now - the top leaves are still a very light green - which is not good. Likely an iron/sulfur/or manganese defeciency. Might still be a left over effect from my earlier PH problems.

3. I added an oscillating floor fan to the room - WOW. My temps dropped from 84f (a little to high) and humidity of 20percent to 74f(perfect) and 50percent humidity (perfect).

4. Then, I noticed the oddest thing. I'm getting little shoots out of each node now.. I believe this might be 'burring'. I was under the impression these burrs wouldn't develop until closer to flowering? Tettanger is an early flowering hop...

top growth of one rhizome - hitting about 8" on the scrog now.

this is the 'mistaken yellow' plant. I'm also hoping that changing to GH Flora 3 part series will allow me to fix any nutrient defeciencies I am having. It's also supposed to be a more stable or 'ph buffered' nutrient package to fight the raising and lowering of PH on a daily basis.

This is the underside of the rhizome that produced 3 good shoots. The smaller shoots have been showing a lot of good vertical growth - which is leading me to think that my lights might be just a little to low for the plants on the screen.

If you look at the node of the leaves - you will notice new 'shoots' emerging. This is what I believe to be the burring sites.???

Another shot of some 'burrs' - a lot of these lower leaves are pretty much toast from my earlier mistakes.

'burr's' growing on the other rhizome.. Interesting, all the 'burr's' on this rhizome are much less developed.. Wonder if it is due to the MH vs HPS, or if something else is going on...

Another burring site on the same rhizome.

Well - that's about it for now. I've located an RO filter online - via help from the grow-hops yahoo group and am anxious to purchase it.

(none of the leaves are really yellow in the pictures - some are a light green.)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 11:48PM
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"Once again, I can't thank you guys enough for all of your continued help. I was able to pic up the GH Flora series, but will have to wait to pick of the fulvic acid and silicate. I did notice that the fulvic acid didn't have directions on how to use it for ph lowering.. any suggestions on amounts to add per gallon for lowering? Or just start small and play with it?
Currently I am using Hygrozyme, but want to switch over to H2O2 when I pick up the fulvic acid and silicate.

Also - I notice some people use epsom salts (for those who use GH Flora) and others recommend using cal-mag when using RO water. What are recommendations with these products?"

Hygroyme is good stuff.

Epsom salts and cal-mag are not necessary.

Just play with the fulvic acid, if you over do it, its not a problem. Just adjust back up with the silica

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 4:09PM
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The reason that your not seeing the same growth at those sites, is because of some sever burning. Your leaves are shriveled and brown. They can't take anything in when damaged that badly. Now no offense to anybody out their, but you CANNOT play with your humic or fulvic acid. They are acids, they will KILL your plants when too much is added. I use the Mad Farmer organic Ph buffers, have had NO problems like the ones you've had. GH are ok nutes. You really pay for what you get. Me personally, I would use Foxfarm hydro, or Dutch Master, both much better products. They might be a little bit more, but it's well worth it. These are just my own personal opinions of course.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 2:45PM
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"The reason that your not seeing the same growth at those sites, is because of some sever burning. Your leaves are shriveled and brown. They can't take anything in when damaged that badly. Now no offense to anybody out their, but you CANNOT play with your humic or fulvic acid. They are acids, they will KILL your plants when too much is added. I use the Mad Farmer organic Ph buffers, have had NO problems like the ones you've had. GH are ok nutes. You really pay for what you get. Me personally, I would use Foxfarm hydro, or Dutch Master, both much better products. They might be a little bit more, but it's well worth it. These are just my own personal opinions of course."

Hmm, well I have to disagree with you sir. I don't know how much you know about ph and the science behind it. I happen to have studied agriculture/horticulture for college and also have a lot of real world experience.

If he ph's his solution too low, it will be too low for a matter of minutes, so its really not like you're putting it. If you ph'ed your solution too low with anything for too long you would see nutrient lockout and all halt to growth. The interesting thing about humates in general is that they chelate nutrients in unacceptable ph ranges. Humic/fulvic acid are both very minor acids compared to any normal ph down. The typical ph down's consist any of the following: citric acid (extremely short half life), phosphoric acid or humic/fulvic acid. There is pool and aquarium ph, but they tend to have a lot of salts in them that will kill your plants.

You really don't pay for what you get, if you look at Advanced nutrients line, you will spend $1000 on it and see the same growth as using GH flora series; I've done both. GH Flora series is far superior, simply because its designed to have acceptable ph ranges and minor fluctuations. Fox farms nutrients are not nearly as versatile with being able to compose different NPK profiles. Dutchmaster are the best nutrients for TAG (true aeroponics) because when micronized the droplets wont fluctuate ph; otherwise I would not bother.

I respect your opinions, but I'd like to make this as easy as possible for him. Complicating was a problem I used to have. KISS is the best policy.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 1:16PM
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Thank you very much for your input, I appreciate it. I too am going to go to college for Ag Science, after my core classes are down. My PH down consists of Phospheric acid, citric acid, and amoonium sulfate. Now humic acid is already a part of my regimen, as well as Barricade, can I still use it to buffer my ph. I'm fairly new to this as well and any advice would be helpful. I've also chosen to try the hops hydro expirement. As soon as I get pics I will put them up. And once again thank you for your input.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 2:05PM
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"Thank you very much for your input, I appreciate it. I too am going to go to college for Ag Science, after my core classes are down. My PH down consists of Phospheric acid, citric acid, and amoonium sulfate. Now humic acid is already a part of my regimen, as well as Barricade, can I still use it to buffer my ph. I'm fairly new to this as well and any advice would be helpful. I've also chosen to try the hops hydro expirement. As soon as I get pics I will put them up. And once again thank you for your input."

Glad to hear you're becoming educated, its one of the best things you can do in your life. The citric acid will degrade fairly quickly, so its sort of useless, but more 'organic'. You can absolutely use the humic or fulvic acid to supliment or compliment your ph down. The good question is, why are you ph downing? Are you use hardwater and not using a hardwater nutrient? Because hardwater has a lot of calcium carbonate which will raise your ph.

Barricade is great stuff, absolutely love it.

I'd also love to see your hops experiment.

One of the most important things you can do in a hydro setup is to get your ph dialed in. After that its understand your ppm concentration and NPK profiles.

If you have any further questions, shoot.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 3:36PM
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I don't have to ph down, i was asking for just in case. Thank you for your input.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:06PM
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I do not believe the 'side shoots' to be 'burring' based off of information from members of the yahoo group 'grow-hops's.

there has been some really good growth on these 'side shoots' though. I am still noticing that bottom 'side shoots' from leaf nodes are much greater in length than top side shoots, even more so... side shoots on the rhizome that is primarily under the HPS light are much longer than the rhizome under the MH light.

I am using GH Flora for the first time - due to time constraints I had to use the tap water though. Next water change will be with RO water. I'll post my remarks and thoughts on this as I go. Next week I'll pick up the fulvic acid and silicate to give it a shot.. anything has to be better than this XXXX ammonium sulfate.

Plants are still really light yellow. But it's only been with the GH nutes for 24 hours.

I trimmed off the old dead leaves to allow more light for the young leaves that are emerging.

I greatly appreciate both of your guys input as you are both far more knowledgable than I am in this field.

glass blower - I can't wait to see your set up. What variety are you going with?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 11:26PM
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Bubba and Glassblower -
If either you are interested...


this is a grow-hops.com wiki that sprouted out of the yahoo group grow hops... there is a hydroponics section there that I frequent as well.

glassblower if you want to throw a blog up of your grow there, i'd appreciate it..

and Bubba, any hydro advice that you would like to put there as well would be much appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 2:12AM
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11 May 08 - day 37

Allright - figured I'd post up some meter readings from over the past week to aid in dialing this grow in.

at this point in time I was using up the end of the Blu Moon fertilizer and Tap water - my tap water after sitting for 24 hours has a ph around 7.4 and PPm of 75 - I have noticed that I do get a fair amount of white residue (i think it's evaporated salts) when using the tap water.

2 May
Time of reading / PH / EC / PPM / res temp / air t + Humid

1700 5.82 /1.36/682/ 21.1c / 85f + 28%
2330 6.17/ 1.38/692/ 22.0c / 84f + 29%

3 May
0800 6.34/1.40/702/ 20.7c / 82f + 38%
1200 6.43/1.41/707/ 20.9c / 82f + 36%

added PH down after 1200 reading

1400 5.89/1.6/812/ 21.1c / 82f + 38%
1800 6.09/1.6/818/ 21.1c / 82f + 38%

4 May

(added swapped out 3 gallons of nutrient water for 2 gallons of plain water to bring PPM back down under 800 / added PH down in morning as the plain water brought the PH up too high - forgot to record morning readings)

1500 5.94/1.49/768/ 21.3c / 74f + 48%

added 1 gallon of plain water to pull ppm down a little more

1900 6.1/1.45/729/ 22.1c / 78f + 46%

5 May

0500 6.28/1.53/768/ 21.3c / 74f + 48%

added ph down

2130 5.93/1.6/800/ 23.8c / 81f + 40%

6 May

- added fan in the grow room

Did a partial water change again to allow me to add PH down with out having high PPM - added Ph down forgot to record initial reading

0500 5.33/1.48/743/ 21.2c / 74f + 46%
1930 6.28/1.56/781/ 22.8c / 76f + 42%

added PH down and went to bed.

7 May

added PH down and partial water change again - forgot to record initial reading.

0500 5.95/1.72/964/ 20.9c / 75f + 44%
1800 6.34/1.8/900/ 22.4c / 76f + 32%

Did a full resevoir change - began using GH flora 3-2-1 based on 1/2 strength for 8 gallons while using 10gallons of water in resevoir. I also had to switch back to tap water due to time constraints for this one.

60ml gro - 40ml Micro - 20ml flor - ( i recorded 20ml Hygrozyme - but think I actually used the full strength which would have been 80ml)

initial water readings before adding nutes as follows:

1900 7.1/.18/87/ 16.1c / 76f + 32%

added nutes as prescribed above

2200 6.1/1.35/680/ 19.1c / 76f + 32%

didn't add any Ph down

8 May

0500 6.3/1.42/714/ 20.4c / 72f + 38%

added ph down + 1 GAL tap water and took immediete reading

0505 5.14/1.4/700/ 20.4c / 72f + 38%
1800 6.5/1.45/728/ 22.0c / 76f + 32%

added water and ph down

2030 5.6/1.51/758/ 21.9c / 76f + 32%

continued to play the partial water change to drop ppm down while adding Ph down to control Ph on 9 may and 10 may

11 May

1500 6.48/1.61/805/ 20.9c / 76f + 32%

3 gallon water change - added 30ml of GH flora based on the below:

after doing some reading - I know my N has got to be plentiful based on using the 3-2-1 forumula for GH flora - and the fact that my PH down (which I have to add daily adds ammonium nitrogen - ammonium sulfate)

"K can get locked up from too much Ca or ammonium nitrogen," seeing how I'm adding a source of ammonium nitrogen daily to keep the ph down - i believe this may be complicating the problem.

I looked at pictures of defeciencies and used some trouble shooters. I'm not 100% sure that it's a K defeciency - but I think it might be.

the other thing I'm still noticing is that I did not get the nutrient strength low enough as daily My ppm goes up. I intend on doing a full res change tomorrow - unfortunately probally still using tap water. I'm waiting to get the RO system in.

I am noticing that in the tap water, the gh flora series seems to want to hold steady at 6.5 - atleast that's where i keep crawling back up to daily. I'm hoping with RO this will drop down significantly.

I'm also putting the fulvic acid at the top of the list of things to get this next weekend. As i'm sure a lot of my problems are coming from adding all that ammonium sulfate everyday.

- I have a bunch of pics I'll post tomorrow when I'm back at work to aid those with more experience in pointing out anything I'm missing.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 7:20PM
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Allright as promised here are the pics from Sunday, May 11 - day 37

First the roots.

I've seen a lot of root growth since the last time I took pics which I am happy about. Although I've noticed some of the older roots have a brownish color as opposed to the white fuzzy look of newer roots. Before I jump to conclusions and assume it is a root problem - I didn't rinse the hydroton clay rocks before I used them - and beleive that some of that brownish color is from the run off from the hydroton.

A couple of full shots.

a couple of 'closer shots' - the bine on the right I trimmed off all the old dead leaves to give more light to the new leaves... growth is phenomenal - color is very very light green.

a few better shots of the leaves...

you can notice some small 'rust' spots through out this leaf.. I believe this is ph fluctuation/ph burn? any help out there?

same plant as the one above - notice how white/light green the new leaves are???

the other plant - looks pretty bad.

any help out there? My guesses are ph/nute issues (lots of PH fluctuation - PPM too high - and the ammonium nitrogen that comes from the PH down locking up other nutrients.)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 11:56PM
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The 4 stage under the sink RO 2 stage DI filter should be here this weekend, and If I get off early enough this week I'll run to the hydro store and pick up the fulvic acid and barracade.

Just to add one last update. I changed out the resevoir tonight - but did not add any nutrients. I figured I'd run it for a day with just plain water to try and help flush things out.

My only concern in doing this is that the PH is sitting at 7.3 But, I kind of wanted to see if flushing the system would help at all.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 12:34AM
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I ended up adding 1/4 strength nutes - will post more precisely what was added and when this weekend. I also purchased 1 liter of grandmas egnny's F-1 (fulvic acid). I had to use about 1/2 of the liter of F-1 to drop the PH down to 5.3, it has raised to 5.6 very slowly over 24 hours.

I like that it is buffering the PH but, do not feel well about having to use 1/2 liter to do it. The plants are finally starting to show some signs of recovery. We'll see how the next couple of days go and take pics again this weekend.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 11:40PM
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18 May update - day 44

day/time PH EC PPM nute temp air temp/humidity

12 may
0500 6.65 / 1.65 / 830 / 20c 70f / 46%
1800 6.79 / 1.70 / 851 / 22c 78f / 30%

rezevoir change - no nutes added
2000 7.49 / .28 / 143 / 19c 78f / 30%

13 May
0500 7.70 / .29 / 148 / 20c

added 30ml gro - 20ml micro - 25ml flora
0505 6.89 / .4 / 471 / 20c
1800 7.52 / .4 / 442 / 22c

added 1/2 Liter F-1 (fulvic acid)
1805 5.62 / .96 / 484 / 22c

14 May
0500 5.71 / .97 / 486 / 21c 76f / 52%

added 30ml F-1 fulvic acid
0505 5.38 / / 489
1500 5.68 / .98 / 494 / 23c 81f / 48%

15 May
0500 5.75 / 1.0 / 501 / 24c 77f / 58%
1800 5.80 / 1.0 / 507 / 24c 82f / 48%

added 1 gal tap water to pull ppm down
1805 5.96 / .92 / 462 /

added 40ml gro 20 micro 20 flora and 3 drops of superthrive
2100 5.80 / 1.5 / 768 / 24c 78f / 52%

16 May
0500 5.87 / 1.5 / 751 / 22c
1900 5.87 / 1.5 / 756 / 24c

added 1 gal of tap water
1905 5.96 / 1.3 / 681 / 23c

17 May
0800 5.95 / 1.4 / 703 / 24c
1800 5.93 / / 711 / 26c 82f / 50%

added 1 gal tap water

18 May
1500 5.87 / 1.33 / 666 / 22

resevoir change using R/O water
initial water readings
6.87 / .04 / 2

added 90ml gro 60 micro 30 flora - 60ml Fulvic acid - 60ml Hygrozyme and 10drops of superthrive
1800 4.40 / 1.63 / 816 / 21c

added ph up - and then a little ph down becuase I over shot.
2000 6.11 / 1.75 / 877 / 22c

well that's all the data for the past week. Pics will come tomorrow - over all a lot of the leaves started greening back up - a lot of good new growth - roots growing very well on one plant - on the other not so well.

I've been battling high temps in the air and in the resevoir this week. We've had a record High of 90f out here in Washington this week. I've been dropping frozen 20oz bottles into the nute rez everyday before work to try and keep things under control.

Hope the pics tomorrow will aid anyone helping out.

Adding the extra flora seemed to really help the plants green up - also by foliar feeding during the day I hurt some leaves. Over all the plants look like they are recovering well - but i do see some signs on some leaves from nutrient burn.

we'll see how things go.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 11:30PM
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Allright - here are the pics.

I got my 6 stage RO filter in this past weekend and installed it.

another shot of the RO filter.

here's a picture of the root growth on the left rhizome.

the roots on the right rhizome didn't grow much.

a full shot of the screen.

you will notice a bit of greening up and some growth.

under side view of both plants.

a couple of pics of the left side fromt he top..


the right side from the top.

right side underneath.

the leaves aren't so much of yellow as they are light green / white - this has me wondering if it might be an iron defeciency as opposed to a nitrogen defeciency.

new leaves - full white/light green.

this leave I think represents a sulfur or Mg defeciency. I think sulfur due to the chlorisis (yellowing/whiting) coming from the stem and moving towards the leaf tips as as well as the intervienal chlorisis.

the twist this leaf has is more than likely due to 'nutrient burn' as I've read to much nutes will cause leaves to twist.

another shot of a different leaf displaying those same qualities.

here is a shot of the left rhizome. though it does display some defeciencies.. it has 'greened' up a lot and grown a good amount.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 8:52PM
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Looks good, how's it going now? What kind of nutrient are you using?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:49AM
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Judging from the pictures he's got a mix of a lot of different stuff. I haven't heard of a lot of it.

Just FYI, I wouldn't use F-1 as a pH down. Don't mistake the term "acid" in the name to mean it's really acidic. It's great stuff, it's just not a pH down. The real thing is a lot better at getting pH down and keeping it there - at least if you get the good stuff.

You might want to try some Sensi 2-part when you run out of whatever you're using. I'm not 100%, but I think you'll find it better for hops than that stuff.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 7:49PM
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This is an incredible study. I am conducting a similar study in my basement, but I am using grapes.

By any chance, xian1g, could you post some pics of the entire setup and possibly a list of all things that you are currently using?

Thanks and good luck!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Start a new thread for that, I'd like to see how your grapevines are doing. Are you growing grapes for eating, raisins or wine?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 12:46AM
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I plan on all three. The latter will take some extra time and funding, though.

I am currently deciding whether to use Aeroponics or Hydroponics for it. I have heard that Aero is slightly better but Hydro is more reliable.

I live in Chicago so if there's a power outage like the ones from the Tornadoes the other day, then I don't want the plants to die.

Aeroponics is often very hard to assemble individual parts into a well-working system, and the individual parts can be expensive as well. Also, the fine-spray emitters will instantly clog if you try to use anything except high quality hydroponic fertilizers (no organics).

Of all the hydroponics growing systems, this is the most difficult to master and the most tempermental. Ph changes and nutrient imbalances occur more quickly because of the increased absorbtion rates and high levels of oxygenation.

Furthermore, with no grow media to protect the roots, the plants react negatively to these changes much more quickly.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 3:39PM
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DWC is a good one for surviving short power outages, but not every plant likes growing in DWC.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 12:37AM
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Yeah, I don't think grapes will like that. Especially considering the fact that they like to grow in well drained soil with a southern exposure. Basically, they like wet-dry cycles.

Perhaps an ebb-flood system would work best for grapes.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 4:29PM
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Excellent point. Ebb & Flow would almost certainly be the way to go for keeping the plants healthy, but it doesn't tend to do as well if the power goes out.

However, I bet those UPS systems they sell for computers would keep the timer and pump going for quite awhile. Compared to a computer and monitor they hardly draw any juice at all so it ought to last a lot longer.

It wouldn't last long running the lights if you're growing indoors without sunlight, but you'd probably want those to shut off anyway. Plants use less water in the dark, so they won't dry out and die as fast that way.

At the very least it'd buy you enough time to get home and start hand-watering if the UPS died before the power came back.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 1:46AM
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hydroponica, that is a fantastic idea. The two fish tank air pumps that I currently use require very little power relative to a computer.

Lately, I have put this project on halt because I am having some issues with my plants. My rosemary is getting brown leaves on the bottom. I think it is either over watered or did not enjoy being taken out of my garden.

I've had my newer aeroponics system running for a few weeks and everything has done well except my rosemary and artichokes.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 1:51PM
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Sounds good. We should probably start a new thread to discuss this further so we don't just take over xian's thread.

Bring up the problems you're having with the rosemary and artichokes there... I might be able to help you out on that. The brown leaves on the bottom is interesting. If they turn yellow and then brown it would sound like a nitrogen problem.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 9:08PM
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Update?? TIA.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 5:45PM
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