BetterGrow Hydro Blog

BGH’s Guide to Odor Control

BGH's Guide to Odor Control
Taking the Stank Out of Your Grow Room

The grow room can be an endless source of odors. Reservoirs, nutrient solutions, fertilizers and organic amendments such as guano off-gassing from pots -- and even some types of plants -- can give off odors that are either unpleasant or unwanted outside of the grow room.

But just because an indoor garden is constantly producing odors doesn't mean those smells can't be controlled.


BGH’s No-Stress Guide to pH and TDS

In addition to proper lighting and ventilation, monitoring and controlling the pH and TDS of the nutrient solution is one of the most important aspects of a successful and productive grow room.  Of the 100-plus elements on earth, a plant only needs less than 20 to survive. But a plant’s roots can only absorb those essential elements within a certain pH range (5.5 to 6.5 for hydroponics, 6.0 to 7.0 for soil). Additionally, even if those elements are in a nutrient solution at the correct pH, the roots will not be able to absorb them if they are at too high of a strength. If either measurement is off, nutrients may not be available to the plant when it needs them or they may be at such a high concentration that the nutrient solution actually reverses the flow of nutrients into the roots, causing damage to the plant.

With that in mind, it is easy to see why measuring pH and TDS is so important for healthy plants, heavy harvests and happy growers. [Continue reading]


BGH’s Top 10 New Products of 2011

2011 is over and what a long, strange trip -- well, you probably know how the rest of the song goes. Either way, it was a good year.

While outdoor growers usually measure the quality of the year in terms of weather and harvest size, the indoor grower can evaluate success in terms of how new technology and products speed up and simplify the time and labor it takes to bring a crop from seed to scale. Dozens of new products released in 2011 were definitely good for that.

To help sort through the clutter, we asked our BetterGrow Hydro sales and technical support staff to name the second annual Top 10 New Products of the Year.


Best Gardening Products by Consumer Choice – 2011

Best Gardening Products by Consumer Choice - 2011

Survey Says...

We asked, you answered, and now BetterGrow Hydro presents customers' picks for the Best Gardening Products by Consumer Choice for 2011.

Over the past month, we sorted through thousands of responses that flooded in from our largest survey ever to reveal which products our clientele consider the best for their grow rooms and gardens.

Soon, we'll be picking the lucky winners of the raffle that accompanied the survey. But first, without further ado, the Best Gardening Products by Consumer Choice - 2011.

Filed under: Articles Continue reading

Get in it to win it – RAFFLE TIME!

BetterGrow Hydro is launching its largest customer survey ever and offering you a shot to win some of the hottest cultivation equipment on the market!

Give us your honest opinion on the Best Gardening Products of All Time and you will be entered in a free raffle to win a Can-Filter 33 Boxed Combo, a Digilux bulb, a Gen-1e LP CO2 Generator, an Ebb & Gro 12-Site System or a Sun System 150-watt Compact HPS Grow Light.

To enter the raffle, simply complete this survey. Entries will be accepted through Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, and winners will be notified in December.

Your opinion gives you a chance to win:
The Can-Filter 33 Boxed Combo contains all you need to control grow room odors. This properly matched 6” fan-filter-flange combo will produce 152 CFM of odor-free air for 12 to 18 months. By itself, the high-output 6” Can-Fan generates 392 CFM and the Can-Filter 33 features a 2.5” bed of activated virgin carbon, ensuring maximum odor removal.


C.A.P.'s Digilux bulbs offer a wide color spectrum and high efficiency. Engineered to operate with digital ballasts, Digilux Metal Halide bulbs feature an enhanced blue spectrum for the vegetative stage while Digilux High-Pressure Sodium bulbs produce an enhanced red and orange spectrum that promotes flowering.


The Gen-1e LP CO2 Generator by C.A.P. is a cost-effective way to provide your plants with optimal CO2 levels. The liquid propane-fueled Gen-1e LP features electronic ignition and four burners that safely and reliably produce up to 15 cubic feet of CO2 per hour. This unit operates roughly 100 degrees cooler than other generators on the market and can easily be converted from propane to natural gas in a matter of minutes using an inexpensive conversion kit.

C.A.P.'s Ebb & Gro 12-Site System includes a 55-gallon reservoir, a controller module and a dozen 2-gallon nested growing containers that create a highly versatile and easily expandable growing system. The growing containers are plumbed together and connected to the controller module, which has a built-in timer. When the timer triggers an irrigation cycle, a pump in the 55-gallon reservoir fills the controller module with nutrient solution, which then flows to the containers. A pump in the controller module then drains the nutrient solution from the containers back to the reservoir. The growing containers nested in each site can be removed so plants can easily be rearranged under lighting to even out growth or moved into another system.

The 150-watt HPS Sun System Grow Light is one of the most powerful compact systems on the market, delivering 16,000 initial lumens. With the ballast assembly is built into the reflector, this grow light is plug-and-play ready and perfect for small growing areas or supplementing existing lights.



Now for the fine print:
We value your privacy and your information will not be sold or given away.  The raffle is free to enter and no purchase is necessary. One entry per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Raffle winners will be drawn at random and the winners will be notified via e-mail. Participants who complete the survey either online or at a BetterGrow Hydro retail store must leave a valid phone number or e-mail address to be entered in the raffle. Participants must be 18 or older. Void where prohibited.


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The BGH Guide to Growing in Coco

As a growing medium, coco brings together the best of the growing worlds. Made from the fibrous husk of the coconut, coco combines the performance of a hydroponic medium with the forgiving properties of soil, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and experts.

With coco’s natural 70-30 moisture-to-aeration level, over-watering plants is difficult, as water will run off but aeration will remain intact once coco reaches its saturation point. Since it is an inert medium containing little if any nutrients, coco can be watered daily with nutrient solution, delivering a fresh supply of fuel to the roots to accelerate plant growth. That can’t be done with soil, which will restrict the amount of oxygen available to the roots and slow a plant’s growth if watered daily.

While a number of manufacturers have developed coco-specific nutrients that are uniquely adapted to meet the nutritional needs of coco-grown plants, coco is also suited for growers using organic nutrients that would muck up most hydro systems. What’s more, coco beats out most other hydroponic mediums in creating the perfect environment for beneficial bacteria to colonize the root zone and help plants absorb nutrients and ward off disease, while better protecting the root zone from heat than most hydroponic mediums.

Versatility is yet another positive aspect of coco, and growers can add amendments to make coco fit a wide variety of growing scenarios, whether it’s an automated drip system indoors or a hand-watered container garden outside.

The performance of plants grown in coco is well-documented. In a two-year trial of growing roses in coco and granulated rockwool in a recirculating system, the coco-grown roses produced nearly 16 percent more marketable flowers with an 18 percent higher fresh weight compared to the rockwool roses, according to the International Symposium on Growing Media and Hydroponics.

So if you want faster, bigger blooms through hydroponics with the relative ease and familiarity of soil, you may want to consider trying coco.

What is Coco

Coco, also known as coco coir or coco peat, is made from the husk of the coconut. For decades, the sturdy fibers of coconut husks have been harvested to make rope, doormats and other durable items. But years ago, the horticultural industry discovered that the dust and fibers left over from that process were an excellent – and sustainable – replacement for peat moss, a non-renewable resource.

But since coconut palms tend to grow in salty environments, mainly near the ocean, the first commercially available coco products had nearly plant-toxic levels of salts that required the coco to be flushed with gallons of water before it was ever used.

Today, makers of coco products, like Canna, Botanicare and others, have enacted intensive rinsing and aging regimens to produce coco with as little residual salt as possible, making it unnecessary for the grower to flush the coco before transplanting.


In the mix

Unlike other hydroponic mediums, coco gives the grower a high degree of control over moisture retention and drainage, in addition to being the perfect environment for beneficial bacteria and fungi – namely bacillus, mycorrhizae and trichoderma. (Learn more about beneficial bacteria here).

Just like with soil, growers can achieve different degrees of drainage and aeration by amending coco. With plain coco, growers can water almost as they would if the plants were being grown in soil – once every one to three days, depending on the size of the plants and the containers they are in – and provide nutrients with every feeding, since coco contains no nutrients.

But if plain coco is mixed with Perlite, coco can easily fit the precision of drip and ebb-and-flow hydroponic systems.

Botanicare’s Ready-Gro coco-perlite mixes offer growers two different drainage levels right out of the bag, in addition to pumice stone, earthworm castings, seaweed meal and natural sources of humates for your plants to draw on. Ready-Gro Aeration Formula contains 60 percent coco fiber and 40 percent perlite, and can be watered four to six times a day, making it perfect for automated indoor hydroponic gardens. Ready-Gro Moisture Formula consists of 75 percent coco fiber and 25 percent perlite, allowing it to hold more moisture so larger plants – even those grown outdoors – can be watered just once or twice a day. A 1.5-cubic foot bag of ReadyGro coco mix will fill roughly three 3-gallon growing containers.

For plug-and-play ease, Botanicare’s CocoGro is also available in 6”8” and 10” BOSS blocks that eliminate the need for growing containers and can easily be used in recirculating drip or ebb-and-flow systems. Just hydrate the coco block inside the bag, poke drainage holes in the bottom of the bag and transplant.

Many growers prefer to create their own coco blends as a money-saving alternative to out-of-the-bag mixes, or to exclude certain organic elements that can muck up recirculating hydroponic systems. Others do so simply to augment coco’s naturally occurring 70-to-30 moisture-to-air ratio to match their cultivation style.

Canna Coco or Botanicare’s CocoGro (available in bagsbricks and bales) can be mixed with  Perlite to increase aeration and drainage in the root zone. Growers should avoid using coco-specific nutrients when amending coco with Perlite to keep plants from yellowing and under-performing.

Additionally, a 50/50 blend of coco fiber and Vermiculite is excellent for rooting cuttings and helping seedlings get off to a promising start, as Vermiculite clings to moisture, nutrients and a little air at levels that can be beneficial to young plants.

Since coco is an ideal environment for beneficial bacteria, coco growers often inoculate their medium before transplanting. In fact, Canna Coco comes pre-charged with Canna’s proprietary strain of trichoderma, and Botanicare is now including packages of Zho Root Inoculant, which also contains trichoderma, with 1.5-cubic foot bags of ReadyGro coco mix.

But diversity is important when using beneficial bacteria, since the root zone requires many different species of fungi and bacteria working together to meet all of a plant’s needs. Great White Mycorrhizae is a blend of 36 species of trichoderma, mycorrhizae and beneficials that helps ensure your plants make the most of the nutrients you feed them. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of Great White into your coco when transplanting, and reapply every two weeks at half a scoop per gallon of water. Stop applying Great White four weeks before harvest.

If you are a grower lucky enough to live near a BetterGrow Hydro retail location, BGH’s Actively Aerated Compost Tea will also work wonders for your coco-grown plants. BGH’s fresh-brewed compost tea contains living microbes that help guarantee maximum microbial activity in the root zone far better than off-the-shelf preparations.

If you don’t live near a BetterGrow Hydro location, find a hydro store near you that brews its own compost tea using high-quality ingredients in a top-notch brewer, or make a brewer yourself to produce your own microbial concoctions. Your plants will thank you for it.


Feeding your plants

To match the nutritional needs of plants grown in coco, several manufacturers have introduced coco-specific nutrients that work better with coco’s unique nutrient-binding characteristics.

Among the most popular are the two-part Canna Coco formula and Botanicare’s CNS 17 Coco and Soil grow and bloom formulas. Both are designed to ensure that elements that bind to coco – like potassium, which is critical to how plants use water and other nutrients – are in ample supply and available to plants throughout their life cycle.

“The nutrient you use on coco is going to be extremely important,” said Canna’s David Hill, adding that growers should be cautious when using flowering enhancers loaded with high levels of potassium, which competes with magnesium to bind with coco, upsetting the nutrient balance in the root zone.


Irrigation and flushing

For a mature plant in a drip system, a mix of roughly two parts coco to one part perlite in three-gallon containers will require one to two one-minute irrigation cycles per day to start, achieving about 15 percent runoff each time to flush out salt residues left behind by the nutrient solution. In an ebb-and-flow system, a tray of three-gallon containers containing that same coco-to-perlite ratio could be flooded about once a day. However, BetterGrow Hydro recommends either using a drip system or hand-watering plants growing in coco, since the ebb-and-flow action will create an accumulation of salts toward the top of the coco.  (Learn how to build your own drip system and ebb-and-flow system here.)

However, those suggested irrigation cycles are simply rules of thumb and the grower should ensure that the coco goes from wet to barely moist between waterings. Additional cycles may be needed as the plant’s root system grows larger and draws water more rapidly.

Since salts cling to coco, the containers should be flushed with plain water every week or two to remove excess salts from the medium. Another method growers can use to avoid toxic accumulation of salts is to feed-feed-flush, supplying nutrients in two waterings and plain water in the third, to keep the parts per million (PPM) within an acceptable range.
Coco growers feeding with nutrient solution at every watering should periodically test the PPM of the runoff and irrigate with plain water for one or two feedings if the runoff PPM moves beyond 500 PPM.
A week before harvest, it’s good to use a salt-leaching solution – BGH recommends Botanicare’s Clearex – with plain water to fully flush the medium.


pH Issues

For all the benefits of growing in coco, it is not without its quirks. One of the difficulties coco growers encounter is stabilizing the pH of the medium so that nutrients remain available to the plant and beneficial microbes. To prevent nutrient lockout problems, the pH of the nutrient solution should be kept between 5.5 and 6.2.

The pH of the coco medium should be tested as well. Unlike with soil, checking the pH in the root zone by testing runoff is not very telling with coco, because the elements that bind to coco not be at the same concentration in runoff as they are in the root zone.

To test the pH levels your plants’ roots are dealing with, take about a 1-ounce sample of moist – not dripping wet — coco out of a container, stir it with 2.5 ounces of distilled water and measure the pH after the mixture has rested for about 20 minutes.


Shoo, fly

Many growers love coco. Unfortunately, so does the pesky fungus gnat, a small, winged insect that lays its eggs in the moist upper layers of most growing mediums. While winged adults pose no threat to plants, their larvae do, since they feed off of organic matter – including root hairs and roots, a plant’s life source – and can spread pathogens in the process. Fungus gnats are often very difficult to get rid of once they become established in the grow room, and if winged adults can easily be found on foliage, the wilting that comes with fungus gnat larvae damage is not far behind.

But keeping the fungus gnat curse out of your coco can be as simple as letting the top inch of the medium dry out before re-watering, making it that much harder for fungus gnat larvae – small worm-like creatures that can be seen wriggling through coco – to gain a foothold and grow to maturity in two weeks. However, when it comes to maximizing yields, a teaspoon or two of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.

A teaspoon or two of Gnatrol WDG – a biological larvicide containing the bacteria bacillus thuringiensis, which kills most gnat larvae, but not adults – added to the nutrient solution or to plain water and applied as a root drench can keep fungus gnats at bay, while a dilution of roughly 3 teaspoons per gallon is an effective way to combat a fungus gnat infestation.

Constant monitoring of fungus gnat populations is another helpful method of halting pest problems before they get out of control. To find out what may be lurking in your garden, place Sticky Whitefly Traps near the growing medium to identify whether fungus gnats or other insects are living among your plants.


Growers with severe fungus gnat problems should consider using a PT-1100 Pyrethrum Fogger in conjunction with the prevention and control methods described above.

If you are a soil growers looking for larger harvests or a hydroponic grower looking for a simple alternative, it’s time to get to BetterGrow Hydro or to get your garden coco’d out.


Control Your Workload in the Grow Room

Make short work out of your gardening duties with grow room controllers

Millions of people will celebrate the American workforce with picnics and backyard barbecues this weekend.  But if you aren’t using environmental controllers to keep grow room heat, humidity and carbon dioxide levels in check, chances are you’ll just be putting in work this Labor Day.  Of all the tasks an indoor grower must perform, keeping tabs on temperature, moisture, CO2 delivery and other grow room variables -- and making the necessary adjustments to maintain the ideal growing environment -- is one best left to automation.

With controllers, growers can help ensure their plants remain in optimal yield-boosting temperatures (75 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and up to 10 degrees cooler at night) and relative humidity levels (60 to 65 percent in the vegetative stage, 40 to 50 percent in flowering). With those variables dialed in, growers can eliminate many of the obstacles they face, like heat stress and powdery mildew, and spend much less time checking thermometers and hygrometers with their finger on the trigger of a fan or air conditioner in case the readings spike.

While controllers can be one of the more expensive items in an indoor garden, they can make a staggering difference in yield and quality for growers locked in a struggle against heat, humidity and CO2 enrichment.

Luckily, BetterGrow Hydro is offering deep discounts on select environmental controllers and other items you need to ease your garden workload, giving growers a chance to save both money and time this Labor Day Weekend.


Set it, forget it

For the beginner with a simple grow room setup, temperature and humidity can be controlled with an exhaust fan, a thermometer and a conventional timer or two.  But that’s not to say that setup is still workable if that beginner progresses.  Add in CO2 enrichment, air conditioning, a dehumidifier or multiple high-intensity discharge lights and maintaining the ideal environment can get complicated very quickly.

One 1,200-PPM shot from a CO2 tank can almost immediately send humidity levels soaring past the optimal range, as plants begin to metabolize and transpire at a faster rate, followed by a rapid increase in temperature since the moisture-laden air can suddenly hold much more heat than before. The situation gets even trickier knowing that if you turn on the exhaust fan to control that sudden spike in moisture and heat, precious CO2 will also be removed from the grow room.

AIR-4 Temperature, Humidity, and CO2 Control

That’s where the AIR-4 Temperature / Humidity / CO2 Controller can make a big difference.  Sensing temperature and humidity changes with a probe that can reach 12 feet into the garden canopy, where the magic happens, the AIR-4 controls your exhaust fan or cooling device, and a dehumidifier or humidifier, based on user-defined settings. An additional outlet hooks up to your CO2 device -- either a tank and regulator or a generator -- and shuts it off when CO2 is being released. The AIR-4 also disables the CO2 device during the night cycle, and has an extra outlet that will power an additional piece of equipment, like a heater, only at night.

If you aren’t using CO2 just yet but need to keep grow room temperatures under control, the I.G.S. Day/ Night Temp. Controller with Display lets you plug in a cooling device, set the maximum garden temperature and walk away, knowing your exhaust fan or air conditioner will come on when it is needed.  The temperature differential can also be adjusted to prevent your air conditioner from cycling on and off too often, which wastes energy and reduces the dehumidifying effect.  During winter, set the minimum temperature and this controller will trigger a heater as needed.  It also has day and night settings that let your further dial in temps.

Relative humidity -- a measurement of how much water vapor is suspended in the air -- is important to plants. If there is too little moisture in the air (below 30 percent), plants may become stunted and the leaves will “taco” as they struggle to keep from losing too much water to the dry air.  With too much moisture (90 percent and above), plants don’t transpire properly and nutrients do not move through the plant as they should, leading to deficiencies, not to mention mold and mildew problems.

If you need a simple, accurate way to control grow room humidity, the I.G.S. Day/Night rH Controller with Display will turn on a dehumidifier or a humidifier when moisture levels fall or rise above the user-defined levels. Like the I.G.S. temperature controller, the humidity differential can be adjusted to keep equipment from too rapidly cycling on and off.

Plants thrive when grown in an environment with the correct temperature and humidity levels, and the AIR-2 Temperature & Humidity Controller is an excellent way to keep both in check. The AIR-2 features split outlets for controlling humidity and temperature devices, which lets the grower counter excessive heat even if the humidity is within the right range, and vice versa.


Grasping at gas

Let’s face it, CO2 is odorless, tasteless and invisible, so trying to maintain adequate levels of this yield-boosting gas without an accurate way to measure those levels is a little like wrangling cats: it ain’t gonna work right.

The PPM4 - a cost effective digital CO2 controller

Growers looking for a cost-effective way to take the guesswork out of their CO2 enrichment program should consider the PPM4 - CO2 PPM Monitor / Controller by CAP.  This user-friendly unit gives growers plug-and-play control over CO2 enrichment. Just mount the meter at canopy level, plug it in and plug a CO2 tank regulator or CO2 generator into the unit and it will monitor and control delivery using a built-in infrared sensor to ensure that CO2 levels stay near the ideal 1,450-PPM mark.  Whenever levels fall below 1,400 PPM, the PPM4 will trigger the release of more CO2 and shut it off at 1,450 PPM.  Additionally, three LED indicator lights on the unit give the grower a reading on the CO2 levels in the garden at any given time.

Those seeking greater control over grow room CO2 levels will no doubt find their way to the PPM3 - CO2 PPM Monitor / Control by CAP.  Unlike the PPM4, the PPM3 lets the grower set a desired CO2 level -- from 0 to 5,000 PPM -- and maintain it by controlling a CO2 tank via piggyback cord.  That’s why many growers consider the PPM3 to be the easiest and most accurate way of controlling CO2 delivery.  The PPM-3 will work with any make of CO2 regulator or CO2 generator.

PPM3 - precise CO2 Control

Using CO2 in the grow room presents the grower with the often-challenging question of when to run the exhaust fan to remove the hot, moist air that has built up.  If the fan comes on too soon, CO2 is removed.  If it comes on too late, heat and moisture wreak havoc.  Either way, plants lose.

To coordinate CO2 releases and synchronize exhaust cycles, try the CO2-2e - 2 Timer CO2 Controller.  It features two timers to control how often and how long CO2 is released from a tank regulator or generator, as well as temperature and humidity controls that will cut CO2 and turn on an exhaust fan when the levels the grower has set are exceeded. It also has a photosensor that cuts off CO2 production when the lights are off.  With the addition of the PPM-1C - PPM Add-On Monitor, the unit will precisely control the CO2 level in the grow room.



Power struggle

MLC-4X Light Controller - safely operate up to 4 HID lights @ 30 amps on one controller

Plugging in and controlling one grow light is pretty straightforward. But problems -- and safety hazards -- can arise when a grower tries to run multiple 1,000-watt grow lights simultaneously using a standard residential electrical circuit.  A 15-amp, 120-volt circuit -- the type found in most U.S. households -- can power no more than one 1,000-watt ballast, which will draw close to 10 amps. With fans, pumps and other electrical equipment running on the same circuit, it may be impossible to add additional equipment without tripping a breaker -- or worse.

But with the UPM-1 - Universal Power Module, growers can add additional high-amperage equipment -- whether it’s an air conditioner or another light -- to their grow room without fear of overloading the circuit.  That’s because the UPM-1 uses a 16-foot trigger cable that can be plugged into a different circuit to power the two outlets on the front of the unit.  Plug the UPM-1 into an environmental controller or lighting timer, and when the controller or timer turns on, it will trigger the UPM-1 to power devices plugged into it from the circuit the trigger cable is plugged into, instead of the controller’s circuit.

Growers who want to rig their electrical system to handle a heavier lighting load should seriously consider Custom Automated Products’ MLC-4X Light Controller, which is available in 120-volt and 240-volt models capable of handing up to 30 amps. This unit can be hardwired to a 30-amp 120-volt or 240-volt power source, or connected using a C.A.P. Dryer Cord with a plug type that matches your outlet. The MLC-4X also features “X-Plugs” that make it easy to switch between 120-240-volt ballast plugs, though the user must make sure the voltage of the ballast matches the voltage the unit is supplied with.



Pump, Water and pH Controls

ART-DNe - precise timings with built-in photocell

Anyone who’s tried to turn grow room equipment on and off at precise intervals using a standard analog or digital timer knows the frustrating limitations. Analog timers generally break up on and off times into 15-minute increments, while digital timers can usually only be programmed for eight different on-off cycles per day.

But the ART-DNe - Adjustable Cycle Timer frees the grower from the constraints of standard timers, letting the user set “on” times anywhere between 1 second and 60 minutes, and “off” times between 1 minute and 8 hours. The ART-DNe also has a switch that will trigger the timer to operate at day, at night, or both day and night. These features make the ART-DNe a perfect fit for controlling water pump cycles to keep your growing medium properly irrigated, or for operating ozone generators, synchronizing CO2 delivery or running exhaust fans.


Growing is a labor of love, but that doesn't mean it has to take so much work.  So get to BetterGrow Hydro or and give yourself -- and your plants -- a break.


Read all about it!

BetterGrow Hydro and Living Lettuce Farms were recently featured in the Pasadena Weekly for a story about the benefits of hydroponics and its re-emergence in commercial farming and the farm-to-table movement.

David Goldman, the founder of both BGH and Living Lettuce Farms, a commercial gourmet hydroponic lettuce farm based in Reseda, Calif., spoke with the Weekly about how soilless growing techniques are fast becoming the cultivation method of choice for gourmet chefs and environmentally minded consumers who embrace the sustainability that hydroponics provides.

Goldman told the paper that hydroponics is taking on a larger role in the realm of commercial and hobby farming as more and more everyday gardeners and gourmands realize the nutritional and environmental benefits of soilless gardening.

“I think there was a big stigma that hydroponics was just used solely for growing indoors, and primarily for growing marijuana,” Goldman told the paper. “Also, a lot of consumers were under the impression that hydroponically grown produce didn’t have any flavor or nutritional value, that it just tasted like water. … The vegetables are tasting a lot better now, so I think a lot more people are getting into it.”

Out of the Shadows Page 1

Out of the Shadows Page 2
Read the full story here:


New Product: Canna Start – 500 ml

With the addition of CANNA Start to the CANNA range, we offer a complete program for growing from Start to crop!

The best start for seedlings and cuttings
CANNA Start is a unique, balanced, one-part nutrient to meet the needs of seedlings and rooted cuttings. CANNA start gives you all the primary, secondary and micro nutrients for a cutting or seedling to develop into a strong healthy plant. CANNA start is a nutrient (not an additive for root development) and can be combined perfectly with a root stimulator like CANNA RHIZOTONIC.

Reduces the risk of overfeeding

Cuttings and seedlings have different needs than established plants. Therefore a normal nutrient for the vegetative stage is not suitable for cuttings and seedlings because you run the risk of overfeeding.

Reduces the risk of plant material turning yellow
Diluting a vegetative nutrient to make it more suitable for cuttings and seedlings isn't the answer. Such a dilution doesn't contain enough micro and macro elements. This causes yellowing of the plant material; not a good start for your crop. To ultimately achieve strong, healthy plants at the end you have to start off right at the very beginning. That's why CANNA developed CANNA Start; to get the exact ratio of all nutritional elements right for cuttings and seedlings.

Propagation media
CANNA Start is meant for use on various propagation substrated like Rockwool plugs, coco pellets, jiffy plugs, seedmixes and most other propogation mediums. It is suitable for use on all propogation media with the exception of re-circulating systems and clone machines.

CANNA Start is perferct for growers that:

  • Grow from seeds
  • Take their own cuttings
  • Put their cuttings in small pots first, before transplanting them into the final medium

Complete 1-part nutrient

CANNA Start is a complete one-part nutrient meaning it contains all the needed elements in one botle (no A and B versions needed).

Links up perfectly with CANNA Nutrients
CANNA Start links up perfectly with all other CANNA nutrients. Once cuttings are transplanted from plugs into the final medium, you switch from CANNA Start to the CANNA (Vega) nutrient suitable for the medium you're growing on (TERRA, COCO, SUBSTRA or AQUA) for the remainder of the cycle.


Directions of use

  • Shake bottle well before use
  • Fill nutrient reservoir with water
  • Add CANNA Start to the nutrient reservoir with the dilution ratio 1:250 (40ml/10Liter or 15 ml/Gal)
  • The EC of CANNA Start dissolved in (tap) water varies between 0.7 - 1.3 mS (= the solution EC + the water EC)
  • Recommended pH: 5,2 - 6,2
  • Make sure there is sufficient drain (10%)


Other directions

  • Keep out of reach of children
  • Store in a dark place
  • Keep away from extremes of hot and cold
  • Over fertilization has a negative effect on the nutrient mix and plant quality
  • If the solution comes in contact with the skin or eyes, rinse with water





The BGH Outdoor Hydroponics Grow Guide

Ahhhh, summer. It’s when sun-loving people tend to spend more time outside taking in the fresh air.  It’s also the perfect time to give the plants in your hydroponic system a break from the sheltered life they’ve been living indoors.

With a little preparation, growers can successfully employ hydroponics outdoors using a homemade hydro system, leaving the unrelenting duty of providing proper lighting and ventilation to Mother Nature, who supposedly knows best.

Indoor growers can make the move outdoors and achieve explosive growth using an inexpensive DIY hydroponics system, especially with a circulating bucket system. A circulating bucket system is relatively easy to build and maintain, and it will let you grow large, hearty plants that better withstand the elements and produce massive harvests.

BetterGrow Hydro Founder David Goldman recently assembled a circulating bucket system in his back yard and just harvested his first tomato, less than two months after transplanting into the system. Here’s what you’ll need to do the same in an easily expandable four-bucket system: