Newsletter 31/07/13

Welcome to our new newsletter format!

The UK Summer is here at last! (Kinda..!!) The main concern for most indoor gardeners will currently be temperature within the grow room. Due to the recent hot snap in the UK we have received hundreds of phone calls from desperate gardeners asking what can be done to lower temperature in their grow room, and for lowering the nutrient temperature within a nutrient/water tank. Below is a list of options to help maintain a better temperature for healthy plant growth until the outside temperature begins to drop and then in turn drops inside temperature.

*Note: The indoor gardener should always be realistic about what can be achieved when attempting to reduce temperature in a grow room in the summer months, especially when using multiple grow lights!

Things to consider:

All of the above will at least give you alternatives to consider to help maintain a better temperature within the grow room and grow tank(s) without having to consider completely shutting down your grow room for the summer months!

SomHydro News

We have recently developed a professional NFT Growing System which we are currently testing in our Secret Jardin DR300W Grow Tent. This growing system will suit novice and expert Hydroponic growers alike. We are all very excited about this system as we have personal experience with using the commercial grade Suregrow NFT channelling utilised in this system. The channelling has a proven track record for vigorous plant growth and high yield potential. Check our blog regularly for updates and the release date of this system!

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10% Online discount code 

As with every previous news letter, we offer you a discount code for use when shopping on our website, this offer is now also open to our blog readers! To receive 10% off of any online order simply enter the code SOMHYDRO7 at the checkout when placing an order through our website. This offer is open only to UK customers and is valid from 31/7/2013 until the 14/08/2013 (Discount does not include delivery charge). This code can be used as many times as you wish throughout the valid period. 

That’s it for this quarterly newsletter folks! We hope our regular newsletter followers prefer the Blog format ..we certainly do!!

Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you all at the store soon ..Best regards Lee :)

Setup and use of a Wilma Dripper System

Further to our previous blog; we think it is time to give you a little more in-depth information regarding the set-up and use of the Atami Wilma range of Dripper growing systems. Wilma Dripper systems work simply via a water pump supplying nutrient/water to the growing pots which then drains through the growing medium/pot with the excess nutrient/water draining back into the nutrient tank below the growing tray to repeat the process. Any growing medium can be used in a dripper growing system but generally either coco (coir), expanded clay pebbles or soils are used. Obviously if using soil as the growing medium, you will not be growing Hydroponic plants!

Set up and use of a Wilma Dripper system is very simple (we will assume at this point that you have already cultivated your seedlings or cuttings in a suitable growing medium and to a size ready for transplanting):

1)     Choose your growing medium type and fill the Wilma pots (if using soil or coco we recommend placing an inch of clay pebbles at the base of pot to aide with drainage)

2)     Transplant your seedlings or cuttings into the Wilma pots full of relevant growing medium.

3)     Connect dripper stakes (two types are supplied: 4mm Blue stakes for clay pebbles and Black stakes for coco or soil) to the 4mm dripper line and then connect the supply water pump to the grey plastic delivery tube. Plug your pump into an analogue or digital timer;  but do not turn the pump on just yet!

4)     Now fill the tank with water and add your chosen liquid plant feed at the correct dilution stated on the bottle, or for the size or age of plants to be transplanted into your Wilma system. We recommend using an EC meter for accurate monitoring/dosing of your nutrient strength.

5)     When nutrients have been added to the tank, ensure that you have mixed the solution thoroughly by hand or by using a secondary pump in the tank as a circulation/mixing pump.

6)     Now check the pH of your solution. We recommend using a pH meter for monitoring and dosing of pH acids to maintain as neutral a pH solution as possible, but this can also be done using a simple pH liquid test kit. Please see our FAQ section on our website for more information regarding general recommended nutrient strengths and pH levels in Hydroponics. Monitoring and adjusting of nutrient strength and pH should ideally be a daily task but this will obviously be a personal decision for some gardeners depending on how often they can access, or want to access, the grow room! As an experienced recommendation; if you want maximum results from your Hydroponic plants then make nutrient and pH monitoring/dosing a daily task.

7)     Now it is time to set the timer for your supply water pump. We recommend setting the timer to switch on the supply pump for fifteen minutes every two or three hours. Although this does not seem as if your plants will be receiving much water/nutrient, this is the ideal watering/feeding schedule to encourage your plants to produce new roots and a larger root mass.

8)     That’s it! ..plug your pump and timer into the socket and switch on! Your Wilma Dripper growing system is now operational and now only requires you to top-up the nutrient tank when necessary and monitor nutrient strength and pH!

There are many growing tips I have learnt over the years for the Wilma growing systems, but I wanted to keep this blog short enough to cover the set-up and use basics..so please leave a comment or a question if you would like me to continue adding information for this type of growing system!

~Lee@SomHydro

Tomato Growing Demo Update! 2.5

Sixteen days forward from our last blog, and we don’t think we need to tell you that our Golden Crown Tomato’s are doing fine from looking at the photos below and the photos from previous blogs. The plants have started to produce flowers and I don’t think it will be very long before we see fruit beginning to form.

A customer at our store has asked why we haven’t written more in-depth information regarding the Golden Crown tomato and any relevant growth and fruiting information; very simply this is because the plant variety is not the focus of this growing demo/blog, it is merely the chosen plant to show the benefits of our Wilma10 system with a DS120 Grow Tent growing package and all the associated nutrients and equipment used.

We would always expect the gardener to learn as much as possible about they’re chosen plant and its relevant growing phases, we are here to help you obtain maximum results from the equipment and products used to grow your plants!

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Tomato Growing Demo Update!

Nine days forward from our previous blog; the Golden Crown tomato plants vegetative growth is extremely vigorous and the plants are noticeably bigger as you can see from the images below! Although our Wilma10 system with a DS120 Grow Tent package comes complete with a 600w High Pressure Sodium Grow Light (primarily red spectrum to maximize flowering output in this size tent), for the purpose of our in-store demo we are utilising a 400w Sunmaster Metal Halide (primarily blue spectrum output) lamp/grow light to maximize vegetative growth. The plants in general are responding extremely well to the DutchPro range of nutrients and enhancers and we will keep you updated over the coming weeks.

You will also notice that we have placed a couple of young Dorset Naga Chilli Plants in the grow tent, which will be transplanted into an AutoPot Growing System and then these will soon be placed into our main in-store growing tent, the Secret Jardin DR300W.

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