If you've been to our Nyack location any time over the past fourteen years, you've probably seen our Dwarf Cavendish banana tree. It's growing in the front of the shop in a General HydroponicsMegaFarm that we converted a few years ago to a water-force recirculating system (instead of the standard air-force drip system). We've gotten bananas a few times in the past but it's always been very sporadic due to our fluctuating climate in the store. Back in June it started to flower again and today we started to harvest. We have local, New York-grown bananas! Hydroponics and indoor gardening make ANYTHING possible.
This past weekend was Maximum Yield's Indoor Gardening Expo in Boston. This was the first year that it's been on the east coast so it was nice to be able to attend without flying across the country. Almost all of the major companies in our industry were there and I know we didn't get a chance to document the whole show, but here are a few highlights:
Foxfarm rolled out two new products, Kelp Me Kelp You and Wholly Mackerel, which are, respectively, seaweed and fish emulsion formulas. They smell as bad as you would expect, which means that they probably work great. We'll be trying these out in the shop and update you on our results.
Cutting Edge Solutions is rebranding their products (same formula, just updated labels) and coming out with some new ones (to be announced later...)
Max-Fan had every size of their top-quality fans on display, including this 28" monster (over 5000 cfm)!
Secret Jardin has a tent that is lined with Orca reflective material, which is supposed to be the most reflective and thermally protective material.
General Hydroponics has come out with 1 oz. bottles of four products for smaller gardens and applications.
Gavita had all of their lights on display, didn't see too much that was new but we had to stop by. The results that everyone is getting with these lights are incredible, 20-50% increases in yields alone.
Autogrow is a long-standing company that makes hydroponic pH and nutrient dosers as well as complete room and greenhouse climate controllers. Their customer service might be the best part of their company, they know that their products are in-depth so they have people who you can call who will walk you through the entire installation and set-up process, as well as troubleshoot any problems you may encounter later on.
Gorilla Grow Tents were there to show people the difference in quality between their tents and those from other tent manufacturers. They definitely have the strongest frames and thickest material, plus a included 12" height extenstion (making their tents available in heights of 7'11"). We are currently running a special at both locations, 10% off all sizes of Gorilla Grow Tents.
Botanicare had a few new products on display. They've come out with Growilla, a organic powderized one-part nutrient, a new rooting gel and root stimulator (Rhizo Gel and RhizoBlast), and a Low Tide Clone Tray that can hold four 10"x20" flats (great for microgreens/wheat grass, seedlings or cuttings)
At the end of the weekend, we came away with a lot of product samples and promo material (shirts, hats, stickers, etc.) so if you see anything you want, stop in to either location and ask.
Canna has a new product coming out soon. Stay tuned, we should have more information for you guys by the end of the month! Also, check out this month's issue of Maximum Yield for a chance to win free Rhizotonic.
Beneficials are often overlooked in nutrient regimens, and the benefits FAR outweigh the costs. Xtreme Gardening's line of beneficials is pretty complete and easy to add into any feeding/nutrient regimen you're already using.
Mykos is a pure Mycorrhizal inoculant. Add it to any soil or growing medium to improve root growth, ease transplant shock and increase nutrient absorption. It also comes in a wettable powder (WP) for use in water (mix it into your water with or without your other nutrients before watering your plants, or add it to your hydroponic system).
Azos is a very unique beneficial bacteria that makes nitrogen from the air processable for plants while also increasing the root zone. This is great when starting seedlings and cuttings because the plants are getting "grow food" (nitrogen) naturally, so they're getting off to a great start before they're big enough to start getting fed actual nutrients.
Their tea brews are not only very easy to make, but they help with overall plant health and vigor while also breaking down other nutrients and making them more available to your plants. The tea brews come in two parts: the "brew" and the activator. If you don't have a tea brewer, you can make your own with a five gallon bucket, an air pump, air tubing and air stone. Add tea brew to water, then add activator, then allow to "brew" for 24 hours for flowering plants or 48 hours for growing plants.
There is also CalCarb, which is a calcium based foliar spray for enhanced leaf and cell growth.
All of their products are compatible with almost all growing mediums and nutrient lines, so adding them to your schedule will only make your plants perform better. Come in for some more info and to try some free samples.
We're nearing the end of summer in the Northeast, which means it's time to start planning your winter indoor gardens. The outdoor heat isn't as much of an issue during the winter, which makes it a perfect time to start considering the addition of a CO2 generator. Plants breathe CO2 the same way we breathe oxygen and, when the CO2 levels are properly maintained (typically at 1500 PPM, or Parts Per Million), CO2 enrichment provides a 20-30% increase in yields, completely naturally. The reason we recommend using generators in the winter (rather than in the summer) is because CO2 is generated by burning either natural gas or propane, which obviously creates heat. However if you have adequate cooling in your space, this shouldn't be an issue and you can probably run CO2 all year long with no problem. Plus, generators are the the most efficient means of CO2 enrichment. If sized properly, they will bring your CO2 up to the desired levels and keep it there, much quicker and more accurately than when using a CO2 tank or natural CO2 bucket/pad.
Green Air Products, who are one of the first companies in our industry to focus on CO2 enrichment and environmental controls, has just introduced the first series of multi-fuel-source CO2 generators (they can run off of propane OR natural gas) which also use efficient infrared technology. Plus Green Air's CO2 generators have holes to insert optional cooling tubes, which can be incorporated into your exhaust ducting to remove excess heat out of your growing space. They also feature an electronic ignition, so when they're off, they're 100% off. There is no pilot light so gas isn't being wasted, unnecessary heat isn't being created and they're extremely safe to use.
Maintaining the optimum CO2 levels for maximum production is easy. Green Air also makes a Set Point Controller that allows you to set the CO2 level that you would like to be maintained in your garden (like we said, typically 1500 PPM), and will only turn the generator on if the levels dip below your set point. Once your CO2 levels are back at the desired setting, it triggers the generator to turn off. This way, you won't have to worry about wasting gas or your CO2 levels going too high. Another added bonus is that it gives you a digital read-out of what the exact PPM of CO2 is in your garden at any given time.
These are just a few products we offer in terms of CO2 enrichment. There are still the traditional CO2 generators that run off of either Propane OR Natural Gas (not both), and have standard burners instead of infrared technology. If you'd like to run CO2 without using a generator, we sell CO2 tanks and regulators and CO2 Boost natural CO2 buckets, as well as other options for monitoring and controlling your CO2 levels.
Canna's Terra Professional Plus is a great growing medium that is pH stable, has excellent drainage with no perlite added (only natural tree bark for aeration) and a starter nutrient charge so manual feeding isn't necessary for at least a few weeks. It's mild enough for seedlings but strong enough that all plants will get off to a great start.