E-mail – Light Problem During Flowering

Hey Doc,
I made a big mistake and I was wondering if I can do anything to fix it. I added a 120 W LED to my grow area which had a 400 W HPS, in order to increase the number of plants and the yield of plants. However, I only had the HPS on a timer, the LED was on 24hrs a day. I had a multiple outlet extension cord and instead of having the extension cord on a timer I just had one light. This happened for a week in about the third week of flowering. The plants have slowed their flowering. Any help would be great.

Well, other than a time machine there is not much you can do. The plants should recover and start flowering again, but you will definitely need more time than normal until the flowers/fruit are done. Keep the plants on 12/12 until they are done. If you are growing male or female plants you will also have to watch for the plants to become hermaphrodites. Sorry I can’t be more help. I will post this on the blog as a lessoned learned

Good Growing
Dr. E.R. Myers


Get Ready for Outdoor Growing III Hardening off

Please see my post on hardening off, before you move your plants from  their indoor grow area to the outdoors, it could save you a lot of hassle and increase yields.

Although it sounds silly, plants that are grown indoors are not able to handle the sun.  Sure I have said the sun is the best source of energy for plants (intense and free).  However, the indoor lights you get from HTGSupply.com are great for growing, but they don't have UV radiation like the sun, or all the other types of energy that come from the sun.  You need to gradually get your plants used to the intense UV and other types of energy that are part of the light energy plants need that comes from the sun.  You should do this over a few days so that they are not stressed out and grow slowly, or even die. 

How to get your plants ready for the sun.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


Get Ready for Outdoor Growing II SOIL

Once you start your seeds you need to make sure the soil where you are going to grow your plants is suitable. If not there are countless soil amendments from HTGSupply.com that can make sure your outdoor garden thrives as well as your indoor.

First thing I would do is see what your soil is made up of. Basically soil is made up of four things, sand, silt clay and organic matter. An easy way to test this is to get an empty olive or pickle jar, put some soil from where you will grow in the jar about 1/3 full, put a drop of dish soap in the jar (to help particles separate) and then fill the jar to the ¾ mark with tap water. Put on the lid and shake vigorously. Let the jar sit over night.

In the am, you should notice different layers. The bottom layer will be sand, the middle silt and the top whitish layer is clay. You may have small bits of ‘things’ on top of the clay, that is organic matter. Also, if the water above the soil is dark like tea, that too means you have some organic matter. Measure the total height of the dirt, then divide the total height by the height of each type of particle. The number you get is the percentage of each particle type

EXAMPLE. You have 6 inches of total soil. If you have 4 inches of sand, 1.5 inches of silt and 0.5 inches of clay you divided 4/6 and 1.5/6 and 0.5/6 you have 66.6% sand, 25% silt and 8% clay. This soil would need Coir or some other form of organic matter like compost.
I say this because if you have mostly sand the soil will tend to dry out so you will want to increase water retention. If you have mostly clay, you could add organic matter like coir which helps drainage, but you can also add sand, perlite or vermiculite. With clay (also called heavy soils) you need to increase drainage and help the roots to grow.  If you have near equal parts of sand and clay with some organic matter, you are ready to plant as is.

Another really cheap soil amendment is lime. You can get a 50lb bag for a few dollars and it makes the soil pH great for plants and will add Ca and Mg too.

Good Growing
Dr. E.R. Myers


Get Ready for Ourdoor Growing - I Starting Seeds

There is an article about extending the growing season outdoors with your indoor hobby under "education pages" on HTGSupply.com's web page, but I want to expand on it in the next few posts as we prepare and plant our outdoor gardens. 
We all love to grow indoors, but there is no better light source than the sun, no deeper pot than the soil, and no cheaper water than rain.  Why not expand your indoor hobby outdoors?

First, what you want to do is start a lot of seeds.  I really like the starter plugs, they are environmentally friendly (made from composted tree bark which is renewable) they have a preformed hole for your seeds and don't have the pH problems of Rockwool.  They are a lot cleaner than dirt and have some nutrients in them so they get your seedlings off to a great start.  Also, they make potting up a snap, with minimal root damage.  You just push the plug up from the bottom and plop it into a bigger pot or into your outdoor garden, simple as that.  It is a good idea to apply some fertilizer after potting up.
Next, read my post on ways to speed up the growth cycle starting with seedlings.
Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


E-mail - Flowering with Different Sized (Height) Plants

Hello Dr. Myers,
     I am using the T5 4bulb 2,000 Lumen that I purchased from HTGSupply.com , in the flowering stage I have 1 plant that is 2 feet taller then the others and it is too thick to really bend it.  If I have the light that much higher I know the other plants arent getting enough or will take longer to flower etc.
Is there a way to relocate the other plant someplace or set it to the side, stop the flowering and then restart the flowering later?

You have a few options.
You could try to just bend the very top of the plant if it is possible, this will stop vertical growth even if you just bend the top couple nodes... Be careful not to break the top off. If you have a two foot difference this might not solve your problem now, but in the future if this begins to happen, bend the plant that is growing taller to keep it around the same height as the others... use this as a learning experience.

Second, you could hang the light at an angle, lower on the end with the short plants, taller over the high plant so that it is as close as possible to all plants. Third, you could try putting the tall plant on its side, this will take up a lot of horizontal room, and may make watering it a hassle, but will allow you to keep the light close to all plants. What might be easiest, you could put blocks or some sturdy object UNDER the short plants to raise them to the height of the tall plant, and then remove the blocks as the other plants grow taller.
You could also try a new trick I am working on. If you are EARLY into flowering, you could cut the top 4-5 nodes off the plant and turn the plant top into a clone. You know it is the type of flower you want already so this way you'd turn one tall plant into two plants. If you are more than a few weeks into flowering, you might not have success with the clone, and just end up cutting the top of your plant off, which will also solve your height problem, but not in a good way.
You could also do as you said, move the tall plant somewhere else, put it back on 18 hrs light and give it a good dose of high N fertilizer to get it back into vegetative. However, it will start to grow tall again if you do this, so you may need to put it on its side when you flower it again, or turn it into a mother plant and put its clones in your flowering area.

I hope one of these works for you!
Good Growing
Dr. E.R. Myers