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It’s the Great Pumpkin…

Mid fall’s cooler weather is a time when many areas can plant cool weather vegetables like carrots. lettuce, garlic, and bok choy. This can be done by either by direct sowing, or by first starting in Rapid Rooter plugs. It is also the time to harvest cauliflower and bring in the last of the squash, peppers, and perhaps most important to Halloween, pumpkins.

Pumpkins are a bit like squashes, and a bit like gourds. They have a firm outer shell that encases a mesh of seeds and tissue. It is a common tradition to take one of these large orange vegetables and carve holes in it to serve as a lantern. These are frequently lit with a small candle or more safely, a small battery powered LED. According to folklore a character named Jack used to carry such a lantern everywhere he went. As the legend goes, he became known as Jack of the lantern, which is why theses carved pumpkins are now commonly known as Jack o’ Lanterns.

Saving seeds from pumpkins is reasonably easy. Collect and rinse the seeds well, dry flat on paper towels, then place in a small paper bag. Allow to continue to dry for an additional week or two, shaking daily for the first week. Pumpkin seeds can also be salted and roasted in the oven for a healthy and tasty treat.

Chill out with General Hydroponics

Harmony by the Bay

General Hydroponics is happy to sponsor the Official Chill Zone at Harmony By The Bay this coming Saturday, September 29. Come find us in the Harmony Village and kick back. Whether you’ll be there to see The Shins, Matishuya, Tegan & Sara, Alison Krauss or the great Jimmy Cliff, GH will be there to let you max and relax.

Opening up the throttle with Gen Hydro

This past weekend Hawk from Nighthawk Racing out of Warwick Rhode Island had an event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, GH is proud to be a part of Hawks passion for both racing and for gardening! Hawk is also part of Grow With Us, a wonderful garden retailer in Rhode Island, if you are in the area stop by the shop!

GH had a blast with Hawk at the event, and we were able to share in the love with many of our retail and manufacturing partners in the hydroponics industry. Many of the countries top retailers were at the event, and we want to thank Dennis at Can Filters and Michael at Nickel City Garden Center for their support as well.

We are excited to be a part of the Nighthawk Racing Team, which will be coming to blaze through a city near you!!! Look for the bad-ass Oldsmobile and the GH tent at a speedway near you! Check Hawk out at

http://www.facebook.com/pages/NightHawk-Racing/323925540962478
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grow-With-Us-Hydroponics/311774815528873

Stick It To Win It Electric Forest Winners

As some of you may know, GH was a main sponsor at Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, MI. We gave away samples of our Floralicious® Plus organic bases supplement and RapidStart rooting enhancer and had heavily discounted sample boxes of our Flora Series Perfomance Pack and our General Organic Go Boxes.

But the funnest promotion we did hands down was our special addition Electric Forest Stick It To Win It Contest for a free GH custom decorated bike.  We had some great entries, and everyone who entered was rewarded with awesome nutritional plant growing goodness, but our first place winner was elected unanimously. 

What’s that? I can’t hear you.

This was clearly the most creative and artistic entry. After much excitement and jumping, our winner rode away blissfully happy on his new bike (I was even told his previous bike had been stolen week before, hearing this just cemented my resolve we picked the right winner).  Check out the entries and let us know what you think!

The contest is ongoing for great freebies, just take a picture with one of ours stickers and email it to sticker@genhydro.com for your own chance to win.

Next up: look for us at Gaia Festival in Laytonville, CA for more freebies, more fun, and more more stickers.

 

GH takes over Electric Forest in Michigan

I hope Michigan is ready. For the second year in a row GH is sponsoring the super-festival, Electric Forest, in the town of Rothbury. What does that mean? Well for me it meant catching red-eye flight on Tuesday night from San Francisco to Detroit, and spending the last three days helping with shopping, prepping, hauling equipment and plants, manual laboring, schmoozing, and basically making sure we have the coolest (and now, most organized) booth possible. I think we did it. No, I know we did it.

If you are lucky enough to have a ticket to the sold-out festival, please stop by and say hello to us! We are located at the rear of the Sherwood Court stage right by the swinging hammock forest with a beautiful plant and light filled oasis set up.

We have FREE samples of our Floralicious® Plus organic bases supplement and RapidStart rooting enhancer. We also have heavily discounted sample boxes of our Flora Series Perfomance Pack and our General Organic Go Boxes.

What else are we doing? We bought a bike, got creative in the booth, decorated it with colored duct tape and GH stickers, and are raffling it off before the end of the weekend! If you are at the festival, stop by our booth, pick up a sticker, take a photo of it in an original location, and forward the picture to sticker@genhydro.com to win the bike! Same rules as Stick It To Win It Contest. Winners will be alerted by email as soon as we pick you. You will have a limited amount of time to pick up the bike before we go on to the next most original photograph.

We have lots  more festival fun planned! Come visit us, get out of the sun, sit on our shaded and misted couches, learn about our products and our community, and be like our plants: chill and happy. GH Toolmaker Andy Graham will be playing his trademark Slaperoo between stage sets and his lovely wife Alexis Bauer (the owner of My Friend Joe in Santa Rosa, California) will have an impromptu gourmet coffee and snow cone booth going. I will be painting faces, and who knows what else…

In conclusion: it’s a good time to be at Electric Forest, it’s a great time to visit our booth, and it’s always a perfect time to take home some samples and win a one of a kind bike.

What’s going on in the GH greenhouse?

Quinoa

Quinoa is an ancient grain grown in the Andes mountains of south America near the equator. It was called the “the mother of all grains” by the Incas and there are records of it grown 3000 to 4000 years ago. It is not really a grain, but a “pseudocereal” and a member of the Chenopodium family of plants – the same as beets, spinach and lamb’s quarters. The seed heads are the part that are generally eaten and are very nutritious.

There are many different varieties of quinoa, this one is Brightest Brilliant Rainbow from Botanical Interests seed company. It is beautiful when ripe with seed heads colored from hot pink to burgundy, orange, yellow and green. This variety will grow to 6 – 7 feet tall. They grow in temperatures from 25 F at night to 95 F during the day, but prefer the cooler end of the temperature range – the plants were not happy in the 100 degree weather we were having last week! They are in our PowerGrower systems (one plant in each) and need about 2 gallons of water/day. I don’t think they will get much taller, hoping the weather does not get too hot so they will finish ripening over the next month. I will post a photo when the plants are blooming.

The United Nations has declared 2013 International Year of Quinoa. I have 3 more varieties of quinoa growing in different hydroponic systems. An ancient food grown with modern technology, looking forward to seeing how they grow.

Those with sharp eyes will note the plants are growing in GH Solar Systems.
More on them to come……

A Different Kind of AeroFlo

GenHydro Dirt Track

Things got exciting this past Saturday in Watsonville CA for Dustin Baxter’s Gen Hydro sponsored CRA 410 Sprint Car. As Dustin explains it:

“Entered the turn high and on the hammer and there wasn’t enough racetrack to hold me. Clipped the wall and the went for a wild ride. Glad to be okay. Thankful for all the safety equipment we use and thankful to have GH on board.”

Nothing wrong with planting in soil.

Introducing the FloraSeries Performance Pack

Flora Series Performance Pack

Dear GH-
Your products are highly recommended and I want to try them, but I don’t want to have to spend a bunch of money to see how well they work. Any suggestions?

It is with this in mind that we have created the ultimate all-in-one nutrient kit: the FloraSeries Performance Pack. We threw in everything but the kitchen sink and are positive that you will see outstanding results whether you grow in hydro, coco, or soil. We have made this kit bullet proof by starting with the world’s best selling and most popular hydroponic base nutrient – FloraSeries. You will provide your plants with all of the essential micro and macro nutrients with FloraGro, FloraMicro, and FloraBloom. As the goal is to give you the full experience from the cradle to the grave we also supply you with RapidStart and FloraBlend for your roots, Liquid KoolBloom and Floralicious Plus for your fruits and flowers, and FloraKleen & a pH test kit for maintenance. So, if you are a skeptic and don’t want to believe what thousands of others already know, head down to your local hydro shop and pick up a FloraSeries Performance Pack. Performance does not have to come at a price.

GH kicks off the festival season at Lightning in a Bottle

Summer is almost here! How can I tell? There are beautiful (outdoor grown) strawberries, the sun is setting later, and there is a different festival every weekend. Oh festival season, how I love you! Time to hunt through my garage for camping gear, the hall closet for faux fur jackets, and my room for the fishnets, face paints, and LED lights that will awaken from their winter hibernation to glow through the season. Bring on the late night bass music, the early morning open-air yoga sessions, the overabundance of feather earrings. Me and GH are ready for you.

I spent the weekend of May 24-28 at Lightning in a Bottle in Silverado, California researching the possibility of GH having a  full booth next year.  (Um…yes please!) This is hands down one of my favorite festivals in California. The southern Californian location is gorgeous, the Do Lab always goes all out with incredible art installations and live painting, and the vibe is just so much fun.

I, of course, got my groove on to the big names: Bassnectar, Glitch Mob, Random Rab, Opiuo, Gaudi; but I had the most fun reciting poetry to late night didgeridoo sessions and renegade DJ sets (shout-out to VITAMINDEVO) then I did on the crowded dance floor. I got my yoga on up the hill at the Temple of Consciousness. I painted faces and hula hooped in the grass during the day. I watched the sunrise a few too many times. I saw lots of old friends, and made too many new ones to keep track of. I had an absolute blast.

My favorite part?  Promoting GH, believe it or not.  The week before the festival the Hydroponic Gods threw various obstacles at me which prevented me from getting a giant box of stickers to hand out to promote the Stick It To Win It sticker contest. I ended up showing up at the festival empty handed with no GH materials on me at all except one size small women’s tank top from Gaia Festival last year.  So what did you think I did Sunday morning at sunrise?  I marched around and found the best looking people still dancing past dawn, asked/demanded they put on my shirt, and took pictures of them for your viewing pleasure. 

Thank you GH for sending me to Lightning in a Bottle!  I’m so excited to be working closer with you this year helping to bring hydroponic knowledge, new product information, bacon, and good vibes to festivals this summer.  Look for me and GH at Sonic Bloom, Electric Forest, Gaia Festival, and more. (I promise to have stickers on me.) 

 

 

High Tech Garden Supply

HTG Supply is a retail indoor garden center that began life in Pennsylvania. Today the company has expanded to 10 stores in 7 states. There stores have a great selection of products and educated staff members.

The GH train recently stopped by their location in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts for a visit. What a nice store with great plant displays, side-by-side trials, even a fish tank that looks like a clone machine! Or is it a clone machine taking advantage of a highly oxygenated water pool for happy fish? Either way it’s pretty sweet!

HTG MA staff is doing a detailed trial of several of the industry leading nutrients, check out the article and more on the HTG Blog:

http://massachusetts.htgsupply.com/?p=67#more-67

FLORA DUO, the 21st century nutrient from GH, the NEW NEW from the leader in hydroponic nutrient technology. Expect nothing but the highest quality from the General….always in all ways.

Sustainability,Quality,Simplicity,Innovation

This is not a tagline, this is the lifeblood of what drives each of us at GH, and we are so happy when we are able to share our success with the world.

Flora DUO – amazing results with NO supplementation….stacking plants, short intermodal distance, lush green, white amazing roots and this is by itself!!! What is going to happen when adding a little touch of RapidStart in vegetative, Floralicious Plus throughout the cycle, and Liquid Kool Bloom during regeneration? Even more amazing results.
We are very happy with the results and are excited for the details that follow with this trial from HTG Mass. If you are in the Massachusetts area, head over the HTG and check’em out.

Peas are a snap with Subculture M

I have been growing some Sugar Snap Peas on the porch here in Detroit for about a month. All the peas were started from seeds that I germinated in a cup of water and planted directly into ProMix with no cuts or additives. I decided I wanted to do a side by side with the Subculture M for a blog post and here are the results.

I planted about 20 total Sugar Snap Peas and added Subculture M to two of the 20 plants when the seed was potted. They all have been kept outside (temps ranging from as low as 38ºF and a peak of 89ºF) since the seeds were planted and been watered with nothing but tap water (except a few spring showers) that was bubbled and left out to evaporate any chlorine.

As you can see the Subculture M had a very noticeable affect on both the size/height of the plant as well as node spacing and lateral branching. The difference was so great that the ones provided with the beneficial bacteria needed to be staked up due to the vertical growth and array of side shooting branches. The two testers without Subculture M (as well as the other 16 planted originally) are about half the height of the Subcultured peas and are also slowing a slight nutrient deficiency. Some of the side shoots from the peas with Subculture M are just as tall as the entire plant without subculture! Proof is in the pudding and anytime I plant something in soil, Subculture M will surely be included in the premix!

GO GH!!

Ah yes, crisitunity!


There is a common motivational trope that the Chinese word for “crisis” is also “opportunity”. Well, boy did I have a crisitunity late last month. With the quick arrival of summer-y weather in Northern California, I thought I would give my basement WaterFarm tomato plant a relocation into the warm, sunny clime of my back deck. The snow fairy tomato plant had been growing and thriving pretty well throughout the winter, but I figured some fresh air would do it good.

Sadly, in the relocation process, the stalk snapped in two. Fortunately, my green-thumbed wife decided it was not the end of the world. We planted to the main stalk and root system into a CocoTek planter. We cut the healthy stems off and dropped them into some jars with a light FloraNova Grow solution and a drop or two of RapidStart.

After a week, the main stalk perished in its new environs. However, the stems in their jars were flourishing. So one evening after the day had cooled off, we transplanted one of the stems in to the planter, and after a few days, it seems right at home (center of image below). I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how they fare the rest of the season.

Gen Hydro and The Greenhouse Project

NY Sunworks Project Greenhouse

General Hydroponics has been working with NYSunworks for a couple years now, sponsoring their efforts to implement hydroponic education in NYC public schools throughout the city. So many valuable math and science lessons can be used as learning tools for children (and adults!). Over the past year GH has donated nutrients and systems to various public schools throughout NYC – the most popular systems are the AeroFlo systems.

Last Monday night was a benefit fundraiser to raise funds and awareness to the amazing work NYSunworks is doing. At this gala event, one of the featured products for auction was GH Rainforest system. Big names like Russell Simmons and Cameron Diaz were in attendance. Gen Hydro also provided gift bags to all the attendees that featured our FloraDuo nutrients.

We are so happy to be a part this wonderful organization, for more information:
nysunworks.org
nysunworks.org/thegreenhouseproject

The Green Monster

Do you have slimy primordial hydroton or green Secret-of-the-Ooze growing media? I have a cheap fix for you. CocoTek Mats!

Algae can form on media when a top drip system provides water and you or the sun provides the light. Throw in some delicious nutrients and you have a green goblin loose in your system.

Last summer I had a WaterFarm and a PowerGrower on my back deck. As the temperature started to rise I noticed algae was developing on my hydroton. I had some leftover pieces of a 1/4″ thick CocoTek mat so I cut out a square and a hexagonal shape. I then poked a hole in the middle and cut a straight line down the center of the piece so that I could wrap it around the base of the stem. This covered up the hydroton which prevented the algae from being able to photosynthesize the sunlight and multiply. Just a week later the slime was no more.

The protection from light supplied by the CocoTek mat is an additional benefit to the root zone as the darkness encourages root growth. I was surprised to find that only 3 weeks after fitting the mats I had roots that were growing up into the bottom of the coco mat through the hydroton. The coco was providing additional area and support for my roots and since it was wet and dark the roots started growing vertically. The CocoTek also allows for air to easily circulate back into the plant and this prevents the root zone and top layers from getting excess heat.

Let me know if you have any other tricks up your sleeve to prevent algae growth. Grow green, but only in your canopy!

Tasty Tomato

Late last year, I received a call from a retail hydro store owner who had a customer interested in purchasing 100 of our 6′ AeroFlo chambers! I thought to myself, “Yeah right. This is a dead end. Nobody sets up 100 Aeroflo chambers.” I was wrong. Mark, owner of Tasty Tomato does.

Tasty Tomato is located in beautiful Steamboat Springs Colorado. At 6,732′ above sea level, the growing season for tomatoes is very short. Hmmm, indoor climate controlled growing? But of course!

Mark grows many varieties of beautiful pesticide free, heirloom tomatoes which he sells directly to high end restaurants and at local farmers markets. I bet the other growers at the farmers markets are green with envy. “Who does that guy think he is? Heirloom tomatoes in the middle of a Colorado winter. The audacity!” Well, this ain’t your grand daddy’s farm buddy. This is 21st century farming and you either change with the times or let them pass you by.

Check out the photo gallery from Marks grow room. Impressive to say the least. He uses our Rapid Rooter trays to germinate his heirloom seeds. Then the seedlings are transplanted into our patented RainForest aeroponic system to get a jump start. No system on the market today produces growth rates like the RainForest.

Then, when they are established and ready to start bearing fruit, it’s off the AeroFlo chambers. This is where it really gets amazing. Mark doesn’t mess around.

Within several weeks, the plants go from mature seedlings to mature fruit! You can’t do that in soil. SCIENCE! Due to overwhelming demand, Mark outgrew his space and moved into a 3000 square foot facility. To produce the equivalent amount of tomatoes would require roughly three times the amount of square footage in a soil garden. Not to mention that in a place like Steamboat Springs, you would be hard pressed to even get mature fruit by the end of the season. Mark gets tomatoes year round!

Of course this can be scaled down to fit your families needs. You can do a small hydroponic system in a South facing window and get some year round homegrown produce. Or, build a small grow room with artificial lighting and climate control. It will cost a little and your produce will end up being more expensive than what you would pay at the grocery store. But, it’s all about priorities. Have you tasted a tomato from a supermarket lately. Of course you haven’t because they have no taste! Flavorless, mealy and probably covered in pesticides. So, what are you waiting for? Get growing, get healthy and get General Hydroponics nutrients and growing systems. It’s easier than you think!

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