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Updates from our Lab

We wanted to send out a quick update with some data and media from the Advanced LED Lab.  We’ve been running Roma tomatoes in two parcels using a 600w HPS and a Diamond Series XML350.  As you can see in the video below, the XML350 is actually outproducing the 600w HPS running at double the wattage.  This is the second of many split tests we will run against these two lights.  The next run will be cucumbers and determinate tomatoes.

We have also been running some comparison datasheets between not only HPS but also other LED grow lights.  Here’s a quick preview of a couple side by side views of competing lights below.  These two competitor’s lights are supposed to be all “high powered 5w LEDs” but as you can tell one of them is lying.  The Diamond Series 200w smashed the fake 5w light that was running at over 275w and being sold as a 400w.  For more updates and test, make sure you check back!

200w Competitor (Left) – Diamond Series 200w (Right)

200w Competitor

Fake “5w” 400W (left) – Diamond Series 200w (Right)

Fake "5w" 400W

Preventing Pests in your Organic Garden

organic garden pestsStarting your own organic garden is a fun hobby to partake in and is something that more and more people are doing. With an organic garden not only are you able to enjoy the healthy plants you can produce, but you will also be able to save more money in the long run as compared to some other types of gardens. With organic gardening you won’t need to worry about buying fertilizers, which can get expensive, as you will instead recycle the compost to help your plants grow. The other great thing that people love about organic gardens are the fact that the plants produced are more nutritious. The plants you grow in an organic garden contain more minerals and vitamins compared to the traditionally grown plants and even taste better some of the time.

For those looking to start their own organic garden, there is the potential that you could run into a lot of different issues with one of the bigger ones dealing with pests. If you ask most gardeners what one of bigger issues they have to deal with, a lot of them will mention dealing with pests as they can quickly do damage to your plants and vegetables. A friend of mines recently spent a lot of time with the setup of her own garden and everything was going well until here plants started getting infested by pests that destroyed what she was growing.

If you are interested in starting an organic garden and want to avoid the risk of your plants being affected by pests, these are some things that you should think about doing:

  • Always remember that prevention is the key when it comes to dealing with pests. Do not let pests destroy your garden. You can do this by following simple measures such as removing weeds and decaying matter in your garden and try not to leave plant clippings and other materials that can attract pests.
  • Do not leave your garden with wet spots. Small pools of water can attract pests. Be sure that your garden has a proper runoff to avoid this issue.
  • You can use beneficial insects such as thrips, ladybugs and lacewings as they usually feast on the different pests that will attack your garden.
  • If your plants already have a pest infestation, you can spray them with water and soap solution that can help to get rid of it while not damaging your plants.
  • If needed, you can build a chicken wire around your plants to prevent bigger pests from getting to your garden

Starting an organic garden is a relaxing hobby to have but you need to make sure that you take certain precautions to avoid it being affected by pests, as it could cause you more stress than relaxation.

Starting an Indoor Vegetable Garden

indoor garden tipsHave you ever dreamed of having your indoor vegetable garden? If the answer to this question is yes, then this post is for you. When it comes to setting up an indoor vegetable garden, a lot of the time people worry about the lack of space they may have for it, but starting one doesn’t take up a lot of room and can easily be started from your home.

Growing vegetables indoors does have its advantages as compared to outdoor gardening, which is one of the reasons why it has become more popular. Some advantages include better control of temperature, not having to worry about as many pests, fewer risks for vegetables to develop diseases as well as faster growth and development.

If you are interested in setting up your own indoor vegetable garden, these are some things that you should think about that can help you with the process:

  • For growing your vegetables, you have the option to either grow your plants using soil or water. Figuring out which is the best option will depend on your desired setup that can either be the traditional soil gardening or the more advanced water-based hydroponics system. Just as long as you do what you’re supposed to for each option, you should not have problems with your garden. It is recommended though that if you are just getting into indoor gardening, you should go with soil-filled containers as it takes up less time and is easier to maintain.
  • For indoor gardens, one of the most important considerations is the lighting. The amount of light your plants need depends on many factors such as type and variety. If you want to boost the health of your plants, you can use either HPS or LED grow lights. Both are effective grow lights that will help your vegetables grow.
  • If you will be using LED lights, it is recommended to purchase a blue-colored wavelength spectrum light for your plants. One of the advantages of going with LED lights is the fact that they do not produce the same amount of heat as compared to HPS grow lights and as a result it will allow you to put them closer to the plants without burning them.
  • Do not forget to water your plants regularly. No matter what type of vegetable you are growing, it needs water to grow. To see if your plants need water, just do the pat test. Check the soil of your plant to see if it is damp and if your soil is dry, it is time to water your plant with more water.

These are just some things to think about that can help you setup the indoor vegetable garden you have always wanted to start.

Choosing the Best Lights for your Indoor Garden

indoor garden lightingIndoor gardening hobbyists know that one of the most important factors for their indoor garden is lights they use. Since indoor gardens usually do not have access to natural sources of light they need to find other ways for their plants to get it so they grow healthily. With this, one of the most important decisions for your indoor garden will be deciding on the best artificial light for your plants in order to ensure proper growth and development for them.

To help with your decision of which type of light is right for your seedlings and plants, here are some considerations and guidelines that you need to consider:

  • You should remember that seedlings need bright light. Without adequate light, the seedlings may become leggy and tall. One way to avoid this problem with your plants is to use fluorescent light.
  • One advantage of growing your plants under artificial light is that you can control the light’s intensity. Specifically, you can control the wattage of the bulb and the distance of the bulb to your plants. If the seeds are just starting to grow, it is recommended to use fluorescent bulbs because it will not produce too much heat. Try to position the bulbs a couple of inches above the foliage.
  • You should not use the regular incandescent bulbs when growing your seedlings because these bulbs can produce too much heat that will in turn burn your plants.
  • When using fluorescent lights, you can raise it once a week to maintain a 3 to 4 inches distance from your bulb to the plant. I personally recommend to help make the process easier to choose a light stand that is adjustable so it can be easily moved.
  • The duration of your plant’s exposure to light will depend on the type of plant that you have. For most vegetables, they usually require 14 to 18 hours of light exposure. Do not forget to have a rest period for the plants, as there is the chance to overheat them. For the seedlings, turn-off the artificial light for at least 8 hours a day. To help with this, you should get a timer to help make sure your plants don’t get to much light.
  • You could consider full-spectrum light bulbs for your seedlings, as it is one of the better options as it can replicate the solar spectrum.

These are some things you should think about when deciding on what type of lighting you should have for your indoor garden.

Safety Tips for Setting up your Indoor Garden

indoor garden safetyThe prospect of setting up your own indoor garden can be very exciting especially for newbies who want to get into gardening. For some looking to setup their first grow area, they may overlook the importance of safety while setting everything up as they are only concerned about making sure their plants grow healthily.  Like anything in life, safety is important, as it will help prevent any accidents from happening.

If you are planning to setup your own indoor garden and want to know what things to do to make sure your setup has been done safely, these are some things you should know:

  • For your grow setup, you should always keep your wires and electric sockets dry at all times and also making sure no moisture gets into your sockets. Wet wires, plugs and electric sockets can increase the risk of fire and shock. To avoid any accidents, you should keep your indoor gardening equipment and power cords dry at all times and away from water when possible.
  • You should think twice before installing an automated sprinkler system for your plants. This may be a good idea especially for people who do not have time to water their plants regularly but the down side of this is the potential of it sprinkling water all over the place. As a result of this not only will your plants be getting water but so can all of your equipment. If you really want to use an automated sprinkler, make sure to run your wires and electric cables through the wall to avoid them getting wet.
  • Another thing that most people don’t think about doing is not overloading your extension cords. Most gardeners use extension cords for their equipment and at times can plug quite a few in it. When using extension cords you should be cautious and not plug in to many devices into it, as there is the risk of overloading it. You should remember that your devices generate heat when plugged in and with too many devices plugged into it; the wires of your extension cord will heat up and could lead to a fire.
  • You should also avoid using space heaters on your extension cord. A space heater can help warm your grow room, but it should never be plugged into an extension cord.
  • High-intensity discharge (HID) and High-pressure sodium (HPS) are effective grow lights that many gardeners use but they also produce a lot of heat when used. Due to this a lot of indoor gardeners recommend the use of LED grow lights for indoor gardens, as it is the safest to use.

When setting up your indoor garden there are definitely a lot of things to think about to make sure your plants grow well, but you also need to make sure your setup is safe to avoid any accidents!

Recommended Houseplants for People with Allergies

indoor plantsIf you are living with bad allergies, there is a chance that you may need to avoid different types of plants as much as you can as it could cause you to have an attack. Certain types of plants can cause you to get a runny nose, uncontrollable sneezing and eye irritation due to the fact that you are allergic to them. If this is something you or someone you know has to deal with, we wanted to create a list of some indoor plants you can have inside your home that possibly wouldn’t cause your allergies to act up.

One of the best types of plants to have in your home that can prevent your allergies from acting up is the Lady Palm. Also known as Rhapis, this plant is popular for its thick green leaves that are rounded at the tips and can reach up to 13 feet in height. With it being able to grow that high, you will need to prune it regularly to control its size. The Lady Palm is one of the most popular indoor plants because it can adapt well even inside the house, which isn’t the case for other plants that need an ample supply of sunlight.

Another type of plant you can consider having that shouldn’t cause your allergies to act up is the Bamboo Palm. Also known as Chamaedorea, the Bamboo Palm is one of the best indoor plants for people with allergies. One of the reasons why it is so popular is the broad fern-like leaves and bushy foliage that can look great in your home. The Bamboo Palm can grow up to 8 feet tall and can survive without much light getting to it, though it is recommended to give it as much as possible so it can grow healthy.

You may also consider the Swedish Ivy, which is a great indoor plant for those who have problems with their allergies. Also known as Plectranthus verticillatu, this plant is well liked for its green and glossy leaves and how it grows into vines originating from the base of the plant. The Swedish Ivy is a great plant for indoor hanging where you can basically put it almost anywhere near your window so it can get some light to grow.

If none of these plants interest you, others you can consider are the Areca Palm, the English Ivy, the Spider plant, the Peace lily, as well as many others. The easiest way to tell if a plant is going to cause bad reactions for your allergies is to do as much research as you can to make sure that the plant you choose is the right one for your health.

Understanding Full-Spectrum Grow Lights

indoor lightsFor indoor gardeners, grow lights have become essential to their setup as they help ensure that all of their plants grow well and healthy. With grow lights being popular among indoor garden enthusiasts, we have seen a lot of technological developments when it comes to these artificial light sources. From the traditional incandescent bulbs, we have now been introduced to full-spectrum grow lights.

Before going into details about this type of light, you need first to understand that there are two types of light in the world with them being visible and ultraviolet light. As the name implies, the visible light is the type of light that we can see. It is comprised of the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Since this light is visible to the eye, bulb manufacturers focus on this type of light. On the other hand, the sun produces the ultraviolet light. You need to remember that this type of light, even if it is invisible to the eye, can help plants to grow healthy.

With full-spectrum lights, you can almost harness the same power as the sun and is one of the reasons why it is one of the most powerful lights in the market today. For full-spectrum lights, these are something’s that you should know about them to see if they are the right fit for you and your indoor garden:

  • According to experts, full-spectrum grow lights can produce bigger plant harvests in a shorter period of time. Aside from having a healthier harvest, you can also expect your plants to have faster growth and development due to the power of these types of lights.
  • Full-spectrum grow light can mimic the UV rays from the sun, which helps your plants grow better due to more light reaching them. These types of grow lights can emit light with a different wavelength that makes it invisible to the naked human eye.
  • Since this type of grow light is considered advanced, it can be very expensive. Even though it may cost more than some other types of lights, it is still considered a smart investment due to it providing almost the same power of the sun as well as helping your plants grow more healthily.

These are just some of the things that you need to know about full-spectrum grow lights. Even though it may be more expensive compared to the traditional bulbs, it is still preferred by many indoor gardeners due to way they help their plants grow better.

Setting up your Grow Area

Grow TentWe often think that bigger is always better from big cars to big houses. While this may be the case for something’s, bigger is not always better when it comes to grow setups specifically for grow tents and grow boxes. When it comes to grow setups, even smaller ones can be the best option for you as long as you take into consideration important factors.

If you are in the process of maybe setting up an indoor garden and are wondering what is the best setup for your needs, these are something’s that you should consider:

  • One of the first things you should consider is the location of the garden you want to setup. Some of the questions that you should ask include:

-       What is the size of the room that you have for this?

-       Can you accommodate a grow tent with the space that you have? You need to remember that a grow tent will take up a lot of space.

-       Does your room have access to water and power? You need to remember that a grow box might be more convenient and if you really want a grow tent, you need to install lines in specific areas for the electrical outlet and temperature control system.

-       Do I have enough time to devote in setting-up what needs to be fixed? A grow tent will take more of your time to setup. If you love DIY projects, the grow tent may be ideal for you.

-       Does the location have direct access to sunlight?

-       Is the location below your AC and heat vent? This is not ideal since leaks can go directly to your plants.

  • The second consideration is the cost. How much are you allocating for the grow setup? You need to remember that the size is directly related to the cost. The bigger the set-up and system, the more money you will need.
  • The third consideration is the time that you are willing to devote for setting up your grow area. For example, do you really want to do it on your own or do you possibly want to hire someone to help you? If you decide you want to use a grow tent instead of a simple grow box, it will most likely take up more of your time to setup. You also need to remember that there will be some costs to getting everything you need such as grow lights, fans, blowers and filters if you want something more complex so make sure you budget for it.

These are just some of the considerations that you need to look into when it comes to setting up an indoor garden. Whether you decide to use a grow tent or grow box, just make sure that you will be able to give your plants the care they need so they grow properly.

Getting to Know Hydroponics

gardeningDid you know that you could have a garden without using soil? Yes, you that heard right, and you can use this by using a method of growing plants called hydroponics. If you haven’t heard much about hydroponics and how it allows you to have a lush garden without using soil, we will be listing for you some useful facts that you should know about this amazing system of growing plants to see if it is something that you might consider using to start your own garden or improving the one you have.

  • With hydroponics, substrate mixes are used to grow healthy plants.
  • Even without soil, nutrients reach the plants by delivering them to the roots on a regular basis.
  • An advantage of hydroponics is that it’s very good for growing edible plants indoors.
  • When using this system for your garden, you do not have to worry about it costing a lot to start as the necessary equipment to get started isn’t that expensive. This is one of the main reasons why many commercial growers like using hydroponics as it helps them save money while allowing their plants to still grow well.
  • With this system, your plants can reach maturity quicker since you will not have any problems with pests and weeds.
  • An added bonus is that the hydroponics system does not require a lot of maintenance. This is ideal for growers who want a garden but don’t have a lot of time to maintain it.
  • There are different types of systems under hydroponics that you may choose from with all of them being easy to setup.
  • If you have never started a garden before and are interested in using hydroponics, getting everything setup is easy and shouldn’t take much time.
  • One of the more important things to consider when it comes to hydroponics is the nutrient solution. This should be given special consideration because in this system, the plants will not have access to micronutrients without the soil.
  • It is important to remember that you should not use just any fertilizer. You should purchase fertilizers that were specifically developed for the hydroponics system as it will make sure your plants grow the way they should.
  • To get the nutrients to the plant, you can consider using nutrient film, aeroponics and aggregate systems as these options will help make it easier.

Hydroponics has become a great way to start a garden and has many advantages as compared to the traditional garden with soil.

Raising Earthworms for your Garden

gardensIf you are a garden enthusiast, you may know by now that earthworms are great for your garden as they will help your plants grow more healthily. If you don’t know much about earthworms and how they can help your garden, what they do is break up the soil in your garden that helps create more channels for the water to seep in. With this, the water can reach even the smallest roots of your plants making sure it gets enough water to grow well. Earthworms are also responsible for breaking down detritus to create a very good fertilizer for your plants.

If you are thinking about using earthworms for your garden, these are some good things to know that can help make sure you use them correctly to get optimal results for your plants:

  • As mentioned earlier, earthworms can produce good fertilizer for your plants by breaking down detritus. This fertilizer has more potassium and nitrogen as compared to others. The nitrogen from the worms’ fertilizer is important in the production of protein and amino acid while the potassium is vital in the production of proteins. With this fertilizer that is created by the earthworms, it will help your plants grow better by giving them the things they need to get bigger.
  • If you are wondering where you can get these types of worms for your garden, they are available at bait and tackle shops. If you have the time, you can also try digging in your backyard soil to see if you can find some worms to use.
  • Another thing that you may also want to look into getting are earthworm homes. For this, you may put your worms in a box lined with newspapers or use plastic buckets where you can throw your vegetable garbage in it several times a week for them.
  • You can also drain worm tea from them, which is very nutritious for plants, by opening the valve on the spigot of your earthworm home to get it out. The tea can be sprayed directly to your plants and provide it the nutrients needed to grow better.
  • It is important that you sprinkle the whole plant with the fertilizer for more nutrients to be absorbed. If you only spray portions of the plant, it won’t work grow properly.

These are just some things that you need to know when it comes to raising earthworms for your garden that can help make sure your plants grow better.