What's On The Grow

  • Tips For Keeping Optimum Grow Room Temperatures During The Warm Summer Months

    Thermometer

    One thing we can never be certain of when living in the British Isles is whether we’ll have a hot summer or not as let’s face it, no 2 consecutive years ever seem to be the same these days! One thing we can be sure of is that temperatures will rise, by how much, who knows, but all indoor growers need to be prepared for the warmer months ahead.

    If LED’s are your grow light of choice, you’ve already eliminated one of the main heat sources which can help grow room temperatures rise. If you’re using High Pressure Sodium (HPS) or Metal Halide (MH) lamps, like the vast majority of growers still do, then you’ll be fully aware the amount of heat they can produce. During the winter months, this can be helpful in rising grow room temperatures, but during the summer, can be a hindrance to say the least!

    There are however a few ways to overcome this…

    1. Use an Air Cooled reflector or Cool Tube. Yes, these can have a reduction in the light output, some say by around 10%, but, they not only help extract unwanted warm air making it easier to maintain grow room temperatures, they also allow the light to be physically placed a lot closer to the plants canopy, thus negating any output loss.

    2. If using a more traditional reflector, such as a Euro or an Adjust-A-Wing, try moving it higher than it usually would be, even just a few inches might be enough to help with air flow, keep temperatures down and it won’t affect the final yield as dramatically as some growers think.

    3. Use an Oscillating Fan (or fans) between the light and the top of the plants canopy. All grow rooms should be using these anyway to help keep the air moving, but during the summer if positioned correctly, can help to reduce the temperature. Some of our customers place the fan just under the canopy, blowing up towards the light, while others have it blowing between the light and top of the canopy.

    4. Switch the Lights On period to during the night, rather than following the natural hours of daylight. The night time is generally a few degrees cooler than during the day, which might just be enough to drop the grow room temperature to the desired level.

    It’s not just lights that can generate excessive heat. If using an intake fan for fresh air, make sure it’s being drawn from a different room, or location, that’s significantly cooler as this will help lower the overall temperature. Under no circumstances, especially during summer (unless using a passive intake), should air be pulled in from the same space as the grow room.

    Thermostatic fan speed controllers are also a worthy investment as the desired temperature can be set and the fan (or fans) will be adjusted automatically to help maintain it, too hot and the fan speed will increase, too cold and the speed with decrease. If budgets don’t stretch to a fully automated controller, manual fan speed controllers can also be used, but as you can’t always be in your grow room, these might become a hindrance more than a help if there are any spikes in temperature.

    If growing using a hydroponic or an automatic feeding system (such as an AutoPot) that require nutrient solutions to be pre-mixed and stored in a water tank (which is usually placed in or very close to the grow room), attention should be paid to the temperature. Too high and the solution will become an ideal breeding ground for algae, which also reduces the amount of available oxygen, and will lead to unhealthy plants producing poor yields, or in a worst case scenario, root bound diseases such as pythium.

    There are a couple of ways to combat this. If money is no object, then a Water Chiller is the obvious choice, starting at £300, they aren’t cheap, but will give peace of mind that the temperature of the nutrient solution will be constantly maintained. If a more DIY approach is preferred, a great tip is to fill empty bottles (your old nutrient bottles will do) with water, put them in the freezer, once frozen, place them in your nutrient tank. This will help lower the temperature but you might need to have several bottles in constant rotation so when one has thawed, it can be quickly replaced, rather than having to wait for it to freeze again!

    The warm days can also bring with it the increased chances of bugs invading your grow space, a simple solution is to cover all intakes with Bug Barriers. Made from fine mesh, they allow air to flow, but will stop any unwanted critters from entering the grow room. An even cheaper way is to cover intakes with ladies’ tights (for the fashion conscious, denier rating or colour are unimportant), but be warned, they aren’t as robust, or long lasting as Bug Barriers and an eye should be kept on them as any little rips or tears is an open door for a pest invasion.

    So there you go, a few tips to help keep your grow room at the optimum temperature, your plants healthy and producing high yields during the warm summer months.

  • May 30th Spring Bank Holiday Opening Times

    May-Spring-Bank-Holiday-2016

    Can you believe we’re getting to the end of May already? It’s almost the last Monday of the month, and with that the Spring Bank Holiday: another long weekend to just relax and give your plants a little TLC.

    We have some great offers on throughout May and June, so why not treat yourself (and your plants!) to some new gear? You can save a whopping £75.05 off the 2.4m x 2.4m x 2m Silverback Grow Tent, get 10% off Canna Professional Plus Soil Mix, 15% off the Multiphase Digital Fan Controller or grab some FREE Fly Catchers with a purchase of The Amazing Doctor Zymes Eliminator. We’ve also got some great offers across the entire Plant Magic Plus range, so pop across to our online store and check them all out!

    Whilst you’re off from work this Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 30th May, all four of our shops – Manchester, Burnley, Huddersfield & Flint – will still be open from 11am to 4pm for all your growing needs! Please keep in mind that any orders placed online over the weekend will not be dispatched until Tuesday 31st May. Have a good weekend and of course, happy growing!

  • A Big Thank You To All That Attended Our Birthday On Saturday!

    Thank You to all our customers & suppliers

    Now that the dust is starting to settle after Saturday’s 20th Birthday Celebrations in Manchester, we’d like to take this chance to say a massive thanks to not only the customers who turned up in force, but also the suppliers, manufacturers and of course the staff who helped the day to go smoothly.

    A few lucky customers managed to scoop some amazing prizes on the day, which wouldn’t have happened without the generosity of our suppliers so we’d like give a shout out to…

    AutoPot
    BioBizz
    Budmaster
    Canna
    Dutch Pro
    Gavita
    Highlight Horticulture
    HydroGarden
    Hydro Industry Direct
    Ikon International
    Kind LED
    Nutriculture
    Plantlife
    Plant Magic Plus
    Proactive Nutrients
    Shogun Fertilisers
    VitaLink

    But that’s not all, we managed to raise £481 on the day which will be donated to the Salford Children’s Holiday Camp, an amazing charity who have been been doing amazing work by providing safe, memorable and educational holidays near Prestatyn, North Wales, for underprivileged children from the Salford area since 1926.

    The money came from customers purchasing additional tickets for the Spin The Wheel game, or trying their luck on the Highlight Horticulture Top Gear Test Track Simulator. AutoPot also kindly donated a 4 Pot Complete System and Easy2Grow Kits with the proceeds from any sales going straight to the charity.

    We still have a handful of AutoPot Easy2Grow Kits available, they usually retail at £19.95, but you can grab one from our Manchester store for just £10, not only will you be saving nearly 50%, you’ll also be helping a worthy cause.

    Once again we’d like to thank everyone who turned up and supported the day of celebration, we all hope you had as much fun as we did and here’s some photos of the day...

  • Plantlife Kindly Donate Prizes For Spin The Wheel Tomorrow

    Plantlife

    As a late addition to the ever growing list of prizes that are up for grabs tomorrow at our 20th Birthday Bash, we'd like to say thank you to Plantlife for donating a selection of their more popular products, these include:

    - 5L Bottles of Micro, Grow & Bloom
    - 500ml bottles of Bud Boom, Bud Start, Fulvic Acid, Superb Kelp & Ton O Bud

    To be in with a chance of winning these, and a plethora of other fantastic prizes, visit our Manchester Store tomorrow, Saturday 14th May, between 11am to 4pm. On arrival you'll be given a Goodie Bag which contains a ticket entitling you to one go on our Spin The Wheel game.

  • HydroGarden To Bring LUMii & VitaLink To Our 20th Birthday Tomorrow!

    HydroGarden

    Another supplier we’re pleased to have at our 20th Birthday celebration, which if you didn't know happens tomorrowis HydroGarden who've been distributing specialist hydroponic equipment to the trade for 20 years.

    On the day they’ll be showcasing the VitaLink range, including the new VitaLink Turbo, and will also have the LUMii Slim Digital Ballast. The VitaLink range, made in the UK, includes bloom stimulator, a range of nutrients and additives and growing media and is suitable for use in hydroponics, coco coir and soil.

    To add to our huge list of prizes, HydroGarden have donated an 8” Q-Max AC Fan. The robust metal case contains sound insulation foam for a quiet running fan, yet is still lightweight and easy to mount. It has an integrated fan speed controller that allows for three speed variations, and contains a high quality 3D rotor-stator system.

    You can be part of this celebration too - everything will be happening on Saturday 14th May at Holland Hydroponics Manchester. We'll be there from 11am-4pm with our guest suppliers and brands, with prizes to be won all day!

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