Electrical Conductivity (EC) measures a material's ability to conduct an electric current and the conductivity of a solution is directly related to the amount of salts dissolved in it. The more salts, the higher the EC. Why is this relevant to hydroponic gardening? Well, hydroponic nutrients are primarily composed of mineral salts, so Electrical Conductivity can give you an idea of how many nutrients are in your solution. Each ion in the solution has a different specific conductivity and … [Read more...] about Electrical Conductivity and hydroponic gardening
Most gardeners know lumens to be the “measure of the total ‘amount’ of visible light emitted by a source.” What they often do not know is that this “visible light” only refers to light that is visible to the human eye with no regard to the distribution of that light energy over the spectrum. Why does this matter? Imagine three lamps: let these lamps be red, blue, and green, and let each emit the same number of watts of optical energy. On a lumen scale, the red and blue lamps would have a much … [Read more...] about Plant Lighting Pt 1: Plants see PAR, humans see Lumens
With houseplants, most pest problems stem from a separate issue: water, light, relative environment, and/or nutrients. Healthy plants are much more capable of resisting pests than plants under environmental stresses. So a good start to combat pests is to provide favorable conditions to start with, but there are also some methods to handle outbreaks after they happen. By taking preventative measures and considering environmental conditions, problems can be avoided before they manifest. While … [Read more...] about Houseplant Care Series Pt. 6: Common Houseplant Pests
Flushing is often regarded as something that should be done at the end of your plant’s life cycle before harvesting. In reality, flushing has three major roles that benefit both the plants and you, the gardener, throughout the whole growth cycle. Flushing: 1) Keeps the growing medium and reservoirs clean 2) Keeps root zones and plants happy and healthy 3) Improves taste and aroma by removing excess chemicals and nutrients from plant tissue Flushing regularly (up to every 7-10 days) removes … [Read more...] about To flush or not to flush?
At Fifth Season, we hear about and see all sorts of cool DIY projects, A couple years ago I came across bottle gardening, and recently I tried my hand at it. These gardens can be as simple as one bottle inverted on itself, or as elaborate as a window-sized unit with stacks of suspended bottles, linked by a drip system and all fed by submersible pumps. At this point, you might ask - why a bottle garden? Well, many people, such as those in apartments or other small living spaces, don’t have access … [Read more...] about How to make your own DIY bottle garden
Spring and summer are great times to practice hydroponics outdoors without expensive lighting systems, but indoors or out, we’re all going to be battling the heat and the stresses it can cause to our plants. Decaying, dying, and dead root material can be the bane of many hydroponic (and some soil) growers - especially during the warm summer months! As gardeners, we must remember that as the temperature in the root zone increases, the rate of respiration of the root tissue also increases. … [Read more...] about Battling heat and root problems
When most people think about feeding their houseplants, they only consider the three numbers on plant food labels: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. There are a few other items, however, that can greatly improve the health and beauty of houseplants. These additives are used in conjunction with other nutrients. Three favorites that are frequently recommended at Fifth Season are kelp, silica, and neem. The first additive, kelp, is a wondrous addition to any feeding regimen, as it helps to … [Read more...] about Houseplant Care Series Pt. 5: Additives
So you're interested in propagating plants via cuttings? Once you've mastered the basics, the next step is to give your plants the best opportunity to switch from producing green stem cells to manufacturing root cells. Giving your plant root-stimulating hormones will increase your chance of successful plant rooting and help your plant develop higher quality roots at a faster rate. While there are many plants that root on their own (often just in a cup of water), these roots are never as … [Read more...] about Cloning Nutrients: What’s the difference?
Light Emitting Ceramic technology is getting a lot of attention from indoor growers, and we thought it would be great for our customers to know a bit more about these innovative lighting systems. What: Light Emitting Ceramics are a new iteration of the classic HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps. The superior ceramic tube allows the bulb to burn at a higher temperature, creating light much closer to the sun’s*. Being able to operate more efficiently at higher temperatures means a boost in … [Read more...] about An Introduction to LEC Light Systems
Fairy Gardening has been gaining in popularity over the last couple years and here at Fifth Season we have jumped in with both feet. A visit to either the Carrboro store or the Charlottesville store will carry away your imagination with the possibilities of the magical spaces you can create. People build these little worlds for a variety of reasons: to pique or sate their curiosity, that of others, to bring the inside in, to play in a garden year round, to entertain children, and many more … [Read more...] about Fairy Gardening: The Why, Where and How