A. No! We've taken all of the hard work in gardening out of the equation. The PHOTOTRON is a "plug and play" device, making even the most apprehensive individual feel like a seasoned gardener in no time. Simply follow the user manual included with your PHOTOTRON.
Q1. Do I need special training to use the PHOTOTRON?
Q2. What will the PHOTOTRON do for my plants?
A. The PHOTOTRON provides an optimal growing environment for any variety of plant you wish to grow, with faster growth rates and much higher yields than when utilizing traditional gardening methods. PHOTOTRON owners report unheard of plant productivity that compares to the yields only veteran growers typically achieve. You can expect professional results, even with limited experience.
Q3. What kind of plants can I grow inside the PHOTOTRON?
A. The PHOTOTRON provides an ideal growing environment for most plants. We provide a list of recommended plants in the What You Can Grow section of our website.
Q4. Does it matter what kind of seeds I plant in the PHOTOTRON?
A. The seeds and variety of plants that you choose is an extremely important part of growing and will have a huge affect on the health and success of your crop. We recommend seeds of the highest quality with high germination rates.
Q5. What gardening tools will I need?
A. You will need a large measuring cup and a pair of pruning shears
Q6. Can the PHOTOTRON be used as a transplanting, cloning, rooting unit?
A.nbsp;Yes, the PHOTOTRON provides an ideal environment for all of these advanced gardening techniques.
Q7. Why do you recommend reverse osmosis or distilled water?
A. Water quality is critical when growing plants hydroponically. Using reverse osmosis or distilled water can remove up to 99% of the minerals and other impurities present in water.
Q8. Is it ok to use tap water?
A. Tap water is not ideal. Tap water usually contains high levels of sulphates, iron, or chlorides which are particularly detrimental when mixing hydroponic nutrients. Furthermore, most tap water is considered "hard water" and should be avoided when growing hydroponically. Unintended reactions between minerals in the tap water and the hydroponic nutrients will likely occur, changing the composition of the plant food.
Q9. What is "hard water?
A. Hard water contains too much dissolved calcium and/or magnesium. If the water in your home is above 1 GPG (grains per gallon), you have hard water.
Q10. How do I know if I have "hard water?
A. In the United States about 85% of homes have hard water, so the chances are high that you do. If the faucets in your home have an opaque build-up, then you probably have hard water. Contact your local water municipality or local health department to find out about the water quality in your area.
Q11. Can I use water from a water softener?
A. NO! This type of water is deadly to plants and should never be used to feed plants growing inside a PHOTOTRON. The salts that are present will create a toxic saline condition for plant growth.
Q12. Can I use water from a "purified" water kiosk?
A. Water from kiosks is often acidified as a result of purification and may have a pH as low as 4.0.
Q13. What should the pH level be in my PHOTOTRON?
A. 5.5 to 6.2 is an ideal pH range for most plants.
Q14. I normally just water my plants. Why do I have to use nutrients in the PHOTOTRON?
A. Soil contains fertilizers that are released and made available to the plant roots each time you add water. Since hydroponics is growing without soil you must provide those nutrients for your plants.
Q15. How do I know when to add nutrient solution?
A. If the puddle of nutrient solution located in the cleared area of sphagnum is no longer present from the previous day, you should give your plants the recommended amount of nutrient solution shown on thePHOTOTRON feed CHART.
Q16. Can you explain the "puddle" that I am supposed to maintain?
A. Keep a small area free of sphagnum moss so that you are able to visually check the amount of nutrient solution that is present in the bottom of the PHOTOTRON. After adding the recommended amount of nutrient solution you should be able to see that a puddle was created. Over the course of 24 hours, this puddle will be taken up by the plants and should be completely gone before adding additional nutrient the following day.
Q17. If I keep the sphagnum very wet, will my plants grow faster?
A. No! In fact, saturated media is problematic for plants and should be avoided as this dramatically reduces the amount of oxygen available to roots. Most plants enjoy when moisture conditions in the growing media go through a natural cycle of drying out followed by rehydration. Over-watered plants often develop algae or fungal growth on the media. This problem can be compounded with the arrival of fungus gnats.
Q18. Can a store bought fertilizer like Miracle-Gro be substituted for the PHOTOTRON nutrients?
A. NO, fertilizers of this nature are prepared for use in soil. We offer a complete line of hydroponic nutrients specifically tested and packaged for the PHOTOTRON that contains all the micro and macro nutrients required for optimal plant growth in this environment. Other hydroponic nutrients could be corrosive and may actually cause damage to the PHOTOTRON base.
Q19. Can I use pesticides inside the PHOTOTRON?
A. Do not use harmful pesticides. If a pest issue does occur there are organic alternatives. GrowLife offers Neem Oil which can be used as a foliar spray to manage your pest population. Keeping the PHOTOTRON clean and free of debris, prior to set up and throughout the growing cycle will help reduce the risk of pests. Also, make sure that any fallen or dead plant material is removed from the PHOTOTRON regularly.
Q20. How do I keep my PHOTOTRON clean?
A. 1:10 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water will make an effective cleaning solution. Simply spray on the interior surface of the PHOTOTRON and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Always follow this regimen before introducing new plants into the PHOTOTRON.
Q21. Can I cause (induce) my plants to flower?
A. Moving your plant from the vegetative cycle to the bloom cycle can be accomplished simply by changing the light cycle (photoperiod) to 12 hours "ON" and 12 hours "OFF" and using our Bloom nutrient formula.
Q22. Some of the leaves on my plants are limp. What should I do?
A. Check the media inside the PHOTOTRON. If it is dry, add the recommended amount of nutrients for the type and growth stage of your crop. Also, make sure that the PHOTOTRON is not located in a room that has little air circulation or remains too hot throughout the day.
Q23. Is algae on the growing media a concern?
A. This is not typically a problem. Algae is a natural by-product of nutrient rich media and light. If algae is growing on the surface of your sphagnum, this may indicate that you might be over-watering each time or are not allowing the puddle to completely disappear before re-watering.
Q24. The light bulbs feel warm, will they harm my plants?
A. The light bulbs do produce heat that may turn foliage brown. Keep your plants pruned so that the leaves do not come in contact with the bulbs.
Q25. Can I remove some of the light bulbs to save electricity?
A. No, the lighting inside of the PHOTOTRON has been specifically designed to reach all areas of the plant. Altering the configuration will certainly decrease plant productivity and potential yields. Removing bulbs would also leave electrical connections exposed, creating a potentially dangerous fire hazard. But don't worry, the PHOTOTRON is extremely energy efficient.
Q26. Can I cover the PHOTOTRON at night to darken the room it is located in?
A. No, the PHOTOTRON should never be covered. The air vents and fans need access to the ambient environment so that unobstructed gas exchange can occur. Airflow is critical for optimal plant productivity.
Q27. Can my PHOTOTRON be kept outside?
A. No, the PHOTOTRON was designed for indoor use and should be kept in an environment of 65-85°. This growing technology allows for plant production all year round.
Q28. How do I know when to harvest?
A. Fruits and vegetables should be harvested as soon as they appear ripe. Leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach can be harvested continually throughout the growing period or you can harvest the entire plant at the end of the 8 week growing cycle. Make sure you remove the entire plant at this time or it will begin to bolt.
High-end flowers and herbs should be harvested first thing in the morning, or just after the lights come on in your system.
Q29. What does germination mean?
• Germination times vary from plant to plant but a good general rule of thumb is that most seeds take approximately 7 to 10 days.
o Exceptions to this rule would be strawberries and hot peppers because their germinations may take as longs as 2-3 weeks with optimum soil temperature.
• Germination is slowed by low temperatures and sped up by high temperatures.
o Temperatures under 50 *F or above 95 *F are unfavorable for germination.
Q30. What is a seedling?
• A seedling is a very young plant in the infancy of its growth cycle and was started from a seed as opposed to from a cutting.
• As soon as the seed has sprouted, the seedling stage in a plant’s life cycle begins.
Q31. How long is a plant a seedling?
• Plants are considered seedlings while they are relatively small and are beginning to establish the first few sets of true leaves.
• More often than not a seedling is ready for transplant once it has reached 4–5” in height and has established roots that you can see when inspecting the underside of the material where you planted the seed.
Q32. What is the vegetative cycle of plant growth?
• The vegetative cycle of plant growth is characterized by vigorous stem and leaf growth which is intended to supply the fruits with food and structural support.
Q33. What is the Flowering/Bloom cycle of plant growth?
• The Flowering/Bloom cycle of plant growth is characterized by the development of reproductive structures (flowers) for the purposes of fertilization.