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Q:

Where I live power outages are a common nuisance for me and my grow. They rarely last a few hours, although occasionally longer. This has been creating several problems for me including the fact that the lighting cycle gets all messed up in flowering, and it’s even caused some hermaphrodites as a result. I am a smaller scale grower and coupled with the fact that I live in an apartment doesn’t make a generator seem like a good solution for me.

Any ideas, especially where it comes to keeping the lighting cycle? Sick of picking out the seeds here :P

Q:

Pleased to say that growing has been tremendously successful for me, but I am not writing in to brag, lol. Early in my career I had a couple of good crops and just kept investing any gains back into expanding my grows or making them better.

Q:

I have been growing for a while and have started to research ways to improve my garden. I know there are lots of different light sources to choose from, but what I want to know more about is spectrum. It seems that even if I want to stick with HID or whether I switch to LED or even Plasma, I have some choices to make regarding spectrum. I love the way my plants look and grow in veg under my high output fluorescent lighting which is full spectrum. What about full spectrum lighting for the bloom phase? Everyone says you’ve got to use HPS (orange light) or don’t expect much. What do you think?

Q:

Once I started growing it was easy to see that there are a lot of hydroponics shops in my area. I got a lot of used gear from a friend to get going, but I am now starting to build more growing space and need to buy some new growing gear. How do I know I am shopping at the right place? Also, is there some kind of secret handshake or something for getting a better price? (LOL)

Q: A question to follow up on your midnight moves RAW! a few columns ago: How do you know when it's time to move your grow? Moving is a hassle and hard on your plants, so you don't want to have to uproot unnecessarily. But at the same time, you want to protect your ability to grow your preferred crop in privacy. Sometimes you have to get out of Dodge immediately, but an itchy trigger finger is only going to set you back. How do you know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em?

Q: I have been reading your Ask Erik columns and feature articles for over ten years now, and it’s been cool to see your solutions and thoughts regarding growing, especially hydroponics under lights, evolving and changing with the industry.  Sometimes I look at your contributions as “the chicken or the egg first” kind of thing.  We have definitely seen a few trends surface after you go ahead and tell readers about something new in our industry.

Q: Discovering growing for profit has been a real blessing in my life. Finally, I have an outlet where I can be creative, learn new things and reap some very nice rewards. What I have found is that I always get my best crops when I put the most time in. However, I want to be able to get away from the garden once in a while to enjoy some other things in life that I am now financially able to pursue, and for more than just a few hours.

Q:

Hey, what do you recommend as the maximum number of lights I can run on a residential power service? I plant to run 1000 watt HPS lamps on digital ballasts.

Q: Do you think it’s a good idea to keep a strain exclusive to yourself? A friend of mine has got a really killer strain on the go that he stumbled upon out of some random seeds he had. Everyone loves it, and he isn’t willing to sell any cuttings, not even to close friends.

Q:

The more I grow, the more I pay for electricity. Where I live we pay a premium when electrical consumption is past what the power company determines to be average for residential consumption. Having a few pints with my grower buddies has revealed a pretty wide band of methods to save power - from minimal savings to what might be bordering on criminal. I want to reduce my power bill, but I also don’t want to create a situation that is going to jeopardize my grow or electrical safety. What can you recommend?

Q:

I have been trying to find a suitable location for a mid-scale growing operation and prospective landlords don’t seem comfortable with the fact that I will be using the property for growing purposes.  Basically, I never hear back from them after I mention I am going to be growing.

If you are just joining in, this is part three - our final instalment answering a popular growing question for those involved in successful and expanding growing enterprises: how-to find, hire and manage good folks to be a part of your growing family. If you missed the previous articles in this series, you can check them out by clicking here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Last time we were together (click here to read Part 1 of this series), we acknowledged that at some point in your growing expansions there is going to be a need for some hired hands because the size of your operation and growing ambitions have expanded beyond merely getting a little casual help from friends from time to time.

Q:

I have been growing for almost three years now. Every harvest, I have invested a portion of my profits back into my gear, so the operation has been expanding since my first crop. While I am not short on space or places to set-up new grows, what I am short on is sets of hands. My grower friends are often too busy to help out and my non-grower buddies are stuck at their nine to five jobs, so getting extra sets of hands and eyes has been a little sporadic. One of the things I have been learned in part through the growing articles in your magazine is that it’s important to stay on top of things and to make sure they get done when they need to. “Tomorrow” is just not an option for me because part of my personal goals here are to maximize production in my cropping calendar. This means nipping things in the bud right away.

Q:

I have a growing business and I want to cater to select clientele. Basically, I want to get more of the right kind of customer on board with what I have to offer, especially since I am in the process of expanding on the growing end of things.

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