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Outdoor Plant, Hydroponics Plant…Who’s Happier?

Sometimes you find out why hydroponics growing is better for flowers… Sometimes you find out why hydroponics growing is better for flowers…

The last time I took clones, I gave one to my neighbor who refuses to grow his plants in a hydroponics garden. He’s like a lot of people I see posting on hydroponics cultivation forums. The kind who think that you don’t need hydroponics nutrients, HID lights, or a controlled environment to produce big, fat harvests. The kind who say all you have to do is use Miracle Gro or a similarly generic plant food.

So I gave him this clone, and he puts it in Fox Farm Ocean-Forest soil mix, which is a nice, rich soil mix that I like a lot. He puts the clone in a big clay flowerpot and sets it outside in his unshaded backyard starting last May.

I tried to talk to him about using hydroponics nutrients, beneficial microbes, potassium silicate, and other plant boosters, but he pridefully refused, telling me that none of “that stuff” was necessary. He also said he doesn’t care about the chloramine and other gunk in his outdoor water supply. He wasn’t about to get pH and ppm meters to test his water.

Meanwhile, I’m growing my clones indoors under controlled conditions using hydroponics nutrients and supplements, reverse osmosis water, climate control and aeration and a combination of HID and LED lights.

As my clones matured, I compared them to my neighbor’s clone…a really sad comparison. It was so easy to see that even though his clone was in rich soil and getting blasted by intense sunlight every day in moderately low humidity, it just wasn’t growing as fast, its stems and growth pattern were not as sturdy or dense, and its leaf color was pale enough to indicate nutrients deficiency.

Sometimes my friend sprayed his plant with hose water, and later on you’d see spots on the leaves. This was from the chloramine in the water. Not good for plants. Also not good for the plants was his use of Miracle Gro and later a generic “bloom fertilizer” purchased from Home Depot. They aren’t meant for high-value plants, so they burned the leaf tips and he had to back off of using anywhere near the recommended amounts.

When his plant was about two feet tall and mine were three feet tall (after the same amount of time growing), I flipped mine to bloom phase via the 12 hour lighting trigger. This was in early August. Of course, outdoors it was still summer with 14-16 hours of visible light per day, so his plant kept on growing in veg phase until early September. By the time his outdoor plant started to flower, it was about three feet tall, but it was gangly and sparsely-branched.

Again, you could see the obvious difference between a well-cared for hydroponics indoor plant and a poorly-cared for outdoor plant taken from the same mother.

Also, it took his plant forever to fully engage in flowering, and the floral clusters were thin, airy and small. Because I was able to do a compare and contrast with my clones from the same mother that I was growing indoors, the stark differences between hydroponics indoor gardening and outdoor growing were brought into clear view.

I harvested my plants in late September, but my neighbor’s plant still isn’t ready for harvest, even though daylength has dropped and the nights are very cold. I’d give it a couple of weeks, maybe more. But from my magnifying glass examination of the floral structures, I can tell you that his quality is way low. The size of the harvest will be below average for this strain of plants.

My neighbor didn’t spend any serious money or time on his grow, and he may harvest something useful, but it's a fraction of what he could have harvested if he had been more dedicated to his plant. And of course I’ve seen skilled outdoor growers get massive yields. But to do so, they have to carefully choose the strains they’re growing, the planting time, and the grow location.

My neighbor now realizes how he wasted an opportunity to grow in an indoor controlled environment that would reward him more than his outdoor experiment did.

Bringing your outdoor plants indoors.

He’s begging me for more clones, but I told him to do a partial harvest of his plant and rejuvenate it to make a motherplant that he can take clones himself…and grow them indoors!

He asked me what kind of indoor grow chamber and hydroponics nutrients he should get. He also said he’s been reading all the hydroponics articles at RosebudMag.com. I smiled. So there is hope after all. A small harvest of thin flowers tends to wake people up to the possibility that they need to upgrade their gardening methods, skills and materials so they can get large, powerful yields. I’m happy to believe that my neighbor finally gets it.

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Last modified on Monday, 08 November 2010 17:51

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