Gavita Pro E-Series: Advances in Grow Light Technology

Gavita Pro E-Series: Double Ended Lighting Technology

Of all the new lighting technologies available, double ended HPS bulbs and specifically the Gavita Pro E-Series Ballasts that drive them have garnered the most attention. Rightfully so, as these new fixtures are delivering the increased light output and efficiency the manufacturers claim. What are the key differences that set these lamps apart? More importantly, are they right for your application and is the extra performance and features worth the premium price?

Tech Overview:

These lamps are an evolutionary improvement over the traditional mogul base HPS bulb and digital or magnetic ballast. Let’s go over the three important differences of these fixtures versus a traditional electronic ballast and single ended bulb. read more


Air Pruning & Nursery Pots

With so many different types of nursery pots to choose from, you may be left wondering what is the difference or why does it matter? The answer is simple, performance. One of the biggest influences on performance is air pruning.

Air Pruning

Air pruning is the introduction of dry air into the root system. When this happens the apical cells at the root’s tip become dehydrated. The plant responds by growing a pair of secondary roots that branch off of the initial root. Each time the media dries out, the process repeats itself creating literally thousands of offshoot roots. This vigorous root system is much better at mining soil and increasing nutrient uptake. Air pruning also prevents the plants roots from literally strangling each other, a process known as spiraling. read more


Read This Fogmaster Jr. 5330 Review If You Spray Much

Confession: I love an Inanimate Object, the Fogmaster Jr. 5330.

What is the Fogmaster Jr. 5330?

It’s a compact hand-held sprayer with a 1/4HP 120V motor.

For some time I had considered buying an industrial sprayer/fogger/atomizer but most seemed like overkill, especially when inexpensive pump-style sprayers would suffice. The Fogmaster Jr. 5330 however, appealed immediately due to its manageable size. When I asked a trusted friend about it, his eyes opened extra wide as he looked directly at me and said “they rock”. He was right.

I know of one other convert, so, for the record, there are at least three Fogmaster Jr. groupies in Colorado. read more


What is OMRI?

When it comes to agriculture, the definition of “Certified Organic” can be contentious. Farmers, lobbyists, activists, PR firms, etc. have different standards and stakes in a growing multi-billion dollar per year industry.The non-profit Organic Materials Review Institute has been helping to formally define “organic” since 1997, years before the industry took off and our government got involved.

If an input (like a fertilizer or pesticide) appears on OMRI’s Products List, then it is approved for use on certifiable organic cash crops. Sounds great if you’re in the business of making organic nutrients or pesticides… but it’s not easy to get on the list. To do so, a product must pass OMRI’s expert reviews which are technical, scientific, and political. There are multiple levels of review by representatives from all facets of the industry. Point being, if a product earns the OMRI stamp of approval, you can be confident in its organic integrity. Gardening with OMRI listed products can help ensure that what you grow is truly as “organic” as it can possibly be. Find out more at omri.org which includes a very cool and useful search function that lets you surf the OMRI Products and Materials Lists. Got a nutrient or chemical and want to know if you can use it on an organic crop? Looking for organic products? Check the OMRI lists. read more


Powdery Mildew of on a leaf of the tree

Powdery Mildew: Chemical Controls

Chemical Controls for Powdery Mildew

Some of our past posts have looked at cultural and biological controls for powdery mildew. These, along with Greencure, are all typically approved for use in certified organic agriculture.

Now, it’s time to talk dirty. So, get out your PPE (personal protective equipment), take a deep breath, and prepare to kill some bacteria and fungi…

Synthetic chemical fungi killers come last in this series because, ideally, they are a last resort. While undeniably useful components in an integrated disease management plan, they should not be relied upon as a substitute for good gardening practices. read more


Powdery Mildew of on a rosebud

Powdery Mildew: Organic Controls

Organic GreenCure for Powdery Mildew

Chemical controls for powdery mildew range from harmless substances, such as milk and whey, to hardcore synthetic fungicides. It is important to start with your organic options first, let’s take a look at one of our favorite antifungal organic options for powdery mildew, GreenCure.

What Am I Putting on My Plants?

When it comes to fungicides (organic or not), GreenCure is a product that deserves serious consideration. It consists primarily of potassium bicarbonate (which is used in human food), dietary supplements, and antacids.  This active ingredient is similar to baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). While both bicarbonates can be used as a fungicide, studies show that the potassium version is 25-35 times more effective. Not only is it safe for you, it’s also safe for our environment. The USDA, FDA, and EPA all recognize its safety. GreenCure is one of the few fungicides registered for indoor use by the EPA. read more


mildew controls

Powdery Mildew: Biological Controls

Biological controls are living organisms used to prevent and treat pests in your garden. One great benefit of utilizing biological controls is that it allows you to be approved for certified organic gardening due to the absence of chemicals. 

Why Should I Use Biological Controls?

Compost teas and products like Photosynthesis Plus, Actinovate, & Serenade contain numerous microorganisms (microbes). When you spray them onto your plants, these beneficial little lifeforms fight the good fight against the pathogenic ones. In addition to killing fungi, like powdery mildew, they can also prevent them in the following ways: increased overall plant health, improved disease resistance and by establishing beneficial microbial colonies which occupy space and consume plant byproducts that could otherwise end up supporting disease. In other words, you use these little buggers to create a militia of good guys that kick out the rowdy ones that would otherwise be hanging around and eating your goods. read more


Powdery Mildew Pinnate Leaves

Hello, My Name is Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew May Be Your Arch-Nemesis! 

Powdery mildew is a major challenge for both global food producers and small scale gardeners. There are a number of ways to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of this pesky mildew.

Prevention is Your Bestie

First and foremost, prevention is key. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Once it is in your environment, it is very difficult to eradicate. Taking preventative measures will help to mitigate risk and potentially save your garden from infestation.  

Weather Resistant

Powdery mildew spores are very hardy and weather resistant. They can even survive throughout the winter. Carefully screen any plants before bringing outdoor plants indoors for the colder season or when integrating new plants into your grow. Examine both sides of the leaves, fruits, and stems. If you have space, consider creating a ‘quarantine’ area where you can put new plants for the first few weeks. This may seem like a drastic step but consider that eradicating powdery mildew can be a significant amount of work. read more