I Like Big Bulbs & I Cannot Lie

Too Much of a Good Thing


When it comes to the lighting you use for your plants, how much is too much? Believe it or not, there is a science behind finding out how many lights you should have and how to place them. It isn’t about just putting your one plant under an incandescent bulb in your bedroom closet anymore. The research is constantly evolving in an attempt to mimic the sun- both its intensity and spectrum. Don’t miss what our Grow Guru from The Dude Grows Show had to say about his experience with the different lighting technology. Learn how you can best use the newest lighting technology to your benefit to get the most out of your plants.

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5 Things You Need to Know About Beneficial Bacteria

We had the awesome opportunity to sit down with Scotty Real of Real Growers and The Dude Grows Show. Scotty brought his 25 years of expertise to the table, helping us shed light into the dark corners of the soil world.

Before we jump into beneficial bacteria, we should first talk a little bit about the rhizosphere. Why? Because that is where you will find all of the bacterial action we are about to discuss. The rhizosphere is the microbial party zone.

Often called “the last frontier in agricultural science,”  the rhizosphere is the area around a plant’s roots. What makes the rhizosphere more special than other areas in the soil? Roots release special compounds called exudates with which microbes interact, basically functioning as all-you-can-eat salad bars for our microbial friends. Root exudation is a complex process and the many compounds released by roots are not fully studied or understood.  We do know, however, that some of these exudates are “amino acids, organic acids, sugars, phenolics” as well as polysaccharides.

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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.

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