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Hey everyone, Nate from GrowersHouse here today we have with us Dan the Man from Xtreme Gardening stopping in and hes going to tell us a little bit about Xtreme Gardening as a company and what they offer. So tell us a little bit about Xtreme Gardening and how it came about.
Dan- Xtreme Gardening started in 2006 when a giant pumpkin grower started using our mycorrhizae to start growing giant pumpkins and he actually broke the world record that year using our mycorrhizae (1,502 lbs). We saw some opportunity in giant pumpkins and lawn and garden and then the hydro industry with the biological components to gardening. The parent company of Xtreme Gardening is RTI Reforestation Technologies International, we are about 20 years old now. In the early nineties the owner started playing with mycorrhizae and with a few other people, scientists, figure out how to commercially produce mycorrhizae so that it could be packaged in a usable format for forestry projects. Alot of what they were doing at the time was restoration from forest fires and restoring native habitats. We are close to Big Sur and there are alot of landslides there so when they put the hillsides back together mycorrhizae is a big component for that. They needed a commercial system to be able to produce the volume needed to do so. That is how we got started. We've been culturing mycorrhizae for 18 years now.
Nate- Are you guys one of the biggest producers of mycorrhizae in the nation?
Dan- Absolutely yes. Well possibly. I don't know of any other producers growing one million pounds of mycorrhizae a year.
Nate- That’s alot
Dan- It's a few acres and some knowledge and some time. People think this is easy to do and it really is not. Creating just the right environment for the fungus is something that can't be done overnight.
Nate- What kind of growers can use your products, of the Xtreme Gardening line?
Dan- Just about any kind, everybody can use it. Hydro, coco, soil. If you’re in a coco or soil media its doesn’t matter what kind of system you’re in, you can get the mykos right into the root system when you’re transplanting. When you’re potting up, put in a scoop of the mycos right where you are going to set the root ball of the plant and that’s pretty much it. You may want some reapplication of the soluble, we have a wettable powder version of the mycos that you can mix with water and it will penetrate down media for a reapplication. But the most important step is to start out with putting the granules into the soil first before transplanting and at potting.
Nate- So is that even for a clone or a seedling grown in something like a wool cube? Transplanting to veg and then veg into flower?
Dan- Yes. When I'm doing seeds ill even make a little bed of mykos and put my seed in that and cover it with soil. Or if its in a plug or cube, fill the plug hole with mykos then put in my seed in there. So once the seed sprouts its instantly in touch with the mycorrhizae. As soon as you can get your plant to begin its symbiotic association with the mycorrhizae the better off your plant will be.
Nate- Is that because the plant really benefits the most from the mycorrhizae when the plant is young from seedling to veg?
Dan- Absolutely. In flowering phase it may not be as important, the more beneficial is to get it in there from start to flowering.
Nate- That is so when you do go into flower, you get the most out of your plant?
Nate- So what about the Azos? What does that do?
Dan- Azos you apply the same time as mycos, when you’re transplanting dust the root ball with Azos, you can also mix it with the mycos in the planting hole. I prefer to lightly sprinkle it on my roots, put the mycos in the hole. You can also use the Azos for rooting cuttings as well, we’ve seen a really good rate of success when mixing the azos in to a bit of a paste or thick solution and dipping cuttings into that. Azos is a bacteria known as a nitrogen fixer that can capture n02 out of the atmosphere and convert it to nh3 and provide it to the plant. It wont do it for all plant species it works well on legumes, corn, peas, lentils stuff like that but in our marketplace the bigger benefit of azos is that it has a kind of trigger with the plant that encourages it to increase and produce more natural growth hormones. Its amino acid production is increased by this bacteria that you get a natural rooting hormone stimulated by the bacteria. Where alot of rooting product on the market are endo3 amino acid which is a man made version of hormone. So our Azos is naturally stimulating the rooting hormones, you don’t need to use harsh chemicals to root your cuttings. And with Azos your cuttings will stay alot healthier, such as the yellowing and the wilting you get when you get the stress. I've seen this alot, I also hear alot "My cuttings are now green and lush!" because they didn't stress out all. And the success rate is huge.
Nate- If you were doing a hydro systems how would you use your products?
Dan- Are we talking dwc or aeroponics?
Nate- Lets say I’m using a turboklone cloner to make some clones but also sometimes clone just in a tray with like rapid rooter plugs.
Dan- For your turboklone, you simply add one teaspoon per gallon right into the reservoir and that'll be it. you can also make a solution and dip the cuttings into it before inserting them into the neoprene inserts. For a tray with plugs make a dip and soak your cuttings with that, while they are soaking I would prep my plugs with a bowl of water and a scoop of Azos and i would inoculate my plugs that way with the Azos solution and then insert my plugs as usual.
Nate- So its really best to be using both Azos and Mycos together in conjunction with one another?
Dan- I generally reserve Mycos for once my cuttings are rooted, once they’re coming out of the cloner you’ve got your rooted cutting then ill start using the mykos. Same with the plugs, once they are ready and I'm going to plant them up into another container that’s when I will bring the mycos in. Because the mycorrhizae cant do anything for the plant until the plant has roots. It has to form an association with the roots first so putting Mykos in before the plant has roots is not going to add any benefit to the plant (but can help speed up establishing the mykos in the media so it is ready for the plant). Always be sure to dust the roots with the azos get em coated with the mykos and you are good to go.
Nate- Xtreme Gardening mykos and Azos are both available here at Growers House check them out today to help increase your yield and help make your grow more efficient. Thanks Dan. Have a good one.>
Today we have a product from a new company called Sustainable Microfarms. This is actually developed in a university environment by some students who wanted to build a dosing machine that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars. This is going to be a sub one thousand dollar dosing machine that can handle up to eight solutions including nutrients your pH up and down, and water to help keep everything in check and also measures your ecm, ppm, tds. Which is pretty awesome.
We like to call this the doser for the rest of us, because it really is made for hydroponic systems between five and 55 gallon reservoir size. You can see here this system comes with slots where you can put in the appropriate size of nutrient it has the tubing to insert into the bottles and pull the nutrient into the reservoir to keep it sustainable and in check. If I wanted to I could put these tubes into a gallon jug or even larger, you aren’t limited by the slot on the machine. Because one of the things this can dose is water. Let's say it doses too much ph it will dose water to compensate for that. And I would just stick one of the tubes into a really big reservoir of water just so that it had it available to put in your reservoir. For this demonstration we’ve put the probes into some regular water so we can play around with this and really show you what it can do. I learned how to program this in about 3 minutes with just the included instruction sheets and pressing a few buttons.
Let's take a look at the control led panel on the top of the machine. It has two lights red and green, the led screen, and four buttons below it, one white and three red. The two rightmost buttons allow you to scroll through the options and the far right button is the “enter” button.
So starting out with features and configurations and how to set it up. When you first start it you get this main menu and using the buttons toggle thru to find the settings. Right now with the base machine, it runs 4 solutions, when the expansion becomes available you can run 8 solutions. Right now I'll show you how to work with the 4 solutions it comes with. First lets set up each pump for each solution. With the first pump hit enter, it will ask do you want a custom program or preset program. The preset program works with the included General Hydroponics Flora Gro, Flora Bloom, Flora Micro and pH Up solutions. So lets say I want to use other nutrients, such as Heavy 16 Veg A & Veg B, and pH Up and Prime. Using the custom setting, scroll to pump #1 select it, and the category you can select off, water or nut. We want nutes so select it. It will ask how many ml per gallon that nutrient is rated for so lets say I'm in vegetative phase and I want to go easy on the plants we scroll anywhere from 0 ml per gallon all the way up to 20ml per gallon. I will choose 3.5ml per gallon here, then push save. Then do the same steps to set up for pump #2. for the B version of the nutrients. Then with pump #3 we want to use as our water. We select water for the category, this way we can dose water to keep the system in check if for some reason it becomes too high in parts per million of nutrient or too high or low in pH. Lets set pump #4 for pH up, scroll through the categories to pH up and select it. And that’s it pump configuration is done.
Returning to the main menu, number 2 is start cycle. Just hit enter and we could just start right about to pump nutrients from here. But we haven’t set up our reservoir size yet or we'll just pump nutes right on the floor. Let's look at some other things first.
Option 3) calibrate probes. This system comes with ready with probes ready to keep everything in check, bit self-explanatory.
Option 4) system config, lets just into that, let's say we need to set our reservoir size, select it and the default should be set to 40 gallons. You can scroll thru in increments of five gallons from 5 to 55 gallon. Very easy to use. Scrolling thru other options is display ec units. We tend to favor using ppm as units but you can also select uS, mS(EC). then you can select your ppm factor.
Next option 3) time between checks. This is a really cool feature I want to point out, you can use this system with an ebb & flow even though your reservoir will on a periodic time interval be flooding into your system. What this option does is let's say you flood your system for 15 minutes every 3 hours. Before this unit will dose with nutrients and pH this unit will check at two different times and within those two times it will determine if your res. is full or not. Because you don’t want it taking a reading when your res has emptied and is filling up your plants with water and your res is really low. That could really skew off your pH and ppm. So using time between checks we set it for every 15 minutes. That way it will get two readings when the rez is full and empty.
Other settings: You can also change temp display units from f to c. Purge pumps, if you’re changing out solutions this will purge solution from the pumps and lines. Take a reading, the doser is automatically checking the pH and ec every 15 seconds and at any point I can hit take a reading and get a read out of the solution.. this system is setup for hydroponics so it is set to keep your pH at between 5.5 and 6.5. which is a well-recognized range for hydroponics in the commercial, university, and hobbyist community for the best nutrient uptake.
That’s basically the whole unit.
These guys just did an IndieGoGo campaign and got the funds they needed to bring this product to market and were expecting it to be live in a month or two. We will have it available on site and wow this doser machine will be ready to ship out and make your growing easier.
If you want to find out more visit the product page, or visit Sustainable Microfarms website. (www.smicrofarms.com)
This is Nate with GrowersHouse if you have any questions or have products you want to see reviewed let us know.>