Eric Hopper

Eric Hopper’s past experiences within the indoor gardening industry include being a hydroponic retail store manager and owner. Currently, he works as a writer, consultant and product tester for various indoor horticulture companies. His inquisitive nature keeps him busy seeking new technologies and methods that could help maximize a garden’s performance.

Articles by Eric Hopper


How Slight Negative Pressure and Keeping a Light Tight Garden Can Help Maximize Yields How Slight Negative Pressure and Keeping a Light Tight Garden Can Help Maximize Yields How Slight Negative Pressure and Keeping a Light Tight Garden Can Help Maximize Yields How Slight Negative Pressure and Keeping a Light Tight Garden Can Help Maximize Yields


Here’s how keeping your garden light tight and under slight negative pressure can respectively maximize production and deter unwanted...

The Benefits of Adding CO2 During the Cloning Stage The Benefits of Adding CO2 During the Cloning Stage The Benefits of Adding CO2 During the Cloning Stage The Benefits of Adding CO2 During the Cloning Stage


Are plants in the cloning stage too small to benefit from enriched

Top 4 Reasons Why Your Garden's pH is Out of Whack Top 4 Reasons Why Your Garden's pH is Out of Whack Top 4 Reasons Why Your Garden's pH is Out of Whack Top 4 Reasons Why Your Garden's pH is Out of Whack


The pH of your nutrient solution or soil is not a constant thing. In this article, Eric Hopper looks at the top four suspects that could...

LED Grow Lights: Footprints and Planning LED Grow Lights: Footprints and Planning LED Grow Lights: Footprints and Planning LED Grow Lights: Footprints and Planning


Horticultural LEDs offer myriad advantages, but a lack of standardization means indoor growers may have to experiment a little to achieve...

The Subtle Art of Hardening Off Your Seedlings The Subtle Art of Hardening Off Your Seedlings The Subtle Art of Hardening Off Your Seedlings The Subtle Art of Hardening Off Your Seedlings


They’ve been nurtured inside where it is warm and cozy, but it’s time to prepare your seedlings for a transition to the comparatively harsh...

Take It Outside: Why Outdoor Hydroponic Systems Make Sense Take It Outside: Why Outdoor Hydroponic Systems Make Sense Take It Outside: Why Outdoor Hydroponic Systems Make Sense Take It Outside: Why Outdoor Hydroponic Systems Make Sense


While designed for indoor growing, outdoor hydroponic systems can provide solutions to problems such as diminishing arable land, water...

The Light That Binds: Lighting for Young Plants The Light That Binds: Lighting for Young Plants The Light That Binds: Lighting for Young Plants The Light That Binds: Lighting for Young Plants


Of all the equipment used in an indoor garden, the lighting system is the equipment that should be given the most consideration

Supplemental CO2: The Next Step to Ridiculously Good Plants Supplemental CO2: The Next Step to Ridiculously Good Plants Supplemental CO2: The Next Step to Ridiculously Good Plants Supplemental CO2: The Next Step to Ridiculously Good Plants


Your crops are on a killer nutrition regimen and living in an indoor growroom with on-point lighting, temperature, and humidity. What’s the...

Strengthening Your Plant’s Roots Strengthening Your Plant’s Roots Strengthening Your Plant’s Roots Strengthening Your Plant’s Roots


Horticulturists who focus some of their energy on making the plant’s root system thrive will usually have better yields and less problems...

Amps, Watts and Volts: Preparing Your Home’s Circuitry for a Growroom Amps, Watts and Volts: Preparing Your Home’s Circuitry for a Growroom Amps, Watts and Volts: Preparing Your Home’s Circuitry for a Growroom Amps, Watts and Volts: Preparing Your Home’s Circuitry for a Growroom


Horticultural lighting equipment requires a reliable source of electricity. Whether you’re using HID fixtures, LED fixtures or any other...

Battling Slugs and Snails Battling Slugs and Snails Battling Slugs and Snails Battling Slugs and Snails


Slugs and snails can be the bane of any gardener’s existence, as these little creatures have big appetites when it comes to young plants

Enzyme Energy Enzyme Energy Enzyme Energy Enzyme Energy


Enzymes are the glue that holds together an incredibly intricate garden relationship between minerals, microbes and biological creatures....

Finding the Sweet Spot for Artificial Lighting Finding the Sweet Spot for Artificial Lighting Finding the Sweet Spot for Artificial Lighting Finding the Sweet Spot for Artificial Lighting


When it comes to indoor horticulture, maximizing the available light energy is the key to success. The more efficiently the light energy is...

How to Maintain Growroom Air Quality with Air Purification Devices How to Maintain Growroom Air Quality with Air Purification Devices How to Maintain Growroom Air Quality with Air Purification Devices How to Maintain Growroom Air Quality with Air Purification Devices


Keeping the air fresh and clean in your growroom will not only protect your plants from pathogens and pests, it will help keep your...

Hydroponics 7 Ways: Tips for Setting Up Common Systems Hydroponics 7 Ways: Tips for Setting Up Common Systems Hydroponics 7 Ways: Tips for Setting Up Common Systems Hydroponics 7 Ways: Tips for Setting Up Common Systems


Considering switching to hydroponics? Having a good understanding of how the different hydro systems work will help you get the best...

Flushing for Soil and Hydroponic Gardens Flushing for Soil and Hydroponic Gardens Flushing for Soil and Hydroponic Gardens Flushing for Soil and Hydroponic Gardens


Flushing is an important, relatively simple, and all too often misunderstood technique that should be used by just about every gardener. A...

The Various Forms of Rooting Hormones & Organic Rooting Stimulants The Various Forms of Rooting Hormones & Organic Rooting Stimulants The Various Forms of Rooting Hormones & Organic Rooting Stimulants The Various Forms of Rooting Hormones & Organic Rooting Stimulants


Rooting hormones, either synthetic or naturally occurring, help promote the fast, healthy onset of new roots. Available as powders, liquids...

The Downlow on Dissolved Oxygen The Downlow on Dissolved Oxygen The Downlow on Dissolved Oxygen The Downlow on Dissolved Oxygen


While most growers know dissolved oxygen is important to have in their hydro systems, they do not really understand what it is or why it’s...

Benefitting from Beneficials: How to Improve Plant Growth Benefitting from Beneficials: How to Improve Plant Growth Benefitting from Beneficials: How to Improve Plant Growth Benefitting from Beneficials: How to Improve Plant Growth


The most common types of beneficial micro-organisms used by indoor growers can be broken down into three categories: beneficial bacteria,...

Glazing Your Greenhouse: 5 Ways to Cover Up Glazing Your Greenhouse: 5 Ways to Cover Up Glazing Your Greenhouse: 5 Ways to Cover Up Glazing Your Greenhouse: 5 Ways to Cover Up


A greenhouse glaze is the transparent cover material used over the frame that allows light to reach the plants inside. You may be surprised...

Wireless Technology in the Garden Wireless Technology in the Garden Wireless Technology in the Garden Wireless Technology in the Garden


There are plenty of reasons to go wireless in your growroom, most of which relate to making your life easier. Wireless automation devices...

New Trends in Hydroponic Growing: What to Expect in 2016 and Beyond New Trends in Hydroponic Growing: What to Expect in 2016 and Beyond New Trends in Hydroponic Growing: What to Expect in 2016 and Beyond New Trends in Hydroponic Growing: What to Expect in 2016 and Beyond


Technological advancements in the hydro industry are happening, fueled by the growing demand for fresh produce that’s cultivated closer to...

How to Choose the Best LED Lighting System for Your Grow Room How to Choose the Best LED Lighting System for Your Grow Room How to Choose the Best LED Lighting System for Your Grow Room How to Choose the Best LED Lighting System for Your Grow Room


A more affordable price, combined with all of the other benefits of growing with LEDs, including cooler operating temperatures, longevity...

The 3 Stages of a Perpetual Garden The 3 Stages of a Perpetual Garden The 3 Stages of a Perpetual Garden The 3 Stages of a Perpetual Garden


The most successful indoor growers take full advantage of the elevated degree of control over the growing environment by maintaining a...

Spotlighting Fiber Optics Spotlighting Fiber Optics Spotlighting Fiber Optics Spotlighting Fiber Optics


With fiber optics, a grower could potentially channel the power of the sun into a growroom, so if you want to use the sun as the primary...

How To Tell When Your Lights Need Replacing How To Tell When Your Lights Need Replacing How To Tell When Your Lights Need Replacing How To Tell When Your Lights Need Replacing


All lighting technologies will depreciate over time, which causes a reduction in usable light energy for plants called photosynthetically...

A Beginner’s Guide to Calculating Garden Lighting Needs A Beginner’s Guide to Calculating Garden Lighting Needs A Beginner’s Guide to Calculating Garden Lighting Needs A Beginner’s Guide to Calculating Garden Lighting Needs


The lighting system is the heart of any indoor garden, providing plants with the energy needed to photosynthesize and develop. But first,...

Filters, Ozone Generators and Air Purifiers, Oh My! Filters, Ozone Generators and Air Purifiers, Oh My! Filters, Ozone Generators and Air Purifiers, Oh My! Filters, Ozone Generators and Air Purifiers, Oh My!


Whether it is implementing filters, ozone generators, air purification devices or a combination of solutions, indoor growers need to do...

The Best Temperatures for an Indoor Grow Room The Best Temperatures for an Indoor Grow Room The Best Temperatures for an Indoor Grow Room The Best Temperatures for an Indoor Grow Room


Finding the ideal operating temperature is one way growers can help ensure growth rates and bountiful harvests

Choosing the Right Light for Vegetative Growth Choosing the Right Light for Vegetative Growth Choosing the Right Light for Vegetative Growth Choosing the Right Light for Vegetative Growth


Starting off with the appropriate vegetative light can make a world of difference when it comes to yields

Let There Be Light Reflection: Increasing Light Energy Efficiency Let There Be Light Reflection: Increasing Light Energy Efficiency Let There Be Light Reflection: Increasing Light Energy Efficiency Let There Be Light Reflection: Increasing Light Energy Efficiency


A better understanding of light reflection, cross-patterns and diffusion could mean the difference between a vibrant, successful garden and...

Cracking the Code Cracking the Code Cracking the Code Cracking the Code


In the United States, every fertilizer label on store shelves must contain five key components: the brand, the grade, a guaranteed analysis...

When 2 Become 1: Innovative Lighting Combinations When 2 Become 1: Innovative Lighting Combinations When 2 Become 1: Innovative Lighting Combinations When 2 Become 1: Innovative Lighting Combinations


Making decisions can be difficult, especially when it comes to your indoor garden’s lighting system. Fortunately, growers no longer have to...

Optimizing Supplemental CO2 Optimizing Supplemental CO2 Optimizing Supplemental CO2 Optimizing Supplemental CO2


Want to maximize plant performance in the growroom this year? Providing your plants with extra carbon dioxide is one way to get faster...

Beating Botrytis: How to Identify, Prevent & Treat a Common Crop Ailment Beating Botrytis: How to Identify, Prevent & Treat a Common Crop Ailment Beating Botrytis: How to Identify, Prevent & Treat a Common Crop Ailment Beating Botrytis: How to Identify, Prevent & Treat a Common Crop Ailment


There are more than 50 different species of botrytis, also known as gray or brown mold, which can wreak havoc on numerous plants, including...

Bringing in the Harvest Bringing in the Harvest Bringing in the Harvest Bringing in the Harvest


There are many techniques for harvesting various fruits and vegetables and, in many cases, there is more than one correct way to properly...

Illuminating HID Lighting Systems Illuminating HID Lighting Systems Illuminating HID Lighting Systems Illuminating HID Lighting Systems


Though many new technologies have emerged, HID lighting is still the most commonly used lighting system in indoor gardens. Both metal...

A Breath of Fresh Air: The Importance of Air Purification in an Indoor Garden A Breath of Fresh Air: The Importance of Air Purification in an Indoor Garden A Breath of Fresh Air: The Importance of Air Purification in an Indoor Garden A Breath of Fresh Air: The Importance of Air Purification in an Indoor Garden


Air purification is one of the most overlooked variables of an indoor garden because most airborne pathogens are invisible, but ignoring...

Attack of the Clones Tips & Tricks for Cloning Success Attack of the Clones Tips & Tricks for Cloning Success Attack of the Clones Tips & Tricks for Cloning Success Attack of the Clones Tips & Tricks for Cloning Success


For an indoor gardener to have a perpetually successful garden, they must first become successful at cloning

Essential Components for Starting an Indoor Garden Essential Components for Starting an Indoor Garden Essential Components for Starting an Indoor Garden Essential Components for Starting an Indoor Garden


The first step to a healthy, vibrant indoor garden is to build a growroom with the hardware required to ensure plants are supplied with the...

Ebb and Flow Hydroponic Systems Ebb and Flow Hydroponic Systems Ebb and Flow Hydroponic Systems Ebb and Flow Hydroponic Systems


An ebb and flow hydroponic system maximizes nutrient uptake and available oxygen in the root zone. Here's how these systems work and why...

Analyzing Nutrient Film Technique Analyzing Nutrient Film Technique Analyzing Nutrient Film Technique Analyzing Nutrient Film Technique


NFT systems are still widely used by both commercial and hobbyist horticulturists. Although the commercial use of NFT is focused on leafy...

Evolution of Hydroponic Nutrition Evolution of Hydroponic Nutrition Evolution of Hydroponic Nutrition Evolution of Hydroponic Nutrition


Hydroponic nutrients, like indoor gardening hardware, have evolved immensely over the last 10 years. There have been major breakthroughs in...

Optimal Nutrient Reservoir Parameters - Understanding the Heart of Your System Optimal Nutrient Reservoir Parameters - Understanding the Heart of Your System Optimal Nutrient Reservoir Parameters - Understanding the Heart of Your System Optimal Nutrient Reservoir Parameters - Understanding the Heart of Your System


Getting the nutrient solution just right is important to ensure a successful, thriving garden. Read on to learn how to make your nutrient...

Fighting Fungi the Organic Way Fighting Fungi the Organic Way Fighting Fungi the Organic Way Fighting Fungi the Organic Way


When fungi problems strike in the vegetable garden, the results can be catastrophic. Eric Hopper has the latest on organic solutions that...

Two Methods to a Great Clean: Sanitizing and Sterilizing Two Methods to a Great Clean: Sanitizing and Sterilizing Two Methods to a Great Clean: Sanitizing and Sterilizing Two Methods to a Great Clean: Sanitizing and Sterilizing


In order to maintain an optimal growing environment, the horticulturist must maintain cleanliness. To implement sanitization and...

Raging Hormones Raging Hormones Raging Hormones Raging Hormones


Plant hormones are quite different from those found in animals, but they do have at least one thing in common: they play an intricate role...

A Gentle, Guiding Hand A Gentle, Guiding Hand A Gentle, Guiding Hand A Gentle, Guiding Hand


Lush, vibrant growth is always a good thing in a garden; however, indoor growers don’t have a lot of room to spare. Thankfully, we’ve...

Undergoing an Organic Transformation Undergoing an Organic Transformation Undergoing an Organic Transformation Undergoing an Organic Transformation


Over the past few years, many people have become more educated in organic production techniques. Here’s a closer look at how this education...

Consistency is the Key Consistency is the Key Consistency is the Key Consistency is the Key


Plants are a diverse bunch with a wide variety of optimal needs. Thankfully, however, they all have one thing in common: a love a...

Below The Surface: Root Growth Stimulation and Microorganisms Below The Surface: Root Growth Stimulation and Microorganisms Below The Surface: Root Growth Stimulation and Microorganisms Below The Surface: Root Growth Stimulation and Microorganisms


A healthy root system depends on beneficial microorganisms that live in the rhizosphere. In learning which products and techniques best...

Homegrown Groceries: An Argument for Indoor Food Production Homegrown Groceries: An Argument for Indoor Food Production Homegrown Groceries: An Argument for Indoor Food Production Homegrown Groceries: An Argument for Indoor Food Production


There are a few reasons why growing one’s own food is becoming more of a necessity

Recipes for Success: Building Your Own Organic Potting Soil Recipes for Success: Building Your Own Organic Potting Soil Recipes for Success: Building Your Own Organic Potting Soil Recipes for Success: Building Your Own Organic Potting Soil


Building your own organic potting soil is no different than any other do-it-yourself project. It allows the gardener to save money while...

The Complexities of Defining and Measuring Light Energy The Complexities of Defining and Measuring Light Energy The Complexities of Defining and Measuring Light Energy The Complexities of Defining and Measuring Light Energy


Light is light, right? Well, human eyes perceive light as color, with each shade corresponding to a different wavelength. However, there...

Battle of the Bugs: A Guide to Beneficial Insects Battle of the Bugs: A Guide to Beneficial Insects Battle of the Bugs: A Guide to Beneficial Insects Battle of the Bugs: A Guide to Beneficial Insects


There are few things as troubling as discovering an insect infestation in an otherwise flawless garden. Once discovered, a grower must...

Dissolved Oxygen: The Hidden Necessity Dissolved Oxygen: The Hidden Necessity Dissolved Oxygen: The Hidden Necessity Dissolved Oxygen: The Hidden Necessity


You can’t see it and you don’t even know it’s there—but the dissolved oxygen in your water supply is absolutely critical to maintaining the...

Ventilation Systems for Greenhouses and Indoor Gardens Ventilation Systems for Greenhouses and Indoor Gardens Ventilation Systems for Greenhouses and Indoor Gardens Ventilation Systems for Greenhouses and Indoor Gardens


Ensuring your greenhouse or indoor garden is properly ventilated is every bit as important to the health of your plants as adequate water...

Eco-friendly Horticultural Lighting: The Future is Here Eco-friendly Horticultural Lighting: The Future is Here Eco-friendly Horticultural Lighting: The Future is Here Eco-friendly Horticultural Lighting: The Future is Here


The horticultural industry has been making significant progress in developing new, energy-efficient light fixtures, its main goals being to...

Building an Effective Fertilizer Regimen Building an Effective Fertilizer Regimen Building an Effective Fertilizer Regimen Building an Effective Fertilizer Regimen


What should you be feeding your plants? Figuring out their perfect diet is a matter of trial and error and careful observation

The Science Behind Light The Science Behind Light The Science Behind Light The Science Behind Light


Every garden is different, but the laws of physics apply equally to them all

Q&A by Eric Hopper


How much nitrogen is required for growing corn? How much nitrogen is required for growing corn? How much nitrogen is required for growing corn? How much nitrogen is required for growing corn?


The pre-sidedress soil nitrate test (PSNT) is a soil nitrogen test developed by Dr. Fred Magdoff from the University of Vermont to help...

What are the best indoor ambient temperatures and relative humidity levels for maximum photosynthesis? What are the best indoor ambient temperatures and relative humidity levels for maximum photosynthesis? What are the best indoor ambient temperatures and relative humidity levels for maximum photosynthesis? What are the best indoor ambient temperatures and relative humidity levels for maximum photosynthesis?


Finding the optimal temperature for a CO2-enriched growroom is essential for maximizing your return on CO2 equipment. Regardless of the...

What tips do you have for someone starting a commercial-sized growroom? What tips do you have for someone starting a commercial-sized growroom? What tips do you have for someone starting a commercial-sized growroom? What tips do you have for someone starting a commercial-sized growroom?


Thank you for your questions. First, when setting up a commercial growing facility, remember that automation is your best friend. The more...

If I've lost my plants to a virus what do I need to do to decontaminate the room and equipment? If I've lost my plants to a virus what do I need to do to decontaminate the room and equipment? If I've lost my plants to a virus what do I need to do to decontaminate the room and equipment? If I've lost my plants to a virus what do I need to do to decontaminate the room and equipment?


Thank you for your question. When a plant gets infected by a virus it should be immediately removed from the rest of the crop to avoid...

Can you use Epsom salts as a magnesium sulfate treatment for plants? Can you use Epsom salts as a magnesium sulfate treatment for plants? Can you use Epsom salts as a magnesium sulfate treatment for plants? Can you use Epsom salts as a magnesium sulfate treatment for plants?


Yes, Epsom salt can be used as a magnesium sulfate treatment for your plants. Epsom salt is a form of magnesium sulfate that is highly...


Thank you for your question. Insecticidal soap can be an effective treatment for potato leafhoppers but can be difficult to implement...

Why did my little cucumber buds yellow and die? Why did my little cucumber buds yellow and die? Why did my little cucumber buds yellow and die? Why did my little cucumber buds yellow and die?


Cucumber plants have both male and female flowers. On most cucumber plants, the female flowers require pollination from the male flowers to...


When growers are choosing a base nutrient, they will quickly discover there are one-part, two-part or three-part options. Although these...


Exhaust fans and carbon filters are heavy pieces of indoor gardening equipment. Before you purchase a lighter filter, please keep in mind...

I’m about to buy my first grow tent. What sort of lighting system is best? I’m about to buy my first grow tent. What sort of lighting system is best? I’m about to buy my first grow tent. What sort of lighting system is best? I’m about to buy my first grow tent. What sort of lighting system is best?


High intensity discharge lights, including metal halide and high pressure sodium, are still the most commonly used lighting systems in grow...

Can I use gypsum to buffer the coco peat? Can I use gypsum to buffer the coco peat? Can I use gypsum to buffer the coco peat? Can I use gypsum to buffer the coco peat?


Thank you for your question. When discussing buffering or buffering agents in a soil, it is usually in reference to the soil’s ability to...

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