Frank Rauscher

During his many years of service in horticulture, product development and sales, Frank has performed innumerable visits to landscapes to facilitate a correction for struggling plants or assist with new design. He also writes for Southwest Trees and Turf and The Green Pages, is the owner of Garden Galaxy and manages several websites. He has four children and eight grandchildren.

Articles by Frank Rauscher


Growing in Tough Soils and Difficult Climates Growing in Tough Soils and Difficult Climates Growing in Tough Soils and Difficult Climates Growing in Tough Soils and Difficult Climates


You might be wondering why your plants are losing their leaves and hardly forming any buds. There’s a good chance your garden soil is not...

MY_Hopper_Light-Spectrum MY_Hopper_Light-Spectrum MY_Hopper_Light-Spectrum MY_Hopper_Light-Spectrum


Combining chemicals in the garden is tricky business. Mix the right ones together, and you’ll be rewarded with a synergistic result. Mix...

Nutrients Nutrients Nutrients Nutrients


When it comes to feeding, indoor and outdoor plants generally need the same nutrients. There are, however, some significant differences in...

Hydroponic Nutrients Hydroponic Nutrients Hydroponic Nutrients Hydroponic Nutrients


While hydroponic water culture systems can produce big results, you must work to get those optimal results. One of most important things to...

I’ve Got You Covered: Leaf Area Index I’ve Got You Covered: Leaf Area Index I’ve Got You Covered: Leaf Area Index I’ve Got You Covered: Leaf Area Index


Leaf area index can be a little complex to understand, but it can be a useful tool once grasped.

Interveinal Chlorosis: Can It Be Fixed? Interveinal Chlorosis: Can It Be Fixed? Interveinal Chlorosis: Can It Be Fixed? Interveinal Chlorosis: Can It Be Fixed?


Interveinal chlorosis is a disease that can be easily spotted and, with the right information, easily treated.

Secondary Micronutrients That Are Crucial to Plant Health Secondary Micronutrients That Are Crucial to Plant Health Secondary Micronutrients That Are Crucial to Plant Health Secondary Micronutrients That Are Crucial to Plant Health


Most growers have a handle on primary nutrients and macronutrients, but how is your understanding of the lesser known secondary and...

What a Plant's Internodal Spacing Reveals About Its Health What a Plant's Internodal Spacing Reveals About Its Health What a Plant's Internodal Spacing Reveals About Its Health What a Plant's Internodal Spacing Reveals About Its Health


The distance between nodes can tell us quite a bit about how a plant is doing. Here’s how to decipher it.

Improving the Flavor of Crops with Photoperiodism Improving the Flavor of Crops with Photoperiodism Improving the Flavor of Crops with Photoperiodism Improving the Flavor of Crops with Photoperiodism


Understanding your plants’ photosynthesis requirements and matching them to proper lighting affects taste and nutrition in your hydroponic...

Troubleshooting Your Plants: Symptoms to Look Out For Troubleshooting Your Plants: Symptoms to Look Out For Troubleshooting Your Plants: Symptoms to Look Out For Troubleshooting Your Plants: Symptoms to Look Out For


Your plants give you signs when they’re not well. All you have to do is pay attention!

What Are Root Snorkels? What Are Root Snorkels? What Are Root Snorkels? What Are Root Snorkels?


To survive extremely wet conditions, some plants evolved special roots that act as snorkels. There is also a man-made version, but how well...

Soil vs. Hydroponics: What Method Grows the Best Plants? Soil vs. Hydroponics: What Method Grows the Best Plants? Soil vs. Hydroponics: What Method Grows the Best Plants? Soil vs. Hydroponics: What Method Grows the Best Plants?


As more of our food and herbs are grown through various hydroponic techniques, the question of which is better: soil vs. hydroponics, comes...

Salt of the Earth: Why Plants Need Salt in Their Diets Salt of the Earth: Why Plants Need Salt in Their Diets Salt of the Earth: Why Plants Need Salt in Their Diets Salt of the Earth: Why Plants Need Salt in Their Diets


For plants to take up nutrients, the nutrient must be in the form of ionic salt. But organic and synthetic nutrients feed plants at a much...

Phosphorous Acid Products: Phosphorus, Phosphite, and Phosphonate Phosphorous Acid Products: Phosphorus, Phosphite, and Phosphonate Phosphorous Acid Products: Phosphorus, Phosphite, and Phosphonate Phosphorous Acid Products: Phosphorus, Phosphite, and Phosphonate


When it comes to phosphorus products, even the correct spelling can be tricky, never mind understanding what the related products do.

Could Your Plants Be Suffering from an Abiotic Plant Disease? Could Your Plants Be Suffering from an Abiotic Plant Disease? Could Your Plants Be Suffering from an Abiotic Plant Disease? Could Your Plants Be Suffering from an Abiotic Plant Disease?


When plants aren’t healthy, diagnosing the problem can be a challenge. Gardeners often look for obvious signs, like a biological...

The Benefits of Introducing a Gentle Breeze to Your Indoor Crops The Benefits of Introducing a Gentle Breeze to Your Indoor Crops The Benefits of Introducing a Gentle Breeze to Your Indoor Crops The Benefits of Introducing a Gentle Breeze to Your Indoor Crops


Frank Rauscher explains the benefits of introducing wind to your indoor crops.

Perlite in the Garden: To Use or Not to Use? Perlite in the Garden: To Use or Not to Use? Perlite in the Garden: To Use or Not to Use? Perlite in the Garden: To Use or Not to Use?


Though tiny, a grain of perlite can be mighty. Frank Rauscher digs deep to outline the benefits and drawbacks that lightweight perlite can...

Take That, Fungus Gnats! Take That, Fungus Gnats! Take That, Fungus Gnats! Take That, Fungus Gnats!


The tiny fungus gnat can cause big problems in your garden. If you see one, chances are you have an entire civilization of them ready to...

Comparing Various Water Culture Hydroponic Systems Comparing Various Water Culture Hydroponic Systems Comparing Various Water Culture Hydroponic Systems Comparing Various Water Culture Hydroponic Systems


Water culture hydroponics is one of the fastest growing segments of hydroponics, but there are a number of factors to consider when...

Your Plants Are Hungry, Feed Them (But Not Too Much) Your Plants Are Hungry, Feed Them (But Not Too Much) Your Plants Are Hungry, Feed Them (But Not Too Much) Your Plants Are Hungry, Feed Them (But Not Too Much)


When looking over the nutrient aisle there are a vast number of products to choose from and just as varied are the directions for feeding....

A Tale of Two Hydro Systems: Drip Irrigation & Ebb and Flow A Tale of Two Hydro Systems: Drip Irrigation & Ebb and Flow A Tale of Two Hydro Systems: Drip Irrigation & Ebb and Flow A Tale of Two Hydro Systems: Drip Irrigation & Ebb and Flow


The two popular types of watering systems compared in this article are ebb and flow and drip irrigation.

Understanding Plant Biology Understanding Plant Biology Understanding Plant Biology Understanding Plant Biology


Having a better understanding of plant biology will help you improve the vigor of your crops.

Growroom Ergonomics: Being Comfortable While You Garden is Wonderful! Growroom Ergonomics: Being Comfortable While You Garden is Wonderful! Growroom Ergonomics: Being Comfortable While You Garden is Wonderful! Growroom Ergonomics: Being Comfortable While You Garden is Wonderful!


When you actually look forward to the next time you can get at your crop and provide some much-needed TLC, it won’t be long until you are...

Hydroponic Systems: Know When to Flush ’Em Hydroponic Systems: Know When to Flush ’Em Hydroponic Systems: Know When to Flush ’Em Hydroponic Systems: Know When to Flush ’Em


There are two main reasons to flush a hydro system. You’re either flushing to clean out the system, or to rid your plants of excess...

CO2 & Your Crop: Why It’s Important and How to Use It CO2 & Your Crop: Why It’s Important and How to Use It CO2 & Your Crop: Why It’s Important and How to Use It CO2 & Your Crop: Why It’s Important and How to Use It


Most growers already have interest in providing more CO2 for their crops but may not quite understand what’s going on inside the plant....

Foliar Feeding: Love it or Leaf it Foliar Feeding: Love it or Leaf it Foliar Feeding: Love it or Leaf it Foliar Feeding: Love it or Leaf it


Nothing sparks a controversy in the gardening world like the best method for feeding your plants. Foliar feeding is often looked upon as a...

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Managing Micro-Organisms in the Garden The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Managing Micro-Organisms in the Garden The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Managing Micro-Organisms in the Garden The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Managing Micro-Organisms in the Garden


Plants need to receive a number of nutrients to thrive. Adding nutrients to a soil or hydroponic solution is an effective method for seeing...

Combining Organic & Synthetic Nutrients Combining Organic & Synthetic Nutrients Combining Organic & Synthetic Nutrients Combining Organic & Synthetic Nutrients


There is an increasing focus on organic farming methods, but does that mean synthetic nutrients are off the table?

Algae and Hydroponics Algae and Hydroponics Algae and Hydroponics Algae and Hydroponics


Many fans of hydroponics regard this method of growing as a form of weed-free gardening, but that doesn’t mean hydro growers are in the...

Water Quality & Plant Health Water Quality & Plant Health Water Quality & Plant Health Water Quality & Plant Health


Worried about what’s in the water you’re supplying your plants? Chances are it’s not so bad! Municipal water treatment systems regularly...

Watering Your Soil Garden Successfully Watering Your Soil Garden Successfully Watering Your Soil Garden Successfully Watering Your Soil Garden Successfully


Unlike a young child who is acting out, plants in need often have a time tough communicating exactly what it is that they want. You can bet...

Growing Up: How to Create Living Walls of Edible Plants Growing Up: How to Create Living Walls of Edible Plants Growing Up: How to Create Living Walls of Edible Plants Growing Up: How to Create Living Walls of Edible Plants


A properly designed and well-maintained living wall is a beautiful thing to behold and gathers many a compliment for the grower willing to...

The Science Behind Companion Planting The Science Behind Companion Planting The Science Behind Companion Planting The Science Behind Companion Planting


Companion planting is an important strategy in keeping gardens healthy without a lot of pesticides or labor. Knowing what plants are good...

Good Greenhouse Planning Good Greenhouse Planning Good Greenhouse Planning Good Greenhouse Planning


A greenhouse can provide growers of all skill levels with some fantastic, additional growing space. With the proper design, greenhouses can...

When Roots Meet Soil When Roots Meet Soil When Roots Meet Soil When Roots Meet Soil


What you see in a plant’s foliage is almost always the result of what is going on in the soil. When there are issues with soil quality,...

How pH & TDS Levels Affect Water Quality How pH & TDS Levels Affect Water Quality How pH & TDS Levels Affect Water Quality How pH & TDS Levels Affect Water Quality


Two aspects of the water supply—pH and total dissolved solids (TDS)—affect many aspects of plant growth and vigor.

Indoor and Outdoor Lighting: The Best of Both Worlds Indoor and Outdoor Lighting: The Best of Both Worlds Indoor and Outdoor Lighting: The Best of Both Worlds Indoor and Outdoor Lighting: The Best of Both Worlds


Many indoor gardens aren’t set up to take advantage of natural sunlight, but doing so is practical, effective and leads to huge savings on...

Measuring Up: Meters and Tests That Can Help Your Garden Measuring Up: Meters and Tests That Can Help Your Garden Measuring Up: Meters and Tests That Can Help Your Garden Measuring Up: Meters and Tests That Can Help Your Garden


There are many meters and test kits available to help growers keep track of what is going on in their gardens.

How to Start Your First Hydroponic Garden: A Guide for Beginners How to Start Your First Hydroponic Garden: A Guide for Beginners How to Start Your First Hydroponic Garden: A Guide for Beginners How to Start Your First Hydroponic Garden: A Guide for Beginners


After learning about grow media choices, finding the correct water source and the planting process, you’ll see that the art of hydroponics...

Controlling the Curl: Tomato Leaf Roll Controlling the Curl: Tomato Leaf Roll Controlling the Curl: Tomato Leaf Roll Controlling the Curl: Tomato Leaf Roll


When it comes to viruses that cause the leaves of tomato plants (and others) to roll or curl, affecting the productivity of plants, the old...

Is Organic Hydroponics Always Better? Is Organic Hydroponics Always Better? Is Organic Hydroponics Always Better? Is Organic Hydroponics Always Better?


Is organic the only wise choice left out there? Let's start by deciding what it means to be truly organic in the first place, and then...

Starting Plants from Cuttings Starting Plants from Cuttings Starting Plants from Cuttings Starting Plants from Cuttings


Want some new cultivars for your garden, but also want a way to guarantee their quality? Well, this is a perfect opportunity for some DIY...

Cold Weather and Hydroponic Gardens Cold Weather and Hydroponic Gardens Cold Weather and Hydroponic Gardens Cold Weather and Hydroponic Gardens


Cold weather is a situation where hydroponic gardening, whether in your home or in a greenhouse, has an unbeatable advantage. Here’s how to...

How to Keep Your Plants Healthy How to Keep Your Plants Healthy How to Keep Your Plants Healthy How to Keep Your Plants Healthy


We all want to keep our plants healthy. However, when we see leaves that don’t look quite right, many of us overlook some of the more...

What Do You Know About the 'Dew? What Do You Know About the 'Dew? What Do You Know About the 'Dew? What Do You Know About the 'Dew?


In the garden, mildew is often confused with mold. However, they are very different problems and it is important not to mix the two up when...

Keeping With the Flow: Hydroponic Irrigation Systems Keeping With the Flow: Hydroponic Irrigation Systems Keeping With the Flow: Hydroponic Irrigation Systems Keeping With the Flow: Hydroponic Irrigation Systems


Hydroponics relies on water flow. Here’s a look at how two of the main irrigation systems—drain-to-waste and recirculating—keep plants...

How Much Water is Too Much? How Much Water is Too Much? How Much Water is Too Much? How Much Water is Too Much?


Should you be watering your plants once a day? Different plants and different soils need different watering regimens. Here’s a general...

What’s Infecting Your Vegetable Garden? What’s Infecting Your Vegetable Garden? What’s Infecting Your Vegetable Garden? What’s Infecting Your Vegetable Garden?


The rolling or curling of leaves on tomato and other plants can be a symptom of environmental stress—like too much fertilizer and over or...

Which Nutrients Contribute to Better-Tasting Homegrown Fruits and Vegetables? Which Nutrients Contribute to Better-Tasting Homegrown Fruits and Vegetables? Which Nutrients Contribute to Better-Tasting Homegrown Fruits and Vegetables? Which Nutrients Contribute to Better-Tasting Homegrown Fruits and Vegetables?


One of the most crucial elements in deciding how good your crops will taste is sulfur—but only if it is delivered to your plants in a form...

Greenhouses 101: Styles and Materials Greenhouses 101: Styles and Materials Greenhouses 101: Styles and Materials Greenhouses 101: Styles and Materials


Frank Rauscher gives us the basics on greenhouse construction and the materials involved. He says the most important step in building your...

Going Green: What Can You Do? Going Green: What Can You Do? Going Green: What Can You Do? Going Green: What Can You Do?


People talk about going green all the time, but they aren’t always sure where to start, Frank Rauscher has a few suggestions how you can...

How Does a Plant's Immune System Work? How Does a Plant's Immune System Work? How Does a Plant's Immune System Work? How Does a Plant's Immune System Work?


The best way to protect our indoor crops is to understand how they protect themselves from threats like pests and diseases.

Amino Acid Chelates: Giving Your Plants a Helping Hand Amino Acid Chelates: Giving Your Plants a Helping Hand Amino Acid Chelates: Giving Your Plants a Helping Hand Amino Acid Chelates: Giving Your Plants a Helping Hand


Just because you’re giving your plants nutrients doesn’t always mean they’re getting the full benefit—that’s where chelation comes in.

Q&A by Frank Rauscher


What can I do when the roots of my plants have blackened and there was some yellow wax oozing out of them? What can I do when the roots of my plants have blackened and there was some yellow wax oozing out of them? What can I do when the roots of my plants have blackened and there was some yellow wax oozing out of them? What can I do when the roots of my plants have blackened and there was some yellow wax oozing out of them?


When root systems become discolored or darkened this generally indicates disease. A common culprit is Phytophthera species, the genus of a...

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of other growers who are already receiving our monthly newsletter.