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Missed our last newsletter? Want to know what the pros know?

Newsletter - 2017-10-24

Tissue Culture and Cloning

Have you ever wondered how the biggest producers in the world ensure that they have a continuous supply of new plants?  The technique used is something called Tissue Culture.  A specialized lab is used to reproduce thousands of plants, just from one small piece of plant tissue.  This could be a piece of tissue even from the roots, although they usually prefer the part of the plant living above ground.  Have you ever eaten potatoes?  Then you've benefited from Tissue Culture!

But why do they like that one specific plant, and want more of it?  It's because the plant is expressing a phenotype (outward characteristic or trait) that the producer wants to see.   They would like the smell and taste, and decide that was a plant that they want to see more of.

Now, how does that affect the average grower who doesn't need thousands of plants?

It tells us that replicating a plant is a really common thing.  It's how our food is produced in such quantity, and with such predictable results.  It also tells us that cloning, not growing from seed, is the best way to be sure of the final genetics of the plant.

That being said, next week we want to show you how to clone, the easy way, with no special equipment needed.  We'll go over step by step instructions on how to clone, when to clone, and what you need to do it all.

 

Cheers,

Canadian Garden Supply

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Newsletter - 2017-10-31

Cloning

Last week we told you about Tissue Culture and how the plant industry has been using it for years to propagate new plants. 

Today we're going over how to make new plants by cloning.  One thing to remember is that most people aren't good at it, and its something that all growers struggle with. 

With advice from Canadian Garden Supply, cloning can be easy.  We want to help you get great at it, and we welcome questions about your experience along the way!

One thing to keep in mind is that this is just one successful way of cloning; there are many others.  This system works great for our customers!

What you will need:

Razor blade, propagation tray and dome, a rooting hormone, a shallow dish, scissors, some 1.5" or 2" rockwool cubes, and a fluorescent light fixture and bulb.

First: Fill the shallow dish with water.  Soak individual rockwool cubes in water.

Second: Pour some rooting hormone into its own lid.  You'll be dipping the cuttings into the rooting hormone here. 

Third: Cut a branch that has 3 to 4 leaves on it with your scissors.  Re-cut the bottom under water in the dish of water at a 45 degree angle with the razor blade.

Fourth: Dip the bottom that you re-cut into the rooting solution, and put it into the rockwool cube, pushing it in a little so that you can feel the cutting is secure.  Note: This is the most important part and something that new growers do wrong!  Make sure that you push your cutting around 3/8" (1 cm) into the bottom of the pre-made hole in the cube.  This secures it.  If the plant can spin and move in place, the roots will break off every time the cutting moves.

Fifth: Place the clones in your tray, put the dome on, and put underneath your fluorescent light fixture.  You can leave this light on for 24 hours per day, or use a timer and have an 18 hour on/ 6 hour off schedule.  The best location for rooting clones is a main floor or upstairs closet.  Here they will be the most warm.

So now what?

First: Make sure that no clone's leaves are covering their neighbor's growth tip.  This will kill the plant that has its top covered.  Gently push the leaf down below the other plant's leaves to make sure both have their growth tip exposed to light.

Second: The first time you will take off the lid will be the day after cloning.  Do this every day.  Take off the dome and drain off the condensation into a cup.  Dry the dome with a towel.  Hang that towel up to dry for tomorrow. 

Third: Now, make sure no growth tips of your clones are being covered up by their neighbor.  Why do you have to do that again?  Because every day your clones are moving.  They're alive.  Each clone is now competing for light and will cover up its neighbor to take that light.  Why do they act this way?  Survival of the fittest, as proposed by Darwin in his 1859 work "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection".

Fourth: Leave the tray open for one to two minutes.  This will reduce the humidity for the clones and they will start to try to grow roots to take up water.  By doing this, we're water stressing them in way.  We're making them transpire water without the use of roots.  This makes them want to grow roots soon.  Cover the tray with the dome.  Do the same thing ever day, but start leaving the lid off longer as the days progress.  (Cool fact: Over time, you will start to see the effects of water stress on your clones.  If you take the lid off, and come back minutes later, you will see that the leaves are starting to twist.  This reduces over time as they grow roots that help them transpire water).

Fifth: Repeat the above 4 steps every day.  Now for watering - The clones will start to need water within approximately the first 7 days, depending on how dry your home is.  You should notice that the cubes are getting lighter in colour and that they are less heavy; this indicates they are getting dryer.  Before they get dry, pour some water in the tray at one corner, and just tip it side to side and let the cubes absorb the water that they want.  Drain the excess.  It's better to water once or twice if you're not sure, than to let them dry out.  With experience you will know what they need. 

At the end, in 9 to 14 days your clones will be showing roots.  Once they grow roots you can start moving them out of the cloning tray, but do this slowly.  This new plant, even with roots, will still experience water stress if you take it out of the dome.  Each day leave the rooted clones in a tray that is uncovered, monitoring their behavior.  If one starts to look like it is stressing too much, put it back under the covered tray.  This is a type of conditioning of the plant to a normal humidity environment.

We hope that this newsletter has given you a method to be better at cloning.  If you like our newsletter, please share it with your friends!  Also, don't hesitate to call or email us with your questions.

So, that being said, next week we want to tell you about CO2, and how you can incorporate it to help your plants.

 

Cheers,

Canadian Garden Supply

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Newsletter - 2018-01-02


Government Regulated and Approved Pesticides

If you are gardening and are consuming your product, you want to make sure that you're using pesticideds that are safe and approved for consumption.

Pest control is vital to get proper yields.  If your plants are fighting insects while they are trying to grow, it will take energy away from their fruits and flowers.

Monitoring your grow space for pests, and using preventative sprays throughout your crops is the best way to prevent infestations.

Health Canada has a list of registered pesticides that are approved for consumption with regard to inhaled products.

They list the following products as of September 13, 2017:

Actinovate SP
Agrotek Ascend Vaporized Sulphur
Bio-Ceres G WP
Bioprotec Caf
Bioprotec Plus
Botanigard 22 WP
Botanigard ES
Cyclone
Doktor Doom Formula 420 Professional Use 3-in-1
Influence LC
Kopa Insecticidal Soap
Lacto-San
MilStop Foliar Fungicide
Neudosan Commercial
Opal Insecticidal Soap
Prestop
Rootshield(R) WP Biological Fungicide
Rootshield HC Biological Fungicide Wettable Powder
Sirocco
Vegol Crop Oil

People do use different products than these listed above, and more are added by Health Canada as they investigate different brands.

There are also ways to control bugs with other bugs.  These are not regulated by Health Canada.  Predator mites are a mite that you can introduce to your room to eat the population of spider mites living there.  Nematodes can be used to eat pests that eat your roots.  There are also many more.

You can find the Health Canada Pesticides and Pest Management webpage here.

We hope that this newsletter has introduced you to different ways of controlling pests in your garden.  Do you have more pest or pesticide questions?  Call or email us any time!

- Inter Folia Fructus -

"Fruit Amongst the Leaves"

Cheers,

Canadian Garden Supply