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A Rough Guide For Cuttings and Clones

 

A cutting is a part of a “donor” or “mother plant” that is cut off and placed in a rooting cube or rooting system where new roots are formed.  This process is cloning as it is a genetic copy of the mother plant.  

 

One of the benefits of cuttings is it speeds up the time needed to flower the plant in comparison to germinating seeds.  Also the prefered genetics of the mother plant are replicated giving you consistent results in terms of yield and taste.  

 

The first step in taking cuttings is to use sterilized equipment,  especially your cutting tool.  Our scalpels come sealed for this purpose.

 

Once you have selected your mother plant ensure that the plant is still in the vegetative stage.  Also try to use a healthy plant free of disease as the cutting will have the same ailment as the mother plant.  We suggest you spray the plant with Clonex Mist before you take your cuttings.

 

Prepare you cutting cube by soaking it in ph’d water (add some seedling feed in rockwool) and drain off any excess water.  Place your cube in a propagator with a temperature of approx 20-25° celsius and a humidity of around 80%.

 

Your cutting needs to have a semi hard stem and at least 3 sets of leaves.  Once cut place the stem in lukewarm water.  Then you will need to re cut the stem at a 45° angle and any large leaves need to be cut in half as they tend to wilt in the first few days.  

 

You will then need to use clonex rooting hormone gel to seal the cut on the bottom of the stem to promote root growth.  Then place the cutting in your cube and place inside the propagator,  spray again with Clonex Mist.  

 

Ensure a warm and moist environment and never allow the cube to become dry or overly wet.  Use a foliar spray of plain water or a weak solution of Formulex.  You can also re soak the cube with a light nutrient solution at the correct ph levels.  

 

For detailed instructions on this procedure please call our Peterborough Hydroponics store on 01733 331115 and speak to one of the team.   



Posted in Guides By Thomas Brown

Propagation Guide For Seeds

10/02/2016 14:06

By Thomas Brown

 

Your first consideration is plant genetics,  make sure you buy the correct type of seed and from a reputable source.  If the seeds have not been stored correctly, in a cool, dark and dry place,  then they are probably only good for the bin!

 

Next is your choice of media,  for soil growers you can use Jiffy peat pellets,  rockwool or Root Riot fleximix.  We would recommend Root Riot fleximix as these allow for better oxygen and water retention but also allow good drainage.  For hydroponics Grodan Rockwool or Root Riot is preferred as both are an inert medium.

 

It is recommended to “sterilize” the seeds by soaking them in warm water,  approx 50°C for about 25 minutes.  You can then either plant the seeds into the chosen media or pre germinate the seeds by placing them in moist paper towels between two plates and leave them in the dark.  Check every day or so to see if the root has appeared, then proceed to plant root side down into the media approx 5mm down below the surface.

 

Once in the rooting cube of choice,  lightly water with a weak nutrient solution like Formulex or Vitalink Plant Start.  If you are using Root Riot cubes or Jiffy Pellets then you shouldn’t need anything except plain water.  Drain any excess water out of the rooting cube to enable the roots to breathe better.  

 

Then you can place the seedling cube in a propagator to maintain a humid environment,  around 80% humidity is recommended.  Also maintain a temperature of approx 20-25° celsius,  it is imperative you keep in this temperature range in root and leaf areas.  Also refrain from using cold water to re wet your cubes or to mist the propagator,  check periodically to make sure the cubes do not go dry.  Moisture and warmth are your seedlings best friend!

 

Once the first shoot or Plumule emerges your seedling needs a light source to prevent stretching.  We would recommend a Maxibright CFL, or Maxibright T5 light, both options need to be in the blue spectrum for healthy leaf formation.  The first seedling leaves or cotyledons will grow before the first “True Leaves” are formed.  One rule to follow is the more leaves a plant has the more light it needs to grow.  Be careful not to have a too intense light source like a HID or HPS at this stage so the plant leaves do not dry out too fast.

 

Once the plant is at the first true leaf stage, remove the propagation lid at regular intervals to acclimatise the plant to a less humid environment and to prevent potential fungal diseases.

 

For any detailed advice on this subject please call 01733 331115 to speak to one of the Grow Superstore team in our Peterborough Hydroponics store.





Posted in Guides By Thomas Brown

By Thomas Brown

 

Your light source is the limiting factor for your potential yield, so consideration must be made on your choice of grow light.  Plants thrive under a full spectrum light source,  however during the vegetative stage plants prefer the blue end of the spectrum.  When plants have access to this “sky blue” light they grow more effectively rather than climb towards the light.

 

When plants have access to full spectrum light, with the focus on the blue end of the spectrum, many benefits are to be seen.  The plants will be short and stocky and have thicker stems,  with better (shorter) internodal spacing.  You will also see more dark green foliage as blue light is responsible for chlorophyll production.  Stomata production will also increase, these are essential for CO2 intake (used for photosynthesis) and for the plant to release oxygen and water.  To put it simply the stomata are the lungs of the plant.  

 

We would recommend using a metal halide lamp for the vegetative process,  which we stock the Sunmaster brand in 400w and 600w variations.  We would suggest using a 400w metal halide lamp for a 1.2m area.  This lamp may produce that much needed blue light, however a supplement of other parts of the spectrum (red) are recommended for improved photosynthesis.  

 

This can be achieved best by using the Maxibright daylight ceramic metal halide lamp from Philips.  These lamps produce an almost perfect full spectrum.  There are two lamps for this method,  The Philips MASTERcolour CDM-TMW Elite 315w and the Philips MASTERcolour CDM-TMW Elite Agro 315w EL.  The first of these lamps are centered on the blue end of the spectrum whereas the Agro is more focused on the red spectrum for the flowering stage.

 

Using a full spectrum light like the Maxibright Daylight kit you will see improved sugar production from the plant through photosynthesis.  This affects growth, plant health, the root system and how the plant reproduces.  To put it simply the more spectrum you give them the more of the natural plant genetics shine through!

 

Another important factor in using your light efficiently is not to crowd your plants as this will make if difficult for the plant to breathe through the stomata by increasing relative humidity in the plant foliage. If the humidity is too high (over 60%) the plant is unable to release oxygen and water and to absorb CO2 into the leaf from the stomata.  Any leaves that are shaded by leaves above will lose the much needed spectrum and the guard cells of the stomata will close and not be used for the photosynthesizing process.

 

In summary there are many factors to a bumper crop,  if you follow the principles of plant biology your yield will increase more rapidly than the next new nutrient on the market could ever achieve.  Your light source and how you use it is the first place to look at if yield is not upto scratch.  We recommend you invest in good full spectrum lights (Maxibright Daylight 315w) and the results will speak for themselves.  If you are unable to afford this on your first set up,  then we would recommend a good quality brand like the Eurloux light kit with dual spectrum lamp or go for a digital dimmable sunmaster light kit.

 

Any questions on this topic you are welcome to call The Grow Superstore in Peterborough on 01733 331115. Happy growing!





 






Posted in Guides By Thomas Brown