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January/February 2010

Become a Ventilation Master

Thanks to a Broad Range of Equipment

Cultivation Tips:

Forget Crystal Balls, Look at the Roots!

Plant Physiology: Leaves

The Trees of Life – part 3 Fighting Thrips:

Volume 5 – Issue 4

ISSN: 1715-0949 – Bimonthly PP41129557

Know your Enemy! “Park Princess” Pink Dahlia (or “Cactus” Dahlia)





12 14 16 20

Let Your Plants Breathe with Econo-Fan


By M. Durand, owner

Hydro Innovations: Expert in Heat Control

By Stephen Keen, owner

Depolluting Plants: Well-Being Allies

By Flora Mag



By V. Green

30 38 48


Recommended Equipment to Become A Ventilation Master


Plant Physiology: Leaves

By S. Ste-Anne, biology teacher

By V. Green

By S. Ste-Anne, biology teacher

In A Nutshell: Plants and their Virtues Plant Physiology: Nutrition

Subscribe online at N.B. Should you need to refer to our conversion table, you’ll find it on our website:

8 22 24 28 40

The Trees of Life – Part Three: Blue Gold versus Green Gold

By Sylvie Laberge

Fighting Thrips: Know Your Ennemy!

By Pete Kovachevich (Pro Gardening Systems)

A Quick Conversation with Humboldt Wholesale

By Sam Kagan

Forget Crystal Balls: Look at the Roots!

By Frank Nyikos

Carried Away

By Glenn Milbrand

Plant Foods: GH Flora Series

By General Hydroponics

And our usual features: Editorial______________6

Q&A_____________ 26

Destination Profile _ ___52

Industry News_____ 6, 56 to 60

Gallery_______________36 Tips & Tricks _________62

Order Form_ ______ 43

Movies_ __________ 66, 67

Published by: Green Publications • Directors of publication: Roxanne Lekakis and Stan Daimon • Managing editor: Bruno Bredoux Director of sales and marketing: • Contributing editor: Helene Jutras • Art director: André Faucher • Editorial coordinator: Bruno Bredoux Collaborators in this issue: Bruno Bredoux, Stan Daimon, M. Durand, General Hydroponics, V. Green, Joël Guérin, Helene Jutras, Sam Kagan, Stephen Keen, Pete Kovachevich, Roxanne Labelle, Sylvie Laberge, Patrick Laberge, Rose Laforêt, Mélissa Léveillé, Flora Mag, G. Marius, Glenn Milbrand, Frank Nyikos, Kathleen Paynter, Sophie Sainte-Anne, vieux bandit. Translation/Copy editing: Helene Jutras, C. Tr. • Cover design: André Faucher, after a photography by Bruno Bredoux (“Park Princess”Pink Dahlia) Distribution: See the list of our distributors on our website • Information: The Indoor Gardener Magazine, P.O. Box 52046, Laval, Quebec, H7P 5S1, CANADA Phone: 450-628-5325, Fax: 450-628-7758, website : © 2010, Green Publications Vertes, Laval, Qc, Canada

Articles, iconographic representations and photographs contained in this magazine cannot be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the written consent of the Publisher. The magazine (The Indoor Gardener) and publisher (Green Publications) are not responsible for mistakes or erroneous information provided by their authors. The publisher further declines any and all liability related to any problem stemming from the unsuccessful application of any advice provided by an author in an article. Publications Mail - Agreement number PP41129557. Canada Post: Return undeliverable items to Green Publications, PO Box 52046, Laval, Quebec H7P 5S1. U.S. Delivery and Subscriptions: Periodicals Postage Rates are paid in Laval, Qc, Canada, H7P 5S1 – Post Canada Agreement PP41129557. U.S. Post Master: Return undeliverable items to Green Publications, PO Box 52046, Laval, Quebec, H7P 5S1, Canada. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement number: PP41129557. Legal deposit: Second Quarter 2005. National Library of Canada. Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. ISSN: 1715-0949. Printed in Canada by Litho Mille-Îles.

4 | Volume 5 – Issue 4



Clonex Comes to Canada


Mirror, Mirror, Tell Me… ... Who has the most beautiful garden? Ever heard of emulation? It’s this feeling of comparison with others that spreads like a virus. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau said: “[…] Hence we begin to look around among our fellows; we begin to compare ourselves with them, there is emulation, rivalry, and jealousy.” So is emulation a positive or a negative emotion? When it comes to gardening, I’d say nothing is more positive. Look at these neighbourhoods where only dandelions and weeds grow. No emulation, no juxtaposition of gardens, all prettier than the next. Now look at neighbourhoods in which someone started to throw flower and plant seeds in their own yard—the surroundings quickly fill with gardens that compete with one another to be the most luscious, the most appealing. Yes, plants cause rivalries, jealousy and mimetism—and it does them good, and brings us more beauty to admire. Like the Mirror Queen in Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm, who must feed on the beauty of young virgins lest her 500 years of age be revealed, gardeners place a mirror in front of their closest neighbours, and each tries to outdo his rivals, lest his horticultural sterility be noticed. Emulation stimulates the senses, abilities and efforts put in to embellish our indoor and outdoor gardens. It leads us to live in a world of beauty and green, in the ultimate shimmering decor. It brings constant happiness when the mirror reflects the most beautiful, accomplished, luxuriant and flowery reality. Gardening is a fairy tale. And these days, fairy godmothers don’t stop at pumpkins! They are queens of gardening centres (who still remain shielded from the economic crisis)... without even magic wands!

Bruno Bredoux

6 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

Clonex®, the ultimate rooting compound used by professionals and hobby gardeners the world over since 1989, is now registered and once again available for sale in Canada. It is a high performance, water-based rooting compound developed by Growth Technology™ Ltd. Clonex is a tenacious gel that remains in contact around the stem, sealing the cut tissue and supplying the hormones (including 0.31% IBA) needed to promote root-cell development and the vitamins needed to protect delicate new root tissue. It has a full spectrum of mineral nutrients and trace elements to nourish young roots during their crucial formative stages. Clonex is available in 100-ml and 250-ml formats. Also available in single-use 15-ml packets.

MO’KOKO Premium Select Coco Substrate Brite-Lite Group is pleased to introduce its new line of premium, RHP-certified coco substrates. MO’KOKO carries the RHP stamp, the Dutch Standard of Quality for horticulture. RHP certification guarantees that quality has been stringently monitored from raw materials to production and storage, satisfying that the highest chemical and physical requirements have been met. Available in pre-washed and buffered 4.5-kilo compressed blocks or loose and ready-touse 50-litre bags. Homogeneous, stable, pest free and easily recyclable, MO’KOKO is an excellent alternative for the environmentally conscious grower. For more information, contact your local indoorgardening retailer or call Brite-Lite Group at 1-800-489-2215.


Know Your Enemy! Thrips and How to Address Them By Pete Kovachevich (Pro Gardening Systems)

Recently, a nice guy came into the offices here at PGSGrow. He had a DVD he made of a video from his garden with some bugs he couldn’t identify. He was having tremendous trouble getting rid of the bugs and they were causing considerable, visible damage to his plants. Upon inspection, I realized he had thrips, and told him so. He said: “I thought they had wings?” Well they do, but they also have a larval stage of development, and the wings on adults tend to be fringed and not completely operable. I am a huge proponent of neem oil, and have used it religiously for years. I tried a few neem-oil variations on these thrips and have seen absolutely no results.

This prompted me to do a little more research—I found some great data on the subject. First of all, thrips are among the most pesticide-resistant insects around. They are very hardy and have a very sophisticated network of communication. They multiply quickly and actually cut holes into the leaf to insert either an egg or an enzyme that starts to digest the plant’s cells and prepares them for easier assimilation. This is what causes that silvery leaf film.

Silvery leaf film left from thrips enzyme.

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 9

Pest Control | THE INDOOR GARDENER They also secrete scents from their anal glands that tell other thrips where to find plant cells that are primed for eating. I have seen so many great gardens turn into diseased and damaged gardens quickly from a round of thrips... They are vectors for viruses, more than any other garden pest! This is not something that should be neglected: yes your crop can still go off with thrips, but they will make your yield suffer dramatically.

Thrips enzyme injected into leaf and digesting cells.

Once established, flying adults start to do real damage, as they can fly around the whole garden and find the most tender and the youngest shoots to feast upon. So after hearing from so many different people about their thrips-related problems, having suffered a poor crop myself from these predators, I made a pledge to understand how to defeat them. Fear not, people! I have made strides and have discovered a few powerful solutions.

Of course, prevention is the ultimate cure… If you go to a friend’s garden and he has thrips, take steps to avoid contaminating your garden by changing your clothes and even taking a shower before entering your own garden. Have a weekly maintenance plan that involves inspection and hand-wipe removal of eggs, debris, larvae, adults, and nymphs. Stay vigilant and active in your pursuit to identify where thrips are hiding (usually in the knuckle of the leaf). Summer can really bump up the number of thrips in your area (outside) and they can catch a ride into your room in a myriad of ways: ducting, pets, cracks, clothing, friends, other plants, etc. All these Here are some really great images I found online to help you elements should be identify this enemy! ( considered when it comes to addressing these foul pests. Not to be taken lightly, these bugs, if left alone, will reduce your yield and quality in one fell swoop. Don’t let this sophisticated enemy win: Arm yourself with this knowledge and get in there, right on the front line (under the leaf and in the cracks of stems). Watch this great and informative video on YouTube: CY. All of this is leading to my grand solution for thrips… Green Light Lawn and Garden Spray Concentrate with SPINOSAD®. This is an OMRI-listed organic pest solution that contains an interesting bacteria called Spinosad. This compound is unlike any other pesticide ever made. It has less of an impact on your other beneficial micro-organisms and insects (such as nematodes and ladybugs) and packs a serious punch on thrips. Its “Caution” signal indicates a reduced risk to applicators and workers. There are no specific worker-protection requirements, even though applicators and handlers should wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes, and socks. All reports and my personal experience with this product are positive, particularly in respect to thrips. After trying pyrethrin, fatty acid soaps and neem-oil solutions—and seeing no results,—I realized I needed to try something else. (I felt like these bastards were immune to everything). After one application of Spinosad, I have seen not thrips in my garden—not one!

Our 3 locations : 765 Petaluma Ave Sebastopol, CA 1-707-829-7252

3715 Santa Rosa Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 1-707-585-8633

4936 Highway 12 Santa Rosa, CA 1-707-538-8402 10 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

The re-application rate is often enough to really knock the thrips down and break the reproduction cycle. Best part is… it’s organic! Don’t let this enemy get the most of you: stop letting thrips eat out on your account at the Ritz Carlton of buffets, your garden! Think about how much your crop is worth to you, and then think about how many tanks of gas or meals out these insects are literally taking from you! Fight back and take back your room! We have Spinosad at all our stores and online (! Or call us: 1-866-PGS-GROW


Would you like to share your own cultivation tips? Please send them to We may publish them in an upcoming issue! Here are the latest tips we received:

Transplanting: To Wash the Root Mass or Not?

I’ve read with much interest the article “How to Place a Plant in Rockwool Flakes, Gardex (Mixture of Vermiculite, Perlite, and Rockwool) or in Coco Fibre”, by Pierre Bonnard and Jean-Pierre Daimé (from City Plantes) in last spring’s issue. The article provides very informative tips in general, but the authors should have specified that this transplanting method is specifically (and only) for medium changes to coco or rockwool substrates, from original earth/soil growing substrate (in which seedlings or clones were started). It also sounds like they are talking about tomatoes or some such low-value crop. When transplanting from coco to coco, there is no need to open the plant’s root ball at all, you just have to take the old pot off and bury it in a new bigger pot of the same stuff it’s in, i.e. coco substrate in that case. By breaking open the root ball and rinsing the coco off, you are causing the plant loads of stress. The recommended system (given in the article), washing the roots, is something you would only do when going from soil to a rockwool substrate-type or hydro balls. If you’re going to earth/ soil transplantation, there is also no real need to wash the roots: just transplant to coco and start watering with a coco pH-adjuster solution, and that’s it. The article provides good info though, other than washing the roots. I’m not saying this can’t be done, I’m just saying that it will cause a lot of unnecessary stress to the plant. A system of microorganisms could already be in place in the root mass and it should be preserved to ensure that the plant has the best chances of adapting to its new substrate. In the sidebar to the aforementioned article, “Transplanting your Crops with Success”, by Joe Cimino, more tips are proposed. There, advice is given

about transplanting from soil to coco, and it makes good sense. As long as one is very careful and uses pH-balanced water (if possible), maybe even with a dash of Rhizotonic (from Canna) in the water, it’s a good start. Then dunk your plants’ root ball and let the soil wash off. A little bit of dirt left on will not matter. I hope this will help. I also have a question: are your previous issues offered on DVD? Thanks. – G. Marius, FL

Keep Your Hydrangeas’ Stems Intact in the Fall

Hydrangeas are usually growing well in partial sun but they sometimes are scarcely blooming. What is the problem? Most mophead hydrangeas make their flowers on the previous year’s stems, so they should not be cut in the fall or frozen up during the winter. So, keep all the stems at the end of the season and protect your hydrangeas under a foam container during the winter.

– Bobbi, Buffalo, NY

To answer your questions, our articles are not offered on our website, nor on a DVD. If you’re looking for a particular article, contact us and we will send you a PDF file of that article. If you’ve found these cultivation tips useful, share your own with our readers by sending them to They just might get published! Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 11

Become a Ventilation Master:

Recommended Equipment – by V.G

Ventilation is one of the elements that are essential for successful cultivation and harvest. Your plants’ health depends on air quality and temperature and on its humidity rate. Your plants cannot reach their maximum development without ventilation that’s adapted to your lighting and your indoorgardening space.

A Fan is Required

Proper ventilation requires the simultaneous implementation of various elements and techniques. There are devices and products designed specifically for each of these aspects and techniques. Coordinating the operation of all these devices will allow you to design a well-ventilated and efficient cultivation room.

Manufacturers of ventilation equipment and distribution centres offer a wide range of air-exhaust and blower fans in function of your space and your lamp’s wattage.

On top of an adapted aeration system, ventilation moves the air about—which increases both the quantity and quality of the oxygen available for plants. A fan has a major effect on plant health, but it also prevents mildew and infection problems caused by stagnant or vitiated air, in which bacteria, insects and other pathogens thrive.

Exhaust and Blower Fans

Aluminum Ducts and Shafts, Sound-proof Models (or Not)

One of the most important elements for your ventilation systems is the choice of air duct that will be adapted to your exhaust and blower devices. You must choose the duct based on the diameter of your air-exhaust/blower fan and, obviously, according to more precise requirements (flexibility, noise, distance to cover, etc.).

Carbon Filters and Air Purification

Typhoon Fans from MegaWatt Typhoon fans are a high-performance duct fan equal to the best inline duct blowers on the market today. They come in sizes from 4 to 12 inches. The most powerful motors combined with sleek design make Typhoon inline fans the performance leader in their category! Three-year warranty. Tel. : 1-800-575-2515 or

Odour emanation can cause a major problem in your indoor garden (as well as outdoors if there are leaks), especially if you grow specimens of exotic or carnivorous plants, aromatic herbs (spices, basil, mint, etc.) or other odoriferous varieties. Carbon filters now available allow you to purify the air in the gardening room as well as the air exhausted from it—up to 99%.

Temperature and Humidity Control

To develop in harmony, your plants need you to control the temperature daily to ensure it remains within the range required by the type of plants you grow and your cultivation methods. Humidity is another important parameter you have to take into account for plants to grow well and vigorously.

An Ionizer to Purify the Air

IIonizers are not only good for humans and four-legged beings! Ionizers purify and refresh the air. They produce negative ions, which are particularly active in atmospheric purification, fighting both micro-pollutants and bad odours, which facilitates respiration (that of humans, animals… and plants!) in a closed space, where vitiated air is always a risk.


And don’t forget that only the gardener should enter the garden! Pets, friends, kids? They should be banished from the sacred space! They bring with them all kinds of micro-organisms that can be detrimental to your plants.

Notes & News

Carbon-Dioxide Control

We hear about CO2, but what is its use? Carbon dioxide is one of the elements required for photosynthesis, and as such it directly contributes to the plant’s energy production. It’s a kind of natural anabolic element and can—when properly diffused—increase production and yield significantly.

Ventilation/Aeration Accessories

There are tons of accessories you can adapt to your ventilation equipment. That’s great news for do-it-yourself gardeners, who’ll know how to use their ability for building sophisticated systems with what the market offers in terms of tools and gadgets. Designing an indoor-gardening space that meets your needs is a challenge, and exhaust/blower ventilation can help you succeed. You’ll find in the following pages a few ideas and manufacturers that make products which are ideal for ventilation and aeration in an indoor garden. (Sources: Hydroparadise, Maussane, France)

Heat Deserves to be Blown Away

Sunleaves Wind Tunnel in-line exhaust fans come in 5 models (4”, 6”, 8”, 10” and 12”). They feature: • serious air power;

• energy efficiency;

• high volume and pressure;

• quieter operation than metal fans;

• durable, vibration-absorbing material;

• permanently sealed and lubricated bearings;

• possible installation in any position (mounting hardware included); • class-B thermal protective auto reset; • rated for moist environments; • 120 V, 60 Hz;

BioFloral: Now a Distributor of SteadyGro Products Biofloral, Inc. of Laval, Quebec, Canada has added SteadyGro to its line of soilless media and hydroponic products. BioFloral is a dynamic and expanding company specialized in the distribution of hydroculture and horticulture products. Its wide range of exclusive and top quality products offers everything you need for indoor and outdoor gardening. Their Laval location includes administrative offices, warehousing with more than 1,500 different products, a training room, a laboratory, and a grow room. The SteadyGro line includes a wide variety of sheet, plug, block, and slab media for soilless and hydroponic growing. For more information, contact Kelvin Frye at 800-428-0515 or

Novelty: Eco-Friendly Water-Powered Clock by Bedol Want a high quality, beautifully designed clock that literally runs itself? Look no further. Because the handsome Bedol Water Clock works 100% on natural power. It’s true. No batteries, no chemicals, no electricity—no pollution.

• Flange diameter and power:

You don’t even need to wind it up! Just fill the tank with natural tap water, add a splash of natural lemon juice... and you’re set for 6 to 8 weeks of accurate timekeeping before refreshing! (You won’t even lose time while changing water, thanks to the built-in memory chip!). With its bold modern styling, space-age accuracy and surprisingly low price, the Bedol Eco-Friendly Water-Powered Clock is ideal for home or office—or as a unique gift item. Measuring in at a tidy 4” x 3 ½”, this sophisticated item comes in a choice of four popular decorator colours (blue, green, orange, and charcoal).

• Five-year warranty.

For a Water Clock with an alarm, see our Alarm Bedol Water Clock. Visit:

- - - - -

4” = 200 CFM, 0.53 amps, 40 W; 6” = 409 CFM, 1.0 amps, 70 W; 8” = 650 CFM, 1.7 amps, 120 W; 10” = 875 CFM, 1.7 amps, 200 W; 12” = 1,125 CFM, 1.44 amps, and 170 W;

Visit to find a retailer near you.

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 13

Ventilation Master’s Gear

Let your Plants (and your Invoice) Breathe with Econo-Fan by M. Durand

Keep your building cool at a cool cost with Econo-Fan: you get savings of 50% or more over the operating cost of any fan offered on the Canadian market, as well as over 50% savings on the cost of energy. It’s the only fan that can give a minimum of 900 CFMs to a maximum of 8,800 CFMs without overheating and with no inversion at low revolutions per minute. Econo-Fan is the only maximumperformance fan with lower energy consumption. Its minimum energy consumption is 30 watts and 900 CFM (30 CFM = 1 watt) and its maximum energy consumption is 506 watts and 8,800 CFM (17.42 CFM = 1 watt). It features a forced-ventilation control (CVF-2500). It’s the new fan that’s currently the most efficient on the market and this fan is made in Québec. 14 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

Technical specifications:

• 8 independent variable fans; • 2 customizable fix stages; • 1 inlet section; • 10 sensors, offering you the possibility to create 10 customizable zones; • Real-time display of each variable-speed stage. • Power supply: 115/230 A/C ventilation, 60 Hz; • Alarm relay: 5 A, 120 A/C ventilation; • Direct variable output: 120/230, 7.5 A; • Drive outputs: 0-5 V modulated, 50 mA; • Sensor input: 0-5 V modulated.


Econo-Fan’s watts* and CFM calibration**:

Here are some of Econo-Fan’s benefits:





cfm per watt
































































































































23.68 23.03














































































































* A single voltage: 240 V. ** A single-size fan: 20 inches.

• 0-8,800 CFM capacity per 0.01-0.50 pressure units; • Energy consumption: 30 watts minimum and 506 watts maximum; • Fan that doesn’t change its rotation, no matter what wind is coming from outdoors; • Of all fans on the market, it has the widest variation capacity: 5 to 1,735 revolutions/minute; • The only fan on which you can reverse rotation to close the external-case door and make it airtight. • The fan is equipped with a manual- and automatic-mode controller; • The fan uses a new technology with a four-blade impeller.



D Captions: A - Econo-Fan: inside view

B - Econo-Fan: sectional side view

C - Econo-Fan: outside front view

D - Econo-Fan: exploded view

Some specifications of the Econo-Fan case: • Case entirely made of ABS plastic; • Front door panel is airtight, preventing any air or cold infiltration; • Front panel is equipped with a latch, so it does not open in the wind; • Shutter-less case maximizes performance and makes maintenance easy; • Fan grill is made of HPS plastic and fibreglass, eliminating any risk of rust; • Single-sized holes to be drilled in your building’s walls: 24¼ by 24¼ inches. Econo-Fan is a product of Québec-based company Agri-tron. Visit: Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 15


Hydro Innovations, Expert in Heat Control By Stephen Keen

Owner, Hydro Innovations

Company Presentation

Hydro Innovations is a young, dynamic company started and owned by an experienced indoor gardener. As our name implies, we believe that there are a lot of “thinking out of the box” innovations that can be made to improve indoor gardening, primarily in the area of heat control, which is our focus. We have a lot of in-the-trenches experience and our products reflect that. We won’t mislead you with inflated claims of performance: our products do exactly what we say they’ll do, and we know it because we’ve tested each of them extensively in an actual indoor-growing environment.

either way you will see a significant drop in your cooling energy requirements. Chillers are typically twice as efficient as air conditioners simply because water can absorb heat 20 times faster than air. To use the Ice Box heat exchanger efficiently, you will need a high quality chiller, appropriately sized for your application, a 30- to 50-gallon reservoir, a properly sized


Hydro Innovations is proud to present the next generation in water-cooled CO2 generators, the HydroGEN PRO. Like the original, the PRO version uses a water-cooled heat exchanger to cool nearly 90% of the heat produced by burning propane. The new unit has several upgrades and new features over the very popular original model. The PRO unit is more user friendly and has more installation options, making it the best water-cooled unit yet. A few of the upgrades include replacing the 3-V battery pack with a power-cord adapter that now operates on 12 V, adding insulation to the internal tubing to protect it from excessively humid environments, and an additional power outlet for the Ice Cap cooling accessory, soon to be released. The best part is that the HydroGEN PRO retails for the same price as the original version!

Ice Box

The Ice Box is a water-cooled heat exchanger that can be used to cool the hot air generated by your lamps. With this system, you can do away with your in-and-out ducting and keep everything but the water chiller inside the garden. There are several great advantages to sealing your room, including superior CO2 efficiency (by keeping your CO2 in), reduced opportunities for pests or disease to reach your plants, and easier odour control. With this system, you can get—and keep—absolute control over your garden temperatures and not be at the mercy of the outdoor climate. It can be used simply for controlling the heat from your lights or for replacing your air conditioner altogether, but

16 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

pump, Ice Boxes for each of your reflectors, quality tubing and miscellaneous plumbing parts. To help understand the way the system works, there are instructional videos available on and on Hydro Innovations’ website.

Ice Box Thermostat

The Ice Box thermostat was custom-made by Grozone specifically to be used with the Ice Box water-cooled system. When using the Ice Box to air condition your space, this is the most efficient way to adjust and set your room temperatures. As cooling needs change, the Ice Box

SHOPPING | THE INDOOR GARDENER thermostat will speed up or slow down most fans accordingly by controlling a single plug outlet. It has a photo cell, which allows day and night settings and a 6-foot long temperature probe.

What is unique about our product is that during the lights-on cycle, the fans will only slow down to an idle when the desired room temperature is met (the fans will never stop during lights on). It isn’t a good idea to stop airflow through the hoods, as it will quickly build up too much heat right above the plant canopy. During the lights-off cycle, the fans will actually turn off when the desired temperature is met so that the room doesn’t get too cold. The thermostat can run multiple fans with the ability to handle up to 6 amps.

CO2 Monitor

Hydro Innovations is now offering a high quality yet extremely affordable CO2 monitor. The product features a maintenance-free SenseAir brand gas detector, which after extensive testing we have found to be the most accurate sensor available.

The cost savings are not a result of cutting corners on the accuracy or function of the unit—it is because our unit is simplified and lacks a lot of the frequently unused bells and whistles that other monitors have. Our monitor is not adjustable and comes preset to turn on at 1,300 PPM and off at 1,500 PPM. Simple indicator lights

18 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

show the current CO2 levels instead of a digital screen. Our monitor comes with a piggyback plug, allowing it to be used with any brand generator. We also supply our easy-mount wall bracket to make installation as easy as it can be. The simplicity of our monitor makes it the most user-friendly CO2 monitor available.


We are proud to be the exclusive distributor of ChillKing brand chiller systems. ChillKing has been building commercial-grade chillers as well as installing complete water-cooled cooling systems in restaurants for over 10 years. When Hydro Innovations teamed up with ChillKing, we were really able to take the company and water cooling the garden to the next level. Finally, we’ve located heavy duty but affordable chillers that are user friendly and built to last! There are several different models and sizes to choose from so that you can get the perfect chiller for your particular setup. Standard models are available from ½ to 15 HP and custom units are available in any size. There are units that come with reservoirs and pumps built inside, and we can even supply the larger units in three-phase power. Custom jobs include water-cooled chillers, split systems with the ability to use the compressor indoors, and units that have multiple compressors that can be automatically started separately as cooling is needed, thus saving energy. Units larger than 2 HP are completely made in the USA and use a Copeland scroll compressor that has a 5-year warranty. Units up to 2 HP are partially made and completely assembled in the USA. Most air conditioners perform to roughly 50% of their BTU rating, which means the average 24,000 BTU (2 HP) air conditioner only puts out about 12,000 BTU of actual cooling. ChillKing chillers are individually tested and don’t pass quality control if they don’t output at a minimum of 110% of their rating. Our 24,000 BTU water chiller outputs roughly 26,000 BTU of cooling… more than double that of an air conditioner with the same energy requirements! It doesn’t take long for the energy savings to add up.

Water-Cooled Air Handlers

For simple water-cooled air conditioning, ChillKing’s water-cooled air handlers can be paired with our self-contained ChillKing brand chiller. Since these chillers come with pumps and reservoirs built in, you simply attach water lines between the chiller and air handler, add water and the install is nearly done. These air handlers include a multi-speed fan, thermostat, humidistat, and condensation drip pans that can be plumbed to a drain. These units are very similar to what is used on split-system air conditioners but their advantage, beside double the efficiency, is that there is no freon or refrigerant to deal with, so they don’t require any HVAC licensing to install. Additionally, a typical setup allows use of the air handlers with 45 degree water to remove much of the humidity out of the air with no worries of freezing up the coils as with typical A/C coils. Using a water-cooled air-conditioning system is also expandable and can be used in conjunction with any other water-cooled product available from Hydro Innovations. Our distributors are: Hydrofarm

Icehouse Distribution


Sunlight Supply


Winner of a Column for a Year (October/November Contest)

Carried Away By Glenn Milbrand

will try to share my indoorgardening experiences with you in short form, in the hope that we’ll be able to get into more detail at a later date. I began gardening indoors mainly to propagate seedlings for my spring planting, but as you’ll see, I have since gone way beyond that. I hope you enjoy my experience as much as I do. I must say that it became obvious I was starting to take my gardening seriously when I constructed my “propagation chamber.” The chamber measures 1.2 x 0.8 x 2.1-metres tall. It has three levels, each equipped with six fluorescent lamps and a thermostat-controlled heating cable. The entire chamber is encased in clear plastic, which can be opened on all four sides. It’s also equipped with a thermostat-controlled electric heater for heating the surrounding air. It’s well vented for air circulation. What’s really great about it is that it can hold six standard nursery flats on each level, for a total of over 800 seedlings depending on the size of cells I use. My results to date are really quite remarkable. I’m able to germinate even the most stubborn pepper seeds in about a week or two, with about a 99.9% germination rate! After the seeds sprout, the seedlings grow by about 0.6 centimetre per day, because after four to five weeks, the plants are 25 to 30 centimetres tall. Just

totally amazing! Given the opportunity, I’ll explain in detail the construction of the chamber and what feeding, temperature and light schedule I’ve been using. I’d like to take a moment to briefly describe my indoorgarden area and the equipment setup I’ve been using. I use an area in my garage that measures about 3.6 square metres with a 3-metre ceiling. I have a forced hot-air furnace for heating, and a 1.3-metres ceiling fan for air circulation. I have four large horizontal light reflectors mounted on a solar-revolution circular light mover. I have two 400-watt MH ballasts, two 600-watt HPS ballasts, and two 1,000watt switchable ballasts that I switch around based on what growth stage my plants are at. I also have a 25-centimetre intake fan and a 30-centimetre exhaust fan for fresh-air exchange. I control all of this with a Plant Pro total-greenhouse controller. The controller is able to control my light relay, CO2 level, temperature, humidity, and pump cycle. I also use some tower fans to help with air circulation and pollination of my various crops. Now let’s get back to some growing. Due to my curious nature and my endless hours of reading and research, I use a few different systems for my growing. I have

24 power growers (drip irrigation) and an up-to-170-site Aeroflo (aeroponic) system. I use various combinations depending on what it is that I am growing, all of which seem to have varied results. I have experimented with day length, nutrient strength and both day and night temperatures. Last year I had planted 200 strawberry plants and when they began to flower, I purchased a bumblebee hive to aid with pollination. I’ve had some interesting experiences with my garden, like the time I set up my 120-site Aeroflo on a large pallet so I could move it around for cleaning or whatever. When I went to move it, it collapsed and I had 120 pepper plants floating down the driveway. When you don’t realize how large a pepper plant can grow, and you make no provision for staking or support, you end up with a gargantuan “pepper bush” filled with about 4,000 peppers. Or when you decide to move the tomatoes from your power growers to outside—only to find out that when grown under perfect conditions, they will grow over 3.5metres tall. I would enjoy sharing these experiences and others in more detail, should I be asked to write again. I would also like to write an up-to-date column, a diary of my garden as I am growing it, using growing suggestions from other readers. I could explain in detail what it is I’m doing and my theory as to why. I could add pictures so we can all see the results. We could experiment with different nutrients and strengths and see the real-life results. We could possibly test some new equipment and again see the results. I think it could be a lot of fun and we all could gain some valuable knowledge at the same time. I know that I will have a hard time waiting for the next issue to come out to see where we’re at every month! With that, happy growing, everyone!

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 19

Depolluting Plants:

Well-Being Allies By Flora Mag

Plants will never cease to amaze us! We knew they were decorative and therapeutic—but we now know their power is even greater. Indeed, do you know so-called “depolluting” plants? They actively contribute to get rid of chemical substances found in the air of our homes. The rather complex principle can be summarized in this way: through a gas-exchange process, leaves absorb pollutants from the air, which are then transformed into organic matter by the roots and then feed the plant. These plants efficiently purify the air, as several studies have now clearly shown and proven. A Few Beneficial Plants

• The spathiphyllum (or peace lily) is the depolluting plant par excellence. Benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia, formaldehyde: the great majority of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are absorbed by this plant. It can be placed in every room of the house without moderation. Beware however: the peace lily is toxic for pets! • The tail flower is a depolluting plant that’s particularly efficient against ammonia. Since it likes moisture, it will do best when placed in the kitchen or bathroom. The azalea offers the same virtues, but patience is required to fully enjoy its beauty, since it flowers from October to January. • The phalaenopsis (or moth orchid), appreciated for its majestic flowers, eliminates the carbon monoxide found in our homes. It can be placed in every room of the house.

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Toxic Pollutants in Our Homes

We’re mistaken when we believe that our indoor air is purer than the air outdoors. The contrary is true! Indeed, the air is five to ten times more polluted indoors (homes, offices...). Yet that’s where we spend most of our time. At the source of this pollution, we find, first and foremost, VOCs, chemical substances mixed into the air and which we inhale. Several of these volatile organic compounds contribute to the photochemical reactions responsible for the formation of the troposphere’s ozone. These VOCs come from products or materials with which we come in contact every day: glues, solvents, insulation materials, paints, carpets, plastics, etc. Their repercussions are more of less damaging to our health, just like electromagnetic waves coming from various devices such as TV sets, computers, etc.


Letter to the Editor Send us your comments at: Thanks!


Greetings, I recently had the fortune of perusing your article about the benefits of bananas (volume 5, issue 1, July/August 2009, pages 32 to 36), and there’s but one lingering question before I “go bananas”: are any virtues contradicted by conventional growing techniques? I’ve noticed the growing availability of “organic” produce, but wonder just how much more is it (the certification) worth, considering there’s almost always a 100% variance in price. I realize the benefits are more than worth the price, but there’s also reality: cash is elusive. Thanks for your time! Truly, – Jason W.


Hi Jason,

How to Purify Our Air

Simple solutions exist to overcome these pollutants—ventilating every room of the house for at least ten minutes every day is recommended to renew the air. Chemical home perfumes should be avoided—use essential oils instead: they’ll perfume the rooms but will also offer therapeutic virtues. Have your heating devices checked out: if they’re not set properly, they could emit carbon monoxide. If you want to paint a room, opt for products that cause no harm to the environment or your health, such as environmentally friendly paints. They contain natural compounds and a low VOC rating, without any heavy materials. Finally, use depolluting plants without moderation to purify the air. These efficiently contribute to limit the side-effects of pollutants (headaches, throat problems, chronic fatigue, rashes, etc.) and can increase your well-being in the short and long term. The list of depolluting plants is a long one, so you’re sure to find some that will please you. To find out more, visit OldPages/cleanair.shtml.

Non-organic bananas are grown using benomyl (linked to birth defects) and chloropyrifos (neurotoxin). While we’re no experts as to the possibility of those substances crossing from peal to fruit, the advantages of organic production are manifold: this mode of production ensures more safety for growers and workers, improved soil conditions and a generally better protected environment. In short, buying organic is certainly an ethical choice and greatly benefits the producing persons and countries. Another point worth considering is that prices will be driven down as demand grows! We’ve also found that organic bananas tend to last a lot longer on the kitchen counter before they turn black. Perhaps they’re not stored as long before they’re put on supermarket shelves? No matter the reason, that can sometimes comes as quite an advantage. – The Editors

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 21


A Quick Conversation with By Sam Kagan Good Things Come from Humboldt

Located high on the rugged Lost Coast of California, where ancient redwoods are bathed in ocean spray, lays a county of special distinction. Famous for its gardening prowess, Humboldt County represents years of collective experience gained from the trials and tribulations of generations of die-hard gardeners. Born from this knowledge is a unique wholesale company; a place where specialty gardening stores can find exclusive products from all over the world along with other high quality staples of the indoor-gardening industry.

What is Humboldt Wholesale? Humboldt Wholesale is a tight-knit, family owned, wholesale company located in the heart of Humboldt County. We are committed to making the world a better place and taking our section of the indoor-gardening industry to a new level by providing our customers with the best products possible. Since we service a specialized niche of the gardening industry, we get to be ourselves. We’re not a giant, corporate organization. We are a grassroots company: we bring our dogs to work with us.

Taking a quick glance at our backgrounds you will see we have the experience needed to build a reliable and knowledgeable wholesale business. We were founded four years ago by three retail storeowners. Between the three of them, there is a degree in horticulture, an extensive retail-distribution network and a ton of shipping experience. They teamed up to create a wholesale company that believes in stocking only the highest quality products.

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“We want to be known for having the best products at affordable prices, with prompt shipping and outstanding customer service,” co-owner Steve Gieder said.

What sets us apart from other wholesale companies?

Our business is built by gardeners for gardeners. We stock exclusive products that we know work best. We’ve learned from years in the trenches that nothing can compare to the knowledge gained as retail storeowners responding to the pitfalls and successes of our customers. We’ve already walked a mile in our customers’ shoes from running our retail locations, so we know what works. “We could have 500 pages in our catalog but that’s not what our customers need. We believe in providing our customers with tried-and-true products that work and that we can stand behind 100%,” co-owner Eric Weems said. Our motto is to search globally and locally for the best products around. That search has taken us around the globe and of course to our own backyard; whatever it takes to have the best products. If we aren’t happy with an existing product and think we can make it better, we see what it takes to make our own exclusive version for our clients. When making our own products, we always use premium parts and never cut corners. Again from our retail experience we noticed a lot of existing companies start with good components and then switch to cheaper ones without telling anyone. We are against that. We’re unique because we have exclusivedistribution deals for some key products such as House & Garden Nutrients,

Global Green House Lighting, Tray Hugger Eco-Trays and Mad Farmer Additives, Supplements and Balancers.

A Quick Breakdown of Our Exclusive Products House & Garden Nutrients

We are proud to be the exclusive NorthAmerican distributor of House & Garden Nutrients. Made in Holland, House & Garden Nutrients are our most important Dutch product. The creator of this product, William Van De Zwaan, is responsible for creating several other nutrients out of Holland, although this is his signature line. The research done by Mr. Van De Zwaan and his staff of scientists is meticulous. He has a huge facility with 10 football fields of roses where they do all their research. Most nutrient lines tend to be complicated. House & Garden simplifies the process and the results are amazing, so naturally people love it. We consider ourselves lucky to have established a great relationship with such a remarkable company.

Global Green House Digital Lighting

Global Greenhouse Digital Lighting is another one of our key products. The development of this product brought us to Asia, where the best digital-lighting technology exists. The best manufacturing facilities are in China and the best components (capacitors) are made in Japan. Combine the two and you have Global Green House Lighting. We knew from our retail experience that there was a tremendous need for better digital ballasts. The ballasts we were selling from our retail locations kept getting returned mainly because of cheap components. We did all the necessary research and decided to make our own. We made sure only the best components are placed in our ballasts.


Tray Hugger EcoFriendly Gardening Tray

This is another product that we knew there was a need for. Tray Huggers are the first eco-friendly gardening tray made with recycled plastics. These are heavy duty trays so there is no sacrifice in going green. We even priced them cheaper so there is no reason for people not to use them. The California manufacturer we get them from also uses green power for their electricity, so this is an example of us trying to move our company in a greener direction.

Mad Farmer

Made in California, Mad Farmer is a line of plant enhancements, additives and nutrient controls formulated specifically for hydroponics. With no dyes and better base

nutrients, this product is clean, stable, concentrated and OMRI-certified when available. We also distribute Cutting Edge Solutions, California’s number 1 nutrient line created right here in Humboldt County. We also stock Plant Success, Fiskars, Can Fans and Filters, Hannah Instruments and everything else gardeners need to be successful.

Technical Support

Another aspect that makes Humboldt Wholesale popular with our customers is the technical support we offer. When you call during business hours, you speak with a live person to get advice on products or to help troubleshoot your problems. “Stores love the fact that when their customers come in they can call us and get their questions answered right away,” senior sales representative Brad McCabbe said. “We want our stores to have face-to-face contact

with their customers so they can make sure they are using our products correctly.”

What We Want Our Customers to Know

We are extremely grateful to all of our customers for their support over the past few years and we are excited about what the future holds. We just opened an East Coast distribution hub in New Jersey, to better service our ever expanding East Coast customer base. We also want to make our products as earth friendly as possible so we will continue looking for new ways make this happen. If you are interested in carrying our products give us a call at 1-707-840-0999 or email We look forward to hearing from you.

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 23

Forget Crystal Balls:

Look at the Roots! By Frank Nyikos

People often find that while I have an unusual perspective on plant culture, I just as often have presented them with an alternative way of thinking about their own plant-care style. Take, for instance, my obsession with examining the roots of a plant before I consider the obvious growth you can clearly see. No, I do not grab the main growth stem when no one is looking at me and yank the plant up out of the container it is growing in. Nor do I get down on my hands and knees and poke with my finger or a small stick at the base of a plant growing in a garden bed. Not only do I find this impolite to the plant’s owner, but it is also unnecessary and quite possibly life-threatening to the plant. You can tell quite a bit about the plant’s root system simply by observing the top of the soil and the container it is growing in—without having to disturb this extremely important part of the plant.

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A plant’s root system, in my opinion, is far more important than the top growth. I do care about the appearance of my plants: I stress over each and every little imperfection I see on a leaf or flower. Yet without a dynamic and healthy root system, you will, with few exceptions, have an unhealthy looking plant. The roots provide not only water for above-ground plant growth, but they also transport valuable trace minerals and elements. Healthy root growth then provides for generous plant growth—which then supplies nutrients for more root development. A great deal can be inferred about the roots simply by examining the container the plant is growing in. Clay pots are the easiest to observe. These porous containers cannot help but let you know what is going on with the roots. Unglazed clay lets you easily see how moist the soil is. This type of container is also great for the exchange of necessary oxygen in the roots. The downside of this type of container for the fastidious indoor gardener is that molds like to grow upon the moist airy outside of the container. I do not mind these grayish molds; I think they add a great deal of character to the pot—as long as they do not cover too much of the container, because then I begin to worry about the loss of air to the roots. Plastic and glazed ceramic containers make it a little harder to see how the root is doing. I use the bottom drainage holes as well as the surface of the soil to get an idea of root health. If the bottom holes are soggy and so is the top, then I know that way too much moisture is in the container. Both the top and the bottom should appear to be slightly damp, with dry patches. Overwatering is one of the main problems with these containers. The only way water has to leave the soil is through the plant’s transpiration process. A healthy plant moves a great deal of water from roots to leaves. Photosynthesis then uses the water and the extra is simply evaporated off into the air. If you suspect overwatering, try to let the plant go through an extra period of dryness to correct the situation. If you suspect that the problem has been going on for some time (you’ll notice leaf drop and poor leaf colour), then a wise move is to re-pot the plant in a clean sterilized container. You can re-use the old container, but I would disinfect it in a 10-percent bleach solution after a thorough washing. Overwatered containers invite unwanted anaerobic microorganisms. These tend to sour the soil, rob it of much-needed oxygen and gradually attack the tender root tips first, before moving to mature roots. Still, there are problems all containers seem to develop over time. One of the worst is fertilizer-salt build up. This is easily identified by the crumbly whitish crystal crumbs that form, especially on the surface of the soil. Potassium is notorious for crystallizing when a system has an abundance of this macronutrient. Other micronutrient salts will also crystallize when in abundance. Crystals are a clear indication that your container has been over-fertilized or that the soil has not been

Notes & News

The Grodan Family Made in Denmark since 1969, horticultural stonewool is used all over the world by both hydroponics and soil gardeners. Here are the most successful products in the Grodan family:

• Stonewool Gro-Blocks: Growers can start cuttings and even grow plants to maturity in this large Grodan Gro-Block or transfer it to a larger stonewool slab once roots have been established. Gro-Blocks can be planted directly into containers for soil gardening as well. This is a single 6” x 6” x 6” Gro-Block with a pre-formed hole. Grodan stonewool is known for its quality, consistency and performance.

• Grodan Big Mama: The largest block ever produced by Grodan, the Big Mama™ measures 8” x 8” x 8” and contains well over twice as much wool as the popular Hugo block. This block is big enough to grow a large plant for its entire life. When a plant outgrows its current block, gardeners can simply place it on top of the Big Mama. This block doesn’t have a pre-cut hole, making it suitable to hold any size of smaller block on top.

• Grodan Uni-Slab: The Uni-Slab™ combines all the benefits of Grodan’s traditional slabs with the versatility of a block. Its large size gives great stability for any size of plant, and it contains all plant roots safely within the slab, protecting them from light and outside contaminants. The Uni-Slab is suitable for both top drip and flood systems.

• Grodan Plant Starters Macro-plugs: Macro-plugs are designed for cuttings. The round plug has a slit that allows easy insertion of a cutting. They fit perfectly into the Gro-Block hole and the Grodan Starter Tray. The Macro-plugs come in a bag labelled with instructions. • Grodan Grow Chunks: Made of the same high quality stonewool as the larger cubes and slabs, these Grodan Grow Chunks are a larger version of Grodan Growcubes. Grow Chunks fit any container size or shape, and they offer easy irrigation, optimal root aeration and last throughout crop production. For any growing application, stonewool offers speed, ease of use and cleanliness.

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 25

TECHNIQUES | THE INDOOR GARDENER recently changed. Even if you do not fertilize, these crystals will begin to form as unused minerals build up. Each and every particular plant has a preference for macroand micro-elements. Anything extra simply accumulates, like used nuclear-fuel rods in a government containment site. Once you see these on the surface of the container, you should consider refreshing the soil—and soon. White flies are a nuisance we all periodically have to contend with. While these are hard to see except as adults flying about the canopy of the plant, you can bet that maggots are thriving on the surface of your soil and in moist crevices on the container itself. I hate using chemicals on insects when I do not have to. A simple way to clear up this problem is to re-pot your plant. Try and leave the plant so that about two or three centimetres of soil or so needs to be added. Now you can spray the canopy. Every four to seven days, add a bit more soil to the top of the pot. Try and add about a centimetre at a time. The maggots cannot burrow that far. As you gain control over the adults, you are keeping the ones you miss from reproducing. Remember to rinse and sterilize the pot at the time of re-potting to get to any crevice where maggots may be living. A mushroom sprouting from a drainage hole or coming up on the soil surface is pretty neat. Even I cannot help but stop and admire the mushroom. Then I reach for my new potting mixture and replant the plant. When a mushroom produces a fruit large enough to see, then you can bet that the mycelium mass inside the container has become a nuisance to the roots. Normally, this type of fungus will not attack the root. It digests the wonderful organic matter you incorporate to your potting mix. The problem with these fungi is that they form a mass that blocks moisture and nutrients, especially if the mass surrounds the root. The mycelium mass has produced an environment suitable for its own growth and could care less about your plant. Removing the mass during re-potting is something that should be done rather quickly. Moss is one of those things that can sometimes be okay and sometimes not. On the one hand, I have seen people encourage moss growth on the outside of their containers using molasses and other techniques. They are after an aesthetic look. Bonsai growers like to encourage moss growth for this reason. However, if you are not actively encouraging moss growth and you notice it on your soil surface, then your first thought should be that the soil’s pH is probably out of whack: moss is a sure sign your soil pH has become lower. This happens after prolonged overwatering, because infrequent re-potting and for other reasons. Changing your soil should be on the top of your list if the plant prefers a more neutral or sweeter environment. If you are growing

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hydroponically and you know your nutrient solution is fine, then you may want to consider using block covers around your plants to reduce the amount of light getting to your media surface. This probably means you have algae growing—not moss. Algae will rob your roots of nutrients as well as much-needed oxygen. As you can see, there are easy ways to tell how your roots are performing. If your plant shows signs of lacklustre growth, look down at your container, at the soil on top, as well as at the drainage holes. Much can be learned to help you identify your problem.

Send your questions to Thanks! Hi, I really enjoy your magazine and I was particularly interested to go through the Roger Jolin Successful Cuttings story on page 27 in Volume 4 – Issue 4. Can you send me the complete 5 part article in the Successful Cuttings series? Thanks, – Keith Stevens, Grand Rapids, MI Hello Keith, No problem! That’s easy: we’re sending you the complete series on “Successful Cuttings” in PDF format! And you can order our past issues to complete your collection. See our order form in this issue. You can also visit Jacqueline and Roger Jolin’s garden in St-Bruno, Québec (see: www.shesb. ca). All the best! – The Editors Hi, The last issue of The Indoor Gardener I received was that of September/October 2009. Since? Nothing! I had a similar problem when I first subscribed: I got nothing until I wrote. Even though I waited all this time, it’s not that I don’t like the magazine. I find it full of pertinent and scientific information, not found in the usual gardening magazines. Please give me news: I can’t wait for my next issue. Thank you. – Robert Bourdeau, Long Sault, ON Hi Robert, If you’ve stopped receiving the magazine, it’s because your subscription was up! It’s easy to subscribe again using the order form found in this issue (p. 43) or by printing the PDF file from our website ( Indeed it would be unfortunate to miss an issue! – The Editors


Shopping Ideas for All Seasons By E. Young 1. Sunleaves Grow Bags Grow Bigger! Save money without compromising effectiveness with new 20- and 30-gallon sizes of Sunleaves Black and White Poly Grow Bags! They’re black on the inside and white on the outside to reflect light back to the plants and maintain healthy root temperatures. These giant fluted bags stand upright when filled with growing medium, and they have pre-punched bottom holes for thorough drainage. Take a trip to your local year ‘round gardening center for these and other great Sunleaves products!

2. Basic or Acidic? Better Checker Are you still testing pH the same way alchemists did in the fourteenth century? Graduate from litmus paper with the pocket-sized Checker pH Tester from Hanna Instruments! This affordable but reliable device features simple two-point calibration and measures pH from 0.0 to 14.0, with a resolution of 0.01, and ±0.2 accuracy range. It includes batteries and a replaceable electrode. Pick one up at your favourite year ‘round gardening center today!

3. Petal Health Will Drive You Glad Don’t panic—there’s no need to call the National Guard. Root Riot won’t incite any uprisings, outside of your cuttings and seeds rising up to become strong, productive, healthy plants! Root Riot cubes are composed of composted

organic materials, micronutrients and beneficial fungi, all of which combine to give your young plants the best start possible. The Root Riot Tray includes 50 Root Riot cubes, Root Riot Propagation Tray, and 15 ml packet of Clonex Gel. A bag of 100 Root Riot cubes is also available. Support the green revolution at your local year ‘round gardening center!

4. Bug Net: To Serve and Protect the Innocent Plants If you’re sick of inadvertently using your garden as an all-you-can-eat buffet for bugs, you need a Bug Net! Bug Nets are custom-sized screens with replaceable active-carbon inserts that use Velcro to attach neatly to your fan’s intake, preventing intrepid insect intruders from crashing your garden party. In addition to keeping bugs, mould and mildew out, it can also be attached to your exhaust fan to keep unpleasant odours from escaping. Keep the chemical pesticides and odour controllers in the cabinet and get a Bug Net! Replacement active-carbon filters are also available. For more information, just ask your local year ‘round garden center!

5. G.E. is H.I.D. How does your indoor garden grow? If it has G.E. horticultural lamps, it grows big, with fantastic yields! G.E.’s 400-, 600-, and 750-watt Lucalox PSL (PhotoSynthesis Light) high-pressure sodium lamps deliver a photosynthesis-activating light spectrum that will see your plants producing impressive fruit and flowers. To promote explosive vegetative growth and overall plant health, G.E. offers PSL metalhalide lamps in 1000- and 400-watt varieties. 250- and 400-watt standard high-pressure sodium options are also available. For these and other lighting options, take a trip to your local year ‘round garden center! Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 27


6. Orchid Lovers Rejoice! Orchid Focus contains a mixture of nutrients and minerals that are perfectly balanced for these beautiful perennials. Grow formula has an elevated level of nitrogen to encourage robust vegetative growth before the flowering phase, while Bloom formula has an elevated level of phosphorous and potassium to encourage the development of bright, heavy blooms. To get a closer look at Orchid Focus, visit your local year ‘round garden center!

7. Organicare Product Line If you grow organically, are thinking about doing so, or just want to see great results from your garden, the new Organicare Plant Nutrient System is exactly what you’re looking for! These OMRI-Listed and organic-based products are an environmentally-conscious choice for growers who are concerned about the effect they have on the world around them. You can use Pure, Calplex, Fulvex, Seaplex, Nitrex, and Humex without having to worry about negative environmental side effects. Start growing organic today!


(Ajuga reptans ‘Bronze Beauty’) Bugleweed features metallic, bronze-green leaves and bright, purpleblue flowers. This plant is excellent for edging, rock gardens and as a ground cover. An ornamental plant, bugleweed, also known as “carpenter’s herb,” is often used as a medicinal plant. It has the supposed ability to stop bleeding. • Height: 6”

• Width: 12”

• Flowering: May-June, 5- to 6-inch spikes with blueviolet flowers; spreads through stolons • Zone: 3

• Sites: Partial shade to shade; prefers sandy, well-drained soil but tolerates clay • Excellent for moist areas; attracts bumblebees.

Bugleweed is an evergreen perennial with a very rapid growth rate.

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8. Waterproof EcoTestrs Oakton’s Waterproof EcoTestrs are convenient pH meters that don’t let dirt or moisture keep them from delivering accurate readings. Both units are dust- and waterproof with clear LCD displays, automatic shutoff, and they float! The pH2 also performs automatic temperature compensation and remembers up to three calibration points. The PCSTestr 35 TDS and PTTestr 35 TDS are convenient and accurate multi-use instruments with features like double-junction pH electrodes, auto shutoff, and more!

9. Botanicare Sweet You can grow fruit and vegetables that are far more flavourful and nutritious than their commercial counterparts with Botanicare Sweet! Microbes in plants process available carbohydrates like those in Sweet, and in return, they make organic compounds more


readily available to their host. When you apply Sweet during the vegetative stage, this interaction and its resultant nutrient boost aids plants in making a smooth transition to the bloom phase. When you continue to use it during fruit production, plants will keep the correct balance between photosynthesis and respiration, leading to sturdy stem growth to support a multitude of flowers and fruit. To find Botanicare Sweet Berry and Citrus varieties, plus even more tasty treats for your plants, stop by your local year ‘round garden center!

10. Grotek Solo-Tek When you use Grotek’s Solo-Tek Grow and Bloom formulas, prepare for impressive vegetative growth and unparalleled yields! Solo-Tek Grow formula’s blend of horticulture-grade micro- and macronutrients and chelated iron promotes healthy roots and dense vegetation. Solo-Tek Bloom delivers essential vitamins and minerals to plants when they need them for impressive results at harvest time. Both formulas promote stable pH levels within the growing medium, and because they’re super-concentrated, a little goes a long way!

11. Safer 3-In-1 Garden Spray OMRI®-listed Safer 3-in-1 RTU Garden Spray kills three kinds of pests with one squirt! Its combination of insecticidal soap and sulphurbased fungicide effectively eradicates the most common garden pests without compromising beneficial insects. It’s okay to use up to one day before harvest, and because it doesn’t use dangerous chemicals, it’s safe to use around children and pets.

12. Hydro-Logic Big Boy If you’re ready for big-time water purification, look no further than Hydro-Logic’s Big Boy! Whether you connect it to your water main to filter all the water in your house, or use the optional Garden Hose Connection Kit to make it a stand-alone unit to fill your reservoirs, you’ll be able to enjoy clean water faster and at higher volumes than ever before! The Big Boy eliminates 99 percent of chlorine and over 95 percent of the sediment from your water source, cycling seven gallons per minute with a 25,000-gallon capacity. Replacement carbon filters and reusable sediment filters are also available. BWGS provides indoor-gardening retailers unmatched customer service and the best products the industry has to offer. Call BWGS (800-316-1306), BWGS West (888-3161306) or BWGS East (800-316-1306). Visit

Gardening: A Joint Venture

Eleanor’s rose garden is starting to bloom. After a lot of back-breaking work over the days, the roses are showing up nice. The other day I saw the engaged couple looking at their fresh flowers with a lot of love and appreciation. These are literally the results of their efforts. Frank was telling me the other day, “I really wanted these flowers to come up well.” I asked him why. He replied, “Doing up this place is something that we did together. It’s our first joint venture!” His eyes twinkled as he spoke about his love for these flowers and, more so, for Eleanor. I get amazed to see this couple together. These flowers somehow mean much more to them than to the onlookers who admire their efforts. These flowers are borne out of their love for each other and their zest to be with each other. For them, the amount of time they get together is not important. It’s how well they spend their time. Togetherness for them is not only holding hands—they want to do something together that lives on in the memory of others as a labour of love. And this brings and sticks this fabulous couple together. – Editor Bob (

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 29


Leaf Characteristics

Leaves Plant Physiology:

By S. Ste-Anne, biology teacher

Leaves grow from the terminal bud. They are located along the main stem or along branchlets. The leaf has a right half and a left half, as well as a top side and an underside. The leaf is the plant’s essential organ for nutrition.

Parts of a Leaf

Leaves are divided into three main parts:

• the limb, or leaf blade, which is flat and comes in various shapes and sizes;

• the petiole, more or less elongated, thin, ramified with veins in the limb;

• the sheath, a widening of the petiole that more or less wraps around the stem. The petiole is generally attached to the base of the limb. On some leaves, however, the petiole is located at the centre of the inside face (nasturtium, castor bean). Some leaves have little extensions at the base of the petiole, called stipules (rose, heartleaf willow).

Ribbing of a Leaf

The limb is covered in veins that are an extension of the petiole. They support the limb and transport the nourishment liquid all the way to the extremities. The disposition of veins in leaves is called “nervation.” There are several kinds:

Ensuring the plant’s proper development, roots, stems and leaves are called “vegetative organs.” The plant’s other organs are dubbed “reproductive” (flowers, fruit containing seeds). The main function of vegetative organs is to feed the plant. Here we discuss the leaf, an organ required for nutrition, after discussing roots and stems in previous issues of the magazine. 30 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

• unique nervation, with a single vein (fir, spruce);

• parallel nervation, a disposition reserved to monocotyledons, angiosperms in which the embryo only has one cotyledon (lily, iris, wheat); • pinnate nervation, with a central vein more voluminous than the other veins, which detach on each side like the barbs of a feather (elm, hawthorn, knotweed); • reticulate nervation, with criss-crossed veins like the stitches of a net (mayflower, balsam willow);

• palmate nervation, where a number of veins are materially identical and come out of the petiole base to end up at the edge of the limb (hops, marshmarigold). These last three nervation types characterize dicotyledons, angiosperms in which the embryo bears two cotyles. Dicotyledons are divided into monochlamydeae or Apetalae, dialypetalous and gamopetalous.


Variation of External Characteristics

Leaves vary not only through their nervation, but also by their form, outline, size, texture, and surface characteristics. We can observe twenty different leaves in nature and see that they all belong to groups with different characteristics. As we’ll soon see, a leaf can be simple or compound, and its nervation type can be one of the five types described above. Birch, for example, bears simple leaves with pinnate nervation. The Manitoba maple has compound leaves with pinnate nervation.

Shape of the Limb

Leaves are thus divided into two large groups: simple and compound leaves. The leaf is simple when its limb is in one pieces, with whole or ribbed contours. The simple leaf bears several characteristics depending on the plant. It can be: • Whole, when the side of the limb is not jagged (lilac); Illustration by Tom-Sam You.

• Dentate, if the limb bears straight serrations (linden); • Denticulate, if the serrations are leaning forward (elm);

• Lobed, when the serrations reach half the limb (oak); • Crenate, if the rounded serrations are shallow (poplar); • Lobed, if the limb is restricted to narrow strips surrounding large veins (hemlock, fern);

• Simple palmate, if the serrations don’t reach the central vein; • Oval;

• Obovate; • Peltate;

• Truncated; • Trilobed;

• Trifoliate. The leaf remains simple no matter its serrations, as long as these don’t reach the central vein. When the serrations do reach the central vein, the leaf is a compound leaf. Each of the limb’s distinct parts is called a leaflet. The compound leaf can be:

• Pinnate, when the leaflets are set left and right of the petiole, itself ending in a leaflet (mountain ash); • Palmate, when the leaflets radiate from the top of the leaflet (Virginia creeper); • Parted; • Linear.

The limb’s shape can also vary. Some leaves are more or less round (nasturtium). Others are long and narrow (graminaceae). Most have intermediary shapes. Hence some leaves are oval (cherry tree), orbicular (ground ivy), lanceolate (willow), linear (graminaceae), sagitate (arrowhead), reinform (wild ginger), and cordiform (violet). To collect leaves and classify them according to their characteristics, we must observe and note the contour’s shape, the

sheath’s disposition, and particularities that make for glabrous (without hair), downy, spiniferous, or fleshy leaves. Sometimes when strolling through the woods you can observe the poplar’s petiole. Its shape is what causes the shaking that is characteristic of the poplar’s leaves.

Leaf size

Leaf size varies from very tiny scales, such as the asparagus’s, to palm leaves that can be up to 12 metres (approximately 40 feet) long. In nature, it’s fun to try and find two leaves that are exactly the same size to try the following experiment: fold one of the leaves in two to see if both sides are symmetrical. Observe the leaves and compare their type and shape. It’ll help you recognize leaves further along the path. Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 31


before, leaves can also become tendrils—to support climbing stems—or spines. In some plants (pitcher plant), the leaf transforms into a small urn that fills with water. In others (bladderwort), the lead has flat bulbs that serve as floaters.

• For their reproduction: Flowers can be considered to be modified leaves—modified with an aim to reproduce.

• Under the environment’s influence: Indeed, the environment has much influence over leaves. Subterranean or aquatic leaves are different from normal aerial leaves. Subterranean leaves are ordinarily reduced to small colourless scales (sedge scales on the rhizome, for example). Yet bulb scales can be quite large, thick and filled with nutritive reserves (as in the onion). The erect arrowleaf (Sagittaria heterophylla) is one typical example of modification caused by the environment: its submerged leaves are linear-lanceolate, its floating leaves are elliptical-ovate, and its aerial leaves are sagitate.

Texture and Surface Characteristics

Some leaves are rather thin and shiny (beech), while some are thick, matte and filled with reserves (stonecrop). They can be completely without hair (glabrous, like the maple leaf), or covered with hair on one side or both (pubescent, like those of the common mullein). The most spectacular leaves are undoubtedly those of carnivorous plants, like pitcher plants (characteristic of peatbogs) or sundews (found around lakes and in savannahs). If we observe the hair inside the pitcher-plant leaf, we can see they are placed in a way that facilitates the descent of trapped insects and to prevent their exit. It’s better to admire carnivorous plants in their natural habitat. The sundew’s leaf progressively closes on the insect to trap and digest it.


The disposition or arrangement of leaves in the bud is called prefoliation (from Latin prœ, before, and folium, leaf). Prefoliation is characterized according to the following elements, each with its own definition: • Equitant, when leaves are not folded (ash);

• Obvolute, when one half is applied on the other lengthwise (beech);

• Revolute, when the transversally folded leaf rests its top part on its lower part (aconite); • Plaited, when the leaf is folded like a fan (maple);

• Involute, when the leaf rolls its edges inward (lady’s-thumb); • Circinate, when it is rolled up from top to bottom (fern).

Leaf modification

On one plant, leaves can take on different shapes depending on whether they are at the bottom of the stem or at the top (harebell, small-flowered buttercup). A single branch can bear both whole and lobed leaves (black nightshade). Leaves can also be modified: • For their function: Around buds, leaves are reduced to scales.

They protect the top of the stem over the winter. In the sumac, the buds bear thick hair has tight as fur. On the poplar, they are covered with a protective resin. As we said

32 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

Leaves Falling

Leaves of trees and shrubs from temperate regions fall in autumn. They are caducous and the trees that bear them are called deciduous. When the growing season is over, a kind of transversal wall takes shape at the base of the petiole. It blocks vessels and prevents sap from feeding the leaf. The green colouration vanishes because the green pigment—chlorophyll—is destroyed. The leaf turns yellow or brown. Some take on a bright red colour, like the red maple and sumac, because the green pigment transforms into a special pigment (anthocyanin) that forms when there are large quantities of sugar. Sugar intensely accumulates thanks to the low temperature of fall nights. Now, if you have good observation skills and you walk through the woods, note the falling of the leaves around you in the fall, and answer the following questions: • Poplar leaves are the first to appear in the spring; are they also the first ones to fall in autumn?

• Do the leaves fall at the same time as the first frost occurs?

• The leaves of deciduous trees — oaks for example — fall in autumn in Florida. Why? Fall has just ended: you should be able to answer these questions with ease!

See also “Nutrition”, p. 48.

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Your North-Shore Hydroponic Specialist PPM Hydroponique Inc. was founded in October 1999 in SaintEustache. Our shop is one of the largest on the North Shore. It offers you a complete range of horticultural products: nutrients, gardening accessories, lighting, as well as a selection of high quality hydroponic equipment from various manufacturers—everything to meet all our clients’ requirements. Thanks to our excellent service and competitive prices, we’ve built a faithful clientele—from professional horticulturists to amateurs who grow a few plants. We have in stock the products to meet any need for any gardener. You’ll find products from Plug’n’Grow, Canna, Optimum-Hydroponix, Technaflora Plant Products, General Hydroponics, Pro-Mix, Nutri+, EYE Lighting, Sylvania and Philips, Can-Fan fans and filters, Atmosphere’s Powerfans and Vortex fans, Fibrgro and Jiffy substrates, Jack’s Professional nutrients, Hanna measuring instruments, Advanced Nutrients, as well as many other professional products from several well-known and well-established companies.

36 | Volume 5 – Issue 4


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On the cover: design by André Faucher (after a photography by Bruno Bredoux); Canna Hydroponics: 62; Discount Hydroponics: 24; D.R.: 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 28, 30, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 48, 49, 50, 52, 54, 55, 62, 66, 67; Econo-Fan: 15; Fortin, Daniel: 20, 21; Future Harvest Development: 25, 26; General Hydroponics: 40, 41, 42; Humboldt Wholesale: 22, 23; Hydro Innovations: 16, 18; Hydrofarm: 60; Laberge, Patrick: 45, 46; Laforêt, Rose: 53, 55; La Rocco’s Pizzeria: 56; MegaWatt: 12; Mettais, Valérie: 6; MGM Studios: 66, 67; Nelson & Pade: 57; Northern Lites: 59; Nova Biomatique: 58, 59; PGSGrow: 8, 10; SteadyGro: 58, Tigmag (Bredoux, Bruno): 32, 38, 60; Tigmag (Daimon, Stan): 36, 37; Warner Home Video: 66, 67; Worm’s Way: 13, 56, 64, 65.

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 37

In A Nutshell

12 Plants or Herbs and Their Virtues – Part 4 By V. Green Huckleberry

Japanese researchers think that huckleberry leaves taken as a dietary supplement could slow down the progression of hepatitis C. A team from Japanese Miyazaki University has identified a substance—proanthocyanin—that resembles one found in grapes. This substance could fight the virus—a virus transmitted through blood, sperm or the use of soiled needles, which lodges in the liver and can take 20 years to become a disease. The huckleberries studied came from the south-eastern United States. Hepatitis C affects 200 million people worldwide. There is no vaccine to prevent it, existing treatments are heavy and their side effects are numerous. Hepatitis C can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer.


• A team of researchers led by Dr. Luo Weisheng at the municipal medical College of Guilin in the Chinese province of Guangxi has discovered substances in rhubarb—a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine—that could combat the SARS coronavirus. This discovery could also be used to fight off some flu viruses. The researchers have filed a national patent application.

38 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

• Rhubarb’s acidity can be troublesome for those with a weak stomach, although this medicinal plant could be beneficial for them. To prepare rhubarb, break the stem in half and pull: its filaments break off. To lower its acidity, soak it in cold water.


Lemon’s acidity is useful to make the perfect caramel. Press four or five drops of lemon juice above your usual preparation (sugar and water). Lemon’s acidity will prevent the caramel from crystallizing.


Guaranteed ripening thanks to citrus. Sometimes, the fruit or vegetables we purchase are still green and far from ripe. To accelerate their ripening, mix green fruit and citrus in the same basket, as the latter will activate the ripening of fruit they are in contact with.


In Chinese medicine, decoctions made from pomegranate are prescribed in case of chronic dysentery, haemorrhage and leucorrhoea. What’s more, Chinese doctors categorically advise against the ingestion, in the same meal, of pomegranate, grapes or persimmon with shellfish. It would debilitate digestive functions and cause stomach pains.



The caper possesses medicinal virtues, and its most active agents are particularly located within its bark and roots. It possesses diuretic and astringent properties that revive the body. Exotic species, in particular, have antispasmodic properties. Used in traditional medicine, the caper’s bark and roots have also shown diuretic, appetite-stimulation and tonic virtues.

Lentils, Prunes

Keep your intestinal tract active! To prevent constipation and avoid the use of never-fun laxative suppositories, make sure your diet contains a lot of natural fibres (found in prunes, lentils, etc.) and be active.

Coffee, Ginkgo

To guard yourself against memory failure, don’t forget coffee! Just like ginkgo-leaf extract and essential oils, coffee is an excellent brain tonic. Consume with moderation nonetheless!

Carrot, Cress

Another falsehood: “Eat your soup if you want to grow!” Vegetable soups are rich in vitamins and fibre, but they have no direct effect on growth. Aside

from cress and carrots, which contain much betacarotene, your parents’ threat contained very little truth.

Good to Know

Remember this: • Favour a plant-based diet: plant-based foods are indubitably the best to preserve a good general health. • Eat healthy: it is strongly advised to consume an average of five portions of non-starchy vegetables, herbaceous herbs and fruit daily. • Healing with herbs: cereals are herbaceous plants mainly grown for their seeds, which are used to feed humans and animals. It is recommended to eat cereals at every meal, or to replace them with dry legumes. • Cultivating herbs: learn to grow herbs yourself, and you’ll have access to fresh herbs all year long. • Innovate in herb culture: countertop hydroponic systems, such as those of the AeroGarden line by AeroGrow (www., allow you to always have fresh and flavourful herbs on hand for cooking. • Cooking with herbs: using herbaceous herbs, you can make excellent salty hors d’oeuvre, as well as tasty deserts such as lavender, or tomato and basil sherbets. • Preserving herbs: salt is not always good for your health. You can find countless herb-flavoured salts, as well as salted herbs in any supermarket. To preserve herbs, however, there are many techniques that do not use salt: refrigeration, freezing, drying, potting, canning, fermentation, etc.


Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 39

Plant Food:

GH Flora Nutrients Line, a Classic in 12 points

By G.H. General Hydroponics Flora Nutrient was the first nutrient we offered for sale in 1992 and it’s the first one we recommend today. Flora Nutrient is the “gold standard” for hydroponics, simply because it works well. The FloraGro, FloraBloom and FloraMicro fertilizers were designed to be mixed together in varying proportions depending on what stage of growth the plants are in. You would usually use some amount of each all the time. 1. Flora Series®: Liquid Concentrated Nutrient

Flora Series is the most widely used hydroponic fertilizer in the world. In their daily experiments, NASA and Antarctic research scientists choose Flora Series because of its superior formulation and reliability. The General Hydroponics Flora Series is known throughout the world as the industry standard. • The original “building-block” nutrient system – imitated but never duplicated. • Contains complete primary, secondary and micro nutrients for enhanced yields and better crop quality. • Users can adjust mixtures to suit specific plant needs. • Enhances flavour, nutrition, aroma, potency, and essential oils in both hydroponic- and soil-cultivated plants. • Contains highly purified concentrates for maximum solubility. • pH balanced for ease of use.

40 | Volume 5 – Issue 4


FloraGro®: It stimulates structural and vegetative growth, builds strong roots, and provides nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and secondary minerals. FloraBloom®:

It stimulates flower and fruit development. It enhances flavour, aroma, and essential oils. It provides high phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and sulphur.


The foundation of the “building block” System. It provides nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and trace elements.

2. FloraMicro HardWater

If your tap water is over 200 ppm (or contains calcium above 70 ppm), use FloraMicro HardWater. If your water contains 30 to 50 ppm calcium, you can mix our original FloraMicro with FloraMicro HardWater to create a perfect micro blend for your plants.

3. FloraNova®: Liquid Super-Concentrated Nutrient

FloraNova represents a breakthrough in fertilizer technology, as it gives users both the strength of a dry concentrate and the ease of a liquid. This unique formulation of highly purified minerals and natural additives combines the benefits of hydroponic- as well as organic-gardening methods. FloraNova one-part formulation combines all the elements required for hydroponic cultivation, plus it is extremely concentrated. A very small amount of FloraNova mixed with fresh water will provide your plants with proper nutrition. FloraNova works superbly in hydroponic environments, as well as with both soil-less mixtures and soil-grown plants. Remember that due to its high concentration, FloraNova must be shaken vigorously before each use! • • • • • •

Marriage of hydroponic and organic ingredients. Extremely easy to use. Outstanding for all plant types. Superb for hydroponic, soilless, and soil cultivation. Super concentrated and pH stabilized. Optimum nutrient absorption from natural humic extracts.

FloraNova Grow : Works as a specialized nutrient for rapidly growing plants during the structural- and foliar-growth phase.

FloraNova Bloom:

Promotes explosive flowering and fruiting. FloraNova Bloom induces phenomenal aroma, taste, potency, and colours while delivering extraordinary yields FloraNova nutrients are available in 1 pint, 1 quart and 1 gallon.

4. FloraMagic®: Dry Concentrated Nutrient

FloraMagic is an all-purpose, highly concentrated, water-soluble, dry nutrient. FloraMagic will increase growth rates and yields in practically all kinds of plants without causing them stress. FloraMagic is the definitive user-friendly blend of primary, secondary, and micro nutrients. FloraMagic is available in 1.5 lb, 4 lb and 16 lb.

5. FloraMato® Dry: Dry Concentrate Nutrient This dry blend of minerals was specially designed to enhance the luscious flavours of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, beans, melons, strawberries, and other plant-based foods. FloraMato Dry is a stand-alone, fully water-soluble, dry nutrient. This unique combination of primary and secondary nutrients with pH buffers keeps nutrients fully water-soluble and available to plants. FloraMato is available in 1.5 lb 4 lbs and 16 lbs.

6. Floralicious®: Organic Based Supplement

This product is made from a highly concentrated blend of bioactive microbial, plant, marine plants, and mineral extracts. Guided by the latest scientific findings, our unique fermentation process creates a potent blend of phytostimulants and biometabolic precursors that enables Floralicious to bring out your plants’ full genetic potential. Floralicious augments metabolic activity in the root zone, stimulates Krebs’ cycle metabolism, and facilitates mineral transport and bioconversion. In addition, Floralicious enhances polyamine synthesis and encourages the biosynthesis of complex secondary aromatic compounds. Floralicious contains a perfect balance of vitamins, phytohormones, humic acids, polysaccharides, fructans, beta-glucans, L-amino acids, and polyflavonoids. Floralicious leads to hydroponics with flavour and incredible yields!

Floralicious Grow: It enhances metabolic activities and nutrient assimilation that results in more vigorous growth, and builds the foundation of root and leaf mass needed for superior harvests. Floralicious Bloom: It promotes maximum flower size and fruit swelling for heavier yields, offers phenomenal flavour and bouquet upon harvest and leads to more vibrant coloration and improved overall crop appearance. Floralicious Grow & Bloom are available in 1 quart, 1 gallon and 2.5 gallon. Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 41


7. Flora Nectar Sweetener Fruit’n’Fusion 0-0-1 • Contains all-natural raw cane sugar, molasses, malt syrup, select plant-based esters, L-amino acids, organic acids, poly-flavonoids, vitamins, and essential minerals. • Promotes sturdier plant structure to support heavier yields during the vegetative phase when high levels of nitrogen are present. • Balances rate of respiration and photosynthesis to ensure optimal metabolic rates occur during flowering and fruiting, when nitrogen levels have been reduced. • Fulfills the additional energy requirements of your plants throughout all phases of growth and during stressful times of transition. • Available in 1 quart, 1 gallon, 2.5 gallons, and 6 gallons.

8. FloraNectar™ Sweetener PineappleRush 0-0-1

PineappleRush is the latest flavour by General Hydroponics. Infused with pineapple essence, your plants will get a sugar rush everytime you use it! GH scientists have formulated both FloraNectar PineappleRush and FruitnFusion to optimize the greatest transference of sweetness and aroma into your fruits and flowers. PineappleRush is available in 1 quart and 1 gallon.

9. FloraBlend™ Vegan Plant Booster

We take a diverse mixture of highly bioactive micro-organisms and feed them a feast of select food sources in a hyper oxygenated environment. These beneficial micro-organisms multiply, consuming these food sources. Through bioconversion processes, new organic compounds are formed. These highly soluble organic compounds increase and promote healthy root structures, build the plant’s immune system and provide carbon building blocks for plant processes responsible for colour and flavor of fruits and vegetables.

• FloraBlend is a vegan product and contains no animal derived ingredients. • FloraBlend is a completely digested ferment, which translates into a very stable product and long or indefinite shelf life. • FloraBlend is a very clean product that can be utilized in all hydroponic systems. • FloraBlend is a compost tea that is fermented from a proprietary blend of plant materials, plus seaweed, rock powders and micronized leonardite.

10. FloraShield®, Plant and System Rinse

• Maintain healthy roots without resorting to harsh, toxic chemicals. • FloraShield’s unique combination of compounds can thoroughly rinse systems and plants during all phases of the life cycle. • Its mode of action makes General Hydroponics FloraShield safe to use on and around actively growing plants at all stages of growth. • Growers around the globe attest to FloraShield’s ability to maintain healthy roots. • FloraShield is available in the following quantities: 1 pint, 1 quart and 1 gallon

11. A New Look for GH FloraKleen Clearing Solution

The same and unique effective flushing formula, FloraKleen is now offered with a fresh new look. FloraKleen clears excess salts and minerals from your plants and removes fertilizer residues. Available in 1 quart, 1 gallon, 2.5 gallon and 6 gallon quantities.

12. Feeding Schedules

All GH feed charts and tables are available online at: • Mineral Drain-to-Waste Keep-it-Simple Program; • Mineral Recirculating Keep-it-Simple Program; • Mineral Drain-to-Waste Expert Program; • Mineral Recirculating Expert Program; • Organic Soil-Soilless Feeding Program.

Contact General Hydroponics at 1-800-374-9376 (toll free) or visit Distributors listing at US/locator/store_locator.php.

42 | Volume 5 – Issue 4


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The Trees of Life Part three

Blue Gold versus Green Gold By Sylvie Laberge (

The water cycle in forests is extremely complex and several scientific disciplines diligently focus on the phenomenon. Water is indisputably required for life to exist. In any plant on earth, water forms 70 to 95% of the total weight. In a single day, a hectare of forest will perspire 50,000 litres of water. This means 98% of the total water absorbed by that forested area is returned to the atmosphere. Water (H 2O) is not only essential as an element—it’s also a means of transportation for several biological, chemical and mineral compounds. Calcium, for example, is precipitated by rain water from cement plants (among others). Rain washes leaves and removes all dust and organite particles accumulated on their surface, bringing them toward the soil—where they will be absorbed or eliminated by micro-organisms. These will transform the elements, making them assimilable by plants through their root’s absorbing hair.

Liquids are also absorbed by the leaves’ stomata, respiratory organs found on the underside. About this, a controversy remains: some say that plants absorb two thirds of their total water through their stomata. Others use the same proportion, but apply it to root hair. Regardless of these different opinions, the fact remains that without water, no life is possible. And yet water kills. We could discuss the topic of water pollution—toxic products, heavy metals, fertilizers, sewage, etc. In February 2009, a group of Québec researchers made a worrisome discovery: near a wastewater-treatment plant, they found relatively high concentrations of medical-drug molecules. Hypertension drugs and compound to fight obesity end up in the waters of the Saint-Lawrence, even after they go through the treatment plant’s filters. These plants don’t disinfect water: they filter it. Hence drugs come out of the treatment process quite intact. Horror stories about mutant amphibians in part come from their discovery in watercourses polluted by numerous chemical substances, including drug molecules. When you add to these aggressions the obvious negligence found at the heart of some groups of wilfully blind civil servants, citizens, companies, municipalities, and governments, tragedies happen.


Remember Walkerton: in 2000, seven people died after the “competent” authorities failed to report water contamination in the area. In the United States, authorities are suspected of closing their eyes on the dumping of hundreds of thousands of tons of chemical products. There substances have been detected in the drinking water consumed by at least 51 million Americans. Mother Nature is not kind to the planet when it comes to floods. Lacking water is a catastrophe. Having a surplus is another problem, leading to spectacular situations that end on front pages. Are there more floods today than there were, for example, in the 1700s? It’s impossible to know with certainty. What seems clear today is that in some cases, the frequency and ferocity unleashed by extreme climactic events is higher for a given period.

These pollutants come from volcanic eruption and forest fires, but the main emitters are coal-burning power plants and, to a lesser extent, aluminum smelters and other large plants. Acid rains are caused by sulphur and nitrogen oxides, dissolved in atmospheric humidity and transformed into sulphuric and nitric acids. When these rains fall on leaves, they damage their surface and reduce their resistance to cold. The phenomenon of photosynthesis is disrupted.

The danger factor of hurricanes also seems to be at the apex of its cyclic curve. Torrential rains are broadcast. They cause extraordinary events, such as the floods in Saguenay in 1996. These catastrophes are shown across the planet, and not one week goes by without hearing about a new occurrence.

When forest soils acidify, micro-organisms can’t do their decomposition and transformation jobs properly. The environment in which they live becomes less hospitable. Mineral salts and essential trace elements are fewer and less concentrated. Less decomposed and transformed organic matter means fewer available nutrients for the flora. Resources decrease, plants stagnate instead of growing—they weaken and die. Still today, forests from southern Ontario and Québec—the ones that are most affected—receive twice as much acid rain as they can tolerate. In some cases, hundreds of years will be required to mend these fragile ecosystems.

But let’s leave those events aside. Rather, let’s discuss a quiet, secret and subtle killer: acid rains. You may be surprised to see them come back in the news. Indeed... they should never have vanished as a news topic. Important progress was undoubtedly made following the conclusion of an agreement between Canada and the United States in 1991. In 2000, polluting emissions responsible for acid rains had decreased by a third. The reduction goal (two-third reduction) remains. Why discuss it again in 2010? The same laws are in place. Monitoring continues, as do the efforts of large corporations...

Meanwhile in the Pacific Ocean, acidification has occurred twenty times as fast over the past nine years than over each and every prior recorded period. Experiments are underway to evaluate the adaptation ability of fish, marine mammals, amphibians, and crustaceans faced with this accelerated acidification. Results are still at the embryonic stage, but morale tends to be pessimistic. When water’s pH drops significantly, calcium is less available. Zooplankton, an important link in the food chain, is completely dependent on calcium to form its shell. Less plankton, fewer predators: this infernal cycle is dubbed “aquatic osteoporosis.”

New from BWGS is happy to announce that its vast selection of quality indoorgardening products just grew again! For over 14 years, BWGS has provided indoor gardening retailers unmatched customer service and the best products the industry has to offer.

Nutrilife’s H 2O2 Adding Nutrilife’s H 2O2 is a great way to oxygenate nutrient solutions in reservoirs. A plant’s health and vigour rely on the roots getting enough oxygen, because the roots of a plant need oxygen to convert carbohydrates into energy. H 2O2 adds this important element to nutrient solutions, effectively “powering up” pre-existing feeding regimens. It can also be used to preserve freshly cut flowers and to clean reservoirs, drippers and dripper lines.

American Hydroponics’ Perfect Pot Simple and versatile, the Perfect Pot is a great option for gardeners. Each Perfect Pot holds two gallons of soil or other growing media, and the pot’s shape allows growers to get the maximum number of plants in trays without overcrowding. Made of sturdy 25% post-consumer recycled plastic, the reusable Perfect Pot measures 8.5” x 8.5” x 7.5”.

Power Plants Grow Plants with Power The Power Plant Professional is a soilless indoor-gardening appliance that puts fresh herbs, fruit and flowers at gardeners’ fingertips all year long. This worry-free machine automatically dispenses nutrients via the handy Grow Sponges to practically

any plant the user wants to grow. Thanks to its stylish design, it looks great while it does it. It just needs a sunny spot to sit in, or it can be used with the Power Plant Grow Lamp for added versatility. Unit includes the complete Power Plant system, nutrient solution and 12 Grow Sponges. Call BWGS (800-316-1306), BWGS West (888-316-1306) or BWGS East (800-316-1306) to find out how you can turn their experience into your success! Or visit us on the Web: Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 45

ENVIRONMENT | THE INDOOR GARDENER It was proven in Europe that a field of “pure” canola showed a GMOcontamination rate of 1%. On a much more local scale, environmentalists say that roots from genetically modified trees can come in contact with those of “normal” trees from the same family. They could transfer their cellular contents and modified DNA to nearby trees. Will I shock you when I say that the group in charge of tests on transgenic trees is totally opposed to these conclusions? Revisiting every point made by environmentalists, the group offers new figures and new conclusions that are the exact opposite of those reached by groups such as Greenpeace and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, to name a few. Researchers maintain that the trees will not be allowed to fructify and that pollen dissemination is a non-issue. Limiting root expansion is much harder, but the trees have been planted away from any wooded area susceptible to contamination, thus eliminating the cellular-transfer possibility.

At first sight, there might not seem to be a link between watercourses and forests. Yet the two ecosystems are interlinked, and fauna goes from one to the other hundreds of times a day. One’s survival depends on the other’s health. It would be difficult to imagine a more serious threat than we’ve just described. And yet... In Canada, north of Québec City, a giant leap into the unknown was made in 1997, when 33 transgenic trees (poplars, spruces) were planted. Thirteen years later, these tress are still frightening. What do we know about transgenic trees? Information varies, obviously, according to its source, whether it’s an environmentprotection group or scientists who took part in the study. The former are worried: they say that pollen travelling on atmospheric currents can travel over 1,200 kilometres through North America. The pollen from transgenic trees planted in the Canadian south-east could travel to the border of American southern lands. This threat is unacceptable.

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In addition to the organizations already mentioned, forty others have asked the government, in 1998, to support an international moratorium on the production of genetically modified trees. This position was strengthened by the 2003 discovery of insects that were resistant to BT insecticide. Researchers were hard at work—in 2007, they applied for an international patent that would protect their new process, one that reinforces BT and makes it much more efficient. Still, we should heed the warning. The “discovery” of GMOs by humans is rather recent—yet they’ve always existed in nature. Bacteria and viruses are now recognized as major vectors of cellular content from one organism to the next—leading to mutations even in different species. Genetically modified organisms and clones should not be confused, however. The former often stem from the latter, but clones are the result of an autonomous, completely different process. Also in existence since the dawn of time, cloning is almost universally used by all plants. Today, researchers are using this technique in an attempt to reproduce exceptional trees and hence create “indestructible” clone forests. With goals similar to that of

GMO production, cloning tries to reproduce plants that have an increased resistance to predator insects, draught, flooding, and natural calamities. Admittedly, one of the goals is to reach maximum productivity through uniformity and, of course, to improve profitability. For “parent” clone trees, the logical conclusion to crosspollination—namely the production of a genetically different offspring—will never occur. The offspring will either be harvested before their first flowering or be destroyed on site. Only trees pollinated outside the clone-forest’s borders will be able to express the traits selected when the embryos formed. Although clones can still trade their genes with other individuals in the same species (through crosspollination), a clone forest should be avoided. In such an environment, insects, viruses, bacteria, and fungi would quickly adapt to the defence

mechanisms of the clone forest. The Para rubber tree has been ravaged for decades by a fungus from the Ascomycetes family, Microcyclus ulei. South-American producers have had to learn to live with the pest that has destroyed a large part of their plantations. Para rubber trees populated immense areas—all on their own—and the fungus had no trouble invading every surface. Asia is now host to 95% of the world’s production, and the pest fungus hasn’t yet been introduced. It’s only a matter of time. Researchers all over the world are working on new varieties of Para rubber trees that would resist the fungus. Speed is of the essence. Once in place, the disease cannot be eradicated. In 2007, thirteen resistant varieties were awaiting government approval for their Asian transfer. Unfortunately, the fungus managed to prove how virulent it is: in less than three years, it infected one of the varieties on which much hope had been placed. To be continued...

Plant Physiology:


By S. Ste-Anne, biology teacher

1. Two Primordial Sources of Plant Nutrition

The two natural sources of nutritive elements for plants are the atmosphere and the soil. In their natural state, that is where green plants find their daily sustenance. Air is indispensable for plant life. Humans and animals, through their breathing, eject carbon dioxide (also emitted by fires or other types of combustion – manufactures, power plants, gas emissions from refuse, etc.) and water vapour. Oxygen and nitrogen are two of the other main constituents of water that

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are essential to the nutrition of green plants. In the soil, rocks act as a water filter and hence we can find various quantities of mineral salts. The mineral salts found will vary according to the nature of the soil in which they are found (limestone, clay, silica, etc.). The soil also contains nitrogenous organic compounds that come from the decomposition of plants, animals or their organic waste, as well as ammoniacal salts, nitrates and the fermentations that follow due to the action of bacteria. Those elements dissolved in water form xylen sap.

In this entry in our series on Plant Physiology (and after the roots – vol. 4, issue 6 – and the stem – vol. 5, issue 2), we will touch upon the more specific issue of plant nutrition through the plant’s vegetative organs. This will allow us to overview the different steps of the nutrition phenomenon: absorption, circulation, perspiration, respiration, and photosynthesis. 2. Absorption Stomata are pore-like openings located on the green parts of plants and more particularly under the leaves. Their role is to pick up atmospheric gases. On the other side, the roots pick up the benefits of soil through the extremity of their radicles. Water is then essential, because it dissolves mineral salts and allows them to enter the radicles’ vessels. The plant then selects what it needs and only absorbs the nutritive elements it finds useful. That explains why some plants are never found on some lands, because they simply did not find what they required to settle there.


Imbibitions are essential to plant nutrition and most of its absorption functions are performed in water. The lignified cells (like those of roots) absorb, while cutinized cells (like those of leaves) block water but allow atmospheric gases through. The diffusion of nutritive elements within the plant then occurs by osmosis with the liquid (or sap) already contained in the cellular protoplasm.

taken from the soil. Plant perspiration may not be easily observable with the naked eye, but if you put a glass dome on the plant you will see condensation form inside the dome.

The plant wilts when it lacks water or when evaporation occurs too rapidly. Indeed, a plant gorged with water is called turgescent, an analogy to its characteristic stiffness.

The state of the air in your indoor garden plays a crucial role in the phenomenon of plant perspiration. To favour the opening of stomata and the absorption/perspiration phenomenon, you should provide a humid atmosphere that is well ventilated, luminous and temperate. If the atmosphere is too dry, dark, stagnant and too hot, the stomata will close and prevent the natural absorption/ respiration cycle. One last variable: stomata are not evenly distributed among plants. Plants with very large leaves (palm) or with very many leaves (maple, oak, etc.) are better equipped!

3. Circulation

5. Respiration

Once water has entered the plant, it is filled with nutritive elements and mixed with the plant’s natural juices, and forms the sap. The sap circulates in the plant and goes up the ligneous vessels. Once it reaches the leaves, xylem sap undergoes profound modifications. It leaves enriched with new substances and hence bears the name of elaborated sap. Through the phloem vessels, elaborated sap then goes to all parts of the plant: stem, roots, flowers and fruits. The sap rises because of osmotic force and because of suction caused by perspiration.

4. Perspiration

Plants perspire: they reject their surplus water. Once again, the stomata play an essential role. They are the gateway used by carbon dioxide, but they also allow the evacuation of excess water

Respiration in plants is actually combustion: it is a continuous exchange of the atmosphere’s oxygen into carbon dioxide. Oxygen slowly burns the cells’ carbonated products. Once again, stomata are in charge, this time in association with the stem’s lenticels (which are the stem and the limb’s stomata). The plant’s respiratory exchanges occur during the day as well as during the night, but during the day they are combined with photosynthesis.

6. Photosynthesis

During the day, thanks to the effects of light on chlorophyll, plants make their own food. This is the photosynthesis phenomenon. Chlorophyll is naturally found in the chloroplasts, and it gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll doubles the carbon dioxide, which then emits oxygen as waste. It is a digestion

Notes & News

Flowers Speak for You

Stars: When Gardening Leads to a Split

The importance of flowers in dating has always been confusing for guys. I have friends who bought expensive gifts only to realize later that they would have done much better on the brownie points if they had chosen flowers. The worst idea that you can have if you are looking to go out on a date is to think that an expensive gift guarantees your credibility as a lover. The flower’s power baffles dudes like Adrian. He asked Cathy what it was about flowers that girls swoon over. The answer was simple, only that it was tailor-made for Adrian!

Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal? It’s over! Only two months ago, Reese was gushing about her companion: “Jake is a great cook,” the Oscar winner told InStyle Magazine last October.

Cathy told him that there was a lot of subtlety in the language of flowers. “You don’t get it because you hardly know the difference between purple and violet,” she laughed at him. Adrian was also told about the fragrance of flowers and what it does to the female mind is something that is beyond his comprehension! Adrian didn’t like the fact that he was being underestimated. He complained to me. I asked him, “Okay, so you know the difference between purple and violet?” He noted the satire in my voice. He was last seen at my computer running a search to update himself on flowers and colours! The effort will do him good. At least Cathy will be more pleased. – Editor Bob (

“He does a lot. We spend the weekends outside L.A., in Ojai, where I have a farmhouse. We have chickens and we grow cucumbers and tomatoes. I love it”. Cooking and gardening together? Not good for a high-profile relationship, apparently! Source: IMDB

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 49

BOTANY | THE INDOOR GARDENER phenomenon that the plant achieves by itself. Carbon dioxide, “digested” as such, will put carbon in some plant zones by forming leaves, manufacturing starch, cellulose and sugars such as glucose and sucrose – essential elements of plant nutrition. If we fold a geranium leaf and we heat it in a double-boiler in methyl alcohol, the alcohol takes on an intense green color because of the dissolution of chlorophyll. If we look at its transparency, however, we can see that the color is reddish. We can verify this further by dividing the solution in two test tubes, keeping one under sunlight and one in complete darkness. The nutritive elements resulting from photosynthesis (starches, sugars, cellulose, etc.) are incorporated through protoplasmic uptake; this means they merge with the protoplasm within the cell. In case of surplus, reserves are stored in the roots.

7. Nutritive Reserves

Roots are not the only reserve location: nutritive elements are stored in the stem, the buds, the leaves, and even in the fruits and seeds. The plants take up their reserves by making them soluble using a gastric juice similar to that secreted in animal stomachs. The carrot, for example, stores reserves in its root during its first year. The tuberose root is then topped with leaves that fall in the autumn. The next spring, the carrot develops new leaves and a much flowering stem. Each flower produces one seed. At the same time, the root reserves are depleted and the root turns from fleshy to dry and fibrous. The main reserve substances are starch (potato), sugars (fruit, maple), fatty substances (olives, nuts, and flax seeds), aleurone (wheat, in the form of gluten) and organic acids: malic acid (apple), tartatic acid (grape) and citric acid (lemon, orange).

8. Plant Exudation Products

The activity in plant cells creates substances that must be assimilated. Carbon dioxide and water vapour rejected into the atmosphere during respiration and perspiration are waste products. Resins (fir, hemp), latex (rubber), essences (maple) , alkaloids (alcohol, chloroform, morphine, codeine, quinine, opium (poppy), strychnine) and heterosides (tannin (oak), colorants, repulsive properties of crucifers, of mustard for example) are considered waste products that no organism can assimilate nor chemically transform for its own benefit.

9. Chlorophyll-less Plants and Nutrition

Parasitism: Plants that are completely devoid of chlorophyll, like mushrooms and some spermatophyta such as cuscuta, cannot produce their own food. They must procure prepared substances outside of their own organism. The cuscuta digs its roots into a host plant, usually a leguminous plant. It illustrates the very principle of parasitism, the existence of one living being at the expense of another plant or animal. Saprophytism: Lacking chlorophyll, mushrooms grow in woods, on decomposing matter or on freshly spread manure in fields. They cannot assimilate the air’s carbon directly, but they do produce some food. They are an illustration of saprophytism, the existence of a being at the expense of decomposing organic matter.

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Symbiosis: Finally, chlorophyll-less plants can reach an association. This is symbiosis, such as it exists between algae and mushrooms who then develop a common mode of life. The union of algae and mushrooms forms lichens. Associated thus, the algae and the mushrooms are mutually beneficial and work together for a successful association. It functions like a small business! The algae absorb carbon and make starch and sugars, and pass a share of those on to the mushroom. In return, the mushroom’s mycelium takes minerals from the soil and distributes them to the algae.

10. Plant Movement

Plant movement, a myth? Not at all! During its growth, a plant makes tiny movements, undetectable to the naked eye, but real nonetheless. Of course, those movements are more overt in turning plants, such as morning glory, clematis and vines that wrap themselves around any offered support. Some flowers open and close at regular intervals, such as the mirabilis, aptly nicknamed “cultivated four o’clock”. Others only close at night (clover) or during the day (night-flowering Catchfly). Other plants have leaves that retract if they are touched or if we apply pressure: the affected leaflet has a tendency to fold back on the opposite leaflet. Their sleep position, however, only lasts a few minutes.

11. Geotropism

Geotropism comes from the Greek ge (earth) and trepein (to turn) and is thus perfectly adapted to the plant’s behaviour in soil and to the phenomenon of terrestrial attraction on freshly planted cuttings. No matter how a plant is placed in the soil, its roots will automatically place themselves to go deep into the soil, even if we attempt to give them another direction. This is called positive geotropism. The stem does just the opposite: it disengages from the soil and keeps on distancing itself from it – this is called negative geotropism.

12. Phototropism

A plant growing in the dark or in unique lighting conditions spread over its entire volume, like in greenhouses, has a tendency to move upwards. When the light only comes from one side, the stem curves towards the light source. In general, plants position themselves to better trap the sun’s rays – we say it has positive phototropism. Once again, etymology explains all: phototropism comes from the Greek photos (light) and trepein (to turn). The most well known plants to follow the sun’s course throughout the day are, of course, sunflowers. On the opposite, colourless organs such as roots have a negative phototropism, meaning that they grow in the direction with the lowest luminosity, by digging in the soil where in any case geotropism is attracting them. Next up in our “Plant Physiology” series: flowers, and – later: the invisible.

Visiting Dracula’s Land

and other Romanian Itineraries By Rose Laforêt

If in our collective unconscious the dominant image of Romania remains that of an eastern formerly communist country with a sombre past and permanent greyness, reality proves to be much more colourful. The country has a rich history, and spectacular monuments abound to prove it. Provincial landscapes between the Black Sea and mountains are sumptuous. Let’s not forget that Romania is Dracula’s land. Here’s a brief survey...

THE INDOOR GARDENER | Destination Profile


One of the successful tourist attractions offered in Romania is the “Dracula Tour.” The tour was first offered at the beginning of the 1990s. Vlad Tepeş, the Impaler (or Dracula) was prince of Walachia in the 15th century. We all know where his durable reputation comes from: it is indeed due to Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel (1897) that we still remember this historic character, one that is still frightening even though fiction has overrun reality. The trip starts in Bucharest, at the ruins of the old court he sponsored. Then follows the tour of Snagov and its monastery. Legend has it that the lake’s island still harbours the tomb of Vlad Tepes, the local voivod. After a treck to Sinaia and a tour of Peles castle, we reach Bran castle, where he resided. North of Bran start Transylvania, often dubbed “Dracula’s land.” In Sighişoara, where Vlad the Impaler was born, you can view an apropos show, entitled “The witch trial.” Further, in Bistritza, you’ll stay at the “Coroana de Aur” hotel, and you’ll be closer to discovering Dracula’s castle in the Tihuta pass. After one last stop in Durau, which is host to a famous folk festival every August (Mount Ceahlau’s Festival), you can head back towards Bucharest through the Bicaz Gorges, or cross Lake Bicaz to visit Toplita, Stânceni and its ecumenical Carmelite convent. Finally, you can take the road through Gheorgheni, Miercurea Ciuc up to Brasov. Or you can pick another road... leaving behind you the still-alive the memory of Dracula.


During the Ottoman occupation, Romania’s reigning princes found the time amidst their constant wars to have genuine religious architectural jewels erected. Moldavia’s voivoid, Stephen the Great (1457-1504), nicknamed by Pope Sixtus IV a “true champion of Christian faith”, had over 30 religious buildings erected in northern Moldavia, which are still now called an oasis of spirituality. A tour of Moldavia’s monasteries can begin in Bucharest, pass by Piatra Neamt, and include the visit of “middle” Moldavia’s monasteries and of Bucovine. On the way, you can admire the monasteries of Agapia (17th century), Varatec, Neamt, and the city of Suceava, the ancient residence of Moldavia’s princes. You can then visit the monasteries of Dragomirna, Humor and Voronetz. The latter is dubbed the “Eastern Sistine Chapel.” Indeed, the monastery is remarkable because of the intensity of its paintings’ blue hues. Its walls offer a genuine illustrated Bible. Continue by visiting the monasteries at Moldovitza, Sucevitza, Arbore, and Putna. On the way back, you can choose a different itinerary and follow part of the “Dracula Tour”, from Suceava and through Brasov, visiting the fortified churches at Prejmer, Harman, Bran castle et Peleş of Sinaia castle. Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 53

Destination Profile | THE INDOOR GARDENER

Romanian Music: Lăutarii din Clejani Thanks to Romanian group Taraf de Haïdouks, gypsy music from Walachia has reaped success these last few years (see TIG vol. 3, issue 3, at page 22), but the tradition can be traced back much further, to another traditional group from the mid-20th century: Lăutarii din Clejani. Lăutarii din Clejani are perhaps the most inspired and the most ardent of all Romanian folk musicians. The exuberant musical style from their southern region (greater Walachia or South Muntenia) certainly stimulated them towards that direction. We must also consider the fact that the village of Clejani is host to the most ancient music school in Muntenia. The school teaches its pupils everything about performance arts, requiring their total commitment to the art of their choice, whether it be singing, dancing, physical expression, or mime. These musicians seem to possess incredible gifts, naturally born of their ancestral culture. They have in common the qualities of imagination and impetuousness. Yet each musician has its own personality, his own inclinations and aptitudes, intrinsic qualities, and an infinite passion for performance and public shows. The classical instrument used by Romanian gypsy (lăutarii) musicians, called “cobza”, probably dates back to the 17th century, and is a descendent of the Turkish oud. The gypsy name comes from ancient Turkish “kobuz”, meaning “string instruments” in most Turkish dialects spoken by Central Asian Qiptchaq nomadic people. This Balkar (Kardtcho-Balkar) word is still used in current Anatolia under the derived name “kopuz”, itself the ancestor of the modern word “baglama saz”, designating any string instrument whose strings are pinched. Going back in time, one of the first Romanian gypsy musicians to have gained some notoriety was Stan Barbu, in the 19th century. He became famous under the name Lautarul Barbu and even inspired Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and his Romanian Rhapsody. One of his songs is still found in the repertoire of contemporary Lăutarii: “Eu sunt Barbu Lăutarul / Starostele şi cobzarul (I am Barbu the Lautar / The old man, the Cobzar).” The cobza was first designed to accompany the small cimbalom. Its looped rhythms formed the basis of the style and cimbalom composition models played by Romanian Lăutarii. Later on, the cobza, being much lighter and easier to transport, took over and became the unavoidable element of Lăutarii musical compositions. In 1988 a compilation of the classical works by Lăutarii de Clejani, recorded between 1949 and 1952*, became an unexpected success for Central European music. It paved the way for the current success of Taraf de Haïdouks. *Taraful de Clejani, Clejanii de altădată 1949-1952, Muzică de Colectie, vol. 10, on the label M-10 (1988). Reedition: 1998.

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Transylvanian Palaces and Castles

The “Transylvanian Palaces and Castles” tour starts in Bucharest. The oldest palace in Bucharest is the old court, built in 1459 by no other than Vlad the Impaler, i.e. Dracula... Transylvania offers a breathtaking mixture of architectural style, from Gothic to baroque. You can also admire remarkable elements from German Renaissance. After Bucharest, travel towards Sibiu, where you can visit the town’s historic center, as well as the evangelical church and the Brukenthal palace. You’ll reach Sighişoara (with its clock tower and magnificent historic centre) and keep going towards Brasov (with its Black Church and Weavers’ Bastion). In southern Transylvania, fortified churches (most of them reformist) testify of an eventful history. But they were built by German settlers (Sasi = Saxons) and most are recognized as part of the international cultural heritage. The most well-known are the fortified church of Biertan (1520-1522), a remarkable Gothic-art monument, and that of Media (14th to 16th century). The latter’s dungeon is 74 metres high and bears a clock that indicates the moon’s cycle. Dracula’s trace can also be picked up here. Indeed, Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner here in 1476. At the end of the trip, you can visit the castles of Bran and Peles (in Sinaia). If you still have time, visit the cities of Hunedoara (Corvins castle) and Cluj (Banffy palace).

THE INDOOR GARDENER | Destination Profile

Extreme Sports

Romania is not all about art and history. It also offers an entire program of special tours for sports enthusiasts. Mountain cycling tours for all-terrain bike enthusiasts have been very popular these past few years. There is an important bike-rental centre in Romania, in the Prahova Valley (at Cornu). Other great areas for this sport are located in the western Carpathians (Apuseni Mounts) and in the high lands of Bucovine and Maramures. In the country’s western region (Arad, CaraşSeverin, Hunedoara, Mehedinti, Timiş), a competition entitled Endu-Romania is organized on rugged terrain. Extreme-sport enthusiasts can practice rafting, hang gliding and spelunking. The bears’ grotto (“Pestera Ursilor”), inaugurated as a tourist attraction in 1980, still remains the most-frequented grotto in Romania. A little further, the underground glacier of Scarisoara is very interesting to discover. In the middle of August, it is a refreshing

location. What’s more, the panoramic view and the mountain environment are very pleasant. You reach it following a mostpicturesque trail, with ravines and large ruts— but tourism cars can still use it. If you’re in very good shape, you can leave your vehicle in Garda de Sus or at the bottom of the trail and hike on foot. The time it’ll take will depend on the hiker. Counts two and a half hours (one way) from Garda de Sus. Information: Romanian National Tourist Office, 355 Lexington Avenue, 19th floor, New York, NY 10017 Telephone: 1-212-545-8484 E-mail: In Canada:

On behalf of the entire staff here at Green Publications, Le Jardinier d’Intérieur & The Indoor Gardener, we would like to send out our season’s greetings to everyone who has contributed to the success of both

magazines. We have many great new ideas in the works and many more new articles on the way. We look forward to continue bringing you the best quality reading in the indoor-gardening community.

Stan, Roxanne, Bruno, Sylvie, Helene, André P.O. Box 52046 – Laval (Quebec) H7P 5S1 – Canada 1 450 628-5325

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 55


New from BWGS is happy to announce that its vast selection of quality indoor-gardening products just grew again! For over 14 years, BWGS has provided indoor-gardening retailers unmatched customer service and the best products the industry has to offer. Call BWGS (800-316-1306), BWGS West (888-316-1306) or BWGS East (800-316-1306) to find out how you can turn their experience into your success!

Lumatek 1,000-watt Dual-Voltage Digital Ballast Now Available

Gastronomy: Not All Pizza is created Equal!

Since every place claims to have the ‘Best Pizza Around’, we’re asking you to take a chance with us. Come in and see for yourself why people come from all over Orange County for a slice of our thin crusted, traditional hand-tossed pizza. La Rocco’s pies are hand tossed 18” thin-crust New York style pizzas, made to order and cooked to perfection in our 600 degree stone-lined ovens. We use only the finest and freshest ingredients available each and every day. Our fresh produce is delivered every morning and our cheese is delivered weekly from Wisconsin.

Upgrade to a new 1,000-watt Lumatek digital ballast and you’ll see the benefits instantly! From their increased efficiency to their increased lumen output, digital ballasts truly are the next big leap in indoor-gardening technology. Compared to traditional magnetic ballasts, Lumatek digital ballasts lose less power from outlet to lamp, provide light at a far more stable level, start up faster (full light in under one minute!), and reduce the noise your system generates by running silently. These incredibly low-weight ballasts also produce less heat, short-circuits trigger a power cutoff as a safety measure, and a dimmer knob adjusts the output level from as low as 50% all the way up to the Super Lumens setting of 110%! As if all that weren’t enough, this dual-voltage unit allows you to power with 120V or 240V with one ballast!

Bare-Bones Baby-Bloomer Kits

Comfortably situated between full-scale hydroponic systems and entry-level soilless gardening kits, the Bare-Bones Baby Bloomer is a surprisingly effective option that will satisfy the needs of serious indoor gardeners without intimidating those who are just getting their feet wet. It’s comprised of basic, well-made hydroponics system components: a tray, a reservoir, and the appropriate fittings. This simplicity allows gardeners to make their setup as basic or complex as they’re comfortable doing, and its compact 31” x 14” x 12” total size allows them to grow with a bona fide hydroponic system that doesn’t take up a large amount of space.

56 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

We make our homemade dough and sauce from scratch daily. But what’s the real secret to our pizza? Legend has it that it’s the water in NYC that makes such great pizza. So we went straight to the source— every LaRocco’s pie is made with water that comes to us directly from the New York area—to truly give you an authentic slice of New York. You will not find a better pizza anywhere at any price, capisce? Hurry… before we go broke feeding all of Orange County! La Rocco’s Pizzeria: call us today in San Clemente 949-366-8890, or visit


Announces New Workshop Dates By Kathleen Paynter Due to popular demand, Nelson and Pade, Inc., has just announced new workshop dates (see their website for an up-to-date schedule)! These hands-on workshops, which began in the spring of 2009, have been filled to capacity. Attendees have expressed a very high level of satisfaction with the content, instruction and overall experience. And now, there’s one more— so if you didn’t make it to one yet, you still have time. Our workshop can be attended as a one- or three-day event, depending on your preference. On the first day, the workshop begins with “Introduction to Aquaponics and Wisconsin Aquaculture.” For anyone looking for a one-day workshop, attending this class is optional. Our first day’s program is co-taught in collaboration with the Wisconsin Aquaculture agents Ron Johnson, Sarah Kaatz and Jim Held, along

with Rebecca Nelson and John Pade of Nelson and Pade, Inc. The one-day program costs $95 and includes lunch. For those looking for more advanced training and intensive instruction on aquaponics, the workshop continues with two more days, with the complete “Aquaponics and Controlled-Environment Agriculture” program. This is the best value of the year, essentially providing three days of instruction for the two-day workshop price of $495. The three-day program includes lunch each day, course materials, the book Introduction to Aquaponics and a private meeting session with John Pade or Rebecca Nelson to discuss your project, idea or specific area of interest. Workshop morning sessions are held in a classroom environment, while afternoon

sessions take place at Nelson and Pade Inc.’s demonstration and training aquaponic greenhouse in Montello, Wisconsin. Be sure to sign up early because space is limited and registration is on a first-comefirst-serve basis. You can learn more and sign up at:

Other News from Nelson and Pade, Inc. Nelson and Pade is proud to announce a new capital investor has funded expansion of the company, with an eye toward well-managed growth. This step takes Nelson and Pade to a new level, expanding operations in order to be able to more effectively supply the U.S. and export markets with aquaponic systems and technology to meet the need for sustainable food production. Additional announcements, an updated website and more information will be available shortly. For more information, please visit

Presents: Brite-Lite Group is Proud to Distribute the Bluelab Line in Canada Brite-Lite Group of Laval, Quebec, is delighted to announce its appointment as a distributor of Bluelab of New Zealand. Bluelab has long set the quality standard for scientific instruments such as the Truncheon TDS/EC tester. The Truncheon, along with the many other fine products available from Bluelab, can be ordered by calling Brite-Lite Group at 1-800-489-2215.

Optimum Hydroponix® Rinse Optimum Hydroponix® Rinse removes fertilizer salts from your plants and decreases leaching periods during the final stages of plant growth. Effective when used to correct overfeeding or nutrient toxicity. It may also be used to clean aeroponic systems or hydroponic drippers by removing salt buildup from lines & sprayers. Rinse is available in bottle of 500 ml, 1L, and 4 L.

Titan Beefs up your Blooms Optimum Hydroponix® is happy to report the arrival of Titan 0-10-7. A natural power- pack loaded with botanical hormones, extracts, and minerals to boost and steer the maturation process targeting

plant energy directly to buds cultivating fruit that thrives and phenomenal flowers. Indulge plants with Titan’s divine energy that empowers flowers to their absolute potential. Use with your favourite fertilizer or plant nutrition program during the final 3 weeks of flowering prior to harvest. Product of Holland, bottled in Canada by Optimum Hydroponix. Available from distributors of Optimum Hydroponix in the following formats: 500 ml, 1 litre and 4 litres. For more information call 1-800-489-2215 or visit us at Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 57


Announces New Additions to its Family

Randy Lagerwerf Hired as Canadian Representative

The manufacturers of SteadyGro have announced a new addition to their family. Randy Lagerwerf will be managing Canadian sales for SteadyGro and other grower-related products, including Agrifoam plug media. Kelvin Frye, national sales manager for SteadyGro explained that “Randy’s vast knowledge of the grower industry stems from working in, and from providing products to the grower community from his youth on. Many of the products and services he has represented over the years are still utilized by growers across Canada. His experience and knowledge will be a great asset to our team and to many industry members who need expertise and advice.” Randy will be the main consultant for clients and growers who need information regarding the industry, the grower business and SteadyGro products.

Kim Stewart (of Tierra) Joins the SteadyGro Team

Kim Stewart, owner and founder of Tierra, Inc. has joined the SteadyGro team. Kim will be managing all West-coast sale efforts for SteadyGro and other grower-related products, including Agrifoam plug media. Her coverage will include all states West of Colorado, including Hawaii and Alaska. “We are very excited to have such a knowledgeable and well-respected individual on our team,” commented Kelvin Frye, national sales manager for SteadyGro. “Kim’s 30 years of experience in the grower industry and her degree in horticulture will add great value to those who use our products. Kim’s decision to join our team adds years of needed expertise to an exciting new product line.”

About SteadyGro:

SteadyGro is produced by a family owned and operated company that manufactures and distributes products for both the floral and grower industries. The company was founded in 1946. Today, the developers of SteadyGro are manufacturers, importers and distributors of over 1,500 items with customers in the USA, Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia. Brand names such as Agrifoam and SteadyGro are known for representing the highest quality products. The company currently operates with over 1,000,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehousing in Kokomo, Indiana. Their fleet of company owned semitractors delivers products to every major city in the United States and Canada weekly.

58 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

presents The new iGS-221 ONLY ONE controller to manage ALL indoor garden’s climate parameters!

• Simultaneously controls temperature, relative humidity and CO2 concentration • Intelligently manages 6 actions: generating CO2, venting, humidifying, dehumidifying, heating, and cooling • Prioritizes actions according to a logical sequence; allowing the plants to keep their stomas opened for optimal CO2 absorption • Avoids contradictory actions (e.g.: cooling and heating) • Control up to 45-amp equipments (110-120 V; three separate circuits needed) • Automatic differential for precise CO2-concentration control • Ready to use, just adjust your set points • 24-hour log to know your garden’s conditions • Hassle-free three-year warranty • 7-day free technical support

Update available to convert your iGS-220 into an iGS-221.

The heavy duty liquid CO2 regulator! To enrich your garden with CO2 without generating heat • CO2 flow up to 50 SCFH; 2.5 to 3 times the maximum flow offered by competing products • Ideal for grow rooms from 650 to 7,500 cubic feet • Features a heater to avoid regulator and valve freezing at high CO2 flow • Includes an industrial solenoid valve from ASCOTM, North-American made, continuous duty, 20,000,000-cycle life expectancy • Works with any CO2 controller with a standard 110-120 V, three-prong outlet • Standard connection for CO2 bottle and possibility to connect to multiple bottles • Reliable and long lasting, covered by PLUG’N’GROW’s three-year warranty

For more details, please visit or call us at 1-888-577-6274.


Presents: Bud Candy: Like Cotton Candy at the County Fair! Bud Candy is a bloom enhancer composed of a combination of the Advanced Nutrients products Sweetleaf and Carboload. This product is 100% organic and increases carbohydrate reserves so your plants can be healthier and produce larger, heavier fruits. Bud Candy does this by providing vitamins, aromatic esters and sugars to your plants, while also reducing carbon and nitrogen.

Bud Candy gives your plants flavour, aroma, and enhances your plant yield while you enjoy the smells and aromas you enjoyed as a kid when you first tried cotton candy at the local county fair. Remember that time and bring those memories and flavours back to your garden!

Sensi Grow (Part A & B) If plants in vegetative-growth phase are not properly fertilized, the quality and yield of your garden will be too low. Sensi Grow A & B is the quick, easy way to improve growth and quality of plants in vegetative growth phase.

strengths you can tailor it to the hydroponics plants you’re growing. Sensi Grow A & B is a guaranteed superior two-part formula that gives your garden a great vegetative start so your bloom phase will later provide massive yield.

Sensi Bloom (Part A & B) Extensive field testing has produced this 2-part nutrient that gives consistent heavy yields. Advanced Nutrients Sensi Bloom contains precise ratios of macronutrients and micronutrients and uses nutrients not found in any other fertilizer.

This easy to use two-part grow formula contains special ratios of premium ingredients like calcium, iron and zinc. These ingredients make stronger, healthier hydroponics plants, resulting in a better platform for a higher-yielding bloom cycle: · Special ingredients for fantastic vegetative growth; · Easy to mix and use; · Sets plants up for larger harvests.

This custom-blended vegetative two-part formula can be mixed in different

These additional components make an enormous difference on how well your plants respond. Sold separately for your convenience. Our products are offered in the finest stores. For more information, call 1-866-969-7711.

Plug’N’Grow CO2 Sensor-Calibration Kit Simple, fast and the most reliable method in the indoor-gardening market!

Calibration: Essential for Precision NDIR CO2 sensors lose their calibration easily as time goes by or if submitted to a shock. This is why it’s recommended to regularly calibrate them for a precise control without wasting the CO2 offered to the plants!

Why a Calibration Kit?

Ideal for in-store calibration service! Effective on any make and model of controller! A kit includes at least 20 calibrations! For more information, visit or reach us toll free at 1-888-577-6274.

• Calibration performed outdoors or with another reference is not precise and can further falsify the sensor’s measurements. • The Plug’N’Grow calibration kit includes a 1,000-ppm certified gas for a precise CO2 concentration for calibration. Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 59


Now Available Growstones Hydroponic Substrate Growstones Hydroponic Substrate (particle size: ½”) is a new substrate engineered to meet the specific needs of the hydroponic community. It’s an earth friendly, 97% recycled-glass product, made in the USA. It can be used as an integral component in many hydroponic systems. Growstones™ are developed to provide the ideal ratio of water retention and aeration while at the same time being lightweight, disease free, and packaged in a 1.25-cubicfoot recyclable paper bag. Growstones Soil Enhancement (particle size: ¼”) is also made from recycled glass. This product is an effective and eco-friendly component for any potting soil (coir-based or peat-based) in a variety of climate zones and environments. Visit to learn more about Growstones and their offering of sustainable products.

The Prepara Indoor-Gardening Line Have a garden at your fingertips, all year long! Show off your freshly grown Italian sweet basil or your newly sprouted curly dwarf parsley from the comfort of your kitchen, anytime, rain or shine. The Prepara line will empower you to try herbs, vegetables, flowers, and fruits. Experience the pleasure and satisfaction of growing your own plants! The Power Plant Deluxe comes complete with Power Plant Professional and Power Grow Lamp with bulb. The Power Plant Professional has a rotating growing surface that automatically dispenses nutrients to your seeds and plants. No overwatering, no forgetting, no worries, and no green thumb needed... just watch it grow! The Power Grow Lamp works with any plant and fully adjusts to stand over 22” tall. The “sunlight” spectrum bulb (included) helps plants grow up to 50% faster than using sunlight alone. Nothing makes your meals taste better than the freshest ingredients. The Prepara Herb Savour will prolong the life of your fresh herbs for up to three weeks so you can enjoy fresh, flavourful meals every time you cook. Herb stems sit slightly submerged in the water of the water-well, keeping them fresh. Contact your Hydrofarm sales representative for more information. To find a Hydrofarm authorized retailer near you, visit

60 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

Exclusive Advanced Nutrients Distributor for Mauricie

With eight years of experience selling hydroponic products, Pablo set up his own shop in July 2007, with the opening of his first Pablo Jardinage store in TroisRivières. The following year, he opened a second location in Drummondville. In 2008 also, he obtained an exclusivity contract to distribute Advanced Nutrients products for all of Mauricie, from Maskinongé to La Tuque. Success came knocking. When asked why he succeeded, Pablo talks about “the original manufacturing quality of Advanced Nutrients products, the originality of their marketing, which puts local distributors first and, of course, the incomparable design of the company’s famous labels. What’s more, the nutrients are hyper concentrated, giving the buyer an exceptional quality/price ratio.” Best-sellers in his stores are Sensi Bloom A and B, Sensi Cal Mg Mix Bloom, Big Bud, and Overdrive. Pablo has also developed his own product line (“Pablo Jardinage”), which includes a flowering accelerator (0-50-30), pH adjusters, etc. When you enter the Trois-Rivières store, an imposing indoorfountain setup will astonish you. We must say Pablo Jardinage also distributes Laguna products, with water basins—both indoor and outdoor ones—gaining in popularity among members of the public. – B.B. For more information: 819-693-6000 (Trois-Rivières), 819-475-2525 (Drummondville) or by email:

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 61


More Shopping Ideas for All Seasons By E. Young 1. Sunleaves Sunspot Reflectors Want to Plug’n’Play!

Sunleaves Sunspot 6 and Sunspot 8 plug’n’play reflectors offer performance and great compatibility without the cost of other reflectors. Both units have a heavy-duty housing, enamel-coated exterior finish, specular German Alanod interior for maximum light exposure, and a socket-mounting bracket designed to maximize airflow through vents. Perfectly suited for gardens with carbondioxide enrichment, they feature a hinged lens enclosure that provides a completely airtight seal. Best of all, they’re pre-wired with a fixed socket that’s compatible with the industry-standard common outlet.

2. DarkRooms Light Up at your Local Year ‘round Garden Center

The light generated by HID and compactfluorescent lighting systems is great for plants, but it can be a source of frustration if your living area is already cramped or you don’t have an extra room for an indoor garden. With a DarkRoom, however, those frustrations are a thing of the past! A DarkRoom is the foundation of a completely self-contained indoor garden, featuring a lightweight, durable, washable interior reflective lining that keeps more light going where it’s supposed to go: to the plants. The frame supports up to 65 pounds of lighting, ventilation or other equipment, and every unit has access ports that accommodate ducting or other equipment. DarkRooms are available in ten different sizes, all of which can be assembled without tools in minutes by one person, and collapse just as quickly for storage. For more information, just ask your local year ‘round garden center!

62 | Volume 5 – Issue 4

3. Sunleaves Rocks Rolled Out

Sunleaves Rocks are a reusable growing medium with serious H 2O-holding power for use in any kind of garden. Their non-rolling shape keeps spills from becoming more than a simple sweep-up job, and they contain silica for superior plant health. They’re made in the United States by superheating domestic shale to temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, rendering them pH-neutral and chemically inert. Make your life a little easier and take care of your plants and the planet: grow with the rock that doesn’t roll!

4. Coco-Dan

Grodan culls the finest coco fibres from coconuts grown in the fertile soil of Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, for use in Coco-Dan coir products: Four- and six-inch Coco-Dan Caps keep light from reaching coco coir or rockwool cubes, aiding in the prevention of algae growth and all the pests that come with it. Coco-Dan Croutons are an OMRI-listed coir soil amendment that promotes root growth more effectively than heavy clay or rock options. It absorbs approximately the same amount of water as clay, and it’s perfect for aerating dense, moist media, or as a top cover or bottom drain layer in potted plants. Coco-Dan Root Blankets are two-foot square matted coir liners that help protect plant roots while they grow in plastic trays.

5. Smart Pots

By taking advantage of the benefits of traditional plastic gardening containers while eliminating their shortcomings, Smart Pots truly live up to their name! These soft growing containers allow more air to reach the growing medium and roots, improving drainage and keeping the root system from overheating on hot days. Plant roots also benefit from their natural tendency to grow into soft surfaces like the Smart Pot, becoming thick and healthy instead of circling inside the pot and becoming root-bound.


6. Horti-trellis

Horti-trellis is the simple solution to your horizontal and vertical trellising problems! For use indoors or out, in aesthetic or purely practical applications, you can reuse these durable but flexible Horti-trellises over and over again without worrying about tangling. Horti-trellises are four feet wide with six-inch squares, and are available in lengths of either 16 or 50 feet.

7. Perfect Plant Hydration with DriWater

When water is either hard to come by on a regular basis or is needed at higher levels than Mother Nature provides, DriWater time-release water is a plant lifesaver! It’s a non-polymer gel that provides a constant supply of water to target soil without the use of toxic chemicals or the need to install a permanent water source. A nine-ounce Gel Pac gives plants up to 30 days of hydration and includes an easily installed DriWater dispenser tube that delivers moisture directly to plant-root zones. When the gel runs out, gardeners can simply replace the Gel Pac, leaving the dispenser tube in place, or move to another area in need of DriWater. A 32-ounce Gel Pac that lasts up to 90 days is also available.

8. Mosquitoes Are DOA with Microbe-Lift BMC Take care of summer’s most irritating and potentially dangerous bloodsuckers with Microbe-Lift BMC! It fully treats any area with standing water that serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Made of natural bacteria that are toxic to mosquito larvae, it kills mosquito populations at their source.

Because these bacteria are only toxic to the target pest, they pose no danger to fish, pets, humans, or vegetation. It fully penetrates the entire depth of the water treated, and has no negative effects on the aesthetics of the areas in which it’s used.

9. to 11. BioRoot, BioWeed and BioBud from General Organics by G.H.

BioRoot is a root-stimulating and beneficial-microbe growthstimulating nutrient, BioWeed and BioBus are vegetationenhancing seaweed-based products, which encourage an explosion of flower and fruit sites!

12. Botanicare Sweet Grape

Botanicare Sweet is now available in a formulation - Grape - that allows you to add the delicious taste of grapes to whatever you grow! BWGS provides indoor-gardening retailers unmatched customer service and the best products the industry has to offer. Call BWGS (800-316-1306), BWGS West (888-316-1306) or BWGS East (800-316-1306). Visit

Notes & News

“Concerto en aHÉROSol” at Café Graffiti (Montreal) By Raymond Viger On November 28, Journal de la Rue, Reflet de Société and Café Graffiti were the proud organisers of an extraordinary and innovative event called “Concerto en aHÉROSol” which took place at Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church in Montreal. What was the event’s concept? To marry the power of a 50-musician orchestra— Orchestre symphonique pop de Montréal, under the direction of chief M. Mark Dharmaratnam, performing excerpts from the soundtracks of major superhero films from the last decade (Robin Hood, James Bond, Superman, Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or Mission: Impossible, for example – it helps you understand that the name of the event, in French, is a mix between aerosol and Heroes!)—and the choreography of seven break-dancers from Café Graffiti. The benefit concert was organized to raise as much money as possible to ensure the smooth functioning of Café Graffiti, an association helping young artists in need. Source:

Science Dunces: When Man Descended From... Amphibians! Frogs? They existed before birds, and even before mammals! They were on Earth hundreds of millions of years before humans! Their general aspect so closely resembles ours that in the 18th Century, it took the scientific authority of Cuvier (1769-1832) to prevent the biggest mistake of biological history: in Switzerland, the skeleton of a giant salamander had been discovered, complete with ribs, spine, four limbs and bony head with teeth. Instantaneously, people declared: “Here are the most ancient human remains, here is Man from before the Deluge!” Actually, amphibians were, simply, the world’s first quadrupeds! Yet today still, looking at their anterior limbs with their prehensile fingers, we can’t help but think of a hand. This hand will be found in the animal kingdom, but much later, with the appearance of the lemur, a small mammal with long “fingers,” which many scientists now consider to be our earliest ancestor. Source: “Les coulisses du monde animal” by Dr. Mery, La Nouvelle Encyclopédie, Hachette.

Volume 5 – Issue 4 | 63

The hydroponic World of

United States

Emerald Garden All you ever wanted and more



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Kill Pests, Save the Rest THE GROW ROOM 8 Bridge Street Nyack, NY 10960 Toll Free:

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Agroneem Plus is a broad-spectrum insecticide that controls over 200 insect species, as well as a large number of nematodes and other plant pathogens. It attacks insects at multiple growth stages, and is compatible to most fertilizers, fungicides and insecticides. Agroneem Plus is non-toxic to humans, harmless to beneficial insects, and biodegradable.

AHL Garden Supply 1051 San Mateo Blvd SE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108 phone 800-753-4617 / fax 505-255-7417 Read what other customers are saying about their experience with AHL and at e-mail:

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1420 E. Altamonte Dr. Altamonte Springs FL. 32701 phone # 407-830-4769


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Humboldt Sticky Works Like the Stickin’s

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Gardeners can make sure they’re getting the most out of their foliar applications with the help of Humboldt Sticky. This wetting and sticking agent uses state-ofthe-art binding agents to make nutrients —and their beneficial effects—stick. To learn more about both products featured on this spread, call BWGS (800-316-1306), BWGS West (888-316-1306) or BWGS East (800-316-1306)!

e o n mb ly ers


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The Indoor Gardener Magazine Jan/Feb 2010 Vol. 5-4  
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