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Green Publications Vertes

Volume 3 – Issue 2 November / December 2007 Published by: Publisher: Managing editor:

Helene Jutras Anna Kanaras

Sales & advertising:

Distribution: Translation/Copy editing: Cover design:

Illustrations: Administration: Cover design: Anna Kanaras, after a photo by Manon Leroux.

Bruno Bredoux

Art Director:

Collaborators in this issue:






Contributing editor:

Editorial coordinator:


Green Publications





C.A., Ralph B., Vlad Balousian, Kerrie R. Barney, Kari Bayne, Pierre Bonnard, Bruno Bredoux, Jean-Pierre Daimé, Stan Daimon, J. Desjardins, Breen Derrecka, Daniel Fortin, Herb Gardner, Vertuda Green, Paul Henderson, G.H., Ilona Hufkens, Helene Jutras, Rob Kelly, Roxanne Labelle, Fred Leduc, Manon Leroux, A. O’Connor, R. Ridou, J.-F. Savard, William Sutherland, vieux bandit.



Stan Daimon Lydia Patel


Bruno Bredoux

See the list of our distributors on our website.

I Never Met a Booster I Didn’t Like… By Ralph B.





Taraf de Haïdouks By J. Desjardins










CM )

By EastSide Impex





Helene Jutras, trad.a. An arum flower from the Araceae family (which includes the numerous aroids subfamily) Photo by Manon Leroux




By Kerrie R. Barney


Anna Kanaras (also see credits on each page). R. LaBelle






By V. Green





THE INDOOR GARDENER MAGAZINE P.O. Box 52046, Laval, Quebec, H7P 5S1, CANADA Phone: 450-628-5325 Fax: 450-628-7758 ISSN: 1715-0949 © 2007, 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. Legal deposit: Second Quarter 2005. National Library of Canada. Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. Printed in Canada by Litho Mille-Iles Ltée, Terrebonne, Quebec, J6Y 1N9



HORTICULTURAL LIGHTING : • Yield per Bulb • What Is A Bulb’s Micromole Value?






Your Plants love Lumens, Let them get up close & personal ...without getting burned!

Spectral Distribution for EYEW1000B/HTL/EN WITH THE FRESCO SOL

Percent of relative energy

vs spectral range in nanometers Based on by energy tests by Lighting Sciences Inc.

spectral range in nanometers

• The most versatile LIGHT STAND AND GROW RACK ever made! • Works great for greenhouses and indoor hydroponics systems. • Strong, light weight ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION • Quick & easy set-up


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Percent of relative energy

Spectral Distribution for EYEW1000B/HTL/EN



• The FRESCA SOL WATER-COOLED LIGHT HOUSING is dependable. The WATER COOLED PYREX JACKET Technology removes 93% of the heat from your HPS Bulb. • Reduce the distance between your light and plants from 18” TO 5” dramatically INCREASING THE LUMENS reaching your plants by 9 times! • increase the percent of relevant energy 5% to 10%


Tulips, cacao tree, golden pothos... Same goal: seduce

a drink that was, at first, extremely bitter, but that ended up

humans and prosper...

being chocolate as we know it? The mystery remains, but

In his book The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001), Michael Pollan explains to his readers how wild tulips used their natural beauty to attract human attention

centuries of perseverance have turned the cacao tree into a shrub cultivated around the globe for what it offers humans in return. After giving it a use, we have pampered it.

and hence survive and florish as a tamed ornamental species.

In this issue (page 40), Kerrie R. Barney, one of our readers,

Discovered in Turkey three and a half centuries ago, they have

also shares with us how a small golden pothos cutting

conquered every part of the world and have multiplied as

nicknamed Brian managed to bring her out of months

ever diverse hybrids. Explorers were ready to kill to bring back

of illness and convalescence. The power plants have over

rare species. Alexandre Dumas was even inspired to write an

humans is extraordinary. It must not be underestimated. The

adventure novel in which horticulture, capes and swords

ability of humans to get tons of benefits from plants is just

were all stars (La Tulipe noire, 1850).

as surprising. This privileged human/plant relationship is far

Humans have also managed to transform plants that, at first, seemed to have few qualities, into incredible sources

Photos: © 2001 Random House

What Humans Can Make Plants Do, What Plants Can Make Humans Understand

from reaching its term. Like a certain Ed recently said, plants are “aware” of their taming.

of pleasure. Such is the case of the cacao tree, whose history

Bruno Bredoux

you can read starting on page 42. How, 1,600 years ago, did

The Indoor Gardener Magazine

the Maya get the idea to transform the shrub’s pods to obtain

October 2007

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(Source: T.I.G. — Vol.3 Issue 3)


The Plant Tier ™ Systems, The Coliseum and The Bonzai Garden By V.G., B.L., P.H. and W.S.

The Plant TierTM 64

The Coliseum

The Bonzai Garden

I – What type of hydroponic system to choose for indoor gardening? 1) The hydroponic techniques used nowadays are extremely varied. The most basic system is that of capillary action: many small hydroponic systems in line work by capillary action, a wick bringing water, nutrients and fertilizers to the plants that grow in individual pots placed in a tray that gathers the water. Another simple option using capillary action is the NFT (nutritive film technique), a system developed by A. Cooper in GreatBritain during the 1960s. This system is not manufactured commercially for hobbyists. Nevertheless, it is one of the easiest to install at home. According to hydroponics technician G. Taksir (journalist with Échos du Chanvre): “You put a plank on a slightly angled metallic frame and you put longitudinal plastic sheets overtop. On those, put rockwool cubes holding the plants. Tie and staple the plastic above the cubes to form a channel where water will circulate non-stop. A drainpipe, at the bottom of the table, sends the water back to the reservoir containing the pump. These systems are good for oxygenation. Nevertheless, they are at the mercy of a prolonged power outage, because as soon as the roots are no longer fed with water, the plant dies in a matter of hours.” 2) A more traditional pump system is that of aerohydroponics, developed in the 1970s in Israel and at Davis University, in California. According to G. Taksir (in Échos du Chanvre), here is how this system works: “In aerohydroponics, we use water or air pumps. Air pumps are used for smaller systems. They use piercedbottom pots, filled with clay pellets to provide a physical support to the plant. They fit into a second, larger pot, used as a reservoir. An aquarium-type pump oxygenates the water. With a pumping column, the nutritive solution climbs up to a rubber drilled ring, which spreads it on the surface of the clay pellets. The solution then drains onto the roots through gravity. These pots are perfect for individual plants. They can keep the same mother plants for years. However, unless they are connected to an additional reservoir, they



Photos: From the product manufacturers and/or distributors, Échos du Chanvre magazine, G.H. & D.R.

Hydroponic Classics VI

INTRODUCTION must be closely observed. In hot weather, a large plant can

the water is atomized to a mist, nutrients, air and water are

drink the water reserve in 2 or 3 days.”

absorbed by the plants much quicker.

3) The drip-irrigation system uses a submersible pump in

Because the plant roots are bathed in a nutrient-enriched

a central reservoir that distributes the nutritive solution. “The

water with plenty

plants are fed by individual injectors that work intermittently

of oxygen, they will

(drop by drop) using a timer. Traditionally, such a system is

not rot. It has always

made up of rectangular buckets into which we put a slab of

been a problem to

rock wool or a similar substrate (glass wool, coco fibre, etc.)

get the right water

On this slab, we place a cube of the same substrate, into which

to air mixture in soil.

a plant is placed. A drip irrigation line is placed on the cube,

When you water soil,

and a reservoir, placed under, allows for the recycling of the

the soil is usually

nutritive solution. (G. Taksir – Les Échos du Chanvre).” Then,

soaked with nutrient

much the same way (using a submersible pump), there is the

solution diluted in water, filling up alI of the air pockets under

flood table (also called “ebb and flow” or “flood and drain”).

the surface of the soil. As the soil dries, we get a better air

In this system, the flux/reflux principle is used. The pump is

to water mixture, but soon, within a few hours, the air has

submerged in the reservoir and floods the table at regular

replaced the water and the soil has started to become too dry

intervals with a nutritive solution. A timer controls the uniform

and plant growth is slowing down.

irrigation of plants. When the pump stops, the water drains back to the reservoir, allowing the roots to be oxygenated until the next flood.

When the ideal mineral elements have been dissolved into the water with plenty of oxygen, plants do not have to expand their roots in search of these elements, allowing them to concentrate

4) Finally, there are aeroponic

on growth and flowering or fruit setting. Soil will only allow the


right mixture to be available for a very short period before one







roots are suspended in the air or in a closed space and watered with a cloud of very fine nutritive solution droplets.

of the other extremes has been reached: too wet or too dry. But with airoponics that perfect condition can be achieved right from seedling or cutting to the end of a plant’s life. Now, would you not want to give your plants the very best? – W.S.

Disney at Epcot Center and NASA have helped develop this technique. With aeroponics, hobbyists and professionals can




(formerly known as Pipe Dreams Systems)

technique’s systems. With this

Do you have a long narrow room that needs to grow? Future

nutrient-filled mist nutrition,

Harvest Development has just the garden for you. With the

you can get impressive results, for example using the Apollo 3

Plant Tier ™systems, they have made a small package into a

system, which has a reservoir, next to the cultivation sites, that

BIG garden.

can hold 240 litres, has double tubing and is designed to hold the nutritive solution through independent connections. As for the very recent airoponics technique, we will let William, from Photos: F.H.D. – Illustrations: D.R.

II – Plant Tier ™ Systems From Future Harvest Development

Ontario’s B & B Hydroponic Gardens, explain what it consists of below.

* Plant Tier 32: The versatility of the Plant Tier 32V garden is limitless for the water garden enthusiast. The Plant Tier 32V can be designed to be a drip-style garden, an AquaSpin garden or an aeroponic garden. The unique tier design on the V-style system allows it to be the perfect 1 x 1000 watt or 2 x 600

The opinion of the owner of B & B Hydroponic Gardens Airoponics Is Gaining Momentum

watt garden. This ingenious compact design

Airoponics is nothing else that the atomization of water

as small as 1.5 m2 in

droplets. Nutrient solution diluted in water is pumped under

size. For even more

extreme pressure through a small opening creating even more

space savings or just

pressure, forced up against a pan, shattering the water into

the right thing for

very small droplets. The smaller the droplets, the better. Once


allows it to be placed in an area that can be


INTRODUCTION in three different growing styles, the Plant Tier balcony-style garden is an easy and affordable yard! Plant Tier 32 garden systems are equipped with easy step-by-step instructions, 32 growing sites, an Xstream water pump, nutrient tank, system stand, wide mesh growing baskets and all irrigation needed for complete assembly. Aeroponic style gardens include a highpressure water pump and a Nutradip™ multi-cycle timer with a built-in Night Mode feature. * Plant Tier 64: The Plant Tier 64 is the perfect system for 2 x 1000 watt stationery bulbs or the overhead Lite Rail Tracking system. Once again, this system works on the theory of a 3-in1 and can be used as a Drip, Maximizer or Aeroponic system. Plant Tier 64 Systems™ come equipped with easy step-bystep instructions, 64 growing sites, an Xstream water pump, nutrient tank, system stand, wide mesh growing baskets and all irrigation needed for complete assembly. Aeroponic style gardens include a high-pressure water pump and a Nutradip™ multi-cycle timer with a built-in Night Mode feature. The Plant Tier 64 system is ideal for commercial production!

The an

Coliseum optimal



in a space much smaller than trat of a traditional garden.

The spheroidal

design of the Coliseum is made up of individual half-circular sections that can be stacked to create all




space you may need. This innovative concept allows you to use a line of bulbs to maximize the use of each emitted photon. This increased lighting allows every plant to receive optimal lighting.

* Plant Tier 96: The same can be said about the Plant Tier 96.

Many culture strategies can be employed with the Coliseum.

It is even more effective for commercial needs! Designed for the

The most popular and the easiest to manage is without a doubt

grower that needs to have more room for taller plants, the Plant

the drip-irrigation method. The Coliseum is filled with a mixture

Tier 96 can confidently produce heavy bearing fruit plants. This

of inert substrates. For exemple: 70% perlite, 30% vermiculite,

system is ideal for strawberry and lettuce production. Future

peat moss and coco fibre. (Beware: the pumps and substrates

Harvest Development offers you the choice of Plant Tier 96

for the Coliseum gardens are always sold separately.) Rooted

growing tubes to be 1.8 m in length or 2.4 m in length.

plants are placed directly into the growing sites. The nutritive

* Also available: Plant Tier 18 Balcony and Plant Tier 160 Apparels.

solution is pumped from the top of each semi-circular sections and slowly drips through the system. The substrate used makes a rich and humid growing environment.

All Plant Tier Systems™ are equipped with the following: • Uniquely designed stands. The tiered growing tubes create a stadium effect, maximizing the growing space.

With the Coliseum, two basic configurations are possible, and each offers distinct advantages. The large Coliseum requires a lower initial investment. The small Coliseum is much more

• Custom manufactured Grow Tubes™.

flexible when the space available for gardening is small. Both

• All plumbing.

configurations are easy to assemble and manage. An assembly/

• Feed lines.

installation manual and a user’s guide are included with both.

• Pump inline or submersible (depending on model).

* Small Coliseum – up to 300 sites

• Nutrient tank. • Spray heads, misters or drip spears.

• Basic configuration: two modules (left and right), 40 cm

• Assembly and operation manuals.

high X 1.7 m long X 78 cm wide. The modules, placed facing

The opinion of the owner of B & B Hydroponic Gardens The Plant Tier ™ 18B, 32B, 32V, 64V, 96 and 160 Systems:

each other, form the Coliseum circle. Plumbing, emitters and

Plant Tier ™Balconies and Apparels from Future Harvest

modules (left and right) with

tubing are included. It offers up to 60 sites. • Additions – Small Coliseum: Two additional stackable

Development all come complete and ready to set up. The grower

all required tubing to place

will just have to add the G.E.T. Aroma Formula (from Growing

them on top of the two basic

Edge Technologies), or any other fertilization program, at half


– W.S.



offer up to 60

its strength.


III – The Coliseum: the revolution of vertical gardening

Photos: © & D.R.

the Plant Tier 32 Balcony Garden gives the most. Also available

INTRODUCTION Why grow on flat land when you can make better use of space with this garden? The Coliseum makes the best use of light. We made our statement about reflectors (T.I.G. – Volume 1 – Issue 5), but you use no reflectors here since the light is trapped in the Coliseum. The Coliseum is built round, there is no far corner that needs extra light. AIl plants get the same light. Each unit is 1 metre high and 1.7 metres across 5 levels. Or get the 0,4 metre two level Coliseum. The Coliseum is plumbed and ready to use: just add the growing medium. The Coliseum has special drain tubing so that when you stack them on top additional sites. In total, four levels of these additional modules can be added to the basic system, to create a 300 site garden. * Large Coliseum – up to 450 sites • Basic configuration: Two modules (left and right), 103 cm high X 168 cm long X 79 cm wide form the base. The modules, placed facing each other, form the Coliseum circle. Plumbing, emitters and tubing are included. It offers up to 150 sites. • Additions – Large Coliseum: Two additional stackable modules (left and right) with all required tubing to place them

of each other the nutrient solution delivered to the top unit does not contaminate the bottom unit. Unlike my colleague, I recommend to fill it with a mixture of 50% vermiculite and 50% perlite (which is not included). Each section of the Coliseum should be illuminated with a 1 000 watt light, within an air cooled glass tube. Feed your plants twice a day for 5 minutes and only use nutrient solution once, drain excess to waste. Each section of the Coliseum comes plumbed with up to 75 growing spots to plug in your 7.5 cm NFT pots. AlI holes are predrilled.

on top of the two basic modules. They each offer 150 additional

Available parts:

sites, for a possible total of 450 sites.

• 5 level Coliseum: H 1m X 1.7m X 80cm.

* Collector/Reservoir, horseshoe-shaped

• 2 level Coliseum: 40cm X 1.7m X 80 cm.

Sold separately in pairs, the collector/reservoirs, horse-shoe

• 30 gallon Horseshoe Reservoir: 18cm X 1.8m.

shaped, are ideal as the basic unit for the Coliseum, large or

• 8cm baskets.

small. They have a 30-gallon capacity and collect the nutritive

• 104 cm Aircooled glass, stackable.

solution dripping from the garden.

– W.S.

IV – The Bonzai Garden The Bonzaï rotating garden offers an optimal light diffusion on 360º, which makes the most of every available lumen. The inside cylinder allows the gardener to cultivate a surface 3.14 times larger than the surface of the cylinder if it was unrolled on the ground. What’s more, the plants are perpendicular to the light source, which is the best possible position of the plants around the light, both for distance and orientation. The system is based on the optimization of geotropism to better spread the growth auxins within the plant. The effect produced on the plant by the system’s 360º rotation is called orbitropism. Innovation is still the company’s priority and its technicians pay attention to the technology’s evolution. A new Bonzaï rotating garden model is now being designed that will contain a glass tube with only one light bulb, which will allow the light to move horizontally within the system. Claude Poirier (1936-2006), the creator of this rotating garden, first developed the model that can contain 240 plants. At first, the rotating garden models were archaic and made of

Photos: D.R.

The opinion of the owner of B & B Hydroponic Gardens The Coliseum:


rough hardened steel. With Claude Poirier’s experience and his increasing interest for lighter, more flexible materials, the wheels have come to be made of aluminium. Due to demand for smaller models, Mr. Poirier then launched the simplified model, designed to cultivate 120 plants. It was a great success. The last model to be designed is that holding 360 plants. The demand is now great for this model and the company builds about one hundred units per year, following grouped orders of 5 to 15 models at a time. For more information on the Bonzai 120, Bonzai 240 or Bonzai 360 Rotating Gardens, please visit the Website of its exclusive worldwide distributor at, or contact The Indoor Gardener Hydroponics in London, Ontario, via e-mail ( or telephone (1 519 652-4224).

The opinion of the owner of B & B Hydroponic Gardens The Bonzai Garden: The Bonzai Garden is a continuous moving garden, where the plants are literally move around the light source. At one complete revolution per hour your plants will not fall off the wheel. The turning action of the Bonzai Garden creates a stronger shorter plant.



Photos: © Bonzai Garden & D.R.

three different sizes to choose from 120, 240 and 360 plant sites. This unit takes about two hours to set up planted with your favorite plants. – W.S.

NOTES & NEWS conclusion after studying the attraction colours drew from 100 men and 100 women who were presented with 4 successive series

As we announced in last issue’s erratum, The Indoor Gardener Hydroponics in London, Ontario, is now the exclusive distributor of the rotating Bonzai garden in North America. For any information regarding bulk sales of this rotating system, contact Mr. Aidan Wilkins, 207 Exeter Rd, London, ON, N6L 1A4, Canada, Tel: 1 519 652-4224, Web : – T.I.G.

red end of the red-green axis, which moves towards the red their natural attraction for blue and makes pink and lilac their favourite colours.” This female attraction towards pink/purple is allegedly not cultural, but based on biology. According to the study, British and Chinese women have the same attraction to those colours, as do Canadian women from southern Ontario and Inuit

Industry: Departure From GH

women, as was demonstrated

Our main contact at General Hydroponics since the magazine was

10 years ago.

by a similar Canadian study

first launched, Luc Charnet, is leaving the company’s main office in Sebastopol, CA. We wish to thank him for his efficiency and his kindness over these two and a half years of mutual collaboration regarding advertising and sales. We wish him the best of luck in his new career. – T.I.G.

The “natural attraction to blue” comes, according to Anya Hurlbert, from the fact that women have acquired through




preference for cloudless blue and more serene life conditions, a preference that would not be

Two of our Canadian partners and

found in our genes. After blue comes the attraction for red (giving

distributors have recently changed

pink/purple), because throughout evolution, women who gathered

their name. BC wholesaler Allie’s

food searched for the ripest and reddest. Eve, tell me, is that why

Wholesale is now called Greenstar

you bit the apple?

Plant Products, Inc. (www.grotek. net) whereas Québec-based business Serres Fernand Corbeil has now become Corbeil Produits Horticoles ( Pass the word! – T.I.G.

– B.B. (Source: Libé/Reuters)

Industry: The External Reforming Fuel Cell or Proton Exchange Membrane, an “UltraClean” Power

Industry: Hellmannʼs Reduces the Distance Between Product And Consumer

Nowadays, energy supply problems concern everyone. Prices for

The famous Canadian mayonnaise brand was not, at face value,

solar energy and so on. And the question of saving energy is also

a synonym of health. This summer, however, Hellmann’s was

raising and leading to crucial energy

found behind the creation of five urban gardens in Canadian cities

conservation needs. In this perspective,

(Halifax, Calgary...). The goal is to sensitize the population to the

one of the solutions could be hydrogen

benefits of eating fresh garden produce. In April, Hellmann’s also

technology. But in order to modernize

distributed carrot seeds in citizens’ mailboxes with instructions on

this technology, fuel cell energy – or

how to start a garden. On the company’s website, you can already

proton exchange membrane (PEM)

find all the tips you need to make your own vegetable garden or to

– is strongly needed. A fuel cell is an

improve the one you already have. Visit the “Eat for real” page on

electrochemical device that combines

hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air – B.B.

Science: Women prefer pink/purple Two researchers from Newcastle University’s Neurosciences Institute in the UK, Anya Hurlbert and Yazhu Ling, have made the following


oil, gas and coal are rising higher and higher. In many countries, governments consider the use of renewable energy such as biofuel,

to produce electricity, and useable heat and water. PEM is now developed by FuelCell Energy, Inc. in Danbury, CT. This company is an electrochemical power enterprise which is pioneering strategic energy pathways in the milliwatts to

Brasil & Mute Magazine

skies, i.e. for nice weather

Industry: Name Changes


of cards bearing two colours: “Women have a preference for the

Photos: Greenstar, Ogilvy

Industry: An exclusive distributor for the Bonzai Garden

NOTES & NEWS energy solutions designed for all spheres of modern life.

Cinematographic Goof: A Flowering Anachronism in the movie Becoming Jane In Becoming Jane (2007), narrating the youth of British author Jane

The fuel cell technology, or proton exchange

Austen, production designers made a big horticultural anachronism

membrane, is touted as the “catalyst for the

in Technicolor and Cinemascope! Some shots of the Austen’s house

hydrogen age”. PEM, declared as the top

show a large plant of Clematis montana (with pale pink flowers)

candidate to replace the internal combustion

growing up the front almost to the roof. This species was first

engine, has created investor interest. Famous

introduced from India to England in 1805, and it would have been



many years before it became generally available to gardeners. The

in commercialization questions, possess the

Austen family moved from their house (to Southampton) in 1801.

expertise to capitalize on new concepts.

So, the clematis wasn’t available at that time, and even if planted in

The people at FuelCell Energy Inc. have an

1805, it couldn’t have reached the roof in such a short time!



excellent understanding of these issues and believe that because

– Source: IMDB

the company has the right team, certain market niches can be dominated by it. You can read more about the proton exchange membrane at Wikipedia or at FuelCell Energy Inc. website (www. As an ultra-clean energy for the future, FuelCell Energy’s stationary fuel cells produce reliable power for commercial and industrial companies in all domains as well as utilities, 24 hours a day, with higher efficiency and virtually no pollution. – Breen Derrecka (Source: Mute Magazine –


I Never Met a Booster I Didn’t Like… By Ralph B.

nutrients, enabling the plant’s systems to work at optimal levels while leaving no





behind. It works by influencing plant systems, sometimes by triggering desired responses such as an auto-immune response, or by an increase in specific essential oil production. There are many ways to get there, by overloading a particular component and hoping a runaway reaction occurs, by morphing a system to produce more of one thing or another, by directly interjecting


Let’s face it, this is the mantra of North American growers. There

a component through translaminar or transcellular

are so many self-identified ‘boosters’ out there it wouls take a super

migration, or by genetically altering the plant. None of these

computer to count them. Problem is, few are truly metabolism

methods are particularly effective, consistent or benign (some are

boosters, which is what a booster should be. Most are additional

even dangerous). The problem is that we only affect one part of a

nutrients, organic compounds, or someone dipping their old socks

system while ignoring the rest. The best way to achieve these goals

in a vat of water. One company actually has three products that

is to affect all the systems with the one component common to all

are the exact same product. A booster acts independently of

systems, energy.


Photos: © IMDB, D.R. & Canna

kilowatts range. FuelCell Energy is creating

TIPS & TRICKS production




and utilization, we can affect all systems equally. Therefore, the best booster would be one that affects all systems and allows them to utilize energy at the optimal rate possible. Not just this, but it would be one that works with the plant’s existing systems, causes no imbalances, produces no mutations, works within the plant’s own framework, and leaves nothing behind that is toxic or allergenic. A booster should also allow energy to be metabolized easily, moved quickly, and utilized as needed, and never limited. By allowing these things to happen, the plant has all the energy it could ever need for flower production and maturation, production of desired compounds like oils and alkaloids,

A significant part of both products is the oligosaccharines that result from the breakdown of the bio components. These are basically small protein chains and cell wall chains that mimic enzymes, hormones and growth regulators. They stimulate key things in a plant such as the immune system (which turns on and acts as a preventer), alkaloid and essential oil production, influences protein synthesis allowing the cells to become denser, and strongly trigger the ‘organic’ taste in consumed plant components. So, instead of trying to find many products to do the same thing (can’t be done), a grower can invest in CannaBoost and BioBoost and get them all in one package. What growers fail to realize is that it is not how many different items you put into the tank, it is what you put in the tank. All too often, growers become excited by the hype and promises in the advertising instead of taking the time to do the one thing that would guarantee their success, learn how to grow.

rapid and extended photosynthesis, effective available storage of

Growing is not buying a machine that you plug seeds in on one

energy components like starch, stronger, faster dividing cells and

side, a medium in the middle, and a completed harvest pops out

better respiration processes in the plant cell. The only thing that

the end. Seems this process is similar to the digestive system, and

would improve upon this magic elixir would be if it were composed

the results are usually the same at the end. Growing is carefully

in such a way as to significantly affect particular areas as well, so

balancing all the needs of the plant, feed, water, light, humidity,

that overproduction of desired components would not alter or tax

temperature, and grower temperament. There is no one solution

all other systems. This is because our energy is now free-flowing

for any plant, location, environment, situation or grower. A grower

and available whenever and wherever the plant needs it.

has to be hands-on and on top of the process from greenhouse/

By using the right plant components, and combining them with the correct decomposition process, it might even be possible to

field/room design, to plant selection, growing on, and harvesting. The only magic bullet in growing is the grower.

take advantage of other desired results like triggering the plant’s

So if you feel your garden needs help, it just is not the same anymore,

natural immune systems (people get vaccinated). We might even

the plants are tired, or you are tired, then change. Change the

be able to trigger heavier flower and oil production by mimicking

medium, change the cycle, change the container, change the plant,

specific stressors, or change the ratios of internal compounds to

change your knowledge base, or change the grower: but don’t

more of what the market is after and less of what is ineffective.

jump off into that never-ending hunt to see how many different

We might even be able to affect the way structural and chemical

additives a plant will tolerate before it morphs into the alien from

compounds are laid down so that cells become larger or oils and

Little Shop of Horrors. Everything you

saps become denser. Well, truth is, there are two boosters now

put into the root system adds up.

that do exactly this.

It will affect the other components

Canna Research, Canna’s research and development wing, has introduced two new products to the market, BioBoost and CannaBoost Accelerator. The two are identical in almost every way, but BioBoost is organic with nothing inorganic added and CannaBoost has a component part that is inorganic but pure. The use of this component in the product kicks it in high gear so that the results are rapid and big.

you add to the slurry. It will increase the salts, overdose the silicates, or lead to vitamin toxicity. Look for the solution in how the crop is treated, and get that right first. Then use the simplest, cleanest feed possible that does not require 5, 10, or 20 additives. After all, it is a poor

BioBoost handles itself in a slower manner, but it is the perfect

grower that blames his/her tools;

answer for those wanting to stay 100% organic when using

knowledge is the key to success.

Canna’s Bio Vega and Bio Flores nutrients. BioBoost will work in all systems like CannaBoost. Both products affect the energy systems


of the plant in the way described.


Photos: Canna

By affecting the energy pathways, from


h c h n c u n p u p o o w t w t e n e o n eo tth he FOR SPIDER MITE ELIMINATION

1 the the upper upper cut cut Doktor Doom Spider Mite Knockout applied to the under side of the foliage

2 the the overoverhead head bomb bomb Doktor Doom Foggers applied after a thorough application of the Doktor Doom Spider Mite Knockout


Ask for Doktor Doom at your favorite indoor garden center


By Daniel Fortin

This genus is particularly appreciated for its easy to cultivate species and cultivars, and is worthy of interest. They are possibly the indoor plants that survive best in the difficult conditions of our homes and apartments. They tolerate a low light and a low humidity rate for many weeks on end. Aglaonema, from the Araceae, include about twenty species, all originating from the tropical humid areas of Southeastern Asia. The genus resembles Diffenbachia, plants whose natural distribution occurs exclusively in South America. Only nine species of the Aglaonema genus are more or less easy to find on the market: Aglaonema bicolensis, A. commutatum, A. costatum, A. crispum, A. modestum, A. nitidum, A. pictum, A. picturata, A. pinavensis and A. tricolor. However, over a hundred cultivars can be found, derived from the main species. On many species and on most cultivars, the leaf blade bears lines, veins or colourful stains. On Aglaonema costatum, only the central vein is coloured pale green, while on the foliage of A. commutatum, the limb’s surface is crossed by silvery green abstract lines at more or less regular intervals. These lines are much larger on the leaves of l’A. commutata ‘Pseudobracteatum’ Many cultivars, such as ‘Silver Queen’ and ‘Silver King’, bear leaves stained or marbled with pale green, cream or silver. These two are still the ones most often found in plant stores. The A. nitidum species has leaves streaked with silver, while the magnificent ‘Silver Bay’ cultivar has a limb whose silver tone clearly overtakes the green.



Photo: Daniel Fortin

Easy Tropical Plants: Aglaonema

Photo: Daniel Fortin


The stems, 30 to 70 cm in height, bear lanceolate leaves, approximately 30 centimetres long. Like all Araceae, Aglaonema produce a particular inflorescence, a kind of inflated spike, called a spadix, surrounded by a transformed leave called a spathe. It is produced at the junction of the superior leaves. These spathes, unfortunately, do not have the shape or colour of those found on Spathyphyllum or Anthuriums; they remain discrete and without real ornamental value. Under a bright light and a high humidity rate, the various species and cultivars tend to keep an abundant and bushy foliage. In our heated low-humidity apartments, plants often go bare at the base, often only keeping a more or less significant tuft of leaves at the top of the stems. It is relatively easy to fix this problem by regularly taking cuttings off the plants. To do this, remove, in May or early June, the topmost part of the stems, about 30 centimetres. Place it in a pot filled with a moist mixture of soil, peat moss and perlite or vermiculite. Ideally, these cuttings should be covered with a translucent plastic sheet, to maintain humidity.

Particular Care

Aglaonema like a diffuse to bright light, but never full sunlight. They can be placed outdoors in the summer, but make sure they stay in the shade. They grow at normal living temperatures in an apartment, but ensure the temperature does not dip under 10 degrees (C). This plant prefers a high humidity rate, but survives well in the rather dry atmosphere found in our homes. It requires regular and abundant waterings. Never leave the substrate dry out over more than a few centimetres. During the winter, it is useful to place the pot on a layer of rocks in water. Between mid-April and the end of August, provide a liquid nutrient every month. Only repot these plants approximately every three years. They are not very susceptible to pests, but do keep an eye out for scale insects, as they can settle on the plants. If needed, a shower of warm water or a spraying with an insecticidal soap should treat this problem.



Grassroots Music for Plants (and Gardeners)

Taraf de Haïdouks

By J. Desjardins

Sex Mob

Photos: Grammed Discs, Elektra/Asylum Records & Rose Laforêt

Sex Mob In March 2001, Romanian group Taraf de Haïdouks came to give its first concerts in Montreal, Minneapolis, Santa Barbara, etc. The Gypsy music group became famous in the early 1990s following the excellent movie Latcho Drom by French Romani Tony Gatlif. I had neither seen the film nor heard its soundtrack, and I was quite surprised when I saw the musicians before their Montreal concert. Aged 30 to 78, the nine musicians that came for the 2001 North American tour were quietly waiting for the concert to begin. They gave no hint of the musical fury they were about to unleash on stage. The group’s members are “lăutari”, traditional Romanian and Romani musicians who travel from village to village to play at weddings and baptisms (see: en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Lăutari). Taraf de Haïdouks means “group of truants” and was named thus in honour of the Haïdouks, a kind of Gypsy Robin Hood group, who stole

Romani music gives the listener the impression of travelling from India to Europe...

from the rich and were generous to the poor. To tell the truth, my impressions upon hearing the first songs are undescribable. It is quite a sensation to see and hear a musical cataclysm such as provided by Romani music, giving the listener the impression of travelling from India to Europe... The film No Man Is a Prophet in His Own Land (2001) by Elsa Dahmanig gives a good impression of this polyphonic aspect. Since the Latcho Drom soundtrack (1993), Taraf de Haïdouks has released seven albums, the last one in 2005. Get them now, and play them nonstop in your indoor garden, for your health, and that of your plants!


1. a copy of an original 2. meant to resemble something superior

... the sincerest form of flattery






For more information and ordering, contact: 1.888.747.4769



Watch for the NEW Grotek Monster Bloom silver bucket coming soon to a retailer near you. Insist on the best and only purchase your Grotek from an authorized dealer.



“Insightful”, “Informative”, “Superb”, “Sensational”, “Multiple talents”, “Attractive”, “Eye catching”, “Super”... The Indoor Gardener Magazine is celebrating two years in business with its 13th issue. From Volume 1 Issue 1 to Volume 3 Issue 1, get a collection of the best articles on indoor gardening out there!

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COME AND GROW WITH US! For any information, comment or request, contact: For sales and advertising, contact: or 1 450 628-5325. If you want to send us pictures and articles, please contact us at: with “submission” in the subject line and we will get in touch with you. P.O. Box 52046, Laval, QC, H7P 5S1, Canada Tel: 1 450 628-5325, fax: 1 450 628-7758,


By W.S. the nutrient solution. Dehydrating a plant on purpose only weakens the inside cell wall structure and creates undue stress for the plant. All plants grow at different speeds. This is due to health, condition of soil, watering techniques, placement of the plants under the light, location of vent fans and so on. When you are uncomfortable (sweating, cold or hot), your plants are probably uncomfortable too... and they can’t leave the room. Remember that plants grow through transpiration of moisture through the leaves; if the room is full of humidity, the plants can’t transpire water. Before your next crop, plan ahead and get properly prepared. We realize that we have given you a lot to do, but it is worth the extra bit of work to have the best taste and the best yield possible. There is nothing else that we recommend to use, unless your garden gets sick. Remember: look after your garden and your garden will look after you! Always water plants with the nutrient solution, unless the plant has become dehydrated, in which case you should water with plain water. Once the leaves are rehydrated, water with



Important Info: you can obtain information and descriptions of all G.E.T. products on our website: http://


How To Rehydrate A Plant


There Is Life In A Handful Of Dirt! By V. Green This obvious concept of the handful of dirt as a microcosm beneficial to plant growth long remained the exclusive knowledge of a small group of people made up of microbiologists and rare and exotic plant enthusiasts. These last 30 years, however, gardeners in general (the general public, one could say) have increasingly become interested in organic culture. In four years, 1999-2003, the sales of organic soil in the United States have more than tripled, reaching 11.7 million homes (according to the National Gardening Association). Occasional gardeners now go so far as to take a soil sample to be analyzed in a laboratory, in order to know which soil amendment will be best for it. Such an analysis can cost anywhere from $15 to $75, depending on whether it is performed at a regional university centre or at a private lab facility. Soil density is another important factor: the speed at which it absorbs water can play a crucial role in proper plant growth. There is a simple way to know your soil’s drainage speed. Dig a hole, 30 centimetres deep and 15 centimetres wide. Scar the sides with a garden scraper and cover the bottom with 5 centimetres of sand. Fill the rest of the hole with water. You can then time the water absorption. It should not If we look at a soil sample mixed with fresh manure

be too quick. In this kind of test, a good average is

under a microscope, we discover a veritable miniature

around 2.5 centimetres of absorbed water per hour. In

city, a metropolis whose inhabitants are the nematodes

this example, it would mean that the water is absorbed

who dig like drilling heads, crazy mites and acarids

in 10 hours.

and, feeding with frenzy, tiny fungi who feed on roots and feed the nematodes, good bacteria who colonize for the greater good, and so on.

work on it and make it more aerated. Afterwards, add a mixture of roughly sieved and rinsed sand, compost,

The success of a crop in soil depends largely on this

decomposing dead leaves and fermented manure. Once

microscopic life that swarms about. A plant does not

this type of soil has been prepared, avoid digging it up

only feed on the nutriments and nutritive elements we give it. To survive, it needs this constant interaction between the micro-organisms, bacteria and fungi that live in the soil. Plants emit carbohydrates at the root level. The soil’s bacteria and fungi feeds on these carbohydrates and make nitrogen, proteins, phosphorus and many other organic elements that are in turn released into the soil, making it richer for plant growth.


To fix a soil that doesn’t drain well, you will need to


too often. A new underground city will develop in this soil and if you dig into it, you will create cataclysms in this small world. A soil that would be over-rich in nutrients, however, could also be a negative environment for plants. How do you find out? It’s simple: browning leaves tell you that their nutrition level is saturated or too high. When leaves turn brown, many gardeners mistakenly add synthetic or

Photos: Bruno Bredoux

Morphological Change, Physiological Development

SEASON’S TIPS chemical products to the soil, which contain too much nitrogen. The immediate effect will be to bring the leaves back to a shiny green, but the excess nitrogen will also turn the soil into the perfect environment for the development of pathogens. Much the same, badly prepared organic composts can cause damage and can contain some dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli. Always verify the origin and composition of what you use. Be very careful when adding mulch to the garden. Mulch can come from diseased trees or from trees that bore pathogens when they were mulched. The same way, badly-prepared compost teas can cause more problems than they solve. It is best always to buy OMRI-certified products. Why not invest in a compost tea machine? They are more and more affordable, and you will know exactly what your compost tea contains (see, for example, or read the article written by Carole Ann Rollins of the University of Nevada (Environmental Policy and Management) and cofounder of Nature Technology, a company that specializes in compost teas and their equipment, in our volume 1, issue 4 – see also These days, most botanical gardens’ municipal training centres offer courses on how to make these trendy compost teas. Also trendy are most organic products, such as bat guano or Galapagos Islands’ bird guano, nematodes that prey on pathogenic larvae, beneficial fungi, vitamin B-1 compounds, holistic compost teas, etc. Before you rush into a gardening centre to buy samples of these products, thinking you would give your soil “a little bit of everything”, you must know exactly what your soil lacks and needs. While we think that “a little bit of everything” can do no harm, we are usually wrong. In fact, “a little bit of everything” can often simply make an unhealthy soil a little worse off. For plants that must go through the proper morphological changes for the best possible physiological development, add what the

Photo: Bruno Bredoux

soil needs, in the proper quantity! There is life in a handful of dirt! It must be preserved and maintained. Think about this small world like you think of your pets: give it the best, in proper quantities. Sources: articles “The Push Is On For Good Clean Food”, by Anne Raver, The New York Times, March 3rd, 2005 and “Compost Tea in Hydroponics: How to Convert from Synthetic Chemical Control to Biological Control” by Carole Ann Rollins, University of Nevada, The Indoor Gardener, vol.1, issue 4, December 2005/January 2006, and

GEAR The 2.88m3 Growing Chamber (120 x 120 x 240 cm) by EastSide Impex This



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Photos: © 2007 EastSide Impex



(pictures taken at Flora 2007’s indoor gardening boutique, Montréal) sh Planter covered by a me


Pot, colours matching the colours of flowers. Wicker decorative ele

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Ibis fountain.



ter garden.


Photos: Bruno Bredoux

Garden Decorative Elements – 2007/2008 Collection


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Imitation is considered the best form of flattery. Why settle for imitations, when you can have the original. AXC fans have been there from the beginning, and still continue to silently out-perform.

Photos: Bruno Bredoux

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TECHNIQUES By G. Hannafin, P. Bonnard and J.-P. Daimé

“Never let your schooling interfere with your education” – Mark Twain. Here’s our second comprehensive and complete take on cloning advices for our beloved Indoor Gardener Magazine readers... We like to experiment with our best plants... We like plants so much we made their cultivation our career to enjoy and forecast groundbreaking horticultural issues. We publish a lot of articles and advice on our website (www. But to give you the latest news about what we are currently working toward, the next big plateau in our horticultural career – cloning our favourite crops –, we asked for the help of a reputed indoor gardener. He has been working at a hydroponic garden store in upstate New York for five years and is currently living in Florida, where he is experimenting new techniques for mushroom cultivation. Below, you will find his “accelerated” method to clone plants, in opposition to our extensive traditional method published earlier this year. So, in this issue of The Indoor Gardener Magazine. we take on the cloning and regeneration of that favorite plant of yours that’s seemingly a little pooped out lately.

I – How to Make A Good Thing Last (G.H.) This year I grew 12 different annual exotic huge flower bearing plants (common red tropical hibiscuses and Chinese hibiscuses or Hibiscus rosa sinensis)* outdoors. Eleven of them produced some pretty big inflorescences, but the twelfth one was something special. It had to be the best inflorescence production I ever saw. I was asking myself: “Is there any way I can make my beloved plant give me another bloom of those wonderful flowers again? How about cloning?” A friend told me: “It is still not too late to regenerate that baby. If regeneration is successful, you can clone.” [* I know, hibiscus is considered a perennial, but if, like where I live, your area is subject to freezing temperatures, your common and Chinese hibiscuses must either be treated as annuals and allowed to freeze, or be protected during cold weather, or cloned. If greenhouse space is available, plants may be dug, placed in containers, and replanted in the landscape after the danger of frost has passed. Even the southern most extremes of Texas, California, Louisiana or Florida occasionally experience sufficient cold to kill these very fragile plants.]



Let’s see... You’ll have a very difficult time trying to clone a plant that is in flower. A flowering plant will almost never form roots, so taking a clip of your favourite plant and putting it in some dirt is only going to be a waste of some good specimen. You need to make the plant revert back to vegetative growth before attempting to clone. This is a mistake many growers make – they wait to see which plants will give the best inflorescences and then try to clone them without reverting them back to vegetative growth. The result is a very low success rate and a whole lot of a fungal infection known as “damping off”. To make a plant go back to vegetative growth, increase its light cycle to more than 18 hours of light per day. A good vegetative fertilizer should be added, such as 30-10-10 with micronutrients. It will not hurt the plant to light them 24 hours a day; and this will increase growth. After a few days, the familiar growth pattern will emerge from your tiny plantlet – first one leaf, then three, then five, just like a seedling. After about two weeks, rapid vegetative growth will begin. You can begin to take cuttings for clones anytime after the rapid growth begins, but it is wise to wait until the original plant is big enough to provide a great many clones to insure success. Repotting the plant into a much bigger planter will help to insure a better selection of clone material. A three gallon or larger planter

Photo: © Échos du Chanvre

Successful Cuttings - Part 2: “Accelerated” Method

TECHNIQUES will provide plenty of root space for a clone providing plant. Ideally this original plant will never go to flower again, but will be grown tall and wide to provide years of perfect clones. It should be lit for 18-24 hours the rest of its life because if it goes to flower a second time it will almost certainly die. Once you have a plant big and bushy enough to work with, it is time to start cloning. Go over to your local state university and very politely ask to use their ten-million-dollar gene-splicing facilities. ...No, wait, that’s for cloning your little brother. To clone your favourite plant, you’ll only need a sharp razor knife, some cold running water, and a place to plant your newly cut clones. The best way to plant new clones is in three inch pots using a soilless mixture of vermiculite, perlite, and sphagnum or peat moss. Starter trays can be used, but the newly growing clones will become root-bound in a matter of days and will require a recovery period when transplanted. Three inch pots will give your new babies the room their roots need and give you more time to work when it comes time to put them in bigger pots for flowering. The pots should be watered with spring water, but no fertilizer to start off. The planting mix should be moist and airy. If you can squeeze water out of a handful of it, it is too wet; add vermiculite until it feels right. To take cuttings from your original plant, find a long branch with plenty of nodes, and cut it off close to the stem. Do not clip the end off of every branch. Remember that cutting into a live plant is a bit like cutting into you – the plant will bleed. Cut off one branch, it bleeds a little. Cut the end off every branch, it bleeds a lot. Make too many cuts too deeply; and your precious plant will die. A good clone does not need to be the end of a branch, and there are many points along a branch that will make good cloning material. Once you have your branch picked out and cut off; take it over to the sink. At this point you should have your tools all laid out right near the sink, all your pots should be filled with moist potting mixture and placed within arm’s reach of the sink. Let the water run cold, and put the branch under the running water.

Photos: Laurent F.

Using a sharp razor knife, hold the end of the branch under the water and cut the tip off the branch. The cut must be made at an angle, and the point of the cut must be completely submerged in water while the cut is being made. This is because air cannot be allowed into the plant’s circulatory system. If any air gets in, the new clone will not be able to draw water and it will wither and die. Once the cut is made, the cutting should be placed immediately in one of the prepared pots. Work quickly and carefully. The amount of material needed for each clone is one leaf and one node. The


Once you have all of your cuttings planted, they will need to be kept in a warm, humid environment. Dry air will kill them. A good way to keep them humid is to place them in a plastic sweater box with the lid on. Place several clones into a sweater box along with a perlite filled cup with a few centimetres of water in it. The perlite will give off moisture that’ll be trapped in the sweater box. A fluorescent light placed close to or on top of the sweater box will provide heat and light. The sweater box should be opened twice a day to let in fresh air. You will know if your cuttings have taken root when they start to grow. Once growth is seen, the new clones will need to be moved into bigger pots as soon as possible or they will become root-bound and their growth will be stunted. Each one of your new clones will be genetically identical to the original plant with the same potency and the same flowering production capacity. If you replace the original plant every couple of years with one of the clones, you will be able to clone that plant over and over for years until you have a full garden of the exact same replicas. At that time, send me photos of your successful cuttings (

II – Perlite and Vermiculite: The Best Mix For Your New Plantlets (G.H.) When you’re planning on starting your first garden and feeding your freshly emerging clones, all the books you can read mention perlite and vermiculite as being absolutely necessary. What are they? Where can you get them? And won’t the clerk in the store know what you’re exactly want? Perlite and vermiculite are common soil additives used by gardeners everywhere to improve soil aeration and water-holding properties. Perlite is white sand that’s been heated to about 3,000 degrees, at which point it pops like popcorn and each grain of sand expands to many times its original size. Perlite is very lightweight and will hold a great deal of water, oxygen and nutrients in its pores. Vermiculite is mica – a flaky brown mineral that is also used to make Formica tabletops. Its shiny surfaces



trap air bubbles within the soil to give your plant’s roots much needed oxygen. It also provides some nutrients and holds water well. You can buy both perlite and vermiculite at your local megahome-and-garden mart, florists, nursery supply stores, and just about any store with a plant department. Perlite and vermiculite are both so widely used nowadays in gardening and landscaping that just about every gardener needs some from time to time. Use common sense – if they are so extensively used now in indoor gardening, when you ask the clerk if he can give you some advice on a choice of perlite and vermiculite mixes for indoor gardening, he sure knows what he is talking about! There are a lot of products made of both these ingredients on the market and they’re all about the same quality, so just trust your hydroponic store clerk’s choice!

III – Material: For Cuttings, CityPlantes Boutiques recommend...(P.B. and J.-P.D.) a) The “First seeds, first cuttings” kit This is the ideal kit to successfully use seeds or get clones for the first time. Installed in a few minutes, it allows you to start plants at home, all year long! This complete system includes: * A tray with 96 rockwool caps; * A 15 pot mini-greenhouse; * 15 ml of SUPERthrive; * 500 ml of Hesi Root Complex; * Instructions. b) Hesi’s Clonfix Gel Rooting Hormones, 50 ml Hesi’s Clonfix is practical and easy to use: the gel adheres perfectly to cuttings. It is a new rooting gel synthesized from 100% organic elements, which stimulates root formation just like natural auxins. These gel rooting hormones are very efficient at the callus level, the plant tissue that forms at the site of a wound (in 50 ml vial). c) Growth technology’s Ionic Clonex, 50 ml Ionic Clonex instantaneously closes cutting tissues, eliminating the risk of infection or embolism. It also contains 3,000 ppm of rooting hormones as well as trace minerals and basic nutritive elements. Its gel consistency is more efficient than liquids or powders because it cannot drip or be dispersed. d) Growth technology’s Ionic Root Matrix Gel, 1 l Ionic Root Matrix is a new rooting substrate with unique benefits. The rooting process is visible from one end to the other. It requires little surveillance: you only need to add water to compensate its loss. It is easy to manipulate: You only need to plant the cuttings in the gel. Once rooted, the plantlet can await transplantation longer. It allows you to transport the cuttings easily. Ionic Root Matrix can be used as a substrate for ornamentals or can replace water in cut flower bouquets.

Photos: D.R.

ideal clone material is a 6 mm section of branch with a node, a leaf growing out of the node, and tiny leaves beginning at the point of the node. The clone material should be set into the soil just deep enough to bury the section of branch, with the node and the leaf exposed to the air.


One litre rooting gel bottle, containing rooting hormones and plant nutriments. e) Mini greenhouse 36 x 22 x 13 cm with 15 Jiffypots This mini-greenhouse offers many advantages: * It is affordable. * It is made of light and insulating PVC. * Its basket pots can accommodate many kinds of substrates. * It has an individual support for each pot. * It contains 15 basket pots with their supporting tray. f) Large Cloning Greenhouse With Translucent Lid 60 x 40 x 22 cm With its high lid, this greenhouse allows you to clone large branches or to seed rapid-growth plants. It also allows you to let the cuttings grow and get strong, making their re-potting easy. Made of thermoformed plastic, this greenhouse offers the best price/quality ratio. g) Translucent Thermoformed Crystal Cover 60 x 40 x 16 cm This high lid, associated with the tray below, can make a very affordable cuttings’ greenhouse. Ideal for the above greenhouse. h) Cloning Greenhouse Tray 60 x 40 x 6 cm This tray fits the crystal lid, above. Its bottom has no holes, so it can also be used as an under-pot tray. The bottom has grooves to easily drain out excess water.

Photos: CityPlantes

i) Growth Technology’s Root Riot Tray With 24 cubes With this tray, germination is easy! These spongy cubes are made from wood fibre, latex and other natural components that make germination and cloning easier. They stay well aerated while retaining water, they do not dry out and they offer the ideal environment for young roots. Each tray has 24 2 x 2 x 4 cm blocks. As regards the 12 pot (590 x 390 x 300 mm) and 20 pot (590 x 390 x 300 mm) aeroponic Nutri-Propagator by Nutriculture, see our article in the previous issue of The Indoor Gardener (volume 3, issue 2) from September/ October 2007 at pages 28-32.


The Miracle of the Golden Pothos By Kerrie R. Barney

I was lucky. My friends and family all rallied around me, keeping the VCR filled with movies and the bedside table loaded with interesting books. My Uncle Carl, affectionately nicknamed “Unc”, was a particular bright spot: he filled my mailbox with comics, very bad jokes, and beautiful pictures he’d taken of the wildlife and flowers around his home. But the best thing Unc ever did was to bring me a cutting of a golden pothos plant, somewhat haphazardly set into a cracked plastic seedling pot. “There you go, young lady,” he said, setting the pot down amongst the clutter of magazines and prescription pill bottles that covered my bedside table. “You need something green and growing in your room if you want to get well.” I must admit that, at the time, I was less than impressed. Over the course of my illness, I’d been given many flowers as get-well presents, from the dandelions picked by my young neighbors next door to the cellophane-wrapped grocerystore bouquets my classmates brought. In comparison, the little pothos cutting looked bleak, to put it mildly, sitting alone in its battered pot with only three limp leaves to its name. “It’s very nice,” I said doubtfully, and politely searched for an objection that wouldn’t hurt my uncle’s feelings. “But



I’m not sure I can take care of it, Unc. Cut flowers are one thing-nobody expects me to keep them alive for more than a week or so. But plants are different. And it’s not like I have a green thumb under the best of circumstances.” “That’s why I brought you this,” Unc said cheerfully. “The plant I took this cutting from has been living in a dark corner of my office for years. I figured that if it can survive that, it can survive anything. All you have to do is keep it watered, like this.” He took the carafe of water from the bedside table and carefully gave the cutting a good dousing. “Oh,” he added as an afterthought, “and you have to talk to it, keep it from getting lonely. I think this plant looks like a Brian, doesn’t he?” I was skeptical. I was more than skeptical – I thought my beloved Unc had temporarily taken leave of his senses. I was sure that by the end of the week, if not that very day, I would be left with a collection of dead leaves. But much to my surprise, Brian persisted in staying alive. Somehow, he even managed to grow, sending out tiny shoots that ripened into truly stunning green and yellow leaves. On bad days, I would just lie with my head on the pillow and watch the sunshine make ever-changing pattern on his leaves. On good days, I’d water the plant and fuss over him, telling him what a good job he was doing, how strong and beautiful he was becoming. And as Brian’s vines grew longer, an interesting thing began to happen. I no longer began to feel quite so isolated, quite so angry at being cut off from college and my friends. Instead, I began to feel intensely connected to this tiny slip of a plant, bonded in a way I’d never expected. And eventually I realized that you don’t have to go college to learn important things. Brian was teaching me more than any university professor ever could. Those of you who choose to share your lives with houseplants know exactly what I’m talking about. Tending those tiny, fragile shoots of green teaches us so much. We learn about our own power, how our small actions of watering and

Photo: Kerrie R. Barney

The year I graduated from high school, I became sick with an extended illness. It was quite a blow, in more ways then one. Not only did I miss prom and graduation and all the other traditional senior year activities, but my college plans had to be put on hold. I was in bed for months, and cabin fever conspired to drive me almost as crazy as the illness itself. Sometimes, despite my doctor’s constant assurances to the contrary, it seemed like I was never going to get well.


Photo: Kerrie R. Barney

fertilizing and yes, affectionate speech, can make a difference from day to day to day. We learn that the human heart can tangle its affections around the most unlikely objects, just like a pothos twines around its pot. We learn about mystery, and surprise, because even the most inexperienced indoor gardener often has plants turn out in ways she never expected. Most of all, we learn that almost nothing is truly hopeless, that life has a way of recreating itself and thriving even under the most challenging conditions. As Brian grew bigger and stronger, so did I; by the time he had outgrown his first pot, I was well enough to be out of bed for short periods. The first thing I did when I was able stand up again was to transplant Brian into a newer, lovely ceramic pot with my own hand. And by the time that pot too had grown too small, I was strong enough to leave my sickroom behind for good. I packed up Brian along with my clothes and my books, and we ventured out into the world together. It’s been more than ten years now since my uncle brought me that first fragile start. The original Brian has long since gone to the great greenhouse in the sky, but thanks to the miracle of the golden pothos’ ability to start over from fresh cuttings, one of Brian’s descendants has shared every place I’ve called home. Today I have a particularly healthy specimen growing on a stand near my computer, so that I can look at it whenever I’m writing and the words refuse to come. Their beauty is a constant reminder not to give up, that life may change drastically but always continues on. And when I look, I wonder if my Unc had any idea what he was really doing when he snipped a four inch section of plant and stuck it in a pot to cheer up his favorite niece. I imagine that he did.


The cacao tree, a small shrub that produces

chocolate’s mythology. They

the cocoa pods that contain the cocoa

named the drink extracted

beans, comes from the basins of the Orinoco

from the pods “Tchocoatl”

(Venezuela), from Amazonia (Brazil), where it has

or “Xocoatl”, meaning “bitter

always grown wild, and from the low altitude hills of the

water” or “fermented water”,

precordillera of the Andes (Ecuador). At the end of the 19th

which will give us “chocolate”,

Century, Venezuela alone produced half of the world’s cocoa.

while in the nahuatl language,

Although it comes from South America, the cacao tree adapted

it is called “cacàhualt”, which

well to other tropical climates, and in particular to the African

will become “cacao”.

climate. The first African cacao-tree experiment was performed in 1822, when Portuguese explorer José Ferreira Gomes implanted a species brought back from Venezuela onto an island of the Guinean Gulf. The cacao tree’s cultivation then quickly spread to Ghana, the Ivory Coast, to Asia (Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, Insulinde, the Philippines and Malaysia) and Oceania (New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu). The first to exploit the cacao tree, however, were the primitive populations of Mesoamerica, in particular those of Mexico and Guatemala. There are 22 species of cacao tree – only one is cultivated, which includes three varieties, each with its own taste, flowering and production characteristics.




venerated and thought to be a food of the gods. It plays a fundamental role in all official ceremonies, from weddings to human sacrifices, including mortuary commemorations. This sacred drink is omnipresent in all aspects of life. An Aztec legend tells of Quetzalcóatl, god of plants, descending on earth under the guise of a snake covered in quetzal feathers, navigating on a ray of sunshine. He brings his earth-bound children a present: cacao trees from the heavenly gardens. He teaches them how to cultivate the plants and how to harvest the pods. The beans

The Origins Of Chocolate

taken from the pods are left to ferment for a few days in water.

It was first the Maya, then the Toltecs and finally the Aztecs

They are then washed, dried in the sun, crushed with a mortar,

who truly institutionalized the cultivation of the cacao tree. We

and finally ground on burning stones heated from underneath.

do not know how the Maya got specimens from the region

The preparation thus obtained is stirred until it turns into a thick

now belonging to Venezuela (probably trough barter), but they

paste, which is flavoured with ginger, honey and pepper powder.

introduced its agricultural exploitation in Yucatan, in Central

The mixture is then heated, and corn flour is sometimes added.

America, around 400 A.C. First used as bartering tools and bargaining chips, cocoa beans were also the basis for a bitter, nourishing and fortifying drink, very different from the one we now know. By observing squirrels and monkeys sucking the pulp out of the beans, the Maya knew that the cacao tree’s fruit was edible. We still do not know, however, what gave them the idea to transform the cocoa beans to obtain, after much effort and complex manipulations, the drink that is chocolate’s ancestor. Between 800 and 1100 A.D., the Toltecs extended the cacao tree’s cultivation to the south of current Mexico, in the entire gulf area. This civilization revered the cacao tree, and left it as its heritage to its successors, the Aztecs. It was them who, culturally, elaborated




The mixture is left to cool. The cacao “butter” slowly surfaces. A great part of it is taken, and the rest is re-incorporated into the clearer pulp underneath, whisking it vigorously until the mixture becomes a thick, foamy liquid. Before being served, the drink is poured into a cup containing cooked corn. The resulting bitter and spicy drink is consumed fresh, and barely reminds one of the acrid taste of the beans in their original state. Only the Maya preferred to eat the slightly sweet and acid milky pulp found around the beans in the pod. The Aztec’s taste leant more towards powerful, bitter and strongly spiced flavours. The elixir was believed to give its drinkers a foretaste of paradise and to give them a little of the gods’ wisdom and power. The cacao tree is revered as a sacred

Photos: D.R. & 1Jardin2Plantes

8 – Theobroma cacao L. (Malvaceae family) Or The Mysteries Of The Cacao Tree By V. Green

PLANT CLASSIFICATION plant, a link between heaven and earth. Tonacatecuhtli, lord

does not interrupt fast, and that the drink can thus be drunk by

of food, and Châlchiuhcueyeh (or Chalchiuhtlicue), goddess of

clergymen at all times.

water, are the two protecting gods of the cacao tree. Humans sacrificed to appease these gods are filled with “bitter water” during their last meal.

Persia), brought from the Canary Islands to Santo Domingo in the Caribbeans during his second trip (1493-1496), Christopher

Although its original history is violent, the cacao tree was also,

Columbus unknowingly contributed to the new recipe. The

simultaneously, rapidly associated to a representation of love and

addition of cane sugar, cinnamon and vanilla by the Oaxaca

fertility. For the Aztecs, the cacao tree’s flowering is the result

Spanish monks reinforces the Spanish’s taste for the new chocolate

of divine intervention from Xochiquetzal or “flower-feather”,

drink. The perfumes of vanilla and cinnamon counterbalance the

goddess of love, fertility and agriculture. It is not difficult to

bitterness of cocoa and the new nectar thus obtained is sold in

understand why the cacao tree’s flowering was associated with

small, specialized public shops dubbed “chocolaterias”. Having no

divine intervention. Its inflorescences are spectacular: the shrub

vines to cultivate in the Caribbeans, and hence no wine, the exiled

produces up to 20,000 flowers every year, white and pink pastels

Spanish found a passion for the cacao tree and begun plantations

of a diameter under one centimetre. Its flower cushions bear

in Haiti and in Trinidad. For a century, Spain will have a monopoly

flowers all year long. A cacao tree can live between 60 and 100

and the exclusivity over the exploitation and consumption of the

years; it produces fruit in all seasons as soon as it reaches three

drink now called chocolate. At first it was reserved for the elite,

years old, and becomes adult in 7 to 10 years. It may be this great

the court and clergy. At the end of the 16th century, chocolate

fertility ability that explains why “bitter water” played such an

is given as medicine to the elderly in Spanish hospices. It is

important role in Aztec nuptials. The couple exchanged a sacred

considered to have calming and diuretic properties. Spanish boats

cup filled with the divine drink in order to seal their matrimony.

filled with cacao beans dock in ports in the Netherlands, but the

This custom is preserved today with the omnipresence of

Spanish guard their secret recipe and the Netherlanders are given

chocolate to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Easter, the Christian

no clue about the use of the mysterious cargo.

celebration of Christ’s resurrection, the date of which coincides with the ancient pagan fertility rituals’ calendar.

Antonio Carletti, an Italian adventurer, then visits the West Indies and brings the tropical drink back to Italy in 1606. In Florence

Chocolate Conquers Europe

and Venice, the trend takes hold. In France, the chocolate drink

The “Xocoatlt” drink could have vanished with the end of the

is first experimented with in Bayonne: Spanish Jews create the

Aztec empire, if it hadn’t been for the mercantile intelligence

first cacao treatment counters at the end of the 16th century.

of the Spanish conquistadors. If Christopher Columbus was the

France, however, truly discovers chocolate when Louis XIII wed

first European to taste the drink during his fourth trip in 1502, in

the king of Spain’s daughter. Chocolate is, once again, a luxury

Guanaja, in the Caribbeans, he was put off by its taste and thought

product reserved for the elite. An Austrian scientist brings

no more of it. Disembarking in Mexico in 1519, Hernán Cortés

chocolate from Italy to Austria in 1640. In 1641, it is introduced

agreed with Columbus as to the drink’s taste, but saw right away

in Germany and, in 1657, the British get their first taste. As early

the commercial potential and the economic value of the cacao

as 1660, the British begin the cultivation of the cacao tree in their

tree. At the time, cocoa beans are still used as bargaining chips:

Jamaican colony. The same year, Louis XIV orders its cultivation

1,000 cacao tree seeds are worth 3 Spanish gold ducats. Cortés

in his West Indies colonies. Strangely, the two countries that are

sent “bitter water” samples to Spain, making sure to add that the

now best known as great chocolate producers, Belgium and

recipe should be adapted to the European taste. Helped with the monks who accompanied them, Photos: © Jeff de Bruges & D.R.

By introducing the culture of sugar cane (from China, India and

the conquistadors mixed up a less strong, less spicy version of the drink, which became trendy n Spain as early as 1528, particularly at the court and among the clergy. Chocolate meets such a success in monasteries that in 1569, Pope Pius X has to promulgate a decree to say that consuming the chocolate drink

PLANT CLASSIFICATION Theobroma cacao, Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus adopted the

around the end of the 17th century, where in 1697, Henri Escher,

ancient beliefs, since the Greek words (“theos” and “brome”)

burgomaster of Zurich, noticed it and brought it back home to

he chose respectively mean “god” and “ food”, hence “food of

make it one of Switzerland’s specialties. Finally, in 1828 in the


Netherlands, Coenraad J. Van Houten invents powdered cacao. In 1847, the first black chocolate bar reaches the market, thanks to the British Joseph Storrs Fry, who also made the first cream-filled black chocolate bar in 1866 (Cadbury still sells it nowadays under the name Fry’s Chocolate Cream Bar). In 1870, Swiss Jean Tobler, after eight years of experiments, manages to make the first milk chocolate bar.

Chocolate contains small quantities of anandamide, a chemical mediator that is naturally present in the brain. In 1964, professor Raphael Mechoulam (American biochemist born in 1930) demonstrated that anandamide belonged to the same brain neurotransmitters as those to which other chemical substances bind, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. You would, however, have to eat 30 kg of chocolate in one sitting to get a similar effect! Chocolate

The manufacture of chocolate long remained a complex traditional

also contains ethanolamides such as N-oleoylethanolamine and N-

craft, with limited production capacity. Everything was done

linoleoylethanolamine, whose action inhibits the metabolism of

by hand, from the extraction of beans to the final transformed

anandamide. Ethanolamides also explain that the effect chocolate’s

cacao paste. It is not a democratic product, and economically and

anandamide has on neurotransmitters is prolonged. In 1996,

gastronomically it can only gain the favour of the nobility. It was

scientists have discovered that anandamide plays a pharmacological

only in 1728 that a hydraulic grinding, mixing and compression

role that is important to mood regulation and plays a role in memory, appetite and pain sensitivity. Anandamide and its derived ethanolamides are only three of the 800 other molecules identified in chocolate up to now. Such complexity for a simple chocolate square! French




psychotherapist Gérald Apfeldorfer speaks of “chocomaniacs” to describe some of his machine was used by a British chocolate-maker – production

patients who are hooked on chocolate. That is how he defines

went from six kilos a day per worker to 76 kilos of cacao paste in

persons who seek strong sensorial stimuli, giving them an

12 hours. The production was further helped along by the steam

irresistible urge to consume large quantities of chocolate. This

engines of the early 19th century, allowing for the construction of

almost pathologic appetite may originate in the anti-depressive

the first international-level chocolate factories in France (Menier in

virtues of chocolate. Indeed, chocolate contains a small quantity

Noisiel) and Switzerland (Suchard in Neuchâtel). Chocolate came

of serotonin, another substance naturally found in the brain and

out of the dark jungles of Mesoamerica to become, through the

which wields great influence over mood. Neurophysiologists have

centuries, thanks to European innovation and invention, the divine

also proven that consuming chocolate provokes the secretion of

candy we know today. It is so popular that in 1954, regulations

cerebral opiate peptides, or small opium molecules. On top of

were put in place to manage the profession and define the basic

its gustatory qualities, chocolate thus provides a more “cerebral”

composition of chocolate products in

pleasure. Chocolate contains even more brain stimulants: caffeine,

order to fight counterfeiting.

theobromine, salsolinol, phenylethylamine and of course,

Chocolate Chemistry

anandamide (see above)… Good for your health, chocolate?

It is only over the past few years that we have started to truly understand the chemical composition of chocolate and


You bet! It also gives your body non-negligible amounts of magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, iron and antioxidants that can protect against cancer.

the complex action of its components and

Chocolate is thus a nutritive food product, in the same way

molecules on the human brain. Scientists

as broccoli and blueberries. Is then becomes easy for any



chocomaniac to justify his or her dependence. Scientists have

chocolate, but their research more often

also discovered an abundance phenolic compounds in chocolate.

than not brings them back to ancient

Also known as antioxidants, these compounds prevent oxidation

beliefs and popular imagery. This is how,

and hence the accumulation of fat and clogging of arteries. They

in 1753, giving the cacao tree the name

clear the blood and can help reduce the risk of heart disease.





Photos: © Cadbury & NatureMania

Switzerland, only discovered it later. Chocolate entered Brussels

PLANT CLASSIFICATION Offering a heart-shaped chocolate valentine on February 14th

trees are thus part of one of only three varieties cultivated in the

takes a whole new meaning! 18th century courtesans pretended

world: Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario.

that chocolate was better than sex. This affirmation perhaps

The Nacional, however, a Forastero

stems from another compound, phenylethylamine (PEA), known

exclusive to Ecuador, producing a

as “the chemical compound of love”, a substance that resembles

better chocolate than Criollo, could

amphetamine. PEA rates reach their summit in your body during

end the big three’s reign by joining

orgasm. Nevertheless, an average portion of salami contains four

them at the top.

times the PEA levels as a 100 g chocolate bar. These compounds also increase the activity of neurotransmitters in the part of the brain associated with attention and wakefulness.

equator, in a zone spread out on both sides, between 20° latitude north and

Cacao Tree Cultivation

south. Outside this zone, it does not

According to the new phylogenetic classification, the Theobroma

grow. It is cultivated on the plains, as

genus belongs to the Malvaceae family, while the traditional

the Mayas did. Its cultivation requires

classification put it among the Sterculiaceae. Among the 22

a high, rather constant temperature that

species of the Theobroma genus, only T. Cacao L. is cultivated.

will not vary much from day to day.

Even though all cultivated cacao trees come from this single Photo: © 2003 CNRA

The cacao tree is cultivated around the

species, two varieties are well defined: T. Cacao var. Criollo and T. Cacao var. Forastero, each with precise quality and flavour properties. In addition to the Criollo and Forastero varieties, botanists have made numerous hybrids. These generally are more vigorous and yield more than Criollo and the final quality of the chocolate obtained is superior to that of Forastero. These hybrids are given the generic name Trinitario. Producing cacao

A constant average between 24 and 28°C, never below 20°C, will be ideal for its cultivation. According to Emmanuel Makondambuta, on the website of one of cacao production’s large players – the Democratic republic of the Congo (Congo Online) – here are the cultivation requirements: “Very demanding when it comes to rain, it requires at least 1,500 mm of rain, favourably spread out. The equatorial climate suits it, but a short dry spell will improve fructification. A higher humidity rate is not directly damageable,

r is Harvest-Maste ng, hi yt er ev running I’ll go in and eek. harvest next w

I wanted a ‘Humungous’ Crop ...and to go fishing

So I did!

Climate and CO2 Control makes the difference.

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Available at all good stores Email:

PLANT CLASSIFICATION excessive cryptogamic life. The cacao tree likes moderate shade. The choice of soil is crucial: it needs to be deep enough and have a very favourable water content. In Congo, the cacao tree grows best in red clayish soils.” As regards the genus’ appearance, Makondambuta adds: “Cacao trees are small trees, 8 to 10 metres high in nature, but kept at 3 or 4 metres to facilitate cultivation, harvest and pruning. The taprooting can reach 1.5 m deep; most of the root system, however, stays in the soil’s first 50 centimetres. The trunk is usually straight, with a greyish-brown bark. The leaves are simple, alternate, lanceolate, are 20 to 30 centimetre long and 7 to 12 centimetre wide. They are leathery and shiny, and their bearing is droopy. Light green to purple-red when they are young, they become green as they mature. Flowers appear on the trunks and on the main branches, at the junction of old foliar scars developed in ‘flowering cushions’. The flowers are solitary or grouped in

Conversion Table Linear Measure (imperial to metric) 1 inch 1 foot (=12 inches) 1 yard (=3 feet)

2.54 centimetres 0.3048 metre 0.9144 metre

Linear Measure (metric to imperial) Imperial 1 millimetre 1 centimetre (=10 mm) 1 metre (=100 cm)

0.0394 inch 0.3937 inch 1.0936 yards

Volume (imperial to metric) Metric 1 (imperial) fl. oz. (=1/20 imperial pint) 1 (US liquid) fl. oz. (=1/16 US pint) 1 (imperial) pint (=20 fl. imperial oz.) 1 (US liquid) pint (=16 fl. US oz.) 1 (imperial) gallon (=4 quarts) 1 (US liquid) gallon (=4 quarts)

28.41 ml 29.57 ml 568.26 ml 473.18 ml 4.546 litres 3.785 litres

Volume (metric to imperial) Imperial 1 millilitre 0.002 (imperial) pint, 1 litre (=1000 ml)

0.176 pint 1.76 pints

Mass (imperial to metric) 1 ounce (=16 drams) 1 pound (=16 ounces) 1 stone (=14 pounds)

28.35 grams 0.45359237 kilogram 6.35 kilograms

Mass (metric to imperial) Imperial 1 milligram 1 kilogram (=1000 g)

0.015 grain 2.205 pounds

small clusters. They are small, white-ish or yellow-ish. Flowering is usually quite abundant, but few flowers reach maturity (less than 1%).” The cacao tree is seeded for reproduction. The seeds expelled from the pod must however be planted quickly, as they are only viable for one or two weeks. The Forastero variety can be reproduced by cuttings or grafts, but the vegetative propagation of the Criollo, according to botanical experience up to date, has always failed. Since the cacao tree produces flowers and fruit all year long, cultivators organize two harvests, one in the spring and one in

Temperature To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 degrees and divide by 1.8. To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply by 1.8 and add 32 degrees.

the fall. Unfortunately, the cacao tree is subject to numerous pathogenic agents, against which it must fight or the gardener must act: Phytophthora (brown pod rot), Crinipellis perniciosa


(witches’ broom disease), Crinipellis roreri or Moniliophthora

The email address belonging to Roxanne Labelle

roreri (monilia pod rot), Conopomorpha cramerella, Oncobasidium

The cacao tree can be cultivated indoors, as long as you have

(, who is in charge of our administration, did not work properly until September 1st. We apologize to any readers who attempted to reach Roxanne and failed. Everything is now working perfectly!

a greenhouse where a tropical humid climate is maintained all

Volume 3 – issue 2

year long. This permanence is essential and prevents its use as an

* The cover photograph was wrongly attributed to Mamylaine (as was the reproduction of it found on page 51). It was, rather, by Hans Stellingwerf.

theobromae, etc. The only remedy against these parasites and fungal infections is to cut and burn the affected branches.

ornamental in the home. You can console yourself, however, by drinking a hot cup of coco or by munching on a chocolate bar at any time of day. Ah, chocomania… Sources: Chocolate-maker Jeff de Bruges (, Mica James (w w / Heads), Le Devoir,, CNRA (Ivory Coast), www.1jardin2plantes. info/fichesplantes/cacaoyer.php and Dr. Catherine Feldman (“Accro au chocolat?” article, April 2003).



* Gallery: The CubeCap’s schematic was not the correct one. Here is the corrected illustration: * CubeCap ad, page 43: the correct email address to reach the company is: (not, as was erroneously printed).

Photos: © 2007 Suchard & CubeCap

but it can cause the stems to be invaded by moss and lead to an

For an authorized retailer near you visit —Horticultural Products®— or call 800.634.9990


I will describe here the second part of my

two or three days. I wait for the white germ

closet growing technique. This technique is

to be completely out before I put the seeds

derived from the environment I had to work

straight in pots.

Here is the closet with the approximate

My alternative method: I put the seeds

location of the various systems:

straight in coco in small plastic containers,

• ventilation;

at a depth of 0.5 to 1 cm. I water well. All

• aeration;

the seeds that do not germinate in ten

• extraction.

days, I consider dead. The others are clearly

Those three systems are essential to a good

better developed than those germinated on


cotton and transplanted in coco, at equal duration.

On the left, two exhaust fans placed at different heights in the closet; at the

The lamp must then be on at least 18 hours

bottom to the right, a big fan brings in fresh

a day.

air through a filter made of plastic screens.

The lamp must be high enough (30

Inside the closet, there are also three mobile fans, which refresh the ambient air, but also make the plants and the air around them move. I say they are mobile because I use nonpermanent fixations, to be able to move them easily in the closet; I use Nortem jacketed wire, made for gardening and very practical.

centimeters above the plant for a 250 W) not with and my own desires for the culture.

to burn the plantlets. I put the germinated

This is more an article about “how I do

seeds in the substrate and I water them

things” than about “what you should do”.

from the top for the first four days, or a

Nevertheless, some information remains

bit longer if required. I make sure they get

true in most conditions, and if you don’t

enough wind, but not too much: they must

know where to start, your closet might

move without collapsing.

The lamp hangs on a chain from a hook in the

give you ideas. That’s the goal… See the

”ceiling” of the closet. Why a chain? Because

first part of this growing lesson in volume

it is the easiest way to modify the height

3, issue 2 of the Indoor Gardener Magazine

at will, to follow plant growth as closely as

(September-October 2007).


In the first part, I went through the following

Latest modifications: my closet now reaches

topics: setting up the inside of the closet,

the room’s ceiling and has two distinct

the selection of plants, how to control

spaces, one up top with strong neon lamps

the water’s pH, the choice of fertilizers,

(2 x 55 W), where I have seeds germinate

the management of electro-conductivity,


Once all the seeds are potted, I wait two days before progressively lowering the lamp, and I lower it until the temperature above the plants reaches no more than 25 or 26°C. Strong wind and close light make a good combination to get short dense plants, strong stems and rapidly growing branches.


watering, ventilation systems and lighting

We do not want plants with long useless

clones. The lower part

solutions. Here we will start with seed

stems, but plants with large branches that

contains the HPS lamp


can support the weight of flowering. The

(the 250 W), now in a

Seed Germination

best plants are short, wide, with thick



“cool tube”. The closet now reaches up 250 cm.

Here is my method: first, put cotton on a plate. I drench the cotton with bottled water, I remove the surplus water, I put seeds on it,

To sum up: a 0.5 square meter closet, a 250 W

I cover the plate with a plastic film and I put

HPS lamp, and a ventilation system like that of

it on my computer monitor or behind my

an aerodynamics lab...

refrigerator, near a heat source that is not too hot. Usually, the seeds germinate after




Illustrations: R. Ridou & Hydro-Times

My Growing Method In A Closet, part 2: The Experiment Continues By R. Ridou THE CLOSET


mother plants well, leaving only the branches that

At first, the plants don’t seem to grow very fast. They will quickly reach their cruise speed, however, and after ten days, they should

When your plants start getting tall and you have

normally be in full growth and grow visibly

selected the nicest branches, you can move to

every day. Here are the growth stages of an indoor plant: • The plant produces its first pair of real Photos: Felco & Green Harvest — Illustrations: R. Ridou

will hold the inflorescences.

leaves, not counting the cotyledons (on the

flowering. Even in the flowering stage, plants keep growing for about ten days, sometimes more. Think about it when your plants enter their third week of growth.

illustration, the internode


spaces have voluntarily been

Pruning deserves an entire book, with pictures and schematics.

exaggerated for visibility).

Here is a short technique I have used before, which gave me the

• After a few days, a first internode appears with

best results from one of my likewise pruned harvests.

a pair of leaves, and growth continues with a

• To prune neatly and without mistake, use a good blade. The cut

second internode. To each internode corresponds

can be made as early as the tuft appears at the

a pair of leaves and a pair of branches. After the

second internode.

second internode, we hence have two pairs of

• The four chosen branches must be cared for:

branches each with their own leaves, and the rest of the upward

eliminate the starts of any new branches and do


not remove any leaves. The foliage is like a solar

When pruning, always cut above the second internode: four branches will develop. For clones, prune at the fourth internode, for example, and you will get eight main branches as well as secondary ones. Of the eight branches, select four for cloning and prune your

panel for the plant. I remove very few leaves from the plant during its whole life, except if some prevent tips from getting light. • Ventilation is important for this kind of pruning. To help strengthen the branches’

GROWING EXPERIMENT things, such as plant sexuality, details about photoperiod, etc. The lamp must be on twelve hours a day, and nothing must disturb night-time in the closet. When I say “nothing”, I mean nothing, absolutely nothing, nada, niet, rien! You must manage to care for your plants when the light is on, without having to manipulate them once the light is off. It is said that the bigger the roots, the bigger the flowers. I have tested this theory and believe it to be true. After a time (which varies muscles, you can use jacketed wire to fold the branches and bring them all back to the same height. In my closet, I currently have five plants growing in 3-liter pots. One of the fans is covered with a plastic mesh filter. Plants like fans, and they like getting their leaves in the blades. Put a screen in front of the blades, or measure carefully the fans’ position in the closet. I

should start developing faster and getting bigger. It is important to stop spraying as soon as the plants enter flowering. The duration of flowering varies according to its origin, variety, and the conditions in which it grows. Know it is always better to harvest a little too early than a little too late.

also use plasticized wire on the pots, which is used to hang the fans

During flowering, pay attention to the level of humidity in

inside the closet. The sides are covered with white adhesive plastic

your closet. If the air is too humid, fungi can develop on the

(Vénilia®, d-c fix®, Kittrich Magic

inflorescences: a catastrophe! You

Cover® or Con-Tact® Paper), and an

could be forced to sacrifice your harvest

emergency blanket covers the floor

to prevent the infection from spreading

area. The plants are green, thick, and

to the entire closet. To combat fungi or

they have been trimmed. Their size is

prevent its development, ventilate well,

uniform, they are already flowering

keep the hygrometry under 60% and

and selection has been done.

reduce nocturnal temperature drops.


To Conclude

Rapid method: cut a small branch on

The success of your enterprise depends

a growing plant. If possible, make a

on all the factors involved. You can have

clean cut right under an internode.

the world’s best fans, a super lamp, nice

Clear the bottom of the stem, dip it in Clonex (or any other brand)

saucers, but if you get poor quality seeds, you will get nowhere, no

rooting gel, and plant it directly in a small plastic container with

matter your efforts. The quality of the seeds or clones will have a

hydrated coco. Put clones under neon lights. In ten days, you will

big impact on your success. The rest is added on, and each element

have good clones, and in fifteen they will start growing.

is crucial at one time or another. The thing to remember, though,

Clones, cuttings, it’s all the same. There are many techniques to make clones, but the basic principle remains the same: cutting a branch off a mother plant and having it root to get a plant that is genetically identical to the mother plant. I will develop my cloning technique in my next article, Successful

is that a human is in charge of the cultivation, and that human is responsible for the plants, and his or her motivation will decide the success or failure. If caring for plants is a chore for you, don’t even think about it. To me, it’s a hobby, a pleasure. Others collect stamps or assemble ship models: I like to grow plants in my closet, to cross species to obtain new seeds, to try different experiments.

Cuttings À La Mode... Stay tuned!

If I can, one day, I would love to try outdoor growing, and to get


my hands on some beautiful exotic perenials.

Flowering is reached by reducing the daily duration of light. In nature, plants grow throughout the warm months and flower in the fall, when days shorten, to ensure reproduction occurs before winter. The next spring, the surviving seeds will germinate, grow, reproduce and become flowers that


for each variety), growth will gently stop, and the inflorescences


Photos: B.B., D.R. & © 2007 Horti Fair — Illustration: Hydro-Times

will bear fruit. I’m taking a short-cut here and neglecting many

INTERLUDE Humor: Of Turnip’s Sex (Submitted by Vlad Balousian –

“The turnip? She has gone to the kitchen. The woman? It has gone to the opera.” Mark Twain On German Women and Turnips! Here is an excerpt of Appendix D from Mark Twain’s

Photos: D.R.

1880 book A Tramp Abroad:

“Gretchen: – Wilhelm, where is the turnip? Wilhelm: – She has gone to the kitchen. Gretchen: – Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden? Wilhelm: – It has gone to the opera.” To continue with the German genders: a tree is male, its buds are female, its leaves are neuter; horses are sexless, dogs are male, cats are female – tomcats included, of course; a person’s mouth, neck, bosom, elbows, fingers, nails, feet, and body are of the male sex, and his head is male or neuter according to the word selected to signify it, and not according to the sex of the individual who wears it – for in Germany all the women either male heads

“[In German] every noun has a gender, and

or sexless ones; a person’s nose, lips, shoulders, breast, hands,

there is no sense or system in the distribution;

and toes are of the female sex; and his

so the gender of each must be learned separately

hair, ears, eyes, chin, legs, knees, heart,

and by heart. There is no other way. To do this

and conscience haven’t any sex at all.

one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. In German, a

The inventor of the language probably

young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought

got what he knew about a conscience

reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for

from hearsay.” – Mark Twain (The Awful

the girl. See how it looks in print – I translate this from a conversation

German Language). Check out www.

in one of the best of the German Sunday-school books: to read more…


I suggest that you reflect upon your indoor gardening lighting techniques by following the five points below. In this article, I will only attempt to guide you through an understanding of the factors that have the most impact on your yield, without going in-depth. The issue of yield per lamp or per bulb is only one aspect to consider among many that are just as important in the quest for a large yield. For horticultural lighting, ask yourself the following five questions:

1 – Which type of bulb should I use? There are many types of bulbs on the markets, each meeting a different need. When considering this question, it is important to consider your needs. Do you plan on doing more vegetative growth or flowering? Does price matter? Does the bulb give off a balanced spectrum? I suggest you use a good Hortilux bulb, replaced every second harvest.

Ho rtic

Photos: Laurent F. & Philips

Horticultural Lighting: Yield Per Bulb By J.-F. Savard 2 – How many hours have I been using this bulb? To maintain peak efficiency in an indoor garden, it is important not to use the same bulb for more than three harvests. You will notice that the density of inflorescences (flowering tops) and the total yield weight will decrease exponentially at each harvest, following your bulb’s age. Many professionals replace lower quality bulbs after every harvest and higher quality bulbs every two or three harvests.

3 – Which type of reflector should I use? The choice of reflectors is crucial for an abundant yield. Indeed, the reflector is the piece of equipment that dictates the growing space allocated to each

alue By J.-F. Savard V e l o rom c i ultu M ral Lighting: A Bulb’s

1 – The Micromole Value Visible light is only a small proportion of the electromagnetic rays perceived by the human eye. Its wavelength varies between 380 and 760 nanometres. It is the light used by plants’ photosynthesis process. Light, as other types of radiation, is composed of individual energetic elements called photons. The shorter the wavelength, the more powerful is the energy emitted by the photons. The micromole value is quantified in light particles (photons) which produce between 400 and 700 nm and are sent back under the form of a light source, called photosynthetic photon flux. The number of photons absorbed by the plant determines the photosynthesis rate which in turn determines the plant’s growth rate. That is why the micromole value is also called “growth light”. Generally, a 10% increase in growing light will result in a 10% increase in plant growth.

How does the technology used in Philips’ AgroLight XT allow for a 10% micromole increase as compared to other models? Simply, this bulb benefits from the more intense lighting produced by its high pressure mercury halide diode, the most energy-efficient solution for additional lighting. Between 25 and 30% of the electric energy input is converted in photosynthetic radiation (400 to 700 nm) with an improved photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) spectrum. A high pressure mercury halide lamp can be used twice as long as a metal halide, and the intensity of its light output will only diminish by 10% over its lifespan (as compared to a MH lamp). It is the most economical energy source for more intense additional lighting.

2 – Philips’ Agro-Lite XT Why chose Agro-Lite XT bulbs? They stimulate plant growth. They emit 10% more micromoles (compared to Philips models C1000S52). Their

useful life goes beyond 24,000 hours. They maintain their excellent light output. Their filament is made of tungsten. They use a High Arc (Xenon) filling-pressurization system. They use the ALTO™ technology (see below). They are made using an environmentally-friendly low mercury rate (TCLP standard). They emit 45,000 lumens (145 lumen/watt). The bulb is 381 mm long and it has a Mogul socket. It comes in only one wattage (1,000 W) and has a 260V voltage. Its colours spectrum emits a temperature of 2,100°K. Its colour rendition index is 25, ensuring durability. The bulb’s shape follows the E25 international standard. These bulbs come with a two year warranty.


4 – How far is the bulb from the bottom of my plants? It is most important to understand that the light emitted by the bulbs diminishes in intensity by over 50% per 30 centimetres travelled. If you are the kind of gardener who insists on large plants (0.6 to 1.5 metres), I suggest you clear up the lower part of the plants, which will allow the top part to develop better. If however you are using a sea of green method (see volume 3 – issue 1) with plants that average 30 to 60 centimetres, you will benefit from 50% more light and you will obtain denser, more numerous flowers. The goal is to grow a maximum amount of flowers in a given space, without wasting time on plants that have too many stems or leaves.

The improved colour spectrum of Philips’ horticultural Agro-Lite XT™ makes it an ideal component for supplementary lighting, a must for greenhouse cultivation. It is specially designed to improve plant quality and plant productivity. You can thus benefit from the technology and reputation of Agro-Lite XT bulbs: their excellent spectrum contributes to improve plant growth. Philips offers a whole range of indoor cultivation bulbs: • High pressure mercury halide 1,000 W bulb; • Standard high pressure mercury halide bulb; • X-TREME improved spectrum horticultural bulb; • High density output Cermalux bulb. These high tech bulbs offer many advantages. They increase plant growth (10% more lumens/ micromole compared to Philips’ C1000S52

5 – What size was the plant when I induced flowering, and what other stresses or beneficial controls did I provide the plant? The number of plants you decide to place under the lamps will determine their size at the beginning of the flowering cycle and what type of manipulation will be required according to the species grown. You must thus know your plant’s specific characteristics in order to predict its flowering behaviour. From then on, you can analyze the type of physical manipulation required to force your plant(s) to fill with flowers the space you have reserved for it (them). Once you understand plant training techniques, you will be able to: • Tie them down; • Bruise and bend them; • Prune the dominant inflorescences.

Photo: Laurent F. – Illustrations: System D & Philips

lamp, and hence the quantity of plants as well as their size. Some reflectors will give you a total surface of 0.6 by 1.2 metres, while others will offer up to 1.5 by 1.8 metres! Some are coloured or covered with a lower quality material, while others are much more reflective (my advice? Accent Hydroponics’ Adjust-A-Wings reflectors).

Until then, I suggest you reflect upon these issues while observing the behaviour of the plants in your indoor garden and think about any potential improvement you could implement to the garden. In an industry where technology changes and so rapidly improves, it is sometimes important to accept that we have to question our ways to improve our skills (and... our yields!).

model). They emit more of the energy required for an improvement of photosynthesis. Their initial purchase cost is rather low and the energetic expenses they entail are lower, for a more economical lighting. With these lamps, fewer bulbs are required to obtain the same light intensity. The shadow effect is reduced with the ALTO technology. What’s more, the Agro-Lite contains a very low mercury content, making it an environmentally-friendly lamp. It does not fail during performance. As mentioned above, it has a tungsten filament. According to its use duration, it is very reliable. Its technology means fewer lighting drops during use, and hence a more constant growth for plants. Philips offers dimensions that are internationally compatible with socket systems, controlled components, an improved calibration and a great quality. The Agro-Lite, however, should only be used with S52 ballasts.

3 – ALTO™ Technology Respects Environmental Standards Without Sacrificing Product Performance Philips’ ALTO™ technology gives you superior lighting calibration and is environmentallyfriendly. The lamps contain the lowest amount of mercury now allowed. ALTO reduces the quantity of mercury used by maximizing performance and energy. The Agro-Lite bulbs use this technology. Their injection dosage system is made with sealed capsules. AGRO-LITE XT


– Source: Cabinet Chaillot, Paris




M*, nursery gardener breeder, is the owner of an original plant variety certificate for a variety of strawberry-plant named “Mara des


Bois”, a recent French hybrid strawberry

as the sale was

with exceptional deliciousness. It has observed that Group G produced and commercialized “Mara des Bois” strawberry plants. It has deposited an infringement-seizure at the First Instance Court in Paris in October 1999 according to section

done at a lower price than Group M’s, the buyers may have thought that a new variety existed, comparable to the “Mara des Bois”. Enacting terms: The sale of over 64,000 plants at 0.11€ each is

L.623-27 of the French law. Infringement: For the strawberry plants, the right of the breeder provides exclusivity on all or part of the plant that may be used as material for the propagation of the variety. Therefore, it has been investigated whether Group G resold legally bought plants or if it produced or sold plants issued from illicit propagation. The

punished by: * 10,671.43€ in damages; * publication of the decision; * 2,286.74€ based on section 700 NCPC; * prohibitive measures.

evidence obtained by the infringement-seizure showed that the

Last appeal: Group G has appealed this decision in the Court of

number of sold plants is much higher than the number of plants

Appeal in January 2002. Group G has tried to prove that the plants

bought from a supplier. Group G has not proven the origin of the

“Mara des Bois” were in fact obtained in exchange for plants

“Mara des Bois” it commercialized. It has not established that they

“Gento gariguette” plants. The testimony was not considered

were plants directly or indirectly bought from Group M, which has,


according to section L 623-4, the exclusive right to produce, sell or offer for sale all or part of the plant to be used as material for the propagation of the variety. Group G is therefore a counterfeiter.

Enacting terms: Last month, the Court of Appeal has increased the amount of damages to 45,734.71€. Indeed,

Unfair competition: identification of the variety. The strawberry

it has considered that the violation of

plants commercialized by Group G were named “Strawberry

rights was real, as it is on a high-end

plants Mar. SP. Godets” and did not follow the denomination of

variety, particularly appreciated for its

the plant variety certificate “Mara des Bois”, which it should have

gastronomic and gustative qualities and

according to section L 623-15. By not identifying the variety sold,

that it was accompanied by established

Group G created confusion in the buyers, even professional ones.

unfair competition.

* The real names of the companies involved cannot be published, by decision of the Court.

Photos: PhotoWrap UK & D.R.

France: New Settlement in an Infringement of a Plant Variety, the Strawberry-Plant “Mara des Bois”

INDUSTRY NEWS I – Sunleaves/Worm’s Way/BWGS Stock Up on Sunleaves From fluorescent and HID lighting to hydroponic accessories, inline ventilation and more, Sunleaves Garden Products has several innovative new items for the home gardening hobbyist. Great for multi-purpose lighting, Comet 300 Compact Fluorescent Fixtures are each equipped with a 300-watt, non-ballasted VitaLUME bulb. Replacement 6,400°K daylight VitaLUMEs and the tempered glass Comet 300 Safety Lens are available separately. Gardeners using the original Comet can now promote blooming with the internally-ballasted 125-watt VitaLUME featuring a 2,700°K color temperature. And to wrap up the fluorescent additions, the dual-tube Nova is packaged standard with 21” TT55 high-output fluorescent tubes, each with a daylight-simulating 6,500°K spectrum to make plants thrive. To maintain cool roots and happy plants in hydroponics, Sunleaves has three new AquaChill reservoir chillers to accommodate systems up to 132, 264 and 317 gallons. Each 120-volt chiller has push-button temperature regulation, a titanium thermal converter, cleanable air filter and specialized sockets for external heater connection. If hot air is the problem in the grow room, Sunleaves has the solution with WindTunnel Inline Fans. ETL-Listed four-, six- and eight-inch fans have permanently sealed and lubricated ball bearings for zero-resistance blade rotation and unique plastic casing to minimize noise production. Growers preferring HID technology will be pleased with the

Photos: From the products’ manufacturers and/or distributors

expansion of the Luma 2.0 line of aluminum core ballasts. The recently-added 400-watt HPS, 400-watt MH, and 1000-watt MH ballasts all have 120/240-volt capabilities for greater versatility. Also for HID systems are the 600-watt OptiLUMEs including the HPS lamp with internal reflector for increased lighting efficiency and the MH conversion lamp designed to encourage vegetative growth from a high pressure sodium system. To regulate ballasts and other devices set for 240-volt operation, the single-output SunDial4 Digital MultiTimer offers a reliable way to keep appliances running on schedule seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

II – GreenStar Plant Products Greenstar Is A Proud Distributor Of Lumatek Greenstar Plant Products (formerly Allie’s Wholesale) is thrilled to announce the addition of Lumatek Electronic Ballasts for distribution in Canada. The Lumatek Electronic Ballast is the most reliable and popular electronic ballast on the market today. The Lumatek electronic ballast produces up to 30% more lumens than a standard core and coil (magnetic) ballast, while drawing less electricity. The Lumatek ballast is completely silent (no more buzzing), produces less heat than a standard ballast and because of Lumatek’s soft start technology the lamps last up to three times as long. Test data has shown that a Lumatek 600 watt ballast produces

With the exception of the Comet 300

within 5% of the usable light of 1000 watt core and

Safety Lens, all mentioned products

coil ballasts! Electronic ballasts also do not degrade

have warranty coverage for added peace

like standard ballasts do. Over time, magnetic

of mind. Find extended Sunleaves product descriptions and where

ballasts become louder, produce less light, emit

to buy by visiting

more heat and use more electricity. Electronic ballasts – K.B.

maintain their efficiency throughout their lifespan.



INDUSTRY NEWS Welcome Harvest fertilizers have


proven to be complete, 100% natural and organic products for

• Fast start-up: It reaches full brightness in under one minute;

professional or novice growers.

magnetic ballasts typically take about twenty minutes

Welcome Harvest fertilizers are

• Completely silent: you have to put your ear up to the ballast

ideal for house plants, hydroponics

before you can detect the slightest sound

and all outdoor gardening use,

• Small compact design: 600 watt ballast weighs less than 4.5

including flowerbeds, gardens,

kilos compared to almost 20 kilos for magnetic ballasts.

shrubs, trees, and greenhouse

• Cut-off circuitry: automatic cut-off when a short is detected, for ultimate safety. • Longer bulb life: lumen output loss over time is dramatically less than with magnetic ballasts • Fully interchangeable: Lumatek ballasts can accomodate both HPS and MH bulbs • More lumen output: 20%-30% more lumens output and added light means more yield!





Welcome Harvest products are specially balanced to promote biologically active organic matter in the soil, therefore increasing microbial activity which creates an effective and sustainable approach to fertilizing. Acid Plant Mix, Alfalfa Meal, Canola Seed Meal, Fishbone Meal, Fish Meal, Flower Power, Greensand, Langbeinite, Kelp Meal, Rock Phosphate, Supergrow Mix and Vegano are now available, so call your Greenstar Sales representative today for more information and to place your order.

Why choose the Lumatek Electronic Ballast? * Lumatek ballasts include a 15 foot RF shielded output cord that can be extended up to 30 feet. (Allowing positioning of ballasts

– A.O.

in another room or at great distance from your space.). All other digital ballasts can only have a 10 foot lamp cord and most of them interfere with radio and satellite TV signals because they are not shielded. * There are no fans to break down or make noise; fan-cooled ballasts have a very high failure rate. Lumatek ballasts are very, very reliable.

GH demonstrated how “it’s done” at the recent San Francisco Maximum Yield show by throwing an unforgettable party at the legendary Great American Music Hall, with an invitation to

* The ballast can be mounted in areas of high heat.

everyone in the hydro industry to come and join the fun.

Up to 140° Fahrenheit. * Every Lumatek ballast is burned for 12 hours at the factory.

Three different bands played some truly incredible music, an open

* Excellent five year, full exchange warranty.

bar was serving top shelf booze, while all ate great food, and some

* No fans to break down after 1 or 2 years.

really cool prizes were given away.

* Safer – the Lumatek ballast is completely sealed from the inside

The super-stoked folks at HydroPacific of Ukiah, CA won the

Use the ballast the pros use! Call your Greenstar Sales Representative

Grand Prize of having their most recent invoice for GH products

to place your order today!

completely paid by General Hydroponics. – A.O.

Welcome Harvest Now Available At Greenstar

Starting off the evening, Exit Culture got the groove going with Andy Graham playing the

Greenstar Plant Products (formerly Allie’s Wholesale) now offers an

drums and didgeridoo while

excellent selection of Welcome Harvest fertilizers and supplements.

David Tomkins slapped bass,

Welcome Harvest products were created on beautiful Texada

making for some funky jams.

Island in the Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia, Canada.

Everybody really loved these

In the early 1970s, the first wave of “back-to-the-landers” were

guys and was blown away at

leaving their urban upbringings and searching for a less “synthetic”

how Andy plays the didgeridoo

lifestyle. Welcome Harvest products were born from this ideology

while drumming.

and while they may have been a hard sell in the beginning, people now understand organic gardening and the value of sustainable agriculture. Using laboratory testing and horticultural field trials,


III – General Hydroponics General Hydroponics Throws an Unforgettable Party


Then the Nick Gravenites Band blazed some bomb blues tunes to keep both the night and those

Photos: From the products’ manufacturers and/or distributors

Why choose an electronic ballast over a core-and-coil (magnetic)


United States 8484 Florin Road # 110 Sacramento, CA. 95828 Ph. (916) 381-2464 Fax: (916) 381-2468 Opening soon 1918 16th street Sacramento, Ca 95814

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AHL Garden Supply 1051 San Mateo Blvd SE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108 phone 800-753-4617 / fax 505255-7417

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THE GROW ROOM 8 Bridge Street Nyack, NY 10960 Toll Free:

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INDUSTRY NEWS optimal metabolism. This allows your plants

years and has appeared on some 40 albums as singer, songwriter,

to achieve a balance between respiration

guitarist, and producer. He played with the Paul Butterfield Blues

and photosynthesis in high intensity growing

Band and wrote hits for Janis Joplin, Big Brother and the Holding

environments, where the rate of respiration can

Company, Michael Bloomfield, as well as blues giants Howlin’ Wolf,

sometimes exceed the rate of photosynthesis.

Otis Rush, and James Cotton.

metabolic rates during the flowering and

Quintet closed the night, with everyone shaking their booties on

fruiting phase when nitrogen levels have been

the dance floor. This group of five powerful musicians created the

reduced. During the vegetative phase, FloraNectar promotes a

sound of a 10-piece band. How often do you get to see a bass

sturdier plant structure with shorter internodes to support heavier

player switch to a trombone?


Good times were certainly had by all, as retailers, distributors and

FloraNectar fulfills the additional energy requirements of your

competitors kept the good vibes going late into this memorable

plants throughout all phases of growth and during stressful times


of transition.

General Hydroponics is Proud to Announce the Arrival of FloraNectar More than just sugar in a bottle, our scientists have formulated FloraNectar to optimize the greatest transference of sweetness and aroma into your fruits and flowers. FloraNectar contains all natural raw cane sugar, molasses, malt syrup, select plant based esters, L-amino acids, organic acids, polyflavonoids, vitamins and essential minerals.


As a result, FloraNectar ensures optimal

Changing pace from blues to hip-hop/jazz, the Shotgun Wedding

IV – Hydrofarm Now Available from Hydrofarm: The Fresh Maker – Organic Air Charcoal Fiber Scrubbers and Filters These filters and scrubber from Deau Passe Products are the highest capacity filters on the market, ranging from 516 to 6000

This unique blend of ingredients helps your plants regulate

CFM. They feature revolutionary odor control, thanks to their triple

enzymes that trigger specific reactions involved in maintaining

layer charcoal fiber technology. The pleats on these filters have


Photos: From the products’ manufacturers and/or distributors

bodies moving. Nick is a veteran of many bands throughout the

THE HYDROPONIC WORLD OF NORTH AMERICA 3839 6th Ave Tacoma, WA 714 South Central (253) 761-7478 Kent, WA (253) 373-9060 23303 Highway 99, Suite A Edmonds, WA (425) 673-2755

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107 Falcon Drive (Hwy. 97 S) Williams Lake, BC V2G 5G7 Phone: (250) 398-2899 Fax: (250) 398-2896 Toll Free: 1-877-588-5855

Green Thumb Gardening

Grow Monster Plants 394 Route 15/P.O. Box 235 Underhill, Vt 05489 Tel.: Toll free 1 (800) 564-9376




101-2689 Kyle Rd Kelowna, BC V1Z 2M9 (250) 769-7745 Fax: (250) 769-7748



exit 18 off 101 Annapolis Valley, NS (902) 825-4722

3132, Isleville St. Halifax, N.S. 902-454-6646 B3K 3Y5

4 Ontario locations: Ottawa, Gloucester, Mississauga, North York

1-800-489-2215 Hydroponics, fertilizers, lighting Home of Optimum HydroponixÂŽ

bma 404 Maitland Drive #2 Belleville, ON K8N 4Z5 (613) 967-9888

4-2133 Royal Windsor drive Mississauga, Ontario L5J 1K5

(905) 403-GROW (4769) 1-877-263-6287

For sales and advertising, contact:


The Mondi Utility and Sump Pump is a heavy duty, oil-less (water cooled) multi-purpose pump suitable twice the surface area of the competition. Couple that with the

for water control: basement/indoor flooding,

inverted nose cone design, and these filters provide the largest

plant watering, water recirculation and more.

surface area with the most effective active carbon filtration, at the

If features a _ HP motor that can pump up to

highest rated CFM, in the smallest space, on the market.

1,585 gallons per hour, and is constructed with

Hydrofarm Has Added a New Sulfur Evaporator to Its Product Line Hydrofarm’s new Sulfur Evaporator features a 65W heating element, adjustable temperature control, double-

an ultra durable casing that stands up to tough conditions. It comes equipped with two hose fittings; a multi sized hose fitting for industrial hoses and one for a garden hose. It’s also faceted with an extra long 25’ grounded cord.

height. This Sulfur Evaporator helps fight mildew in the

Hydrofarm Precision Pruners a Cut Above


Hydrofarm’s Precision Pruners are the perfect tool for cutting

wall construction and a sulfur bowl with adjustable

flowers efficiently and safely. They feature:

Grow Indoors All Year ‘Round With Hydrofarm’s Habitat Greenhouses Now you can grow your crops year ‘round with Hydrofarm’s exclusive new Habitat Indoor Greenhouses™. Made with a high quality plastic bonded canvas exterior and available in five sizes to fit any growing situation, the Habitat Indoor Greenhouse offers a perfect tent size for bigger, taller crops. All Habitats feature: - Meter pocket with window for easy monitoring of crops. - Multiple air intake and exhaust options. - Elastic door straps to keep open doors out of the way. - Waterproof bottom inner lining that protects from spills and leaks. - Sturdy, powder-coated metal frame and corners. - Supports AC reflector mounting and ducting. The five models are: • Habitat 42 – 4’7” X 2’3” X 6’6”; • Habitat 84 – 8’9” X 4’5” X 7’ Accomodates all brands of reservoirs and flood tables; • Habitat 33 – 3’5” X 3’5” X 6’6”; • Habitat 44 – 4’5” X 4’5” X 7’; • Habitat 42D – 4’7” X 2’3” X 6’6” Double decker nursery, holds all 2’X4’ Trays.



• Ultra-light, ergonomic design; • Double density handles; • Safety lock; • Comfort grips; • Anti-slip handle; • High quality spring; • Surgical stainless steel Look for the colorful case on the retail shelves. – R.K. To find a Hydrofarm Authorized Retailer near you visit

Tissue Culture Kit Because of its scientific nature, plant reproduction via tissue culture has been a process previously reserved for professional growers, but the Super Starts Plant Tissue Culture Kit gives you the tools and direction needed to successfully create a carbon copy of your favorite plants right in your own home. This comprehensive package includes cutting, measuring,




growth regulators, propagation containers, in-depth




instructions, and a whole lot more. Get complete details on the Super Starts Plant Tissue Culture Kit and available replacement components when you visit your favorite year ‘round garden center. – K.B.

Photos: From the products’ manufacturers and/or distributors

Hydrofarm is Proud to Announce the Addition of Mondi’s Utility and Sump Pump to Its Lineup

Change is Good

– or in Europe – d-c-fix® ( or Vénilia ( – offer,

Promote sustainable agriculture by planting heirloom and traditional vegetable, herb, and flower seeds from Seeds of Change. All seeds are certified 100 percent organic by the USDA National Organic Program, and the recyclable plastic seed envelopes are earth friendly as they require less fossil fuels and energy to manufacture than traditional paper packets. Each envelope has complete

planting instructions and a handy ziplock seal to protect and store even the smallest of seeds. Stop by your local garden supply center to select your Seeds of Change. – K.B.

Purge Unwanted Pest Infestations Between



among many motifs and colours, the simple white self-adhesive vinyl, which offers a reflective capacity that is well adapted to indoor gardening. There is also a complete line of shiny metallic vinyl, from gold to aluminium, that can be used in horticulture. Be creative! – R. Ridou

Insecticide Plant Spray for Tomatoes & Vegetables Introducing Doktor Doom’s Spider Mite Knockout Insecticide Plant Spray for tomatoes & vegetables. This product is a critical component of the new Doktor Doom’s one two punch for spider mite elimination program. Doktor Doom Spider Mite Knockout is a formula containing 0.20% pyrethrin and none of the synergist piperoynl butoxide (PBO). Pyrethrin is approved for organic gardening (restricted uses; refer to OMRI for more information)

Formula 2 and PureSpray Green, bugs

and PBO is not.

don’t stand a chance. Pyreth-It Formula 2 takes out more than 100 different

At 0.20% concentration, Spider Mite Knockout is 19 times stronger than

types of insect pests with the active

any plant insecticide that contain soap and fatty acids and 10 times stronger



than any plant insecticide that contain PBO. Soaps and fatty acids needed to

Listed PureSpray Green horticultural

be applied liberally to plants—to the point of run-off—as they are designed

oil harnesses the power of petroleum.

to drown insects rather than kill them.



Find out more about both broad-spectrum pesticides when you visit a year ‘round garden center in your area. – K.B.

Mylar Or Black And White Magic

These liberal applications cause plant damage (phytotoxicity) as they clog the stomata, the pores that plants use to create photosynthesis and thus reduce overall plant size and fruit production. In addition, a lot more product needs to be used on each application, which means

It doesn’t look like much, but this thin plastic, with its disarming opacity, will fulfill your every need. Available in most hydroponic stores for some times already at a more than reasonable price, it does wonders. Very flexible, easy to install, this protective sheet blocks out the light. The white side reflects the light plants require, while the opaque side lets nothing through. It is sold by foot or by roll. One foot contains a section of 12 inches by 120 inches, for a little more than a dollar per linear foot. “Black and White” Mylar is indispensable to indoor gardening. – C.A.

Self-Adhesive Vinyl: Shiny White or Metallic

more time and more money are spent. Doktor Doom’s Spider Mite Knockout is packaged in a 16 oz aerosol can that has a special spray valve to spray in all direction even upside down for hard to reach areas. Aerosol sprays produce very small micron droplets which give the entire plant very good coverage with the least amount of product used per application. You save time and money. Since it is a highly concentrated pyrethrin product, it kills spider mites on contact. Apply Doktor Doom’s Spider Mite Knockout to the underside of the foliage and then use Doktor Doom’s Fogger to fog your garden. Do this three or four

For those who cannot use Mylar ® (see above), self-adhesive vinyl used in

times over a period of 12 days for complete spider

home design can do the job. Although it is not as trendy as in the 1970s (my

mite eradication. Remember that spider mites lay their

mom was a true fan and used to stick it everywhere, from the kitchen to

eggs when you try to kill them, so repeat applications

the bathroom, including inside cupboards and drawers), it is still easy to find

are necessary to win the war against them.

in decor centres or large surface renovation centres. Of course, don’t pick the flower motif! All brands offered in North America — Magic Cover ® and

d-c-fix® in Canada (, search for self-adhesive vinyl) or Kittrich Magic Cover ® and Kittrich Con-Tact Paper ® in the USA (

Look for Doktor Doom Products at your favourite indoor garden center. Visit for more information and application tips. – T.I.G.

Photos: From the products’ manufacturers and/or distributors

Horticultural Novelties



QUESTIONS & ANSWERS To keep on getting the best service available, send your questions to Our gardeners will answer your questions and comment your remarks.


on growing a 1.5 m2 area (for the flowering) under 400 watts and I

Q 1 Garden disaster

HI, Hi, I have a serious problem with my garden that is haunting me. I

am wondering if there are any other articles or something that could

have a hydroponic system with clay pellets. The plants have been

is just doing an ebb and flow system using a tray with clay pellets

stunted since planted 6 weeks ago, and show no growth at all. I

and rockwool for the plants. I like the idea of the perpetual harvest

have flushed, leached, reduced light intensity and ppm, maitained

though, but I would need a system where all the medium does not

pH. The main stocks of the plants may indicate the problem. They

have to be dumped and cleaned at the same time, right? Any advice

have a dry white coating. I have sprayed this with bottled water, but

would be helpful.

hours later the white always returns. Could this be damping off or powdery mildew? I thought the later only affected the leaves with white powder spots. Please help, I’m in trouble. Thank you, – Mark


Hi Mark, It is of course hard for me to know exactly what is wrong without having a look, but I’ll do my best. I am assuming that they are getting no more than 18 hours of light and at least 6 hours of darkness per day. Stunted

guide me while building my own system from scratch. My idea so far

Thanks, – Scott Thompson


Hi Scott, A bucket in bucket system would be the thing for you. It can be a flood and drain or a drip system that you can take out one bucket at a time. – Fred

Q #3: Fungus Control Articles and A Thrips-Related Issue

growth for that long can’t be good. My first question is: are there roots? If

Your Fungus Control Articles (volume 2 – issue 4) have proven much

fresh cuttings were placed directly into the clay pellets, they may not have

useful to me – it turns out that my woes may not be fungi-related,

developed roots, in which case there will be no growth. If there are roots,

but instead are most likely a thrips-related issue!

are they getting the nutrients they need for growth? Is the water reaching

Are there any sources you would recommend to go to for information

them or is a drip line blocked? Not enough nutrients is just as bad as too

on effective thrips control or management? I’m also strongly

much: roots need food to grow.

considering chemical-based methods as well, but I’m unclear as to

The next thing I would check is the day and night temperature of the

the possible legal issues concerning that...

garden. 22-24 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature for growth. Anything

In any case, thanks once again for your help and assistance!

much higher makes the plants spend all their energy on survival rather than growth. Hotter air holds more humidity, which adds more problems.

Regards, – Justin Ancheta


The ideal humidity rate is between 50 and 60%. Temperatures below 15

Hi Justin; I have fly paper hanging up in my indoor garden, it lets me see any flying bug

degrees Celsius or above 32 degrees Celsius will stunt growth. Cool fresh

problems right away. I use End All to control all my bug problems.

air must be brought into the garden and hot stale air must be evacuated

The best source that I have found for thrips control is the B.C. government

constantly. I have tried to tend plants in a garden that would not stay below

web site:

28 degree Celsius (too many lights, not enough ventilation) and it was a constant battle. Proper temperature and humidity are as essential as light and water.

Q #4: Subscription

I can’t say what the white residue is without seeing it. It could be nutrient

Hi, I am interested in having your publication delivered to my house.

build up, which is common with clay pellets. If it is powdery mildew, that

Where is a subscription link?

would indicate inadequate ventilation, possibly combined with high humidity

Thanks, – Sky Skyler

and low night temperatures. Check for roots, check that they are getting the


nutrients they need, keep a regimented light cycle, maintain temperature

(Once again), for those who do not wish to cut out the order slip in the

and humidity and provide adequate ventilation.

magazine (we understand!), we accept photocopies or adresses on blank

These are the key to a healthy garden, especially when you are acting as

paper (as long as you indicate which issues you want to receive or as of which

Mother Nature for your indoor garden. Take care and keep growing,

issue your subscription should begin). You can also print the subscription

– Herb Gardner

Q #2: Sea of Green method question Hey, I just recently read your article in The Indoor Gardener and I have a question – what kind of hydro system can I use? I am planning


– Fred



form online at Finally, be aware that the new international rate is $39.99 for six issues a year. Thank you, – The Editors


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The Indoor Gardener Magazine Volume 3—# 3 (Nov./Dec. 2007)