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September/October 2009

Bugs 101:

Identify the Parasites before Fighting Them Organically

The Life Phases of Flowering Ornamentals

Indoor Plants:

Orchid Cactus (X Epicactus) and Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

Plant Physiology: the Stem Volume 5 – Issue 2

ISSN: 1715-0949 – Bimonthly PP41129557

Fall Product Listing

Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on a rosebud.



10 30

Bugs 101

By Bruno Bredoux & Paul Henderson, horticulturist

A Variety of Plants Grown by Our Collaborator

By Fred Leduc

Orchid Cactus or X Epicactus

48 50

By Daniel Fortin, horticulturist

The Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) By Daniel Fortin, horticulturist



36 40

By Didier Pol, tenured professor, life and earth sciences

By S. Ste-Anne, biology teacher


By Sylvie Laberge



Tips & Tricks


By Rambridge

Herb Science Product Line

By V. Green

SUPERThrive® Originator Receives Lifetime Award

By Dan Stevens

The Trees of Life – Part One: Family Tree

And our usual features:

25 52

Plant Physiology: the Stem


An Incomparable Product: Dr. Node’s 0.4-0.2-0

The Life Phases of Flowering Ornamentals




Notes & News


Industry News Gallery


18 to 22 28

52 to 63 66

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

Published by: Green Publications • Directors of publication: Roxanne Lekakis and Stan Daimon • Managing editor: Bruno Bredoux Director of sales and marketing: William Fitzmaurice • Contributing editor: Helene Jutras • Art director: André Faucher Editorial coordinator: Bruno Bredoux • Collaborators in this issue: Bruno Bredoux, Jessy Caron, Stan Daimon, William Fitzmaurice, Daniel Fortin, Vertuda Green, Paul Henderson, Helene Jutras, Roxanne Labelle, Sylvie Laberge, Patrick Laberge, Rose Laforêt, Fred Leduc, Danièle Montrouge, Didier Pol, Sophie Sainte-Anne, Dan Stevens, Jeff Turcotte, vieux bandit, Ethan Young. Translation/Copy editing: Helene Jutras, C. Tr. • Cover design: André Faucher, after a photo by Patrick Laberge – Hoverf ly (Syrphidae) on a rosebud. • Distribution: See the list of our distributors on our website • Administration : Roxanne Labelle • Information: The Indoor Gardener Magazine, P.O. Box 52046, Laval, Quebec, H7P 5S1, CANADA Phone: 450-628-5325, Fax: 450-628-7758, website : © 2009, Green Publications Vertes, Laval, Qc, Canada Articles, iconographic representations and photographs contained in this magazine cannot be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the written consent of the Publisher. The magazine (The Indoor Gardener) and publisher (Green Publications) are not responsible for mistakes or erroneous information provided by their authors. The publisher further declines any and all liability related to any problem stemming from the unsuccessful application of any advice provided by an author in an article. Publications Mail - Agreement number PP41129557. Canada Post: Return undeliverable items to Green Publications, PO Box 52046, Laval, Quebec H7P 5S1. U.S. Delivery and Subscriptions: Periodicals Postage Rates are paid in Laval, Qc, Canada, H7P 5S1 – Post Canada Agreement PP41129557. U.S. Post Master: Return undeliverable items to Green Publications, PO Box 52046, Laval, Quebec, H7P 5S1, Canada. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement number: PP41129557. Legal deposit: Second Quarter 2005. National Library of Canada. Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. ISSN: 1715-0949 Printed in Canada by Litho Mille-Îles.

4 | Volume 5 – Issue 2



A Gardener’s Green Thumb Revealed We shower gardeners with praise by saying they have a “green thumb.” But where does that expression come from? Why do some people have a “green thumb” and others not? To find the expression’s meaning, do we need to go back to antiquity, when the Roman emperor could raise or lower his thumb and thereby grant life or death? Is the “green thumb” a life-or-death authority over plants? According to anthropologist Carleton S. Coon, who has observed Gibraltar’ Barbary macaques make the gesture of raising their thumb, primitive men invented this behaviour (or mimicked monkeys) out of pride for their two opposable thumbs. So did the first green-thumbed man make holes in the soil with his thumbs to plant his seeds? If old Rome’s “police verso” signified the death of the vanquished gladiator, why then is a raised thumb synonymous with an insult in some countries of the Middle East, Western Africa and even South America? In the Middle Ages, the color green was considered evil. Green was unlucky and readily associated to the devil. Superstitious people avoided wearing green, and hurried away from coming any closer to the colour. In John Carpenter’s “Prince of Darkness” movie, evil incarnate, locked in a glass jar under a church, is a luminous and threatening green. Keeping its unlucky meaning, green also became a symbol of destiny, a bearer of chance, who both lucky and unlucky. It’s found on game tables. Starting in the 18th century, pool tables are green. Paradoxically, green has been associated to clover in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Clover is itself a symbol of game winnings and now allies itself to green to signify even more hope and chances to come. The four-leaf clover becomes a goodluck charm and St. Patrick, surrounded in green clover, protects the nation of Ireland, the green country...

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Nowadays, whether on ping-pong tables, tennis courts, golf greens, football or baseball fields, the colour still represents hope for the winner. Green can be a vector of fate or promote victory, but it is also the colour of hope. In that case, it’s perceived as the colour of that which is unstable, which is to come, is desired but seems uncertain and short-lived. Youth, love, hope, victory, defeat, instability are all draped in green. Do we not say that a frisky old man is still green? In the same way, you can be green with envy when faced with someone who’s succeeded better than you. If in English one can be purple with rage, a French person with the same sentiment would be green! Witches, pixies, elves, and evil forest beings are often portrayed with a greenish face. Perhaps they’re cousins of the little green men? Fate is thus summed up in green, and when fate is concerned, the devil can never be far behind. Is a g reen-t hu mbed gardener a devil of a man, then? In a sense, because he’s managed to turn green’s negative connotations into a bundle of benefits and virtues. Gardening borders on relaxation. And green also symbolizes this wish for relaxation. Some scientists have said that an ocean of green brings positive effects on the nervous system. Green works against stress. Green brings comfort to the spirit and creates a reassuring ambience. This relaxation feeling is accompanied by a communion-with-nature effect. Psychiatric hospitals, indeed, are usually surrounded by large green spaces where patients can find calm and peace of mind


We invite you to write for The Indoor Gardener magazine in total simplicity. That link with nature generates a link with health, well-being, healing, peace, and many other things. The green thumb feeds on all of this symbolism to define a person who has managed to reconcile the negative and positive aspects of green, to father a green garden, where multicoloured flowers make up islands of counter colour, acting as a counterweight to an overly dense and overly significant dominant shade. With a flick of his thumb, the gardener directs tones, colours and textures. If extraterrestrial beings (little green men, of course!) observe us from afar, they have no clue as to the beauty of our gardens: all they see is a blue planet! Seen from space, the oceans’ blue and the thickness of our atmosphere attenuate and dominate the green of our forests, countrysides and gardens... A good dose of modesty and humility for the colour green! Perhaps that’s why it’s so fickle and has a tendency to play with destiny. Green gets its vengeance, however: today, everything is (or becomes) “green”. Green now means environmentally friendly, organic, and good for nature! Even grocery-store plastic bags are becoming green—not in the sense that they’re now green in colour, but simply because they are—more often in theory than technically—biodegradable. Green is a new synonym for environmentally friendly. Every one is turning green, from car manufacturers to insurance companies. Sometimes, it’s difficult to understand what can be green in an industrial or servicesector activity, yet everybody claims to be green. Everyone wants green! Whether you want it to or not, green is stuffed down our throats. Everyone wants to prove they’re greener than their neighbour. Green is the new religion, the ultimate nirvana. I say “thumb”! Bruno Bredoux Source: Wikipedia and “Quand naturel rime avec beauté” blog, at

Send us a 500-word text on your indoor-gardening experience, and you’ll be entered for a chance to write a paid column in six consecutive issues of the magazine! Send your submissions to in a Word file. A selection will be made by a jury consisting of members of the editorial team.

Contest allowing a reader to write a column for six issues, organized by Green Publications, C.P. 52046, Laval, Quebec H7P 5S1. The best texts will be published, and the winner(s) will become columnists for six issues.

Photo Credits

On the cover: design by André Faucher (photo: Laberge, Patrick); BWGS: 45, 62; CanadianXpress: 11, 12, 14; Canfan: 53; Caron, Jessy: 10; Dessureault, Jean-Marc: 4, 66; D.R.: 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 18, 20, 22, 24, 28, 29, 42; Fortin, Daniel: 48, 50; General Hydroponics: 63; Homebox: 52; Hong Kong Household Magazine: 29, 40; Hydrofarm: 54, 55, 56; Hydrotimes: 25, 26; Hydro Québec: 66; Jd’I (Bredoux, Bruno): 42, 66; Laberge, Patrick: 44, 45, 46; Leduc, Fred: 30, 32; Northern Lites: 60; Pépinière Abbotsford: 58; Pol, Didier: 37, 38, 39; Rambridge: 15; Sylvania: 22, 53; Technaflora: 56; vieuxbandit: 36; Vitamin Institute: 58; Worm’s Way: 16. Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 7


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

Hi, I read on some gardening websites that the lunar cycle can have an impact on how well cuttings take and seeds germinate, and that there were thus less-favourable periods to start germination or cuttings. I know that it’s best to start an indoor flowering with a full Moon, and that’s what I’ve always done. But I didn’t know the Moon could have an influence on cloning and germination periods. In any case, please keep me informed. Your indoor-gardening magazine is really cool. It was time someone took over other publications, which I find to be overly filled with ads! I’ll soon send you pictures of my indoor garden. Keep up the good work! – W. I., Repentigny, Qc


Hello Will, Indeed, as we’ve discussed in this magazine before, conscientious gardeners devote a particular attention to lunar cycles, whether it’s to start their seedlings, prepare their cuttings or begin their

You can consult the lunar calendar for gardeners on (in English) or (in French). As for books, I suggest The Lunar Garden: Planting by the Moon Phases by E. A. Crawford (Capital Books) or Calendrier lunaire du jardinier by Mainardi Fazio, Éditions de Vecchi (in French). Happy gardening! – The Editors Hi, I read with interest the Q&A from Dr. John AA Thomson, inventor of SUPERThrive® in your last issue. Could you tell me whether SUPERThrive is also good for flowering? I’ve heard that it was for growth only. Which is the truth?

Hi, Up until the end of their growth period, my plants were doing perfectly. But now, during their first week of flowering, they seem extremely tired and seem to struggle to produce healthy inflorescences. It looks as though the appearance of flowers is draining all of their energy. What should I do? Thank you. – Dennis McBurney, Long Sault, ON Hi Dennis, Perhaps a product specially designed for the first week of flowering, such as Bud Blood 0-39-25 by Advanced Nutrients could help you. Bud Blood is used during the first week of flowering in order to promote a faster, stronger installation of inflorescences. Mixed at a ratio of 0.5 g per litre of nutritive solution, Bud Blood increases the part-per-million concentration of the nutritive solution by 200 ppm. The product is derived from potassium sulphate, potassium carbonate, potassium phosphate, and magnesium phosphate. It secures the onset of flowering and re-balances the essential-element content of buds until the final fruit is harvested. Happy gardening! – The Editors

Thank you.

Hi, I’m looking for a plant and I’d like to know if you can tell me where I can find it. It’s an indoor plant which bears many names, including elephant’s foot plant, “Red ponytail” and “Guatemala ponytail.”

– Tite-Mine Carrere, BC

Hello Jean, According to Dr. Thomson, his SUPERThrive mixture of hormones and vitamins is good for all phases of plant cultivation. At the beginning, indeed, the product was called TransallTM /Horms #4 (for “transplant all”), putting the emphasis on the fact that the product was perfect for transplantation. Throughout the years, Dr. Thomson considerably improved his product by adding new ingredients that made it just as great for any phase of cultivation, from transplant to growth, and growth to flowering. Happy gardening!

Hello Tite-Mine, The plant you’re talking about bears the scientific name Beaucarnea guatemalensis, and is also called Nolina guatemalensis. It’s a variety of palm originating from Guatemala and Honduras forests, where it grows very quickly during the dry season. It indeed adapts very well to indoor cultivation. Its tropical origin means it loves high temperatures in a greenhouse. You can get seeds on the Rare Exotic Seeds website (

– The Editors

– The Editors

– Jean Grenier, Laval, Qc

8 | Volume 5 – Issue 2


Bugs 101

10 | Volume 5 – Issue 2


Identify the Parasites before Fighting Them Organically

By Bruno Bredoux & Paul Henderson, horticulturist


Bug Identification Confusion abounds when it comes to identify the parasites of indoor or outdoor plants. As the season of indoor and outdoor “bugs” is upon us, here is a little lexicon to allow you to better identify what type of parasite or pest you are dealing with and to help you associate it with proper terminology.

a) Spider mites (arachnids or Arachnida, Tetranychoidae or Tetranychidae family)

Spider mites are the most famous predators and pests for indoor and especially outdoor plants. They are called “spider mites” because once they reach adulthood, they weave a kind of web that suffocates the plant.

that they’re practically invisible to the naked eye. They feed on sap, which they suck through their tiny mandibles. Plant damage is caused by this direct draining at the cellular level of foliage. Usually little dangerous indoors, they tend to develop quickly as soon as we bring a plant outside. Check under your plant’s foliage for little black dots, and treat the plant if need be. The best natural remedy against spider mites is the introduction on the plant of another, beneficial predator: phytoseiulus (Phytoseiulus persimilis). It’s also a mite, of approximately the same size as the spider mite, but it belongs to the phytoseiid family. Phytoseiulus has the advantage of attacking all species of spider mites. If you’re already having trouble identifying which type of pests you’re dealing with, you only need to discover they’re spider mites, without needing to wonder to which of the 1,600 species yours belong! Generally speaking, phytoseiid mites should be spread out, 5 to 20 mites per square metre of culture. However, you must take into consideration the size and volume of plants requiring treatment, as well as the spider-mite infestation rate. If the plant is already vanishing under a web, don’t hesitate to use heavy artillery.

b) Aphids (Aphidoidae)

They’re arachnid-type (Arachnida) arthropods, which means they are not insects, since they have four pairs of legs like the other main orders within this group: spiders, scorpions, pseudoscorpions, daddy-longlegs, and all other families of mites (Acarii). Those all have very varied diets, whereas most other arachnids are zoophagous. The spider mites most often found infesting plants are Panonychus ulmi (European red mite) and Eotetranychus carpini (yellow spider mite). The spider-mite family forms a “superfamily”, the Tetranychoidae, which comprises over 1,600 species! It includes among others the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), the McDaniel spider mite (Tetranychus mcdanieli) and the citrus red mite (Panonychus citri). It’s important to know that spider mites are not virus vectors, but that they are responsible for the appearance of dead tissue all over the infested plant. They usually live under the leaves, which makes them difficult to detect. They are so small Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 11

INTRODUCTION | THE INDOOR GARDENER Aphids are small insects, 1 to 4 millimetres long, and belonging to the superfamily of homopterans and to the six subfamilies of Aphididae. Again, species abound: there are over 4,000 different types of aphids! One of the most famous remains the phylloxera, which ended up giving its name to Pierce’s disease, a vine disease caused by this species. Aphids most frequently live grouped in clusters at the end of stems—which allows the gardener to see them well when looking for pests on the plants. They also feed on plant sap. Already quite problematic indoors, they tend to become even more destructive as soon as we bring a plant outside. Against aphids, the gardener can use several natural predators that are harmless for plants, such as ladybugs, syrphid flies, parasitic wasps, and lacewings. You can also use the entirely natural recipe given by a gardener on his blog: a cold decoction of tomato leaves, to which he adds 15 millilitres of alcohol and 15 millilitres of liquid soap for adherence. It’s quite the old wife’s remedy!

c) Scale insects and mealy bugs (Coccoidae) Scale insects (Aspidiotus or Coccus) are Sternorrhyncha that are part of the Coccoidae superfamily and include several genera of sucking insects (there are approximately forty species, divided into five subfamilies). Most originate from tropical areas and are non-rustic, but they’re perfectly able to adapt to indoor life in colder countries. In Greece, for example, scale insects are a scourge in olive groves. Scale insects agglutinate on stems by forming a cottony cluster, often where the stem’s node meets with the leaf ’s limb (petiole). They feed by drawing sap from the plant. They generally remain immobile, but they can move to assemble on another support and infest another plant.

d) Fungus gnats, sciarid flies and black fungus gnats (Sciaridae) Belonging to the Sciaridae family, black fungus gnats are diptrous insects that lay their eggs in the of indoor plants or in other type of humid substrate. Sciaridae include 46 different species of fungus gnats.

soil any

The species we find most often in our gardens are Lycoriella sp. and Bradysia sp. These little black flies have a tendency to develop when the soil around the plant remains humid too long, without a period of relative drying between two waterings. Fungus gnats and sciarid flies feed on the soil’s organic matter (mostly microscopic fungi). They generally pose a minor threat to the plant itself, but once they reach high populations, they quickly become too invasive in the indoor garden, and must then be eradicated. Biological eradication is easily performed with nematodes such as those of the Steinernema feltiae species.

e) Whiteflies (Aleyrodoidae) Whiteflies are homopterans that exclusively belong to the Aleyrodoidae superfamily. This superfamily includes 17 genus (or taxons) of whiteflies. Entomologist Cockerell was one of the main scientists to classify that genus of this superfamily in the early 20th century. The most damaging are Bemisia tabaci, Trialeurodes vaporarium and Aleurothrixus floccosus. Whiteflies or greenhouse whiteflies are tiny white flies (just like Henry IV’s white horse was white) that take on a snowy or flaky aspect once they reach adulthood. As larvae, they can be detected under the leaves: they form clusters of translucent dots. They reproduce very quickly and become a scourge when they invade one plant after another in an indoor garden.

The Australian ladybug Cryptolaemus montrouzieri is very active against scale insects. It’s even more efficient on warm humid days. For best results, release approximately fifteen ladybugs per infested plant. Gardeners generally advise using five ladybugs per square metre.

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Biological control of whiteflies can be achieved using different predators, each as efficient as the next. The most traditional ones are lacewings (Chrysopa) and ladybugs (Coccinellidae), such as Clitosthetus arcuatus Rossi and Chilocorus bipustulatus L. Two South-American entomophagous predators also work very well. The first is a Hymenoptera named Cales noacki, but its action must be completed by that of another Peruvian parasite, Amitus spiniferus, which better tolerates the summer’s high temperatures.

Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 13


f) Thrips (Thysanoptera)

g) As a general rule

The Thysanoptera order includes several families, including that of Thripidae, the most famous representatives of which are pear thrips (Taeniothrips inconsequens). In fact, there are over 5,000 species of Thysanoptera, divided in 850 genera! They are small insects with a pointed abdomen, usually shiny black, that abound on various plants. They sting the leaves and weaken them. Obviously, they are more damaging than useful!

You can get rid of these little insects and pests on your indoor plants—provided you’ve previously identified them properly— using various other strictly biological methods. For example, Australian (!) company CanadianXpress offers an entire line of products (distributed in North America by BioFloral) for this purpose ( and

The Orius bug (Orius insidiosus and Orius tristicolor) is the ideal and ultimate biological weapon against thrips.

- II -

The Fight Continues Outdoors Outdoors, prevention remains the best way to minimize damage from a future plant invasion by pests and predators. When gardening outdoors, care for the environment and the ecosystem around you: choose biological means and products to fight off predators. Here’s a very brief summary of some biological techniques I use outdoors.

a) Against insects and pests Attacks by insects are completely normal. Don’t be alarmed when you see insects or their traces on your plants. Young plants, however, are more vulnerable to attacks, as they have fewer leaves with which to protect themselves. You must keep an eye on them. Insecticidal soaps such as End All are nonchemical. They offer a relatively good protection against most insects, particularly against whiteflies and thrips (which you can recognize by their shape: they’re little beige-ish white rods, one to three millimetres long). Sticky traps are very efficient against sciarid flies (little black flies). Spider-mite infestations (small red or beige-ish white mites bearing two little black dots on their backs, like eyes) are relatively rare outdoors, as these bugs do not enjoy the rain, but when summer is warm and dry, they can be a problem. Moth killers and miticides such as Hexakis (containing DuPont’s Vendex 50WP product) used to be very effective, but spider mites have adapted and become very resistant to Vendex [(2-methyl-2phenylpropyl)distannoxane] (or HMPD). Instead, use Pokon by spraying it on leaves with much water. Insecticidal soaps such as

14 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

Safer’s are also good biological-prevention means against spider mites. Slugs eat and love leaves. You’ll know they came by when you see the viscous slobber they leave behind them around the site and on plants. It’s easy to prevent their passage: surround the base of plants with coarsely crushed eggshells—they’ll serve as a genuine slugstopper.

b) Against wild animals When animals attack our outdoor crops, those attacks are usually very damaging, and often cause the loss of a great part of the crop. Deer are the greediest, followed by beavers. There are a few effective products (such as Skoot) that give plants a very bitter flavour, which animals don’t like. For this reason, these products should only be sprayed on growing plants—never during flowering, or the product will leave a horrible taste when the time comes to eat the plant or vegetable! I have a favourite method to prevent problems with deer: I erect an almost-invisible barrier around the garden using 20-pound fishing wire. Use trees as posts, and install three horizontal rows of fishing wire: the first 30 centimetres away from the ground, and the other two spread out by 30 centimetres. This will give you an efficient fence that’s invisible to the naked eye and thus does not interfere with your flower arrangement.

c) Against humans The humans I’m thinking of are passersby that walk by your house while you’re at work or running errands. Be vigilant: even in the city (indeed, in my own neighbourhood), some don’t hesitate, and leave with your geranium pots, or uproot a decorative shrub if it’s still young and easily transportable and transplantable!


Hydroponic Classics:

Rambridge Wholesale Supply’s Dr. Node’s 0.4-0.2-0

For several years, Rambridge Wholesale Supply has been offering an incomparable product. Dr. Node’s 0.4-0.2-0 is a nutrient specially designed for hydroponic cultivation, but that adapts very well to soil-cultivation techniques. It’s offered in a ready to use formula: you only need to shake the container vigorously before using the product, and its various particles and nutritive elements will be perfectly mixed.

Specially formulated, Dr. Node’s encourages the production of internodes, reduces the intervals and focuses the plant’s energy on lateral growth rather than vertical growth. This powerful fertilizer also reinforces inflorescences and maximizes yields. Use in Hydroponic Cultivation: Mix the product, 1 to 2 ml per litre. Apply the solution at the onset of the flowering stage. Use the mixture for seven to 14 days, every time you change the reservoir’s nutritive solution or until plants reach their desired height. When plants have reached the height you seek, fill the reservoir with new nutritive solution at full concentration. Use in Soil Cultivation: Mix the product, 5 ml per litre. Apply the solution at the onset of the flowering stage. Use the mixture for seven to 14 days, every second watering or until plants reach their desired height. If you’re reusing soil, flood and drain it three times with pure water. Distributed by Rambridge Wholesale Supply,


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

Temperature and Humidity in the Garden

• Try to provide your plants with a temperature difference of approximately 10°C between night and day. Optimal temperatures are between 26.5 and 27.5°C—with a CO2 injection—or 24.5 to 25.5°C—without—during the day, and between 18.5 and 19.5°C at night.

• A CO2 input can lead to a yield increase of up to 20%—that’s 1,500 to 1,800 ppm during the flowering cycle. Reduce the use of CO2 toward the end of the flowering stage, when growth slows and as soon as the ripening stage begins. • The rate of humidity should not go above 60%, or the growth environment could be susceptible to the development of airborne moulds. Reducing temperature allows you to reduce the humidity rate. • Inspect your plants daily: it’ll help you evaluate some factors, such as temperature or humidity, that could later become a threat for your harvest. • On another topic, is it possible to read the various issues of The Indoor Gardener magazine online and to copy only the text, without the coloured background, for articles that interest me? Thank you for considering my request.

– Maurice Turcotte, Qc

Irrigation of a Hydroponic System

• Your hydroponic system’s water must be pure. It’s always wise to analyze your water before you add nutritive elements to it in order to avoid the saturation of elements already present in sufficient quantity. • Irrigate your crop as soon as the light cycle begins. The need for water is more important than during the light cycle, and plants can’t absorb CO2 unless they benefit from

an abundant irrigation. Irrigation performed at the end of the light cycle or in darkness causes an increase in the humidity rate and can lead to infections or insect-related problems. • I also have a question: are your previous issues offered on DVD? How much is the DVD? Thanks,

– Lucy Hall, B. C.

Nutritive Solution

• “More” does not necessarily mean “better”. A higher ppm reading of the nutritive solution does not necessarily signify accelerated growth for your plants. • For optimal nutritive-element efficiency, you must add nutritive solution to the reservoir water every four days. Taking this measure increases yield and prevents the appearance of bacteria and disease. • Maintain the water reservoir’s temperature between 18 and 21°C. Cold water allows the retention of a higher volume of oxygen, while higher temperatures can cause the proliferation of pathogenic organisms. • Check the pH daily to ensure that the absorption of nutritive elements is adequate. The substrate will dictate the appropriate pH range. • Finally, I was browsing your website and I don’t see how to find articles from previous issues. I am mainly looking for the article “Successful Cuttings”; it comes in different parts and I only have part 4. If you could please let me know if your past articles are available online – I would appreciate it.

– Ted Fox, California

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

16 | Volume 5 – Issue 2


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Will the Plastic Pink Flamingo Come Back as Our Lawn Ornament? In November 2006, the company Union Products from Leominster, Massachusetts, closed its doors before going bankrupt at the end of last summer (2008). What does that mean for international pop culture? Union Products’ closing strikes the end of production for the only genuine ornamental plastic pink flamingo. Indeed, it was in 1957 that Donald Featherstone, president and co-owner of the company— and most importantly moulding artist— created the unique and often-imitated mould for the infamous pink flamingos that can still be seen on suburban kitschy lawns. For a successful decor, the concept

Hydroponic Food (and Work) for Inmates

Every day at the Pasco jail in Florida, nearly 500 heads of lettuce—rex, romaine, Bibb— are harvested from the greenhouse, which goes to the jail’s kitchen and feeds inmates and deputies. The inmates’ agricultural crew also grows beefsteak tomatoes, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, cucumbers, collard greens, eggplant, thyme, basil, parsley, garlic, and sage. There is a traditional in-ground garden that grows potatoes, cabbage and other vegetables. The new greenhouse unveiled on June 26, 2009 replaces the old one, which was destroyed by a tornado in 2007.

There’s another hydroponic garden just for ornamental plants, which are used for landscaping at the jail and for horticultural training for the inmates. There’s a plan to possibly sell the plants to the public in the future. (Source: St. Petersburg Times)

18 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

required at least two pink flamingos: one standing straight, with its partner bent towards the ground, one leg up. According to Dennis L. Plante, president of Union Products, the company had to close because of price increases for resin and electricity. In 2006, the benefit margin was still at $4.2 million, but it fell to only $5,000 in 2007! To prevent China overtaking the market with an imitated pink flamingo that wouldn’t come from the original mould, Union Products owners sold the moulds and reproduction rights to another American company: president Dennis L. Plante got in business with Faster-Form, based in West Frankfort in the state of New York. Faster-Form purchased the original moulds and equipment for $283,748. It says it intends to restart production of the plastic pink flamingo (the Massachusetts plants used to produce 250,000 units each year), as well as the production of Union Products’ famous artificial Christmas tree. For now, the shelves of distribution stores remain desperately empty! The last pink flamingo (actually, it might’ve been black, purple, bright red or green) left the Leominster plant at the end of June 2006. Production has not resumed since... When will we see again Don Featherstone’s one and only original pink flamingo haunting our lawns?

In A Nutshell: Herbs and Their Virtues

Prunes, Cereals, Lentils

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

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

Cress, Carrot

Another falsehood: “Eat your soup if you want to grow!” Vegetable soups are rich in vitamins and fibre, but they have no direct effect on growth. Aside from cress and carrots, which contain much betacarotene, your parents’ threat contained very little truth.


Queens: Old Church Rooftop to Become Hydroponic Farm

Gotham Greens, a start-up company headed by young entrepreneurs Viraj Puri, Eric Haley and Jennifer Nelkin, in Queens, NY, is converting an unused Jamaica church rooftop into the city’s first commercial hydroponic farm. Their goal is to provide pesticide-free organic food while making a major effort to reduce and eliminate carbon emission as well as other environmental issues associated with food production.

“This project is going to be about 10,000 square feet,” said Viraj Puri to The Queens Courier’s journalist Nick Costales. “The project will cost an estimated $1.4 million. As of now we’ve raised over $1 million with the help from the New York Business Development Corporation, the New York State Energy Research Development Authority and other investors”. Viraj Puri’s partner, Jennifer Nelkin, told the New York Daily News: “The biggest challenge that we are facing right now is not the technology—we know the technology. It’s moving this technology into the city”.

The hydroponic farm will produce roughly 30 tons of fruits, vegetables and herbs a year to be purchased locally by restaurants, markets and the everyday consumer.

PARTA Sustainable Solutions, inc.

Announces the Acquisition of Alternative Media TV and the Nomination of a New CFO

PARTA Sustainable Solutions, inc. has signed a letter of intent aimed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Alternative Media Initiative, inc., a private company with headquarters in Montreal (Canada).

Mr. Boyer worked as a director of finance for a renowned company in the Canadian transport industry. He previously made his mark as a controller for human-resources companies, as well as in the manufacturing industry.

Since 2007, AMI operates, among others,, an online videodistribution platform (web and mobile) available in 3 languages (English, French and Spanish) which focuses on the realities and prospects of sustainable development.

“There’s no doubt that Gilbert represents a leading asset in the implementation of our business plan. He’s demonstrated, in the past, his ability to work in financial management in highly competitive and complex environments. I am convinced that within our company he’ll demonstrate a high level of professionalism and diligence”, said Paul Allard. Mr. Boyer is replacing Mr. Randy Koroll as officer of PARTA. Mr. Boyer has also ceased to act as a director of PARTA.

“After the recent integration of EduPerformance, a Canadian leader in the creation, diffusion and management of e-learning content, for PARTA, AMI’s acquisition represents another concrete step toward the accomplishment of its short-term business plan”, commented Paul Allard, PARTA’s chairman of the board. Furthermore, PARTA is pleased to announce Mr. Gilbert Boyer’s nomination as chief financial officer. Mr. Boyer, holder of a bachelor in business management from Université du Québec à Montréal, is a CMA (certified management accountant) and has a long track record in finance and management, cumulating over 20 years of experience. Before joining PARTA,

20 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

About PARTA Sustainable Solutions, inc. ( PARTA Sustainable Solutions, inc. develops and implements technology solutions and services to enable companies to establish a real sustainable-development-oriented dialogue between its internal and external stakeholders. To achieve this, PARTA benefits, at the international level, from a recognized expertise in communications, training and new media.

Gotham Greens has already spoken to the Jamaica Farmers Market, Whole Foods, and the healthy fast-food chain Just Salads, which has multiple locations in the city. “We’re going to create green-collar jobs”, said Viraj Puri. “The next greenhouse we plan on building will be four times the size of this one, making it close to 40,000 square feet. This one is going to be the proof of concept”. (Source: The Queens Courier, June 23, 2009)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Adds New Entries like “Green-collar” and “Locavore”

Among about 100 new words making their debut in the new 2010 MerriamWebster dictionary, we love:

• locavore : a person who eats foods grown locally;

• green-collar: adjective to qualify a person involved in protecting the environment and jobs and or actions dedicated to protecting the natural environment. So, we can now talk about “greencollar economy”, “green-collar jobs”, and “green-collar workers”. • shawarma: a sandwich especially of sliced lamb or chicken, fresh vegetables, and often tahini wrapped in pita bread.

Webisode (TV show episode made for the Web), waterboarding (torture technique), vlogs (blogs with video feeding), frenemy (a faux-friend), sock puppet (false online identity) and flash mob (crowd of people simultaneously summoned by e-mail to a specific meeting at a specific time) also made the cut… Source:


DVD Review: Seasons (1987) as Narrated by Captain Kirk Four Seasons in 32 Minutes and in IMAX By Bruno Bredoux

What a nice film. Tinged with some memory of Disney documentaries from the 1950s and 1960s, Seasons was directed in 1987 by Oscar-winner Ben Shedd, but it remains a classic of IMAX cinema, even seen on your TV screen from a DVD. When the movie first came out, critics saw in it “poetry meeting technology to make us feel the cycle of seasons more deeply.” At the time, IMAX cinema was only beginning. Yet the voice of Captain Kirk himself (William Shatner) bewitches us and brings us through a rather mind-blowing trip to meet the seasons, with 3-D animations to better explain the action of the Sun and the Moon on our dear planet Earth. William Shatner has rarely elicited such warm praise: “There are three things that will jump out at you as soon as this movie starts. The

first is the fantastic narration job by William Shatner. Now I admit I was afraid that Shatner would be a little over-the-top as a IMAX movie narrator, but I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised by his professionalism and his candour. Shatner’s talking style is perfectly appropriate, and at no time did he ever try to upstage the dazzling visuals being shown on the screen. His voice was methodical and caring, and added just the right hint of sophistication to this eye-enthralling film […],” writes David Blair on He even adds: “Seasons is a sophisticated movie that truly puts the viewer at the foot of the four life-giving seasons of our planet. It is beautiful, and infinitely colourful, and the audio is generally superb […].” Spring eruption, summer profusion, autumn abundance and joyous winter—Vivaldi’s Four Seasons accompany the movie, as should be. Mainly filmed in Minnesota using a hand-held camera or flying above in a helicopter, the movie is a celebration of sight and senses. The director knows how to alternate between scenes that evoke intimacy with Nature and more global shots, underlining the interaction of humans with their environment. Slow-motion flower openings move us like never before—and then we are thrown into Nature’s chaos. The DVD-version of the movie also offers a strange Canadian animation (The End of the World in Four Seasons, by Paul Driessen) that occurs on several filmed sequences and can truly only be appreciated on a movie screen—or at least a 132-inch TV!

Living Spaces Compact-Fluorescent Bulbs from Sylvania Offer Green Thinking Without the Green Glow Sylvania introduces a new line of mini compact-fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) that are not only the smallest CFLs available on the market but provide a warmer, richer light not found with existing CFLs. The Sylvania Living Spaces Collection is the next evolution of CFL technology, designed to be energy efficient and to meet consumers’ desire for pleasing, high quality light in the home.

Says Luigi Leto, strategic marketing manager for Osram Sylvania Ltd: “While consumers often use CFLs in the basement, attic or garage, Sylvania Living Spaces is designed specifically for family rooms, living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms that consumers actually live in.” With unique enhanced phosphors, Living Spaces Micro-mini Twist CFLs provide warm light that enhances colours and skin tones. The CFLs are suitable for use in sconces, table lamps and even decorative fixtures. “The collection demonstrates that light quality and energy efficiency can coexist beautifully,” says Eric McClelland, cofounder of Fleur-de-Lis Interior Design and a regular guest expert on Citytv’s CityLine. “With government legislation banning regular incandescent light bulbs by 2012, consumers now have a better choice,” adds Leto.

22 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

The Sylvania Living Spaces CFLs are instant-on and flicker-free and are available in 13, 20 and 23 watts (W), and are designed to replace the commonly-used 60-, 75- or 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. From an environmental perspective, Living Spaces CFLs last for up to 12,000 hours (about 11 years). They contain less than 1.5 milligrams of mercury, compared to as much as 5 milligrams in previous CFLs. Furthermore, the Energy Star® rated 13-W Living Spaces CFL can save you $47 over the life of the bulb when compared to an equivalent 60-watt incandescent. The Living Spaces décor-oriented CFLs (MSRP from $8.99) can be found at major home retailers such as Loblaws, Home Hardware and Wal-Mart. Visit

Humour for An Economic Crisis Era:

Red Tomatoes An unemployed man is desperate to support his family—a wife and three kids. He applies for a janitor’s job at a large firm and easily passes an aptitude test. The human-resources manager tells him: “You will be hired at minimum wage of $5.35 an hour. Let me have your e-mail address so that we can get you into the loop. Our system will automatically e-mail you all the forms and advise you when to start and where to report on your first day.” Taken aback, the man protests that he is poor and has neither a computer nor an e-mail address. To this the manager replies: “You must understand that to a company like ours you virtually do not exist. Without an e-mail address you can hardly expect to be employed by a high-tech firm. Good day.” Stunned, the man leaves. Not knowing where to turn and having $10 in his wallet, he walks past a farmers’ market and sees a stand selling 25-lb crates of beautiful red tomatoes. He buys a crate, carries it to a busy corner and displays the tomatoes. In less than two hours, he sells all the tomatoes and makes 100% profit. Repeating the process several times more that day, he ends up with almost $100 and arrives home that night with several bags of groceries for his family. During the night he decides to repeat the tomato business the next day. By the end of the week he is getting up early every day and working into the night. He multiplies his profits quickly. Early in the second week he acquires a cart to transport several boxes of tomatoes at a time, but before the month is up he sells the cart to buy a broken-down pickup truck. At the end of a year he owns three old trucks. His two sons have left their neighbourhood gangs to help him with the tomato business, his wife is buying the

24 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

tomatoes, and his daughter is taking night courses at the community college so she can keep books for him. By the end of the second year he has a dozen very nice used trucks and employs fifteen previously unemployed people, all selling tomatoes. He continues to work hard. Time passes and at the end of the fifth year he owns a fleet of nice trucks and a warehouse that his wife supervises, plus two tomato farms that the boys manage. The tomato company’s payroll has put hundreds of homeless and jobless people to work. His daughter reports that the business grossed over one million dollars. Planning for the future, he decides to buy some life insurance. Consulting with an insurance adviser, he picks an insurance plan to fit his new circumstances. Then the adviser asks him for his e-mail. When the man replies that he doesn’t have time to mess with a computer and has no e-mail address, the insurance man is stunned: «What, you don’t have e-mail? No computer? No Internet? Just think where you would be today if you’d had all of those five years ago!» “Ha!” snorts the man, “If I’d had e-mail five years ago I would be sweeping floors at Microsoft and making $5.35 an hour.”

Which brings us to the moral of the story: if you got this story by e-mail, you’re probably closer to being a janitor than a millionaire. (Source: The Tomato Pages Network,


Hydroponic Classics

Herb Science Product Line

By V. Green

Herb Science is the brand of hydroponic store Hydro-Times, based in Laval, Québec. This product line covers the entire lifecycle of your plants, from rooting to fruit or vegetable ripening, including growth and flowering. These products are manufactured in Canada by a company that now has over 20 years of experience in the world of hydroponic gardening. These products have been specifically designed for your favourite plants. The application recipe is extremely easy to follow. Seven products form a recipe for success. Use them, and be the envy of countless indoor gardeners!

I – Products: • Acme Series Herb Science growth and flowering three-part fertilizers This three-part mixture of nutritive elements is easy to use. It is composed of a growth product (Acme Grow 2-2-5), a flowering product (Acme Bloom 1-4-4), and an all-in-one micro-base formula (Acme Micro 4-0-2), to be used throughout the lifecycle of a plant grown for its production of fruits or vegetables. These products are made using high quality ingredients; they contain fulvic acid for an improved absorption of nutritive elements, and their pH has been adjusted so as not to impact the nutritive solution’s acidity or alkalinity.

• Two-part nutritive elements The 2-Part Food comprises two products for growth (G1: 5-0-2 and G2: 1-5-8) and two for flowering (F1: 6-0-3 and F2: 1-4-8). This mixture is particularly designed for each stage of a plant’s life, and specifically for the crucial steps of growth and flowering. See growth and flowering formulas of 2-Part Food are manufactured in a way that preserves an adjusted pH, which won’t have an impact on the nutritive solution’s integrity.

Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 25

• Miracle Thrive B1

• Bat Guano 0-2-0

This is a vitamin B concentrate. Its high quality formula contains auxins, cytokinins, as well as other hormones. Miracle Thrive B1 reinforces a plant’s immune system, allowing it to better resist stress, pathogenic insects and fungal diseases. This product also stimulates and accelerates growth and flowering.

Herb Science’s 0-2-0 bat guano is one of the only products in the world to contain organicbase concentrated phosphorus. This guano’s quality is ensured by its high concentration in phosphorus. By instantaneously providing phosphorus to plants, this product ensures the timely development of colours, perfumes and flavours in fruits and vegetables. It provides the largest and heaviest flowers and fruit possible. It also stimulates the appearance of flowers very early on, at the very onset of the flowering cycle, at the precise moment where a regular input of Bat Guano 0-2-0 is required.

• Mag-I-Cal Mag-I-Cal is a nutritive supplement containing magnesium, iron and calcium. It prevents overdoses from fertilizers. It’s a basic element, giving you greener and more luxuriant plants with proper chlorophyll content and a strong stem. Mag-I-Cal prevents and corrects foliage discoloration, burns at the tips and edges of leaves, and foliage malformations caused by calcium, magnesium and iron deficiencies. These three elements are indeed necessary for the plant to ensure the proper development of its cellular membrane. Mag-I-Cal also contributes to the photosynthesis process and chlorophyll production. This product can simply be applied dissolved in the nutrient mixture, or it can be sprayed as a foliar application. • XL Blood 0-40-25 XL Blood is a nitrogen-free nutrient that is rich in phosphorus and potassium. It’s designed to promote the development of larger, stronger and more dense flowers from the very onset of the flowering cycle (week two and four).

II – Nutritive Recipe Herb Science products combine a professional approach to a passion for indoor gardening—a passion shared by the products’ designers. These nutritive elements will help your garden if you follow the manufacturer’s recipes. A recipe is not a magic formula; it must sometimes be adapted to your plants and your garden, but it provides a precious guide to observe how plants fare with the suggested doses.

• XL Bud 0-50-30 As its name and formula indicate, this product is a growth stimulator, rich in phosphorus and potassium and containing a supplement of specific hormones. It allows the plant to develop enormous flowers that produce a large quantity of oily matter (week three and weeks five to seven of the flowering cycle).

A gardener will generally quickly find out whether a product line can satisfy all of his needs and all of his plants’ needs. Sticking to a single brand is advised. Product designers have patiently experimented and measured out doses for each product, so that when they’re used, their benefits can follow one another harmoniously. Hydroponics is not a simple technique—it’s a series of methods used in soil-less cultivation, and numerous factors have to be weighed, not only the choice of a nutritive-element product line. Just as important as nutrition are elements such as air, light and

26 | Volume 5 – Issue 2


water—all vital elements for plants. These must be constantly controlled and renewed if you wish to attain hydroponic success. Wearing a white lab coat and playing with test tubes is not necessary. Hydroponic gardening is rather easy if you devote some time to it and are willing to observe. It’s all a matter of knowing how to estimate plant needs, where, when and how. You also don’t need a ton of equipment. Consider climactic conditions, the stage of growth or the plants’ age, the watering rhythm... and it’ll work! Here is the recipe table for Herb Science products: a) Growth stage (proportions are given for product dissolution in 4 litres of water) At this stage, we’re only using the three-part Acme Series formulas with supplements Mag-I-Cal and Miracle Thrive B1. We wish to prevent fungal disease, burns, malformations, and foliage discolorations. With this association, we can fight frailty and reinforce plant strength during this stage of their lives.


Acme Grow

Acme Bloom

Acme Micro


Miracle Thrive B1


6 ml


10 ml

5 ml

5 ml

4 ml

10 ml

5 ml

8 ml

4 ml


10 ml

12 ml

5 ml

10 ml

4 ml

10 ml


15 ml

5 ml

15 ml

4 ml

10 ml

b) Flowering stage (again, for 4 L of water) We’re continuing with the basic program started during the growth cycle, but products such as XL-Blood and XL-Bud are being used from time to time. The former is recommended at weeks two and four. The latter can be used starting the third week of flowering, and will then finish the cycle from weeks five to seven. It’s imperative that week eight be devoted to rinsing. Week

Acme Grow

Acme Bloom

Acme Micro




Miracle Thrive B1


5 ml

10 ml

8 ml

4 ml

10 ml


5 ml

10 ml

8 ml

0,25 g

4 ml

10 ml


5 ml

12 ml

10 ml


4 ml

10 ml


5 ml

12 ml

14 ml

0,30 g

4 ml

10 ml


5 ml

14 ml

14 ml

1,25 g

4 ml

10 ml


5 ml

14 ml

14 ml

1,3 g

4 ml

10 ml


5 ml

16 ml

16 ml

1,3 g

4 ml

10 ml









Contact : For more information, contact Jeff at 1-450-688-4848. Distribution requests for the above-mentioned products are welcome.

Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 27

a COOKING b Zucchini Bread, etc.

By Danièle Montrouge Zucchinis are very easy to grow with hydroponiccultivation methods, but they often don’t find a way to the dinner table that is relevant and true to their delicate and tasty flavour. Many cooks have a tendency to overcook zucchinis, which then become full of water and a little bit bitter. Here is a recipe for a delicious zucchini loaf. It requires you to coarsely chop zucchini before integrating it into the mix. Even with more than an hour of cooking, they will stay crunchy inside this moist delicacy! Strawberry-spinach salad is great to serve for company. It’s a quick and easy recipe to make and looks beautiful on the plate. A hit on all levels, this delightful spinach-strawberry salad has that perfect mix of sweet and tart. Almonds and poppy seeds add crunch and taste. Fruits and vegetables go well together! It is not simply a matter of colour, but a matter of tastes. Fruits and vegetables can be used together for appetizers, main dishes or desserts. You must think ahead about the combination, and not improvise. One of the vegetables that is best associated with fruit is the carrot: it can be cooked in a cake with coconut, in a jam with cherries and, like here, as an entremets with citrus. Bon appétit!

28 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

Zucchini Loaf

• • • • • • • • • • • •

2 cups all-purpose flour ¾ teaspoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon baking soda ¾ teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoon cinnamon 3 eggs 1 cup granulated sugar ⅔ cup vegetable oil (melted butter will be better if you’re not on a low-cholesterol diet!) ¾ teaspoon lemon extract 1 ⅓ cups coarsely chopped unpeeled zucchini ⅔ cup chopped pecans (or hazelnuts) ⅔ cup raisins

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. Beat the eggs with the sugar for two minutes. Gradually add in the oil (or melted butter) and beat for two more minutes. Add the lemon extract. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture and the zucchini until everything is evenly moist. Stir in the pecans (or hazelnuts) and raisins. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into a wellgreased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for 70 to 75 minutes, until the loaf is done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and allow the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: one loaf.


Spinach-Strawberry Salad

• • • •

1 pound flat leaf spinach, washed and well dried 3 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced 1 pint strawberries, trimmed and quartered or sliced ¼ cup slivered almonds

Sweet vinaigrette for spinach salad: • • • • •

3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon honey ¼ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon poppy seeds salt and pepper to taste

Place spinach in large salad bowl (a flatter bowl works best). Arrange kiwi slices and strawberries on top. Combine all ingredients for salad dressing. Toss dressing with salad just before serving. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serves 4.

Carrot-Orange Cup Custard

For one carrot-orange cup custard, you will need: • 150 gr potato starch; • 500 gr carrots (or frozen carrot puree); • 750 ml milk; • 200 gr powdered sugar; • 3 oranges (non treated) – juice; • 1 lemon (non treated) – juice and zest; • 100 gr caramelized sugar with 50 ml water. Peal and wash the carrots, cut them coarsely and cook them for 20 minutes in boiling water. Strain the carrots and use the mixer to puree them (for frozen carrots, simply thaw and puree). Dilute the starch in a little quantity of cold milk. Have it thicken under low heat with the rest of the milk, stirring continuously. Add the sugar, the carrot puree, the finely chopped zest and the juice from the lemon and the three oranges, and bring to a boil. Coat a 22-cm dish with caramel, and pour the mixture into it. Allow to cool fully in the refrigerator. To turn out, dip the mould in hot water for a few seconds. Garnish custard dish with coconut chips or some grated orange zest. Serve with cold French custard. Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 29


A Variety of Plants Grown

by Our Collaborator Fred Leduc

A wonderful variety of cacti

Cacti, all kinds of cacti: they’re Fred’s favourite. Visit his site, on which he will provide you with the most pertinent advice to obtain cacti as spectacular as his (

Indoor Wild Strawberries (Fragaria vesca L.)

The flavourful wild strawberry can also easily be grown indoors. Since this variety is quite resistant and perennial, you can take plants in nature. Provide it with a sunny location in a rather acidic soil that will remain cool and welldrained. Clumps can be divided in the fall. If the plants are outdoors, they’ll require a mulch protection over the winter, as spring frosts weaken them. The fruit can’t be preserved for long: eat them right away.

30 | Volume 5 – Issue 2


A Variety of Plants Grown Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

Wonderful indoor flower, which embellishes the house from December to March. Wake up to the bulb, planted in slightly humid soil, mid-November by watering it regularly and maintaining an ambient temperature of 21°C during the day and between 15 and 18°C at night. Don’t fertilize during flowering, and raise daytime temperatures to 24 to 26°C during this entire period.

‘Blue Morning Heavenly’ Glory (Ipomoea tricolour L.)

This annual plant forms exuberant flowers of a perfect blue—they’re easily recognized, not only through their colour, but also due to their characteristic funnel shape. It flowers all summer long. Its seeds are very hard, and sometimes difficult to germinate. Soak them for a few days in cold water. Then take them out of the water and gently scrape their surface using a knife in order to scarify them. Soak them again in tepid water for three to four hours—they will expand quickly—and plant them. Germination will occur in the following two or three days.

Hybrid Double-Bloom Hibiscus (Hibiscus palustris L.)

Offers large crimson-red flowers (15 to 20 cm in diameter) from July to September. Its caducous leaves are a strong green and tomentose (downy) on their underside. Water very frequently a plant placed in the sun, in well-drained, cool soil. If your plant is outdoors, provide it with mulch in the winter, which will allow the plant to sustain temperatures below -8°C.

32 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

Nothing beats Hygrozyme quality and results.

By the way Hygrozyme is compatible for use with H2O2 , all fertilization programs, nutrients and rooting compounds.

6. WHY INTRODUCE UNKNOWN BACTERIA INTO YOUR BALANCED GROWING ENVIRONMENT? Hygrozyme is bacteria free – no surprises in the bottle. Unlimited shelf life. The formula is consistent and 100% effective guaranteed. You get your moneys worth – every penny.

5. YOU ONLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR… The bad taste of a terrible product lingers long after a “sweet price”on poor quality.

4. LIKE TO USE H2O2? Not with formulas containing bacteria – it could render them “inactive”.

3. WHY PAY ANY MONEY FOR INCONSISTENT PRODUCT WITH NO STANDARDS? If you see “sludge in the bottle” it is a good indication it’s unrefined and possibly hazardous to your crop.

2. UNKNOWN BACTERIUM: Have you ever seen a crop die and don’t know why? What if an enzyme formula contains unknown bacteria – it may be the bad kind? Why pay good money for that?

1. IF ENZYME FORMULAS CONTAIN BACTERIA: THIS MEANS THEY HAVE A LIMITED SHELF LIFE. Because the bacteria are live the formulas are already “dying”. The result; it may be only be working at 1% efficiency but never at a 100%. Why pay for something that only works partially?

“Not all formulas are created equal”

Enzymes – what is the difference?


Sipco Industries Ltd.

Product sold outside Canada as HYGROZYME™

Product sold in Canada as GROZYME™


Horticultural Enzymatic Formula

Our Secret Formula cannot be reverse engineered, so don’t be fooled, we may be imitated, but NEVER duplicated.

“Revolutionary Hygrozyme may well be the greatest breakthrough in horticulture in the last decade.”


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Plants don’t lie.™

went 89 Dr. John his PhD in 19the biggest seedto it in r iving After rece family business, making250 million seedlings pe ity . s to work in hir in Australia. At approx one of the highest qual be lie ling supp nsidered by some to year, it is co the world. consults nce, Dr. John l seedlings in owing experie vernment Agricultura gr of s ar ye Go With over 25 farmers and various al ci lutions to commer . has found so mpting departments te ns, Dr. John c observationg Australian farmers at ifi nt ie sc g Usin faci oduce. e problems to many of th quality, disease-free pr ns with his ide Australia organically ov pr to grow high to s or as av ed de uc en od w pr Dr. John no n seedlings. Seedlings ow great produce withe ily can gr found in much of th m fa uniquely grow ur yo at als so th as possible of harmful toxic chemicpermarkets today. straout the use oduce we find in the su estigious Augienpr d pient of a pr hy importe was the recidevelopment of a new . hn Jo . Dr r his In 2004 tables ark Award fo fruit & Vege numerlian Design Mpackaging system for ent guest on qu fre a as ically sealed TV on en se s. be m n Dr. John ca tional gardening progra na ous local &

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lla Dr. John Ve r (Hons) lies Pty Ltd Ag lings & Supp PHDAgrBSc Speedy Seed on ad Leppingt Ro y le 35 Ri PO Box 167, W 2179 NS Leppington

8 Days with 2ml /4 litre Hygrozyme

8 Days Without Hygrozyme:

2ml / litre usage

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SEE FOR YOURSELF 7 Days Without Hygrozyme:


regular ozyme on a er using Hygr st veral clients oduction, results in fa our se ve ha w no from ce Pr you know we for Hydroponic Lettu observations coming disease note to let e Just a quick yme (H/Z). When used ed shelf life. These ar ops experiencing root plication cr oz ov ap r gr pr d fo Hy e im ue ntin ditiv basis. rtedly is a great ad t of the disease, and co -occurrence of the s with repo re Hygrozyme growth rate en example evented the rther more, e developm growers. Fu Z seems to arrest th sease problems and pr Two most memorable . H/ problems – s recover from root di thin the same system wi op ce has seen cr unger crops growing oponic lettu yo owing hydr d disease on th H/Z include: has been gr s suddenly wilting an ng o wi s wh , es er cc op grow of su cludi onic lettuce problems, found his cr various products in nced hydrop no options. tried 1: An experie ars and generally has seases. After having er was running out of ers di lit ye ow ot 00 15 gr ', this about 40 d other ro for over ed products ts. An pythium an l tanks with dying from xide and some 'unnam e grower has severa out 15,000 lettuce plan l per day Th ro chlorine, pe e use of Hygrozyme. ch tank supporting ab e further dose of 200m ped the th ea tank, and th azing. It stop t solution, I suggested ting nutrien H/Z was added to the ygrozyme is really am here. I've never seen la lcu ca re of 'H yw y s of er sa er ev lit to t 4 ck ou of customers called my ba are new roots coming you. If you have any n discuss initial dose r e The grower ca was added. the lettuces, and ther ppily recommend it fo to give me a call so I th problem wi rk so well, and I will ha uct, you can ask them od w a product woy doubts about this pr ap – some ho d od product!" some miss-h s ha who have an ower. It really is a go experienced 'gone down', the root we gr er to ow er gr ow ce gr d d it e, an gs ha ic lettu er called m ng about l hydropon days) lettuce seedlin erned grow commercia 2. Another his recently planted (4 oking grim. This conc trient solution, (servici sults were re lo nu on e re s of th ot s we liter ings Again, the ro own and th yme to 4000 l Hygrozyme per day. plication of H/Z, and all turned br ply 4 liters of Hygroz 0m r ap te 20 l af na ys rly stages, tio da ap ea di o decided to d by an ad developed within tw ely failed in the very ts), followe Hygrozyme 15,000 plan New white roots had have almost complet to call his own. "The g. to d er was prou crop its very cheap!". very pleasin which had appeared op the grow op a lettuce cr d and grown into a cr but when it saves your an organic re y, ve ice yme, being removed co pr t re a bi had s is Hygroz d f. It may be ccess storie otecting the crop, an l remedies su e es is good stuf th pr ica with int to note and effective means of ere alternative chem po nt rta po wh A very im f as a safe l residues esents itsel th chemica product, pr oblems associated wi ntinuity of pr ntaining co ralia is the risk of idered. st lts with mai d great resu ttuce production in Au as 0 to -2 deha may be cons ve ha s as low grower onic le mperatures in growth rates, and onic lettuce months. Most hydrop te op to dr d hy se r er se Othe e expo ugh the wint lt, crops ar g to a dramatic decrea1000 liters of nutrient supply thro tdoors and as a resu 1 liter per t interval areas, leadin ou performed , even cooler in some ozyme, when used at s shortened the harves droponigr us hy ha grees Celsi oduction. Hy nificant boost, and tained with pr ob r en we be lo ly sig so lts have al subsequent given winter crops a Similar resu s solution, ha period by two weeks. ower. er nt rawberry gr re with wi e th in droponic st bok choi. lt with a hy ozyme at 1.5ml per lit ants. The su re t cally grown ea gr observed a ants treated with Hygr red with untreated pl ermore, ly, we have pl rth mpa More recent lly grown strawberry lopment co and larger fruit – but fu shelf-life r root deve ica d es on op dr Hy t to taste an owed superio rger with larger leav ec sh sp n re tio th lu ts were la nutrient so r quality wi treated plan tly of bette Hygrozyme it were also significan . ated with s/runners tresaleable 2 the larger frured to untreated plants erry cutting re y, the strawb more rapidly, and we er when compa rs nu n our ow s much observed, in veloped root We have also tely after planting, de rmula ia grozyme fo H/Z immed untreated plants. using the Hy s, and also re l to plants in sease-shielding benefit ia fic weeks befo ne be ething very tter shelf-life and di be viously som t. There is ob creased growth rates, the next ganic produc d to you in greendelivering in d bonus of being an or le to forwar on de should be ab th Hygrozyme trails we has the ad at th ta ied out wi ientific da results carr ve some sc Boris, we ha en we should also have mbers. cu th cu d an s oe month. By at icums, tom house caps


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The Life Phases

of Flowering Ornamentals

By Didier Pol,

tenured professor, life and earth sciences, Montrouge, France


Aside from vegetative multiplication, the life phases of flowering ornamentals are germination, vegetative development (roots, stems and leaves) and growth, followed by flowering, pollination and fructification. Like animals, plants grow old and die. According to their lifespan, we characterize plants as being annuals (one-year lifecycle), biennial (two-year lifecycle) or perennial (lifecycle of over two years). Annual, Biennial and Perennial Plants For annual plants, the life cycle (from the seed that gave birth to the plant up to the production of new seeds) is spread out over a single year. Once its seeds are dispersed, the plant dies. In such a case, seeds allow the passage of the harsh season. During winter, the life of seeds slows down. They germinate when favourable conditions return, particularly a sufficient temperature. Some seeds, however, such as those of the apple tree (apple seeds) must endure winter frost to acquire the capacity to germinate when favourable conditions return. Treating them with cold is possible, and will make them germinate artificially. What’s more, for some plants such as some

wheat varieties, it’s flowering that’s only possible if the seed has been exposed to the cold.Among biannual plants, there’s no flowering the first year. The plant accumulates reserves in a specialized organ, such as a bulb or a tuber. During the winter, this organ remains alive but dormant—it becomes active again only when favourable conditions return The organ’s buds then develop, using the reserves accumulated over the previous year until the vegetative system is sufficiently developed for photosynthesis to make it independent. The reproductive system—the flowers— then develops, and sexual reproduction can occur, leading to the formation of seeds that will spend winter in a dormant state like those of annual plants. Like annual plants as well, once the seeds

The dandelion is an annual plant whose seeds are spread by the wind

are spread, the plant dies. Among perennial plants, seeds are produced each year and the plant spends winter in a slowed-down state. Herbaceous plants (small plants with no woody matter) spend winter essentially under the guise of subterranean perennial reserve organs (tuber root, rhizome, bulb, tuber), sometimes bearing a few leaves. Trees are flowering ornamentals that can reach very large dimensions because of their woody support. They also spend the winter in dormancy, and the development of buds in the spring is ensured by reserves held in their conductive vessels. Some trees, essentially conifers, keep their foliage over the winter and are called evergreens. The others, which lose their leaves in the fall, are called deciduous. Note however that even with evergreens we can observe a permanent renewal of leaves. Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 37


Germination Germination is only possible with a ripe seed, one that has finished accumulating reserves and has reached an advanced state of dehydration. And, as seen above, some seeds cannot germinate if they haven’t first been exposed to cold. The phenomenon is called dormancy, and means that even in the presence of perfect conditions of temperature and humidity, the dormant seed that has not endured winter’s cold will be unable to germinate. This trait is limited to a few species and prevents the seed from germinating prematurely. Because of their advanced dehydration, seeds can stay alive as long as conditions allowing for germination are not found. Some seeds can remain dormant for several years. Seed germination depends on external and internal factors, and manifests itself notably through morphological modifications, visible to the naked eye, and by cellular modifications that can only be observed with a microscope. Several steps succeed one another during germination. The first condition for germination is rehydration of the seed. Its cells leave dormancy and become active again, as biochemical reactions cannot occur without water. By absorbing moisture, the seed rehydrates, the external manifestations of which are that it swells and softens. Seed swelling is not a biological phenomenon: it occurs in the same way for previously killed seeds as for live seeds, and leads to the rupture of the seedcoat.

action of moulds or the seed’s passage through an animal’s digestive tube. Without water, germination is only possible if the temperature is comprised within two limit values, different for every species. Dormant seeds don’t require oxygen and can keep their germination ability even when stored in a nitrogen atmosphere. Germinating seeds are not the same: they have an absolute need for oxygen. This need intensifies as germination progresses, and a seed that’s been buried too deep will have trouble germinating. Finally, except for some particular cases, light is not an indispensable condition for the onset of germination—but once it has begun, light is essential for the normal development of chlorophyll organs, such as leaves. Without light, germination leads to a chlorophyll-less plantlet, a phenomenon called etiolation.

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By counting the rings, it’s possible to determine the tree’s age.

Flowering Flowering corresponds to the development of flower buds, specific buds that give birth to flowers. Since flowers are reproductive organs, flowering marks the onset of a new sexual-reproduction cycle.

Three flowering steps: the iris

Soya germination (Vigna radiata)

Growth With certain seeds, however, waterproof seedcoats prevent the penetration of water and must be destroyed for the seed to rehydrate. This destruction can be caused by various phenomenons, such as the

New leaf-bearing branchlets stem from buds. The growth of tree-trunk thickness is also discontinuous. A new layer of wood is produced each year, adding itself to that produced the previous year. When we observe a tree-trunk cross cut, we can see concentric circles corresponding to the layers of wood added each year.

Germination then triggers the growth of the radicle, which pierces the seedcoat and begins to extend in the soil. It will give birth to roots. The tigellum grows and forms the stem, while the plumule forms the first leaves.

The development of the plantlet and the onset of growth are made possible through the use of the nutritive reserves contained in the seed before photosynthesis takes over to insure the plant’s supply. When all seed reserves have been consumed, we consider germination to be over.

Germination of lentil seeds on humid cotton

each year by the opening of the buds that were formed during the favourable season and have spent winter in dormancy.

As opposed to most animals, plants present an indefinite growth, meaning they keep on growing throughout their life span. In our climates, the growth of perennial plants that live for several years (such as trees) is discontinuous. The birth of new leaf-bearing branchlets is ensured

Flowering can only occur once the plant has reached sexual maturity. For annual and biannual plants, once seeds are dispersed, the plant dies. Under our climates, flowering is synchronized with seasons: each plant forms its flowers at a precise time of the year, specific to each plant and most often determined by climactic conditions (temperature, light and precipitations). Among perennial plants, flowering can occur once or several times over a plant’s lifetime. Agaves produce flowers only once in their life, after several years, and then die. Most trees flower several times.

Plants in the Classroom Investigating and experimenting with plant biology is relatively easy, especially regarding germination. It’s possible to research experimentally the various factors that intervene in germination—such as humidity, substrates, lighting, and temperature—by modifying a single factor in each experiment. Obtaining trees from


seeds is more delicate. Apple and orange seeds don’t germinate easily, and among other things require a prior cold treatment to acquire their aptitude to germinate. Conifer seeds are easier to germinate, and the plants grow rather quickly, but their maintenance is arduous.The oak’s acorn and the horse chestnut germinate easily, and plant growth is rapid. Bulbs (such as those of onions, hyacinths and garlic) are also rather easy to germinate. You only need to put them on top of a container filled with water, in such a way as to leave the bulb’s lower part, the one bearing adventitious roots, dipped in water.

Different types of flowers

Oak acorn

Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 39


Plant Physiology:

the Stem By S. Ste-Anne, biology teacher

Ensuring the plant’s proper development, roots, stems and leaves are called “vegetative organs.” The plant’s other organs are dubbed “reproductive” (flowers, fruit containing seeds). The main function of vegetative organs is to feed the plant. The stem has two primary functions: it supports the leaves, flowers and fruit, and brings sap from the roots to the extremities.

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Stem Characteristics Arrangement of leaves on stem and buds

Leaves are not spaced haphazardly on the stem: they occupy a definite and symmetrical position. The space where the leaf attaches to the stem is a node, and the space between two nodes is called an internode. Sometimes, a node gives birth to a single leaf, and sometimes to two.

Buds: The main stem ends with a bud that protects its summit. This terminal bud is formed by a large number of young leaves packed one against the other. Other buds, called lateral buds, are found at the axil of leaves. The development of each bud will become a branchlet that will in turn bear leaves. Foliar buds are formed in the fall, once leaves have fallen. They reach the apex of their development in the spring. Over the winter, buds are protected by waterproof scales that prevent their drying up and damage due to cold in an excessive climate, such as those of regions that are most exposed to winter’s harsh conditions. A bud can contain only leaves, or leaves and flowers, which is the case of the terminal bud. To better understand the difference, you can cut the bud in half using a blade and examine the disposition of leaves—you’ll then know how to distinguish leaf-bearing buds and flower-bearing buds. After this exercise, it’ll be obvious to you what type of bud you’re dealing with, simply by noting the external differences.

Different Types of Stems Like roots, stems are divided into two groups depending on the environment where they grow: there are aerial and subterranean stems. Aerial stems: Plants generally draw their stem towards the sky. An erect stem can be called a trunk, a stipe or a culm. These stems are found on plants that hold themselves and raise in the air. When they’re too weak to hold themselves, stems crawl on the ground (ground-ivy). Other plants raise themselves using a support: those are climbing plants. The climbing bittersweet (or staff tree), for example, is a woody climbing plant, whereas the field bindweed is a herbaceous climbing plant. Subterranean stems: Some herbaceous plants have an underground stem. It can be elongated and horizontal (it’s a rhizome) or short and vertical (in which case it’s a bulb, a tuber or a corm). Rhizome: The rhizome is a stem that runs underground like roots, but it bears scales made up of very little-developed leaves. Sometimes, aerial leaves appear directly on the rhizome (iris, European wild ginger). Solomon’s seal bears leaves that are reduced to scales, and aerial branchlets that produce normal leaves. All rhizomes, like aerial stems, are marked with nodes and internodes. Bulb: The bulb is a subterranean stem, very short and bulbous. It can be covered with thick scales (lily) or with leaves that looks like scales (hyacinth). Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 41

BOTANY | THE INDOOR GARDENER Tuber: A tuber is a non-persistent subterranean stem. It bears buds under the guise of eyes. This characteristic can be observed on potatoes and dahlias, and suffices to distinguish tubers from tuberous roots. Each eye can give birth to a new plant. That’s how in the spring we can multiply our dahlias without fear by separating the dried tubers stored over the winter following the presence of visible eyes on tubers: one eye= one new plant! Corm: The corm is an intermediary between the bulb and the tuber. It forms a round, scale-less solid stem. It can be naked (lords and ladies) or covered with two or three leaves (sword lily, calypso). Rhizomes, bulbs, tubers, and corms are organs that store reserves for the aerial parts that develop in the spring. These stems can easily be dug up in the fall and stored in a cool dry place over the winter. In the spring, they’ll give you new plants.

Stem duration Most herbaceous plants are annuals: they die each year after producing seeds and having gone through a complete plant-life cycle (sun spurge). Other plants are biannual. Their first year, biannual plants develop a rosette of leaves that die in the fall (hollyhock). The root’s food reserves suffice for hibernation. In the spring of the second year, these plants grow a stem that flowers and bears fruit. The plant dies after ensuring its reproduction through seeds. The round-leaved mallow, the common marrow as well as root vegetables (carrots) are biannual plants. A perennial plant lives for several years (peony). Shrubs and trees, which all have a woody stem, are perennials. A vast number of herbaceous plants are also perennial. Their stem is generally subterranean, at least partially, and their aerial part disappears each fall (asparagus, rhubarb, iris, goldenrod).

Stem modifications

Stems size and consistency Regarding size and consistency, stems are herbaceous or woody (shrubby and arborescent). There are also stem-less plants, called acaulescent. Herbaceous: Even though their tissues are soft, herbaceous stems contain a few woody vessels, required for sap circulation. They are generally small but can, in some cases, grow larger than some shrubs. The cow-parsnip, for example, grows much higher than blueberry and sourtopblueberry plants. Woody: Woody stems increase in height each year, up to a limit that’s specific to their species. Shrubby and arborescent: Plants that reach less than three metres in height are said to be shrubby (like the elderberry). Taller ones are called arborescent (such as the elm). Acaulescent: Some plants have no stem. They’re called acaulescent, like plantains.

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All young stems are green. Herbaceous stems remain green for their entire lifespan. The same goes for stems whose leaves have been reduced to scales, spines or hair. The latter are generally flat in order to present a larger surface to the sun. That’s the case of cacti and epiphyllous plants. These stems are often reservoirs where water accumulates for times of drought. Needles are a specialization of stems and leaves. Needle-stems grow at the axil of leaves (hawthorn). They’re simple or ramose, and can be quite long. Needle-leaves replace leaves, as is the case for cacti. What we call “thorns” on rosebushes and raspberries are at epidemic productions totally different from true thorns. They’re actually “prickles.” Is it quite accurate to say “every rose has its thorn”? Like needles, tendrils are a specialization of stems and leaves. In all cases, they’re organs that help the plants to climb. A tendrilstem is produced at the axil of a leaf (beans, cucumber, vine). A tendril-leaf replaces the leaf and grows on various points of the stem. Tendrils show remarkable sensitivity. As soon as they touch a support, they bend at the point of contact and wrap around the object. This phenomenon occurs quite quickly: a bean tendril can make a full circle in two hours! Next up in our “Plant Physiology” series: leaves.

The Trees of Life Part One: Family Tree By Sylvie Laberge If you can read these lines today, it’s because a tree grew first. Of course, in 2009, a large part of the paper used for printing comes from recycled matter. A tree was still required to get there. And what is a tree? The definition can be vast and diverse. It all depends on the author’s point of view. Most agree that a tree is a plant organism... But there follows a litany of terms that can be added or removed on a whim. The first of these terms, and certainly the most controversial, is “ligneous.” It seems obvious... but not if we consider palm trees to be trees! They have no ligneous tissue. Their “trunk” is the result of an accumulation of dead leaves’ petioles. Yet large palm trees undeniably show all characteristics of a tree. What should we deduce from it? Now, if we agree that lignin is indispensible to the definition of a tree, we’re forced to eliminate palm trees, and to include the tiny willows and birches of northern countries. For many taxonomists, height is an important classification factor. Trees should be at least of a certain height to be known as such. Our small willows and birches rarely reach above one metre. Yet they are living beings with lignin and live for centuries. Ah, yes: longevity! It’s another point of dissension. Some conifers live for several millennia. Oaks and maples usually live for several centuries. If we integrate longevity into the definition of a tree, adding it to the presence of lignin and height, shouldn’t we eliminate from the list wild cherry trees, which only live for two decades? And should we include rhododendrons, which have lignin, can live for several decades and often reach several metres in height? There are other hurdles: weeping willows and Manitoba maples generally have more than one trunk. These plants reach many metres in height, have the infamous lignin and a long life... But

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they do have several trunks. And that doesn’t fit into the strict definition of a tree many are putting forward. Obviously, the debate rages on. Now if we consider all possibilities, we can claim that the planet is covered with trees, extreme-desert zones excluded. In Quebec, trees can be found up to a latitude of 65°, in shrub-toundra. In Canada, they reach the 70th degree. In the southern hemisphere, they stop at Cape Horn (Chile), at 60°. The appearance of the first ligneous plants occurred approximately 400 million years ago. Trees have adapted to all conditions and climates. At sea level, savannahs abound in species whose specialty is survival to an alternation of dry and humid seasons. In Madagascar is found the baobab or monkey-bread tree. In its trunk, it accumulates water reserves sufficient to avoid the stress of several months’ worth of dry weather. At the other extreme, at an altitude of 5,300 metres, grows Polylepis tarapacana, a rosacea that is the tree growing at the highest point on Earth. For most of its life, this small Bolivian plant endures extreme climactic conditions. Its incredibly slow growth makes its wood very dense, and it thus offers an excellent resistance to the elements. In Canada, the boreal forest occupies 35 to 60% of the territory (depending on the definition used by the author, i.e. on whether the author includes the northern shrub-tundra and a part of the southern mixed-hardwood forests). The land hosts approximately 180 species of native trees, from the West’s great pines to the humble Juneberry. Many sciences study the forest. One of the most important is silviculture, or forestry, created in Europe in 1669. Dendrology was more recently created and studies growth rings in trunks. This science has allowed researchers to reconstruct past climates in some parts of the world where very old trees have been found.


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Sunleaves Guanos Move Into Bigger “House”

Thanks to dendrology, in January 2005 in the American SouthWest, researchers uncovered evidence of a marked cycle of drastic draughts in the Colorado River basin. The most-recent estimates show the region is on the cusp of a new arid period, and that the millions of people who depend on the Colorado River will have to make difficult choices in the upcoming years. More recently, in 2009 in Cambodia, the same science allowed researchers to show, if that’s ultimately possible, that the abandonment of the largest pre-industrial city on Earth was caused by an extreme climactic event. Reading growth rings on 1,000-year-old conifers, researchers showed that between the years 1400 and 1500, an extraordinary and prolonged draught forced the population of Angkor to flee. The serious study of trees began around 1824 in Europe with the opening of a Tree School. Before this date, knowledge regarding trees was embryonic. Only then did scientists seriously turn to the fundamental questions of tree ecology. In 1845, the chlorophyll function is finally discovered. Then came answers to questions regarding sap circulation, respiration and depollution. The following 125 years were rich with discoveries. The symbolism of trees dominated most centuries since the appearance of contemporary humans. All civilizations and religions put trees on a pedestal, making them the Earth-bound representative of their respective gods. Since the dawn of time, poets had a ringside seat among the inveterate tree admirers. With his “Aux arbres”, Victor Hugo composed one the nicest serenades ever to grace trees. Painters from the 17th century paved the way for the emancipation of tree representations. No longer a simple symbol, trees are to become “individuals.” The 19th century was the golden age of such art, where trees dominated canvasses and became the star, and no longer a simple support for a more “serious” theme. In the mid-1800s, the Catholic Church rejected

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Lumatek 1000-watt Dual Voltage Digital Ballast Now Available

Upgrade to a new 1000-watt Lumatek Digital Ballast and you’ll see the benefits instantly! From their increased efficiency to their increased lumen output, digital ballasts truly are the next big leap in indoor gardening technology. Compared to traditional magnetic ballasts, Lumatek Digital Ballasts lose less power from outlet to lamp, provide light at a far more stable level, start up faster (full light in under one minute!), and reduce the noise your system generates by running silently. These incredibly low-weight ballasts also produce less heat, short-circuits trigger a power cutoff as a safety measure, and a dimmer knob adjusts the output level from as low as 50% all the way up to the Super Lumens setting of 110%! As if all that weren’t enough, this Dual Voltage unit allows you to power with 120V or 240V with one ballast! Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 45

exploiters and simple citizens. The countless reasons to protect forests must often be put forth. The most important of all, perhaps the only one to remain essential in our climactic-change era, is one we’ve taken for granted for a while already: forests support life on Earth. All chlorophyllous plants participate in this. Yet without trees, keeping on would be much more difficult. In experimental forests, researchers discovered that healthy trees could absorb 4 tons of CO2 per hectare (1 hectare = 10,000 m 2). It was believed up until recently that only young forests could take pride in such a result. It’s true that the faster the tree grows, the more gas it can absorb. Young trees usually experience accelerated growth during their first few years of life. Yet, according to these scientists, old forests are just as performing. Many experts are not yet convinced.

the symbol of the tree as representing its God. Soon, admiring, painting trees or writing poetry about them became viewed as bad taste. In many European villages, the patriarchal tree on the central place, around which villagers would reunite under all circumstances was cut down on clergy’s orders. The symbol it represented, which pleased religious men for centuries, would become unacceptable. From then on, the Church tolerated no dissidence. This central-tree tradition is coming back in strength in this technological millennia. In Quebec in 2008, in front of several stakeholders and dignitaries, an oak was planted on the campus of Université Laval, at the heart of its forestry department. In France, the last old copper beech from Marie-Antoinette’s domain was brought down by a violent storm at the end of January 2009. The symbolism of trees was quite pronounced over there. Planted in 1786, the tree had been made fragile by another important storm in 1999. This unfortunate end for a two-hundred year-old tree made some headlines, a sign

46 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

that these monster plants still carry a particular meaning for nature lovers. Beyond philosophical considerations, the tree was exploited much earlier than we tend to believe. As early as during the Antiquity, Plato denounced the destruction of trees in his writings. European lords took part in the disappearance of millions of forested hectares. Needs for naval and civil constructions were immense, and it was only much later that anyone started worrying about the consequences of such practices. Then came the “exaggerated” protection of forests, which became the exclusive property of monarchs, notably for hunting. Subjects and peasants no longer has any right over the resource. Later, to satisfy their vast need for lumber, Europeans organized a nonsensical pillaging of newly discovered forests, those of North America. The first murmurs of dissent were then heard. Since then, trees and forests have been the object of ceaseless debates between

So in what state are forests in 2009? It’s hard to say. On one hand, tropical forests are undeniably losing ground in several regions. Slash and burn cultivation, in which farmers set fire to forested lots to transform them into farmland, are so numerous and intense they can be seen from space. Today, not only are residents acting thus—but strangers are doing it too. Speculation on farmland in third-world countries has been qualified by some as crimes against humanity. Millions of hectares are purchased by richer states, which send their workers, seeds, nutrients, technology, and bring back the fruits of their labour. Forests are easiest to purchase and once the trees are gone, farming is only done for a few years. What’s left for the host country? Often, only pollution and deforestation. It’s a net loss for the community, but also for the planet. The FAO estimated that the rhythm of deforestation had diminished between 2000 and 2005. At 7.1 million hectares lost, it represents a decrease of 1.7 million hectares as compared to the previous research period, from 1990 to 2000. The IPCC offers different numbers that follow the same trend: for the 2000-2005 period, the groups claims the preserved areas were of 200,000 hectares, bringing the total of destroyed hectares from 13.1 to 12.9 million. No matter the figures, living beings suffer from massive deforestation. Humans, monkeys, cockroaches, caribou are all in the same boat and facing the same threat. It’s an issue to keep on following.

Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 47

Orchid Cactus or X Epicactus

By Daniel Fortin, horticulturist, Centre de la nature de Laval, Québec

Once identified by the genus Epiphyllum, the most popular cultivars of orchid cacti are now grouped in a new horticultural genus: X Epicactus. The presence of an X in front of the genus name indicates a hybrid stemming from two genuses or more, as orchid cacti have parents from the Epiphyllum, Echinopsis, Heliocereus, and Nopalxochia genuses. Because they come from multiple crossbreeding, it’s now difficult to identify the original genuses. 48 | Volume 5 – Issue 2


The numerous orchid-cacti hybrids now offered show flattened stems with a jagged edge and large brightly coloured flowers. With their stems first erect and then bending downward, these semi-epiphyte plants are most-often offered in hung baskets. Some gardeners, however, cultivate them leaning against a support in order to allow their long stems to grow high, creating a very different effect. In some cultivars, the areoles spread regularly along the stems bear fine silky spikes. The large cup-shaped (or funnel-shaped) flowers with multiple petals most often develop in the spring in wide range of colours, from pure white to yellow, pink, coral red, bright red or purplish pink.

Announces: 2009 Sponsors and Products Fresh on the heels of reaching $100,000 in total donations, Hydro for Hunger is pleased to announce the new participating vendors and products for the upcoming program year! Proceeds from the sale of the following items between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010 will benefit Hydro for Hunger and the global hunger-relief efforts of the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics (ISH):

Flowering lasts for several weeks and is often biferous. Some cultivars offer perfumed flowers that open at night (such is the case of Epiphyllum oxypetalum, nicknamed the “Queen of the night”), but most hybrids open their flowers in the morning. There are usually several open flowers on the same plant. When the plant isn’t flowering, it’s impossible to distinguish between cultivars. The ‘Ackermannii’ cultivar is a popular choice, with its long three-sided stems and crimson-red flowers.

• Sunleaves: 30 lb Indonesian Bat Guano, 25 lb Jamaican Bat Guano, 25 lb Peruvian Seabird Guano, and 9 lb Mexican Bat Guano;

The Epiphyllum genus, from which several orchid-cacti cultivars stem, doesn’t grow in desert environments, but rather at the summit of large tropical trees, among debris and rotting leaves, in a very well-drained substrate and a dim light. Cacti orchids have kept from this original environment a preference for soil that’s extremely rich in composted organic matter. You’ll make them happy by adding a substrate that improves drainage, such as coarse sand or perlite.

• Grodan: 1.5” A’Ok Starter Plugs;

Recommended Care

Orchid cacti require warm temperatures in the summer (19 to 34°C) and cooler temperatures over the winter, their rest period (7 to 10°C). In the spring and summer, high humidity favours flowering. Between March and October, water regularly and keep the substrate slightly humid. During flowering, water more abundantly. Bright but subdued light is advised. During the summer, X Epicactus can be put outdoors, in a slightly shady spot. In such conditions, new hybrids often keep on flowering. At the end of March and throughout April, new buds form indoors. Fertilize abundantly within a nutrient containing little nitrogen and lots of potassium (a tomato fertilizer, for example). In August, stop fertilizing for the fall and winter.


If the ‘Ackermannii’ cultivar is so popular, it’s because hobbyists have been multiplying it for many years. Multiplication is not difficult. In the spring, cut 15- to 20-cm long branchlets. Let them dry over two or three days. Then, place a few segments in a container filled with the already described potting soil. Water regularly. Rooting takes three to four weeks. You can then treat the plantlets like adults.

• Technaflora: Recipe for Success Starter Kits; • Hydrofarm: MegaGardens;

• FoxFarm: Soluble Tri-Paks; Hydroponic & Soil Formula Nutrient Trios; • EastSide-Impex: Homebox Portable Grow Rooms. Hydro for Hunger is an initiative created by hydroponic industry leaders in 2002 to assist the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics (ISH) in its fight against world hunger. The Hydro for Hunger program raises awareness about global food shortages and directs in-kind contributions and financial donations to the ISH. The Institute of Simplified Hydroponics is a 501-C (3) not-for-profit that helps communities in developing countries become self-sufficient by teaching small-scale hydroponic food-cultivation techniques. Please visit to find out more about Hydro for Hunger. For more on the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics, please visit

Contact us and showcase your store in the magazine There finally is a great magazine on hydroponics Contact our sales and marketing director,

William Fitzmaurice, at 1 450 628-5325 or by email at

Join us And grow with us! Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 49

The Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

By Daniel Fortin, horticulturist, Centre de la nature de Laval, Québec

The milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae) is known by numerous plant lovers who have seen the common milkweed growing in fields (Asclepias syriaca) or the butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) in perennial flower beds, but it’s little represented among indoor plants. The Stapelia, Stephanotis and Hoya genera, however, are sometimes offered. The latter is much liked for the Hoya carnosa species, nicknamed the “wax plant.” | 50 Volume 5 – Issue 2


The Hoya genus owes its name to Thomas Hoy, gardener of Britain’s Duke of Northumberland, and was introduced in Europe in the mid-19th century. The H. carnosa species, usually grown in a hanging basket, originates from the southern regions of China, India and Southeastern Asia. Other species, H. australis, H. bella (syn. H lanceolata), H. imperialis, and H. purpureo-fusca, originating from Southeastern Asia, Indonesia and northern Australia are also sometimes offered to select horticulturists. All these species bear waxy leaves whose flowers are firm and fleshy. The inflorescences, which are more-or-less spherical umbels depending on the species, develop at the leaves’ axil. Each umbel is comprised of 10 to 30 star-shaped flowers. Hoya carnosa, dubbed the wax plant, is probably the mostcultivated indoor species. It’s a vigorous climbing succulent plant that can reach 1.5 to 3 metres in height in its original habitat, but a lot less in a hanging basket. Its elliptical, fleshy and waxy leaves are dark green and measure six to 7.5 cm in length by 2.5 cm in width. The umbels are made up of 10 to 20 small star-shaped flowers that exude an enticing perfume at night. They’re generally white or a very pale pink with a red centre. Some cultivars have variegated leaves: H. carnosa ‘Variegata’ has leaves with creamy white borders, while ‘Exotica’ bears a limb with a central golden stain. This latter variety is rarely offered in stores. The ‘Krinkle Kurl’ cultivar bears strange folded or twisted leads on a more-compact plant. One of the reasons the wax plant (Hoya carnosa) is so popular as compared to other species, notably Hoya bella, is that the plant resists better to the dry atmosphere found in our homes and

apartments. It supports a minimal temperature of 10°C with parsimonious water input. Flowering is regular and abundant if the plant is cultivated in a very bright space. Cultivation: The wax plant requires a light that is bright or lightly dimmed, although it’ll survive very long under low light. In order to flower, it requires a bright light over several months. A room’s normal temperature (18 to 21°C) is ideal. Put the plant to rest around the winter solstice by placing it in a cool room (12 to 15°C) and watering very lightly. In March, fertilize the plant and increase the temperature to induce flowering. It requires abundant waterings when in growth, but make sure you allow the soil to dry lightly between waterings. This is a plant that enjoys being cramped in its container or basket, so repotting it annually is not necessary. Repotting it every three years is generally sufficient. Only cut off overgrown stems: don’t cut the plant too radically, as inflorescences appear on long stems. Remove inflorescences directly under the pedicel (small stem bearing flowers), leaving the floral peduncle, from which a new inflorescence will grow. In March or April, you can take cuttings of the stem, 8- to 10-cm long, and place them in a porous, well-drained mixture rich in perlite or sand. Under a bright dimmed light (and under a translucent-plastic envelope in the drier conditions of an apartment), cuttings will root in six to eight weeks. Three months after taking the cuttings, plant them in a container or a hanging basket.

Announces: Heavy Harvest: Our Best Seller! Heavy Harvest is the Rolls Royce of outdoor fertilizers. Specifically designed for outdoor plants, Heavy Harvest dissolves gradually over 30 days. Instead of offering a general formula dissolved over 90 days, Heavy Harvest gives your plants exactly what they want, when they need it. In the spring: lots of nitrogen for rapid, robust and vigorous growth (25-9-7); in the summer: a little bit of everything to finish growth and start flowering (17-17-17) and finally, in the fall: lots of phosphorus and potassium to maximize flowering and reap great harvests (13-14-16). The best fertilizer for outdoor plants! Order now. Toll-free: 1-866-969-7711. Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 51


Sylvania Hits Home

with a New Line of LED Decor Products for Eco-conscious

Mississauga, ON – As part of Sylvania’s commitment to sustainable-lighting technology, the North American lighting leader has introduced a line of LED products designed specifically for the home. LED, short for light-emitting diode, is an electronic light source that, unlike regular light bulbs, never needs replacing. With less energy consumption and a longer life, LEDs are perfect for today’s green lifestyle. “Sylvania’s new line of LED innovations are designed to take light beyond the socket,” says Luigi Leto, strategic-marketing manager, Osram Sylvania Ltd., “This exemplifies our commitment to redefining the industry and meeting consumer demand for new ideas and energy efficient solutions”. From enhancing room décor to health and wellness solutions and safety features in the home, Sylvania’s personal and portable lighting products showcase the versatility of LED in unique applications. Eric McClelland, cofounder of Fleur-deLis Interior Design and a regular guest expert on Citytv’s CityLine, had the opportunity to preview Sylvania’s new collection. “These products empower consumers to use their designer talent and have fun in their home without having to know all the tricks of the trade about specialized lighting,” he says. For entertaining, Sylvania is introducing a number of dazzling products that bring LED technology to the table setting. Sylvania LED Lighted Fabric Table Runner (MSRP $99.99), a 12” x 68” LED fibre-optic table runner that can last up to 10 hours on a single charge and adds an elegant lighting effect for your special dining occasions. McClelland: “We all plan parties. It will highlight your anniversary table, or the Christmas buffet table, or the bar in your cottage. Unlike so many party items that you use once and throw out, you will reuse the Table Runner again and again”. Sylvania LED Lighted Placemats (MSRP $24.99/two-pack), are 11” x 16.5” LED

52 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

fibre-optic placemats that come in black and burgundy for stylish “starry night” accents during special dinner parties. Sylvania LED Colour Changing Coasters (MSRP $19.99/four-pack) and Sylvania LED Bottle Toppers (MSRP $4.99) are stylish accessories, perfect for indoor and outdoor entertaining and are easy, quick ways to set a festive mood. McClelland: “These are perfect pieces of delight. They’re show-and-tell. Kids will love it. Even for adults, the LED Coasters add a bit of ‘wow’. Imagine five or six of them running down the centre of a table, glowing under the margarita glasses”. For the bathroom, there is a LED solution that is ideal for homes without lighting in the shower area. Sylvania ECOlight™ Water Powered LED Shower Light (MSRP $39.99) is a high-powered LED light perfect for indoor and outdoor

showers that does not require electricity or even batteries. When the water is turned on, the flow powers the device for added illumination and safety. An additional coloured-LED light ring indicates water temperature. The ECOlight Shower Light attaches to a standard showerhead in seconds for quick and easy installation. McClelland: “This is brilliant. Most bathtub/tub shower combos don’t have a light. Then you add the shower curtain—décor shower curtains are popular; no one has a clear shower curtain these days—and it’s really dark in there”. One of the key functions of lighting has always been safety. The motion-activated Sylvania Guideway™ LED Stair and Hallway Lighting Kit (MSRP $119.99) illuminates stairs or any length of hallway, providing visibility and safety guidance during the night or emergencies. The

The HOMEbox® Mini

Our Baby with Undreamt-of Potential It’s our large HOMEboxes’ little sister and it was originally designed as a “show box”. Despite its small size of only 30 x 30 x 60 cm, it matches its big sister with regards to finish and the materials used. It’s small enough to fit into any shop. This “show box” means retailers can display the high quality materials and design principles of our HOMEboxes even in the smallest of showrooms. Both the inner material of our white Classic series and the inner material of our Classic Silver series are used in the Minibox. And, of course, it uses the same poles and connectors as its big sisters. Originally designed as a “show box”? That’s right! Because although our baby has only been shown to our wholesale customers so far, and a model of it exhibited at CannaTrade 2009, demand from interested growers is high. This caught us totally by surprise. So... let’s see how far our baby will go! Contact: HOMEbox, Eastside Impex GmbH, Liselotte-Herrmann-Str. 31, 10407 Berlin – Germany, phone: +49 (0)30 260 793 33, fax: +49 (0)30 260 793 35 and


system is fully customizable with telescopic sections that extend up to 30 inches and snap together in minutes without the use of tools. Using AA batteries, the Guideway System requires no rewiring and so is perfect for easy retrofits in any setting. The strips adhere to any surface or stair type and are paintable, allowing users to complement any home, recreational or business environment.

what. With the Guideway LED, they won’t be flicking lights on and off or stumbling about at night”.

McClelland: “This will be a hit for older people, who often get up at night to go to the bathroom. They don’t want to turn on the lights and wake anyone up. And, with your Guideway LED running along the baseboard and turning corners in the hallway, they won’t have to”.

In CFL mode, the bulb provides as much warm, non-flickering light as a 100-watt incandescent, making it ideal for bedside reading. Pressing a button on the base of the bulb switches it to LED mode, with a muted night-light glow that uses only one-half watt of electricity.

Adds McClelland, “It will also be great for visitors who don’t know your house. Especially at the cottage, you don’t want to have to explain each time which light switch does

Sylvania LED products are currently available at Home Hardware or online at and will be available this fall in major retailers.

Sylvania also unveiled the Sylvania CFL/ LED Night Light (MSRP $9.99), a 23-watt CFL with an integrated super-efficient LED. This hybrid light bulb is the first to combine the two most-efficient lighting technologies available to consumers.

Sylvania Guideway™ LED Stair and Hallway Lighting Kit

Sylvania CFL/LED Night Light

New from Keep It Simple, Baby

Comfortably situated between full-scale hydroponic systems and entry-level soilless gardening kits, the Bare Bones Baby Bloomer is a surprisingly effective option that will satisfy the needs of serious indoor gardeners without intimidating those who are just getting their feet wet.

It’s comprised of basic, well-made hydroponics system components: a tray, a reservoir, and the appropriate fittings. This simplicity allows gardeners to make their setup as basic or complex as they’re comfortable doing, and its compact 31” x 14” x 12” total size allows them to grow with a bona fide hydroponic system that doesn’t take up a large amount of space.


CF Group Supports Hydro for Hunger

CF-Group, makers of Can-Filters®, Can-Fans® and other quality air-filtration products, made a contribution to Hydro for Hunger in June, helping to bring the grand total collected by the charity to over $108,000. Hydro for Hunger is an initiative created by hydroponic industry leaders in 2002 to assist the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics (ISH) in its fight against world hunger. The Hydro for Hunger program raises awareness about global food shortages and directs in-kind contributions and financial donations to the ISH. The Institute of Simplified Hydroponics is a 501-C (3) not-for-profit that helps communities in developing countries become self-sufficient by teaching small-scale hydroponic food-cultivation techniques. Thanks to CF-Group and its other generous sponsors, Hydro for Hunger is helping make a real difference in the lives of less-fortunate people around the world. Please visit to find out more about Hydro for Hunger. For more on the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics, please visit Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 53


Now available at Flexitank Flexitanks are food-grade water-storage tanks. They fold up into a small package for easy transport, then fill with up to 275 gallons of water.

• Will not rust, rot or corrode, and ships for significantly less than traditional tanks; • Made in the USA with 22-oz extruded coatedthermoplastic material, reinforced with polyester and nylon scrims; • RF (radio-frequency) welding in the fabrication process ensures fail-safe welds and a contaminate-free seal; • Excellent abrasion resistance along with great migrationblocking characteristics; • Grey colour reduces UV-light penetration; • Fill and drain fittings included.

Humboldt Nutrients

Ice Box Heat Exchanger from Hydro Innovations The Ice Box is a safe and effective way to water-cool the air leaving your reflectors without adding an air-conditioning unit or more fans. It uses an air-to-water heat exchanger to cool the hot air produced by your reflectors.

• The Ice Box is engineered for maximum efficiency; • It allows you to keep a sealed room, which keeps your CO2 in and pests and pathogens out; • Water approximately 10 degrees cooler than the room temperature will eliminate the bulb heat from a 1,000watt lamp; • Water approximately 20 degrees cooler than the room temperature will reduce or even eliminate the need for air conditioning; • Can be connected directly to the reflector or can be wall-mounted with optional wall-mount kit; • Recommendations: one Ice box per reflector.

Lumatek 1,000-W Dual E-Ballast (1,000 W, 120/240 V, HPS/MH Ballast – Dual Voltage) The Lumatek 1,000-W dual-voltage e-ballast powers both metal-halide and high-pressure sodium lamps. It will provide the power you need to grow hearty, healthy crops throughout the year.

Hydrofarm is proud to add Humboldt Nutrients to its line of distributed products. Humboldt Nutrients is committed to providing the best quality products for hydroponic and organic growers. Their extensive line of nutrients and additives are not imported, so they can provide incredible results at an affordable price. They employ leading experts in the fields of chemistry, mycology and agronomy to assist in the formulation of products. Humboldt Nutrients’ complete nutritional programs will increase the yield and quality of your favorite plants.

54 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

• • • • • • •

Up to 20% more lumens; faster growth, bigger harvests; Unique graduated-fin design for more efficient cooling; Completely pre-wired with popular BAREF lamp cord; 3-year full warranty and 2-year limited warranty; Internal resin coating protects components for long life; External breaker system protects against power surges; Completely silent.


Sunburst Convertible Ballast 250 W & 400 W

T5 Designer Light System

Hydrofarm’s new convertible Sunburst ballasts run HPS or MH bulbs. The Sunburst is a ballast and reflector in one unit. It will deliver more usable light energy for maximum plant performance and operate at cooler, quieter levels than any other compact system on the market.

Hydrofarm’s new Designer T5 System delivers performance, flexibility and high lumen output in any growing environment. These daisy-chainable systems allow you to choose multiple hanging configurations to meet your garden’s design. They combine German specular aluminum with energy-efficient/ high-output T5 bulbs and put out double the light energy of normal fluorescent systems.

• • • • •

25% brighter for faster growth; Quieter with ISO-mount technology; Air-cooling options; 5-year warranty on ballast’s electrical components; Includes instructions, hangers and lighting recommendations; • Lamp not included.

Thirsty Light The Thirsty Light is a digital plant-moisture sensor that blinks a LED to alert the user when it’s time to water a potted plant. It’s designed to be unobtrusive when left in the soil of a plant, where it continuously monitors conditions, testing the moisture level once per second.

• • • • • • • • •

Available in 2-and 4-foot units: • 2 foot: 2, 4, or 8 bulbs; • 4 foot: 4, 6, or 8 bulbs. German-made specular aluminum; May be daisy-chained together; Powder-coated, textured-steel housing; 5-year warranty; Low profile; Hangs 3 ways – overhead, vertical or horizontal; 10’ grounded power cord; Includes appropriate number of fluorescent 6,400°K, T5 tubes.

Xtrasun 8” Air-Cooled Reflector

Thirsty Light can sense five different levels of dryness, causing the light to blink faster as the soil gets dryer, increasing the urgency of its call to action. When it reaches the fifth level, “completely dry”, the device goes into standby mode to conserve electricity, emitting a double blink every three seconds. There is a low-battery mode as well: a slow triple blink. The Thirsty Light comes with a comprehensive and informative user and watering guide, and is backed by a 30-day manufacturer’s warranty.

Hydrofarm is excited to add an 8” model to its popular Xtrasun reflector line. The Xtrasun 8” Super Air Coolable Reflector has 8” flanges that offer maximum cooling options for indoor gardeners. This unit features reflective European aluminium, and a built-in socket and 15-ft cord set. It has a foam-sealed lens that will help keep your room cool. This lens is removable to make changing the bulb easy. These reflectors accept high-pressure sodium (400 W, 430 W, 600 W, 1000 W) and metal-halide (400 W, 1000 W) bulbs. Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 55


Now available at Prepara Indoor Gardening

Smart Pots

Have a garden at your fingertips, all year long! Show off your freshly grown Italian sweet basil or your newly sprouted curly dwarf parsley from the comfort of your kitchen, anytime, rain or shine. The Prepara line will empower you to try herbs, vegetables, flowers, and fruits. Experience the pleasure and satisfaction of growing your own plants!

The patented Smart Pot is for the gardener who wants a container that will grow the best possible plant. It’s a new and unique advancement in container technology that’s better than any other method of container gardening. It’s:

The Power Plant Deluxe comes complete with Power Plant Professional and Power Grow Lamp with bulb. The Power Plant Professional has a rotating growing surface that automatically dispenses nutrients to your seeds and plants. No overwatering, no forgetting, no worries, and no green thumb needed... just watch it grow! The Power Grow Lamp works with any plant and fully adjusts to stand over 22” tall. The “sunlight” spectrum bulb (included) helps plants grow up to 50% faster than using sunlight alone. Nothing makes your meals taste better than the freshest ingredients. The Prepara Herb Savour will prolong the life of your fresh herbs for up to three weeks so you can enjoy fresh, flavourful meals every time you cook. Herb stems sit slightly submerged in the water of the water-well, keeping them fresh.

• • • •

Better than standard black-plastic containers Better than ceramic (clay) containers Better than raised beds Better than decorative containers

The patented Smart Pot is a soft-sided fabric container that has the rigidity to hold its shape and can even support large trees. In fact, the Smart Pot was originally developed for and has been used by commercial tree growers for over twenty years. The Smart Pot is an aeration container. It has the unique ability to air-prune and enhance a plant’s root structure. A highly branched, fibrous root structure is the key to growing a better plant—with more flowers and fruits, and more resistance to insects and diseases. In any container garden, the container you use makes a difference. Find out what size of container to use,and how to grow your own tomatoes. Look over our website. E-mail us questions. Then try the Smart Pot for your smart garden! Your plants will thank you. Their root structures will thank you. Aeration is the key. Happy container gardening! Contact your Hydrofarm sales representative for more information. To find a Hydrofarm authorized retailer near you, visit


(about the Blumat article on page 14 in our last issue):

The verbiage correctly describes the operation of the TropfBlumat (not pictured) intended only for outdoor use.


Best regards,

As Rambridge Wholesale is the North American distributor for the Tropf-Blumat and Blumat Jr., I wanted to point out that the information provided in the article on page 14 of the July/August 2009 issue of The Indoor Gardener is misleading. The visual representations show the Blumat Jr., which is intended for use indoors with houseplants. The Blumat Jr. draws the moisture from the reservoir and disperses it through the ceramic cone.

56 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

– Peter Wiggins Rambridge Wholesale Supply ( Tel. : 403-230-5717

Link to the Blumat Jr. page: Link to the Tropf-Blumat page: and (Q&A)


SUPERThrive® Originator

Dr. John A.A. Thomson Recipient of Lifetime Environmental-Awareness Award By Dan Stevens

North Hollywood, CA – On June 26, 2009 Dr. John A.A. Thomson, Ph.D., D.A., 97, originator of SUPERThrive, received a surprise visit from America’s Natural Master Gardener, Nick Federoff, on behalf of Sustainable Environmental Education (SEE) which awarded him its highest recognition, the “Lifetime Environmental-Awareness Award”. “When I worked at Blue Hills Nursery in the 1970s, I learned about SUPERThrive, what it could do for plants and the man behind it. So I started using it myself growing cycads by seed and the results were amazing,” states Federoff. He continues: “Soon thereafter I began going to tradeshows and he always made time to talk with me. When meeting his lovely wife, June, I found out she was a fan of my radio show!” Dr. Thomson’s best-known environmental contributions are his worldwide-used product SUPERThrive and its outstanding effects: reforestation, increased volume, grade, and speed of crops, overcoming adverse growing conditions, providing mental- and physical-health help, eliminating interior toxicity, reviving trees and other plants, normalizing and perfecting plants, and improving gardening recreation (including satisfaction) for children, handicapped, and committed persons. He recalls early factors in his environment awareness. “My grandfather was an orchardist, and my parents supported the protection of wildlife and national parks advocated by President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir,” exclaims Dr. Thomson. His parents also provided him with vegetable and flower seeds when he was seven years old. He also credits school biology classes and possibly the earliestknown college class in ecology in 1931.

58 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

When Federoff learned of the award, he insisted on personally presenting the citation. In keeping as “green” as possible, SEE opted for a simple presentation at Dr. Thomson’s SUPERThrive Vitamin Institute facilities in North Hollywood. “Whenever I speak with Dr. Thomson, it’s an honour. To formally recognize someone who has been working for nearly a century for the good of the environment is humbling and will be etched in my mind and heart forever.” SUPERThrive can be found at nurseries, garden centers and retail outlets nationwide. For detailed information, visit

About SEE

Sustainable Environmental Education ( is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to unite and inspire higher performance through education, outreach, advocacy, and the mutual exchange of ideas to better one’s life. SEE innovatively broadens its wide-ranging environmental-education projects.

About Nick Federoff

Nick Federoff is the host of the awardwinning daily vignette, “Things Green

Dr. John A. A. Thomson accepting the Sustainable Environmental Education’s Lifetime EnvironmentalAwareness Award from America’s Natural Master Gardener, Nick Federoff.

Garden Minute,” and the weekend call-in two-hour program “Nick Federoff on Gardening” heard on radio stations throughout the country since 1988. He can be found online at

Pépinière Abbotsford Announces: Extremely Floriferous Abbotsford Rose Bush

This compact rose bush, 40-cm high and 60-cm wide, offers double 4-cm flowers from June to October. Starting out with pale pink flowers that then change to fuchsia, it keeps on changing its pink tones, finishing with dark lavender. This rose bush offers great resistance to fungal disease and insects. It requires no winter protection. It’s the ideal rose bush for plant groups, flowerbeds, hedges, road islands, balcony planters, and ground covers. It’s offered in all garden stores. To find a retailer near you, browse our website.


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

Classics from GH Floralicious®: Organic Based Supplement This product is made from a highly concentrated blend of bioactive microbial, plant, marine plants, and mineral extracts. Guided by the latest scientific findings, our unique fermentation process creates a potent blend of phytostimulants and biometabolic precursors that enables Floralicious to bring out your plants’ full genetic potential. Floralicious augments metabolic activity in the root zone, stimulates Krebs’ cycle metabolism, and facilitates mineral transport and bioconversion. In addition, Floralicious enhances polyamine synthesis and encourages the biosynthesis of complex secondary aromatic compounds. Floralicious contains a perfect balance of vitamins, phytohormones, humic acids, polysaccharides, fructans, beta-glucans, L-amino acids, and polyflavonoids. Floralicious leads to hydroponics with flavour and incredible yields! Floralicious Grow: It enhances metabolic activities and nutrient assimilation that results in more vigorous growth, and builds the foundation of root and leaf mass needed for superior harvests. Floralicious Bloom: It promotes maximum flower size and fruit swelling for heavier yields, offers phenomenal flavour and bouquet upon harvest and leads to more vibrant coloration and improved overall crop appearance. Floralicious Grow & Bloom are available in 1 quart, 1 gallon and 2.5 gallon.

KoolBloom®: Ripening Formula KoolBloom is a highly concentrated nutrient additive that promotes abundant flowering and helps facilitate ripening in annual flowers and herbs. KoolBloom is rich in phosphorus and potassium, plus our own secret ingredients. This blend enhances the production of essential oils and fragrances by mildly stressing plants during the formation of fruits and flowers. KoolBloom can be used as a nutrient additive during the second phase of reproductive growth, or as a stand-alone nutrient at the very end of a plant’s life cycle. KoolBloom will result in larger, heavier fruits and flowers. KoolBloom is available in 1.5 lb, 4 lb and 16 lb. • Encourages abundant flowering. • Facilitates ripening in annuals. • Boosts production of essential oils and fragrances. • Increases size and weight of fruits and flowers. • Precisely formulated to boost potency and • Enhance the performance of all types of nutrients.

Rare Earth®: Dry Premium-Blend Organic Minerals and Humates Rare Earth is derived from ancient seabed deposits of pyrophylitic clay that are blended with fulvate ore. By slowly releasing silicon, humates, and organic rare earth minerals, Rare Earth allows a crystal matrix to develop within growing plant tissue that protects the plant from heat stress and nutrient extremes by generating a protective silicon shield. This also reduces susceptibility to insect damage and disease by hardening the plant. Use Rare Earth by blending it with rooting media and either top-dressing around the plant stem or adding it directly to nutrient solutions. Rare Earth is available in 1.5 lb, 4 lb and 16 lb.

Maxi Series®: Dry Concentrated Nutrients MaxiGro® and MaxiBloom® are extremely potent, stand-alone, water-soluble, dry-concentrate nutrients. Complete in primary, secondary, and micro nutrients, pH-buffered MaxiGro and MaxiBloom will provide superior results when used with a wide variety of crops in both hydroponic and soil-based environments. MaxiGro: Use to encourage growth of seedlings and cuttings, and to stimulate rapid growth through the “vegetative” growth stage. MaxiBloom: Use for the reproductive stage in fast growing annuals. MaxiBloom encourages prolific flowering and fruiting, and increases yield and crop quality. Maxi Series nutrients are available in 1.5 lb, 4 lb and 16 lb. Contact: or 1-800-374-9376. Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 59


Presents: Rhino Skin: A New Fantastic Potassium Silicate Content (0-0-13)

The Magical Potion that Made a Tired Man Strong: Bud Factor X 0-0-1

The Latest in Bloom-Booster Efficiency: Kushie Kush 1-7-17

Rhino Skin is the replacement product for Barricade. Rhino Skin 0-0-13 has been improved by increasing the dissolution rate of the silicates previously found in Barricade. It has a fantastic potassiumsilicate content that strengthens plant’s cell walls so they’re sturdier.

Once upon a time, there lived a gardener who couldn’t keep up with his plants. He felt too tired to take care of them. His harvests were small. Then he met a wizard who showed him a special formula that increased his energy and muscle size. With his newfound strength, he met and married a most-beautiful woman, and he was able to tend his garden with renewed vigour. And lived happily ever after in hydroponics heaven. The name of this wizard? Bud Factor X.

Kushie Kush is the only bloom booster specifically designed and tested to give you more potency, value and weight from your favourite plants. All major sub-varieties of plants were tested so this formula contains exactly the ingredients your plants need to produce larger, more magnificent yields. Kushie Kush is the bloom booster plant lovers have been waiting for. Use it today. You’re guaranteed to see larger, more potent yields from your plants.

Its very good formula and choice of extensive additives increase the plant’s cell-wall size and helps plants deal with stress. What do we mean by stress? Well it’s pretty simple: if plants are overexposed to heat, experience draught or have to deal with a pest infestation, these various types of stress can affect their health. With stronger cell walls, the plant can survive such stressful scenarios. The guaranteed result is that your plants will handle stress, pests, heat, and other problems that would otherwise harm your plants and shrink your harvests. Use in the vegetative stage (mix 1 ml per litre during vegetative stage) and fruit/flowering stage (use 2 ml per litre during that stage), but cut out two to three weeks before harvest. Rhino Skin is part of Advanced Nutrients’ new line of nutrients in which pH does not need to be adjusted. It may consequently be used as a mild pH up. For more information on any product above, call 1-866-969-7711.

60 | Volume 5 – Issue 2

Bud Factor X is derived from K 2O and contains 1% soluble potash (K 2O) among other specific (and secret) ingredients. Bud Factor X is guaranteed to stimulate your plants so they produce more of what you need. As an added bonus, your plants get stronger. Bud Factor X is guaranteed to make you a happy gardener at harvest time. Directions: Use 2 ml per litre during weeks 1 through 6 of the flowering phase. The best stimulator for your plants: order now!

You’ll enjoy how effective and easy to use Kushie Kush is. Directions: Use 2 ml per litre during weeks one through six of the flowering phase. Environmental warranty: Information regarding the contents and levels of metals in this product is available on the Internet at Our products are offered in the finest stores.

Erratum In our last issue, Vol. 5, No 1 (July/August 2009), the first paragraph of Sylvie Laberge’s article (Medicinal Plants: Weapons of Mass Disruption), page 44, was illegible because of an overprint in green on green. Our apologies. Here’s the full paragraph: “Since the dawn of time, mankind has moved forward by trial and error. The wheel, agriculture, fire... Some are now questioning the moment at which humans gained control over fire—it apparently did not happen 400,000 years ago, as we believed up until recently, but rather 750,000 years ago. If this data is exact, a whole new series of questions should be asked. When did mankind “master” nature to the point where it was no longer subject to it, but able to exploit it?”


NEWS New Products BWGS is happy to announce that its vast selection of quality indoor-gardening products just grew again! For over 13 years, BWGS has provided indoor gardening retailers unmatched customer service and the best products the industry has to offer. Call BWGS (800-316-1306), BWGS West (888-316-1306) or BWGS East (800-316-1306) to find out how you can turn their experience into your success!

New Sunleaves Products Make Air Move and Plants Groove The Sunleaves family of products has expanded with the addition of the new 16” Sunleaves Wall-Mount Fan and new buckets of Sunleaves guanos! Stagnant air in the grow room can create a haven for disease and pest infestations, and the Sunleaves Wall-Mount Fan gets it moving without taking up valuable floor space! These three-speed fans can oscillate or maintain a fixed position and feature a five-year motor warranty to ensure dependable performance. Sunleaves’ popular line of guanos provides the perfect level of nutrients plants need for each stage of development. With these newly available 25-pound buckets of Sunleaves Peruvian Seabird Guano, 25-pound buckets of Sunleaves Jamaican Bat Guano, 9-lb buckets of Sunleaves Mexican Bat Guano, and 30-lb buckets of Sunleaves Indonesian Bat Guano, it’s more convenient than ever to achieve fast, sturdy growth with brighter blooms and bigger, tastier yields.

Secret Jardin Invites Gardeners to the Big Tent Party As impressive in quality as they are in size, Secret Jardin’s Intense grow tents are true portable grow rooms. Available in sizes that range from big to “Mammoth,” these incredible creations eliminate the hassle of finding a growing space that possesses both an ideal environment and plenty of room for a lot of plants. They’re not just big, though: they’re made with the same precision and care that Secret Jardin puts into all of its portable grow rooms. That means they all feature a lightproof, washable, 95% reflective

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Mylar interior lining that’s strong without being too thick, roll-up access doors secured with high quality zippers, and plenty of access ports for ventilation, exhaust, electrical plugs and more. Their sturdy aluminum framework is held together by dual-locking stainlesssteel joints, and it can support up to 150 pounds of equipment at the center of the tent. Growers that need even more space than the largest Intense offers can take advantage of their ability to easily and smoothly link to one another, even between different sizes. The possibilities for customization are truly endless!

Hydro-Logic’s EcoSpring Makes R.O. Fit Simplify reverse-osmosis water filtration with Hydro-Logic EcoSpring! This compact, efficient home system isn’t a less-effective version of Hydro-Logic’s larger systems: it’s a revolutionary, fully featured filtration powerhouse that removes 95% of all water contaminants while wasting 25% less water than other reverse-osmosis filters. It’s small enough to fit in a kitchen cabinet, and its innovative sealed four-stage filter cartridge eliminates confusing replacement schedules by requiring a single change once a year! That’s all in addition to the most important part: crystal clear, great-tasting water. EcoSpring supplies plenty of it, refilling quickly, and with its included faucet, it even pours faster, too!

TECHNAFLORA Announces: Rootech Cloning Gel is now Available in a New Economical Size Rootech Cloning Gel™, the gel that gardeners have come to rely on, is now available in 7 g (0.25 oz) size. Rootech’s new size is ideal for the grower who leans towards small crop production. This compact jar with a re-sealable cap will propagate between 70 and 100 cuttings. For years, Rootech has provided its customers with the performance they have come to depend on. Easy to apply and among the strongest gels on the market, with a concentration of 0.55% IBA, Rootech is ideal for the propagation of the most hard-to-root plants, and can also be diluted in water for use on cuttings that form roots more easily. To learn more about Rootech Cloning Gel, visit



John Carpenter’s

Halloween (1978) By Bruno Bredoux

In an impeccable cinemascope with flexible and impactful framing, John Carpenter turned this film into a condensed version of his years of training and movie watching as a teen, and a specific homage to the master, Howard Hawks. On the night of Halloween, lateral travelings at ground level sweep a peaceful American suburb, where we know that a teenager who had assassinated his younger sister a few years earlier has come back after escaping from the asylum where he was being treated. Rustles in the trees, children playing in the schoolyard, preparations of masks for the evening, recurring white car crisscrossing the streets, and later The Thing (film produced by Howard Hawks in 1955) on TV screens—everything converges to increase the tension we feel, including the haunting musical score composed by John Carpenter himself. The moviegoer’s pleasure resides in the setup of this device to increase anxiety— the killer only appears very late in the film, the first crimes occur off-camera until the paroxysmal finale, when Jamie Lee Curtis,

helped by the young man’s doctor, faces the killer who wears an inexpressive white mask, an emblematic and flamboyant image that’s often been copied since. The film sets itself apart from gore, a genre born a decade earlier in which blood flows and murders are explicitly detailed on screen. It rather uses suspense and a visceral discomfort, without voyeurism. John Carpenter’s Halloween gave rise to several psychopathic characters, reviving enthusiasms for films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, which then suffered three late, vulgar and dispensable sequels (Psycho II, II and IV). It was also followed at the same era by Jason from the Friday the 13th series (12 movies and a 13th being made) and Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street

(8 movies, and a 9th being filmed). Halloween was also followed by nine sequels: the 10th, directed by Rob Zombie (who also directed the 9th) and titled H2, to be released August 28, 2009. John Carpenter is one of those movie directors who led to a second golden age for American fantasy (1975 to 1982), in which movies attempts to show America’s daily life, and to capture on film society’s rejects and the underbelly of derelict megalopolis. Political denunciation of corruption and misery is expressed through a production with effects that can be heavy, but are rich in ideas, in which each shot is filled with creative profusion and leads to a genuine renewal of the genre. Filmmakers such as Gary A. Sherman (Dead & Buried, Vice Squad), Tobe Hopper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Joe Dante (Piranha, The Howling) make their best movies during that era and Abel Ferrara is revealed with The Driller Killer (1979) and Ms. 45 (1980). Boo: scare me again! Volume 5 – Issue 2 | 63

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Fall Scenery: Aerial View of Hydro-Québec’s Saint-Narcisse Powerstation Flying over Mauricie in the fall, from Grand-Mère to Saint-Narcisse along the 120-kV line built between 1990 and 1995 by HydroQuébec, one discovers this magnificent seasonal landscape, with its unequalled rust and gold colours. Integrated as harmoniously as possible into the landscape following numerous consultations with land owners and local organizations, the power line follows the best possible path to blend into nature. The natural space offers several hiking and horseback-riding paths.

The Indoor Gardener Magazine Sept/Oct 2009 - Vol.5-2  

The Indoor Gardener is a magazine about the world of hydroponics, focused on indoor cultivation of plants, flowers, vegetable and fruits. Of...

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