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Hydroponics Aeroponics Cloning Machines For Indoor Gardening

Hydroponics Aeroponics Cloning Machines For Indoor Gardening Hydroponics Aeroponics Cloning Machines For Indoor Gardening

Clone machines and automated aeroponics hydroponics cloning are a big hit in indoor gardens, and it’s easy to see why cloning machines are gaining in popularity.

When I first started as a hydroponics gardener 35 years ago, cloning was hardly heard of and it was a hit or miss affair.

And even when cloning became widely used in hydroponics gardens, it was still seen as a kind of mystery for many of us…and the mystery was how could we get the highest clone success rate so it was all worthwhile.

After all, handling the little sharp scalpel, wasting money on cloning gel and powder (once you open it and start using it, it gets contaminated and you have to pretty much throw away what you don’t use), and seeing maybe 3 out of every 5 clones survive- it just didn’t seem worth it sometimes.

As I got better at cloning I had a higher success rate, with 4 out of every 5 clones surviving into harvestable plants. But after I had the higher success rate, I wanted something more: faster rooting, faster establishing clones that would save me time because their more rapid development meant I could put them into 12-hour lighting sooner.

21St Century Aeroponics Hydroponics Cloning

I envy those of you who’ve started a hydroponics garden recently so you can take advantage of the impressive array of new hydroponics technology that’s made our lives easier. Cloning machines are a big part of that.

As long as you use the right cloning gel and other additives that feed, stimulate and protect your cuttings, a quality cloning machine can give you nearly 100% cloning success time after time.

All you do is take your cuttings, stick them in a neoprene collar that holds them in place, and then turn the unit on. The machine does the rest. It delivers a fine mist of oxygenated nutrients and water to your clones on a timed basis, ensuring that your cuttings get high doses of oxygen and food so they sprout roots faster.

Be sure to keep your cloning machine nutrient water at 75F, which is the optimum temperature for nutrient absorption and root growth stimulation.

And speaking of water, be sure to use reverse osmosis water or rainwater in your cloning machine. As you can imagine, the misters can get clogged up pretty easily, and you want to make sure also that there’s no hidden substances in your water (tap water is full of them) that harm your cuttings.

Cloning Machines: Not Enough Choices

You’ll notice that almost all the widely available clone machines are aeroponics units. This makes good sense because aeroponics delivers a maximum amount of nutrients, oxygen and moisture to the cut end of your cutting without encasing the cut end into soggy root zone media.

Cuttings like rooting in air because they don’t have to do as much work to sprout roots. Also, when they’re rooting in air and mist, there’s less chance that a root zone pathogen will rush in to rot the cutting’s end.

Some of the popular hydroponics cloning machines includes the Botanicare Clone Machine 64. I used to like it better when it was more of a good deal; now Botanicare is charging extra for the dome and the pump timer, and the unit is not built well enough for me to consider it a high-end cloning machine.

For less money you can get the EZ Clone machines, which come in three sizes depending on how many clones you want to do at a time.  You can choose different size reservoirs and pumps.

I am impressed with how the EZ Clone dispenses with the traditional humidity dome that we’ve all grown to know and hate.

What’s wrong with a humidity dome? In some cases they create too much humidity that drowns your plants’ leaves so they can’t breathe.

Not only that, all that moisture makes a nice environment for pathogens that attack foliage and roots.

You can check out the EZ Clone instruction manual to get an idea of how cloning machines work to save you time, effort and maintenance costs, right here:

http://www.4hydroponics.com/hydroponics/Mnl/Ezclone.pdf

You can even get aeroponics cloners that are the size of a five gallon bucket, in case you only want to do a few clones at a time.

For smaller cloning units, be prepared to spend $70-200. For the professional units that can do 120 clones at a time, you’ll spend about $450 for the basic unit and all the hardware.

Aeroponics Cloning In Regular Hydroponics Gardening

One of the questions I get asked a lot is about the fact that these machines use aeroponics but what if you’re not running an aeroponics garden…do aeroponically-rooted clones transfer well into a non-aeroponics garden using root zone media such as coco coir, rockwool, hydroton, or even soil.

It’s very logical to ask, because you can just pull an aeroponics clone up from it’s little collar and hole and see if it has enough roots to transplant from clone machine to garden. It’s just bare roots, so how do you stick them into rockwool or other media without harming them?

The answer is: very carefully. I often grow in rockwool, so what I do is carefully remove the cutting’s roots from any apparatus that the clone machine has for the roots, then I wrap them without putting pressure on them in a thin rockwool cloak.

I then carefully transplant them into the rockwool in my garden, having made a hollow in the rockwool where the roots can nestle. Then I place loose rockwool around the bottom of the cutting to cover the roots and anchor the cutting’s stem. The last step is to water the cutting in.

If you’re growing in soil or some other media, you can adapt your techniques to suit the material your roots will end up in. Make sure not to expose the roots to bright, direct light.

And definitely use a no-shock formula just before and just after taking cuttings from cloning machines and putting them into the general garden.

You could also use a Vitamin B Complex formula. These help your cuttings handle the trauma to their roots that is almost unavoidable when you transplant.

I find it interesting that many growers who never before considered aeroponics got turned onto aeroponics by using an aeroponics cloning machine.

Turns out that hydroponics cloning machines are an entry portal that encourages growers to convert their grow room to aeroponics.

Given that you can build an aeroponics system for under $400, or buy a pre-made system starting at about $450 (professional size aeroponics systems can cost $700-1000), it’s easy to at least consider whether taking your aeroponics from just cloning to your overall garden is a useful plan.

Just remember, aeroponics is far less forgiving than regular hydroponics cloning and indoor gardening. If you have a power failure, pump failure, or water glitch, you can lose your whole crop in a heartbeat.

No matter what kind of cloning you do (aeroponics or clip-dip-stick), it’s important for you to use the best cloning gel and start-up additives so your cuttings root faster, take in nutrients faster, and mature earlier.

For gel, you’re looking for the formula made for hydroponics plants with a modern container and applicator that prevents contamination and waste.

Feeding clones is an art and science. There are specialty formulas that jump start your cuttings and also strengthen them so they survive the hardships of going from cutting to young, rooted plant.

Growers who use hydroponics aeroponics cloning machines say it’s helped them save time and money and made their hydroponics gardening easier and more profitable.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 23:16

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