Tomato Cloning Question

by Mark
(North Carolina)

I am going to be cloning my tomato plants with a homemade cloner. They are going to be in 2" net pots with neoprene collars. When I go to move them into My Best Homemade System, should I just keep the collars and net pots intact or remove both....or just the collars?



Answer: Mark- the neoprene collars perform the same function as the expanded clay pellets in this system....which is to provide physical support. If you are able to manufacture your hydroponic system to fit the 2" netted pots (instead of homemade "pots" or larger netted pots), than I would recommend keeping the collars and netted pots intact and simply move them from the cloner to the hydroponic system once they have roots. As long as you are growing plants no larger than 14 or 16 inches tall, you will probably not require any additional support for the plants.

I have never tried this myself (although I have thought about it). If you find your plants do not have enough physical support with this method, than I suggest placing pre-soaked clay pellets around the stem of your freshly cut/dipped clones. Once the clones begin producing roots, the plant should be able to anchor itself more effectively around the clay pellets and through the netted pots. Leave enough room in the top of the netted pots for a neoprene collar- although it is optional as long as you are using enough clay pellets in each netted pot. Once the clones have roots, simply transplant the netted pots (along with the clay pellets and neoprene collar) into the hydroponic system. Hope this helps you out Mark, and Happy Growing!

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May 07, 2010
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Neoprene Support In More Ways Than One!
by: Kev

You might want to consider keeping the neoprene collars on in any case (with or without clay pellets) to help block out the light to the root zone and from the water to help prevent algae build-up as clay pellets used alone will allow lots of light to come into 'contact' with lots of water and so you'll be fighting algae when you should be growing and looking at your lovely plants! ;-)

Added Response: That is an excellent point....I have to agree!

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Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 22 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people.

I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible....and in the last 20 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol).

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Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!


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