Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Indoor Growing | The Organic Garden Center

Archive for October, 2013

Cloning Machines

Today’s topic is about our TurboKlone machine, as usual I’m talking about it because I’m doing a routine water change (w/c).

A cloning machine has a great success ratio of sprouting new roots from cuttings you’ve taken from a plant whose characteristics you like, for example a tomato plant that produces large, flavorful fruit, or maybe a hibiscus that blooms very large flowers. It must be noted that if the plant from which you are taking the cutting has gender, then all of its clones will be of the same gender.

TurboKloneCloning machines work by holding your precious little cuttings over a mild nutrient solution and gently spraying water at their stalks. This coaxes some roots to form to keep her alive. When enough roots have formed it is time to transplant her to a more permanent media.

In our store, we have been using a 48 site machine made by TurboKlone. What sets this machine apart is the built in fan, which both cools down the water/nutrient in its reservoir, and adds fresh air to the rooting chamber.. These little baby clones don’t like to overheat. While we’ve never had all the sites occupied it’s nice to be able to take a cutting and have some room in the machine to make a new clone at any time. What keeps the cuttings in place are round, polyethylene collars, which are pre-slit to hold the small stalks.Some growers prefer neoprene collars which will also fit the sites.

I’ve just finished bleaching our collars to remove algae that can grow on them, other folks might just buy new collars instead, they hold up real well but what’s your time worth?

We have also sold quite a few Daisy Cloners made by Botanicare. The machine we sell has 8 sites, it’s easy to use and clean and the good folks at Botanicare and at TurboKlone have always been very responsive to our questions and needs.

Well, I’m finished with my w/c-

Talk to you later,


Welcome to our new blog!

My name is Paul, I’m only telling you this because I want to start sharing with you some of my experiences working a Organic Garden Center in Skokie Illinois.While there are other people you may encounter here at 9223 Skokie Blvd, I’m the one you’ll most probably see.
A little background is in order; I had been working for many years at Old Orchard Aquarium when the ownership of  that, well known, tropical fish store decided to open an attached store as Organic Garden Center. How hard could that be? We knew so much about lighting indoor coral reefs, lighting fresh water, live planted fish tanks, how to pump and move water, and so much about adding supplements and minerals to keep those systems healthy and thriving. Even some of our wholesale suppliers could be the same. It should be a snap. Right? But there was, and is, a lot to learn, not as easy as we thought.
The one thing about indoor growing is that if you are a hobbyist, or a professional grower, it’s a lot of fun, and you get a reward when you harvest your crop, whether it’s peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, or whatever. Even here in Chicago you can grow and harvest year round.
There are many ways to learn and grow, to learn I’ve read books, some publications (online and print published), got my hands-on experience, and learned a lot from my customers through helping them solve their problems and asking them questions (what have you tried? How did that work?) etc. To grow, just to name a few methods, there is hydroponics or soiless media, HID lighting, T-5 HO Fluorescents, or LED. As might be expected from an aquarium store, we have a nice aquaponics system, we let our fish do the work.
In the future, I won’t go on and on like this, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, telling you which system I’m working on in the store, what kind of nutrients I’m using etc.
Well, that’s it for now, I’ll try to tell you more on a regular, on going basis.
– Paul