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How to clone your crops

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The cloning process is one that's now pretty popular with a lot of modern hydroponic growers, but it's also one that beginners don't really know much about. So how do you clone plants the right way?

The idea of cloning is fairly simple. You take cuttings from a mature plant, and nurture those small pieces into other full plants. But the way to do this is something that growers often learn from themselves, or piece together from various random sets of instructions.

The cuttings

One of the aspects of doing cloning is to get good cuttings. You want enough plant to allow for reasonable growth, and a good point from which to develop root systems. Lots of growers tend to cut below a certain branch, fork or bottom of the plant, to get a particular cutting for a clone plant. It helps to have some stem to work with, especially depending on how you're going to integrate clones into a grow space.

Protecting clones

After they are cut and placed in a cloning growing environment, it's necessary to really protect these sensitive plants from climate or environmental hazard. Clones should be kept in a defined temperature range, to make it easiest on them so they can grow. Growers often keep them at slightly higher humidity. They also need the right pH value to thrive.

Observing clones

Over time, you'll want to look for the tiny shoots that are evidence of emerging root systems. Make sure that clones are placed well to grow directionally, according to type of crop you're dealing with. Throughout this process, growers have to pay attention to the quality of reservoir water, the circulation of air and water to the system, and other factors that will provide an optimal environment for clones.

Cloning is a lot like any other type of growing, except that the young plants will be extremely sensitive, due to their lack of defined root systems. Another trick is to use a process called foliar feeding, to get plant nutrients they need before their root systems are fully developed. This technique involves spraying or misting plants with a nutrient-rich substance.

For more on cloning and all kinds of hydroponic growing, check out what Dealzer offers to a worldwide growing community.

 
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