The French go bananas for vertical farming...
Cuttings, or clones, are the genetic twin of their Parent, or Mother plant. Because a clone has an identical genetic make-up to its progenitor it allows the Horticulturalist to focus on adjusting other elements in a growing environment to produce the desired results from their crop. Cloning also circumvents the inherent lottery of growing from seeds. It is also a reasonably simple process and a fundamental tool of any commercial grower. Here is a basic guide to getting started with cloning.
This is a reasonable assumption for us to make. You are, after all, reading a magazine that’s very raison d’etre revolves around indoor gardening. Perhaps though you’re sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, passing the time nervously flicking through these pages before a testicular examination?...
We don’t know who you are, or what your motivation is for perusing this particular article – how could we? But what we do know is what we do best – educating the plebs, the soiled masses, about hydroponics. And since this is “Beginners’ Corner”, let’s presume you’re starting from square one. And square one, surely, has to be “I want to grow something indoors. Am I mad? Is it even possible in my two-bit dump of a flat / house?” Ever eager to help our fellow man, we provide here an essential guide that should put all your hydroponically-virginal concerns to bed. Or at least a few of them. Read on, you might learn something (or if you’re still waiting for the doctor: read on – this is bound to be more entertaining than Marie Claire or Harper’s Bazaar).
The Neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is affectionately known as ‘the village pharmacy’ in its homeland of India.
Also known as Indian Lilac, it has as many names as there are dialects stretching from Nigeria in West Africa to Thailand in Southeast Asia. Muarubaini is one such name, which means ‘the tree of the forty’ in Swahili; so named because it is said to treat forty different diseases. Ancient Ayurvedic texts indicate that Neem has been used for centuries to treat ailments as various as Leprosy, Malaria, Tuberculosis and even good old Acne. Western science has taken an embarrassingly long time to catch up with the local ‘witch-doctors’, but thankfully for us Neem products are now widely used and internationally recognised for their many beneficial qualities; and there are a lot of them.
Most of it can be hooked up to a computer where software collects and analyses the data before making any necessary adjustments. Some of it will only work when attached to a computer, refusing to belittle itself by accommodating the all too fallible faculties of increasingly redundant humans. Combined with automated door and window locks, motion detectors and the almost inevitable internet based auto-ordering system, it’s easy to think the little digital bastards are colluding to cut you out of the equation entirely. In an act of patronising aplomb your laptop will even take a time-stop image of the progress of your plants, forgoing the tiresome trials of having you enter their closely controlled workspace to gawp in wonder. Soon the day will come when we’re little more than slaves to the occasional “bing” of an alarm denoting your need to fulfil one of the ever diminishing acts that an automated system can’t perform for itself. This final act of indignity will be the last vestige of self-worth we mortals are allowed before our silicon based progeny finally expunge us from existence….