There’s a lot more to extracting than just pulling oil or handling machines, and that’s creating your own product from your garden. Tony Frischknecht’s guest today is Nick Gay, the Head of Product Management. In this episode, Nick walks us through the process of selecting plants for your garden. Make sure you know what they smell like before you choose. Once you’ve decided which plants you want for your product, it’s time to clone them. Listen to this episode to learn how!
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Creating Your Own Product By Cloning More Plants From Your Garden With Nick Gay
I’ve got none other than Nick Gay, Head of Product Management. Nick is going to walk us through a couple of stages now. There are a lot more extracting aside from pulling the oil, the machine and everything. What you are going to know more about is for the people out there that are looking to truly create, not only their product but from their own garden, which is pretty exciting. If you have ever done that before, there’s a different kind of feeling that you get, not only making something but growing something. You learn so much from that.
Nick and I are going to discuss a couple of cool processes and getting into the garden saying, “How do I choose this? What am I looking for?” I want to start by asking Nick, what are we looking for in lavender when we are creating a lavender essence for a product that we are going to make? Choosing strain and stuff like that, what are the processes that you go through when you are picking a certain strain?Don’t buy plants starting from seed because you want to know what each one smells like. Click To Tweet
The first thing would be growing anything. You want to think about your region. If you are growing it indoors, you can control your own environment. Here in Colorado, we get some harsh winters sometimes. Lavender usually doesn’t make it through the winter. One of the few strains of lavender that actually grows year after year is English lavender. Most essential oils are made out of either spike or blue lavender. This is Spanish lavender, and then on this side is the English lavender. Another way to figure out what you want, especially if you are going to a garden store or something buying these plants and not starting from seed, you go up to them and see what each one smells like and see what you want to get out of it. It’s like going out and smelling the roses.
Where is most lavender grown now?
Now, most lavenders are grown either in China or France. There are also some farms out in California but the land out there is so expensive that it’s hard to make that feasible. With that said, the reason I’m going to be showing you cloning is once you dry these flowers out, how little it produces? If you are trying to make a bunch of lavender essential oil, you are going to need a bunch of lavender plants. We are going to show you an easy way to take one of these plants and turn it into many.
I love this part of the process because we are going to take you through the beginning. We’ve got our lavender here. It’s ready to go. What are the steps in the cloning process?
You will always want to pick your healthiest plant to clone from free, from any wrinkly leaves or disease-looking stuff. The other thing is where you are picking the clone from. You don’t necessarily want to take the clone from the top. The best place to take your clones is from the bottom. That’s because they are much more easily rooted because the plant itself, once it gets buried, it creates roots. We are going to show you how to do all that and a couple of different ways you can do that. Right in front of me, I have this pink pot that I already have filled with dirt.
Where do you get those?
I went to Home Depot for these and they are about $2 for a 50-cell pack. You can make up to 50 clones. I’m going to be showing you how to make this small amount but you could easily take a little bit more time and have 50 lavender plants started going. The reason I like to use these is that when you transplant them, it doesn’t harm the roots. Growing lavender from seed is pretty hard. That’s why I’m showing you how to do it with the clones.
How much time does it save you growing from the clone as opposed to seed?Don’t harm the roots when you transplant your plants. Click To Tweet
I believe most lavender seeds, at least the ones that I have growing at home, take twenty days to germinate. The plant will have sprouted after twenty days, and then be another 60 to 70 days after that until you can even get a lavender flower. Whereas, these lavender clones that I took from this same type of Spanish lavender plant. I started these weeks ago, they are not quite ready to plant and not fully rooted yet but they have about one more week left, and then I will be putting them in a bunch of pots and put them in the garden.
Let’s go through the whole process with you. You will like to take one from the bottom and you want to clip it as close to the root as you can. You want to strip off all this excess stuff. I will usually pinch it off with my fingers or use scissors. Be sure to do it gently and not rip into the big stem of the plant. You want to take it up probably about 1 to 2 inches because you are going to want this part to go down into the pot. I’ve got it stripped pretty good.
For those of you reading, he’s got a piece that is roughly 6 inches long and he stripped down the bottom of it probably halfway up the stock. He’s going to be putting that into the soil solution that he has set up.
There are a couple of different ways to do it. Some people will clip it in the center to split the end part that you cut. I like to do it at a 45-degree angle and that gives it a little bit more surface area to grow roots out of. Another thing where you have an option of what you want to do here is I have this cloning gel, which is it’s called Rootech Cloning Gel. It’s a growth hormone. It’s up to you, whether or not you want to use that. Does it make it grow a lot faster? Yes. Is it a hormone? Yes.
Another way you could do it is you do a mixture of honey and aloe vera. You can do that. Some people will use also tree sap. I’m going to be dipping this end of the stem into the rooting gel. What that does, is seal off the wound. It gives it a few nutrients, and then also, that growth hormone. With the aloe vera and honey mixture, that’s just sealing the wound. The honey is the thing that allows it to not rot out and things like that.
Once you’ve got that dipped in there, you are going to shove it gently into your soil. How you prep your little pots is you will pour all the soil in there, push each cell down very hard, not super hard so it’s nice and firm in there, and then go back either with your pinky, a pencil or something like that and poke a little hole in the center. The other thing is I also have this already nice, wet and watered. I will always water in the soil so it’s lively before I put the clones in.
To give people an idea of how much water goes into it, the soil is not soaking wet. You can feel it when you put your hand in there and squeeze it.
It’s like the consistency of a wrung-out sponge. As we are talking, I’m going to keep doing this. There are a lot of different ways. If you look online at cloning, a lot of people have all sorts of different ways they like to do it and different mediums. Some people like to use coconut coir or Rockwool. The reason I did this is that it’s stuff that’s easy for anyone to get. You can go to a Home Depot and get these peat pots, get some seed starting mixture and you are ready to rock.
I’m glad you brought that up, Nick. If you are looking at creating your own clones or growing, keep it simple. There are hundreds of ways to do this. If you are starting, you want to make the process as easily repeatable as possible because once you are creating all these clones, depending on how big your area is, it can become a lot of work. You want to keep that process simple. Moving forward, you are like, “I can do these.” As you get more familiar and more comfortable with cloning and growing, then you can expand to a different medium. For now, the soil is the easiest and simplest way to create this.
This is truly the start of growing your own product. We would like to show this to you because there are a lot more to it than just taking the lavender, putting it inside the extraction machine, the Little Buddy, and all of a sudden, it comes out. For you that want to go in-depth on this, I hope you can take some of this information. Of course, YouTube is a great tool. If you want to learn more about cloning, there are tons of different techniques. You might say, “He’s doing it all wrong.” There are a lot of ways to do this depending on if you are getting into more sophisticated ways. People may be doing this in a clean area with sterile environments. There are a lot of other things to do it. This is great for the small user at the end of the day.
It’s because you brought that up, one thing I didn’t mention is I have a little jar of Isopropyl Alcohol. Between each cut that I’m doing, I stuck the scissors in the alcohol and wipe it off with a paper towel. Especially gardens scissors, you may have cut who knows what with it. There may be powdery mildew or whatever on here. You always want to clean everything but as Tony is saying, we are doing it on the garden level. If you are going bigger, then you are going to be in a clean room, all suited up and gloved.
I hope you learned a little something. Next time, come join us because we are going to be talking about growing and harvesting the lavender, and then we are going to go to the next steps into extracting it. Thank you for joining. Nick, thanks so much for walking us through. We really appreciate it.
Thank you for having me, Tony.
You are welcome. See you next time at the show.
About Nick Gay
A leader in the CBD and herb industry with 8 years experience in new facility set-up, employee training, SOP creation and integration, product production, extraction and distillation.
A collaborative team player who strives for operational excellence and works across all departments to scale production and create safe work environments.
Skilled in Compliance Management, Management, CBD, THC, SOP Development, and Research and Development (R&D). Strong business development professional with a Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Manufacturing practices focus.