Stage 3

Buying in Stage 3 Tissue Culture is becoming a popular practice for many growers. It offers many benefits: serving as an effective way to reduce input costs while maintaining consistent, high-quality yields with reliable grow times.  There are, however, many challenges to carefully consider before making a commitment to this style of production.

The first step in successfully weaning tissue culture is to set up an isolated clean environment with stable temperature and regulated humidity.  Without complete environmental control it is a virtual certainty you will run into problems.  When transferred from agar to soil, the young plants are extremely sensitive from living in a completely clean and artificial laboratory environment.  They are emerging into the “real world” of our greenhouses as soft baby plants with no cuticle or natural defenses to protect them against the hostilities of dessication, disease, and pests.

Upon receiving material it is best to plant everything immediately (within 24-48 hours).  A well-lit, temperature-controlled storage area (ideally 70 degrees) is important during planting.  Do not put TC in the cooler!  A rolling rack can easily be retrofitted with shade cloth and LED lights for convenience to roll into the planting area and back into storage, providing consistent light levels and protection from damaging direct sunlight.

After planting, weaning Stage 3 plants is a balancing act between too dry and too wet. They must be acclimated initially with high humidity, which is then gradually reduced to encourage rooting and cuticle development while avoiding pest and fungal complications.  Fungus gnat larvae adore the taste of fresh TC roots and can rapidly cause major damage, so a pre-drench of the planting media with nematodes or chemicals is highly recommended.  Extensive training of employees on proper planting techniques is essential; the soft plants are easily damaged by forceps and the majority of TC losses are due to deep planting which buries the crown and creates an environment for fungal pathogens. 

The necessity of specialized environmental controls and extensive employee training makes it impractical to simply dabble in Tissue Culture if you do not plan on using Stage 3 inputs consistently.  If you are considering utilizing TC in your production, we encourage you to pay us a visit here at Terra Nova to witness the reality of successful Tissue Culture weaning.  We are happy to assist you in your designs to ensure you reap the maximum benefits of TC production.