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SUSTAINABLE, INNOVATIVE & EFFECTIVE: HOW CLEANGROW PRODUCTS BENEFIT A GROWER’S BOTTOM LINE

CleanGrow manufactures nutrient analysis equipment, a nutrient line and water treatment products for indoor gardeners. Lacey Macri, CleanGrow’s business operations manager, introduces the company’s products and why they are good for novice gardeners as well as professional growers.

Maximum Yield iNews May 2015

CleanGrow, founded in 2009 to make the measurement of ions in liquid faster and easier, was the brainchild of Dr. Roy O’Mahony. With an extensive background in plant molecular biology and plant science with an emphasis in ion channels, Roy’s goal was to revolutionize nutrient management. He joined forces with co-founder Ciaran Long, whose successful history in finance and business would help contribute to the success of the company. In 2012, Ciaran traveled to
UC Davis for a seminar on CleanGrow’s original multi-ion sensors, where he met Bob Starnes, the university’s senior superintendent of agriculture. “They realized their union would offer CleanGrow a bright future,” explains Lacey Macri, business operations manager. Since then, CleanGrow has become a world-class manufacturer of agricultural and horticultural products, which are used by customers all over the world in a range of fields, including oil and gas, cancer research, winemaking, water and seawater quality labs, and other environmental research agencies.

Using unique technology, CleanGrow products streamline how growers acquire and interpret data, leading to a nutrient management system that offers improved sustainability, profitability and effectiveness. “CleanGrow opens the doors to endless opportunities for commercial growers,” says Lacey. “Our technology allows us to introduce the field of multiple ion measurement to non-experts and drastically reduces the time and costs associated with growing plants. Built with the principles of sustainability, innovation and ease-of-use in mind, CleanGrow will continue to create new and exciting technologies, and provide useful information to growers around the world, as we work together in an effort to optimize crop performance and management.”

A Focus on Sustainability

One of CleanGrow’s founding principles is to create products with a high level of sustainability. “Our complete system is one of the most sustainable, environmentally sound methods of growing plants available on the market,” explains Lacey. Using CleanGrow’s sensor technology, growers are able to reduce waste by making informed decisions about what is and isn’t needed at any given time. The broad-spectrum nutrient blends provide growers with choices depending on results from the nutrient analyzer, and the Watermax product is the glue that ties the ultimate trifecta together. There are several issues that can arise from recirculating systems, which are already generally more sustainable and environmentally friendly than other growing methods, including nutrient lockout, clogged plumbing, harmful scale development, frequent reservoir changes and root rot. Watermax helps deter the establishment of all of these risks, especially when used as a part of the entire CleanGrow program.

CleanGrow manufactures nutrient analysis equipment, a nutrient line and water treatment products:

•  The Nutrient Analyzer is a hand-held, digital probe that houses six sensors to measure the unique values of six different ion concentra- tions in parts per million. The results are interfaced on an IOS mobile device, such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch via Bluetooth LE. At the touch of a button, a wealth of knowledge is provided to the grower to help drive decision-making toward the highest level of crop success.

•  The Fertmax nutrient line was developed to ensure top-quality products consistently across mul- tiple applications. There are several formulas, including Fertmax Grow A/B, a two-part vegetative nutrient formula, which is used for leafy green plants or up until flowering begins. Fertmax Bloom A/B, a two-part flowering nutrient formula, promotes high-quality, heavy fruit or flower production. CleanGrow also has two different booster products, in liquid and powder forms, for when plants have a high demand for phosphorus and potassium, usually in the final weeks of flowering.

• Watermax is a non-toxic, OMRI- listed, neutral-pH water treatment product. When used regularly, Watermax greatly reduces slime and scale, promotes healthy plant growth, and saves growers time in equipment maintenance. Watermax also acts as a root zone stimulant. Roots that have undergone treat- ment appear bright white and robust compared to those without treatment. One of the most unique features about Watermax is that it increases the oxidation reduction potential (ORP) of water, which creates an unfavorable environment for pathogen and disease development, so growers can rest as- sured that their plants are growing in a safe, healthy environment conducive to thriving.

CleanGrow created certain products with the novice in mind, says Lacey, making sure to provide consistent customer service, useful resources and top-quality products at a convenient, affordable price. “If you are just starting out, or are interested in trying out a completely new nutrient program, we suggest checking out our Fertmax Pro Pack, which includes all of the nutrients and water treatment needed to successfully grow about six plants,” she says. “Often, it is difficult to quantify exactly how many plants can be grown with a given amount of nutrients, but we offer this to help beginners through their initial journey.”

This summer, CleanGrow will start offering a water sampling program
for growers who would like to take advantage of the company’s technology as a service, rather than an investment. For some growers, purchasing a nutrient analyzer may not be practical; with the new service, they can purchase a water test online through amazon.com and receive the results in 2-3 days. The re- sults, delivered by email, will provide the ppm values of six different nutrient levels in the water sample provided. “This service will be very user-friendly, fast and affordable compared to sending in your water sample to a lab,” adds Lacey. “We will also include free water tests as promotional perks with the purchase of our other products from time to time.”

At the same time CleanGrow is working to make products more accessible for all types of users, the company is also participating in some groundbreaking research with its more advanced technologies. CleanGrow is working with the European Space Agency to develop an auto-sampling system that uses its sensor technology as a part of the Melissa Project (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative). The goal of this project is to develop a future regenerative life support system for long-term, manned space missions, including a future mis- sion to Mars. “During the research and development stages, we will learn all about the behavior of artificial eco- systems and what it takes to maintain them,” says Lacey. “On that same note, CleanGrow will be participating in the Nutrient Sensor Challenge hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology, in Washington, DC. Using our beta auto-sampling system, CleanGrow will be competing to prove our technology’s superiority over other brands. We hope to have the complete auto-sampling nutrient management system commercially available by 2017. Stay tuned!”