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Business Snapshot: Heartland Hydroponics

Business Snapshot: Heartland Hydroponics

A change of heart leads to an earthy business venture

Chris Daly of Heartland Hydrogardens adjusts the automated drip line at his store, located off of the Lake of the Woods exit.

A few years back, Illinois native Chris Daly was making a sales call for his air filtration system company when he had a change of heart-or rather, heartland. After a lengthy discussion with the owner of a hydroponics store in Cape Girardeau, Daly, a 29-year-old entrepreneur, decided he was in the wrong biz and came to Columbia to start up a store of his own.

Heartland Hydrogardens opened its doors at 5695 E Clark Lane, Ste. L in November 2006. Daly, who runs a one-man show, sells high-end, progressive gardening systems, focusing on organics (seeds/soils/nutrients), technology (hydroponics, irrigation), and extending season (lighting, indoor, year-round).

“As a gardener it’s easier and more rewarding when you use quality supplies because you get better results,” Daly said. “I think this encourages people to come back time after time.”

One of Daly’s most popular items is the Aerogardens, a complete, table top indoor garden that starts at $150 a piece. Other best sellers include FoxFarm’s rich Ocean Forest soil, worm castings and coconut fibers for fertilizing.

Orchids flourish in a hydroponic garden at Heartland Hydrogardens.

The store also has a 100 percent price match guarantee on all identical items for sale anywhere in Missouri.

Heartland Hydrogardens is open Monday through Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. The phone number is (573) 474-GROW.

Customers can make purchases online at the store’s Web site,, as well as find information about insects, nutrient deficiency, lighting charts, a climate calculator, and feed charts and calculators.

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