Sure, it might take a little longer and involve a little bit more effort, but there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from being able to see a plant grow from it’s most humble of beginnings, right through to huge, high-yielding plants.
1. First things first, you’ll need something to put your seeds into. We recommend a small coir pellet, like a Jiffy 7, or an inert rockwool cube, like those from Grodan
5. W hen leaves appear the plants are large enough to be handled and should be transplanted into pots trays or a hydroponic system. Stems are very fragile at this stage; make sure to handle them with care
5. You should then see your seeds begin to sprout in about 4 days
2. You’ll then need to soak your cubes in clean water for around an hour
Don’t be threatened by growing from seed. It’s simpler than you might think.
3. When they’ve soaked put a few seeds into the media. Try a few in each just in case a few don’t germinate
6. For accurate temperature control attach a thermostatic control to your propagator
1. Place the propagator in an area with lots of light. If you can’t find such an area, use a T5 light like Sunblaster lamps or Street Light LED’s . Seedlings prefer lower light for early growth, so place propagator in a semi shaded position. If using artificial light take advice from your lighting supplier
The complete guide to growing hydroponically from seed during propagation.
Your shopping list should include things like net pots, starter plugs, tubing, airstone, an air pump, seeds, and special nutrients to jump-start growth. You may also want to invest in a hydroponic cloner, or build one yourself. If you’re looking to go really simple, a high-walled tray will do in a pinch to hold your water and net pots and promote good germination.
If you don’t maintain your system properly, all of the effort you’ve put into setting it up will only go to waste. The good news here is that the maintenance is relatively easy. You’ll want to keep the starter plugs moist but not overly-wet, as this could cause some issues with rot. A good way to accomplish this is by wetting them lightly with a spray bottle. This moisture helps the seeds sprout — a process that normally takes about three to five days depending on what varieties you’re growing.
Next, you’ll want to add the air pump and airstone into the system. Some may choose to ignore these items, but they can really help with root growth and do a great job of keeping your seeds moist. If you’ve ever had an aquarium, there’s a good chance you’ve used something like this before. Connect the air pump to the airstone using a small amount of tubing.
Once your setup is complete, it’s time to work with the seeds. You’ll want to start by soaking the starter plugs in water. After they’ve absorbed enough to help with the germination of your seeds, you can place them into the net pots.
You’ll find it helpful to put a clear cover on top of your system. This cover will help keep moisture in your system instead of allowing it to evaporate into the atmosphere, and it will also increase the system’s internal temperature to help your seeds germinate and grow.
Starting your seeds in a hydroponic system will cost you a bit upfront, but after you’ve made the initial investment, you’ll only ever need to buy seeds and replacement items.
Many people think that hydroponic systems don’t lend themselves to seed starting and that you have to grow all your seeds into seedlings in the more traditional dirt seed starter mix. This setup can be a real headache, because it means having to then transplant your seedlings (dirty roots and all) into your clean hydroponic system. Even if you buy seedlings or plants from your favorite gardening store, you’ll still have to worry about bringing home pest-hitchhikers or less than stellar specimens. The good news is that you can start your seeds hydroponically and bypass these inconveniences altogether.
After your seedlings are strong enough for transplanting, you can start moving them to the bigger system. If your seedlings already have several sets of leaves on them, it’s probably time to transplant. Typically, you can move your net pots from the starter into your hydronic system without much fuss or muss. You can also transplant your hydroponically-grown seeds into traditional pots or your garden.
Growing your seeds hydroponically is much easier than most people believe. You’ll never have to worry about contaminating your system with dirt or something home that’s hitchhiked its way in on your seedlings, like spider mites. Plus, you can grow just about any seed you desire in your hydroponic setup, as opposed to having to choose from the seedling varieties available at the local nursery. It’s a much better way to grow strong and healthy seedlings efficiently and with minimum effort.
Ever had a bunch of tiny trays filled with dirt and seeds around your home? Say goodbye to that hassle!