It seemed obvious to me that Mike was specifically looking for information from someone with personal experience with both Rockwool and Rapid Rooters, which is why several of us decided not to reply, thereby leaving the post at the top of the page. Some of us may have researched both products, or may have used one product but not the other and may have opinions, but that wasn’t what Mike was looking for. It’s the poster trying to Sell (Spam) a product (AKA gadget), that needs a (ONE TIME) prompt reply in order to get the post moving downward (bury it). Someone looking for a consumer report Should be left up top for a Qualified reply. Rockwool is inert, sterile and natural being made of rock, Rapid Rooters are organic and decompose over time, I haven’t used either Prouduct.
If so, I think I will ignore your “advice.”
It seems that “Rapid Rooter” isn’t a very popular choice in this round, and I haven’t used it myself either. But as for Rockwool I have tested and used it extensively. My conclusion is that it is indeed not appropriate for all kinds of seedlings and that it has to be used properly.
I guess you should ask how how much does a jar of Rapid Rooter cost? How much rockwool will that buy. How many plants can at that same cost will each provide you. Then too at the other end how many times will you reuse the rockwool before it’s disposed of. In the long run rockwool is a nice costly idea but over rated, over used and wasteful.
Maybe you misunderstood me. I realized that you weren’t spamming and I wanted the post to stay up top so that someone with real Rockwool/Rapid Rooter experience could reply. You asked a very good question and it deserves a good answer. I am also interested in which product is preferred and for what reasons, (other than co$t), Pros & cons Etc.
I take it that this will be for your NFT system, using the seeds you mentioned on the Tomato forum?
The rapid rooter product is much like most any kind of spounge like media, and in my opinion they all work well. I do not like rockwool at all.
The best choice of media according to experiences of various people can be of help, but wouldn’t be good enough for me. From my understanding, the media itself isn’t making the difference, but the proper TECHNIQUE that is used with a specific media. Also, some media work better with some kind of seeds/plants than others.
Then the question becomes why use anything at all? I use cuttings all the time without using any thing more special than aerated water. A spray mist system is the same thing. I’m sure others will agree. If you do seeds they do need a medium to grow in (perilite) but just cut the timer to once every two hours. Once it shows go back to every 15 mintues. Problem with perilite is it’s messy. That the only advantage to rockwool and Rapid Rooter can cake up and actully stop rooting from happening. Like I said why use anything at all.
I guess an idiot could follow your advice and use “nothing at all” to germinate seeds that will survive and take off immediately in a hydro grow but somehow this seems like something that will not work. Take my seeds upstairs, place them (still in the package) in my grow area, and five weeks later they will be ready to move to a hydro system? Is that what you are advocating?
Costs per cube aside, in your experience which one is best for a hydroponic grow? Mike
Rockwool is made by melting a combination of rock and sand and then spinning the mixture to make fibers which are formed into different shapes and sizes. The process is very similar to making cotton candy. The shapes vary from 1″x1″x1″ starter cubes up to 3″x12″x36″ slabs, with many sizes in between, which makes rockwool one of the most versatile growing mediums.
The advantages to rockwool are many, however there are several disadvantages to this type of growing medium as well. The pros and cons are listed below.
Nice post Bandit!
I used ready gro plugs once and I had issues later in the grow and removed them. They were my clones and rooted great but I don’t think the hydro tank liked them all that well. They are used for hydro but that was my experience. Here is a bit of the info on them.
Rockwool comes with a warning label, like abestos, to not handle it dry, because it has carcegens in it, or can cause cancer IF you breathe in enough of it’s dust.
SO, you do need to really soak it A LONG TIME to handle it, but it will only take a minute to soak it and make it safe from DUST flying around. It will take a few hours or more to soak it to adjust it’s pH.
Before you use rockwool you must first soak it in water adjusted to a pH of 4.5 to 5.0. To soak rockwool cubes use a bucket or other water tight container, just put the cubes in the water and let them float around. To soak the rockwool slabs cut a hole in the bag around the slab and pour in pH adjusted water until the slab is totally saturated, let soak for up to 8 hours to be safe. Then cut drainage slits in the bottom.
COMES IN A VARIETY OF SIZES AND SHAPES – From 1″ cubes designed for use in propagation, to 3″x12″x36″ slabs capable of holding the root systems of huge plants, rockwool comes in dozens of shapes and sizes making it a versatile growing medium. Rockwool also comes “Loose” so you can fill pots or containers of any size.
RETAINS WATER – Rockwool holds an incredible amount of water which gives you a “buffer” against power outages and pump (or timer) failure. You want your rock wool saturated and it saturates well, plus it holds air too.
HOLDS AIR – Rockwool holds at least 18 % air at all times (unless it is sitting directly in water), which supplies the root zone with plenty of oxygen. This means that it is practically impossible to over-water rockwool.
NOT ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY – Rockwool is hard to dispose of, if buried it will last indefinitely.
Disadvantages to Rockwool
For Hydropnics, DWC, Deep Water Culture, etc in your tank, do you perfer Rockwool, or Rapid Rooters, or Others, and please, if OTHERS, tell what you like.