Plant

"You reap what you sow."

― Idiom abbreviated from Galatians 6:7

Seeds

 

1)  Soak the rockwool cubes so the whole cube is moist by putting some water in a shallow plastic container and letting the cubes soak for an hour.  If you are using a pH kit, you want the water at 7-8 pH.  This tray is where your plants will live a while, so you might want to get one wide enough for everything at the Dollar Store that you can dedicate to this purpose or get a grow tray and heating pad if you really want to get pro with it.

 

2)  Once the cubes have been sitting in the water an hour, remove them from the water.  Place a couple seeds in the hole in each of the blocks and press them down to the center with a chopstick, or similar tool.  Be careful not to damage the seeds.

 

3)  Place your cubes on a window sill or somewhere warm and sunny. Or you can place your seeds under a grow-light.  I use a $50 fluorescent grow light I got from a hardware store and set the seeds about 6 inches away.  Add water each day keeping the blocks moist to the touch.  They should not drip when lifted.  Check you seed packets for information about germination time.

 

4)  Once roots begin to show out of the bottom of the cube, and if the weather is ready, your seedlings are ready to be transplanted to net-pots.

 

5)  Prep the tower before moving seedlings into net-pots.  Fill the the bucket with water, adding MaxiGro (white/green powder nutrient)  at 1/2 teaspoon per gallon (this is 1/2 strength)..  Large towers (4 ft+) have 5 gallons buckets.  Medium towers (3 ft) have 3.5 gallon buckets.  Small towers (2 ft) have 2 gallon buckets.  Mix the nutrient powder around until it has dissolved.  Secure the lid to the bucket and run the tower for at least one hour before adding the plants.

 

6)  Place the rockwool plant cubes in the net-pot and surround the open space and top with hydroton (the little clay balls) so the plant doesn't move around too much.  Place the net pots into your prepared tower.

Transplants

 

1)  For plants that will grow large, you want them to be small and young for this stage.  Some plants such as herbs can be mature, as long as they are small.  This would be a good time to search the web for some information on transplanting from soil to hydroponics.

 

2)  Take the plants out of their container and rinse off all of the soil.  Use your fingers to loosen the soil and break off as much soil as you can.  Then use a hose with a spray nozzle with medium-high water pressure to spray off as much dirt as possible.

 

3)  Place your plants the net-pots and if you can, pull a few roots through the slits in the bottom of the pots, then place hydroton into the pots to hold the plants into place.  Fill the net-pot with hydroton level to the top

 

4)  Place the net-pot into the tower.  The transplants can handle 1/2 or full strength nutrients.

 

Tower

 

Make sure your timer is set to turn on and off in 15 miunte cycles.  You'll want to check your water llevel in the bucket daily, especially when it's hot, as running water will evaporate quickly.  Keep a spare bucket of nutrient water to top off your tower as needed.

 

That’s it.  Now it’s all growing maintenance.  If something dies, and it’s late in the season, transplants can trade in pretty well to keep you growing.

 

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