Raising plants from seed
Ensure your growing environment is suitable for the plants you are going to grow. This is much easier if you use a heated propagator like the X-Stream Heat.
Germinate seeds in a seed tray of compost. When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant to a suitably sized pot with drainage holes or alternatively germinate seeds in the correct sized pot.
Water as necessary. If your compost contains nutrients (check the label) use water only. If your compost doesn’t contain nutrient use a complete hydroponic nutrient at half strength. If necessary adjust pH in the watering can.
Plants are ready to be transplanted to your hydroponic system when you can remove the pot and the compost remains bound by the white roots of the plant.
Bring the seeds or cuttings on as directed by your propagator instructions.
Young plants can then either be transplanted to an alternative medium, e.g. rockwool, and grown on before transplanting to your system, or grown on in the propagator until the roots reach 3 to 4 inches in length and transplanted directly into your grow system.
Before using rockwool, soak the rockwool overnight in water at pH 5.5 and allow to drain. This reduces the alkalinity of the rockwool.
Plant the seed in the rockwool cube. Gently bury and cover over the seed using a blunt instrument and allow to germinate.
When the seedling develops its first green leaf, begin to water sparingly with half strength complete hydroponic nutrient. If necessary adjust pH in the watering can.
When the seedling has developed white roots to the outside of the rockwool it can be transplanted to a larger rockwool block which has been soaked in nutrient solution at pH 5.5 overnight and allowed to drain.
Keep seedlings watered with half strength hydroponic nutrient. Your plants are ready to be transplanted to your hydroponic system when you have lots of white roots on the outside of the large block.
Raising plants from cuttings
Follow the instructions for raising from seed but DO NOT use nutrients in the water until your cutting has rooted.
Tip: For raising seedlings or cuttings, over-watering slows root growth dramatically. Always keep your plants slightly on the dry side.
When to plant out
Do not plant into an hydroponic system until the plant is well rooted – your plant needs to have lots of white roots on the OUTSIDE of the compost or rockwool.
If white roots aren’t on the outside of the growing medium when you place your plant into your grow system the roots could become saturated with little or no access to oxygen and will die-back.
The plants pictured below are ready to be transplanted into your hydroponic system. DO NOT transplant until your plants are at this stage.