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Thread: Starting plants

  1. #1
    Members Roger L.'s Avatar
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    Starting plants

    I have been having trouble getting certain plants to start. Cauliflower is one example. Following the instructions on the starting media has been good for broccoli, lettuce and spinach. I've had moderate success with peppers but nothing with other vegetables. They give planting directions for a typical soil outdoor garden but I can't seem to come up with a source for different tactics in an indoor aquaponics system for different plants. Any suggestions?
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    Re: Starting plants

    In my last system, I bought a bunch of those little peat pucks, put the seeds on them, then burried them right at the high water point in the GB. Worked great for peppers and tomatoes. Dill sprouted, but then wilted... I'm thinking they don't like wet roots. For some plants, maybe we need to shake the soil off once they get gonig? The soil is always where I found the most worms in the GB.
    Jason M.

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    Members Apollo's Avatar
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    Re: Starting plants

    I tried starting my seeds in rockwool for the AP and potting soil for my organic garden...with very little luck. Now I was also using water from my FT and I think that the high Nitrates was just too much for them. Started over but this time I only used rain water, it's been about 10 days now and over 2/3 of them have sprouted and are doing fine.

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    Re: Starting plants

    I also tried rock wool and noticed low germination rates, but have switched over to bio-sponges (rapid rooters) and these have worked out great. Haven't tried cauliflower, but everything else that I've grown has done better in the bio-sponges.

  5. #5
    Members Roger L.'s Avatar
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    Re: Starting plants

    I'm using the rock wool cubes. Apollo, I'll try using un cycled water to start the plants and see how it goes. I'm a little concerned about adding peat to the grow bed. Seems it would just add clogging material to the grow bed.
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    Re: Starting plants

    I also prefer the rapid rooters over the rock wool for seeds, but sprouts I put in the rockwool cylinders. For the rockwool, I germinate the seed before placing it in the cylinders. to germinate, I place the seed between a moistened paper towel and then place that carefully in a ziplock baggy. I then put the baggy in a warm dark location for 72 hours. Then using a tweezers, i transplant the sprouts to the rockwool. My chest of drawers sits over a heat vent in our bedroom, so I put the baggies in the bottom drawer. Seems to work pretty well, but still some varieties really struggle. Good seed storage is crucial too. Here in humid Missouri, some seeds don't keep well year to year.

  7. #7
    Moderator davidstcldfl's Avatar
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    Re: Starting plants

    Roger, that's interesting, that you do well with spinach and ok with peppers. Those 2 seem to be the ones most people have trouble with.

    I tried rock wool when I 1st started, and I didn't pre-treat it for PH. So, I have a bad opinion of it (even though it was my fault )
    I have used it since, but I think sometimes it stays too wet (not enough O2..?) and small plants seem to have an issue with it.

    I tried oasis horti-cubes and really like them. I use the 1x1x1 1/2 inch size. A sheet has 162 plugs. A same size ,
    sheet of rock wool, has about 90 some plugs. But, the cost are about the same.

    I haven't tried the rapid rooters. I'll have to check them out
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  8. #8
    Members Roger L.'s Avatar
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    Re: Starting plants

    Misterguppy I'll give that pre-sprouting a try. The dark area is a bit confusing though. I would think a lighted area would be better.
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    Re: Starting plants

    As far as the dark goes, I am following the lead from our local Hydroponics store. They start theirs in the dark and some of the books I've read said the same thing. The most crucial parts to seed starting are moisture and warmth as far as I know. I also use a self made starting mix of 2 parts peat moss, 1 part perlite, and 1 part vermiculite. Potting soil does not make a good seed starting mix. If I use those plants in the aquaponic system, I rinse the mix off the roots before planting in the bed or net pots. The key is finding what works best for you.

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    Re: Starting plants

    Now that all the seeds are started, have 3 good leafs...are all planted in the AP.

    1. What else needs to be done other than keeping the water at the right PH and Nitrates between 40 - 100 ppm?

    2. What if any additives are you putting into the AP that is great for the plants and non-harmful to the fish?

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