Growing Cannabis From Seed Hydroponically

Hydroponics is a method of cultivating plants, specifically cannabis in this case, in a solution of water and nutrients. How to grow cannabis seeds hydroponically is a promising solution to many challenges of cannabis crop production. Buy Feminized Seeds. Starting your seeds hydroponically has many benefits, but many people are unsure how to go about it.

Hydroponics Cannabis Growing Guide

Hydroponics is a method of cultivating plants, specifically cannabis in this case, in a solution of water and nutrients.

Cannabinoids, terpenes, phytochemicals, organic cultivation

Agricultural Chemistry – Photobiology – Indoor Farming – Hydroponics – IA

Contents:

  1. The history of hydroponics
  2. The advantages of hydroponic growing
  3. What’s the difference between active and passive hydroponics?
  4. Passive hydroponic systems for weed
  5. Active hydroponic systems for weed
  6. The cost of growing with hydroponics
  7. Materials needed to make a diy hydroponic system
  8. Choose a growing medium to get things started
  9. Choose a hydroponic growing setup for your plants to thrive in
  10. Prepare your system to ensure a successful grow
  11. Hydroponics can be intimidating, but the reward is worth it

As the name may suggest, hydroponics is a soilless method of growing cannabis using water as the primary medium. Within a hydroponic setup, cannabis plants are grown in buckets or baskets filled with an inert growing medium, and are suspended over a tank full of water. The water is filled with all of the nutrients plants need to survive and thrive, and air stones are used to aerate the tank. This basic model manifests in many different forms and systems, with different growers preferring different setups. There are many advantages to hydroponic cultivation, all of which will be covered in this article. But first, let’s delve into the history of this fascinating art form.

The History of Hydroponics

Hydroponic cultivation might initially seem like the result of modern advances in technology. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The origins of growing plants in water goes back thousands of years into human history. The famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, created in 600 BCE, are theorised to have utilised hydroponic principles. The region located next to the Euphrates was naturally dry and arid. It’s believed the crops of the garden were nurtured using a trickle-system starting at the river.

Moving closer in time to the 10th and 11th centuries, the Aztec civilisation was also known to utilise hydroponics to provide sustenance to their society. After being forced from their land via conflict, these people settled at Lake Tenochtitlan. They proceeded to build floating rafts topped with soil, allowing crops to grow through the tap layer and spread their roots into the waters below.

More recent, but still distant, examples of hydroponic growing involve the English scientist John Woodward in 1699. His work involved cultivating spearmint plants in water. He found that the plant species grew faster within a water source mixed with soil.

The Advantages of Hydroponic Growing

If you talk to a grower who has experience with hydroponic growing, one of the first things they’ll probably tell you is that their hydroponic plants grow much, much faster than those in soil. This is a prime advantage of this method of cultivation—hydroponic plants usually grow 30–50% faster and often provide larger yields. A large reason for this is that nutrients within a hydroponic system are much more readily available to plants. The nutrients are suspended in water and enter directly into the root system as there is no soil to navigate through. In contrast, plants growing in soil must search through the medium in order to uptake nutrients from below. Easy access to nutrients allows plants to preserve energy, which is then diverted to growth efforts instead.

What’s the Difference Between Active and Passive Hydroponics?

Hydroponic systems are either active or passive, depending on the way they are designed. Active systems involve the movement of nutrient solution using electric pumps and the oxygenation of water using air stones. Passive systems are much more simple, and some rely on capillary action instead of electric pumps to deliver nutrient solution.

Passive Hydroponic Systems for Weed

Passive hydroponic systems feature minimalist designs. They use low-tech methods to deliver water and nutrients to cannabis roots without using additional electricity.

Types of Passive Hydroponic Systems

There are numerous types of passive hydroponic systems, but the Kratky method and wick system are two of the most popular.

The Kratky Method The Wick System
The Kratky Method The Wick System

Benefits of Passive Hydroponic Systems

Passive hydroponic systems are simple and easy. They serve as a great introduction to this water-based way of growing, and are cheaper than active alternatives. The main benefits of passive systems are:

Is Passive Hydroponics Better Than Hand Watering?

It depends on what system you’re using. Kratky systems don’t require any hand watering at all. Wick systems that use soil are often superior to hand watering, as the slow and steady delivery of water into the medium helps to reduce overwatering. However, they sometimes fail to provide enough water to large and thirsty plants, meaning growers may need to occasionally intervene with a watering can.

Active Hydroponic Systems for Weed

Active hydroponic systems harness the power of modern innovations to keep plants fed, watered, and aerated. They use electric air pumps and air stones to provide cannabis roots with all the ingredients needed to support a healthy plant. Because they utilise electronic devices, growers can choose to automate these systems to reduce their workload.

Types of Active Hydroponic Systems

If you’re drawn to active hydroponic systems, you have plenty of options to choose from.

Deep Water Culture Ebb and Flow
Nutrient Film Technique Drip System
Aeroponics
Deep Water Culture Ebb and Flow Nutrient Film Technique Drip System Aeroponics

Benefits of Active Hydroponic Systems

Active hydroponic systems work well for larger growing operations. Despite their vulnerability to power outages, they offer the following benefits:

✔️Water-efficient
✔️Provide plenty of oxygen
✔️Easy to automate

The Cost of Growing with Hydroponics

When thinking about hydroponics, you might picture a high-tech setup: automated switches, flashing lights, ticking timers. However, the cost of a hydroponic system all depends on how much money you’re willing to splash. They range from a simple plastic bucket all the way to self-draining and flooding systems. To save time, invest in a cheap hydroponic starter kit. These include all of the materials you need to get from seed to harvest. You can purchase one for around £200 (€235).

pH Tester

Materials Needed to Make a DIY Hydroponic System

If you go the DIY route, check out the brief guide below. The list covers all of the equipment you need to construct a basic indoor setup. Simply find the product that suits you for each listed item. Buying your gear separately allows you to invest more heavily into important items such as lighting while reducing the cost in other areas.

Here’s what you’ll need:

a) Lighting ( LED or HPS) h) Seeds
b) Lighting hangers i) Ventilation fan and ducting tubes
c) Grow tent j) Carbon filter
d) Hydroponic reservoir and tray k) Oscillating fan
e) Airstone and pump l) Hydroponic nutrients
f) Growing medium (e.g. coco coir) m) pH and TDS/EC meters
g) Net mesh planting pots n) Thermometer/Hygrometer

b) Lighting hangers

d) Hydroponic reservoir and tray

e) Airstone and pump

g) Net mesh planting pots

i) Ventilation fan and ducting tubes

k) Oscillating fan

m) pH and TDS/EC meters

1. Choose a Growing Medium to Get Things Started

Now that we have covered the history and benefits of hydroponic growing, it’s time to get things started. To begin, you’ll need to select a growing medium—a substance that will hold in place the intersection of the stem and roots. From this location, the roots will grow down into the water in search of nutrients. The inert medium also allows good air access to the top of the roots. There is a huge list of different media used by cultivators, with those below being the most common. Each medium has its own unique benefits, and some work better with different systems. It’s all about experimentation when starting out to see which works best for you.

Clay Pebbles

As one of the most popular options, clay pebbles are excellent at aerating root systems. Clay pebbles sometimes require that growers alter the pH in order to provide an optimal growing environment, however, pre-altered pebbles can be purchased. You’ll need to place clay pebbles into a plastic hydroponic basket that has spaces for roots to grow through.

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As one of the most popular options, clay pebbles are excellent at aerating root systems. Clay pebbles sometimes require that growers alter the pH in order to provide an optimal growing environment, however, pre-altered pebbles can be purchased. You’ll need to place clay pebbles into a plastic hydroponic basket that has spaces for roots to grow through.

Rockwool

Rockwool is another popular choice, and is a substance created using volcanic rocks with a wool texture, hence the name. Rockwool has a tremendous capacity to retain water, which allows for good hydration of the upper root system. Rockwool can be placed within a hydroponic basket, but can also be lodged directly into the top of a bucket or tank lid without.

Rockwool is another popular choice, and is a substance created using volcanic rocks with a wool texture, hence the name. Rockwool has a tremendous capacity to retain water, which allows for good hydration of the upper root system. Rockwool can be placed within a hydroponic basket, but can also be lodged directly into the top of a bucket or tank lid without.

Perlite

Perlite is a volcanic glass that expands when exposed to high temperatures. It’s often used in garden soils to provide aeration, which is exactly why it’s beneficial to use as a hydroponic growing medium for cannabis.

Perlite is a volcanic glass that expands when exposed to high temperatures. It’s often used in garden soils to provide aeration, which is exactly why it’s beneficial to use as a hydroponic growing medium for cannabis.

Coco Coir

Coco coir is a good sustainable option for a growing medium. As the fibre from coconuts, coco coir allows for good aeration and moisture retention. Coconut fibres are also known to protect roots from infection due to the presence of plant-stimulating hormones.

Coco coir is a good sustainable option for a growing medium. As the fibre from coconuts, coco coir allows for good aeration and moisture retention. Coconut fibres are also known to protect roots from infection due to the presence of plant-stimulating hormones.

2. Choose a Hydroponic Growing Setup for Your Plants to Thrive In

Now that you’ve selected a growing medium, it’s time to choose which type of hydroponic setup to use. All systems are similar in that they utilise a nutrient-enriched water solution. However, setups can vary widely depending on factors such as water exposure and circulation. Most of the following systems can be purchased, but those with DIY skills could easily make them by using buckets, drills, pumps, and air stones.

The Kratky Method

The Kratky method makes hydroponic growing affordable, accessible, and easy. Growers can use a range of items to make these systems, including buckets and plastic boxes. The plants sit in net cups inserted into a lid, and the roots reach down into a nutrient solution below.

A gap of air between the surface of the solution and the bottom of the lid aerates the upper roots. This provides oxygen to the root system and removes the need for an air stone. The roots continue to grow down into the solution as the level reduces. Growers just need to make sure they top up their containers before their plants drink up all the fluid.

Deep Water Culture

Deep water culture systems are effectively active versions of Kratky systems. They feature a single reservoir filled to the top with nutrient solution. Plants sit in net cups that are slotted into holes in a Styrofoam sheet that floats on the surface. Unlike the Kratky method, deep water culture systems don’t need to maintain an air gap to allow the upper roots to breathe. Instead, the system uses an air stone to continually aerate the solution.

Ebb and Flow

An ebb and flow (also known as flood and drain) system features water that, well, ebbs and flows. These systems consist of several buckets suspended above a growing tray that features a water inlet and outlet. Both of these waterways are connected to an external tank that contains nutrients, an air stone to aerate the water supply, and a pump to move water into the growing tray. The roots in these systems are not continuously submerged within water. Instead, water periodically floods the growing tray with fresh oxygen and nutrient-enriched water. Once the pump cycle ends, all of the water drains back into the external tank.

This system allows for periodic feeding. The time when the growing tray is empty allows growers to easily tend to plant roots and harvest plants.

Drip System

A drip system in hydroponics is very similar to a drip irrigation system when growing in soil. This system consists of a large tray filled with growing medium, such as clay pebbles. Plants are placed directly into the medium, and each has its own drip pipe nearby. An external water tank with a pump and air stones constantly supplies a drip feed of water over each plant. The roots of these plants are constantly exposed to air, and the excess water drips down the medium and back into the external tank.

Nutrient Film Technique

The nutrient film technique features a similar setup to the ebb and flow system. However, instead of occasionally flooding the growing tray, it provides a constant stream of water and nutrient solution to the roots. The reservoir contains an air stone to aerate the solution and an electric water pump to circulate the solution into the growing tray. The growing tray sits at a slight angle to enable the solution to flow downward and back into the reservoir after passing the roots.

Wick System

The wick system features a growing container filled with a medium and a separate reservoir that houses the nutrient solution. Some growers choose to fill the growing container with soil, whereas others opt for soilless media such as coco coir. These growing media feature gaps that allow oxygen to enter and aerate the roots—removing the need for an air pump.

Wicks are used to passively transport nutrient solution to the roots. One end sits in the nutrient reservoir and the other in the growing container. Wicks pull water from the reservoir to the roots using capillary action.

Aeroponics

Aeroponics is perhaps the most futuristic version of hydroponic growing, and uses misted water dispersed through the air to optimise aeration and hydration. Plants are placed into the top of a large tank of water filling the bottom 25%. Under the water is a pump that sends water into misters underneath the root systems. This fine mist constantly soaks the roots, allowing plants to receive massive quantities of air and water simultaneously.

3. Prepare Your System to Ensure a Successful Grow

After choosing your system, it’s important to prepare it well to prevent any detrimental situations. The damp and dark nature of water tanks is an ideal growing environment for a host of pathogens. Before running your system, you will need to sterilise your equipment to minimise the chances of contamination. Wipe down all of your buckets, trays, pipes, and tanks with rubbing alcohol, hot water, and peroxide. Once your system is sterilised, begin following the instructions to set it up correctly.

You’ll Need To Maintain Your System Regularly

Every hydroponic system requires frequent maintenance to provide an optimal growing environment. Below are all of the major factors you need to be aware of.

A) Always Monitor pH

You’ll need to constantly test the pH of the water to ensure an optimal growing environment. Nutrients are more available to plants when the environment is slightly more acidic. Therefore, a pH of 5.5–5.8 is required. Use a pH testing kit to take regular readings, and be sure to change the solution weekly to maintain this range. During flowering, a pH of 6 is preferred.

B) Try To Keep Your Water Temperature at Around 20°C

Hydroponic cannabis has an ideal temperature of 20°C. This factor can be monitored using a water thermometer and altered using a water heater if the temperatures are too low.

C) Provide The Correct Quantity Of Nutrients

Hydroponic plants require the same nutrients as their soil-based counterparts. The easiest way to go about feeding your plants is by purchasing hydroponic nutrient solutions that contain all of the required substances for both the vegetation and blooming periods. Products will also describe how often to add nutrients back into your system and how much dilution is required.

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D) Keep Things Clean To Avoid Contamination

Both growing trays and tanks require emptying and cleaning around every two weeks. This process will keep the roots of your plants safe against invading pathogens and diseases. Repeat the same process mentioned above when initially preparing your system.

E) Selecting A Strain For Hydroponic Growing

Strain selection is an important factor of hydroponic growing. Plants grown within these systems are free to uptake nutrients extremely fast, which often results in explosive and rapid growth. For this reason, selecting a large, towering sativa variety won’t be your best choice, especially if your system resides within an indoor grow tent.

Smaller and more compact strains are ideal for indoor hydroponic systems. Beginning with a smaller strain is advantageous for several reasons. For one, it will let you cultivate several plants within a smaller space, allowing for more diversity and potentially bigger yields. Additionally, if your plants do go through a growth spurt, you’ll have room to deal with such sudden surges in height.

Below are two strains that we recommend for hydroponic growing.

White Widow

White Widow is a perfectly balanced hybrid strain that features 50% indica genetics and 50% sativa genetics. She was created using parent strain White Widow S1, and provides a well-balanced high that stimulates and excites the mind whilst relaxing and stoning the body. A THC level of 19% ensures a powerful psychoactive experience that lasts several hours. These flowers contain a terpene profile that emanates grounding tastes and smells of earth and pine.

White Widow will reach a height of 60–100cm when grown indoors, making her an ideal candidate for the spatial demands of a hydroponic growing operation. Expect good yields of 450–500g/m² after a flowering period of 8–9 weeks.

How to Grow Cannabis Seeds Hydroponically

How To Grow Cannabis Seeds Hydroponically – Hydroponic cultivation is a promising solution to many challenges of crop production. It fixes the need for arable land, deforestation, ecosystem degradation, climate changes, and other issues related to cannabis cultivation. For decades, hydroponics has proven its effectiveness in various settings, and cannabis farming is no exception.

What Is Hydroponic Cultivation?

Hydroponics is a method of cultivating plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in an aqueous solvent. In hydroponic cannabis cultivation, farmers plant their seeds in inert growing media and then supply them with nutrient-rich solutions like oxygen and water. To ensure that the plants remain healthy, farmers must control the whole environment, including nutrition, lighting, temperature, humidity, and oxygen. This system encourages rapid growth, high yields, and top-quality cannabis.

How to Grow Cannabis Seeds Hydroponically

To achieve successful results in hydroponic farming, cannabis growers must become acquainted with every component that ensures a smooth and efficient hydroponic grow. This includes selecting a grow medium, hydroponic system, lighting, nutrients, and more.

Choosing a Hydroponic Growing Medium

The first step to growing cannabis seeds hydroponically is to choose a growing medium. The medium allows roots to access nutrients in the water easily. There is an array of growing media to consider, but the right medium depends on which hydroponic system you will be using. Some of the most popular media include:

Clay pebbles

Clay pebbles, also known as hydroton, are great at aerating cannabis root zones. These particles have large pore spaces, allowing the nutrient solutions to flow through the medium easily. Their large pore size also reduces the chance of blockages within the hydroponic system. Clay pebbles are set up by simply placing them in the container and creating gaps for easy root penetration into the water.

Clay pebbles are a popular choice for small-scale growers; however, this type of medium might be too costly for larger operations. Another drawback is that farmers sometimes need to adjust the pH of the medium to provide an optimal growing environment.

Rockwool

Made using basalt rock and recycled slag, Rockwool is a type of mineral wool that is a popular medium for cannabis cultivation. Rockwool is excellent for water retention, allowing for adequate hydration of the upper root system. This medium also provides exceptional drainage, preventing the plants from becoming overwatered. Although Rockwool is a popular medium that offers many benefits, it is not environmentally friendly and requires pH adjustment for optimal plant growth.

Perlite

Perlite is a volcanic glass that expands when exposed to high temperatures. This medium is affordable and easy to use, making it a popular choice for hydroponic and soil growers alike. Perlite provides adequate aeration and prevents compaction in garden soil as well as hydroponics.

This medium does not degrade or decompose and can be reused multiple times before it starts to break into smaller pebbles. Perlite has a neutral pH and will take on the pH of the nutrient solution it is submerged in, making it easy for growers to regulate the acidity or alkalinity of their media.

Coco Coir

Coco coir is made from the hairy fiber on the outer shell of coconuts. This type of medium allows for proper aeration and moisture retention in hydroponic systems. It also protects roots from the harsh effects of plant-stimulating hormones. Coco coir is environmentally friendly, has a neutral pH, is reusable, and does not allow for the growth of fungi.

Choosing a Hydroponic Growing System

Most hydroponic systems are similar in their use of nutrient-rich water solutions; however, they differ depending on the material used, setup, water exposure, and circulation. Still, farmers can go for DIY systems using buckets, pumps, drills, and air stones. The best hydroponic systems to consider are:

Deep Water Culture (DWC)

Deepwater culture is a cheap and easy way for beginners to grow cannabis seeds hydroponically. To set up a DWC system, growers simply place their plants in buckets filled with nutrient-rich solutions and use air pumps to supply oxygen to the roots.

Because this system does not use a growing medium, it prevents pests from proliferating around the root zone. DWC systems are fully automated and require little maintenance to use, making them ideal for inexperienced growers or those with large-scale operations.

Ebb and Flow

This system consists of buckets hung over a growing tray with inlet and outlet waterways, both of which connect to an external tank. The tank periodically supplies the plants with fresh water that is rich in nutrients and oxygen. The system has a water pump and a timer to control the water cycle to and from the external tank and growing tray. Ebb and flow systems are ideal for beginners as these systems are highly effective, easy to use, and require minimal maintenance.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

With the nutrient film technique, plants absorb nutrients and oxygen from a solution that flows through growing trays. The tube that circulates the solution is tilted slightly to allow the water to flow from one side of the reservoir to the other. With this system, crops receive a constant flow of nutrients and oxygen. Growers can conserve water and nutrients by using the nutrient film technique because the nutrient solution is constantly being recirculated.

Drip System

A drip system is a type of irrigation method that slowly drips nutrients and water into the roots of the cannabis plants. This system consists of a large tray with a growing medium such as clay pebbles or perlite. Cannabis plants access the constantly flowing solution through individual pipes, and the excess solution drips down the growing medium and back into the reservoir. Because drip systems slowly release water to the plants, it reduces the amount of water lost due to evaporation. This system is also very energy efficient, as it does not require a great deal of pressure from a powerful pump.

Wick System

Much like drip systems, wick systems use growing trays that are filled with clay pebbles. A water tank rests underneath the tray from which several wicks connect to the medium. The solution travels down the wicks, passively hydrating the roots of the plants. This type of system is entirely passive and does not require any pumps or air stones. Wick systems allow the plants to access only as much water as they need, meaning that growers need not worry about overwatering their crops.

Aeroponics

In aeroponic systems, plants are suspended inside of a chamber, and their roots are misted with water. Aeroponic systems are often used to start clones but can also be used throughout the entire growth cycle. This type of system may not be ideal for inexperienced growers, as it takes some expertise to set up and maintain. This system also makes it easy for pests and diseases to take hold in the garden.

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Choosing Lighting

In the past, most farmers preferred to use high-intensity discharge lights (HIDs) such as high-pressure sodium (HPS) or metal halide (MH) lights. But the recent full spectrum light-emitting diode (LED) grow lights have had tremendous success.

MH lights are close to natural lighting and are abundant in blue and green spectrums, which are best for vegetative growth. HPS offers orange, amber, and red-light spectrums, which are best for later cannabis flowering stages. Farmers often use metal halide lights during the vegetative growth period and switch to high-pressure sodium lights during the flowering period.

Although HID lamps provide an excellent light source for plant growth, they waste lots of energy and produce excessive heat. To mitigate the heat, farmers should invest in robust ventilation systems, including can fans and oscillating fans.

Lately, many growers have started using full-spectrum LED lights, which are far more energy-efficient than HID ones. Moreover, they are perfect for all growing phases and don’t require a ballast to power them.

Because most strains of cannabis are photoperiod-dependent, farmers should carefully regulate the light cycle during the vegetative and flowering stages. This is a crucial step in growing cannabis seeds hydroponically.

Nutrients

Like other crops, cannabis requires an abundance of major nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, it requires smaller amounts of other nutrients such as boron, sulfur, calcium, magnesium. The best way to feed cannabis plants is to use hydroponic nutrient solutions containing all the required nutrients for the vegetation and flowering periods.

Best Cannabis Seeds

Greenpoint Seeds offers superior cannabis seeds that produce potent plants in any hydroponic growing system, regardless of your growing season or environment. We pride ourselves in providing the best feminized and regular cannabis seeds on the market.

Contact us for more information about how to grow cannabis seeds hydroponically. Have you ever tried hydroponics? Share your story in the comment section below.

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions on qualifying purchases from Amazon.com.

2 thoughts on “ How to Grow Cannabis Seeds Hydroponically ”

I use general hydro nutrients and have found that because the ppm of my water is below 50 I have to add small amounts of vsma and so to get the best results in my deep water system. A ppm meter is very important to a hydro system.

Hydroponic Seed Starting 101: A Primer for Beginners

Starting your seeds hydroponically has many benefits, but many people are unsure how to go about it. Shannon McKee gives us a primer on the basics of starting your own seeds to expand on what you’re currently growing.

Many people skip starting their own seeds because of the time and effort to get them started, but there are some great reasons to start your own seeds hydroponically. It’s so much easier to just go to the store to pick up some seedlings to pop into your system and get growing, right? Well, store-bought seedlings do have some downsides that can be avoided if you start your own.

The first is that you’re limited to what you can grow in your system. You have to choose from the options available at the store. However, if you start your own seeds, you can grow anything. This means you can grow your favorite heirlooms or even rare plants that aren’t found at many nurseries.

Adding seeds to your hydroponic system means that they won’t go through any trauma or root damage from being transplanted into your system. This process may also introduce diseases or bugs into your hydroponic system from the store.

Also, you get the satisfaction of growing a plant from a tiny seed rather than just picking up a seedling. Plus, a packet of seeds can grow a number of plants for just a few bucks, whereas the cost of only one seedling can be the same amount.

Seeds are also more cost-effective than buying one or two seedlings in the long run, as you can save some for the following year. The germination rate can decrease over time, but often, you can still get quite a few to sprout over the years until you have to buy your next seed packet.

What You Need to Start Seeds in a Hydroponic System

The first time you start your own seeds for your hydroponic system may be a bit more expensive at the beginning because you need to buy more materials than in future years. Seeds need water, light, oxygen, and heat to grow. You really don’t need anything too special to grow your own seeds.

You can use a grow tray with a dome for your own miniature greenhouse to create an ideal environment. If you’ll be growing your seeds in an area that is cooler, you may want to invest in a heating mat that goes underneath the grow tray to keep it warm as this is a necessary condition for sprouting to occur. Light is good to have as well as this will help your seeds sprout.

Inside of your grow tray, it can be beneficial to use a pot that works for your seeds and their future as seedlings in your hydroponic set-up. You’ll want to use starter cubes, such as those made of stonewool (rockwool). The key here is to use something that can withstand being immersed in water without dissolving, as it could clog up your system after transplanting.

Step by Step Instructions for Sprouting Seeds in a Hydroponic System

  • The first thing that you’ll want to do is to soak your starter cubes in clean water for about an hour. After they’ve been given a chance to soak, put a few seeds into the cube’s hole. You’ll want to add several just in case you have some seeds that don’t germinate. Once they sprout, you can thin out the weaker plants to allow the strongest to grow.
  • Prepare your grow tray with about an inch of clean water or nutrient solution that is at half strength. Arrange the light source and heating mat as needed. You can keep the lid on to keep the heat and moisture in the tray.
  • Put these planted cubes into the grow tray and add water or the half strength nutrient solution as the level goes down in the grow tray.
  • After about four days, you’ll start to see some sprouts emerging.

Some people prefer to use a Ziploc bag, rather than a grow tray, when trying to get the seeds to germinate as it functions like a greenhouse. Seal the bag with a little bit of air and put it in a dark place for about four days to get the seeds sprouted. Then, you can put the starter cubes with sprouted seeds into the grow tray.

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Step by Step Instructions on Transplanting

Keep your tiny seedlings growing strong with your hydroponic nutrient solution. Once they’ve gotten bigger, you don’t have to make the nutrient solution half strength.

You’ll start to see the seedlings’ roots coming out of the bottom of the cube, and this is the sign you’ve been waiting for, as it means you can start transplanting. This can take about two to four weeks depending on what plants you’re growing.

Clear up a spot in your hydroponic system’s growing media for the seedling – cube and all. Gently transfer the starter cube into your growing media, and cover it gently.

Give the root system a chance to naturally seek out the water and nutrients in your system by top watering it for a few days to give it a chance to grow the root system.

Voila! You grew your own seedlings into a strong plant for your hydroponic system. Depending on the type of plant, you’ll be able to get your first harvest about four to eight weeks from the time you transplanted your seedlings.

Cut out the dependency of only being able to grow the types of plants that are available as seedlings at your favorite gardening store. Take a little extra time to nurture your seeds so that they become strong seedlings ready to transplant into your system. You’ll be able to take pride in your efforts with how healthy your plants are and your overall system’s health.