The miracle of seeds! Every seed contains all the food and energy it needs to burst out of its shell and start growing. Just add water.
Growing from seeds with soil can be a delicate process however. Too much water and fungus attacks. Not enough water and new tender seedlings shrivel up and die.
Watering has to be "just right" for success.
We replace soil with "Rockwool Grow Cubes" - a new and unique way to nurture seeds into seedlings. Rockwool Grow Cubes are a sterile growing medium that resists disease and provides the exact balance of air and water that seeds need to sprout.
1. Soak Rockwool Grow Cubes in clear water until they're saturated - about 10-15 minutes.
Position saturated cubes in a watertight tray for planting. Any type of tray or saucer will work.
2. Using a pointed object (like a pencil) poke several holes in the top of each cube.
3. Carefully sprinkle seeds over saturated cubes. Try to get the seeds to fall into the holes - don't worry if you miss - they'll still grow.
4. Cover seeds with a layer of sand to protect the seed and to block out light. Any type of builders sand will work.
Be sure to use labels so you know what you've planted.
Getting seeds to germinate is a delicate process that requires two things;
Temperatures in the 68- 75 degree range are imperative. Most seeds simply won't germinate in temperatures below 68 degrees. (At this point temperature is more important than light.)
Heat mats are the best tool for providing the gentle warmth seeds need to sprout.
Accurate watering is easy with Rockwool Grow Cubes. Simply pour water into the tray (not on the cubes) to about 1/4" deep. The capillary properties of the Grow Cubes will pull the moisture up to the seeds gently and evenly. At the same time, air flows through the cubes creating an even balance of air and moisture, preventing fungus and disease.
Watering seeds growing in soil is never easy. Seeds are easily dislodged or damaged.
And, if they're too wet, disease sets in quickly (especially a fungus called "damping off" where new seedlings decay at the base and the plants fall over and die).
Most seeds germinate better in the dark.
But, when new leaves emerge (in 2-3 days), the new seedlings want light - and lots of it! After seeds sprout, move them to sunny window that gets a couple of hours of direct sun.
New seedlings will grow weak and spindly without adequate light..
Most seeds sprout in 5-7 days. After 2-3 weeks in a sunny window (or under grow ights) you'll have mature seedlings that are 3-4" tall and are ready to be moved into a hydroponic planter.
Grower Tips for Seeds and Seedlings:
- Use plain water while seeds are sprouting. After new leaves appear apply nutrients at 1/2 strength. I use and recommend Dyna-Gro Grow 7-9-5 formula.
- As seedlings mature they will gradually use more water. Always wait until tray is dry to touch before rewatering however.
- Avoid harsh, dry heat when warming seeds for germination. Top of a refrigerator or few inches above a radiator simply aren't the best spots. Invest in a heat mat!