Propagating My Own Seedlings
Hi, I’m Chris from Aqua Gardening
When starting to grow, you have the option of starting from seed, seedling, or a cutting. There are different growing medias to suit each size and type of plant, and because they vary so much from grower to grower, let us help you make the right decision.
Growing from a seed is cheapest way to start and can be very easy. Seedlings give you the benefit of a quick start, however the health of the seedling may not be as good as when you raise it yourself. It’s also common to bring home new pests with a nursery seedling! Cuttings give you the chance for a quick start too, as long as you nurture the cuttings and follow our tips.
To raise a seed successfully, you will need to have a propagation kit that includes a dome and a tray. This is like an incubator, and will accelerate the propagation process. By starting with a good propagator you will create warmth and humidity, which speeds up the process and gives you higher success rate with seeds and cuttings.
When it comes to growing media to plant your seed or cutting into, the most common options are, Rockwool, Coco plugs, sponge plugs or a perlite and vermiculite mix.
Rockwool is ideal to use in Hydroponics or aquaponic systems, because you can plant it straight into any growing media.
To use rockwool, first soak it in water buffered to a pH of 5.5. This is to reduce the high pH, then let it drain overnight – don’t squeeze it as it ruins the structure. Once ready, place the seed in the top, or for larger seeds and cuttings use the hole.
We stock Coco plugs made by jiffy. Jiffy plugs are great for transferring a plant later into coco coir or soil. The plugs are compacted and need to be soaked before first use. Do this by placing the plug on a saucer, then watering it to expand it. When it is expanded, plant the seed just below the surface, or push the cutting gently inside through the hole on the end. Make sure the plug is then placed on a free draining surface so it doesn’t become saturated and rot the seed or stem. Keep the plug moist after it is planted.
Propagation sponge plugs are biodegradable and hold a lot of water without becoming water logged. They are designed to hold the perfect ratio of air to water for rooting cuttings and starting off seeds. They can be used in any type of growing media. Simply place one on your tray, insert your seed into the hole, and keep it moist.
Perlite and vermiculite can also be used for raising seeds as well. You can use a mix of both, or just the vermiculite only. You will need small net pots, or a propagation tray with holes to hold the mix. Once the seed is planted in the pot, place it on a tray and water.
To boost your seedlings growth, give them water mixed with a root tonic like bloom roots, rhizotonic, or ryzofuel. This will give the seed the correct food and vitamins for stronger and healthier root development.
Once you have roots coming out of the bottom of the propagation media, it’s time to plant them out into a pot and give them a full feed of nutrient. If you’re planning to transfer it to an Aquaponics system, simply place it out in the grow bed. In each case, make sure the roots are moist and receiving water, and the light is not too intense.
Now when you know how easy it is to raise a seed or cutting, why not give it a go! You will be surprised at how much healthier your own plants will be.
I’m Chris from Aqua Gardening, and thanks for watching.