Introduction: Hydroponic Seedling Preperation and Planting Tutorial
This tutorial gives advice on how to prepare and plant seedlings in the hydroponic systems that I use.
I hope it helps.
Remember there are other methods that will achieve the same result, but what is shown here is probably the easiest and most cost effective way which I have found to achieve success in growing my seedlings to maturity.
Step 1: Introduction
The correct planting of seedlings, either store bought, or your own, grown from seed is very important as to how your plants will produce.
With the correct support and root protection, your seedlings should produce a delicious and viable crop over a period of time depending on what you are planting.
Some crops like lettuce are ready for harvest from 5 to 6 weeks after planting, but as the whole plant is harvested, make sure that there are replacement seedlings available to replace the plants that have been harvested.
Spinach usually takes between 8 to 10 weeks before the leaves are big enough for picking. Spinach is a crop that keeps on giving,. once the leaves are big enough for harvesting, pick the big outer leaves, leave at least 3 of the new leaves on the plant and you should be able to pick more leaves in 2 to 3 weeks from the same plant for up to 6 or 7 months, with no need to replant.
Step 2: Preparing the Seedlings
Remove the seedlings from the seedling tray carefully without damaging the roots.
Sometime there is more than one seedling per compartment, especially if you have grown your own.
If this is the case, split the seedlings apart, whilst making sure that all have roots attached.
Step 3: Cleaning the Root Structure
Clean the roots a little, either by shaking the excess soil off, or by soaking in water.
The seedlings in the picture are chives and as they are quite small there is no need to split them as they grow well in numbers.
Step 4: Protecting and Wrapping the Roots
I prefer to use coconut hair (coir) to wrap around the roots as it is natural, soaks up water and if packed firmly enough, gives good support for the seedling (s).
The coconut hair also prevents sunlight from damaging the roots as their role is the uptake of nutrients for the green, photosynthetic part of the plant.
Step 5: Packing the Pot
Once the roots have been wrapped, plant the seedling in the propagation pot, making sure it is a snug fit.
This give support.
Step 6: Planting and Placing the Seedlings
Place the packed pot into your hydroponic system, ensuring that the pot is immersed at least 1 to 2 cm in the nutrient solution.
Capillary action of the coconut hair will allow the nutrient solution to be available to the roots.
Remember to place the seedlings a distance apart to alow for growth and reduce competition for sunlight.
Step 7: Happy Growing
I hope this tutorial was informative and useful.
The picture with the wallet in is of spring onions and the other of basil and California reaper seedlings