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Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie: Hydroponics Seed Starting Featured

Choosing the right seeds is an important step in cultivating a healthy crop. Choosing the right seeds is an important step in cultivating a healthy crop.

 

If you’re just starting out in the growing business, one of the most important decisions to make is how to take your first step. When starting to develop a new crop, some growers begin by seeking out clones. However, you may want to consider starting out with seeds. When purchased from a reputable source, seeds are the best way to guarantee that you are getting a true, pure strain. Even with the growing availability of clones in many areas, there is no certainty that you really are getting what you pay for—you are relying strictly on the reputation of the vendor. However, certain seed banks can offer a great selection. Starting plants from seeds gives you over 1,000 choices, whereas getting clones locally limits your options.

Not all growers find themselves in the same set of circumstances, and starting your plants from seeds allows you to choose the strains best suited for your gardening situation. For example, if you are growing outdoors, your geographic location and climate deserve special consideration. A good question to ask yourself is how many months out of the year you can grow. Make sure you pick a plant strain that will finish before the weather changes, or else you could find yourself looking at months of hard work coming to a screeching halt as the conditions take their toll on what would have been a beautiful harvest.

If you’re growing indoors, you are much less limited, but there are still a few considerations to keep in mind. It’s a good idea to start with a list of your criteria. Do you want a high yield? Do you want a fast turnaround time? What are your height requirements? Remember, some strains are easier to grow than others. Are you a hobbyist? Are you a Grand Master grower? You need to take all these factors into account before selecting the right seeds for your garden.

Starting plants from seeds gives the grower peace of mind because, unlike with some clones, you can be confident that your plants are getting a disease- and pest-free start.

You also need to be aware of how you start your seeds out. Starting your seeds in moist paper towels is one of the most commonly recommended ways of beginning to grow, but it is also one of the worst methods. The primary root that emerges from the seed has microscopic hooks for grabbing the soil so that the root can penetrate the soil. These tiny outgrowths can be damaged when you remove the seed from a paper towel. A better option is soaking your seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours before planting them directly into a small container of soilless mix, rockwool plugs, or root shooters.

When it comes to lighting, any gentle full-spectrum source will do the job. If your grow area is not the proper temperature for starting seeds, you will need a seedling mat and thermostat. Keep in mind that seeds and seedlings like a temperature range of 75ºF to 85ºF. Also, keep your medium moist, but not saturated, or you will invite diseases like damping off, which can take out all of your seedlings in mere days. Advanced Nutrients’ Piranha and Voodoo Juice are excellent products for protecting your seedlings from pathogens, but beyond that, you do not need to fertilize your seedlings until the first “true” leaves emerge. Seeds normally germinate in a grow medium within five to seven days.

Starting plants from seeds gives the grower peace of mind because, unlike with some clones, you can be confident that your plants are getting a disease- and pest-free start. Your seeds will have been hand-picked by you specifically for your type of growing environment, and starting plants from seeds requires no mother plant all year round! All the factors are in your favor for a more personal growing experience suited to your needs when you start with seeds.

Grow Big or Go Home!

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Deonna Marie is the world’s sexiest hydroponics expert.
Last modified on Friday, 28 September 2012 02:08

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