I have read & seen how peppers can get crown rot if too wet so how does one start from seed hydropoically? I have lost most of my seedlings that were in rockwool.
I think the easiest way is just to cheat and start the seed in a professional seed-starting mix. Pure vermiculite will work well, too. Just take the seedling out later, rinse the roots, and transplant to your hydro machine.
If you use rockwool, it's just like any other media. Seeds like it moist, but not completely soaked.
How to use rockwool:
- always pre-soak in pH balanced water for at least a few minutes
- before adding seeds, shake the cubes and make sure that no water flings from the cubes -- if it does, they are too wet; note the way they look at this point -- this is what they should look like when you rewater them
- add seeds and keep the cubes in a warm place.
- rewater the cubes once they are almost dry, and make sure they don't get over watered
When I grow peppers, I usually do it as Cole suggests. They take longer to germinate than most seeds so the soil mix allows you to be (somewhat) more negligent of them until they get going. I grow them in six packs then pop out the soil and drop into a bucket of water. after a minute or two 90% of the soil has fallen off.
Alternately, you can start them in a damp paper towel you just have to be sure to keep it damp. usually you'll have to moisten it once or twice before the seeds germinate.
Thanks for the guide on using rockwool. I'm curious about it, but never tinkered as it seemed the moist level was a big vague question mark. Well, that and I've never had problems just growing them in hydroton.
Hopefully better than some other how-to's I have seen. The moisture can be a bit tricky but the directions I gave should set anyone in the right direction : )
this is how mine started, in rockwool, in a yellow solo cup
now that solo cup is in this net-pot lid. currently 14 jalapenos. 23Watt daylight CFL bulbs BTW
ideally I would have grown it taller before the bloom however my heat is turned down during the day while I'm out which is what I believe provoked early blooming.
ill get some habanero pics up this-evening, huge shiny
maple-leaf sized leafs :)
This post was edited by on-call on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 6:53
Thanks! I have grown them in the past rinsing out the soil & transferring to the hydroton ebb & flow, but wanted to try the wool so as not to disturb the roots so much. The grodan is in a tray that sits on a heater mat which dries it out quickly so it may have been too wet or it may have been too dry. Now I am trying to keep a little water in the bottom, not up to where the seeds are germinating.
this one is in a bucket with a rotational sprinkler head.
the jalapeno from yesterdays post has a larger air pump and stone.
both started in rockwoool.
Personally, My peppers have always bounced right back after transplanting them from six packs to Grodan in netpots. It has been a few years since I grew them in DWC though. Now I grow them in NFT troughs and they seem to love it.
Rockwool works great for me, I use it for germinating almost everything I grow.
I use a cheap black tray and humidity dome with a heat mat underneath.
I soak the rock wool in Ph 5.5 water overnight then transfer to tray and sow seeds. I cover and close the vents on the humidity dome and put on heat mat under low light. I open the dome and let air in once or twice a day. You should see some condensation on the inside of the dome, if not then add some water to bottom of the tray, or gently over the top. Dump excess water from the corner of the tray. Sometimes I put a wet paper towel over the rock wool, sometimes fine vermiculite in the holes, but usually neither. Once the leaves emerge, open the vents.
Another week and the dome comes off then into the regular light slowly.
Peppers can take a while, being warmed helps speed it up.
Use water in the ph range the plant wants from the beginning to help germinate the seeds.
I've started hundreds of plants this way. I've also started them in soil/peat, or purchased and washed off the roots which works fine too.
I germinate peppers in Root Riot plugs and have no issues with the transfer either into hydro or garden soil.
Let them bottom feed once every two days depending on room humidity and they should do just fine.
Here is a link that might be useful: My Indoor Growing Adventure