germinating in rockwool

chinamonJuly 9, 2009

hey everyone,

i am starting my first hydroponics system. it will be a DWC system with 3 gallon buckets. i will be growing thai basil, jalapeno and golden habanero. i havent started the peppers yet because the seeds havent arrived in the mail.

i did, however, start the basil. i put three seeds in each rockwool cube (1.5") yesterday and keep them enclosed for moisture and under a 90watt UFO LED grow light for about 16-18 hours per day. today, i just took a peek in to the hole with a flashlight and it looks like there is some white stuff around the seeds but it does not look like sprouts. anybody familiar with this? is this normal? it almost looks like mold.

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grizzman

if it looks like mold, it probably is.
seeds don't need 16 hours of light per day. in fact many prefer to germinate in the dark. after all, they expect to be underground when germinated.
also, don't keep them two wet.
I'd say dispose of them and start again. basil is easy to grow. germinate 40 seeds then prune to your favorite 3 (or so)
good luck.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 2:38PM
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chinamon

the rockwool is as wet as however much water it will hold. i did not squeeze any water out. the seeds started to mold within hours.

maybe you could give me the proper steps to germinate with rockwool from the beginning?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 6:44PM
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splitsec002(z9 CA)

Don't get rid of those seeds. My basil did the exact same thing. At first I thought it was the seed packet I had because all of them had that white stuff on it. Looks like mold. So I purchased a different one from another company and it did the same thing. They took longer to germinate than other seeds but all of them germinated and are growing great. I germinated mine in rockwool in a greenhouse full of light so that wouldn't be a problem either.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 10:34PM
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jean-luc

Right, just leave those seeds alone and do not get rid of them! Basil (Thai) seeds have some kind of natural coating, that looks kinda wired when becoming sodden. It's gelatinous and doesn't actually look like mold to me, but I bet there could be confusion.

Normally basil seeds germinate quickly, 4-6 days and they should open and sprout. I feed them with 0.5 EC from the beginning. After a week going up to 0.7, followed by 0.9 just before transplant. This strategy works fine under tropical and outdoor conditions, - it doesn't mean though, that it will be the best feeding strategy elsewhere.

Btw: I mostly germinate basil in synthetic sponge 1. with coco fibre filling 2. just sponge -> Von 3D- 24/06/09 Von 3D- 24/06/09

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 11:17PM
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chinamon

thanks for the info. i will leave them alone and see how it goes.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 4:41AM
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mfilippa

I never had much success at germinating in rockwool. Best success with basil I had was following this procedure:

- Soak seeds 24 hours in water, some gooey thing surrounds the seeds, which I assume is the seeds activating with water
- Place them on a wet paper towel in a black (light tight) container, on a raised piece of plastic with the paper towel wicking water from the container, but never soaking wet.
- My seeds sprout the next day, weaker seeds take an extra day or two. I keep the first/second day, discard the rest.
- Once I see the root with root hairs, I grab them with a fine tweezer (under green or low light) and put them on rockwool holes, 4 per cube.
- I start feeding low strength (EC 0.8) a couple of days after transplanting to rockwool, under 24hr flourescent.
- As soon as I see the roots coming out of the rockwool, they are ready to go outside.

The only trick on this setup: watch the temperature. Over 80F, they rot easily, under 70F they are slow to germinate. 25C ideal.

Another thing I learned, use a clear dome under flourescent but cool the dome with a fan. The heat from the flourescent, even though it is low, it is enough to raise the temperature on the rockwool and induce root rot in no time.

This is so far the best I could achieve with basil.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 5:32PM
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willardb3

Germination in rock wool.....it works fine.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 12:12PM
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chinamon

mfilippa, thanks for the tips but that is just way too complicated for me to deal with when im only germinating seeds. mother nature isnt even that accurate. lol.

i have mine sitting in a tray covered with a cd spindle clear cover to retain humidity and that sits inside my grow tent. i took a look in the hole of the rockwool with a flashlight and i can see little green sprouts. :) yay!

i attached a pic of my tent. the pot in the middle is my naga jolokia in soil and the thing on the stool right next to it is my germinating seeds.
thanks again, everyone.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 1:35PM
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dennyg(9)

I'm a relative newbee, but I have germinated a variety of vegetables in rockwool, e.g., tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, doing nothing special, with no problems. My last batch of lettuce, three varieties, germinated in about three days.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 6:38PM
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Outdoor_Hydro

Hi all, I am about to start germinating some basil seeds in rockwool cubes and had some questions.

1) Should I just put 3 seeds in there, then wet the cubes until they are mois and let them sit in my little covered container until they sprout?

2) Do I need to soak them first?

3) At what point are they ready to transpant into my hydroponic system?

4)Are people feeding them nutrients, tap water, or RO water, PH adjusted water (If so, what PH)? I have an RO filter, should I use RO water that is PH corrected to 6.0? Should I add a drop or two of nutrient to the water first?

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:14PM
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homehydro

Hello Outdoor_Hydro,

1) Should I just put 3 seeds in there, then wet the cubes until they are mois and let them sit in my little covered container until they sprout?
You can put as many seeds in as you want. If to many sprout, you can just pluck the rest.

2) Do I need to soak them first?
Soak them when you want the seeds wont begin to germinate until they become moist. So soaking the rockwool first wont have an effect until you put the seeds in it. However some people feel they do better if you soak the rockwool in pH adjusted water first. However I never do, it's your call. Try both ways and see what you feel is best.

3) At what point are they ready to transplant into my hydroponic system?
That depends on you, and what you want. At what point would they be ready to be transplanted them in the ground/soil? You can start them as seeds in the system (just like you can in the ground). Starting them in a smaller system/cubes first just allows you to pick the strongest ones first, and let them get bigger before using the resources to flood your system/s.

4)Are people feeding them nutrients, tap water, or RO water, PH adjusted water (If so, what PH)? I have an RO filter, should I use RO water that is PH corrected to 6.0? Should I add a drop or two of nutrient to the water first?
All of the above. pH depends on the plants, but generally a 6.0 is just fine. As for water type, if you can use RO water. Unless you need to use a lot, then filtered water is less wistful. As for using nutrients, I wouldn't use any at first for seeds, then slowly increase the amount as the sprouts get bigger. You can pH adjust it for sprouts, but I never do. I only pH adjust it once their in they system, and there's enough water to actually test/adjust.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:40AM
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homehydro

P.S.
Be careful to not let the rockwool become saturated (or any growing media), or you will suffocate the plants roots. Especially important for sprouts.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:46AM
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willardb3

If you have fungus, it can be controlled by hydrogen peroxide 500-1000 ppm in your water.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:11AM
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