(Seagrave, Ontario, Canada)
Rapid Rooter plugs, for starting seeds and clones
I have used rapid rooter plugs this year for the first time. The seeds started and rooted in no time. BUT, when I put them into the soil filled pots, the rapid rooter plug keeps pushing itself back out of the soil. Not a problem as the plants are now big enough.
What I did notice: when I was waiting for the seeds to sprout, and then when I planted them into the next size up pots (6 inch dirt pots) the plugs were always wet.
So my concern in using them in a DWC (Which I am about to start) is that the plug will hold a lot of moisture against the stem of the plant and may potentially cause rot. Is this a possibility?Are you actually using rapid rooter plugs in your hydro set up?
Answer: I currently use Rapid Rooter plugs for all of my clones, and they end up in my hydro system with the clones. I prefer deep water culture systems myself (Be sure to check out My Most Successful System). Every different plant you try to grow in this system will behave a little differently. If one particular strain does not like the standing water (constantly wet Rapid Rooter plugs included), one possible solution is to try different genetics/strains until you find one that is more agreeable in the system and environment you are providing.
Also, when you take your clones (if you are taking clones), dip them in cloning gel and place them in a jar/container of water for the first week to ten days...until they pop their first roots. After that, place them promptly into the rapid rooter plugs. In this way, the newly forming roots have been preconditioned to tolerate standing water conditions. This will greatly help your success rate in many cases.
Finally, be sure to keep the nutrient solution in your DWC around 65-70 degrees (tops). Warmer water holds less and less dissolved Oxygen. Nutrient absorption only occurs in the presence of Oxygen. Furthermore, many pathogens thrive in Oxygen poor conditions. So, do yourself a big favor and keep your solution temps in check! In addition, I always keep a couple of air bubblers in the nutrient solution reservoir to ensure the solution running through the hydroponic system contains plenty of dissolved Oxygen.
Thanks for the question Sue, and Happy Growing!
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Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 24 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people...
I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT
having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow
your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality
nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with
and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as
possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!
As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...
And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.
Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only
just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only
because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique
and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more
high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole
year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to
increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the
same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your
own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food
And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...
The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->
This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.
Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!
The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!