View Full Version : first try

08-06-2008, 04:15 AM
Hi all,

I retired in April after working many hours for the last 12 years and have been busy in the yard and garden this summer. I made a stop to check out the hydroponic store here in town and got excited and came home and put some pvc togeather to give it a try. I got some lettuce seed and put in the rock wool, got one of my aquarium lights, 250 w halide, set the timmer for 1 hour flood and 2 hours dry, just ran the lighting at night and expected great things. Nothing happened!

Went back to the store with one of my baskets and some sample water. My water checked good but my rock wool was way too wet so I was told to set the timmer for 15 mins on and 3 hrs off.

I finally got a couple lettuce seeds to sprout up but they didn't look like much. I put a couple in potting soil and they looked better.

I haven't been running my lighting because my system is on a glassed in back porch and I don't understand the need for lighting on seedlings because when you grow in soil you are suppose to keep in a shaded area until established. So one question is why run lights on seedlings. The temps here have been in the low 90's and upper 80's for a while and this is too hot for lettuce in soil, is it too hot for lettuce in hydrophonics too? My walmart timmers lowest setting is 1/2 hour. Is there a cheep 15 min timmer. What can I get to grow in my system. I have tried to get cuttings to root but nothing is working, so I am getting fustrated. I see all these pictures of great looking plants but just can't get started.

Help please.

08-07-2008, 08:38 AM
I see no mention of "I use this nutrient/fertilizer in my solution"

are you feeding the plants or just watering them? it sounds liek the latter, and once you put them in soil, which has nutrients, they did better.

08-07-2008, 02:08 PM

Rockwool holds water and it isn't good to saturate it. It works well in a drip system where you are dripping the solution on the top several times a day. You might try clay balls, Perlite, or coir in your system and see which one works best. To start seeds just put rockwool cubes on a tray, saturate the cubes and put the seeds in. Check after a few days to make sure the cube didn't dry out. After the seeds sprout put them in your system cube and all.

08-07-2008, 03:39 PM
when I said the water checked good that ment for nutrients etc.
I was kind of thinking on the lines of tkrimo and plan on giving that a try.
Thanks for the help.

Henry S
08-07-2008, 06:52 PM
thats a nice looking system....

with the rockwool starter cubes, we'll typically hand water them in a seedling tray (PRTRAY) until they root. as tkrimo said, rockwool retains a lot of water, so you want to keep the rockwool barely moist, but not where youre drowning the seed. also, since not all seeds are guaranteed to germinate, play the odds and start more seeds/clones then you need. you can choose the best ones and transplant them into your system. be sure to use a good rooting hormone if you take cuttings.

most people will run lights on seedlings to provide warmth.

a good starter plant is basil. easy to propagate and easy to grow.

24 hr timer with 15 min intervals (TIBA). if youre using your main system to germinate the seeds, i'd say try a single 15min soak at the beginning of the light cycle should be enough to keep the rockwool wet for the day.

good luck!