Is There Any Advantage in Germinating Seeds Hydroponically?
Hydroponically germinating seeds has several advantages over using soil to do the same job. This is the best way to avoid many common diseases because the hydroponic medium is clean. Soil may contain insects or fungus that can harm vulnerable seedlings.
Using a goodis also a good way to avoid root rot. The area where hydroponic growing is better than using soil is the control of the growing environment.
The gardener is not at the mercy of the soil’s nutrients or water content with hydroponics. This will help to assure that the grower alone will control every aspect of the plant’s growing conditions.
This can be a major advantage for young seedlings as they will get the proper nutrients right from the start of their life and will lead to much healthier plants in the long run.
Seeds require both oxygen and water to sprout while germinating. The growing medium must then provide sufficient amounts of both to the seed or it will not germinate.
Mediums that are more porous, such as rockwool, perlite, or vermiculite, will do this and have great drainage capabilities. Perlite makes another good growing medium for germinating seeds as its porosity allows for good drainage and oxygen availability.
Many seeds contain nutrients within their shell to provide initial nourishment to jumpstart the germination process. This is not true for all species of plants, however.
To avoid stressing the seed at a vulnerable point, use a medium that is pre-prepared with a low concentration of nutrients. The first few initial times the plants are watered will give the seeds a small dose of nutrients until it is ready to absorb more.
Switch after a few days to a regular nutrient solution in the water and keep it at a lower dose than normal until the seed shows significant growth. As soon as the plants have developed strong and healthy stalks, they can be changed over to a normal feeding and water program.
After the seeds have been planted, they should be watered once a day with nutrient water. There are various opinions about the strength of the nutrient water.
Many seeds have stored nutrients in their tissues and do not need any additionaluntil they have fully sprouted. Other seeds are very small and have almost no stored materials.
This water is a nutrient that is mixed half strength to the nutrient that will be used in more mature plants. The hydroponic nutrient is mixed at half the strength recommended by the manufacturer.
This is kept until the seedlings are about three inches tall and are ready for transplant. Once the grower is set up, the entire growing media’s should be watered down with thenutrient. The seeds are then planted and re-watered every day.
Some gardeners recommend soaking the seeds in water prior to germinating them. This allows the seed coat to become saturated with water to break open.
However, pre-soaking is not recommended except for seeds that actually require this before they will germinate. Some seeds have an extra strong seed coat that inhibits germination.
This is common in larger seeds of plant fruits that expect to be eaten by an animal or bird to disperse their seeds.