Place the seeds in a cup or small container filed with about 1/4 C of room temperature water. Soak the seeds until all the seeds sink to the bottom of the container. Fold a clean paper towel in half and filter the seeds out of the water by slowly pouring them onto the towel. Catch the seeds in the folded paper towel. Once all seeds are safely in the moist towel, fold the towel in half again to carefully and lightly cover the seeds. Place the moist paper towel in a plastic container and lightly cover with a lid. However, don’t restrict oxygen to the seeds so leave the lid ajar or make air holes in the lid. Keep the seeds in a warm place (min. 72) until the tap root sprouts (anywhere from 1 to 4 days). At this point, gently place your seeds in your growing medium (clay pellets, rock wool, etc).
You should prep your system at least a few days prior to transferring your seedlings, to allow time for any necessary adjustments. For actual set-up instructions for your system, please refer to the instructions that came with the system itself or email us.
PREPARING YOUR SYSTEM
Clean out the inside of the grow module to remove any dirt or debris. Fill grow module until water reaches the bottom of the net pots, or slightly higher. The water level should be maintained at this level throughout the growing cycle. Now set your system up in a safe, sturdy location. Add the water and the nutrients for your specific type of plants. Always add your nutrients one at a time so they mix slowly. We don't suggest you use additional nutrient additives your first time growing.
Now let your system run for about 30 minutes. Adding nutrients changes the pH so re-test it after the 30 minutes and adjust the pH accordingly. With the pump(s) running, check the pH level of the water and adjust accordingly with pH Up or pH Down to reach the proper pH for plants, which is usually between 5.3 and 6.3. Your system is now ready. We suggest you check and adjust your nutrient reservoir solution every other day during the growth cycle. The pH should be allowed to fluctuate within the range of 5.3 and 6.3. In other words, don’t adjust the pH until it reaches 5.2 or lower or 6.4 or higher.
TIP: Keep a daily log where you record starting & ending pH, nutrient or additive and quantity used and other notes or tips you find important.
SETTING UP THE GROW MEDIUM
TRANSFERRING SEEDS TO HYDROPONIC SYSTEM:
When the tap root sprouts, it’s time to move the seeds into the hydroponic system. If you are using clay pellets, rinse them to remove debris and soak them from 6 - 24 hours prior to use. Moisten the rock wool and gently place the seeds in the center of the rock wool, inserting the tap root into the center hole in the rock wool. Place the rock wool square in the center of the net pot. We recommend surrounding the rock wool with clay pellets.
Add water to your system as needed to keep the grow medium moist and the roots in the water. The amount of water you add will vary based on the size of the system and net pot, however, always start out with less than you think you’ll need because you can always add more. Adding too much may overflow your reservoir. We recommend maintaining a water level slightly higher than the bottom of the net cup.
Always maintain a level in the reservoir that ensures the roots are in the water/solution at all times. Add water to you system as needed to maintain this level throughout the growing cycle.
Top Feed system:
Adjust the water pump speed so that each dripper supplies a steady, consistent drip onto the rock wool until the plants roots have grown down through the bottom of the net pots.
Depending on what you are growing and the conditions where the plants will be you may need to adjust your humidity levels or mist your plants occasionally. See the instructions for your specific seeds/plants.
NUTRIENT CHANGE/SYSTEM FLUSH:
We recommend a nutrient/system flush every other week. Some prefer to change it weekly. Empty the reservoir completely. Wash and wipe it down with a clean cloth to remove leftover nutrients, debris, etc. Once it is completely clean, follow the instructions above under “Preparing Your Hydroponic System”.