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How to Use Seed Trays

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When some growers or hope-to-be growers hop on to the Internet to research hydroponics, they're looking for information on germinating plants. They may have a rough idea of how to grow them under grow lights, but the initial stages of the process are elusive.

Growers actually have a lot of choices with seed germination. They can germinate seeds in soil or in other media. They can use the damp paper towel method, where they just put the seeds between paper towels. But many growers choose to use seed starter trays. Why? Well, because easy. It's a common way to start a lot of plants in one place. It offers some structure that can be useful when you're trying to set up fairly large grow cycles.

Here are some steps to setting up and using seed trays for germination.

Set up Plant Pots

You want to put each individual pot inside a tray so that you can germinate the seeds side-by-side. The tray provides a kind of a grid where you can observe and monitor the seeds in groups. Set the tray on a level table surface.

Fill Pots with Media

The next step is to fill the individual plant pot holes with certain kinds of media. Again, you could use soil, but a lot of experts say that's not great, because it doesn't drain that well. You can use items like perlite or vermiculite, or a mix of items to make sure the water will drain away when you're watering your seeds.

Expose Trays to Light

A lot of natural light is best, but if you can get it, you can germinate under grow lights. Commonly sold hydroponic grow lights have a specific mix of intensity and spectrum that you need to nurse plants through all stages of growth.

Water from the Bottom

This is a neat trick that a lot of growers don’t know about. Basically, experts recommend introducing the water at the bottom of the tray and letting it mount up to where the seeds are. In traditional agriculture, the water is sprayed down from above. In some ways, watering from below can be less intrusive and less disturbing to the seeds themselves

Look for Signs of Sprouting

You’ll also need to monitor seeds periodically for growth. When they sprout and break the surface of the media, they're almost ready to transplant. You'll see when plants have enough bulk to be able to go into a regular grow box or other hydroponic grow system.

These are some of the basics to germinating plants in groups, in any carefully laid out tray design. These are some of the best accessories for hydro, and make things easy and consistent. For much more on what you need to practice hydroponic gardening, check out Dealzer and ask us about the opportunities we offer with state-of-the-art grow products.

 
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