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How To Use Seed Starting Plugs

How to use seed starting plugs is simple; you just have to soak them in water, preferably around 24 hours. Then place the starting plugs in grow trays where you put the seeds afterward. However, different kinds of seed starting plugs may vary in usage. We will tackle it later in this article.

Plants grow faster when using starting plugs as it is ideal for germination. It provides the right amount of oxygen and has the perfect water to soil ratio needed by plants to grow effectively. Seed starting plugs usually are placed on trays to hold unto the soil.

If you know how to use seed starting plugs, then it would be beneficial for you, especially if you’re developing your greenhouse. Well, it is cheap and easy to use. Typically done indoors, seed starting plugs are seen most often inside greenhouses to promote germination before placing the seed outdoors.

how to use seed starting plugs

Types Of Seed Plugs

Before we give you the steps on how to use seed starting plugs, you’d want to get to know the different kinds of germinating plugs to differentiate and choose what’s best for your greenhouse.

Classic seed starting plugs are usually traditional soil, peat, coco coir, etc. However, this type of soil is best for outdoors as it may require you to aerate the soil. Seeds require the right amount of moisture, aeration, and will be able to prevent plant diseases.

Using the types of seed plugs is ideal for indoor gardening as it is low-maintenance. Here is a list of seed starting plugs you’d want to use:

 

1. Flexible plugs

This type of seed plug is the perfect medium for your seeds as it provides the right amount of moisture and soil needed by the plant.

Flexible plugs are neat and clean, unlike traditional soil that is loose and messy to handle. It contains organic material such as coco coir held together by polymers, imagine it like a rubbery glue.

Because of its structure, these polymer-bound plugs are easy to handle, making it easy to transfer. You won’t have to tear or cut plugs apart since the seed plugs are separated already from each other.

Flexible plugs will save you time filling trays with seed plugs. Lastly, these plugs make germination faster. With all these benefits this seed starting plugs have, you will almost forget its flaws.

The downside of using this kind of seed plug is that it is harder to reuse. Once the seedling matures, and its root system starts to expand, the polyester plugs will already be damaged, making it no longer reusable.

One more thing, it takes about 3 to 4 years before polyester seed plugs decompose. Additionally, it can be quite expensive.

 

2. Rock wool

Another alternative made from a type of rock cooked at a high temperature, turned into fiber using a machine commonly known for insulation.

Rockwool is an excellent tool for seed starting and cloning plants. However, it’s not biodegradable, as it stays in the landfills forever.

If you opt for environmentally friendly products, then do not use rock wool as seed starting plugs.

 

3. Jiffy plugs

Jiffy seed plugs are composed of soil and compost. This type of seed starting plug is perfect for beginners as its consistency is the same as traditional soil. 

However, it is pricey since you have to purchase it by piece, and it is hard to handle because it is a loose medium. Having to transfer it may take you a while.

There are many more types of seed starting plugs available in the market. Be sure to be mindful of its content if it is suitable for your plants. We recommend you choose a growing medium that is eco- friendly and will provide the desired ration of oxygen to soil and water for your plants.

 

Tips In Using Seed Starting Plugs

The method on how to use seed starting plugs would vary to its type. Some seed starting plugs are first soaked in water or nutrient-filled substance before putting it in a grow tray. However, seed plugs such as flexible plugs don’t need to be soaked at all.

After placing the seed plugs in the tray, you can put the seed to the seed’s hole starting plugs used. Other gardeners would place their seeds in a wet towel to know which ones will germinate. You can use this technique as well to make sure that the plant will grow.

Nevertheless, the usage of seed starting plugs would depend on what type and how manufacturers recommend to use it. Therefore, make sure to read the product’s instructions before using it.

 

Conclusion

Growing your seed would be ideal when starting a greenhouse since you have control over the factors affecting the plant’s growth. Indoor gardening is best for that as you can control the amount of soil, water, and sunlight during the seed’s germination.

Here is when seed starting plugs come in. Seed starting plugs provide the ideal amount of oxygen and soil; some types would contain nutrients that enhance the plant’s growth quality.

Moreover, using seed starting plugs will help you grow more seeds as it occupies less space. You can choose different kinds of growing trays that hold seed plugs in place.

Now that you are aware of the benefits seed starting plugs has for you and its flaws, we hope you’d find the right type for your plants. Thank you for reading our article about how to use seed starting plugs; we hope you learned a lot!

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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