Category Archives: Seedlings

How To Transplant A Plant From Dirt To Hydroponics

I am not a patient person, it’s something I’m working on. I don’t always like to wait on germinating seeds and growing seedlings to start my hydroponic garden. To cut down the time I have to wait, I often purchase plans from the garden store then transplant them into my hydroponic system. It’s an easy process that cuts down time and ensures your starting with a strong healthy plant. Here’s how to transplant a dirt plant into a hydroponic system.

What You Need To Transplant A Dirt Plant To Hydroponics

A plant, I will be using a tomato

Container to discard dirt

Water to rinse root system

Hydroponic system or net pots with grow medium

Steps To Transplanting Plant Into A Hydroponic System

Before starting, have your hydroponic system or net pots ready with the grow medium that you’re using. Gather your supplies into 1 area. Transplanting can be messy so I recommend doing this project outside or put something down on the surface you’re using.

Plants that have not been watered recently work best. Dry dirt is easier to remove from the root system. Remove the plant from the pot or container that it’s in. Placing the plant over a container, gently start breaking up the dirt with your hand. Careful not to damage the root system too much. Continue until most of the dirt is removed from the root system.

After removing most of the dirt, dip the plant’s root system into some water to rinse away the rest of the dirt. The cleaner the better, you want the least amount of dirt as possible making it into your hydroponic system. If you’re using drip systems or small hoses, small particles will clog them.  It’s sometimes next to impossible to get off all the dirt off the roots and a small amount won’t affect the hydroponic bucket this plant is going in.

Place the plant’s roots in the hydroponic system or net pot and cover with your grow medium. Now I just hook up the airstone, plug it in and it’s ready to grow.  For more of a visual check out the video below.


How To Use A Seedling Heat Mat For Germination & Cloning

Warmth is a requirement when it comes to germinating seeds. When gardening indoors or out of season, it is often outside of the desired temperature range needed to start the germination process. Using a seedling heat mat, you can replicate the warming of spring that sends seeds popping to the sky.

What Is A Seedling Heat Mat?

A seedling heat mat is an electric mat that is placed under your seed or cutting tray.  It will typically warm the root area to anywhere between 10-20 degrees above the room temperature.

How Do You Use A Seedling Heat Mat For Seed Germination & Cloning?

  • Start off by finding a stable surface. Make sure you place the mat somewhere away from water and hydroponic reservoirs. Water and electricity do not mix. Avoid placing on a cold surface such as a concrete floor. This will direct the heat more towards the colder surface and less towards your seed or cutting tray.
  • Place your clone or seed try on the seedling heat mat and plug it in. The heating mat will heat up 10-20 degrees on its own and stay in that range. There are also outlet adapters you can purchase that monitor the temperature then will automatically shut on and off to stay in the desired temperature range.
  • Place a dome over your seedlings or cuttings. This will help to retain moisture, raising the humidity, increasing the success of germination and health of root production.
  • Remove tray from heat pad when roots begin touching tray. Be careful not to overheat the roots and damage the plant.

Choosing Quality Seeds for Your Hydroponic Garden

choosing seeds slideOften times the importance of using quality seeds are overlooked when gardening. Choosing quality seed for your garden may be one of the least expensive aspects of your hydroponic garden, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Many gardeners are gardening for the enjoyment, savings, to know where their food comes from, and also it’s quality.  One of the reasons I garden using hydroculture, and just garden at home in general, is for the quality of the produce. The best part of food, of course, is the taste. To be sure I get the best out of my garden, I make sure to use quality seeds.

Where Is A Good Place To Get Seeds For My Hydroponic Vegetable Garden?

During typical growing seasons, you can find quality seeds at your local hardware and grocery stores. These stores often stop selling seeds during the winter times so you may have better luck getting the best seeds for your hydroponic garden online. I For no particular reason it seems that I end up with most of my seeds coming from Burpee, whether online or from the hardware store when I stock up.

Picking Seeds For You Hydroponic Vegetable Garden

Not every type of vegetable is the same. For example, there are 7 different types of lettuce, with each having many different varieties. When choosing quality seeds from your garden there are many factors that you will need to consider.

  • The amount of overall space needed for the plants to grow.
  • The amount of space needed between plants.
  • The height the plants will get.
  • Days until maturity.
  • The size of the produce.
  • The growing conditions needed. 

Take a look at these 2 varieties of tomato plants.

Brandy Boy Hybrid
Brandy Boy Hybrid
Porter House HybridPorterhouse Hybrid
Quick Facts On Brandy Boy Hybrid:

  • Produces fruit 65-80 days after seed germination
  • Produces fruit throughout the life of the plant
  • Grows best in full sun
  • Plant height reaches ~75 inches
  • Plants should be spaced about 65 inches apart
  • Average ripen fruit weight can reach 14 oz.
Quick Facts On Porterhouse Hybrid:

  • Produces fruit 65-80 days after seed germination
  • Produces fruit throughout the life of the plant
  • Grows best in full sun
  • Plant height reaches ~40 inches
  • Plants should be spaced about 18 inches apart
  • Average ripen fruit weight can range 2-4 lbs.

The last 3 facts can make a major difference in both planning your garden and what to expect come harvest time!

With a little research choosing quality seeds for your hydroponic garden can be a fun process. With so many different varieties of each type of vegetable, there are several options to fit any almost any hydroponic gardeners criteria.