Here are some answers to commonly asked questions. If you have any questions please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also be sure to check out the blog page where you can find videos and more detailed information!
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What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is growing plants without soil and using nutrients in the water to provide it with all the food it needs to grow.
What are the benefits of growing hydroponic plants?
There are several key benefits to growing In a hydroponic set up than soil:
- Save more water! Hydroponic plants use less water than soil based plants
- You can grow year round indoors
- Growing mediums are sterile so no need for pesticides
- Little to no pests as growing medium is sterile
Do I need grow lights?
Coco and Seed set ups are designed to be electricity free. No need for grow tents, grow lights, water bubblers, etc. The sun is the free resource that your plants will need. If you are low on sun light for full-sun loving plants, then supplementing with a full spectrum light can be beneficial but using a regular house lamp can help as well.
How to plant the seeds?
Each seed type will vary, unless otherwise noted on the seed pack they should be lightly covered by a thin layer of growing medium. Roughly a 1/4th of an inch. You can also use your smallest fingernail as a reference for depth.
Things to keep in mind:
- As a rule of thumb, the bigger the seed the deeper to plant it.
- The deeper a seed is planted the longer it may take to germinate.
- Water in from below as to not disrupt seeds or oversaturate the coconut coir. Let the wicking of water from below regulate the humidity level.
I have a lot of seeds in my pack, how many should I plant?
Seeds like lettuce, arugula, radish microgreens, beet microgreens, and wheatberries should be planted liberally. Spread a thin layer of all seeds covering the surface and cover with growing medium.
The only current varieties available that should have 1 sprout growing are the Thai hot pepper, tomato, and fairytale eggplant. 1 seedling can produce one big plant with hundreds of blossoms and fruit. Plant all the seeds to ensure germination but thin, or cut extras after sprouting or gently remove and repot, so that only 1 occupies a container.
How long do the seeds take to germinate?
Some take longer than others. Microgreens, lettuce, and arugula are fast sprouting, but basil, thyme, and thai hot peppers, for example, can take up to 2 weeks! Don't fret! Check the moisture level, the amount of sun/warmth. Don't be afraid to gently poke around to make sure they are alright.
How much should I fill with water?
Create an airspace to allow the roots to breathe by not filling above the bottom net pot. The roots near the net pot are gathering oxygen while the roots submerged are gathering food.
How often should I water it? What should the watering schedule be?
Always :) Due to the growing style they can’t ever be without water/food. Hydro comes from the Greek word "hudor" meaning water. These roots should always be submerged in water. Using the image above its important to leave an airspace so the roots highest up can grab oxygen, but always make sure the plant has access to water or nutrient-rich water.
My seeds sprout then quickly wilt. What's the problem?
When grow pods are too saturated the seeds sprout then quickly wilt. Allow the pod to dry out. Fill to the clay pebbles - they help control how much moisture the grow pod receives until roots begin to form.
For the EcoPlanter there is a water level in the container, it holds roughly 1 cup of water. Just like the mason jar kit create an airspace by not filling above the very bottom of the net pot.
Will my microgreens grow back after cutting?
Microgreens are designed to be one time use harvest. It is recommended to harvest as needed to keep them as fresh as possible.
Will my lettuce grow back after cutting?
Yes, they will grow back bigger and fuller after the first cutting. It is recommended that you replace your kits with new seeds after the second harvest.
What's the best way to harvest lettuce?
It is recommended to harvest as needed to keep them as fresh as possible. When cutting use a clean pair of scissors, clip at least 2-3 inches above the base to allow plant energy for regrowth. Watch the video here.
What's the best way to trim my plants?
Clip or cut rather than pull off single leaves, vegetables. Cutting the stem of basil, for example, will provide a bigger, fuller plant. Just be sure to add in water or plant food below as the plant will need it more during this time.
*Do not harvest all at once, the plant will go into shock and may not regrow if too much is cut at once. Stick to the 30% rule and do not harvest more than 30% at a time.
Watch how to harvest swiss chard
I see white stuff on the top of the growing medium. What is it?
The white stuff you see is a harmless mold. Do not worry, it is ok and will not harm the plants of yourself. Mold and fungus is everywhere and you are most likely seeing it when the plant's soil or growing medium is really damp. To prevent this you can increase air circulation of your room and allow the growing medium to dry out a bit on the top. You can also scrape it off, or even work in back down into the soil if it's minimal. You can also try a light sprinkle of cinnamon on the top. Read more here.