Thursday, May 6, 2010
Aerogarden used for starting seeds
Grudgingly I have to admit that the Aerogarden developers did a good job in selecting the medium used in the pods. Still, I could never justify twenty dollars for seven seedlings. After testing horticubes, rockwool, sure to grow, and other materials with various levels of success; I finally found what may be a perfect material to use for a medium, and in all places: Home Depot. The media I am testing is readily available, reasonably priced and easy to work with. If it performs as I expect, it will drastically reduce my use of rockwool, and that alone will be a savings, as I have to drive fifty miles to purchase rockwool cubes from a local source. The lettuce seedlings in the photo will be transferred to an ebb and flow system when the root system is more developed.
The unit above is an old Aerogarden container modified to use a small standard garden pump. The light suspended above the unit is a small 24" two tube fluorescent fixture with grow lights. The light is controlled by an inexpensive timer, also from Home Depot.
Having no intention of growing plants in this unit, I am simply using it to start seeds for later transplant. It will provide replacement lettuce seedlings for mature plants as they are harvested from the ebb and flow systems. It is not necessarily a better method of starting seeds, it just slightly automates the process.