Starting Seeds for Hydroponics: A 4-Step Beginners Guide

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by Miles Graham | Updated: February 26, 2019
In this post you’re going to learn all about starting seeds for hydroponics using our four step process. In fact, this is the exact same step by step process that we’ve been using for the last 8 years to develop our own starting seeds.While it might seem like a technical process, once you see how simple it is you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start your own plants from seed earlier!Let’s get started.
picture of a plant sprouting from seed

What’s The Big Deal With Starting Seeds Anyway?

One of the things I love most about hydroponics is that as a gardener you have complete control over the whole system. Part of that is not wanting to germinate seeds in soil to then transplant them into your hydroponic system and contaminate it with dirt and debris from soil.The other big reason to start seeds in a hydroponic system is that the seedlings grow much quicker than they would in soil and they become easier to transplant between systems.

Starting Seeds For Hydroponics: Step By Step:

When I first got into hydroponics the thought of starting seeds in my own hydroponic system was terrifying. I’d only ever done it in soil and wasn’t sure how different it was going to be.Thankfully, there are only a handful of steps to master and none of them are particularly technical.

1. Setup A Cloner

You have a couple of options here, the first is to buy a cloner from somewhere like Amazon or you can buy all the parts and build your own cloner.The advantage of buying a cloner over building one is that while it may cost a little bit more you’re getting a much higher quality product that’s going to last you years.Once you’ve got the cloner ready, next you’re going to need:Once you’re ready, next it’s just a case of filling the cloner with water – don’t worry about pH levels just yet, normal tap water is perfectly fine.

2. Setup The Air Pump & Air Stones

Another easy step, next connect up your tubing to the air stones and hydroponic air pump. Place the air stones into your water reservoir and switch the pump on. You should start to see bubbles coming out of the air stones indicating that everything’s working correctly.

3. Place Starter Plugs And Seeds

Hardwork done, next we need to soak the starter plug in water and place them into the 2 inch net pots.Next you’re going to watch to put two to three seeds into each starter plug to give ourselves the best possible chance of a seed germinating.

4. Looking After Your Starter Plants

Once you got everything setup the only thing left to do is to keep checking the seeds every couple of days.Give the starter plugs a quick spray of water to keep them moist. We’ve found that you can provide extra moisture and increase the temperature by using a clear cover over the top of your cloner, however this an optional thing to do.Within a few days your seeds should begin to sprout and you can then clip off all the weaker seedlings from each starter plug.

The Bottom Line

So there you have it, our foolproof 4 step process to starting seeds for hydroponics. As you’ve seen it’s incredibly straightforward and helps keep your hydroponic system free from contaminates.

Hi I'm Miles and I'm one of the team behind
Besides being a passionate grower and writer, I'm a husband, father and a grandfather to three! I started Gardeem in 2017 with the single goal of providing simple and reliable gardening advice to everyone no matter their ability levels.

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