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First time germinating seeds: Spinach and Lettuce

Posted by kennybellew (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 7, 11 at 7:54

Last night, I started germinating two types of lettuce and some spinach. I wanted to type out what I did to see if I'm doing it correctly. I did try to read about it online, but I read a mixture of advice.

I'm germinating indoors for a deep-water culture hydroponic system I'm building.

1. I'm germinating in my basement, were the temperature is between 55F at night and 68F in the day.
2. I used Rapid Rooters, which I placed in a tray with a separate drain tray and humidity dome.
3. I prepared a gallon of water to ph 6.0, with 15 drops (which I think is 200 ppm) of FloraBloom, on recommendation I found online. I filled my spray bottle with this.
4. I placed two spinach seeds in each Rapid Rooter and several lettuce seeds in each other their Rapid Rooters.
5. I sprayed the Rapid Rooters with my mixture until they were saturated in their tray slots.
6. I covered the trays with the clear humidity dome.
7. I setup a two-bulb x four-foot 6500 Daylight florescent shop light directly above the clear dome.
8. I put the shop light on a timer of about 14-hours light to 10 hours of darkness.

Thoughts? Did I make mistakes for Spinach and Lettuce?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First time germinating seeds: Spinach and Lettuce

Hi Kenny,

Well, I don't grow any veggies (just flowers) but it looks like you've got a nice setup here for your lettuce and spinach. The only thing I was wondering about though is the 15 drops per gallon of FloraBloom. First of all, usually in fertilizer, the ppm refers to nitrogen. Since there is no nitrogen in FloraBloom (0-5-4), are you referring to 200 ppm of phosphate? In either case, I'd think it would take a lot more than 15 drops of a fertilizer (that's only 5% strength to start with) to come up with 200 ppm. But then, maybe I'm mixed up :-)


RE: First time germinating seeds: Spinach and Lettuce

Thanks, Art.

I took the advice after see the following posted on a couple of hydroponic sites:

"Do I need to soak my Rapid Rooter plugs?

Answer: For optimal results soak Rapid Rooter plugs in pure water with a light blooming formula (200ppm or 0.4mS), then place back in tray and follow procedure for cuttings or sees. "

And then I used this online concentration calculator:

Not sure if i got it right, but thankfully there must be a margin of error because my seedlings are thriving. It's been only four days, and the lettuce is just over a half-inch tall, and I can see the spinach seeds cracking open. One spinach is even showing green.

RE: First time germinating seeds: Spinach and Lettuce

They may have suggested a "blooming formula" because it would be fairly high in phosphorous (aids in root development). But 200 ppm of phosphorous would probably require a couple of tablespoons per gallon when using a 0-5-4 formula. Also, of course, you'll have to start using some fertilizer that contains nitrogen or you will soon have yellow lettuce :-)

Good luck with your first time germinating seeds Kenny, looks like you're off to a good start. As I've mentioned I only grow flowers, but I love watching the miracle of seed germination.


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