You’re a solid grower with great ideas, but you may feel like you don’t have enough experience in the field. You may need to be patient and research your ideas, but then again, maybe it’s not that. Maybe your ideas are missing something. There are extra factors with hydroponics that may cause things in the field to fail, here’s Cropking's tips for troubleshooting possible problems and finding potential solutions.
by Nick Greens, Horticulturist/Consultant
Expert growers have seen some herb seeds take up to a month to germinate but these are extreme cases. Mostly, growers see germinating over a three day period or sometimes up to a week. After a week without germinating we are in uncharted territory. If you don't achieve germination by the middle of the second week then you should reconsider the germination technique being used. You should also consider germinating a new batch so as not to delay your grow over non-viable seeds.
If you have a problem with over watering or using too much water at this stage, spraying is a viable and safe way to regulate water. It is far easier to spray a medium to make it moist than to otherwise water a medium to make moist. Get a spray bottle. If you still have a problem with over watering, consider adding perlite to the bottom of your tray next time. This will help absorb excess liquids in almost any growing method.
Air is something your plants need all the time, even in the germination stage. Stale air results in a change in the ratio of gases that comprise it and the accumulation of new ones. Over watering can be a huge problem from the day you start to germinate your seeds because it locks out air. There is never a need to turn your growing medium into a swamp.
Germination and darkness
Seeds should be germinated in the dark. If you use humidity domes, make sure the domes have top vents and that you cover properly without forcing the dome on. Even if the seeds are covered with a humidity dome, make sure your tray are in darkness because the seeds still need to be kept away from light. As soon as the seeds open, it is necessary that the tray receives the proper amount of light.
Room temperature water
Never use water directly from tap. Always let it reach room temperature. Cold water can shock plant roots because it quickly reduces the environment temperature of the growing medium. The same goes for seed germination, don't stick seeds in cold water and don't moisten seeds with cold water. Even when you feed your plants you should let the water reach room temperature. It’s also important to check your own water supply to determine its quality. In most cases chlorine in water won't cause issues with your plants but if your water isn't very clean or pure then you can't expect your plants to use it well. In either case, boiling water and letting it cool to room temperature can help to generate cleaner water.