Seed - The Advanced Way

The Easy Way | The Lazy Way | The Advanced Way

Before you start

IMPORTANT- Always disinfect the growing area and tools with household bleach or vinegar before starting.

Prepare the GRODAN AO cube for seeds or cuttings 

No need to condition the GRODAN AO cubes. Simply soak the AO cube in 1/3 strength nutrient solution (adjusted to pH 5.5) and they are ready to use.

THE EASY WAY—seeds & cuttings

  • Put the seed or the cutting into the wet AO cube.
  • Place the cubes in a Ziploc bag. Zip the bag so only half an inch is open.
  • Leave the bag at room temperature.
  • After about 7-10 days check the progress. When there are two little leaves or the cutting feels stuck when you pull very lightly on it, open the bag to about 2”.
  • Gradually open the bag a little more every 2 days.
  • Opening the bag little by little slowly gets the plant adjusted to the lower humidity outside. The bag should be fully open by the time the plant has four leaves or the cutting is well rooted into the cube.

Remove the plants from the bag and put the cubes in a tray. Water as needed. Start with 1/2 strength nutrient and slowly increase nutrient strength with future watering, so that you end up at almost full strength just before transplanting to a GRODAN block or GRODAN Grow-Cubes™. 

FROM SEED—using dome and heating mat.

  1. Place the seeds directly into a wet AO cube. Do not cover the seeding hole with stone wool.
  2. When starting large seeds you can also germinate the seeds under a wet paper towel (see below). Put the AO cubes in a compartmentalized tray in a dome with a heating mat underneath.
  3. At least once per day remove the dome and feel the cubes. If they are starting to dry out, mist the cube with lukewarm water. Don’t get the water on the leaves!
  4. Watering the cubes should not be necessary until roots are formed. When you need to water use the 1/3 strength nutrient solution and only a couple of teaspoons per cube.
  5. Once cuttings have rooted and started to actively grow, it is time to slowly adjust them to the climate outside the dome. Open (lift) the dome little by little, until it is completely removed over a couple of days.
  6. Now start to increase the nutrient strength a little each time you water. Move the fluorescent light closer to the plants.
  7. When the roots emerge from the AO cube it is time to transplant to the pre wetted GRODAN block. After transplant don’t water the block for a couple of days. Water when the block feels half way dry.
  8. When the plants are 6” tall you can put them under your regular grow light. You should now use full strength nutrient. Water the plants from the top (e.g. drip irrigation) for the best result.

PAPER TOWEL METHOD—or larger seeds.

When starting large seeds you can use the paper towel method. 

Take a picnic Styrofoam plate and cut a sheet of paper towel to fit the bottom of the plate. Spray the towel with 1/3 strength nutrient solution. Space you seeds on the towel, so that none touch. Another paper towel is then placed on top of the seeds and sprayed thoroughly. Drain excess nutrient solution and put the plate in a zip-lock bag. The plate should be placed in an upright position, so all roots will point downward. Place the bag in a warm (75 to 85F) dark place. Check daily to see if roots are formed. Occasionally you may have to spray the towel again in order to keep it moist. When you see a 1/8” to 1/4” root, put the seed, root downward, into an AO 36/40 growing cube that has been dipped in a 1/3 strength nutrient solution (pH 5.5).

CUTTINGS

There are two types of cuttings: Those with nodes from where the roots can set and those without nodes.

With Nodes: For (semi) hard cutting use root hormone. Soft cutting usually sets roots in a glass of water.

Cutting Nodes

Without Nodes: Use cloning gel for all cuttings. Taking this type of cutting is often referred to as making clones.

WITH NODES

  1. Cut the leaves off that are below the node.
  2. Dip cuttings in rooting hormone according to the directions on the product.
  3. Stick the cuttings 1 inch deep in the AO cubes. Make sure there is close contact between the stem and the stone wool.

WITHOUT NODES

  1. Follow the instruction on the cloning gel. You can put the cutting in a glass of water until roots are formed.
  2. You can also stick the cutting in GRODAN right away. Make a vertical cut 2/3 into the AO cube – open and place the cutting/roots inside the cube. Alternatively you can use the round GRODAN Macroplug which already has a slit in it.

NOTE: Do not dip your cuttings directly into the jar of gel or powder- it will contaminate the whole jar. Place the amount you need at that time in a separate jar.

  1. It is extremely important that everything is sterilized and the plant material is 100% healthy. Pick carefully when you take a cutting.
  2. Place the wet AO cube in a compartmentalized tray and place the tray into a flat. Cover with a dome. Put the heating mat underneath and set heat to 75-85°F.
  3. Note: The “cutting” will be extremely sensitive to light. A little too much light and a drop of water on the leaf is enough to burn/kill the plant. If you are using fluorescent light keep the bulb about 3 inches above the dome.
  4. At least once per day remove the dome and feel the cubes. If they are starting to dry out, mist the cube with lukewarm water. Don’t get the water on the leaves!
  5. Watering the cubes should not be necessary until roots are formed. When you need to water use the 1/3 strength nutrient solution and only a couple of teaspoons per cube.
  6. Once cuttings have rooted and started to actively grow, it is time to slowly adjust them to the climate outside the dome. Open (lift) the dome little by little, until it is completely removed over a couple of days
  7. Now start to increase the nutrient strength a little each time you water. Move the fluorescent light closer to the plants.
  8. When the roots emerge from the AO cube it is time to transplant to the pre wetted GRODAN block. After transplant don’t water the block for a couple of days. Water when the block feels half way dry.
  9. When the plants are 6” tall you can put them under your regular grow light. You should now use full strength nutrient. Water the plants from the top (e.g. drip irrigation) for the best result.

On our web site you can download a leaflet called: pH and Watering. This leaflet will aid you as you grow the plant to maturity.
 

AO with Root