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Aquaponics Seed Starting

One of my favorite things about aquaponics gardening is the way that plants start in the system. Seeds sprout up seemingly overnight and then their growth is incredible. We use a combination of methods to start seeds and each method results in healthy gorgeous plants.  From rockwool plugs, to direct casting, and cuttings, this post covers the basics.


For small seeds, I find that starting them in rockwool plugs works best for our garden. I can then fully control the placement of each plant. The rockwool plug trays are easily purchased on Amazon.com (click here) and you can use the method described in the video or you can use grow trays with holes in the bottom (see first photo) sitting right in the growbeds for germination.  No matter which method you decide is best, both prevent damage to the fragile roots of seedlings upon transplantation and the growth rate is truly amazing.

Since plants don’t have to compete for water in aquaponics gardens, they may be planted quite densely.  I can take cuttings from existing plants and place them directly in the growbed close beside other plants. Within just a few days of planting, the cuttings have taken root exactly where I want them in the garden. This means that I don’t have a dozen jars of water with cuttings hogging precious counterspace in my kitchen. So far, I’ve used cutting from herbs, tomatoes, and the base of a celery stalk.

Seeds may be cast directly in the growled media, too, if you decide to devote space to a particular crop (like onions).  While I haven’t done much direct casting, I did grow some beneficial plants (calendula, bachelor’s buttons, marigolds, and sweet alyssum) along outer edge of each aquaponics system with great success. I hope this has been helpful to you. Should you have any questions, please voice them in the comment section and I’ll be sure to answer. 🙂
  • prepping – 7_31_2014 | Headline News - […] Aquaponics Seed Starting […]ReplyCancel

  • Oona Houlihan - “Seeds sprout up seemingly overnight and then their growth is incredible” Indeed, this is what travelers from the deserts have told us time and again: how after some rain all of a sudden the seemingly sterile deserts start to bloom. Most plants are used to (and have to be prepared for) a cycle of irrigation (due to the vagaries of rainfall or the absence of it) that comes “stop-and-go”. Only in aquaponics is there always water wile the fertilizer (from the aquatic organisms) is just at the optimal level as it is diluted and cannot reach beyond natural concentrations.ReplyCancel

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