Grower's Academy

How To: Start Your Seeds

Grower's Academy

How to Grow Seeds Fast & Easy

If you’re just starting out and you’re new to the whole ‘growing scene’, then this guide is made for you. We’ll cover the basics of how to start seed growth (germination) in small and large plants (in this case, chillies). Following our guide is one of the fastest and easiest way to start seed growth. Remember, if you get stuck, just ask us for help.

Step 1: Getting the right equipment

Getting the job done properly can be tricky and requires learning new skills; like using propagators, timers, grow lights and thermostats. Here’s a list of equipment we recommend (click on list for item):

Step 2: Preparing your Starter Blocks

growing seeds with starter blocks, hydroponics, jiffy peat plug

So you’ve chosen your starter blocks (we recommend ‘Jiffy Peat Plugs’) to grow and germinate your seeds – what now?

It’s all quite easy going from here on out… we’ve added in some pictures of how to best get started with your grow starter blocks.

1. Grab a Bucket and fill it shallow, with warm water (around 40°C).
2. Add 0.5ml of Root Stimulant to the water – this will promote root growth.
3. Place your starter blocks into the bucket and leave them for around 10 mins.
4. Your starter blocks should start to expand and they’ll start to look puffy and like a ‘big dirt pellet’ (like below).

starter grow blocks hydroponics

Step 3: Planting Your Seeds

This part of the process requires some technique, but besides that, it’s pretty easy. Follow the steps below, which will tell you what to do (and keep your mind out of the gutter whilst you’re reading!):

1. Use a pen or a stick to open up the ‘seed hole’ in the starter block to make seed-planting easier (like below).

hydroponics starter grow blocks with pen inside

2. Once you’ve used your pen or stick to open up the ‘seed hole’ more, simply grab your chosen seed and push it into the starter block. Use the ‘push and squeeze technique’, to get your seed nice and deep inside the block; push the seed in the hole and lightly squeeze the sides to drop it further.

planting seeds inside starter grow blocks

Step 3: Propagating - Setting up the basics

Once your seeds are planted firmly into the starter blocks, the next step is to give your seeds the best chance of germination possible. To do this, you’re going to need your propagator, grow light, timer and thermostat.

1. Get your propagator tray, with your starter blocks on (we’re using a Garland High Dome Propagator) and place the propagator lid onto the tray. Make sure you close the air access, as to increase humidity. 

using a propagator air lid closed

You’ll very quickly see that the propagator will begin to steam and the humidity inside the propagator will increase – this is exactly what we want to happen. This process will create the perfect germination environment for your seedlings. You don’t need a thermostat or a heated mat if your propagator comes with one built-in.

2. The next step is to connect your thermostat and your heat mat. The heat mat we’re using has guidelines on temperatures for different plants, find the optimum temperature for your plants online. 

3. Set your thermostat to the best temperature for your plants.

heat mat and thermostat connected hydroponics propagation

4. When setting up your thermostat, make sure you put the probe through the top of your propagator or through a dedicated port. Don’t worry if you can’t close the air access fully – don’t try and force it shut, as you might damage the thermostat wire.

thermostat probe hydroponics propagation

Step 4: Propagating - Grow Light & Timer

We need to give your growing seedlings, as much light as possible – the best way to do this is with a grow light and a timer (we’re using a Sunblaster NanoTech T5 and a PowerPlant Heavy Duty Timer). 

1. Connect your grow light to your heavy duty grow light timer.
2. Connect your timer to the mains electric.

grow light connected propagation hydroponics

Now that your grow light and your grow light timer can speak to each other, we need to determine when your grow light is going to be turned on and when it’s going to be turned off. 

3. Set the timer to a suitable time frame for the grow light to be turned on (optional).

It’s suitable to have your grow light on 24/7 if you want during this stage and depending on the environment; if you have it on 24/7, then you don’t need the timer. Because we have lights on during the day, we’re going to set the timer to be on only during the night, after our office closes at 5:00pm.

Our heavy duty grow light timer works in 15 minute intervals – for our chilli growing, we’ve told our timer to turn on the grow light between 5:15pm and 9:00am. 

heavy duty timer hydroponics grow room grow light

Final Step: Observe your plant growth

Ok, so you’ve followed all the steps – now what? Keep an eye out on your seedlings and make sure that they’re growing healthy and inspect any blocks that don’t look like they’re germinating seeds. If you get a starter growing block that doesn’t get any activity, just wait! Germinating takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Only remove seeds if they haven’t germinated within 4 weeks. Growing is all about patience and knowing ‘when to do what’.

If you’ve got stuck with any of this process, don’t worry – simply just use our live chat and we’ll help you with growing your plants. 

Once you’ve followed the instructions and steps, your setup should look a little like this (of course, you can buy more expensive, high quality equipment for pro growing, which will look far cooler):

hydroponics grow room propagation with grow light, timer, thermostat and heat mat