Starting Seeds Using Hydroculture: An Experiment

Posted on Oct 1 2010 - 3:04am by Mike Lieberman

I received a message from Lica who checks out this blog. She lives in Brooklyn and doesn’t have any space to grow, so she’s been experimenting using hyrdoculture, not hydroponics. There is a difference and she explains it on her blog.

She contacted me, told me about what she was doing and offered to send some to me to experiment with. Always down to experiment with new things, I figga’d why not.

The package consisted of:

  • A-OK Rockwool Starter Plugs
  • Hydrotron
  • Nutrient solutions that she kindly informed me weren’t organic and why she had them.

To get started, I also needed

  • 1/2 lemon
  • Gallon of water
  • Seeds of my choice
  • Egg carton

Since I wasn’t familiar with Rockwool and Hydrotron, I looked them up to see what the hell they were. I didn’t come across anything bad, except that you really shouldn’t handle Rockwool with barehands.

So if you know anything different about these two, please let me know.

Moving forward I am not going to use the nutrient solutions because I really don’t know what they are and will see if I can just use my manure tea.

Here is how I started the seeds:

  • Cut the Rockwool cubes and placed them in a bowl of water to soak for 15 minutes.
  • Squeezed the lemon into the bowl to raise the pH a little.
  • Removed the Rockwool and placed each cube into the egg carton.
  • Place a seed into each hole of the Rockwool.
  • Set outside to germinate.
  • Used water bottle to mist and keep moist.

What do you think about hydroculture?

[flickrset id=”72157624902858725″ thumbnail=”square” overlay=”true” size=”medium”]


  • Urban Gardens

    Wow, this is fantastic! Just tweeted it. Thanks for sharing such a great idea for those with limited spaces.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. Not having much luck yet as I’ve been neglecting them…

  • Karla Lindquist

    Hmm. Probably should have read this before I posted on the part II of this series. I don’t know squat about this stuff, being that I am one of those ‘traditional gardeners. Sticking with what I have working for me w/ the rich compost soil I create here from my own food/yard waste.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Absolutely, but I figured this would be good for people who have absolutely no space, land or containers.

  • Pingback: Restarting The Hyrdoculture Experiment | Urban Organic Gardener()

  • Lynne Phillips

    What seeds are you using? What is the temperature they are being grown at? Plus do you think they are too wet? Anyway, some seeds depending on what it is will take a couple of weeks. Others like corn or beans will sprout in a few days. ~Lynne.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Cilantro, dill, parsley, kales and lettuces. They were placed outdoors, but are now indoors. Definitely not too wet. If anything they were too dry.

  • Pingback: Hydroculture Contest: Leave a Comment to Enter | Urban Organic Gardener()

  • Manure Tea Gardening

    Hi Mike I’m looking forward to seeing how things grow and thank you for using my Manure Tea instead of the non-organic liquid in the three bottles : )

  • Mike Lieberman

    I gave up this experiment. Got to be too much.