Seed germination and young plant production starts with the right growing medium or substrate. It is important to have a substrate with good physical characteristics, such as air porosity and water holding capacity, however chemical characteristics are equally important. Correct starting pH, electrical conductivity and nutrient content are necessary for favorable young plant development. Once seeds are sown or cuttings stuck, the grower must monitor pH and nutrient status. Here are some tips to make the proper cultural adjustments during the crop cycle to achieve success.
Keep in mind that germinating seeds and rooting cuttings in plug trays is high density production, meaning that the developing root system is limited to a very small amount of growing medium. Therefore, nutrient status and pH can change very easily from irrigation and fertilizer applications. Knowing this, the benefit is that you can make cultural adjustments quickly and easily. However, it is also easy to get in trouble, so attention to detail is very important for small cell culture. Larger cell plug trays and taller trays are more forgiving, since they hold more substrate and therefore, require less frequent application of irrigation water/fertilizer solution.