reviewed by Christina Lopez
A unique sponge-like material that makes growing cleaner, easier, and FAST. The rapid rooter plugs are an ideal starter for seeds and cuttings. They can be transplanted into the soil or directly into hydroponics. These bio-dynamic plugs are made with a proprietary blend of beneficial fungi, bark, peat, and other organic materials and increased root health and growth potential-Plugs transplant days and even weeks ahead of other popular seed starters and soils.
Several months ago, I decided to give this product a try. I had tried a similar sponge-type seed starter in the past, so this was not an entirely new concept for me. They are cleaner and more accessible than soil to get planted.
They transplant easily into soil or soil-less growing methods.
Easy planting may not be enough to overshadow the cost increase alone for me.
I need more, wow me! They Did!
General Hydroponics designed these with a balance of nutrients and materials. We were giving them growth explosion possibilities! Faster germination, better growth, and Strong roots!
I know you have been there too. You fill all the individual seed pods with soil. Get all the moisture content right. Tuck your tiny seeds into their new homes. That is the way it has been done forever.
After your trays are planted, then you have to clean up. There is no way to avoid the stray dirt spray that gets on you, your surroundings, and maybe even the cat.
That is a part of gardening. I know that it is, and I enjoy playing in the dirt. But If the beginning stages of seed starting were more accessible, cleaner, and worked better, why not avoid a bit of mess?
There are also the issues of sterilization when it comes to soil. Learn more about soil sterilization if you are unaware of the importance when seed starting.
In addition to being cleaner, there are also several other advantages to rapid rooter plugs.
Watering from below is the best way to water seeds and seedlings. It could not get any simpler with these plugs. They absorb quickly and evenly from below in a visual way that you can see. They also hold moisture longer while still allowing proper airflow to the developing roots.
These sponge-like plugs lift easily from seed trays so you can check on root growth throughout the starting process. This gives you a whole new glance into your plant's development without harming tender roots.
The entire pod transplants simply into the soil in a container or direct in the garden. Additionally, if you grow in hydroponics or aquaponics, the rapid rooters go directly into net cups without removing soil.
The rapid rooter plugs offer a great way to jump-start seed germination. It seems to cut off days, and sometimes longer in the time; it typically takes a seed to begin to show life.
A far more significant advantage I have seen is the root strength and growth. Strong roots are essential to the future health of the plant. These plugs enhance the power of the root system. I have noticed in comparison to typical soil growth significant amount and size in seedling roots.
You can see from the image here of a 7-week chive seedling . The roots are immense and healthy. I could have easily transplanted this sooner. However, my other chives growing in seed-soil were not nearly ready before the 7-week mark.
Learn more about the company General Hydroponics.
Getting seeds to start even in these plugs may not be easy for everyone. If you have been struggling with getting your seeds to sprout, check out some helpful tips I added recently to the site. Learn More about Seed Germinating: 7 Amazing Tips for Germinating Seeds Indoors Quickly.
Ever thought about trying out soil-less growing for yourself? Learn More about Hydroponics & Aquaponics in another article available on this site.
This is common in many larger plants that get re-potted. It is also a known issue in many types of plants, herbs, and vegetables from seeds. In those plants susceptible to transplant shock at the seed, there is often an ample warning to directly seed in permanent containers or soil.
Transplant shock is typically caused by disturbing sensitive roots.
I am avoiding it with rapid rooter plugs. I cannot say it will work with 100% of those seeds on the "no-no" list for seed starting. However, I have used it on herbs that are said not to transplant well. This includes Dill, Anise, and Cilantro.
Besides, I have also started peas in these and had no trouble transplanting them with success into a garden. No shock and no damage to taproots.
This is not going to be the answer for everyone for various reasons. I have switched to primarily rapid rooter plugs for seed starting but still use some soil as well. When I grow direct in planters and containers, I use soil.
For me, it makes sense as I do hydroponics frequently. I like having the option to decide with any seedling. It also means I have less investment in Rockwool for that purpose. The balance was there.
I would encourage you to give it a try once and see what you think. I look forward to your feedback.
If you have already tried the General Hydroponic Rapid Rooters, let me know what you think.
I know there are other brands on the market. The only other one I have tried is the Park Seed Bio-Dome brand. I am going to be trying some others soon to compare. I am open to suggestions if there is an item you would like me to check.
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About Christina Lopez
Christina Lopez grew up in the scenic city of Mountain View, California. For eighteen ascetic years, she refrained from eating meat until she discovered the exquisite delicacy of chicken thighs. Christina is a city finalist competitive pingpong player, an ocean diver, and an ex-pat in England and Japan. Currently, she is a computer science doctoral student. Christina writes late at night; most of her daytime is spent enchanting her magical herb garden.