Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is General Hydroponics Rapid Rooter Grow Plugs. This year I began experiments in hydroponics and these plugs have been the absolute easy button. For instance these tomato plants were grown from seed in just 25 days, they even have blossoms on them already. I have been growing vegetables since the early 80s when I was a little kid in my Grandfathers garden. I have never seen anything like this, I am sure my GrandPa would have called it “sorcery”!
As you all know I am pretty new to Hydroponic Growing but now I am developing a full scale indoor vertical farm for home use, that will grow at least 25 plants to full harvest size a week. This new system will use a blend of deep water hydro and Kratky.
Two things will remain the absolute same though. One, I will use Barrina Grow Lights in it. Two I will use General Hydroponics Rapid Rooter Grow Plugs. When I started there were tons of options, other pre made grow plugs, some say jiffy pots work good and cost less, rock wool, LECA, etc. One product though had the most positive things said by newbies and the least negative, you guessed it General Hydroponics Rapid Rooter Grow Plugs.
Let me say I think long term I will find some option that is more economical. At 15 bucks a 50 pack they are about 30 cents a piece. Which really is not expensive when you think about what a head or organic lettuce or a baby bok choy sells for at the market. If I were growing 5,000 plants a week in a commercial operation sure it would add up. I figure for home scale production the cost is not minuscule but it is minimal overall. Also when starting peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, etc for spring it is almost not worth considering when most plants like that sell for 3 bucks or more a piece at box stores.
In the end here is the deal, I am in building mode with projects right now. The seed starting one, the indoor farm this week and two outdoor systems are coming too in my green house and aviary remodels. I want to form a baseline of performance with as few variables as I can, and these damn things work and work like mad. The roots grow so insane in just a couple weeks that I am forced to modify the dang net cups just to get the transplants out as you see in this video.
So it isn’t that rock wool isn’t lower in cost, it is that in side by side comparisons I have seen rapid rooter just do better for more people. It isn’t that LECA isn’t reusable and better long term, it is that in side by side comparisons I have seen rapid rooter just do better for more people, especially new people to the hobby. See where I am going here? It appears (to me anyway) that rapid rooters allow for less accurate PH and fertilizer calculations. Sure when you get everything absolutely perfect all of it works, and I am not saying you can just dump things with no testing and have these work, I am saying these will perform better than most other options even if you are not perfect.
I am simply using Texas Tomato Food, rain water and getting my PPM to about 650 for starts. Letting it go as high as 1100 as evaporation happens and that is it. As I am using rain water I didn’t even test PH which everyone screams you must do. Our spa PH kit says the PH is under 7, how much though I don’t know it only goes down to 7. I am going to get a PH test solution in place and get more accurate but as you can see, this all works and works beautifully!
If you want to see a full play list of the project so far, you can find it here. Also hold on tight because the new indoor farm is getting built this week as soon as Lowes gets my damn shelf in. Also tune in today, big announcement coming where some of you can come see the new indoor hydro farm hands on next month.
Otherwise though if you plan to start playing with Hydro, try General Hydroponics Rapid Rooter Grow Plugs. Let them form your baseline and if you can find a lower cost or reusable media long term, go for it. But if you are new to anything make your life as easy as possible. Frankly at 15 bucks for a 50 pack, I consider this a very affordable way to do just that.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
P.S. – This is one of those items where multi packs have STUPID, I repeat STUPID pricing. Buying a two pack is way more expensive than buying “quantity two”. Just be aware of that. Here is a full play list of the Kratky Seed System so far.