It Starts With A Seed

If you think of a plant as being like a movie script, or perhaps even a computer program, you can better see how its life unfolds according to a predetermined chain of events. We call this chain of events the "stages of growth," and each of these stages can be triggered by internal or external stimuli. For plants, it all starts with a seed, which after sprouting becomes a seedling, and eventually becomes a mature plant capable of reproducing itself by creating

Diagrams Seeds And Seedlings

All plants start from seeds. While many plants can be propagated by taking cuttings, most growers begin by planting some seeds and marvelling as they unfold into mature plants. The diagram shows how a seed planted just below the ground level first splits its case upon absorbing water, drops a root which grows downward with gravity and then breaks surface forcing forward its first set of leaves as the husk drops away.

All plants start from seeds. While many plants can be propagated by taking cuttings, most growers begin by planting some seeds and marvelling as they unfold into mature plants. The diagram shows how a seed planted just below the ground level first splits its case upon absorbing water, drops a root which grows downward with gravity and then breaks surface forcing forward its first set of leaves as the husk drops away.

new seeds. Note that when plants reach their reproductive stage, external genetic material is introduced which may ever so slightly, or even drastically influence the "program" of the next generation. This is how plants breed outdoors in their natural state. By growing plants indoors, breeders can control which plants exchange genetic material with each other to influence the outcome in a particular way that is beneficial for the breeder. For instance, if a tomato grower likes a particular tasting tomato, but finds it grows too slowly, he may "cross" it with a more rapidly maturing variety to speed up the process in future generations. I don't want to get too deep into the subject of breeding at this point, but I must stress that even with the most advanced hydroponic methods, garbage in = garbage out. So choose your stock carefully!

Whether you are growing for food, fun or profit, choosing the right varieties will make as much a difference to your success, and ultimate enjoyment as applying all the technology in this book. For a quick real-life example, the basket of tomatoes shown in the beginning of this chapter were grown from seeds given to me by a fellow grower in California. I asked for a sweet and salty tomato that would do well in a greenhouse, which means it had to be self pollinating. I grew a tomato (Matusalah) that my entire family and immediate neighborhood is raving about to this day. In fact, they were so good and grew so well I've kept the same plant alive through several seasons as a mother plant from which I regularly take cuttings to start new plants. Last November I counted 41 tomatos on the six plants I raised aeroponically which turned out to be perfect stocking stuffers for the holiday!

"Even with the most advanced hydroponic methods, garbage in still equals garbage out, so choose your seeds and cutting stock carefully!"

Seedling Production Hydroponic
Bright white roots are a sign of a healthy seedling. Baby Lettuce at 12 days from germination in "Perfect Starts," a brand of organic starter sponges that helps to speed germination and reduce the occurence of transplant shock.
Hydroponics Manifold

"One could not imagine a world without water, as one would not exist to imagine"

Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

This is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to growing organic, healthy vegetable, herbs and house plants without soil. Clearly illustrated with black and white line drawings, the book covers every aspect of home hydroponic gardening.

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