Rapid Rooter Plugs come in bags of 50 and above, and are a crowd favorite among hydroponics growers because they are straightforward, easy to use, and just plain work on most crops.
What makes these plugs truly effective is their design – each plug is filled with powerful, seed boosting micro-nutrients that plants need to germinate effectively.
As we all know, leaving things to nature in a hydroponics setup is not a good idea – you have to modify factors to improve the results.
Otherwise, you are probably going to get erratic or inconsistent results – and ultimately, during harvest time, the inconsistency is going to reduce the productivity of your entire setup.
Think of Rapid Rooter Plugs as grow media ‘on steroids-‘ they’re full of powerful and much-needed nutrients necessary for germination, and they are designed specifically to allow seeds to grow well within their chambers.
By using media that are designed to help seeds grow from seed form to seedling, you are ensuring that your young crops are off to a good start.
Part of the advantage is the air to water ratio, which is determined by the actual structure of the medium itself.
The medium has to be able to hold water well and introduce oxygen to the delicate roots of the developing seedlings. Low oxygen conditions will surely kill plants of any stage or maturity, and you simply cannot risk this when you are investing in a large batch of new crops.
Starter plugs like this one from General Hydroponics are necessary for what is called the explosive growth phenomenon. Simply put, you’d want all your new crops to be completely robust and vigorous even at this stage of their development.
What happens during the germination phase will have an effect on the mature plants later on, so it is considered a good practice to take care of the seedlings by using the appropriate grow media.
How do Rapid Rooter Plugs deliver such consistent results? The key to the success of this brand of starter plugs is its composition. The bulk of each starter plug is composed of organic materials bound together in a breathable matrix.
Everything is held together by an organic polymer that is still derived from compostable and completely environmental-friendly materials. These plugs are ideal not only for triggering the expansive development of sturdy and viable root networks, but also
The manufacturer recommends that hydroponics growers use a 50-cell tray when using Rapid Rooter starter plugs. Place cuttings into the small holes of the starter plugs so that they will stand erect without additional support.
When all of the cuttings have been added to the plugs, place the 50-cell tray under appropriate lighting and wait for the root systems to manifest.
With Rapid Rooter’s design, you should be able to see vigorous root networks emerging from the media itself. When the roots are ready, the cuttings can be transplanted to a waiting hydroponic system or even to a conventional soil garden, should you have one.
If you wish to germinate seeds, again, the manufacturer recommends that you use a 50-cell tray. Place the Rapid Rooter starter plugs in the cavities and proceed to add a sufficient amount of seeds in each plug.
When all of the plugs are filled with seeds, transfer the 50-cell tray to a dark area so that the seeds can begin to sprout. Once the seeds have sprouted, transfer the tray to a lighted area (with artificial light or otherwise) and wait for the seedlings to develop a bit more, until they are ready to be transferred to a hydroponics system or the soil.
For optimum results, all the starter plugs that you wish to use at one time should be pre-soaked in water mixed with a light blooming formula.
After soaking, drain the excess and proceed to follow the instructions for cuttings and/or seeds for germination.
If you wish to use mycorrhizae to boost the root network of your plants early on, this would be the perfect time for it. Rapid Rooter plugs can accommodate beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi well enough.
Adding too much water to your Rapid Rooter starter plugs may cause unwanted effects on cuttings and seedlings.
After the pre-soaking, the starter plugs will hold a sufficient amount of water for the rapid propagation of roots. Add water to the plugs only when there is evidence of complete drying out.
Remember: in the soil where seeds sprout naturally, the soil only contains a specific amount of moisture, and when there’s too much water, the seeds simply do not germinate at all.
1. The positioning of the grow trays is extremely important. Remember – when you are sprouting seeds or coaxing cuttings to develop normal root structures, there has to be sufficient light in order for that to happen.
Ideally, plants should get natural sunlight because that’s the simplest way to encourage plants to grow. But if you don’t have a space for your grow tray near a window where plenty of sunlight is streaming in, the next best thing is using LED grow lights.
Set your LED grow light to the appropriate setting and pop the tray under – and wait for Rapid Rooter starter plugs to show signs of vigorous root structures.
2. If you are using an LED grow light, be sure to position the light close to the surface of the starter plugs. We’re talking about really close here – no more than two inches away, and ideally, just an inch.
Seedlings, specifically, benefit from sufficient grow light exposure. You’re going to get short, stocky seedlings with vigorous roots – perfect for transplantation.
3. Some hydroponics growers just moisten their starter cubes or plugs with water – this is fine. However, if you have access to mycorrhizal fungi, beneficial bacteria and other boosters for your cuttings or seedlings, we highly recommend that you soak your plugs/cubes in these to give your new crops a leg up.
The reason for this is quite simple: mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria all act on the root systems, leading to better-looking root networks.
The more vigorous the root network of a plant, the better off your plants will be. Nutrient uptake will be improved, and even the utilization of nitrogen will increase.
Early colonization also means that mycorrhizal fungi will have sufficient time to form hyphae as the plant grows. In a more natural setting, this doesn’t happen at the pace that we’d like for a more productive batch of crops.
4. The timing of the transplantation is important. Seeds will sprout in a matter of days, but that doesn’t mean that you can immediately transplant the new seedlings to the main hydroponics setup.
You would need a minimum of one week, or up to three weeks in some instances depending on the species of the crop that you are working with.