Welcome to What’s Going On In Dave’s Grow!
I have germinated seeds several times on WGOIDG, but this week we are going to use the Grobo Start system for starting our new seeds. This is the perfect system for those who want to take all of the guesswork out of sprouting seeds. Purchasing seeds online can be expensive and when you are spending upwards of $100 for 3 seeds, you want the best chance possible for those seeds sprouting.
What is the Grobo Start?
The Grobo Start is a small self-contained seed starting unit specifically for the purpose of sprouting seeds. If you aren’t familiar with Grobo, they also make a self-contained grow cabinet that looks nice in your home and is fully automated. You can learn more about Grobo and their entire product line here.
Each unit comes with an adjustable LED light, 3 seed sprouting containers with wicks, peat pods, a small measuring cup, tweezers, humidity domes, macro and micronutrient sachets, and the base unit with a reservoir.
I found the instructions easy to follow and the Grobo site has a wealth of information about the product in case you get stuck. The unit itself retails for $79.99 and has enough supplies to get you through 10 grows (that comes out to 60 plants).
How does it work?
There are several ways to start seeds and all of them have their merits. We all have been through the frustration of just not getting seeds to sprout. This is especially nerve-racking when you throw down over $100 for seeds and none of them “pop”.
This Grobo Start unit really made the process easy for me. I actually did 2 runs in this machine (6 seeds) for the new grow I am starting. Some of the seeds have been problematic for me in the past (not sprouting or taking 10+ days to sprout). I actually had a 100% success rate with all 6 seeds and was pleased with how quickly they all came up. Now not all seeds will sprout in 7 days or less. It really comes down to genetics, but all 6 seeds from multiple strains were busting through their peat pods in 5 days!
The concept is simple. Nutrient-rich water keeps the peat pods moist and the unit’s LED light provides 13 hours of light for the seeds to sprout. The humidity domes prevent the seedlings from drying out. The wick under the containers draws the water up from the reservoir and into the peat pod so the seed is always nice and moist. It’s pretty much set it and forget it.
Some tips from Dave
I found that tearing off a small piece of peat from the pod and placing it over the hole works best. The seed will sprout regardless, but it may sprout upside down if you don’t cover the hole. Taking a toothpick and poking holes on the bottom of the peat pod will give the seed a better chance of growing through the pod and getting its tap roots down into the reservoir. I also recommend PH’ing the water in the reservoir down to 5.0 after you add the micro and macronutrients. If the PH is too high, the seed will not sprout.
Transplanting the seedlings after they sprout is a delicate process. Be extremely careful when you take the top off the container. This cover is a little tricky and will take a little bit of pulling to get the top free. Take a little time to familiarize yourself with how the top fits on the container. If you pull too hard while trying to free the peat pod you could tear the top of your seedling off trying to remove the cap.
Use the enclosed plastic tweezers to place your seeds in the peat pod hole. Don’t try to put it in the hole with your fingers. You can easily lose the seed with your fat fingers while trying to place it into the small hole. Use the tweezers so you don’t drop the seed on the ground where you will surely lose it forever.
In short, I recommend purchasing the Grobo Start for those wanting a hands-off seed-starting experience. Don’t just restrict yourself to cannabis or hemp either. The Grobo is a perfect solution for starting a small in-home herb planter as well. Happy Gardening!