What does "pre-series" mean?

At first, we will produce the Hydrostarter in limited quantities. The functionality and material properties will be the same as the series production version. The main reason for starting with a pre-series production is the possibility to fine-tune the product according to your feedback.



How is the Hydrostarter used?

The reservoir is filled with 500 ml of water. Then the hydrostarters are placed in the recesses in the cover and one seed is placed in each hydrostarter. The seeds are moistened with the pipette and start to germinate after a few days. As soon as the plants are big enough, they can be transferred to the hydroponic system.



What advantages does the hydrostarter have over substrate?

Unlike substrates, roots cannot grow through the Hydrostarter it can therefore be reused. In addition, there is no need to handle  granulates. 



How many hydrostarter do I need?

For each planting space you want to equip in your hydroponic system, you need one Hydrostarter plus approx. 20 - 30% for germination.



Is the Hydrostarter sustainable?

Yes, the Hydrostarter replaces substrates that are only used once and have to be purchased again and again. The Hydrostarter is reusable, so emissions from production and transport only occur once. In addition, we focus on using as little packaging material as possible, which is made from renewable materials.



Which plants can I grow with the Hydrostarter?

The Hydrostarter is designed for growing lettuce and similar leafy vegetables. However, in our tests we were also able to grow other varieties such as basil and strawberries. Plants that become too big for the Hydrostarter can be removed and transplanted. The limiting factor in the current design is the shape of the seed. This should be as spherical as possible.



Which seeds can I use?

The current version of the Hydrostarter is optimised for the use of pelleted seeds. Seeds with a natural spherical shape and sufficient size can also be used on their own.



Do I need grow lights?

This depends on the environmental conditions. If there is enough sunlight, the cultivation can be successful without a lamp. However, in summer it can get very warm behind a pane of glass, which can cause the young plants to die or to grow too fast. To prevent this, we recommend growing under a plant lamp at moderate temperatures.



What do I do if the plants become etiolated?

Young plants may grow too fast due to lack of light, too high temperatures and/or too early fertilisation. Ideally, these parameters should be taken into account from the start. In case it is too late, the plant can be pushed down within the Hydrostarter by carefully opening it. This, however, may increase the risk of the the plant tipping over in your growing system.



How high should the water level be?

To ensure that the seed can be reliably supplied with water, the lower end of the Hydrostarter should be approx. 1 cm below the water surface at the beginning of cultivation. As soon as the plant is transferred to a hydroponic system and some roots protrude from the bottom of the Hydrostarter, we recommend adjusting the level of the nutrient solution so that only the roots are in contact and the Hydrostarter remains dry. This increases the oxygen supply to the roots and prevents salts from the nutrient solution from settling on the surface of the Hydrostarter. 



When and how should I fertilise the plants?

Fertilising should only be done with special hydroponic fertilisers that contain all essential nutrients. In principle, fertiliser can be added to the reservoir shortly after germination. However, we recommend not fertilising for the first few days, or only in very small doses, because the plants can then absorb the water better and form longer roots. This also prevents excessive nutrient salts from crystallising on the Hydrostarter, which makes it easier to clean later. 



Why does the Hydrostarter need to be cleaned?

The Hydrostarter is designed to be reused. As it is permanently in a warm and humid environment, the risk of bacteria or fungi colonising the surface increases over time. Therefore, the Hydrostarter should be cleaned after each cycle and disinfected if necessary. 



With which systems is the Hydrostarter compatible?

The Hydrostarter is particularly suitable for hydroponic use in nutrient film technique (NFT) and deep water culture (DWC) systems. The planting holes should be aligned approximately horizontally and have a diameter of 50 mm. However, slightly smaller holes will also work.



Why don't my seeds germinate?

This can have various causes. Unfortunately, we have made the experience that not all seeds offered are of the same quality and sometimes have a low germination rate from the start. Furthermore, the germination rate decreases with the age of the seeds. After opening the packaging, seeds have a limited shelf life and should be stored in a dark, cool and dry place. If the seed does not germinate despite good quality, it is recommended to check the following requirements: Sufficient light (for light germinators), a moderate temperature (depending on the plant), enough moisture, possible contamination (remedied by cleaning/disinfection).



How long can the plants stay in the Hydrostarter?

This depends on the type of plant that is to be grown. Compact plants that stay flat, such as lettuce, can stay in the Hydrostarter until harvest. Larger plants that would damage the Hydrostarter as they grow, or would tip over in the hydroponic system, can be removed and moved at any time, e.g. into a neoprene ring or expanded clay.



Can plants be removed from the hydrostarter and moved?

Yes, the plants can be removed from the hydrostarter at any time. Because they are not damaged in the process, the plants can also be transplanted into substrate or a holder such as a neoprene ring.



Why can I only buy a limited number at the moment?

The first Hydrostarters will be a pre-series version that we can only produce in small numbers. After successful tests and positive feedback, a series version will follow soon.