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How much water do I give my clones & seedlings when in rockwool?

To ensure optimal growth and success with clones, it's essential to provide the right amount of water to rockwool cubes. Here's a guide to help you understand when and how to water your rockwool cubes.

  1. Weigh the rockwool cubes: Start by weighing a dry cube and a fully saturated cube to determine their respective weights. This will help you know how much water is in the cube when it's saturated.
  2. Monitor the weight: Keep track of the cube's weight and water it when it drops to 20-40% of the saturated weight. With experience, you'll be able to estimate the weight and water requirement just by feeling the cube.
  3. Account for clone weight: When dealing with clones, estimate their weight (10-25g, depending on size) and subtract it from the measured weight along with the dry cube's weight to get a better estimation of water availability.
  4. Watering frequency: In most cases, rockwool cubes will need watering once every 24 hours, particularly when using a seedling warming mat. Make sure they never dry out completely.
  5. Watering technique: Dip the cube halfway into a pH-adjusted (5.0) water bucket for a few seconds, then gently shake out excess water without squeezing.
  6. Different methods for rooted and unrooted clones: Rooted clones should be soaked for about 15 seconds, as they can uptake water rapidly. Unrooted clones should just get a quick dip (3-5 seconds) to maintain moisture for root formation.
  7. Don't let cubes stand in water: Remove any excess water that drains into the tray the cubes sit in.
  8. Introduce nutrients: Start with high nitrogen nutrients when roots emerge from the cube's bottom. Begin with 1/4 strength for the first 4-5 days, then increase to 1/2-3/4 strength for the next 4-5 days, and finally, full strength.
  9. Pre-soak: A 24-hour rockwool pre-soak in pH 5.0 water before cloning is crucial.
  10. Use clone heating mats: Clone heating mats help dry out and warm the cubes, promoting root growth.
Following these steps should yield a high success rate, with roots showing in 5-7 days and profuse root development in 10 days. Remember to add a drop of superthrive per gallon to your pH-adjusted clone water for better results.
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