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Can You Transplant from Soil to Hydro?

Hydroponic systems are both enjoyable and productive to own and operate. Making a basic hydroponic system from materials such as a storage bin and a few net pots is simple; once you’ve tried it, you may want to grow every kind of plant you can get. Although using soil-grown starts from a garden center saves time, it’s important to be aware of the positive and negative aspects of using soil-grown transplants in a hydroponic system.
  1. Process

    • The process of transplanting a soil-grown start to a hydroponic system begins with removing the transplant from its pot in the same way you would if you were getting ready to plant it outside in your garden, but then the procedure differs. Hold the removed plant under gently running water, and carefully rinse its roots until all the soil is gone. Handle it carefully so that you cause as little damage as possible. When the roots are as clean as you can get them, place the plant in your hydroponic system. A transplant usually adapts to life in a hydroponic system with or without the use of a supporting medium, such as clay pellets or silica stones.


    • A hydroponic plant typically grows much faster than a plant grown in soil and is ready to harvest as much as 25 percent sooner than its earthbound counterpart. One of the main reasons is that a plant in soil must expend some energy seeking necessary nutrients from the soil while a hydroponic plant has everything delivered directly to its roots. The gardener is able to control other aspects of the hydroponic environment as well, including temperature, the amount of light and the environment's overall quality, making it even easier to get bountiful harvests.


    • A plants grown in soil is at risk for various problems, including weeds, pests and soil-borne organisms such as bacteria, nematodes and fungi. When you move a plant from the soil to a hydroponic environment, it may bring a lot of those problems with it, especially microscopic contaminants. Also, removing the soil surrounding the plant’s roots can cause damage if not done very carefully. A plant that is handled too roughly ends up with a lot of broken roots, leaves or stems and may not survive for long no matter what you do for it.


    • The best way to avoid the problems associated with transplanting a plant from soil into a hydroponic system is to start all of your plants in a medium that is suitable for a hydroponic environment. Start seeds in a loose, soil-free medium such as perlite, or place them in rock wool cubes or peat pellets, and set them on a tray to germinate. When the seedlings are big enough, transfer them directly into a hydroponic system along with the medium surrounding their roots to avoid transplant shock.