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City Hydroponics newsletter - 08 Nov 2016

Ongoing special offers.

As announced in the previous news letter, City Hydroponics is running a crowd funding campaign on local platform SparkRaise. All of our systems are on offer here to pre-order with discounts of up to 20%! Delivery is expected mid January '17. Please click here to visit the campaign and to place your order.

The campaign has reached 88% now, which is good but not good enough. Help us getting the campaign into the triple digits, and be one of the first in Hong Kong to adorn your balcony with the sleek CH34 grower, our extra slim outdoor growing solution designed to fit on smaller balconies and utility platforms.

Germinating your seeds.

Lettuce seedlings

One of the hardest parts of growing is getting your seeds to germinate and sprout. Seeds are sometimes finicky, and there are a lot of reasons they do or do not sprout. Temperature, moisture, even light are all factors that you have to take into account when you try to germinate your seeds.

Temperature: many seeds will not germinate at all when it is too hot. Summer temperatures of well over 30°C stop many seeds from sprouting, especially many western vegetables that are from a cooler climate, such as tomato and lettuce. On the other hand, seeds of tropical vegetables such as tung choi (also known as morning glory or water spinach) does best at higher temperatures.

Moisture: not too much. Seeds need to be humid, but also exposed to air. Many seeds react quite well to a night of soaking in water, but for good sprouting they should be exposed to the air. For best results, start with soaking new sponges in water for at least a full day, making sure they are all fully submerged. Place two or three seeds in each sponge, preferably in the upper half, then place the sponges on a tray in a thin layer of water, preferably with some nutrients - a 1:5-1:10 dilution from your normal stock will do fine in this stage. This ensures the sponges remain wet but not soaked, providing moisture and air to the seeds and the first nutrients for the plants. Your seeds should sprout and seedlings come out after about a week.

Light: most seeds prefer to germinate in the dark, though will do just fine in the light. Lettuce is a notable exception, this is a light activated seed and when kept in the dark generally just won't sprout. Full sunlight is not needed, just daylight is enough for them to sprout. As a result it may be hard to get lettuce to sprout in the sponges. Instead sprinkle some on a piece of wet paper placed in a transparent container, and after 1-2 days you will see the roots come out. Now carefully (use tweezers) place these sprouting seeds in the sponge to let them continue to grow.

Of course not all seeds will sprout, and some seedlings don't make it beyond the first stage. Normally 70-95% of your seeds will sprout, and at least 90% of your seedlings should survive.

When the first root pops out of the sponge, it's time for the seedlings to upgrade to the main grower, and receive full strength fertilisation.

Come and meet us!

Thursday 10 November and Friday 11 November, 16:00-21:00: design market at Central Star Ferry Pier, where we will also be showcasing all our products.

Saturday 12 November, 11:30-18:00: Lamma Fun Day! City Hydroponics will be showcasing all our products, and also be hosting a workshop where you can build your own never-water-grower (free of charge; donations for the Children Welfare Fund are highly encouraged).

Sunday 13 November, 11:00-18:00: Meet us at Discovery Bay Sunday Market at DB Plaza, near the DB Ferry Pier.

Friday 18 November, 17:00-22:00: Meet us at Nightfest at South Island School.

For many more events, please click here.

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