While those two beds were getting started, I started some more peppers and cucumber and lettuce hydroponically in rockwool indoors. I started the plants in rockwool starter plugs in a tray with some water and a humidity dome. Then opened the dome vents slowly over the next few days, eventually taking the dome off after about a week. The next step, I transferred the starter plugs to mason jars with 3″ mesh cups in the opening at the top and some clay pebbles around the rockwool cube to hold it in place.
I then filled the mason jars with nutrients and water up to an inch past the bottom of where the starter plug sat. This method is called kratky and you can find much more detailed tutorials online. Long story short though, they did really well, and I’ll probably start all of my plants that way next season.
The pepper plant above was started in a small starter plug of rockwool and then transplanted into that little black mesh cup (left) and placed in the mason jar (right). You can see the roots that have grown out of the basket and are now sitting in the water in the mason jar. After a few weeks, I’ll transfer this same little black mesh cup into a larger container such as a 5 gallon Home Depot bucket, pictured below:
I did this same process with a Cucumber plant and it grew like crazy. You can see in the picture on the right that the plant is growing up a rope I added to guide it. There are even a few blossoms and Cucumber on the vine already. The root growth is so successful, I had a hard time removing it from the bucket to photograph, and had to take a photo like this instead.
I also grew some lettuce in a similar manner using a storage bin and drilling 6 holes into the top instead of using a 5 gallon bucket and one hole. I grew lettuce and mint and peppers in this multi-site container