OGS HorticubesXL ProtocolSheet 3.16.16

Protocol – Horticubes®

OASIS® Grower Solutions Foam Medium

Fast, clean, consistent growing for hydroponics

A lower density and higher drainage foam, the OGS Horticubes® growing medium is specially engineered for the hydroponics seedling production of vegetables and herbs. The Horticubes® higher drainage design helps to maintain an ideal air to water balance, even under heavy watering conditions. The enhanced drainage also keeps the top of the media drier, helping to minimize algae growth.

Steps for PropagationOGS_HorticubesXL_ProtocolSheet_3.16.16

1. Remove from carton

Gently pull the paper sleeve surrounding the five sheets of OGS Horticubes® or carefully pull the cardboard liner that surrounds all 20 sheets.

2. Place OGS Horticubes® into industry standard 1020 carry trays

If your primary watering method uses overhead irrigation, use a solid-bottom tray with drain holes. However, if your primary method uses sub-irrigation, use a web-bottom tray.

Note: DO NOT use a solid tray without drain holes because excess water needs to be drained freely.

3. Place seed(s) in dibble hole

Seeds can be placed manually or via mechanical equipment in the single- or multi-seed holes when the Horticubes® is either dry or wet.

4. Saturate Growing Medium

For optimal results, OGS Horticubes® should be completely saturated, without any dry areas, in OGS Hydroponic Fertilizer 16-4-17 or similar complete nutrient solution. Saturation is best accomplished through a combination of float saturating and overhead watering.

  • If the seeds are sown while OGS Horticubes® is dry, lightly water the top of the sheets to set the seed into the dibble holes.
  • Set the trays of OGS Horticubes® into a tub of complete nutrient solution and let the foam completely saturate until the growing medium or sheet is slightly below the water surface.

Note: DO NOT force the growing medium under water.

  • Following sub-irrigation, overhead irrigate the OGS Horticubes® using a coarse water breaker for approximately 1 minute, with 1.3 to 1.5 gallons (5 to 6 liters) of water.

5. GerminationOGS_Horticubes_ProtocolSheet_3.16.16

In the case of lettuce or most herbs, place the sheets in a dark room at temperatures of between 66 to 68° F (18.8 to 20° C). The trays need to be moved from the dark room to the greenhouse at 48 hours after the initiation of the germination process. Leaving the trays beyong the 48 hours can lead to stretching of the seedlings. During seedling production, pull the shade curatins in the afternoon hours during the summer months.

Provide supplemental lighting during the winter months.

Tip: To make it more convenient to handle at transplant time, consider using a sharp knife to cut the OGS Horticubes® sheets into smaller sections. This is best achieved after the initial saturation and prior to the growth of the foliage.

7. Irrigation During Seedling Production

The following is the general schedule for watering and fertilizing. Change as it fits to your operation (depending upon the season and growing conditions).

Day 1:  Seedling / initial watering

Day 2:  No watering required

Day 3:  Mist once or twice with nutrient solution (100 – 125 ppm)

Day 4:  Mist once or twice with nutrient solution (100 – 125 ppm)

Day 5:  Mist or water with a hose and a breaker required (every day or every alternate day) until they are transplanted

8. Transplant

Wait until you have at least two true leaves and tap root coming out of the bottom of the matrix. Typically, the seedlings are ready for transplant in 12 to 14 days during the summer and 16 to 18 days during the winter.

Individual OGS Horticubes® cubes are designed with a deep razor cut on the top and a shallow razor cut on the bottom to allow for clean separation from the full sheets. Separation occurs by using a top-down motion.

9. Storage

Unused OGS Horticubes® should be left in a closed carton. The carton should be stored in a dry location away from direct sunlight.

If you have any questions or need further clarification, please contact your OASIS® Grower Solutions Representative.

Troubleshooting

Pushouts: Pushouts are seedlings pushing out of the foam because the roots are not penetrating into the foam, yet continue to grow.

Reasons: Pushouts occur when foam is not thoroughly saturated or, in certain varieties the root system is weak and doesn’t anchor properly to the medium.

How to avoid: Following proper initial watering instructions of float saturation followed by overhead watering with complete nutrient solution. If you are still having pushouts after following the proper watering protocol, most likely you are dealing with a sensitive cultivar. In that case, covering the seed with a small amount of vermiculite can avoid pushouts and significantly improve the uniformity of the seedling growth.

Appendix:

* Water conveyor system: Please check with your territory sales manager if you are interested in a water conveyor system.

** Automated Seeding equipment: Please check with your territory sales manager if you are interested in an automated seeding equipment (or) Contact Berry Seeder Company. Address: Church Road, Elizabeth City, NC 27909.

Phone: (252) 330-2227.

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