OASIS® Grower Solutions Foam Medium
Enhanced Biodegradable Engineered Media for Hydroponics
The new Horticubes® eS is a specially engineered media with enhanced biodegradability for hydroponic production. The lower density and higher drainage properties of Horticubes® eS makes it ideal for the seed propagation of a wide variety of hydroponic crops.
Steps for Propagation
1. Remove from carton
Gently pull the paper sleeve surrounding the five sheets of Horticubes® eS or carefully pull the cardboard liner that surrounds all 20 sheets.
2. Place OGS Horticubes® eS 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® eS is either dry or wet.
4. Saturate Growing Medium
For optimal results, Horticubes® eS Medium should be fully saturated in complete nutrient solution with initial watering. Adequate saturation is best accomplished through a combination of float saturating in OGS Hydroponic Fertilizer 16-4-17 or similar complete nutrient solution, always followed by overhead watering. This can be achieved by using an automated soaking / watering system* or manually by following the steps below:
- If the seeds are sown while Horticubes® eS is dry, lightly water the top of the sheets to set the seed into the dibble holes.
- Set the trays of Horticubes® eS into a tub of complete nutrient solution and let the foam completely soak until the top of the growing medium or sheet is slightly below the water surface. Note: DO NOT actively push the growing medium under water, let it soak on its own.
- Following sub-irrigation, overhead irrigate the Horticubes® eS using a coarse water breaker for approximately 1 minute, with 1.3 to 1.5 gallons (5 to 6 liters) of water.
Note: Vermiculite Top dressing – In the case of certain crops, covering the seed with vermicuilite promotes uniform germination and growth of seedling.
The following is the list of crops that will benefit with vermiculute top dressing:
The following is the list of crops that will NOT benefit with vermiculite top dressing:
- water cress
The foam propagation sheets can be placed in a dark room at temperatures of between 66° to 68° F (18.8° to 20° C). The tray needs to be moved from the dark room to the greenhouse at 48 hours after initiation of the germination process. Leaving the trays beyond 48 hours can lead to stretching of the seedlings especially in the case of lettuce. During seedling production, pull the shade curtains in the afternoon hours during the summer months. Provide supplemental lighting during the winter months.
6. Irrigation During Seedling Production
The following is the general schedule for watering and fertilizing. Change as it fits to your operation (depending upon the crop season and growing conditions).
Day 1: Seedling / initial watering with complete nutrient solution (100-125 ppm N)
Day 2: No watering required
Day 3: Mist once or twice with nutrient solution (100 – 125 ppm N)
Day 4: Mist once or twice with nutrient solution (100 – 125 ppm N)
Day 5: Mist or water with a hose and a breaker required (every day or every alternate day) until they are transplanted
The seedlings are ready to transplant when they have at least two true leaves. Typically, the seedlings are ready for transplant in 12 days during summer and 16 days during winter.
Horticubes® eS is easier to handle if the foam is not completely saturated at the time of transplant. Stop the irrigation of your seedlings the day prior to transplant.
Individual Horticubes® eS 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.
Unused Horticubes® eS 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.
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.
* Automated Initial soaking/watering system: Please check with your territory sales manager if you are interested in a water conveyor system.
** Automated seeding system drawing 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.