Competitive Plant Stock – Aeroponic Propagation Vs Seed Starting
The question is will starting seeds aeroponically produce the strongest stock plants? The ongoing discussion as to which produces a stronger more competitive plant stock for aeroponics; aeroponic cloning or heirloom seed starting. The grower faces this choice every time they decide to start a production run. The grower has certain basic parameters that will determine which option is best for their particular set of circumstance.
The first parameter is how much growing space is available for the production operation? The next parameter is what are the overall risks for the particular crop of choice? The amount of turnaround time for full growth production to deliver is also a prime factor in the overall decision.
Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of cloning and seed starting. When it comes to cloning an obvious advantage is that they are going to be much quicker to flower or produce vegetation, greatly reducing the turnaround time. Clones can be quickly grown and mature much faster allowing them to be immediately re-cloned for both flowering and vegetative stock.
A significant concern about the strength of plant stocking from clones, is that clones are genetically identical, although there will be differences from each phenotype while producing normal growing characteristics. Clones can be flowered almost immediately if space or time is an issue.
Cloning will present the grower with the desired characteristics quickly so if they do not meet the desired results, less time has been lost. Important characteristics that will be looked at are root quality, branch patterning, smell, vigor and size just to name a few. On the other hand a disadvantage is that hardy clones can be difficult to find. Using clones from unknown or unverified stock can lead to poor genetics and quality.
The biggest setback can be when aeroponic growers inherit their stock growers’ problems, such as root rot, spider mites or mildew. A sterile grow environment is a must. When receiving clones through standard shipping services they may experience shock and require time to recover. Clones will also tend to be more sensitive to light variations and burn easily under exposure to aeroponic nutrient solution.
It is also important to understand that clones are exact replicas making breeding problematic. Clones may get an operation up and running quickly but you will be limited to only that variety. Letâs take a closer look at the disadvantages and advantages of seed starting.
Starting first with the disadvantages of seed starting, quality heirloom or genetically clean seeds can be expensive. They also increase production costs because the take longer to become viable flowering or vegetative stock. Not all seeds will germinate and be viable and seeds take labor and time.
All the time and labor may not lead to a productive mother for cloning, as only 50 percent of seeds will be females. It will likely take many seed packets to produce an excellent mother for stock cloning. The advantages often outweigh the negative aspects and disadvantages.
Aeroponically germinated seeds will produce healthy plants that can be free of disease and pests. Cross breeding options are readily available and will keep production stock strains strong. Seeds should be obtained from reputable seed banks because their linage and genetics will be verifiable. Though there are never any guarantees.
The fundamental bottom line is that plants grown from seeds will poses higher vigor and will be able to produce higher yields. As aeroponically germinated seed stock hit production levels, they will never require time to recover from travel shock. They will never need to adjust to light levels.
Most importantly the will already be aeroponic nutrient solution tolerant and strong disease and pest resistant stock. Cloning can now begin to keep up with production space and turnaround times. A strong stock strain has now been developed that can be used again and again to revitalize and add vigor.
The conclusion must be that starting seeds aeroponically produces the strongest plant stock. If the desired end result is a competitive healthy and strong plant stock. Then aeroponic seed germination is the best choice for growers who have the space, time and start up investment financing. Yes the most viable plant stock for aeroponics will come from genetically clean seed stock.