Q&A with Jorge
Transplanting Hydro to Soil
I recently purchased a clone machine, fully equipped including net baskets. After the clone has rooted, how do you remove the clone and roots from the net basket without damaging the roots?
Root hairs are very delicate and do not like to be disturbed. This foto magnification shows root hairs at 30X magnification.
Removing roots, especially if they are more than a 2 cm long, without damaging them a little is virtually impossible, without cutting the net pot. You can minimize the damage and young roots will grow anew, but there will be scrapes, and open wounds in the delicate little roots, an open door to pests and diseases. You can submerge the root ball in cold water to slow biological activity. Net pots are inexpensive and can be easily replaced. Use a pair of pointed scissors or pruners to cut away the net pot so that the roots suffer a minimum of damage. If you are growing in expanded clay pellets, the roots will be jostled around and suffer more damage. If the net pots are filled with rock wool roots will suffer less damage. If you are transplanting into soil or soil less mix, you can plant the entire net pot. If you plan to harvest the plant in a less than three months this could be the best option. If the plant grows much longer roots will gain girth and the plastic netting could impair growth.
This marijuana clone in rockwool is easy to transplant into soil. But make sure you can see roots through the rockwool before transplanting. The rockwool holds more moisture than soil and roots do not want to leave this environment. So, you have to let the rockwool dry out a little.
Transplant rockwool blocks directly into soil. It is best to move the plastic sleeve up and away from the soil so that roots can penetrate.