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I have my system together and it is in the process of cycling.  Now I am not sure how to proceed with growing the plants in the net pots.  I believe one starts with seeds and grow cubes to starts the plants in a separate container and then after they get going they are put into net pots and placed in the rafts.  What media is placed in the net pots?

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Gravel or hydroton will work Glenn.

Hi Glenn, FWIW I put together my first raft over the weekend and just puts seeds directly in there (a variety of stuff) to see what would happen, the majority of them have sprouted even though I expected them to either fall through or drown.

 

Thanks guys, appreciate the help.
I put perlite and hydroton in my deep water culture system, and they produced great squash starts: this is hydroponic.
Eric was the perlite to absorb or hold moisture around the seed.

Eric Warwick said:
I put perlite and hydroton in my deep water culture system, and they produced great squash starts: this is hydroponic.
The perlite was to wick the water up, so yes.

I just posted a pic of our net pot setup on our public Facebook page:

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=227731117254449&set=a.20...

 

We're trying to use only gravel and a piece of wicking cloth (to get seedlings started, until they have long enough roots).  Pretty simple, we'll see how well it works.

1 part coarse vermiculite to 7 parts cocogrow.  (grow media made of coconut fiber)  You can find it at hydroponic stores.  It comes in a hard brick and you have to soak it in water, then mix with the vermiculite.  You put this in your net pots, the net pots go into cell inserts which go into open flats. (plastic trays that you can get from garden suppliers or the hydroponic store.  Plant your seeds directly in the net pots.  After a week or two you can put the net pots in your rafts.  You could put the net pots directly into the rafts, you'll lose some of the media or you can wait until you have some roots developed.

Someone once recommended using a cotton mop as wicks.  I cut off a few strings, tied them together, drew one through the net pot far enough to reach the water and smashed the rest into the pot to create a spaghetti mess of sorts.  I sprinkled in a few seeds and put them in an NFT pipe that came from my rock media bed and drained directly back to the fish.  I had surprising success with many seeds.  When they're big enough, they can go into the media bed or DWC.  It would probably work to start directly in a DWC.  Just an inexpensive alternative.

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