“Seeds, Germination, Materials, Lights, & Art Garden” “Lets Get Started.”

Starting your seedlings signifies the start of your Journey. It’s something you and your family

can do together every week and it’s something that you can cherish with your children for the rest of your life. It gives you that real connection with a living thing and puts you in touch with real life like you wouldn’t believe. Each seed comes alive and you get a chance to see how fast life changes. It takes a little practice if you have not done it before, there's a lot at stake here, hundreds of little seeds! Get ready, it’s a real responsibility!

Start by evaluating your home for a good nursery location. Somewhere safe, not too cold, not too warm. This could be a spare room, closet, basement, garage, or shed. Use what technique works best for you and I will provide you with the information and techniques that have worked best for me. Together we will succeed! To start, avoid the sun! Sounds crazy right? Let me explain....

Starting seeds is a gamble, Ask any farmer this question “Are you a farmer?” Many will answer, “No, I am a Gambler!” This is because, farming has many challenges such as; hot, cold, wet, dry, wind, clouds, bugs, animals, and just about anything under the sun. If we juggle all of these things we might succeed. I don’t see the profitability in “might succeed.” That is why I ask you to listen to my opinions on seed starting. “I guarantee you suc­SEED!” No, this is not your grandpa’s way of planting seeds but HEY “This isn’t grandpa’s farm!” No disrespect to grandpa!

-Benjamin Staffeldt


This tutorial is a composition of several years of successful growing, please follow these instructions for best results.

Selecting your seed

Nothing is more exciting than shopping for seed! Well, “except growing and harvesting huge plants!” Seed dealers are everywhere on the world wide web, take your time and browse around at the following companies;

Look at their Information and learn the differences between GMO, OP, Hybrids, Auto Pollinating, Drought Resistant, Bolt Resistant, Organic, Greenhouse Varieties. If you don’t know by now, seeds are very interesting and they have some real interesting options nowadays! You will find hundreds of crops and variations. You may want to invest in “pelleted seed” these seeds have a protective clay shell which increases germination and also makes planting much easier. Anywho, get out there and look for the world’s most tasty, nutrient dense, rare and beautiful seeds. Order catalogs too, there free!

Routine Germination

I recommend planting seed often! You need to get in this routine for a business and to provide for the family. Even planting ten seeds a week will work, Just Plant! If you are growing for profit, it’s extremely important to keep up with the routine planting. You can’t sell what you don’t plant.

Planting is the hardest work you will experience with my growing system, the rest is a cake walk! So, It’s time to grab your mother, father, kids, friends and get to work, we got planting to do!

Supplies for Seedlings

Start with a simple 1x2ft seedling tray, you will source them from Menards or Home Depot for about $1­$2 per tray. You can also get a “humidity dome” or “lid” for the trays. Now is also a good time to pick­up a heat mat for the tray. You can generally find this stuff at any box store or Walmart. You will need a general 5 gallon bucket, spray bottle, plant labels, marker, tweezer, measuring spoons, and a table.

Prepping the Rockwool

Start with, 1 slab of rockwool “provided with the system” and Insert the slab into the tray “flat side up.” These slabs are pre­cut to fit in all trays. Move to the sink and saturate the slab inside the tray. Completely submerge the slab in water and let it rest for 5 minutes “under water & inside the tray.”

Next, pour the water out the corner of the tray with your hand resting on the slab to insure it does not break apart and fall on the ground. Hold the slab vertically and continue pouring the water out the corner until all water has drained. Set the slab down and let it rest. Now continue the pouring routine until all extra water is gone. Awesome! You have just prepped the growing media!

Sowing Seed

Follow the planting depth instructions on the seed packs for best results. Gently scuff the seedling into each hole or use tweezers. Using a knife or toothpick to gently cover up seedlings helps hold moisture near each seed and makes germination rates greater. Remember to label your rows or flats when finished. It’s always a bummer when you don’t know what the seed name so, take the extra time

and give the seeds names. Now would also be a good time to document the time/ date on the side of the flat or in a book/journal.

Germination Location/Covering Seeds/Heat Mat

Now it’s time to select a good spot to put your seedlings. A cool and dark place is what we are looking for, 60­70F. Putting a heat mat under the seedlings will speed up germination by 50­75% “dependent on the seed variety” some cold weather crops like lettuce, prefer colder temps and do not require a heat mat for germination. Others plants like herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers THRIVE with a heat mat. Next, remember to cover​ ​the tray with the humidity dome “plastic wrap and toothpicks works fine too.” PERFECT! You have just planted a whopping 200 seeds. Now we wait.....

Watch your Seeds

In two days or more you can see seeds start to emerge. Planting similar varieties together will insure the pop­up at the same time or closely after one another. The TIMING here is CRITICAL! If you forget to check on your seedlings they may leg out and become elongated weak stems. This phenomenon happens when a plant is deprived of light. The plant actually seeks light and in doing so stretches out. If this occurs, I recommend starting over and replanting the cubes.

Before this happens, remember to keep a close eye on your seeds everyday morning and night. Soon as you see white or green, get those babies under the light. “Yes you need a LIGHT!”

About Grow Lights

Blue is the spectrum of light seedlings use to grow and thrive. Red is the spectrum of light mature plants need for flowering and fruiting. The blue spectrum will promote compact foliage growth and create a lush abundance of leaves. The Red spectrum will promote vertical growth, flowering and make fruits big and juicy.

The sun naturally is more blue during spring and more red during summer. However, a whole barrash of colors are present in sunlight “every color imaginable”, as seen in the colors of the rainbow. This is the perfect spectrum.

Scientists are working to create the perfect light for growing full term plants however, it’s hard to simulate the intensity of the sun coupled with the proper levels and colors of the sun’s natural light array. New lights are being developed everyday and grow­lights have come a far way in recent years.

Currently we recommend MH lights for mature indoor growing systems. We also recommend to rely on the sun. These are the two highest quality lights and promote the best growth for full term plants “hand down.”

Seedlings and Grow Lights

Always start your “seedlings” under artificial light, indoors. The first reason is simple, the sun is very extreme! The sun can destroy your seedlings in mere minutes. If you miscalculate watering by one day, you will lose your entire nursery. It’s very difficult to manage the sun and its variations of intensity throughout the seasons. The spring is the only time you should consider starting your seedlings in a greenhouse or outdoors. We can break that rule with plants like squash, cucumbers and beans. Those plants are hardy!

The second reason to start your seedlings indoors and under a lights is also very

simple, consistency! You provide a constant energy for the seedlings to absorb. You won’t experience a cloudy day and the light can be run up to 20 hours per day. Growth speed is boosted considerably with a simple light positioned right! The consistent light also insures you that the plant will not leg out due to a cloudy day. Legginess primarily occurs only when the plant just emerges. If that happens to be on a very cloudy day, the plant may reach for the light causing it to get longer and longer then fall over.

The third reason why we start seedlings indoors and under lights is atmospheric control. We can control the air temperature with fans and indoor thermostats very easy. We can control the seedlings root temperature with heat mats. This promotes root growth. We can control humidity and watering much better by having a dome over the seedlings. The dome almost guarantees the seeds never dry out. After the seedlings are established and look healthy, remove the dome. After a few days goes by, transition them to the Art Garden Growing system. Its that EASY!

Fluorescent Lighting for seedlings

Use fluorescent grow­lights or “tube lights” to start your seedlings. They are the most cost effective and cost pennies to run. No matter how you put it, fluorescent lights are shop lights. You can acquire a basic fluorescent tube light fixture from any department store. The lights are cool to the touch when they are running. The bulb type needed is “cool white” or “blue grow spectrum.” Any basic fixture and bulb will work, some boast higher lumens than others. I recommend a T5 fixture from HTG Supply on Ebay or Amazon. The brand name is Bad Boy, we have used it for years. the life­time on the bulbs are very long. I can start nearly 1,200 plants under this single light. It costs about $130.00 but well worth it! MH or Metal Halide lights may also be used but will need to be positioned much further from seedlings. “3­4 feet” to prevent burning them.

Hanging the lights

Position the fixture so that the bulbs are 2­4 inches above the plant foliage or seedlings. Adjust it every week to compensate for plant growth. Set the light on a basic relay timer for 20 hours ON 4 hours OFF. So that’s pretty much the rundown on lights. At this point we have provided the plants a safe and secure atmosphere which has included the tray, rockwool media, heat, water, and light. Lets see what’s for dinner and what’s next on the list!

TPN or “Total Plant Nutrition”

Simply put, “Your plants need food in their water!” How much or how little is dependent on the plant and the grower. So lets make some sense of all this stuff. Listen Up! Plants are a­lot like us, this could be because everything we eat comes from plants. Remember, red meat, fish, cake or pizza, It all in some way or another was connected to a plant. Let me tell you, those plants are rooted in something other than just dirt. Its Rocks! The stunning abundance of minerals and elements within rocks, hold the answers to the eternal questions we ask. Where does all this come from?

Plants uptake raw formulations of rock dust and minerals with the addition of organic composted materials loaded full of biological microorganisms and nutrients. Wow that’s a mouthful and a­half! It’s only the start!

Food plants eat is very different from ours but, it’s all the same! What’s that you say? Huh? Yes, plants actually break down raw minerals and materials with the help of biological microorganisms. Stunning teamwork! So, exactly like the biological microorganisms convert raw minerals and materials for plants as they feed, the plants then process these minerals even further thus converting the same minerals and elements into consumable vitamins, minerals and complex sugars for our bodies consume. WOW! Awesome Right!

These precious minerals and earth mined nutrients are made into what we know as

our Earth Mined Nutrients. This is a revolutionary form of plant nutrition and with the addition of Biologics, “a live and active culture” will qualify our nutrients to be 100% Organic. If that’s not stunning enough, Our plants uptake 1⁄4 the amount of nutrients vs hydroponic systems. Plant’s are more productive with less! This is good for the planet and your business. The air in Aeroponics makes this possible. It’s simple to explain, Aeroponics allows our plant roots to be suspended in a 100% air instead of a media or soil. Air allows the plants to take advantage the readily available combination of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon already present in the atmosphere. It’s truly astonishing to look at flourishing plants growing in water

and a dash of rock dust. Take all these elements, incorporate biologics and you have something special!

The Patent Pending System “Art Garden Growing System” is changing the world! People are growing food 75% Faster with 99% Less Water, 75% Less Fertilizer, in 90% Less Space. We are growing in countries and climates we never could before! Truly Amazing Technology!

The complexity and wonder of this “NEW Technology” may cause you to feel a little overwhelmed or intimidated in the early phases of this journey. RELAX. The essential knowledge and wisdom you need to learn to succeed is minimal. Obviously you know that you will need to maintain the growing atmosphere temperature and provide your plants with enough sunlight everyday, thats a “given.”
Beyond that it’s simply three measurements that you will need to maintain. Temperature of “growing chamber & nutrients”, PPM of “nutrient strength”, and PH “acidity or alkalinity” of your nutrient solution. It’s that EASY! Another huge benefit that allows your instant success is the Disease resistance of aeroponics. Unlike traditional soil gardening, aeroponics does not have to deal with the many pathogens and diseases that are found in most soils. Nearly every plant disease is “soil borne” meaning it lives and reproduces in the soil. The pathogens typically start by attacking the base of the plant or “splashing” of contaminated water contacts the plant foliage. This infects plants and causes them to fight for their life. So removing the key culprit “Soil” greatly increases our success rate! Not only that, the elimination of media found in most hydroponic systems makes pathogens and diseases struggle to survive.

With zero growing media and a functioning Art Garden Growing System, each plant grows “WITH OXYGEN” Thus creating a habitat where disease cannot live or thrive. AWESOME RIGHT! I continue to explain more and more in these tutorials, “stick with me!”

As you continue this journey with us, remember and understand that standard units of measurement for traditional gardening and hydroponic gardening are not the only focus with this system.

We can get very detailed with elemental components and TPN technology creates a whole list of exciting NEW options for your gardening system! TPN or “Total Plant Nutrition” Refers to a much more broad spectrum of variables associated with aeroponics. TPN accounts for a lot and it’s your choice how you want to handle these elements! Start simple but have fun with the vast combination of earth mined nutrients, biologic cultures, micro and macro nutrients and the blend of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen.

We are here to provide you with several proven formulations and assist you with mixing the perfect recipe for your garden. Scientists, professional growers, and the Art Garden Family are always helping to expand and further your system’s capability and productivity. Please, challenge our system & support vs any growing system in the world. We provide every resource to make your garden come to life, we are here to help!

Mixing Nutrients for Seedlings

The complexity TPN will not apply for starting your seedlings. Do not worry about anything beyond PPM for the seedling stage. Start by testing you natural water PPM with the meter provided. You are looking for a reading between 0­200. This is showing you the dissolved solids like calcium, chlorine, iron or other elements naturally occurring in your water.

Next, get 5 gallons of water. If you would like to remove the chlorine from the water, let it sit uncovered for 5 hours. The chlorine will evaporate. “this is not necessary.” Next, and add 1 Tbsp of each grow mixes to your water. “Mix until all solids dissolve.” Next you will take a reading of the nutrient solution. “It may take

1­2 hours for all solids to dissolve.” The number we are looking for is 300­400ppm. This is a good number for most seedlings. If your mix comes out too high, 600­800 ppm add 50% more water and try to dial in that 300­400 range. Test your PH, It should read 5.8­6.5. If your PH is Low or High you may need to add Citric acid or PH adjuster. Typically this does not need to be added because the Nutrient Mix is self­regulating.

Depending on your water quality/purity will determine your outcome. “Take note of your measurements.” You may store your solution in a dark cool place until you need to use it next. It will last a few weeks, each batch of 5 gallons usually lasts the entire seedling stage.

Watering/Feeding Seedlings

Your seedlings will be hungry for food after the set their first true leaves. Look for signs of deficiency “yellowing or rot” this means your rockwool was too wet. Drain the rockwool better next time around, they are too wet!

Do not water these seedlings if this occurs! Pull the humidity dome and try to get the rockwool some air­flow. Use a fan to encourage evaporation. Wait a few days and if results do not improve, start over.

If your seedlings look green and healthy, you may add the nutrient mix. Start by pouring several cups of your nutrient mix into the corner of the tray to “flood the tray” slightly. Do not pour directly over the top of your seedlings and crush them. Next you will pour off the remaining solution. “Recycle it.” Sometimes it helps to pull one cube out from the corner so you can see where the water level is. Remember we want all the water poured out from the tray. Don’t flood the tray, forget about it, and let your seedlings drowned!

Growing your Seedlings

It’s time to let them grow for 2­4 weeks or dependent on the seed. Maintain the atmosphere and provide good airflow to the nursery area. Continually adjust your light fixture to keep the distance 2­4 inches from the canopy. Water routinely, be aware some seedlings require more water than others. Average waterings is 1­2 times per week. Observation should be done daily!

Continue the routine of flooding the tray then pouring off the water. Slightly before the two week mark, look to pull OFF the humidity dome. Your seedlings only benefit from the dome for a short time and the dome is primarily for root development. As a rule of thumb, If the seedlings boast big foliage, get that dome OFF! Once the dome is removed, it may be time to turn the heat mat off. You are the judge. Do the roots look big? White everywhere? If this is the case, turn the matt off. If you still see quite a bit of rockwool cube and not so much root, keep it ON. Work through this phase and remember the plants are drinking more and more everyday. Also, having the dome removed can make them dry out more quickly.

It took a keen eye and a good routine to get the seedlings this far! Don’t forget them now! After you have a good stocky plant with a nice white root that covers the cube, you are ready to experience the Holy Grail of gardening systems. Art Garden awaits!

Mixing Nutrients for Art Garden

Time to fill the tank of the “Mercedes Benz”, Oops! What I meant to say was; Fill the Nutrient Tank of the “Art Garden” silly me! Fill the nutrient reservoir 3⁄4 full with water. In a separate 5 gallon bucket, mix 3⁄4 cup of each nutrient mix “equal parts”. Stir like crazy. The best way to stir/mix would be a standard paint mixer the connects to a wireless drill. Do not attempt mixing with a 110V drill, you could possibly electrocute yourself and nobody wants that. Mix for 3­5 minutes.

Following that, pour the mix into the reservoir and top it off with water. Readings should be in the 1000 ppm­1200 ppm range. Test your PH as well. We are looking for a 5.8­6.5. If your PH is Low or High you may need to add Citric acid or PH

Adjuster. Typically this is not needed because the nutrient mix is self­regulating for PH. You will want your plants to have the correct PH “dependent on the plant.” Turn on the system and let it cycle.

Next, make sure your system setup is complete. Look at the misting modules while the pump is going, are systems go? Perfect. Its time to plant so get your boots on!

Crop Pattern Design

Finally, It’s planting time! Designing a good crop pattern is essential for success with Art Garden. No matter your goals for this harvest, you want functionality and organized crops in every system. We don’t need Eggplants, Peppers, Lettuce, and Herbs scattered throughout the whole system. Try to designate areas for each plant variety.

Take note that aggressive plants such as; Tomatoes will need their own individual unit or if planted with other plants, restricted to the tops of your unit. Failure to do so will inhibit the growth of other plants on the unit. The tomatoes will literally consume the other plants, making it very difficult for them to grow.

This same rule applies for cucumbers and other vining plants. Unless they are designated to the top and trained in a upward fashion, they will restrict the other plants from developing to their full potential.

Most all herbs grow very well together. They can be mixed and matched. Through many years of growing we have learned that the proper pairing of crops can increase speed of growth and prevent diseases. For example, Tomatoes and Basil are perfect partner plants. The partnership promotes amazing results. So, research and look for the partner plants pairing guide.

Try growing smaller plants between bigger plants to achieve ideal leaf spacing. Attempt to plant seedlings in succession. Try planting 10 lettuce per week in each

unit. Put one seedling in­between four large or established plants. This is particularly effective when planting very large lettuce varieties or herbs. The proper timing allows each plant to achieve maximum growth without overcrowding one another. The end result allows you to harvest over the course of multiple units, rather than harvesting one single unit every week.

No matter your planting routine, you need to achieve proper succession planting in some form or another. “Nobody wants four­hundred lettuce one week and zero the next week.” For best results, start with the seed. Get acclimated with each individual strain. You want to compile yourself an A­List or “Proven Winners.” Keep close tabs on time from seed to harvest. Remember some seeds are better sown at different times of the year. Some plants prefer Spring and Summer. Others prefer Fall and Winter. Along with the seed, you will want to document the ideal conditions such as sunlight and temperature that seed requires for optimal performance. Bottomline, get to know your seeds!

Truly, this is the ART of Art Garden. You have an overwhelming amount of plant types and planting design options to choose from. If you take the time to document your favorite plants/ pattern rotation, you will assemble your own signiture growing style. A good style directly influences your success and profitability.


Taking a “cutting or clone” is done to start a new plant faster and more efficiently than starting another from seed. This propagation technique is very easy and is used effectively by most hydroponic growers for fast quality results. Nearly instantly you can create hundreds of new plants from less than a half dozen mature plants. Within a few short days, you can successfully master the art of taking cuttings. This can even open the door for your very own plant resale business!

Typically you select the best tomato, pepper or basil etc. variety from the garden “Aero or Dirt.” Use a clean razor blade or knife to cut the sucker portion of the

plant. Each plant variety has a different exact procedure. Research each plant's exact procedure.
Next would be to apply the rooting hormone “powder or gel” for best results. This stimulates the stem to produce roots. Following that, you will need to insert the cutting into a rockwool grow cube. Water it well and you may use fertilized water. Make sure the plant receives 3­5 days of low light. This allows the plant to recover and start growing a new root. You also want to give the plant warm water conditions with a heat mat. Try to replace the water every few days for best result.

Your cuttings also may be inserted directly into the Art Garden Growing System. Allow the root to be as far inside the chamber as possible.
If you achieve adequate shading for 3­5 days, you will have a successful root growth in a 3­4 days.

After that, you have a whole new plant. The cuttings grow very fast! Taking clones can carry a single plant for many years. It’s a great way to maximize production and increase your system’s profitability potential. You should always take cuttings from your mature plants in the fall if you want to winter them over for the next year. The ideal scenario would be to take the cuttings and grow them through the winter to provide you with several plants for the next spring. If you start a few dozen tomato cuttings in the spring, you could then have thousands of cuttings by late spring.

All these extra plants could be plugged into your Art Garden Growing System and you could grow them full term. You could also sell the small plants for $3­5 each. Maybe you just want to give them away, you have many options! Take the time to explore the possibilities of plant propagation and reap the benefits it has to offer. You will have a blast and it will make your gardening experience that much more interesting.


-You have made it to the end of the basic Step-By-Step Guide To Growing Pt. 1. I hope you enjoyed! This is not the end, we are continually gaining experience and creating NEW and FUN guides for all our valued customers. Feel free to give us YOUR feedback about YOUR Art Garden Growing System! We are continually receiving NEW feedback everyday from our family of growers and every opinion matters! Stay spirited my friends, I hope you enjoy this journey “I know we have.” The Fire burns for us to provide you with the most compelling and informative information regarding this technology. We promise to continually support you with scientific advancements or beneficial breakthroughs.

“You are forever our family, God Bless!”

-Benjamin Staffeldt