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Germination Take 2

Germination Take 2

Our first attempt at germination went wellmostly! The kale, lettuce and basil all sprouted and grew exceptionally well in our Just Vertical seedling kit. But the arugula—not so much.

Using the same techniques, water cycles and lighting conditions, we achieved dramatically different results. The basil was bursting with life and color and looked ready for adulthood in the AEVA. The kale looked...sad and diseased.

arugula germination unsuccessful

So what went wrong? It's hard to know exactly, but it became increasingly obvious that something needed to change. So we changed our approach in two key areas. Let's see how it went!

What Changed?

In this attempt, we used the same peat moss plugs as before. Why? We didn't have any more. They also structurally looked fine. 

Our experiment focused on two factors: nutrients and lighting.


  • Attempt 1: Because it was not required, we did not add any nutrients to the water when soaking the peat moss plugs each day. We figured that, if this were a requirement, it would have been explicitly mentioned as so. For the basil, lettuce, and kale, it didn't seem to matter.
  • Attempt 2: When soaking the plugs each day, we added 5-10 mL of each nutrient solution to the water.


  • Attempt 1: We placed the seedling kit up against a well-lit window that receives 14 hours of sun each day, though 95% of the sunlight is indirect.
  • Attempt 2: We used the LED lights from the AEVA, placing the kit at the base of the lights. This consistently provided 18 hours of direct light each day.

The Results?

The end result is a much stronger, healthier looking arugula seedling. By changing these two factors, the plants look significantly better in just a week's time.

Though our experiment did not test these variables independently, we recommend applying both of these new approaches when germinating your new seeds.

Neither requires additional time, and together, they have proven to work!

We will be documenting the journey here in our Growing With AEVA blog, as well as on Instagram and Facebook with hashtag #GrowingWithAEVA.

Let's get growing!

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