Park's Original Bio Dome with 18 Whopper Cells
Perfect for rooting cuttings and starting larger seeds!
Love the Bio Dome but need larger individual growing cells? This new 18-cell dome was created just for you! The same size dome as our original 60-cell and 40-cell versions, this dome contains a planting block with 18 huge cells, each ready to hold extra-large seed, cuttings to be rooted, or bigger, more mature seedlings!
If you're new to using the Bio Dome, let us sing the praises of this, our most POPULAR PRODUCT OF ALL TIME. Customers love it, and even experienced seed starters like us, who have been dropping Marigold seeds into the soil since pre-school, have come to make the Bio Dome the ONLY SEED STARTING SYSTEM WE NEED. Here's why:
1. Climate control. You can remove the clear vent as the plants grow, but at first, especially if you're starting seeds in late winter, it's a real boost of warmth and humidity! And the two adjustable vents at the top make sure that your plants get good air circulation at all times.
2. Incredible rooting medium. In each hole of the polystyrene planting tray is what we call a "bio sponge," a pre-formed plug of sterile medium with a hole already drilled in the top. The bio sponge is simply the best way we've ever found to reliably germinate and grow on seeds. We plant 1 -- ONLY ONE -- seed in each bio sponge, even for difficult-to-germ varieties, and they nearly always sprout. (The only seeds you don't want to grow in the Bio Dome are those of root vegetables like carrots, beets, and radishes -- they need more space to grow their tuber than the bio sponge allows.) In all our years, we've just never had results like this from any other seed-starting medium, and we've tried them all twice. The bio sponge offers the perfect blend of aeration and moisture to help seeds of all kinds grow and cuttings to root!
3. Bottom watering. You water the base of this tray, NOT the bio sponges themselves. Put enough lukewarm water into the base so that the polystyrene tray floats. The bio sponges will wick up just the water they need. And as your plants grow, their roots will go down and out, instead of spiraling or fanning out near the surface as you often see with top-watered seedlings. It's impossible to over-water the Bio Dome!
4. Root strength. This goes along with #3 -- these seedlings form LOTS of roots and grow them straight down and out, so that when it comes time to transplant the seedling, you can see roots sticking out all over the sides and bottom of the bio sponge!
5. Ease of transplant. None of this business of transplanting the plug into a pot and then transplanting the plant out of the pot and into the soil! When you start your seeds in the Bio Dome, they can be transplanted straight into their final home. The bio sponge holds together, but the roots fan out easily beyond the sponge and into the garden or container soil.
This Whopper version of the Bio Dome is great for all kinds of seeds, plus cuttings you want to root. Refills of the bio sponges and the polystyrene block are available (though unless you step on it or something, the polystyrene block will probably never wear out! It's pretty tough). Starting the Bio Dome is mess-free, easy, and so economical. Whether you want to start your entire garden indoors at winter's end or you just have to root your favorite Geranium at season's end, rely on the Bio Dome! You'll be glad you did -- we stake our good name on it! The green base measures 14 7/8" long x 9 1/2" wide x 2 1/4" high, while the clear top measures 14 7/8" long x 9 1/2" wide x 4 1/2" high. Whopper planting cells are 1 3/4" wide x 3" deep.
What are the differences between the various Bio Domes: 60-cell, 40-cell, and 18-cell?The original 60-cell Bio Dome has a 60-cell planting block with 60 Bio Sponges and will produce 60 plants at one time. The 1" wide by 2 ¼" deep cells are larger than average, and a spacious 1 3/8" apart. The bio-sponges are the same size as the cells; 1" wide by 2 1/4" deep. You can grow and keep plants in the 60-cell bio-dome for 6-8 weeks before transplanting. Many varieties will just need 6 weeks until transplanting. Tomatoes and peppers would appreciate the full 8 weeks before transplanting. So, the original 60-cell bio-dome would be great for starting all of your favorite vegetable and flower seeds, with a larger number of plants produced at one time.
The 40-cell Bio Dome has a 40-cell jumbo planting block with 40 Bio Sponges and will produce 40 plants at one time. The cells are wider and deeper than the original 60-cell planting block and provide good spacing to maximize air flow. The cells are 1 1/4" wide by 2 1/2" deep. The Bio Sponges are also 1 1/4" wide by 2 1/2" deep. You can grow and keep plants in the 40-cell bio-dome for at least 6-8 weeks and some for up to 9-10 weeks, because of the wider spacing and cell/sponge size. It too would be excellent for starting all your favorite vegetable and flower seeds, with the added benefit of giving more room and time for larger plant development.
The 18-cell Bio Dome has an 18-cell whopper planting block with 18 Bio Sponges and will produce 18 plants at one time. It has the largest cells of any of the Bio Domes we offer and is great for growing extra-stocky transplants and even for rooting cuttings. The cells are 3" tall by 1 3/4" wide. The Bio Sponges are also 3" tall by 1 3/4" wide. You can grow and keep plants in the 18-cell Bio Dome for at least 8-10 weeks and some for up to 12 weeks, giving the maximum amount of growing time and spacing between plants as compared to the 60-cell and 40-cell Bio Domes. If you are looking to grow your favorite vegetable and flower seeds into large, stocky transplants for setting out in spring, then the 18-cell Bio Dome is the one you want to buy. It would be excellent for growing Tomatoes and Peppers.
How much water should be put in the Bio Dome and how often?The beauty of the Bio Dome is that you cannot overwater! You just keep water in the tray and float the block. The larger the seedlings get, the more water they will use and you will need to add water more frequently as they grow. Initially, during germination, you may not have to water as frequently, because minimal water is being used and Bio Sponges will stay moist longer, so you may only have to water once every 1-2 weeks. Later, as plants grow and water use is greater, depending on the room temperature and the amount of light received, you may have to water more often -- possibly 1-2 times a week -- or as often as required to keep the sponges moist.
Bio Dome Instructions
Remove the Bio Dome Styrofoam blocks from the plastic wrap, keeping upright so that the plugs do not fall out. The plugs are ready to sow as they are!
For most seed types, place seeds into the pre-dibbled hole at the top of each plug. Tiny seeds that need light to germinate should be sown on the surface of the plug, not in the hole. Seeds do not need covering in the Bio Dome plugs. Each plug provides the optimum environment for germination.
Place the germination units in a favorable location as indicated on the seed packet.
To moisten the plugs it is best to soak them from the bottom. This can easily be done by putting water into the under trays provided and floating the Styrofoam blocks. It is not possible to over-water by this method.
Place the dome on the Bio Dome to maintain the humidity around the planted plugs. Keep moist until the seedlings emerge. Because of their composition, the plugs retain just the right amount of water. Less frequent watering may be needed and there is no danger of overwatering as with some other germination methods.
When you see that germination has started, open the vents on the Bio Dome. After the seedlings have emerged, remove the dome and provide more light. Use a grow light kept 1”-3” above the plants as they grow. This will prevent the seedlings from stretching and producing a weak plant. Brighter light will help keep the seedlings short and stout. Water as often as needed to keep the plugs moist.
Once the seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves, mix a weak fertilizer solution, following directions on the free fertilizer packet included with your Park's Bio Dome Seed Starter shipment. Water with this solution, instead of plain water; until the next set of true leaves develop. You can increase the concentration of the fertilizer solution once the second set of true leaves develop.
When the second true leaves appear the seedlings are strong enough to be transplanted. Transplant your seedlings, plug and all. To remove the plug from the block, poke out from the bottom and plant them where the plants are to grow.
If weather or timing delays your transplanting, often the roots will emerge from the bottom of the plugs. Prop up the blocks to allow some air space beneath them, until you are able to transplant but don't allow the plugs to dry. This builds a stronger root system within the plug.