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.
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.