The beginning of the process: 1) Planting seeds in Rockwool Cubes, 2) waiting for them to germinate, and 3) nurturing them until they are about 3" tall and then 4) Planting them in something, a hydroponics system or an in dirt garden.
I always grow from seed. I just started about 20 Big Boys in pelleted seeds, and 20 or so Better Boys also in pelleted seeds. I bought the seeds today at WalMart and they were Ferry~Morse seed packets at a $1.00 for 20 pelleted seeds in each packet. I also have a packet of Early Girls which I might plant too but I'll have to bring up some more Rockwool Cubes from downstairs.
I operate on the maximum laziness principle. Do as little as possible. In this case I had a lot of Rockwool Cubes from last year which were still languishing on the side screen deck so I used them. They might not be the best choice but since the maximum investment was two bucks, how can I go wrong. We'll know in a few days if the Rockwool Cubes were too salted up with nutrient to be good starter cubes and then we can start again. It's always an adventure.
As for what kind of system will go up this year, I'm distinctly in the air about that. I'd like to try some kind of totally passive system that doesn't require much maintenance or intervention but I don't have any new ideas and I'm not in the mood to do the float system (although it worked quite well last year), so I'll have to mull things over and see if anything comes to mind.