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Seed Germination: Where to get a "wick" pad for a std 1020 flat?

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Jimigunne
Mathis, TX

June 24, 2012
12:26 PM

Post #9178718

I bought a "greenhouse" tray with 72 jiffy pellets the other day at Wal-Mart, put in on a shelf inside the house, and it kept all the pellets/pots constantly moist. Outside I have dozens of seedling trays. These I made up with std non-perforated 1020 plastic trays and 6-pak deep plastic seedling pots. It seems to me that rather than put a little water in each tray so the 6-paks "float", it would be better to have those felt-like pads in each tray, similar to the felt pad in the store-bought greenhouse seedling starter tray. But a Google search hasn't turned up a source for the wick pads...so maybe growers don't use them?
Ideas? I am trying to start enough seedlings to plant about 1 acre...my time for gardening is very limited, and I want some system which I don't have to water the trays of seeds or seedlings daily, or even check them every day. I.E., I could be sure that all the 6-paks will have proper moisture level for a few days without attention.
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2012
3:51 AM

Post #9179500

Burpee's sells a good capillary mat sized for a 1020 tray:

http://www.burpee.com/seed-starting/grow-kits/ultimate-growing-system-prod002627.html

I like it because it has a layer of fabric over it that prevents roots from growing into the mat. Gardener's supply also carries a large one that can be cut to size.

http://www.gardeners.com/Capillary-Matting/40-385,default,pd.html?start=3&q=Self watering mat

I've been using both for years for all my seedlings. I also use it outside with mail order and other small plants until I can get them into the ground. I use a platform which raises the matting up, and fill the trays with water. As a weekend gardener, I find the system invaluable.

Pam
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2012
4:27 AM

Post #9179531

These are the two best deals I've found on complete systems. They are both very sturdy. The ones from Gardener's Supply are a little bigger. I use them outside in a mini greenhouse in the spring, and sometimes on the patio for extras, especially if I'm going to be away for a while. IGC sells small 1 1/2" PVC sections to raise their grids.

Gardener's Supply:
http://www.gardeners.com/Self-Watering-Tray/38-561,default,pd.html?start=1&q=Self watering trays

IGC, Permanest 11x22 trays with platform and capillary matting:
http://indoorgardensupplies.com/self-watering-p-736.html

My last tip is about avoiding damp-off disease with all that water standing around:

http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/peroxide-garden.html

Works like a charm!

Pam



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lindaboom
New Harmony, UT
(Zone 5b)

June 29, 2012
3:45 PM

Post #9186663

Pfg - If a soluable fertilizer is added to the water in the tray will it be absorbed by the plants?

Linda
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

June 30, 2012
1:56 AM

Post #9187107

Yes it will. I sometimes spray the seedlings for a foliar feed, but most everything goes in the watering trays.
lindaboom
New Harmony, UT
(Zone 5b)

June 30, 2012
8:59 AM

Post #9187414

Pfg -thanks so much. This spring I purchased several of these trays from Gardener's Supply
and they sure make watering seedlings much easier. Unfortunately I planted the seedings
in a MG mix that included fertilizer and the mix turned out to be much too dense. I wasn't
happy with the growth rate. Next year I plan to use Pro-mix and add the fertilizer myself.
I'm a newbie at growing plants from seeds but I'll keep trying to get it right.

Linda
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

June 30, 2012
8:07 PM

Post #9188241

This year in addition to the peroxide I added Superthrive to the water. It's a rooting stimulator- worked really well. I used Scott's seed starting mix which has fertilizer in it, but seemed ok. Then I got excited about coir blocks, seemed very convenient to store and use, but in the end was disappointed. I think I lost some seedlings with it, the roots looked burned somehow. I've read somewhere here that it can contain a lot of salt and should be flushed out. But my whole reason for using it is that in the winter I'm working in a city apartment and the coir blocks are easy to deal with. If I have to start rinsing and rinsing, it can get very messy. Mail ordering gets expensive, bringing in big bags from the country in the fall before we close the house requires too much closet space. Locally I don't have a lot of choices, so basically I'm stuck with whatever Home Depot sells. I guess next year I'll stick with Scott's.
lindaboom
New Harmony, UT
(Zone 5b)

July 1, 2012
9:48 AM

Post #9188683

I never thought of using Superthrive with seedlings. I will definitely include it in the water
next time.
Thanks - Linda

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 27, 2012
5:48 PM

Post #9220893

I use cotton flannel as a capilary mat. You have to wash it yearly (or more likely, throw it away).

>> Outside I have dozens of seedling trays. These I made up with std non-perforated 1020 plastic trays

Don't they flood and drown roots when it rains?


>> I want some system which I don't have to water the trays of seeds or seedlings daily, or even check them every day. I.E., I could be sure that all the 6-paks will have proper moisture level for a few days without attention.

I'm about to set up some fine-spray sprayers or misters on a drip irrigation system with a timer. But I'm wondering which kinds of sprayer to use. I would like to avoid "misters" since they are more expensive and are supposed to clog easily.

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