I want to start raising my own veggies from seed in the spring before it's time to plant, since it always costs so much to go buy the plants in the 6-packs and 4-packs at Home Depot. I've read up on the starting of the seeds, and I have some large covered trays to start the seeds in, but I was wondering if anyone knows where I can order a goodly number of those six pack plastic things that I used to buy my little tomato plants in. I don't even know how to search for them online (flats? trays?). I'm just trying to figure out what to put the seedlings into once they're too big for the trays, and before the temp has warmed up enough for them to go into the garden. Anyone?
plastic planting trays(?) in fours and sixes
Growing from seed is so much fun!
Here is one source: http://www.novoselenterprises.com/products/seedling.asp
You can try searching seed flats, seed trays, seedling trays, cell packs, grower supplies, etc.
I usually bump tomato seedlings up to plastic or styro cups, planting them deeper each time.
if you got a local nursury that actually plants plants, you could go up there, and ask them for their emptied seed trays. i worked at one, and they threw the seed trays away!!! gold mine of trash to treasure!!
I always keep any trays etc that I buy plants in, they just need a wash out for re-use, if I dont use them in 2 years, I ain't going to, so then I get rid, at the garden centers/nurseries, they usually have a stack laid our for anyone to take for free, also look out for the trays used for carrying small pots etc, place your re-potted seeds into them and it makes it so much easier for watering, moving and taking to the garden to plant, these can also be re-used again and again,
Look for garden supplies on the net, it will bring up lots of companies to buy from, my advice, if you are going to get into doing your own seeds, buy the best you can afford at the time, there are some real flimsy ones on the market and when you remove your little plants, they fall to pieces, another idea, is pots made from compost, looks like heavy cardboard, brown in colour, these are good if you have some veg or flowers that dont like their roots disturbed as you will plant the pot into the garden and it rots down into the soil. If you are not starting your seeds off till spring, then you should only be transplanting your seedlings once, first grow in the pots or trays where the seeds germinate, then when two good sets of leaves are there, you transplant them into individual pots, trays or whatever you choose, by the time they need potted again, that is when they should go out in the garden or they will grow weak and leggy, before you plant them out into the garden, harden them off out doors for about a week, but bring inside again each evening till they harden up to the cooler open temps out doors in the garden, if you dont, the little plants could collapse with such a shock. good luck. WeeNel.
I use egg cartons the cardboard type they are just like the ones weenel is talking about and you dont have to disturbed the roots as they rot down in the soil and they are FREE I get friends and family to save their egg cartons for me during the winter
Ooh another good use for egg cartons! Unfortunately I have chickens so I need all the egg cartons I can get lol.
I use my bulk fruit containers (from Costco).. They are like transparant plastic with each compartment the size of an apple (probably cuz apples are sold in them)..
I am going to suggest things you already know, but just in-case some new folks want to try veg from seeds, there are some veg that dont like the roots to be disturbed like at transplant outdoor time, things like carrots, beetroot etc dont take to roots being disturbed at all, and things like beans and peas do better if the seeds are started off in really deep pots or ones called root runners, so I save all the kitchen roll cardboard centers when the roll is used up, fill them with compost and pop 2 bean or pea seeds into them and tie them together for making them stay upright, you then place them into a shallow carton/tray and you then water them, once they are going out into the garden, you just plant the cardboard tube also with the seedlings and it gets composted under the ground, it also helps to keep any mice away from the seeds as that is a trouble I have here, being surrounded by fields and woodland. lastly, those clear cartons mentioned above, can be used as mini greenhouses for some seeds and give extra heat too. good luck, WeeNel.
Toilet paper rolls work well also. I usually direct sow things like beans, peas, carrots and beets. I have limited space for seedlings to need to use the area wisely. Mine is usually devoted to tomatoes, peppers that sort of thing.
I direct sow mine also, but I wait till early spring, some folks have a shorter season and like to start the peas and beans off indoors for an early start, but carrots etc, should always be direct sown as they wont grow if roots are disturbed, happy sowing when the season starts doccat. WeeNel.
That's why I LOVE my row covers! I put in early crop of peas and cover. Works like a charm and if my seed doesn't get here pretty soon, it's gonna get "ughly".
How do you set up your row covers? I want to put some over a couple of beds for early planting, but I'm not sure how high they should be. I thought of using 12' one-inch PVC on rebar driven into the ground, but will this make them too high?
Karen, mine are purchased. They are 6' by 20'. I normally hold them down with some bricks.
So you don't hoop them up off the ground, but just cover the row of plants, and then uncover in the morning? I saw photos of row covers that had little hoops over the rows, that's why I ask. If the hoops are not necessary, it sure would save a lot of trouble.
They are stiffer than they appear. These are probably a wire similar to chicken wire and covered with polymer. So I just "hoop" them in position and hold the sides down with bricks. I can prop the opening with a stick or piece of scrap 2 x4.
Thanks for the info. I've not seen the ones that come with their own wire. Good to know about them.
glendalekid, if you use a brand similar to "reemay" you can lay those directly on the plants. They are lightweight enough that as the plants grow the reemay will easily be lifted up with the plants. You will want to secure the edges though, either with soil or with anchors of some kind (rocks, bricks, or store-bought anchor pins).
(It sounds like what doccat has are more along the lines of what is referred to as a garden tunnel or cloche and are self-supporting.)
You can get a good price on reemay at Johnnyseeds.com
Danneld, if you visit some local garden centers they will give you their empties sometimes. Or, for just a small garden you can buy your cell packs/trays at garden centers and/or big box stores. The most common size will be a tray with 36 cells, two of those set ups are inexpensive and 72 plants really go a long way in your garden!
Happy Gardening Folks!
Thank you for the explanation and the info. I really appreciate it.
You're welcome. I love reemay! I use it for protection from frost, as a help in moderating soil temperature, and also as an insect barrier (its original purpose). If you ever get into saving seeds and need to bag blossoms it is also good for that purpose, too.
I want to try to set out peas earlier this year than last year, also some broccoli and cauliflower. It looks as if the floating row covers are just the ticket for that.
Good going...sounds like you enjoy eating the good foods, too!
Peas can handle cool weather pretty good but the ground temperature really needs to be around 50-60º for quick germination. If you rough up your soil (fork it, till it, etc) that'll not only aerate it but also allow the sun to warm it up much faster than if the soil were to stay flat/compacted. Although you can sow your peas 4-6 weeks before your last frost, if the ground is too cool the seeds will just sit there and sometimes rot in the ground. Breaking the ground and using the reemay (or even cheap plastic) to warm the ground will get you a head start. (But don't use the plastic on the pea plants once they are up, go to reemay if you feel the need.)
Row covers will do your broccoli and cauliflower justice, just don't let them overheat under them or they'll tend to bolt prematurely.
You're getting excited about the growing season coming up, aren't ya!! ;>)
i use the trays then i go to plastic dixie cups.
I was going to experiment with some hoop frames with pvc piping the size the bends. I wanted to do hat for my eggplants. Or do a cattle panel cold frame too .
but that reemay sounds excellent !
Thanks for the advice on the peas and such. I LOVE peas, English or Snow -- doesn't matter. I tried to grow some this fall, but that 100+ weather the entire month of August caused me to plant them too late, I think. They grew very well, blossomed a lot -- but not a single pea pod. Did I plant them so late that there were no insects for pollination? What do you think? I finally just let the frost have them the other day. Now they are part of my new lasagna bed.
My broccoli and cauliflower did very well. I bought a microwave steamer on Amazon for $13.95. It works just great. I found that I can put herbs/spices down in the water and the flavor will be in the veggies after they are steamed.
I am soooo looking forward to the spring planting and using all the info I've gotten here in the last year.
Karen--I think I read that peas self-pollinate, so that might not be your problem. How hot was it when they were flowering? I know they like it cool, but I have no idea what happens to them to stop production when it isn't. I'll be interested to see what you find out--I've got peas coming along for spring, it'll be nice to know what to expect!
By the time they got to flowering size, it was end of October/first part of November -- temps in 60s and 70s day time and 40s and 50s night time. I thought that should have been cool enough. I was supposed to start them in August but because of the heat wave the whole month, I didn't plant them until September. So, if they self-pollinate, then I don't know what was wrong. They flowered like crazy but not one single pea pod.
I'm going to try again in the spring about mid-February or so. I'll take Shoe's advice and warm the soil, then plant. We'll see how that goes.
Bummer, Karen! I just checked my Rodale's Vegetable Garden Problem Solver, which was of absolutely no use on this one. The only thing it mentioned as a problem for after blooms form is "don't let the soil dry out"... not very helpful. :(
I appreciate your looking anyway. Thanks. While we did have a very dry summer, we've had good rains fairly often since September. I don't know what to think as they were big, healthy plants that grew very rapidly, produced lots of blooms, not one of which turned into a pea pod. Very odd.
I grew snow peas in late spring and had no problem. I had only planted a few because I was told it was too late to plant them. If I had planted more than 8 plants, I would have had snow peas all over the place because the vines produced pods like crazy. Lesson learned -- even if it's late in the season, plant plenty -- if they don't grow, the seeds were cheap.
Words to garden by, Karen! Last year I planted my snap peas in January. I had bad aphids which got most of the plants, but the one that produced kept my 2 kids and I in snack pods o'plenty! If the whole row had produced like that, I'd still have a freezer full!
Yep, this year I want to have some in my freezer, too. I have put in four more 4x8 beds so I'll have the space.
I had bad aphids on my tomatoes last year. I used 1 tsp of dish washing soap (like Ivory, not detergent) and 2 tbs of baking soda in a quart spray bottle of water. I sprayed the whole plants, top and bottom of leaves and all the stems, until they were dripping. I did this twice about three or four days apart. Do it early in the morning so they will dry before the sun comes out really strong. They were gone and didn't come back.
In CA, when I got aphids on my cynbidium orchids on the balcony, I just sprayed them really good and hard with the water hose, and that got rid of them. But I think that would be too rough on tomato and pea plants.
I'm sorry, I wrote aphids when I meant spider mites--big difference! :( I did try rinsing those mites off with water, and all I got was a bunch of wet mites. I think I read about a milk solution that's supposed to work, and if I see those little boogers come back I'll be out there with my sprayer!
BTW, I now have serious envy about your new garden space--wish I had the room for more too! :)
Jill, I have spider mite problems too but I tried one of those commericial insecticidal soaps. Got rid of the critters but also burnt the crap out of my plant leaves.. I was told to use some Ajax dishwashing soap with water to wash it off instead next time..
Karen, is there any reason why you put baking soda in the soap mixture??
The commercial miticide worked just fine for me (that's what I eventually ended up using), but cost a small fortune. I'd be much more inclined to go with something else next time, to save the kids' college funds...
Insecticidal soap is cheap and easy to make yourself, and I did find seveal places recommending insecticidal soap for mites as well as a strong spray of water. I know what you mean about the cost of store-bought stuff -- good grief!
That is a home-made formula I got from a thread here on DG. The soap is supposed to be the "sticker" and the baking soda to dry out their soft little bodies, I think. Anyway, it worked.
Interesting Karen, I will try the baking soda then.. I bought my commercial soap from HomeDepot and it was a bit pricey. I didn't mind that as much as the fact that it burnt the crap out of my banana, plumeria and orchid.. Live and learn I guess..
Folks...baking soda is used because of its fungicidal properties, not necessarily as an insecticide. The soap in the concoction that Karen is referring to above is to help the baking soda stick to the plant. However, if she put in a judicial amount of soap then that will certainly help to kill and/or deter insects.
Aphids are easily killed with a home-made soap solution. As far as dealing w/spider mites, commercial insecticidal soap works a bit better than home-made soap sprays because it can be made up much stronger. (And yes, be careful using any soap spray when full sun will hit the plant.) Pyrethrin and neem oil work even better.
Spider mites really wear me out. They love dry periods but yet will also thrive in moist areas. For quite a while it was believed misting plants, keeping the environment moist, would get rid of the mites. However, it seems the adults will survive just fine in moist areas BUT they tend to either slow down or stop reproduction altogether in those types of areas.
You could be right about the baking soda. It was part of the formula that I got from someone else. It was easy, cheap, worked, and did not burn the plants. That was good enough for me.
I tried Neem Oil for some kind of mites on my brugs last summer, and it didn't work for diddley. Spraying with water, on top and underneath of the leaves, every day did work. Maybe it was the "moisture" thing that got rid of them as then they did not produce a new generation. Just know that the Neem didn't work at all and the water did.
I believe that, Karen...sometimes I have much better luck with spraying water by itself, too. (As for Brugs, those things seem to always be needing to be sprayed with something...they're especially bad in my g-house over the Winter, regular bug magnets!) Dont'cha just love the "easy, cheap" formulas? I rely on quite a few of them. (I'm a miser, ya know!)
Neem is not a quick killer (not a contact spray) but rather works by halting the bug/insect from reproducing or growing into its next stage of growth. You really have to use it as soon as you see any pests. (It works great on my bean plants though and seems to have some sort of residual effect.)
Well, since the water treatment had zero effect for me on mites last year, I think a next go-round would be the neem oil. I suspect that, as dry as we tend to be out here, even full misting of the plants just raised the humidity up to where they're delighted!
Thanks for all the good advice, Shoe! As always, a veritable font of information! :)
I totally understand the cheap angle. I started looking for homemade remedies when an expensive one I bought didn't work. To add insult to injury, the spray bottle was made in such a way that the last 20% wouldn't even come out of the bottle. Sheesh! Ten bucks down the drain. So far, the easy, cheap, homemade ones are working just fine, so I'll stick with them.
I never saw any mites. The folks on the brug forum told me that was what the problem was. When I couldn't see any improvement after a week using the Neem Oil, I switched to the water spray. Although it took about 10 days for a total cure, I could see it was better after 3-4 days. Maybe I'll have a use for the Neem Oil on my bean plants this summer. I'll keep it in mind.
Funny thing about brugs - there was a brug growing in front of the apartment house where I lived in Long Beach CA. No one sprayed it for bugs. No one watered it except when the lawn got watered. No one fertilized it. No one pruned it. It flowered all year, dozens of blooms all the time. It was beautiful and had a wonderful lemony fragrance. And then there's mine here -- that I have to keep fussing with. Sigh!
You are probably right about the water spray in your dry climate. You probably made their day for them. Here it is already humid, so that's probably why it works for me.
Jill, "As always, a veritable font of information!" eh? Okay, I'll be the "wing ding" font! It sounds funner!
Karen, my brugs that I planted outside one year had no bug problems at all. I guess they like that "greenhouse environment", and down where you are you must have that year round. Sure hope you figure out a good way to keep them in check that makes it easy on ya.
(Guess I better quit posting off topic. Danneld might still be looking for those planting trays and such.)
My brug rows, several years ago, just coming on with flowers. It became a veritable jungle before the season ended.