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Planting in Tubes

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Planting in Tubes

Post  plantoid on 4/6/2013, 7:19 pm

I've been having lots of success with this method .
I've been filling my bottomless tubes to the top with a loose mix of 80 % peat and 20 % of Mel's mix and lightly presing it down
In the bottom of the tubes for a temporary end stop s a square of 1/2 " thick open cell foam .
I've been lightly pressing the loose mix down and adding just under 1/4" of fine vermiculite then sowing the seeds to about five times as deep as their width in it .
Fine seeds like lettuce and celery have been tweezered into place or sprinkled then a very gentl watering in is done then the tube has been stood in the seed tray and i've floded the seed tray to about an inch or so with room temp water . this gets the capilary action going and seems to giver the seeds the best moisture levels for quick germination .
I've put the sown tube under the full spectrum LED grow lights on a 75 o F heated bed . ( 60 o F was a bit too cool )



As soon as I saw a green shoot I took the tubes away to grow them on in the glasshouse at a lower temperature .

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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  greengrass on 4/7/2013, 3:49 pm

"As soon as I saw a green shoot I took the tubes away to grow them on in the glasshouse at a lower temperature ."

plantoid, do you grow them on in the same tubes, or transfer them to
bigger tubes/pots.
would they push out from the bottom like a plug, pushing the foam up
untill the plug releases.?
i might give this a go! with different diameter tubes, it would be easier to transfer from sowing tube to a bigger tube, and then into the garden.
it may be easier than pricking out, as the roots won't be disturbed as much!
does the peat help to hold the plug together when removing?
gg
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  plantoid on 4/7/2013, 5:32 pm

Same tube , soak the night before to make sure it slides out easliy , push up from bottom when plant is big enough with a bit of broom stick cut to size , slice off any roots growing into the foam and plant the whole plug in a well watered hole cover to just above the top of the plug and re water it .

Usually it stays together unless too wet then it will slide out in a dollop .

44 mm ( 1 3/4 " ) waste pipe is OK 3 inch ( 75 mm ) rain down pipe round or square profile is OK but uses more compost and vermiculite . I use both sizes , prefer the square tube as it sits well in the seed trays and on the benches without falling over so easily as round tube.
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  greengrass on 4/7/2013, 6:03 pm

@plantoid wrote:Same tube , soak the night before to make sure it slides out easliy , push up from bottom when plant is big enough with a bit of broom stick cut to size , slice off any roots growing into the foam and plant the whole plug in a well watered hole cover to just above the top of the plug and re water it .

Usually it stays together unless too wet then it will slide out in a dollop .

44 mm ( 1 3/4 " ) waste pipe is OK 3 inch ( 75 mm ) rain down pipe round or square profile is OK but uses more compost and vermiculite . I use both sizes , prefer the square tube as it sits well in the seed trays and on the benches without falling over so easily as round tube.

ok thanks
will that amount of peat (80%) per tube not dilute the mels mix too much, or do they go in a seperate bed.
also do you always keep 1" of water in the tray, or is it just for the first day or two of germination?
gg
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Planting in TUbes

Post  plantoid on 4/7/2013, 6:09 pm

My idea is indeed to dilute the MM as full strength MM is too rich for most seedlings .

Just flood the tray once to 1 " deep for the first soaking to let the tube contents draw up enough water to wet the whole tube contents.
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  Coelli on 4/7/2013, 8:04 pm

I imagine toilet paper tubes would work for this as well? I have seen them closed on the bottom, but I wonder if you could just use them like this!
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  greengrass on 4/7/2013, 8:20 pm

@plantoid wrote:My idea is indeed to dilute the MM as full strength MM is too rich for most seedlings .

Just flood the tray once to 1 " deep for the first soaking to let the tube contents draw up enough water to wet the whole tube contents.


sorry i meant, would the peat not dilute the sfg bed.
if they are grown in peat then transfered to the sfg bed,
would that not be adding too much peat to the 1/3peat-1/3verm-1/3compost mix.
over a long period of time would it not add too much peat?
maybe i'm over analysing it. Very Happy Very Happy
thanks plantoid
gg
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  Goosegirl on 4/7/2013, 9:23 pm

@greengrass wrote:
@plantoid wrote:My idea is indeed to dilute the MM as full strength MM is too rich for most seedlings .

Just flood the tray once to 1 " deep for the first soaking to let the tube contents draw up enough water to wet the whole tube contents.


sorry i meant, would the peat not dilute the sfg bed.
if they are grown in peat then transfered to the sfg bed,
would that not be adding too much peat to the 1/3peat-1/3verm-1/3compost mix.
over a long period of time would it not add too much peat?
maybe i'm over analysing it. Very Happy Very Happy
thanks plantoid
gg

gg: Not likely to dilute it much, as it is a small amount compared to the compost we continually add to all the squares.

Plantoid: LOVE the tube thingies! I may just have to cut me a few score!

Another GG


Last edited by Goosegirl on 4/7/2013, 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additions)
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  plantoid on 4/8/2013, 11:53 am

Dearest thread splitting and thread moving fairy Laughing ,
Thanks for shifting this from the Johnney thread it was partly asssociated to it but took a swing ball and hijack was imminent.
Thanks .

GG like Goose Girl said the small amount of diluted stuff in the tube makes no noticeable difference ..just remember you will be putting the formed plug plant in a hole that has has some quality compost mixed into it .

The growth stage of not needing much nourishment to suddenly needing some has been reached in most cases , so it's all full steam ahead for the plants to suddenly get the new enriched compost .

They make zillions of fine hair root feeders , anchor well in the square and to me the growing plants seem to have a much better quality of growth & cropping.
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  plantoid on 4/8/2013, 12:24 pm

@Coelli wrote:I imagine toilet paper tubes would work for this as well? I have seen them closed on the bottom, but I wonder if you could just use them like this!

The design of the rolled carboard tube lends itself to unravelling when wet .
I used to put elastic bands round half tube lengths to keep them together and planted the lot to just below the surface of the soil .
For some reason ..perhaps the air drying of the top of the soil the edges of the tubes caused them to poke up out of the soil and then they became evaporative wicks which didn't help the plants much .

At the time of using them we were only two , using about 60 rolls a year giving 120 half tubes . I frequently ran out of tubes so had a think or two and came up with the tube and foam block for the floor . I now have about four hundred tubes rounds at square 1 &/4 " 9 44 mm ) or 3" round or square tubes all are cut to 3 & 1/4 height (8 mm ). This height gives plenty of space for the growth medium & a sprinkle of fine vermiculite on top of the foam floor plug and allows water to move up by capillary action .
It is not too long /unwieldy & tipping over like a six inch tube would be . The set length is also of benefit when all the tubes are seeded and stood up in the seed tray .. all plants get the nigh on all the same light levels ..
You can also stack the tubes more easily in cardboard boxes when fully dry for a smaller storage space . They should last years and years with the foam lasting around five years before requiring renewal.

When I first joined the ANSFG site I put up some pictures of what I was doing with tubes round and square but took them off a week or so ago as I emptied a full free photobucket cache.

One good thing is even if you don't have a band saw like me you micght know some one who does who will cut up your tubed in 80 mm lengths ( 3 & 1/4 inches )

Or you can make a simple U shaped grove by screwing three bits of wood together with an end sop set to the length you want to repeat & fastening it by screws or a clamp to a bigger bit of timber, then and cutting your own lengths of plastic tube with a fine toothed back saw ( " Tennon saw " to most UK people )

I cut my foam inserts from several things , some was scrap foam from Ex trampoline bumber pads, some was foam from packing boxes , most of it was ( due to easy source via repeatable purchases ) sections of the four foot long swimming pool noodles sliced into just over 1/2" thicknesses . ( again ... if you have no band saw make a simple jig to do it ..... like a bagel cutter jig .

Come the end of use ,
Soak in clean warm water to get most of the muck off them ,shake /squeeze out , then soak the tubes and foam in a mild sterilant . Rinse them well in clean warm water and put them to dry in an onion sack or some sort of netting bag ..don't store them in a plastic bag due to probability of mould developing.
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  greengrass on 4/8/2013, 3:10 pm

couple of things plantoid , so i've got it right in me head.cyclops

1. "I now have about four hundred tubes rounds at square 1 &/4 " 9 44 mm ) or 3" round or square tubes all are cut to 3 & 1/4 height (8 mm )."

is that 1 3/4" (44mm) round/square @ 80mm high
& 3" round/square @ 80mm high?


2. why 2 different sizes?

3. so it's foam - then growth medium - then vermiculite on top

4. what are "swimming pool noodles"
are they the floating dividers used to make swimming lanes in a pool?

5. "At the time of using them we were only two."

you started so young, i make that 60 years gardening if your 62 affraid
gg

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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  plantoid on 4/8/2013, 3:43 pm

@greengrass wrote:couple of things plantoid , so i've got it right in me head.cyclops

1. "I now have about four hundred tubes rounds at square 1 &/4 " 9 44 mm ) or 3" round or square tubes all are cut to 3 & 1/4 height (8 mm )."

It's a mixture of tubes that I had to hand
is that 1 3/4" (44mm) round/square @ 80mm high
& 3" round/square @ 80mm high?


2. why 2 different sizes? see No 1, beggars can't be choosers normally

3. so it's foam - then growth medium - then vermiculite on top.
Yes ...diluted growth medium , fine vermicluite like coarse brown sugar grains

4. what are "swimming pool noodles"
are they the floating dividers used to make swimming lanes in a pool?
No the noodles are a rod of light closed cell foam used as floatation devices . Sold in Toys R Us etc to aid beginners in the swimming pools .
they usually come in red , green blue and yellow colours .... app five feet long and 80 mm in dia ..
Different brands = diferent sizes = also Aldi and Lidel occasionally have threm



5. "At the time of using them we were only two."

We two are now three with a 11.5 yr old Munchkin of our own .... toilet roll consumption has trippled Laughing

you started so young, i make that 60 years gardening if your 62 affraid
gg

Yes I am 62 , I became a dad for the last time ( knowingly Embarassed ) when I was 51
No I didn't have my own garden till I was 8 yrs old Laughing

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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  greengrass on 4/8/2013, 4:26 pm

just to confirm question 1.

is that 1 3/4" (44mm) round/square @ 80mm high
& 3" round/square @ 80mm high?

cheers gg
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  plantoid on 4/8/2013, 4:33 pm

44 mm is round white sink waste / bath tub pipe tube size ..I had several lengths of fire damaged given to me off Freecycle .
The 80 mm dia round also came from the same place .

The 80 mm square stuff was left over from when I replaced all the guttering & down pipes on the bungalow , garage and office .

All tubes of all sizes are 80 mm tall / long as that's what I found worked best , so I just set the guide fence on the band saw to it.
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  greengrass on 4/8/2013, 4:45 pm

ok thanks.
now i know what to look out for, when out and about! Very Happy
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Re:

Post  Lillyz on 4/8/2013, 11:13 pm

[quote="plantoid"]
@Coelli wrote:I imagine toilet paper tubes would work for this as well? I have seen them closed on the bottom, but I wonder if you could just use them like this!

The design of the rolled carboard tube lends itself to unravelling when wet. I used to put elastic bands round half tube lengths to keep them together and planted the lot to just below the surface of the soil, For some reason ..perhaps the air drying of the top of the soil the edges of the tubes caused them to poke up out of the soil and then they became evaporative wicks which didn't help the plants much.

I want to try starting honeydew melons using toilet paper/paper towel rolls or peat pots. From what I understand melons are difficult to transplant and those nasty cutworms like them too. Has anyone tried either of these methods (tp/peat pot)successfully?
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/9/2013, 12:57 am

Lillyz I have used tp rolls, I think about three years ago. I cut slits into one end of the tubes and folded them over, the flaps overlapping. I then taped the flaps down I think with packing tape. That end was the bottom. I filled the tubes with potting soil and planted the seeds and watered. I was able to write the seed names and dates I planted on the sides. I put the tubes in plastic containers that had a bit higher sides that held the tubes upright. Mine did not unravel but did soften when wet. When it was time to plant, I torn off the tube along the scored line. I can't remember if I tore the tube off while it was wet or dry. I am thinking that it may be easier if you wet the tube right before you are ready to plant and maybe not the soil, if you can help it. Some of the plants do come out as a glop but they are easily planted. I would not plant the tube into the garden. It would probably break down, but I think it would restrict the roots from spreading out and if any of it is above ground, it would make your roots dry out quick.
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re: planting in tubes

Post  Lillyz on 4/9/2013, 1:25 am

@Triciasgarden wrote: snip When it was time to plant, I torn off the tube along the scored line. I can't remember if I tore the tube off while it was wet or dry. I am thinking that it may be easier if you wet the tube right before you are ready to plant and maybe not the soil, if you can help it. Some of the plants do come out as a glop but they are easily planted. I would not plant the tube into the garden. It would probably break down, but I think it would restrict the roots from spreading out and if any of it is above ground, it would make your roots dry out quick.

I kinda wanted to keep the tp roll maybe an inch above soil line to discourage cutworms. Ive had those darn things eat newly planted peppers and tomatoes and finding my poor babies cut down at soil level, well grrrrrr. Ive been out working in the flowerl beds and Ive seen them, so I know they are out there. The other thing I was trying to accomplish was getting a week or two headstart before the last spring frost. I guess I could try a few seeds in the tp roll and a few without. Thanks for your reply Tricia I appreciate it.
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/12/2013, 6:51 am

@Lillyz wrote:
I kinda wanted to keep the tp roll maybe an inch above soil line to discourage cutworms. Ive had those darn things eat newly planted peppers and tomatoes and finding my poor babies cut down at soil level, well grrrrrr. Ive been out working in the flowerl beds and Ive seen them, so I know they are out there. The other thing I was trying to accomplish was getting a week or two headstart before the last spring frost. I guess I could try a few seeds in the tp roll and a few without. Thanks for your reply Tricia I appreciate it.

Well I for sure am not an expert, and you have to do whatever you can to keep those cutworms from destroying your plants! It would be much better if we didn't have to deal with pests and diseases!
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Great idea

Post  Pink Pandora on 4/12/2013, 10:45 am

I'll never throw those tubes away again. Looks like a great way to start those things that don't transplant well.
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  quiltbea on 4/12/2013, 11:00 am

lillyz......You don't need the tp collar to prevent cutworm damage. Just stick 2 toothpicks in the soil, half in and half out, right up against the stems, to prevent cutworms. They need to wrap around the stem to eat it and can't with toothpicks. Its the easiest preventive I've ever found and I've never lost a seedling to cutworm this way.
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  plantoid on 4/12/2013, 1:39 pm

It has been a lovely early evening with gently warm sun here.
I've just finished planting out seventeen sugar snap peas and nine broad beans grown in the plastic tubes from my own seeds .
The seedlings have come on in growth all of a sudden, some of the roots were starting to get " pot bound " & also were that long they have embedded the tap root in the foam inserts .
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Re: Planting in Tubes

Post  Lillyz on 4/12/2013, 3:56 pm

@quiltbea wrote:lillyz......You don't need the tp collar to prevent cutworm damage. Just stick 2 toothpicks in the soil, half in and half out, right up against the stems, to prevent cutworms. They need to wrap around the stem to eat it and can't with toothpicks. Its the easiest preventive I've ever found and I've never lost a seedling to cutworm this way.

Brilliant!! Thanks so much, Quiltbea
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