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SPEEDLING TRAYS - anyone tried these?

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SPEEDLING TRAYS - anyone tried these?

Post  oxmyx1 on 5/20/2011, 7:12 pm

Hi - I just got one of these 200 cell styrofoam trays for seed starting. I can't find anyone anywhere who has any experience with them. They are designed to 'air trim' the root system - they are shaped like inverted pyramids and the whole thing is to be suspended over a tray to catch water. Water by misting, and just enough to not leach nutrients. Supposedly, they are used by commercial growers. Yield more uniform transplants with an almost equal ratio of above ground plant to root system.

NOT included in the instructions is ... how long to leave them in the tray???? The cells are only an inch square so they won't be very big to transplant - but the instructions say they will be stronger and more resistant to transplant shock.

I'd appreciate any insight anyone has on this system!

Linda

oxmyx1

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Location: higher than Santa Fe, NM - zone 5?

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Re: SPEEDLING TRAYS - anyone tried these?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 5/20/2011, 8:25 pm

I tried plastic seed trays with 1/2 inch round plugs this year. They work the same way as the bottom is open to allow roots to air prune. Once seeds germinate I move them out of the heated dome tray and under the growinh lights on a tray. The plugs need regular watering from the bottom so they don't dry out.

I found they save alot of room in the heated seed tray with dome, and have fewer wasted peat pots if seeds don't germinate.

Once the roots start growing out the bottom enough to hold the plug together you pop them out (push plug up thru bottom with pencil) and transplant them in either into a large jiffy pot (peppers / tomatoes), small jiffy pots (cabbage, broccoli), or directly into ground outside for lettuce/herbs. Length of time varies depending on how fast the seeds need to produce roots and sometimes true leaves.

They worked well for me.








bullfrogbabe

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Re: SPEEDLING TRAYS - anyone tried these?

Post  oxmyx1 on 5/20/2011, 9:01 pm

Hi, BFB - thank you so much for your reply. So you watered yours by putting them in standing water in the tray underneath? Sounds easier than misting from above. The included instructions say I can actually start them outside - but unfortunately, on my deck they would not get 14-18 hours of sun. AND it's been so incredibly windy here I think the whole shebang would end up in Canada.

I'm anxious to get started on summer crops. Wish me luck on this!

Linda

oxmyx1

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Re: SPEEDLING TRAYS - anyone tried these?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 5/26/2011, 10:56 pm

Yes I water them from the bottom. I set them on plastic food serving trays bought from the dollar store. I pour some water in tray, just enough that the plugs wet themselves without leaving them in standing water.

I found that spraying the tops caused damping off for some seedlings. It also caused the soil to "bubble" up as air was displaced and the soil would sometimes rush out the open bottoms of the cells with the excess water.


bullfrogbabe

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Re: SPEEDLING TRAYS - anyone tried these?

Post  oxmyx1 on 5/26/2011, 11:32 pm

Thank you for your advice. I learned the hard way about damping off with my first batch of seedlings in a regular grow light tray...

With regard to the 'air pruning' of roots - is it necessary to put a fan close by the tray to create air movement or is just the suspension of the tray on 2x4's good enough? It's so exciting to see the first little greenies breaking forth!!!

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