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Old January 27, 2018   #1
Rajun Gardener
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Default Who uses plug trays?

And what size do you use for tomatoes and peppers?

I'm trying a 392 tray for peppers, I didn't use every cell instead I planted every other cell and skipped a row then offset that row to give room for the plant to get light and air circulation.

After looking online I think I can use a 98 cell tray with a little more soil to grow plants a little bigger before transplanting.
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Old January 27, 2018   #2
clkeiper
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I use them... but a 392? I do a 50 a 72 or a 98. the higher the number the smaller the cell = the smaller the mass of soil to keep moist. that just seems like a really small cell to grow in. sounds almost like a pansy flat.
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Old January 27, 2018   #3
BigVanVader
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I mass sow peppers and tomatoes in 3 inch cells then transplant later. I use plug trays for lettuce (128) and broccoli (50), and most flowers (it varies).
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Old January 27, 2018   #4
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It is small but I think it should work with slow growing peppers. I have a few 512 trays too, now that is small.

I want to use them to germinate and grow almost to the first true leave before transplanting. I don't see much difference in them compared to starting 50 seeds in a community flat. I think the transplanting will be easier on the plant since I won't play with the roots that much compared to stripping 90% of the soil off the plants separating them out of a community flat.

The 392 is planted so I'll know soon enough..

How long can you leave plants in a 98 cell tray and are you using it for tomatoes and peppers?
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Old January 27, 2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
I mass sow peppers and tomatoes in 3 inch cells then transplant later. I use plug trays for lettuce (128) and broccoli (50), and most flowers (it varies).
I did some that way and the transplanting took forever. I'm trying to reduce some labor if I can and still get plants germinated without have 10 heat mats going.

I started this tray(with drains holes) and one section was 4 flats of 6paks, that was time consuming, I still haven't transplanted the other strip yet.
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Last edited by Rajun Gardener; January 27, 2018 at 03:30 PM.
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Old January 27, 2018   #6
Cole_Robbie
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Each transplanting gives me the advantage of poking the plant farther down in the media, so that it is not leggy. If I tried to direct-sow peppers or tomatoes, they would end up leggy, I think. That may not be as applicable to you, if your sunlight is more intense, being farther south.
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Old January 27, 2018   #7
BigVanVader
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Either way your still transplanting. I don't have room for that many plug trays either. I'm planning on building another tunnel next winter strictly for plant starts and I may try plug trys then. My plug vendor sells tomato & peppers in 288's but they only have one set of true leaves when he sells em. It takes me almost as long to transplant those as mass sowed ones. If you make a dibbler it would cut the time a bit more. Something like this http://www.twobadcatsllc.com/index_files/4280rl.jpg
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Old January 27, 2018   #8
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Agree on the transplanting deeper for tomatoes but peppers should be good transplanted deeper just once(I think?).

I know what a dibbler is, I've been researching about this and making it easier to plant. I think I'm gonna build me a seeder like this.

What do you think about it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csisHKbzvL0
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Old January 27, 2018   #9
Cole_Robbie
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I only sell plants in 4" pots or larger, so when transplanting sprouts into 6-packs I can be lazy about it and not worry about centering the sprout in the cell. It is much faster that way. Then the next transplant is into the 4" or gallon pot, and I center it then.
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Old January 27, 2018   #10
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I plan on selling singles too, the 6paks are mostly for space saving but I'll probably sell some of those too.
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Old January 27, 2018   #11
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You can make one much better than that with a shop vac, a plastic tote and a metal cafeteria tray.

If you join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/134018140298600/

and search vacuum seeder you will see lots of easy and effective DIY options.
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Old January 27, 2018   #12
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I thought about making one but I think it's mostly for peletized seeds. I'll have to research it more.
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Old January 27, 2018   #13
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From what I've read I (think) the only thing that is troublesome is lettuce and any seeds that arent round(ish). No firsthand exp though.
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Old January 27, 2018   #14
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Ray Tyler posted a really nice dibbler that was just nails through a piece of plywood with electrical twist ties as the dibbler part. I'm gonna def build a few of those.
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Old January 27, 2018   #15
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajun Gardener View Post
It is small but I think it should work with slow growing peppers. I have a few 512 trays too, now that is small.

I want to use them to germinate and grow almost to the first true leave before transplanting. I don't see much difference in them compared to starting 50 seeds in a community flat. I think the transplanting will be easier on the plant since I won't play with the roots that much compared to stripping 90% of the soil off the plants separating them out of a community flat.

The 392 is planted so I'll know soon enough..

How long can you leave plants in a 98 cell tray and are you using it for tomatoes and peppers?
?? Not sure what you mean by slow growing, but my peppers have their 1st true leaves fully out 1 week after sprouting. I put the germinated seeds in Dixie cups as soon as the radical emerges. Cotyledons come out within a couple days.

392 cells per tray? wow!

I just germinated 4 pepper plants for an indoor experiment (sowed on New Year's Day) in a coffee filter, sprouted by 1/11 and I put the seeds directly into individual Dixie cups (roughly a 45 cell count). The 1st true leaves were fully out before 1/20 and the 2nd set of true leaves are half way out now a week later (16 days after spout - picture below).



I'll be potting them up to 4 inch pots once they have 3 sets of true leaves, probably around Feb 10th (1 month after sprouting) and that's where they will sit until final home at about 10 weeks old (3 plants in a 15 gallon indoor planter for these particular plants, not sure about the 4th plant yet - maybe it's own 2 gallon pot).

I've left them in Dixie cups until about 6 weeks before, but by then I think it starts affecting their growth. I just don't know if you are helping your plants out by starting them in such a small cells, maybe also increasing your work load. I know you plan on selling the plants, so maybe consider using the 98 cell tray for starting and transplanting into 3601 cell packs once they get 3 sets of leaves which should keep them OK until sale.

Last edited by rhines81; January 27, 2018 at 07:57 PM. Reason: maybe 18 cell until final sale, 36 would probably still be too small for good growth through 8-10 weeks
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