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Recommend a propogation tray - homemade or otherwise?


 
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mange tout
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Recommend a propogation tray - homemade or otherwise? Reply with quote

Can anyone recommend a propogation tray? The ones I bought in garden centre aren't great. They're quite flimsy and have broken up already.

Also I suspect they weren't big enough - they're about the size of a full egg. Leeks, for example, never seemed to grow more than a few inches in them. Not sure if that was the tray or the compost running out of nutrients?

What do people use and how big should they be? I've seen people use half a milk carton or egg containers, though the latter don't hold that much soil either
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will get what you pay for mange tout. Them flimsy ones aint worth a shite. Buy the rigid ones, might be 2 or 3 each but they will last forever. Go to a garden centre and study what they use and observe the height of plants they can get from a 'full egg' sized pot. Better still go to a nursery and see what they use and you then do the same. Fresh compost at the start of every year is the only way to go.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be perfectly honest, there's absolutely NO need to buy trays. I'm the Recycling Manager in our house and find the huge range of food trays we throw out gives a variety of trays of varying depths etc. I use a deeper one for leeks, as you say, shallow ones for lettuces and runner beans and so on.
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mange tout
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going to go full milk carton horizontal depth for those leeks so. Would MUCH prefer to recycle. My sons advent calendar toy container is my latest acquisition. The flimsy ones weren't even that cheap tagwex! big variation in the quality of crap garden centres will sell you.

On compost - I've got John Innes seed compost, which was really heavy, like clay, not fine at all. Thought there was something wrong but stuff coming up so seems ok. But should I pot them on in a few weeks into some other stuff?

I mean how do people do it, buy two or three bags of different stage compost each season and pot everything on and on or just go with the flow and use whatever?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go to a nursery, far better for a multitude of reasons than any garden centre. They have leeks for example, in the flimsy trays, a foot high in 40mm to 50mm of soil and several of them per pod. So it can be done. The seed trays are black for a reason. Never seen a black milk carton.
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Last edited by tagwex on Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mange tout
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point re colour tagwex. But re height, could it just be they've lashed in fertilizer? I always presume any purchased plant is beefed up for visual market and is as far from organic as you can get.

Any nurseries in Dublin area?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have purchased many a 12 section tray of veg plants from my local nursery and they always fare better than my home grown from seeds efforts. They have the knack, the know how and the controlled climatic conditions that I don't have, they have to to make it commercially viable for them.
As for Dublin nurseries, there has to be loads, hit the google button. I would always go to a nursery over a garden centre.

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This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take the attitude that I just need some sort of medium/soil substitute to get my plants started and have just bought three bags of El Cheapo 'compost' from Lidl. That, plus water, is quite enough to set the process in motion and I'd suggest unnecessary transplanting into different composts can disturb and damage root systems?

Once they're big enough to handle, I move seedlings into their final growing place. Dib a hole. A few grains of fertiliser in (chicken manure pellets in my case), and that's it.

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mange tout
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On reflection and experimentation, I couldn't agree more with Blowin's advice, the range and selection of junk packaging modern life leaves us with is remarkable. I suppose my only concern is that seed roots will get tangled up (in something like a milk carton) but hopefully not.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just sown a load of nasturtiums, calendula and sunflowers (two to a pot) into individual, square pots that I got from B&M 10 for 1.00.I know the packets say to sow direct, but in my garden that's just feeding the slugs!

I'll get several years use out of these pots and being square I can pack them together in gravel trays. I get good results from 'Jacks Magic' compost.

I have tried growing sweet peas and beans in toilet roll centres - some good results, some awful. They give a good root run but you have to watch the watering. Sometimes when you plant out, the soggy bottom half drops off and you end up hold a small ring of dry card and a plant with it's roots now devoid of soil - and that can be very difficult to plant. Rolling Eyes

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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always seem to do better starting runner beans off in an 'open' tray, rather than a sectioned one, for some reason. The roots do get a bit tangled but I'm just careful as I separate them when planting out. However, with something like swedes where the actual root is the crop, I revert to sectioned trays with one seedling per section. This has three advantages: a) there's no thinning process to disturb the ones you keep, b) there are no 'misses', so you can finish up with a complete row of plants and c) there's less risk of damaging the root itself. I always do swedes this way, and may trial a tray of parsnips this year as they're notoriously bad germinators.
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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the heavy cardboard rolls from the tin foil. Cut a few lenghts off it with a Stanley knife and stand in a seed tray and fill with soil. Place the seeds in each one. I do this for sweet peas
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