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Village Idiot Strikes Agian: Seed Flats Toplef10Village Idiot Strikes Agian: Seed Flats 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Village Idiot Strikes Agian: Seed Flats

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LaFee
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Post  middlemamma 12/1/2010, 3:59 pm

Ok I am wondering if I am missing something.

I have seen these seed flats in all the catalogs. They are little tiny cells molded all into one plastic piece. Like these
http://www.totallytomato.com/dp.asp?c=18&P={8A01B6D5-F32C-4B8E-AF55-320C41A602CD}

How would that work? How do you get one seedling out without dumping them all? What am I missing?

Jen
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Post  acara 12/1/2010, 4:02 pm

You are not alone my friend ..... I won't buy transplants in those, for the same reason ......

I can't figure out how to get the darn things out No


I actually asked someone at the nursery once & was told to just cut the individual cells off...... which still left the question ...

how to get the darn things out
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Post  Odd Duck 12/1/2010, 4:08 pm

Usually the "pot" part of those group flats is thin enough plastic and so flexible, you can just push up from underneath and the plant will pop out. This is assuming the root ball is established enough to hold the grow mix together.
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Post  LaFee 12/1/2010, 5:08 pm

last year, I used one of my markers (small, thin, pointed piece of plastic) inserted down along the edge of the pod to lift the whole thing out.
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Post  Patty from Yorktown 12/2/2010, 7:00 am

The question I have is how much "kitchen counter space will be taken up when I pot the seedlings up to the next larger size pot?" I have enough trouble fitting everything under my lights when I go from Jiffy pots to newspaper pots, this seems like my eyes would be much larger than my counter. Cannot wait for next years growing season. It has got to be better than this years. We are labeled a federal disaster area for drought.
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Post  dixie 12/2/2010, 12:31 pm

This is the only kind I use. I cut the insert in half long-ways first with scissors, then cut into squares of 9. The plastic on the inserts is thin so that when the plants are ready to come out, I just hold the square in one hand, tilted sideways, use finger of other hand to push from the bottom & the plant pops right up & just remove the plant. If the soil is dry, the soil comes out completely. The bottom tray and dome top are heavier plastic & I usually get at least 3 seasons from the entire set up. If the bottom of the individual cells is crinkled after I remove the plant, I just gently poke it back into place.

to clarify: I buy the whole 3 piece setup since that's all that is available around here. I just checked mine, since I am doing some winter sowing & had them handy. Each cell is 4" deep, tapers from 2" at the top to 1" at the bottom. 9 cell unit is 5" square


Last edited by dixie on 12/2/2010, 12:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  dixie 12/2/2010, 12:32 pm

Patty - I always just plant directly to my garden from these. They are essentially the same size cells as what you get at the garden centers.
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Post  Patty from Yorktown 12/2/2010, 12:47 pm

Thanks for the size note. They looked smaller to me. I have been saving some of my old nursery packs and might try to reuse them.

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Post  Blackrose 12/2/2010, 1:26 pm

If you reuse them, do you have to sterilize them somehow first?

I have some pots that my strawberries came in last spring that would be perfect size for potting up some seedlings. I'm wondering if I should clean them with a bleach solution of some sort first. If so, what ratio of bleach to water would be good?
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Post  Patty from Yorktown 12/2/2010, 2:16 pm

You will find mixed answers on how to clean containers for reuse in the garden. Lots of folks (myself included) just wash out the container (often times in the rain barrel) and leave it to dry in the sun. Chemical gardeners will tell you to use a light bleach solution. Nursery cell packs do not get put in my dishwasher, however yogurt cups do. If your garden is disease free then I do not think you need bleach. Just use common sense.

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Post  Blackrose 12/2/2010, 2:47 pm

Patty from Yorktown wrote:You will find mixed answers on how to clean containers for reuse in the garden. Lots of folks (myself included) just wash out the container (often times in the rain barrel) and leave it to dry in the sun. Chemical gardeners will tell you to use a light bleach solution. Nursery cell packs do not get put in my dishwasher, however yogurt cups do. If your garden is disease free then I do not think you need bleach. Just use common sense.

Thanks Patty! That is very helpful. The strawberry plants that were in the pots seemed to be disease free. So, I will probably use your suggestion to just rinse them and leave them out in the sun. I'm trying to be chemical free in my garden as much as possible. I wonder if vinegar would be an acceptable alternative to bleach if I really wanted to disinfect some containers.
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Post  Patty from Yorktown 12/2/2010, 6:12 pm

I would think anything which is a very different environment from the normal living conditions of the germ should work. Vinegar or salt water for example. You could also try freezing the germs. If you are at all uncertain, bleach it. I am not allowed to use bleach unless naked over a tile floor (sorry that is probably an image that nobody needs.)

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Post  middlemamma 12/2/2010, 6:17 pm

ROFLMBO.....Patty! Isn't that how everyone mops their floors??? LOL
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Post  happyfrog 12/3/2010, 6:27 am

just saw this thread and i do as the others have already mentioned - just push gently thru the center of each cell pack. the plant pops up that way.

i actually use a lot of yogurt cups in our household - those individ serving ones you buy at aldi. so we save them and i poke several holes using a drill and a small bit. (tool man sound effects here.. )

the yogurt container is the same size as the 4pack of transplants you buy. and they kind of fit ok in a large seed starter flat. and it helps keep my growing under control. 'cause it's real easy to way over plant inside in january.

i love the yogurt containers 'cause one doesn't need to transplant - just seed start and let it grow. happiness. Smile

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