Starts for Transplants

Gardening with Rabbits

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@Gardening with Rabbits View attachment 39942

This is the cart we have now it came from Costco and sold as a wardrobe cart. It has castors and a shelf on top where we stack flats and cell packs and whatever else we use. It is not perfect but it is way better than the homemade one that we used to use. It came with the hooks on the side where you can see the most complicated wiring mess on earth lol we are also able to roll it out to a storage room when not in use. I think we paid $75.00 for it on sale a few years ago and don’t plan on upgrading anymore than this. This setup is not nearly like what @catjac1975 is getting , the one she is getting is made for seed starting and is a lot more user friendly than this one.
It is on the same idea of what I have in my kitchen only yours a lot better. I need to put my lights in better where the light is more even. I am going to show this DS and see if he can rig something up better for me. It looks great! Thank you!
 

Collector

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@ninnymary, this cart is exactly 4’ wide to the outside edge. That is why the lights have to be in between the legs of the cart and not spread out enough to cover the entire flat. So we end up having to move each flat every day to keep the seedlings growing straight under the lights. Also the shelves are 18” deep so the flats hang over an inch or so on both sides. Other than
those couple things we like the cart better than our old home cobbled together one we used before.

@Gardening with Rabbits , there are several shortcomings with this setup but it is working good for us so far. Let me know if you need additional pics.
 

Gardening with Rabbits

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@ninnymary, this cart is exactly 4’ wide to the outside edge. That is why the lights have to be in between the legs of the cart and not spread out enough to cover the entire flat. So we end up having to move each flat every day to keep the seedlings growing straight under the lights. Also the shelves are 18” deep so the flats hang over an inch or so on both sides. Other than
those couple things we like the cart better than our old home cobbled together one we used before.

@Gardening with Rabbits , there are several shortcomings with this setup but it is working good for us so far. Let me know if you need additional pics.
It is on the same thought of how I have mine, lights tied to shelves above. I did get better lights, but my top shelf does not have a shelve above, so I have just rigged something up there. For now I think this will work for the amount of things I grow. Again, my tomatoes look bad this year because I started them before I found some new lights, but some look pretty good and I started a few more. They are outside in the greenhouse getting sun.
 

BeanWonderin

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Found a use for those left over coffee cups. I'm hoping this allows the tomatoes to develop better roots. I always feel like they don't have enough soil depth when repotting.

642568BB-7772-4320-BA26-FE6CA241DF59.jpeg
 

digitS'

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Yesterday, I was at the bench in the greenhouse reciting my mantra for moving seedlings:

Many Roots, Few Leaves, One Stem

The roots will be damaged, especially when they are coming out of community containers with other seedlings. You know that sibling competition thing. It can't be helped but tomato seedlings have many roots, lots of plants do. These had their seed leaves and one set of true leaves.

Most plants have one stem. Thankfully, it the sturdy part. Nevertheless, leave it alone! Damage that stem and the seedling may be completely dead within hours. Seed leaves will always be dried up and dead within a few weeks. Use those as "handles." It's best to think of them as "arms" and your digitS' as lifting from under their arms. That's not always possible but best.

@BeanWonderin , those look nice and deep :). Bottom watering would allow for even more potting mix on top. It settled so much in my 4-packs, I'll be topping-off mine.

Steve
 

BeanWonderin

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plus i really don't mind leggy tomato plants when planting them out since we bury them deeply. :)
I've tried burying them deep when I transplant and they don't do well for me. I think it's because of our heavy clay soil and that the ground is still so cold 8-10" down. They always seem stunted even though I harden them off plenty. This year I'm hoping to get a head start on root development with deeper containers and not have to plant them quite so deep.
 

flowerbug

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I've tried burying them deep when I transplant and they don't do well for me. I think it's because of our heavy clay soil and that the ground is still so cold 8-10" down. They always seem stunted even though I harden them off plenty. This year I'm hoping to get a head start on root development with deeper containers and not have to plant them quite so deep.

i don't plant them until towards the end of May here. the soil is normally pretty warm by then for us. also we do have mostly clay/heavy soil here so that isn't the issue for us. we usually have pretty good results (even if the plants get beat up by diseases late in the season).

up there... well i've seen ice on the shoreline along Lake Superior on July 4th so... yeah, the soil can be cooler up there. :)
 

digitS'

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I have had problems with burying them (very) deep.

One reason is the same as @BeanWonderin but different ;). It's generally accepted that rocks warm the soil. I guess the idea is bring rocks into your garden and create a rock mulch. I don't have any problem creating a rock mulch in the big veggie garden. If the sprinklers run 3 times - the soil is washed off the rocks and that is all that remains on the surface, rocks. Warming? I think that the idea is that rocks transfer heat better than soil, which can act as insulation. Okay, how about if there are rocks continuously throughout the soil to whatever depth? Doesn't that mean that they will tend to maintain the same temperature for several feet?

Well anyway, what having garden soil that must be 50% rocks has seemed to cause is cool soil. The other reality is a good deal of difference between daytime & nighttime temperatures here. Certainly, it takes well after last frost for the soil to warm to what is considered ideal for planting warm-season crops.

Set transplants at an angle? A second problem for me is that the tomato patch is in a "sprawl." Unstaked, uncaged plants tend to grow more horizontally if that is how they make their garden debut planted at an angle. So ... I just set the plants a couple of inches below where they were in the pots and call that good enough. They do grow roots in those inches and that's good enough, too ;).

Steve
who had ice in his coffee pot one 4th of July morning while camping at 600 feet above his 2000 feet elevation home
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