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I have just spent a happy hour making paper pots which I use to start off my seeds in the propagator. Once the plants are big enough I just pop the paper pot into a 3inch plastic pot for growing on. I just wondered what other folk use for starting off their seeds in a propagator?
I usually just sow straight into seed compost, with added vermiculite, in the tray, cover with the lid, then pot on when the first true leaves appear, into 3 -4 inch pots with fine compost. Only with big seeds like sweet peas, beans etc. do I sow into pots, then still use the 3 inch pots or a tray of plug shapes to get them started. When they are a decent size I pot on to 6 inch pots, harden off after a month or two, depending upon the weather, then put outside either into the ground or a final pot if that is their destination - as it often is here. I rarely sow much before April or May here, got caught too often with over enthusiasm when the sun shone in March or April, though I might start a few things then like tomatoes indoors in the cool greenhouse, but never earlier than that.
Hi chilli lover , I was in a shop recently named "Dealz" and they were selling compressed recycled cardboard pot in 3" and 4" pots for €1 ;49c I started to use them last week to grow peas and so far so good ,.
I sow into seed compost into a Wilkos propagator which has the hard tray for the bottom and the thick plastic lid with the vents. Think they cost £2.75 and one of the best things I've ever bought. Recently I discovered the narrow seed trays which means I can fit 5 of them into one seed tray, so I can grow different stuff at the same time.Also means I don't have one whole tray full of the same plants.
I prick out when they have the first true set of leaves, this year I've done this slighltly earlier with some as they were a bit leggy into small pots and then pot again when they get bigger.
I had a 'Potter' for Christmas and I have made paper pots about 6 inches deep for long rooted plants, sweet peas etc. it is a good idea because there is no root disturbance when you transplant.
Often I find that paper or coir pots don't actually degrade enough, and later in the season I find the roots of the plants going round and round and the plants not thriving. I imagine they need alot of water to degrade, so last year may not have been a problem. I remove the netting that bought in basket plants, for example, have around their roots, and since then have had much better plant growth. Depends upon your soil etc., but I have given up on them and just transplant from potting on pots.
I find exactly the same thing with biodegradable pots. Perhaps they need a really good soaking before going into the ground?
I had the same experience once with the roots going round and around but now I very carefully unfold the base and snip it off before potting on - works for me.
Derek - tried the peat/fibre/coir pots but couldn't get on with them - could never somehow get the moisture content right but paper ones I like.
I only use these paper pots for early small seeds such as chilli and tomatoes - all seeds require their own ways. I was just curious about other methods of germinating in a heated propagator. Thanks
I've a window sill garland propogator. Last year seeds were sown straight into the 7 small trays and when seeds germinated the tray was taken out but I found there was then a wait for the seedlings to develop their true leaves before they could be potted on and the small tray could be used again.
Now I could have bought extra trays but this year I bought some 3cm module trays (me thinks about £1.99 from Wilkinsons) and cut them into blocks of 6 modules, these fit snugly in the trays and are an ideal size for sowing small quantities of seeds. The plan is, when the seeds germinate, the module blocks can be lifted out and replaced with another one straight away. They also use up less seed compost and the module can eventually be potted on with less disturbance to the roots.....that's the theory.
You could get a lot of the narrow seed trays in a 2 foot square propagator. Sorry if I don't get what you mean