To view a larger image click on the picture.
Yoplait Yogurt cups:
1. Use a razor cutter (or box cutter) with only a small edge of razor showing.
2. Carefully cut around edge of bottom of cup.
3. Remove bottom, turn to the inside and push to cause dome to bend in
4. Turn bottom back over and use for the tray under the yogurt cup
To use soup cans poke holes in bottom for drainage or water bottles can be used by cutting off the upper part of the bottle and poke holes in the bottom for drainage. (not shown)
Light and Watering Methods
DIFFERENT METHODS THAT CAN BE USED TO WATER
A. Gently water from the top being careful not to wash away soil and uncover the seeds.
B. Place water in the tray to let the cells draw it up to water the seeds.. Put approximately 1/2 inch of water in the tray and let it sit for a while. Check it and if the top is still dry, and previous water has all been absorbed, repeat by adding more water. Continue doing this until the soil is moist on the top. Usually 1/2 to 1 gallon of water is needed in the bottom of the tray containing the individual cells.
C. With very small seeds, use a spray bottle to gently spray water onto the soil so seeds are not disturbed and the moisture level is maintained. Be careful not to over water.
Keep the soil moist but do not drown it.
Lighting and heating tips:
a. Dennis puts the petunia trays on a Heat Mat to keep the seeds warmer as petunias like heat. The heating mats warm the soil to help with germination and growth.
b. Florescent Lights placed over the plants will help to germinate and grow your plants. They give the necessary rays that are needed to help your plants thrive and grow.
Method of Planting
1. Work with section of four cells.
2. Put small amount of potting soil in the bottom of cell to cover the slit in the bottom.
3. Divide one small scoop (1/4 tsp) of fertilizer in the four cells.
4. Fill Cells with potting soil. ****
5. Make a hole (diameter of a Bic Pen) in the center of each cell. Depth should be 4 times as deep as the narrowest diameter of the seed.
6. Place two seeds in each hole.
7. Cover holes and seeds with potting soil and place cells in tray. Record cells.
8. Water (see watering methods)
Because petunia seeds are so small, Dennis does not use the cells when he plants them. He just uses the tray itself and scatters the seeds around in the potting soil in the tray. He said they transplant very easily so, when they have germinated and are out of the soil about 1″ to 2 “, he then transplants them into the cells.
READ SEED PACKETS CAREFULLY! Some seeds will not germinate in the sun; they need it to be dark. Some seeds need the sun in order to germinate.
**** Trays and cells can be prepared weeks in advance and set aside until you are ready to begin planting the seeds.
Keep trays in a warm environment as they germinate and begin to grow. Trays can be put outside after the sun comes up, even if there was some frost over night. Return inside to warmer area in late afternoon
Record Keeping Ideas
Numbers on cell blocks: Using a Sharpie, number the center area of each block of 4 cells
Code on Tray: Using a Sharpie, write a code on the side of each tray to identify that particular tray and to keep track of its contents. (I.E. A-1-14-F) A = Tray A; 1 = four pack cell #1; 14 = Year; F = Flowers. Use codes that mean something to you.
Notebook: Use the notebook to record:
1. Individual trays
2. Contents of each numbered 4 cell block in each tray
3. Dates planted
4. Breakdown of code
5. Any other important information pertaining to each tray.
Documentation dividing tray and varieties of petunias. These are just showing how the documentation on the tray helps to keep the particular type of flower identified. Putting a small furrow between the types made sections easier to keep track of. These petunia seeds were very small. A hundred or more were planted in each section. They were feathered out onto the potting soil and then covered with Spangham Moss to protect them. When they get big enough they will be separated and placed into individual cells.
Dennis had several of his seeds that had started to sprout in his greenhouse. I took pictures of the Peppers, Tomatoes, and Cabbage and Kale. The bulk of the purple ones are kale. Some of these are flowering kale and some are regular. There are a few purple plants on the opposite end that are cabbage. The cabbages are the green ones. If you look at the cabbage and kale very closely they appear to be very much alike. Dennis said that genetically they are alike and it would be impossible to visually tell which is which at this stage. The only way you could tell them apart at this point is by testing.