Seed-Starting Equipment and From Germination to Harvest Webinars

Questions & Answers

  1. How far away from the lights do the seeds need to be?
    It really depends on the type of light and how much heat they generate. If your light source gives off a lot of heat, you don't want it too close to your plants. Compact fluorescents and tube fluorescents can be much closer than metal halide or high pressure sodium lights.
  2. What products do you recommend for starting a home garden?
    To start a home garden, we recommend Fertilpots, Wonder Soil® Expanding Wafers, Standard 1020 Flats and a basic utility light fixture.
  3. I start seeds on a countertop in my basement. I use ten Standard 1020 Flats in two rows. What is my best option for lighting?
    A ValuTek™ fixture with a 55-watt compact fluorescent bulb will provide more than enough light for the countertop in your basement. If you want to spread the trays out a little bit, I recommend two lights, but if they are not spread out, one light will be enough.
  4. What is the functional difference between plug trays and cell inserts?
    A plug tray is one full sheet where seeds can be planted and cannot be split apart, whereas cell inserts can be broken apart.
  5. Can you use capillary matting with plug/cell insert trays without using 1020 flats?
    Yes, of course you can. Keep in mind that the plug of insert trays will still have holes at the bottom for drainage. If you don't use the 1020 flats be prepared for the excess water to drain out of the plug or insert trays.
  6. Can capillary matting be used directly on top of heat pads?
    I would be a bit hesitant to have that amount of water sitting on top of a heat pad. You'd be better suited to use regular trays on top of the heat pads so water doesn't sit directly on top.
  7. What temperature do you use for lettuce in starter trays?
    Lettuce tends to be a cool-weather crop so you can start it in cooler temperatures. I would recommend starting it around 75°F and make sure the air temperature isn't much warmer than that. If the temperature is too high it may bolt or flower too quickly and you won't be able to enjoy the real meaty part of the leaf.
  8. What is air pruning?
    Air pruning happens when roots come in contact with the air and begin splitting off creating larger, stronger root masses. One of the major benefits of our Fertilpots is that they promote air pruning. They are a permeable substrate, allowing roots to grow through the bottom and have access to the air.
  9. Do you fill the hole after inserting the seed in Grodan plugs?
    What I would recommend is using the clip on a pen cap to slide the seed into the hole. You don't have to cover the hole after placing the seed inside. It will have enough room for the roots to grow out the bottom and the sprout to head out the top.

Questions & Answers

  1. For WonderSoil®, is there any benefit to using the Expanding Bricks versus the Loose Soil?
    It really depends on what you're growing and how you want to grow it. Give us a call and we can talk about your specific application and make a recommendation.
  2. If your seedlings are in WonderSoil® and you transfer them to traditional soil, will it affect plant growth?
    Yes. You will have much stronger, healthier plants because you started them in the best conditions possible.
  3. Is there a minimum pot size you recommend to use with drip irrigation?
    For stake drippers and any of the other drippers we have to offer, a four-inch pot is usually the smallest that we will irrigate directly into. However, there are exceptions to every rule. Give us a call and we will go over your specific application and determine which irrigation system and pots are right for you.
  4. Which overhead sprayer is best for each type of plant? Is there a formula or is it personal preference?
    It's not based on a formula or specific plant, but on what your layout is. When designing a system for a customer we put a lot of consideration into the layout. We ask for pictures or a sketch of your growing space and where your tables are so we can design the most efficient system for your needs.
  5. Can drip irrigation systems be put on a timer? If so, how often should it run?
    Yes, you can put drip irrigation systems on a timer. A lot of customers prefer it to be on a timer so they don't have to think about it. When it comes to how often plants are watered, it is going to depend on how large of an area you're irrigating and what the water source is. That will tell us if we need to set up your system in zones or if it can be done all at once.
  6. What are the benefits of using grow bags rather than raised beds or regular soil growing?
    The benefit is that you will be able to move the grow bags around quickly and easily. If you have a nursery or are going to farmers' markets, the bags are much more customer friendly.

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