Transplants Part 2. Acorn Conference Fall 2011

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1 Transplants Part 2 Acorn Conference Fall 2011

2 Basics of Raising Transplants: Seeds Quality organic seeds Soil the base for it all to start Seeding how many per cell etc. Seeding equipment Temperatures Fertilization What kind of plant do you need Pest Control Q&A

3 Seeds Quality Organic Seeds Most are familiar with sourcing organic seeds. Points to watch for Source seeds that work with your seeding system Pellets for hand sowing small seeds Good germination percentages Seed Storage Be sure to store seeds well from year to year and perhaps test older seed. Humidity plus temperature should add up to less than 100.

4 Soil the base for it all to start Difference between container growing and field growing Surface tension Water retention and drainage Expansion and contraction Air space Limited volume Shape of container Watering differences

5 Soils Rich in Compost Pros Hold nutrients longer Less supplemental fert. needed Heavier mix holding upright better Less peat moss required Cons Germination can be reduced Can be harder to rewet when dry Roots generally thinner Root ball falls apart more easily Can be more difficult to keep moisture optimum

6 Peat Based Mixes Pros Lighter in weight More air space in mix Generally easier to rewet Roots generally whiter and thicker Root ball holds together better at planting Cons Will run out of nutrients faster Use more peat, perlite, and vermiculite Require supplemental fert.

7 Fertility in the Mix Needs to be balanced Compost can be high in Potassium or salt Needs to be stable Need to be sure the mix is not going to compost Ways to add fertility Using protein meals Using Compost Using Liquid Fertilizers

8 Using protein meals Pros Generally cost effective Can be mixed at different rates for different crops Store well in unmixed state Cons Can easily start a compost process in the mix If this happens, plants are more likely to rot or dampen off Release of nutrients won t necessarily match plant requirements Mix cannot be stored after mixing

9 Using Compost as Nutrient Source Pros Renewable resource If well finished, nutrients will be available as needed Don t recommend wood/bark Provides a stable source of nutrients allowing mix to be stored Cons Need quite a bit of compost Can a challenge to make and finish a quality compost without wood Compost can have excessive potassium and salts Makes a heavy mix

10 Using Organic Liquid Fert. Pros Easy to use when needed Nutrients quickly available Allows different feed amounts for different crops Cons Very expensive Currently most Nitrogen sources contain fish and are smelly

11 We use 3 mixes Compost rich Putting it together.. Seedling peat lite mix GrowOn peat lite mix Vary our mix by crop and crop stage Sensitive crops seeded in seedling mix and planted up to GrowOn or Compost Rich as soon as poss. Use Liquid organic feed as needed It is important that the plants not be set back

12 Seeding.. Number of plants per cell: Single plants are needed for many crops Tomatoes, Peppers, Coles, Lettuce, Melons, etc. Doubles Onions, Shallots, Basil, Corn?, Cukes or Squash? Multiple seeds Swiss Chard, Many of the herbs, Cover: Medium Vermiculite or soil cover

13 Middle of March

14 Hand Seeding Seeding Equipment.. Pros: Low cost and easily available Cons: Less accurate and very time consuming Simple seeders Hand operated Needle seeder Plate seeders Easy Seeder Expensive Seeders Automated Needle Seeders Drum Seeders

15 Easy Seeder

16 E Z Seeder

17 morent.com

18 More High tech options

19 Swiss Chard

20 Swiss Chard

21 Cover Suggestions Vermiculite: Most crops Heavy cover on larger seeds Lighter cover on small ones Generally 2 times the seed depth in cover Exception for Celery and Celeriac Soil Cover: Corn No Cover: Several of the Herbs

22 Covering Tomato Seed

23 Seedling Terminology

24 Watering Requirements Increase fluctuation as plant grows. No dry out after radicle emergence. More critical to avoid dry out with the compost rich mix.

25 Onions Germinating March 9, 2011

26 Light/Temperature Relationship Light creates the power to grow Artificial lights may look bright, but give a fraction of what sunlight offers. Average Temperature sets the speed of growth. Can get fancy using different temps at dif. Times of day to control growth Main point starting out is warmer temps mean faster growth. Need adequate light for quality growth

27 Tomato Plants stretching toward the sun but remain short due to cool temps. Middle of March 2010

28 March 9, 2011

29 What Do we Require in a Plant? Factors to consider Is there a maturity you need to meet and/or maturity you should not exceed? Type of planting system Can you irrigate after planting? How often and well can you water greenhouse? Upsize only if necessary is costly If space is short If there is good reason to attain plant maturity Use the smallest size cell that adequately covers all your needs This likely will be the most cost effective.

30 Insect Control Use Beneficial Insects as much as possible. We like to use Koppert Biobest also provides beneficials Only use soaps and other sprays if necessary

31

32 Soaps and other Insecticide Sprays Pros Fast Acting Normally an effective knock down May be Required to halt fast feeding Cons Can be phytotoxic Often kill only some of life forms May kill other beneficials Require complete coverage

33 June 15, 2010

34 May 26, 2011

35 May 26, 2011

36 June 4, 2010

37 June 4, 2010

38 June 8, 2010

39 July 23, 2010 Planted this week

40 June 11, 2010

41 June 15, 2011

42 May 18, 2011

43 May 18, 2011

44 June 7, 2011

45 June 15, 2011 in hoop house

46 June 20, 2011 Greening up outside

47 June 20, 2011

48 July 6, 2011

49 July 13, 2011

50 June 15, 2011 sweet corn from transplants

51 Crops we use Transplants for Brassicas except Kohlrabi and Pac Choi Includes Regular cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, Corn both sweet corn and popcorn All melons Asian, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, etc. Peppers, Tomatoes, & Eggplant use 2 steps Ground Cherries Early Cucumbers Early squash including summer squash and pumpkins Swiss chard Onions, Shallots, Leeks, etc. Lettuce Herbs, celery, and celeriac

52 Questions? Fruit cup in August!

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