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Re: Seedlings & other theories

In a message dated 3/20/99 1:18:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, lako731@usit.net

<< I am using 
 4 lights per shelf, temperature is averaging 72-74.  I am keeping the covers
 on to increase warmth.You didn't mention what brand of fertilizer you are

well you have the heat......i dont know why you need the covers to maintain
heat with all those lights......do you have more than one shelf???  my plant
stand is 4 shelves high.....so they get warmer and warmer as you go up the
light stand....all but the shelf on the floor have a bank of 4 lights directly
below the shelf ....are yours in the damp, cool basement????  if so, i have a
friend who surrounded his plant stand on 3 sides with relective/foiled
cardboard...increased light and temp....the front he drapped with some clear
plastic so he can see in......and sliced it vertically every 8 inches or so,
so he could reach in & out.....the only caveat is that you need it to be
designed poorly enough so that there is sufficient airflow in there.....

my seeds are started in flats, with just waxpaper on them long enough to get
germination...i do use a heating mat [72 F]...they sprout in 4 to 10
days....the paper is taken off immediately....i think it forces them to grow
roots down into the soil instead of up to the waxpapaer.....

the fert is kmart version of miracle grow...in my mind 15-30-15 is the same
regardless of price......and the 25 pound bucket is going on 7 years
old.....go figure....i see no reason to add any other type of chemicals or
witches brews to stimulate root growth or anything else....in fact i am trying
to figure out how to slow them down....last year i started them in mid-
october....this year in late november...i am still running out of space, with
2 months to go before i am frost free.....i guess next year i may wait until
mid january....

i use plain old cheapo shop lights, but i have started changing them at the
beginning of each year....meaning when i planted the seeds....someone sugested
that lights can lose effectiveness....i get boxes of 10 for some ungodly sheap
price of under 10 bucks at home depot...you have to look hard because they
really push those 2 for 3 dollar packages.....standard 40 watt shop lamps.....

once again, maybe barb hit it on the head with too much fert....

there is only one other thing that i do....besides follow the elslager/stygall
protocol....and that is potting & repotting.....at the 4 leave stage the good
seedlings get torn from the soil, shaked vigorously, then potted into 5 oz
plastic solo cups.....about 45 days later, if vigorous enough, and roots are
poking thru the drilled holes, they are again abused, shaken of all soil and
potted into 8 oz cups.....the 45 days later the same into 16 oz cups......

i am sure someone can refer an address for you to ed...he taught a class at
the hosta college....thats where it all started for me.....

it is suggested that the 'abusing' may stimulate growth...maybe it  releases
growth hormones....maybe its the fresh soil....maybe, well, who really
knows????  but it does work

i also seem to recall, most likely from the same source, that wind stimulates
them also....that is to say....a fan helps in some way...unfortunately today i
cant remember why.....someone, besides myself also, for lack of a better term,
pets their seedlings.....just run your hand across them, back & forth a few
times....its another version of abuse....lol.....i mean stimulation....lol

so where do we go from here???

why are your still in those tiny greenhouses???  how deep is the soil???
maybe its time for culling & some fresh soil.....

if i can find it on my harddrive, i will privately send you a picture of the
plant stand.....

ken, of a thousand seedlings....lol
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