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Throw a poly tunnel over the row and those brassicas are ready for planting! :D

Nice work, RBG!

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rainbowgardener
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Thanks! I'm getting them ready, they've been outdoors for a few hours a couple times, then we got more cold and snow, but this weekend they will come back out to start hardening off and I will sweep the snow off the raised bed and put the tunnel over it to start warming the soil. They will be planted in a week or two.

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Right on!

And so it begins... :D Season 2010!

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I'm jealous/envious Rainbow. Those are beautiful big seedlings. When did you seed them ?
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I planted them 1/21. They've grown a lot since the pictures. Would be ready to put out (to start hardening off) if the weather would cooperate, but we have snow all weekend!
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dumped today here too, with more tomorrow.

But the sump pump is running to keep up with the thaw from days of rain. We are warning back up in the soil... soon...

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Sorry about your snow still. It has melted here and actually gonna be in the 40 next week, though freezing nights. 40's huh I'm gonna have to get my shorts outs and sandals out.

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Ozark Lady
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Thanks for the photos.
I am showing them to my hubby.
Seems that I just turned commercial.
Tomorrow, I am picking up 300 trays with inserts, to start seedlings, for the local fruit stand. The owner's health is not so great, and he has decided that he wants the plants and does not want to grow them.
I had offered to sell some tobacco seedlings, now it is all the seedlings.
I'm scared!
I know that I can grow seedlings, not a problem... but 300 flats for the fruit stand, and I also have to grow some for the feed store, and what about the Farmer's Market... and my garden...
This is getting big... in just one phone call!

It surely got my hubby motivated, he sees my hobby could help pay off some bills. But, gotta help me get set up... and your input and photos are giving us ideas... make shift for now...

How many lights for 300 flats? Alot I betcha.

Help! I need input, on big growing!
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rainbowgardener
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Jeez!! That is industrial scale, way more than I ever thought about doing!

I line the trays up short end toward me, to get the most trays on the counter space. If I really squeeze, I can get 9 trays on my 8' counter, but the ones on the end are sticking out a little bit and I have to keep rotating them, because the plants lean toward the light. Over those 8-9 trays, running perpendicular to them are 4 shop light fixtures with two bulbs per fixture, so 4 bulbs running across each tray. Doing that way you would need nearly as many bulbs as trays. You could probably get away with spacing it a little wider. If you had a wider counter top so you could put two deep on it, three fixtures across the two trays, not four, I'm sure would be fine. At that point the 8' counter top would have 16 trays and 6 light fixtures = 12 bulbs. That would still mean 224 bulbs in 112 fixtures for your 300 trays.

I don't know anything about other kinds of lighting metal halides, etc. But this might be the time you think about that. For hobby purposes we say they are a lot more expensive. But for industrial growing, maybe not. The high energy lighting you can have a lot further away from your plants, which would mean lots fewer lights to buy. Is it enough fewer to make up for how much more expensive they are? Now you need some kind of expert consultation.

But my first thought is Are you nuts, lady?! :? I hope you are in this for the long term, because no way are you going to make enough money selling plants this year to come anywhere close to covering the cost of all the equipment you will need. Over a period of years you can recoup it, but not this year.

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wow, I don't even have enough space in my house to hold 300 trays!! Good luck to you! I was thinking about calling the local farmers market to see if they wanted me to supply with some stuff, but now am afraid lol

how did you go about finding out who to call etc?
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I have bought fruit at the market for 15 years, and gotten to know the owner pretty well, and his daughter in law grew up locally with my kids.

It is a small community. I even see the owner at the local gas station, and his sister in law, at the grocery store.

I had tobacco plants growing, and lots of seeds. The owner smokes, and I simply was telling him about growing his own tobacco, maybe selling tobacco seedlings there.

We always visit alot, and we discussed my growing some heirloom seedlings also to supplement his hybrids...

I think this move surprised us both, him deciding not to grow seedlings, and my getting such a large order.

My husband recommends building a website, and making my seedlings "branded" locally, produced by: type thing.

And not be just one year. Even if not doing fruit stand next year... get known for quality seedlings, and variety.

Hubby is talking greenhouse. Which I wanted anyhow, even before the phone call. And with that number of lights, the greenhouse might be cheaper route to take.

300 trays to start with, more when ready... Yikes!

Okay, I think I qualify as self-employed!
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Wow, sounds like a great opportunity! You're going to be a busy lady, Lady! :D

If I may interject with my tiny two light fixture setup (upgraded from just one after PM of tinkering in the garage)... :wink: I've hung the second fixture from a wire shelf above the first one. Rainbowgardener and Gixx both have similarly multi-leveled setups I believe.

What precautions did you take about water getting on the lower light fixture? Line the upper shelf with plastic? Double drip trays?

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None, just that everything is in trays and the water just gets poured into the tray. Also the light tubes underneath are in fixtures that flare out so in case there are some drips it tends to roll away from the tubes...

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Poly high tunnel is the cheapest thought for this type set up; when's your frost date? Lights are pretty much a necessity; I agree that's a limiting factor, but if this is going to be your job, good tools are always better.

OL, I might seek an ag extension agent for help getting started. This is what you pay them for, dear... :wink:

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is it ok to post my indoor seed starting op. pics here? I don't use grow lights at all. :)
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I learned a secret today, with the phone call, we were chatting about starting seedlings, and he takes a tray, lines it with newspaper, wets the newspaper, then takes another tray and puts the inserts in it, in order to keep the humidity high.

I was going to fire up the humidifiers, so that trick will help...

I bought lights, and tags yesterday, so I am ready to put lights on my little 24" shelves, but they only hold one tray at a time.

I think I need to back up and look at this, one tree at a time, and not see the whole forest!

I transplanted little tomatoes today, they are barely starting to get true leaves. I like to do it while the roots are small and not so tangled up.

Are tomatoes tougher than cole crops? I broke or severely bent 1/3 of the cole crops... and not one tomato.

The tomatoes were only on the dining room table facing a north window, no lights on them at all. The cole crops had lights, but still got leggy.

Okay, which is easier, to raise the seedlings to the light, or lower the lights to the seedlings? I thought maybe dog chains and cup hooks for the lowering mechanism on the lights. And various shelf heights are another idea... Just move the tray to a taller shelf... which would be easier?
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Are the newspapers in the drip tray with the cell trays on top? Or is he keeping wet newspaper-lined trays around?
Okay, which is easier, to raise the seedlings to the light, or lower the lights to the seedlings? I thought maybe dog chains and cup hooks for the lowering mechanism on the lights. And various shelf heights are another idea... Just move the tray to a taller shelf... which would be easier?
Both. Also adjustable shelves. :wink:

I use everything from aluminum covered boxes, extra trays, bucket lids, to dowel sticks, to raise the seedlings up... even Lego pieces for leveling. After raising and leveling the tops of the seedlings for a while, I have to redo the whole thing because then I start to have everything EVENLY higher than they need to be.

Usually it doesn't hit me until I run out of head space for some taller seedlings, and realize that if I put these guys on the bare surface, it would fit but then I'd need to lower the light a bit, but REALLY I *don't* need that extra box under everybody else anyway. :roll: ... get me?

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OL as Apple said, both.

Here (down near the bottom of the page)

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21904&start=60

I posted a picture of some tomato seedlings sitting with their tray on top of an upside down tray to get them closer to the light. Later I was able to move some of the taller plants to the top shelf and take the extra trays out and lower the lights. The shop light fixtures come with chains, which are hung from S hooks, so they can be easily moved up and down.

So the shuffle goes in and out and up and down !

It seems like for the newspaper thing to work, you'd have to have two different size trays...Once you line the tray with newspaper (unless maybe it's a very THIN layer) the next tray won't fit inside it any more?

SageHermit post away! Interested to see how you manage to start seedlings without any supplemental light!

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So the shuffle goes in and out and up and down !
THAT'S the other song! :() I posted in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=116224#116224]this[/url] thread, that "DO THE SHUFFLE!" starts repeating in my head, often alternating with some childhood memory of playing musical chairs around this time of the year as I do the endless seedling jigsaw puzzle to even out the tops of their foliage. I don't know the rest of the song but, "Up down, and all around, la la la la, la, la la la la." is another accompaniment. :lol:

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Since, my germinating needs just grew quickly, I am considering...
I have a heated lap pad... it is like half the size of a twin bed blanket.
What if... I cover it with heavy plastic on a counter top.
Then set trays on it and turn it on, it has high, medium and low settings.

I don't get the tray thing either, unless, maybe they are drip trays with holes in them?

I ordered 10 solid trays and 10 that will drip freely... so maybe we are thinking solid and he has ones with holes?

If they have drainage holes, the paper would hold them damp longer...

And all the trays do stack up, I got 20 trays and 30 sheets of inserts in one box, all nested into sets.

I drowned alot of seedlings with solid drip trays last year with the rains.
I had plants outside, and went to town, before I could get home and rescue them... they were swimming for their lives, and they did not survive, even though I dumped them immediately... So I figured, solid for inside and the drip ones for outside. I would rather soak them at will, than have them drown again.
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Okay, I can calm down... whew!

He must have meant enough trays to start 300 plants. It was about 30 trays, not 300!

Cool, still alot to add to my home starting... but not a commercial, huge scary thing!

Whew!

I do still get cabinets, lights and greenhouse, but it is more do-able for a rookie now!

I already had 30 trays plus last years re-runs, so not a huge increase. I will still be busy, but not insane...
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You were scaring me, OL... :lol:

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Now you are in the range of what I do, I have 17 trays planted already (plus most of another trays worth that was planted and is now in the ground, freeing up the pots for re use) and plenty more to come. Still haven't even started the squash and warm weather stuff. I will be pretty close to 30 trays before I'm done.

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Good luck OL I'm getting up there with RBG as well. I have so much going right now. there is stuff stacked on top of other stuff so they can all get light. Than there are the other bigger pots and plants scattered about the house. I think my wife is waiting for spring more than me so we can get all my plants out of the house. :lol:

Did you say you have a greenhouse OL? If not that would be a wonderful thing growing that much.

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No greenhouse, but, my hubby says that a hoop house is going up this weekend, and cold frames are going in before fall to extend the season.

I got him onboard! yeah!
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Money talks, eh, OL?

Nice work...

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Yes, and it helps that the loggers are here this week... getting the trees that are really big, out of my future garden. And the loggers agree the soil is great there, and it is nice and flat... Yeah.. no erosion issues, well, less than on my hillside.

I am going to get paid to get rid of a problem, that was too big for us to tackle, much better than paying someone to remove them.

They have already taken out two complete loads of logs, just from my future garden! What a mess it is at this moment.

But, to remove the trees it would be a mess, no matter who did it.
At least, I only have the small ones, tops, roots etc to deal with!
And will be getting a check, Thursday.

Yes, money talks and turns things around!

Oh and the loggers said they can wench the tree that is over my barn, and miss the barn! Yeah, the barn will survive!

Now for the Black Walnut that is in my present garden! :evil: It has to Go!


So, clear my garden, get firewood for next year, and make some money... why not get a hoop house?

On a roll! Now if Gixx would haul me some of that compost... :lol:
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Your getting paid, come on up and get some. They deliver, it's really great stuff. Of course I could deliver but my truck get bad gas mileage.:cry:


How many trees are you getting rid of? And who's gonna sequester all that carbon now? :cry:

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Gixx is worried about carbon sequestration? How about [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22161&highlight=till]your decision to continue tilling[/url]?

[url=https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11951725]Tilling is a huge carbon release[/url]. So if we can get OL to go organic no till, she will be sequestering a huge amount of carbon. We ALL can...

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I am already organic, and don't own a tiller or use one.

I had to look up the carbon thing, and still not sure what we are discussing.

Let's get into perspective here:
I have 20 acres, 18 of it is so wooded, that the trees are not really able to grow that well. The areas that we have already cleared to make pasture, and grow grass, have doubled the tree girths, and new baby trees are always growing.

There is so many trees down, that if a fire ever hit, it would go up like a tinder box! We simply have to:
A. Get the dead and dying timbers out of there.
B. Clear up the undergrowth, that too would feed fires.
C. Clear enough to give the trees enough room to grow.
(It is like when you overcrowd your garden... nothing does well)
D. We plan to totally clear an area of about 100'x200', and use this area as a garden... a year-round garden. Now the area that will have the huge, only the huge trees removed is 200x1200' long, and it will still have trees that are smaller in girth than 12" diameters. With the big ones gone, not shading the smaller ones, they will grow like crazy! If you thin a pot of seedlings, are you decreasing their oxygen making? No, because the survivor will quickly make up the difference... Same thing, just bigger plants.
E. When this is done, and we get the brush all cut up and removed, it will be kind of like a city park, not a bare thing... only the garden will be opened up to get sunshine. We have had neighbors who dozed everything, and scarred the land badly, and erosion was horrible... This is not what we are doing. We are opening it up to light, and room to grow!
And making money at the same time.

Gixx if you put your arms out straight and walk, you cannot walk through these trees... you would hit other trees! The trees will now be spaced so that some sunlight will be able to get through the canopy to the next generation of trees, and not keep smothering them out.

It is harvest, to let the small, and standing ones grow.
I am happy we aren't having to pay someone to do it...
And we are not having to rent a dozer and just pile them up!
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:Gixx is worried about carbon sequestration? How about [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22161&highlight=till]your decision to continue tilling[/url]?

[url=https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11951725]Tilling is a huge carbon release[/url]. So if we can get OL to go organic no till, she will be sequestering a huge amount of carbon. We ALL can...

HG
From that thread
redid my bed yesterday some of you will be happy to know I didn't till it.
I did rake it up a bit to break up the horse cookies and mix in that layer with the grass and leave layer. Than I added a bunch of compost than mixed it together a bit than added another layer of compost on top of that. Now for some tea making I save a pile of compost just for that.
However I did till up a new bed but that will be it. So give and take it seems. :P

So i guess next you will tell I am wrong for raking it right?

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I"m sorry OL I didn't mean to be rude. I figured there was a good reason. I was out of context and I apologize to you OL. :cry: :oops:

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I didn't take it that you were rude. I don't understand the carbon reference, over my head there. I do understand that plants help our environment, and my trees are a needed resource.

But, I just thought that I hadn't explained myself. There is a huge difference in thinning a forest and in scalping one. You didn't know, what I was referring to. I hope that I didn't sound angry, because I wasn't.

I searched for photos of the rain forest, that I have. It is so overcrowded, over grown.. messy. It really, truly needs this.
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Leaving those roots in the ground and simply building beds over them leaves the most carbon intense part of the tree, the roots in the soil. If we go no till in these new beds, the carbon in the soil stays in the soil. If you look at the article I attached, you quickly see that tilling is the big carbon release in soil, not lack of trees. And trees, while being higher in carbon than people or veg, are not all the same. Deciduous leaves are nearly the same C:N as people in some cases (softwoods), twigs are a little more carbon, branchwood some more, logs higher yet, and roots being the most carboniferous.

Leaving roots to rot in the ground adds humus, which is carbon in the soil. Till and you lose it as it gasses off CO2 from increased biological exhalations, and ammonia from decomposing fungii (that you killed with the tilling) is dumping off nitrogen. SO if we are most interested in keeping carbon (and nitrogen) and I think we are, cutting a few trees isn't as big a deal as tilling...

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I would say, till the soil, if that method fits best with one's comfort level. Get the soil loose and ready as a bed. Then shift to a no till or minimal till plan. IMO there are lots of tools available to the gardener and there is nothing inherently evil with any of them. The tools should be used in a balanced sort of way, with the harsher ones being used more sparingly and the more friendly tools taking the dominant role.

There is no compelling reason, in my mind, to make a new gardener feel guilty for tilling a fresh patch of ground. Explaining the benefits of no till is a service. Presenting the information in such a way that implies totally superiority IMO is counter productive. A gardener needs to educate himself/herself and then incorporate what is learned into his/her individual style. Hopefully that style evolves over time, and the sense of making more earth friendly choices, becomes the most obvious direction.

Each gardener's site and plant selections, as well as the gardener himself/herself, create a unique situation. A blend of various techniques, some more earth friendly, some less so, will best match the needs of the individual and the needs of the land. Any somewhat balanced approach to vegetable gardening will most certainly be far superior to the alternative, buying all produce from normal retail sources. After all, those crops were generally grown using all of the worst methods for production, with almost no sustainable component. Anyway, I think that it is very important to educate and encourage, without seeming to criticize the methods of fellow gardeners.
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Thank you for that reasoned post Alex. I agree...

I also think that there is little reason to guilt those who would cut down some trees in a responsible fashion to create a garden area, especially if no other recourse is available to them. I brought up the tilling issue not to particularly lambast Gixx or decry tilling entirely (although my new bed this year will completely no-till), but to demonstrate how we can bring ideas and memes to gardening or conservation that we are sure are good ideas, even necessary, but in reality they are neither. And in the contrary view, some things that seem onerous or ill advised can be beneficial.

So if Gixx tills once and starts putting things back to right from there, it is not a big deal and may be beneficial, but I can make an argument about how harmful it is, and I am correct to a point. Much the same argument can be made for OL's tree cutting, but it depends on how she handles things afterward just as much or more than any initial damage done.

Gixx's concern is not completely misplaced, but I wanted to make the point about our assumptions not always being as clear cut as they seem. I can see my devil's advocate position has touched a number of nerves; if it engenders further thought about your garden practices then I consider it successful. Before you judge others gardening practices, look first to the log in your own eye....

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indoor nursery ^^

[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/kkkkk007.jpg[/img] Thom-san

:o [img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba031.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba032.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba035.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba036.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba034.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba033.jpg[/img]

Side Note: Last night I went through my spices in search of any I had for making tea. Instead I sorted all the spices into what could possibly grow in my nursery.
Red Pepper,White/Black Peppercorn,Black Sesame Seed, Coriander Seed, Poppy Seed,Flack Seed, Fennel Seed, Fenugreek, Green Cardamon,Yellow Mustard Seed, Whole Cloves, Capers.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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What a neat idea!

I went through my dried peas and beans and got some out to try to grow.. just out of curiosity, but I didn't even think of all the whole spices!
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When I go to the store I see the spice isle differantly now. Its cheap seeds. bird seeds too you can get tons of sunflowers for super cheap or any plants birds eat the seeds from you can grow yourself
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Do the sunflower trick myself sage 8)

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