Monday, August 30, 2010

Seed Germination and Transplantation

I have finally germinated the seeds for my aeroponics setup. The technique was pretty easy; put the seeds between two sheets of moist paper towel, put in a ziplock bag, inflate slightly, and seal. I placed it on a ceramic plate with an incandescent light bulb above it to provide some heat. Using an outdoor thermometer probe, I kept the temperature of the plate between 80 and 85 degrees by turning the light off and on.

After 48 hours I figured it would be a good time to take them out for transplant.

Successful ratios:
Broccoli 6/12
Onion 2/8
Cauliflower 11/14
Carrots 3/12
Lettuce 0/16

The broccoli and cauliflower were in the center of the plate and the lettuce, onions and carrots were on the edges of the plate, which indicates that the heat may have been an important factor.
I took 3 good seeds from the broccoli, onion, carrots, and cauliflower and put them into their own 4" net pot (3 seeds per net pot). When they sprout more I will probably remove all but the most successful in each pot.

The lettuce, which didn't sprout at all and which I want at least 4 plants of was worth another attempt. I added more seeds as well as keeping the same old seeds and am repeating the ziplock/heat treatment in case center position helps.

The seeds that did get transplanted were cut out of the paper towel to preserve the little root tendrils. I took off the top inch of pebbles and put in the seeds. Then I gently put the pebbles back over the seeds. I ran the sprinklers, but still had doubts that it would get enough water/nutrients until the roots grow longer. So I used a paper towel to absorb some of the water/nutrient solution from the base and rung it out over each of the 4" net pots.

The solution in the base is 7 gallons of tap water and 10.5 teaspoons of Pure Blend Pro Grow (the recommended ratio for seedlings)

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