Monday, December 29, 2008

Mini Propagator

As I am continually starting small batches of seeds to keep the ebb and flow systems populated, I find the small propagator above to be ideal. It is a discarded container used to package greens from the supermarket.

Conveniently, it has small indentations on the top which can be drilled to provide ventilation. I drill 1/8" holes in about a quarter of the indentations.

A future post will feature this unit being used to start seedlings using Red/Blue LED grow lighting. If they progress as I expect, I will attempt to grow something to completion using only the LED lighting, and compare the results to fluorescent. Efficient as fluorescent lighting is, LED is probably 70% more energy efficient. Compared to HPS lighting, it is 90% more energy efficient. It is a technology that will someday replace all other forms of grow lighting, as well as residential lighting. RPI is investing millions into research on this technology. Change, you gotta love it!

Well, not everyone does. While browsing the web I came across a gardening forum and read some of the posts concerning container and indoor gardening. Many of the issues members were having revolved around soil borne problems. One person posted photos of his plants completely covered with aphids. He was growing in his apartment under lights. Pray tell me where did the aphids come from, if not the soil? I have insecticide soap around somewhere, but it has been many many moons since I needed it. If I get an insect, it hitchhikes in, or slips through the screens.

There is a section on the forum to suggest blogs to be added for members to view, but the blog has to be approved by the moderator. I did a post and suggested my blog as an alternative form of gardening. Shortly thereafter I received a reply from a guy named Roger. He wrote that although the blog was well written, and while it was a fascinating topic, it needed more garden tips, and "things I overheard around the nursery."

Duh, the blog shows crops, outlines growing techniques, gives nutrient strength, ph, photo periods, and how to build vs. buy your systems. And, what the hell would I be doing eavesdropping around the nursery? I have not been to a nursery in years, I don't buy plants, I grow them from seed. You would be more likely to find me at Home Depot contemplating turning a mortar mixing tub into an ebb and flow container to accommodate 30 or 40 net pots.

As my sainted Irish uncle Patrick used to say to me: "Leprechaun, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

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