Thursday, February 17, 2011

Getting ready to start seeds for the greenhouse.

I feel that the CO2 generator/injector, that I built and posted recently, has really made a difference in my seedling production.

The seeds shown in the above photo are only thirteen days from the day I opened the package and moistened them. I can see a noticeable improvement over previous batches of seedlings, so I am adding these CO2 generators to my other propagators.

The enclosure in the photo was constructed from scrap materials; the interior is shown in my January 5, 2011 post. As it is located in an unheated part of the basement, I placed pieces of scrap carpeting on the top to capture the heat generated by the T5 light. The temperature, with the lights on, is a comfortable seventy two degrees, and it can be lowered simply by removing sections of the carpeting. Additionally, the end panel is removable for access and temperature control. As these units only use a 24 watt lighting tube they are super energy efficient and cost effective.

Each of these small propagators can produce 16 to 24 seedlings every two weeks or so, which is more than adequate for our home needs.


Brendan said...

Try any side by side tests on the CO2 thing? I'm real curious what your levels are at in there... almost curious to wander over with my meter haha.

admin said...

I have not tried a side by side test as of yet. The problem is that I have made so many changes to this batch it is not possible to pinpoint anything specific. In addition to the CO2 I am using the 90 watt red/blue/white LED for seedlings. Also, I changed nutrients, and I gave them a 48 hour initial lighting cycle. As for the CO2 level, I am sure it is very very high. The volume of the space is really small and the generator is putting out gas pretty much continuously, although in small amounts. Plants, however, evolved when the planet had much higher levels of CO2, so they can take, and enjoy, a much higher level of CO2 then people.
You could get a plastic 2 liter bottle a few cups of sugar and some yeast and have a go at it. I think you will be surprised at how much CO2 is produced. If you decide to do it I would like to see the readings you do get.