Things are in full swing on the propagation front finally, allowing me to try out the cat litter bucket system with a full blown grow cycle of pepper seedlings. Just for reference, i've got another one with tomato seedlings in it too, which will be for one of my gardening buddies at work. Anyway, the one in the photo below has my peppers in it, and so far are doing really well. It seems to be the perfect system for 12 seedlings - but only time will tell.
Photo below - with only a 60 watt bulb mounted in the lid, the bucket is flooded with light to grow these plants to around 6-8 inches tall. You can enlarge the photo to see the tiny seedlings that have emerged already, and a few more should pop up in another day or two. The wire looking thing wrapped around the contour of the enclosure is the sensing bulb of the thermostat - which of course will bring on the ventilation fan if needed. It's set for around 75-80 degrees, which should be perfect for peppers. If you'd like to know how this system was constructed, you can found out Here .
Photo below - here's some of the cellpacks sown with heirloom tomato seeds,which of course are being grown in the largest propagation unit. With two 8ft fluorescent light fixtures suspended above them in an enclosed space only 23 inches wide, this system is by far my favorite to work with. It'll hold 192 seedlings grown in 2"x3" cells, or around forty in 28oz. plastic cups. It's obvious that popsicle sticks are my choice in plant markers too, and I usually cut them in half to make them go further....
Photo below - I wanted to show you the light rope that was placed under sand along the bottom of the unit. At 22 ft long, it makes 3 passes along the almost 8 ft. long system, and warms the entire enclosed space to about 7-8 degrees warmer than if without. Anyway, i'm very pleased with it so far.
Photo below - As you can tell from the 2 temperature values, the system being used is about 15 degrees warmer than the shorter unit currently not being used. This is due to the added heat from the rope light - as well as the lights themselves.
Since temperatures have been consistently cold, the lights are still on constantly. This might be strange to most people, but I do it this way every year. As long as you keep a check on the soil moisture level, the seedlings have no problems whatsoever with it. I've even had tomato plants exposed to 25 degrees before, and they came out just fine.
In other news, it seems that a couple of my closest friends were shopping around for someone to build a deck onto their home the other day on facebook, and i'll likely get the opportunity to do it. I really don't perform much work on the side, but after seeing professional builders trying to get the job, I just had to offer my services. Besides, a deck built by EG will be much stronger than most, and they usually entertain alot of people with cookouts and such....Wouldn't you want yours built "EG strong"? Code calls for a weight rating of 40 pounds per square foot, and mine is around 70. Hehe....It'll support a truck....Ha!
Well, that's about it for today......
Take care, and happy propagating!