Whole Leaf Tobacco
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  1. #31
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    Tell me about float tray systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Jitterbugdude View Post
    It was the soil you sent me along with the float trays. If I had to guess I would say it has fertilizer already mixed in.
    If it does have fertilizer already in the "soil" do I have to add anymore before planting outside 6 weeks or so from now?
    The soil was fortified .

    Yes . When the plants are about the size of a penny or seeded for two weeks add fertilizer . 20-10-20 water soluable is best for burley . I use a fertilize tester to get mine in exact amounts for the plants . Too much and they grow to tender and too fast . Too little they will yellow and not grow .

    For cigar and flue varietys I use less fertilizer than I do for my burley .

  2. #32
    Moderator Jitterbugdude's Avatar
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    Tell me about float tray systems

    Thanks!

    Why do you use less fertilizer for your flue varieties than for burley?

  3. #33
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    Tell me about float tray systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Jitterbugdude View Post
    Thanks!

    Why do you use less fertilizer for your flue varieties than for burley?
    Last year I grew flue and Ct Broad Leaf and some other varietys in the same bed as my burley plants .They all were fertilized exactly like my burley normally is . They out grew my burley and had larger leaves and were a bit taller . This tells me they grew too fast . Burley will do the same thing if I over fertilize them . Cutting the fertilizer should make the plants want to grow instead of pushing them to grow .The fast grown plants are more tender and snap off at the stalk easy . Over fertilizing the plants they will sit there and feed .Under fertilizing the roots will hunt for their food making them tuff .

    Lets put it this way if you eat fast foods with alot of calories you will big and grow fat . If you eat leaner foods you grow big and strong .

  4. #34
    Moderator Jitterbugdude's Avatar
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    Tell me about float tray systems

    Thanks.. So by adding less fertilizer do you mean instead of shooting for something like a .9 on your TDS meter you would shoot for .5?

  5. #35
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    Tell me about float tray systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Jitterbugdude View Post
    Thanks.. So by adding less fertilizer do you mean instead of shooting for something like a .9 on your TDS meter you would shoot for .5?
    Probably a 0.75 . you can adjust as the plants get older .

    If you have a DS meter test your water source . Add the fertilizer amout of .7 to your water number .
    If your tap water is 0.2 add .7 to that to total .9 Higher amounts of fertilize can be used but it makes burley grow too fast . For Broad leaf or other varietys you can make it .75 to .8 and if the plants yellow then add just a littel more . I would adjust to my water source .

  6. #36
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    Tell me about float tray systems

    Thanks... this float tray growing is rather interesting.

  7. #37
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    Yes, very interesting. I am so limited for indoor space that i am considering trying this next year. I can't seem to source any trays though. But we have tons of tree nurseries around who raise coniferous trees for the forestry, and i belieeve they use float trays. May try to giet a couple used trays if they can't get me new ones. This is my first year for tobacco and its ok, but not what i hoped ro get. With a float system i would be able to start enough plants early enough to ger them in thw ground as soon as the weather permits and therefore gwt them to harvest before frost. I have a feeling i may nor be able to get more than maybe 50% of my plants harvested this year due to start failures, late planting an a short season. Plus all my garden area is virgin ground this year, so lots more work than it would otherwise be.

  8. #38
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    I'm sold on them after using them for the first time this year. I used the 72 cell tray, everything sprouted and they grew like weeds. There was no replanting into bigger cups, just plant directly into the float tray and you're done. Another nice thing about them is the space they save. A float tray is something like 3 feet x 18 inches. I don't know what 72 Styrofoam cups take up space wise but I'll bet it's a lot more

  9. #39
    Founding Member DrBob's Avatar
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    I have many (50+} 288 cell float trays and (5) 200 cell trays all unused that I would sell. They measure 13 x 26 x 3" deep.
    Bob

  10. #40
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    Park Seeds has seed starter sets, that are essentually a float tray system. They come complete with bottom tray, cell blocks, growing sponges (soil), and top cover. Not exactly inexpensive, but reuseable, and the soil plugs can be bought for subsequent years.
    as an example http://parkseed.com/parks-double-bio...cells/p/96039/
    I have used the 120-cell system for many years for annuals - works well. I tried it a couple years ago with tobacco, but I think the cells were too small and too close together, and the 80-cell system would work better. But it did work for me, and I may do it again. Check out their website - they have a wide range of systems available.

    Several things I've learned using these:
    The top cover is useless - don't need it, the soil plugs absorb/retain enough moisture for seed starting. Using the top cover creates too moist an environment and increases potential for damping-off or mold. But it may be needed in a really dry climate.
    Just water in the bottom tray is sufficent to start seed. After the first true leaves appear and are dime-size, fertilizer at 1/8 to 1/4 strength can be added to the water. More than enough until they go in the ground.
    The soil sponges are great - no need to create your own soil mix.
    Since 100% germination cannot be expected with tobacco seed, I recommend 2 or 3 seeds per cell, then just pick out the extra for one plant per cell. Since the soil sponges are a homogenius block (not loose soil), and the root grows into the sponge, they can't be picked out to re-transplant.
    Since the sponges are a solid block, they can be pushed out of the cell and re-located to another cell, if desired.
    When the cells are planted in the ground, the top of the sponge needs to be covered with soil. They're just like those peat 'Jiffy-Pots' - will wick and evaporate too much moisture from the soil.

    The only reason I don't use this for tobacco any more is that I want to be able to start multible seeds in a pot of loose soil, so I can transplant all viable sprouts. It is a very convienient and complete system, good for newbies, as you don't have to re-invent a seed starting system from scratch.

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