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  1. #71
    Senior Member Markw's Avatar
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    Hi Chris and thanks for the link it is interesting reading. I don't hold out much hope with the float trays over here as we don't grow tobacco as a crop. I am thinking that I will need to make something up. I was thinking of toilet rolls and Rockwool floating in the tank. has anyone tried this, I was thinking the toilet roll as the wick and the Rockwool stuffed inside and planting the seed in the Rockwool or is there a better way.

    Markw
    "When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations,
    the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic. Dresden James


  2. #72
    Founding Member Knucklehead's Avatar
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    Markw-- If BigBonner can't ship overseas or it's too expensive you might look into leverhead's wick system. Shoot a PM at them. It can't hurt to ask.

  3. #73
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    You should be able to find float trays at any hydro store, a little over priced probably. If they don't have it they'll special order it and charge you even more. I'm sure you can find some online hydro stores or other garden stores that ship out of the UK.

  4. #74
    Senior Member leverhead's Avatar
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    Quote Originally Posted by AlabamaKnucklehead View Post
    leverhead's wick system.
    I didn't invent it, I'm still Yankee enough to copy a good idea.

  5. #75
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    Hi Chris and thanks for the link it is interesting reading. I don't hold out much hope with the float trays over here as we don't grow tobacco as a crop. I am thinking that I will need to make something up. I was thinking of toilet rolls and Rockwool floating in the tank. has anyone tried this, I was thinking the toilet roll as the wick and the Rockwool stuffed inside and planting the seed in the Rockwool or is there a better way.

    Markw
    This might not work for you. I tested floating ordinary plastic seed trays with a Styrofoam "frame" large enough to carry the weight of the tray filled with wet starting soil. I found a couple of wires from side to side were needed to prevent sagging. It supported the weight well. Balance was a small problem and I adjusted. Seeds germinated and then the problems began. Mold was first and there I quit. If you can solve them then you should be fine. I chose the "wet and drip " method my commercial friend uses and for me that was fine.

    I hope this is of some help -- John
    ~~~~The~~~~~
    RESIDENT CYNIC
    ~~~~is in.~~~~

  6. #76
    Senior Member Markw's Avatar
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    Thanks for the replies. I should have said cardboard toilet roll tube as I use these for starting parsnips and other veg.
    Hydro stores in the UK don't sell float trays they either use Rockwool and running water. The cost to set up this system is out of the question. It would be cheaper to fly over to BB's and pick the trays up.

    I like Leverheads wick system I think I could use seed compost and Rockwool for the wicking compost I just need to get it to float on the tray. Leverhead you did say you were thinking on making them bigger what size are you now looking at for next year.

    So what I am looking at is Johnlee's cell tray filled with Leverrhead's compost that floats.Just thinking what would be the best size hole at the bottom I don't want to get it waterlogged.

    Markw
    "When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations,
    the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic. Dresden James


  7. #77
    Founding Member Knucklehead's Avatar
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    72 cell float tray from BigBonner. Holes are square 5/16". He sent dirt also, it's the dirt that prevents overwatering and mold. It is float tray specific.


    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #78
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    AK
    Thanks for posting the tray .
    The tray filled with wicking soil will float about half under the water and half above the water .
    When filling the rays , only fill lightly and do not pack .
    Fill , just pour the soil in the middle of the tray and take your hand or stick and rake accross the top of the tray , leveling , without packing the soil .
    I may have to do a video of proper filling of the trays . If the soil gets too packed the seeds will spiral root in the trays .

    These work well for any garden vegetable . Tomatoes grow great and make great transplants for your garden .

    Regular potting soil will not work .

  9. #79
    Senior Member leverhead's Avatar
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    Leverhead you did say you were thinking on making them bigger what size are you now looking at for next year.
    This is close to what I was thinking about.http://www.amleo.com/t+o+-plastics-s...ase/p/720700C/ The cell size is still too big. I just did a quick look, they had another tray with smaller cells, I just didn't find it quickly. My original thought was a deeper cell so the roots wouldn't get all balled up at the bottom. My thoughts about what holds the "soil" in is when the "soil" is damp, it clumps. It naturally "chokes" on the taper of the cell or a small "shelf" at the bottom of the cell. The hole size doesn't really mater, as long as the "soil" can contact liquid source, then it wicks up through the "soil". I'm thinking of dispensing with the towel and letting the trays set in a shallow puddle, but then I have to control the water depth. The beauty I see of the float system is the buoyancy of the tray takes care of that. The only problem I can see being possible, is that the truly wet "soil" at the bottom of the cell, losing it's clumping ability and falling out the bottom, breaking the chain of wick. Looking at the pictures of a float tray, somebody already solved that problem. So it's just a mater of getting it right. I need to find the post I did to see what I posted and update it. I need to start seeds in about another month and I will for sure post that.

  10. #80
    redneck grower Chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Tell me about float tray systems

    i got 5 of those trays that were tossed for trash, by a watermelon farmer,

    im just going to use them as '' big'' starting trays with soil '' not floating them ''

    i really like the sturdy design,,, one tray should last for many planting's.

    i'll proablly get at least 6 years of worth out of these trays,, '' if not longer''
    GIVING BIG TOBACCO THE MIDDLE FINGER,

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