• Dear Guest,

    We've been using a forum format called vBulletin for over seven years and the program is no longer being developed, so that means no more updates or security patches. vBulletin has never been compatible with search engine optimization and it does not support the multitude of various devices most people use to access the internet, so it's time to say goodbye to vBulletin.

    For these reasons we have moved our forum to a new format that will support and encourage growth for the next generation of grower and DIY tobacco users.

    So please post any issues you're having with using the new site.

    As usual, you may login with your old password.

Northwood seeds

Tell me about float tray systems

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,111
Likes
341
Points
83
Location
Northeast Maryland
#1
I know some of you big guys use float trays. Tell me about them! I only grow about 100 plants a year but am really thinking I might benefit by switching to them. Also, the float trays I see advertised that hold about 50 to 90 some plants, are they the same thing you guys use? or is the commercial version " bigger and better"

Thanks,

Randy B
 

BigBonner

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
1,672
Likes
169
Points
63
Location
Kentucky
#2
jitterbugdude

I use float trays . They are 200 cell . Some farmers use the 242 or 252 cell trays . I like the 200 cell it makes the stems bigger and stronger than the heavier seeded trays . With float trays you can test your fertilizer amount in the water with a hand held tester . This give me exactly what the plants need when they are starting .

Float trays, the plants need to be trimmed or mowed off . This helps the smaller plants get light and air . It will also level out the plants in the tray and help prevent any disease .If for some reason you have a disease break out you can add to the water the chemicals you need . Like a few years ago I had root rot . Roots will fall off at the bottom of the trays and the plants won't grow .I had to add terramaster to the watter . In a few days they strighten right upand new root shot out the tray bottms and the plant greened right up .

A float tray is about 16'' x 32'' and holds 200 plants . You can buy vegetable trays that hold less plants . With float trays you will need different potting soil regular potting soil will not work . I use a soil made just for tobacco but it makes the best tomatoe and vegetable plants to .

For us comercial growers ( God I couldn't say that on that other site ) The float plants as you are asking "Bigger and Better" , Ist not about being bigger or better is about quanity in a small area .Quanity is the main reason Comercial growers use float trays .
The float plants will be small when we transplant but these plant will take off better than pulled form the ground plants .Most of the time they never wilt .


Larry
 

BigBonner

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
1,672
Likes
169
Points
63
Location
Kentucky
#4
The potting soil is fine and has some moisture . It comes fortified ( some fertilizer added ) or un fortified (No fertilizer added ). Most Potting soil is made up of compost . twigs ,bark etc .This may cause Spiral root or plants to yellow and die When plants are starters .When this soil first came out several soil companies had bad soil and caused alot of farmers to have plant losses from spiral root . Spiral root is caused by the soil compacting too tight and the plants root cannot penetrate the soil causing the plant to spiral on top of the soil and dies .
Tobacco soil is formulated for starting plants in water . This soil will wick up water at the right amount to germinate seeds .Roots will grow through the soil fast to reach the water below . My roots will hang down out of the float trays sometimes 4 inches or more in the water .
I need to take some pictures and post them .As soon as I figure out how .

Larry
 

Ashauler

Well-Known Member
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
179
Likes
3
Points
18
Location
Kansas
#5
I think dkh2 was asking for specifics for the soil you use....like brand name, where to get it, that kind of thing.
 

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,111
Likes
341
Points
83
Location
Northeast Maryland
#6
Larry, And while your at it (posting pics), where can I buy these? I"ve seen some on the internet but find it hard to believe that they cost $20.00

Randy B
 

BigBonner

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
1,672
Likes
169
Points
63
Location
Kentucky
#7
Name is Speedling fortified .Comes in a bag .
I don't know exactly where the feed and supply store gets it from in bulk . I can only get it at seeding time . Southern States ,they have their own brand for tobacco and veggies .try there .1 Bag will do about 20 trays . The bag is around 65 Pounds .

Larry
 

BigBonner

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
1,672
Likes
169
Points
63
Location
Kentucky
#8
I will see what I can do The trays is getting hard to find , tobacco production here has dropped dramaticly . I use to raise 55+ acres last year I raised 22.5+ Acres . This year I will raise maybe half of that . Some will be tobacco for me to sell by the pound
I don't know how much trays are but I can probably get the for around $7.50 a tray . Im not sure I haven't bought none for several years .Don't buy used trays ! Buy new ones it keeps down disease .

How many did you need ?

Larry
 

BigBonner

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
1,672
Likes
169
Points
63
Location
Kentucky
#10
How many plants do you usually seed . There is some trays that are vegitable float trays That hold I think 50 plants more or less. The tray is the same size but the cup holes are bigger .

I have plent of used trays but you are better off getting new one .To keep disease down . Sometimes old trays will keep certain disease's and cannot be cleaned properly .

If I get a chance I will see what I can find .

Larry
 

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,111
Likes
341
Points
83
Location
Northeast Maryland
#11
Thanks Larry, I'll probably buy one of the float trays that come in the range of 50 -100.
What kind of meter do you use to test for fertilizer needs?
Randy B
 

BigBonner

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
1,672
Likes
169
Points
63
Location
Kentucky
#12
Randy

The meter I use is " Hanna Dist WP 4 Waterproof Conductivity TDS Meter BNIB"

Type this in Ebay you will see one .

How to use this meter for tobacco and tomatoes . Fill a glass with your tap water . Take that measurement then add .7 to that . Most tap water is .2 and when you add .7 to that it should be .9 after adding fertilizer .

I should have put you a sample of the soil with the plants . I just now thought of that .

Larry
 

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,111
Likes
341
Points
83
Location
Northeast Maryland
#17
Anyone use these? The problem I'm having is trying to find a "tray" for the float tray to set in and float. I'll probably end up (tonight) making a wooden box and seal it with beeswax/paraffin to make it water tight. Any ideas for a container? I have 3- 72 cell trays.

Randy B
 

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,111
Likes
341
Points
83
Location
Northeast Maryland
#20
Bob, I was at Wal-Mart this morning with my tape measure in hand. I could not find any plastic shallow container that was at least 13 1/2 inches x 26 inches. Some were 13 1/2 wide but not long enough while others were 26 inches long but not wide enough. I thought about buying taller, bigger tubs and cutting them down but if I do that I might as well just build some wooden ones.

Randy B
 
Top