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Northwood seeds

Tell me about float tray systems

Gmac

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very informative thread indeed.

i delivered a load of fertilizer, to a peanut farm, and they had thier float trays, from the watermelons, in the '' SCRAP PILE, so i grabbed me 5 of them,

they look like they hold 100+ seedlings,

plenty for what i do,<!!!!!

so next year, im gonna be doing the float tray system

i figure, i can either build a water box, or, get a '' kiddie pool'' and let them float in it,????

i gotta come up, with a redneck idea, to make the water system?????
I have a friend who's the county extension angent in Hartsville, Tenn. He gave me a 288 float tray full of burley in 2013. Last year I filled it with 6 varities, floated in the greenhouse in a 3 ft. kiddie pool. heated the water with a bucket warmer like they warm water for show horses & cattle set on a ranco pid. Grew out real well. then I moved it out in the yard in and old construction wheel barrow, that worked also. This year I will build a conventional Bed.
 

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Smokin Harley

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I have a friend who's the county extension angent in Hartsville, Tenn. He gave me a 288 float tray full of burley in 2013. Last year I filled it with 6 varities, floated in the greenhouse in a 3 ft. kiddie pool. heated the water with a bucket warmer like they warm water for show horses & cattle set on a ranco pid. Grew out real well. then I moved it out in the yard in and old construction wheel barrow, that worked also. This year I will build a conventional Bed.
Hey GMAC, try building this "float bench"... When I work at the nuke plants (scaffolding) we also support the millwrights with building liquid containment for their cleaning of the turbine components and end up building what we refer to as "duck ponds" .Pretty simple - 2x4's stood on edge to form a frame,bottom is a sheet of plywood , line with thick plastic sheeting (visquene) secure the top edge with lath . Build to suit your size or number of float trays. You could build it to sit atop cinder blocks or very heavy duty built sawhorses. Make sure it is absolutely level. Add to this a bucket at one end of fertilized water and a small pond or fountain pump and a recirculating pipe that returns from the opposite end back to the bucket. Put this whole setup on a timer and sump pump float switch for the pump and you have yourself a nearly touch free automated watering system . You dont even need to be home to water/fertilize your seedlings.
 

Jitterbugdude

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You do not want a pump in your float tray system. The roots grow through the tray and into the water. A pump would probably destroy the dangling roots. Also, in the link below, note the "ladder" on each side of the float tray box. It allows a grow light to be easily placed at different heights above the plants. The ladder also serves as a handy handle to pick up the float tray system.

I sanitize my float trays with 3% hydrogen peroxide immediatly after planting, then let them set in the sun for a few hours.

http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/4304-Tutorial-How-to-destroy-a-float-tray?highlight=float+tray
 

BigBonner

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My Float trays only warp when I have them in my greenhouse with the curtains rolled up and trays empty .
I stack them in the corner of my greenhouse when I am done using them for the year and when the summer temperatures get hot , there may be some of the top trays warping from the hot heat .

Float trays do soak up water . I like pulling mine off the water for a few days to let the trays dry a little . Plants will stay perfectly healthy and will harden up some . Pulling the plants on and off the water to a wilt each time helps harden them .

Cleaning them with water only cleans the outside and does not reach where they have soaked all the way through the pores in the trays . Heat or hot steam cleans them better , but there is still no way of knowing if any or all diseases are gone or not . New float trays is the only sure fire way to insure no diseases are left .

Here is a outside float bed I use . I don't like outside float beds because of the weather . They get colder in early spring and when it rains water will fall through the cover . That water will cause dampening off , low water fertilizer and possibly more problems .
If outside float beds are covered with plastic , it has to be removed early every morning . It also has to be removed after every rain shower and the sun pops out or the insides will heat up and kill the plants in a short period .

I float on about 4 inches of water . I only pump to circulate the fertilizer when adding more to the water . Fertilizer is best tank mixed and then pumped into the bed .

 

Muskrat

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This year I didn't use a float tray system, but a wick type. The trays were 72 cell, each cell was 1 1/2" square by a little over 2" deep, the medium was 50/50 peat/vermiculite. I was focusing on Flue Cured type tobacco and used this guide for how much of what to put in the water.

http://ipm.ncsu.edu/Production_Guides/Flue-Cured/flue_cured.pdf

The amounts were small, so I used a reloading scale with units in Grains and figured everything in Gr (Grains) / Gallon of water. The materials I used were pretty off the wall, but the recipe worked well for me.

13.6 Gr Miracle-Gro 18-18-21

12.7 Gr Grant's stump remover (Potassium Nitrate 13-0-46)

8.8 Gr Ammonium Nitrate (From instant cold packs)

17.5 Gr Epsom salts

1.1 Gr Borax

At four weeks, I gave them 15.7 Gr/Gal of Ammonium Nitrate. I was using a Gallon per tray and would add water to a mark on the bottom trays to make up for evaporation. I started the seeds on plain water and added the fertilizer mix after a week.

It all worked well for me, the only thing I'm changing next year is to get deeper growing trays.
"Your water can be tested for boron. It is typically measured in milligrams(mgs)/liter (roughly equivalent to parts/million). Less than 0.5 mgs/liter is fine, 0.5 – 1.0 mgs/liter is considered mildly to moderately toxic to certain plants and greater than 1.0 mgs/liter is considered severe." - http://www.wildwillowdesign.com/2012/07/boron-toxicity-and-plants/

Borax is Na[SUB]2[/SUB]B[SUB]4[/SUB]O[SUB]7[/SUB]·10H[SUB]2[/SUB]O
Atomic weights:
Na
22.98976928
B 10.8
O 15.999
H 1

Na2 (46)+B4(43.2)+O7(111.99)+10H2O(180)=389.19, so B is 43.2/389.19 fraction, 11.3%, of the weight of borax.

15.4 grains/gram= .015 grains/mg
So, 1.1 Gr Borax per gallon ~ .275gr/liter = 18.3mg/liter of which 2.07 mg is Boron.
So, if my math and chemistry are correct, your levels of Boron are about twice the toxic level, and I'd use about a quarter the amount of Borax you're using.
I'm posting this 3 years after your original post, so I'm wondering how things have been going. Any signs of Boron toxicity? Or maybe you get enough rain to flush excess boron.
 
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