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Cheap containers for seedlings?

Posted by mooserider none (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 3:44

Hi, I have a problem that I'm hoping someone with some experience can help me out with. I'm planting a ton of native flowers and need a good, cheap way to make containers for them. But they need to be 'transplant-able'. In the past, I've tried using the cheap cardboard-like containers, but they break down from the watering. I've also tried just growing the seeds in a flat bed, but they are very difficult to transplant, as you don't have a root ball really.

If you have any suggestions for a good cheap way to grow seedlings and then transplant them, please let me know.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

By the way, I'm talking about planting around 100+ plants this year. Have about 2 dozen seed packs I ordered online. Using about half the seeds should be around 100 pots.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

I start my seeds in the little pots I collect from annuals, sow the seeds, and when they are ready to transplant, just cut the bottom off the pot and plant in the ground. Leave a bit of the pot sticking out of the soil and when the plants are rooted in, you can cut/pull the nursery pot off - works wonderfully! Any soft plastic container will work!


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

Why do they need to be transplantable containers? It only takes two seconds to tap a plant out of a plastic pot. You can buy 80 9 oz. plastic drinking cups for less than $3.00. And you can wash and reuse them next year. If what you are growing are native perennials then I dont think you need to worry about transplant shock as long as you are gentle.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

I just mean that I need to be able to transplant the plant from the container into the ground. I like the drinking cup idea a lot... I think I'll try that out.

Thank you both for the ideas!


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

Be sure to put drain holes in the bottom of the cups.

Dave


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

I save annual containers, and also,yogurt containers, sour cream, etc...from the kitchen, they also work really well.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

  • Posted by garf 10B (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 11:57

Margerine tubs and single serv cereal tubs work really well.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

  • Posted by garf 10B (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 12:00

Holes in bottom are easily done with a piece of coat hangar wire heated in a candle flame.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

You can make paper pots from old newspapers. Either by buying a "Pot Maker" from a firm like 'Lee Valley' or simply use a can from the kitchen about two inches in diameter as a form to wrap the newsprint around. When ready to plant, you plant the whole paper pot. I am sure if you search for paper pots, lots of information is available. Al


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

Anyone every use emptied K-Cups from your Keurig brewer?


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

I like the cell trays myself to start seeds but always pot up to solo cups or large yogurt containers. Solo makes small cups now too, I think I remember seeing them last year. I stack a few cups and drill a few holes in the bottom. I love being able to write on the cups. I just got some 50 cell propagation trays from this online source in 10 packs. Better quality than the burpee ones & I will be able to reuse them at least 1 year (way cheaper too). I am hoping to transplant some plants straight from the trays since they hold a good bit of soil. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: seed trays


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

There was a day when newspaper pots were easy to manufacture but it seems the "glue" in the paper no longer is there. So I went to a website that shows how to make them without water but then they are quite thick and may need more prep work if you want to bury the pot with the plants you also need to be sure none of the pot extends about the ground either by burying or cutting the lips back and burying the tops as the paper will wick the water out of the soil. The below information has been copied from that website;
Seed-Starting Pots from Newspaper
http://www.ehow.com/video_1745_create-seed-starting.html

1 Lay a full sheet of black and white newspaper flat. Don't use shiny, colored paper as it may contain heavy metals.
Fold the paper in half lengthwise twice to form a long, narrow strip of folded newspaper.
Lay the glass on its side and place it on one end of the strip of paper. Roll the newspaper around the glass. The glass is used only as a form to roll the paper. About 1/2 of the strip of paper should overlap the open end of the glass.
Push the ends of the paper into the open end of the glass. This step doesn't have to be neat and tidy; just stuff the overlapping newspaper into the glass.
Pull the jar out of the newspaper pocket so you have the newspaper pot in your hand.
Push the bottom of the jar into the newspaper cup, squashing the folded bottom to flatten. This step will seal the bottom of your pot. Once the pot has been filled with soil, the bottom will be secure.
Pull the jar out and you have a finished paper pot.

Read more: Video: How to Create Seed-Starting Pots From Newspapers : eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/video_1745_create-seed-starting.html#ixzz2LGHvUSwC

She suggests you do not leave your plants in the paper pots as the paper takes a long time to dissolve. If the soil is moist enough and you have punched or drilled holes before planting or potting this will not matter that much. Just be sure the paper does not protrude above the soil as it will wick the water out of the ground.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

Newsprint pots should always fill the flat, as they need to support each other. As i recall a standard square flat will accommodate 49 paper pots if made with the 'Pot Maker'. Al


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

Well I ended up using styrofoam cups, as they don't melt like the paper ones do when I water them, and it only cost me about 10 bucks for 150 cups. I planted them all yesterday using the potting soil mixture from FringeNursery (where I got the seeds). I'll take a picture and post it later.

Thanks again for the suggestions!


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

Another method is to use toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes. For toilet paper tubes, one will make two starter pots. Cut in half; then cut four one inch cut from the bottom, so that you can fold them in like a box. Tape with masking tape. When you transplant, just take off the tape and open the bottom and if desired cut off the flaps (optional).


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

There was a website that showed how to use Styrofoam pots, even the used ones. If collecting used ones they did suggest you bath them in Clorox water to remove any harmful elements. They used a broken hacksaw blade to cut the cups. Making 3 cuts around the cups from and including part of the bottom up about half way up the 3 more cuts from just below the rim down to about where the other 3 cuts were made. Each cut needs to be about equal distance apart. Plus drill one small hole in the middle of the bottom. When you are ready to transplant your plants you are able to with just a snap of your fingers holding the rim you should be able to brake the rim for easy removal of the plant and soil without disturbing the soil. Most of the time I found the soil was held together by the roots of the plant and made the move with ease.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

Attached an image of the ~120 starts. I used a hollow metal tube to cut a whole out of the middle of the bottom, and then I also made 3 cross cuts across the bottom to make holes in the 'rim' on the bottom... so the water can drain away after it comes through the hole. Tested it out and it works well. Also covered it with hardware mesh to keep out my cats, the squirrels, birds, etc.

Plenty of room left for the vegetable starts when I get to them too.

Now I just have the agonizing wait for the germination!


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

I have been experimenting with a few self watering containers.
One is the double cup and the other is the tray. Both have worked well. Cups work fine but still need a tray which is reusable.. Jack


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

Self watering Trays.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

You just let them wick up the water I take it? You don't have an issue with them getting mucky and moldy and gross I assume? Pretty neat! Maybe I can put some trays under my cups to do the same. But we get so much rain in Seattle I doubt I'll need it since they're outdoors.

Thanks for sharing djuren!


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

This is what I do.

Here is a link that might be useful: FREE Seed Starting Containers


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

When I started my seedlings I has some algae but soon after added a fan to the room to minimize the problem.

Here is another option I'm experimenting with. 3oz cups in a bezel for self watering.

 photo DSC00141_zpsb4fb8a34.jpg
 photo DSC00138_zps62538c9a.jpg


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

jduren - dont the bottom of those cups touch the bottom of the tray? And if so, doesnt that defeat the purpose of the wicks?

I have never tried "self watering", so maybe I just dont understand. I like spending an hour or so each day checking and watering my little seedlings.


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RE: Cheap containers for seedlings?

About a 1/2 from bottom...Jack


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