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How long can seedlings stay in my park Biodome

Posted by zippity_duda 6 (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 28, 10 at 17:39

I recently purchased a couple of Park Biodomes to try out to see if they will save me a lot of space since I plan on starting a relatively large number of plants. I got the 40 pack domes (the sponge plug is about 3-3.5 inches deep and about 1.25 inches diameter). My plan was to keep them in this set up for 6-8 weeks when some of the plants will be able to start being transplanted and the rest will most likely need to be potted up (I have 3 1/2 inch diameter pots). But now I am second guessing myself as I have been lurking on the site reading about other set ups and seeing how quickly some people need to pot up. Does anyone have experience with the Biodomes and how long plants can stay in them? I am mostly growing tomatoes, peppers, and herbs in the biodomes right now. I also have a 18 plug biodome that I planned to start melons and cantaloupes in later, so if you have experience with those any info is also appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How long can seedlings stay in my park Biodome

I did a fair amount of testing of the Biodomes in our greenhouse when they first came out. With the cover off as soon as germinated (not left on with full grown blooming plants as they show in their goofy pictures) your low growing herbs should be fine with the exception of some basils, parsley, cilantro, and chives. They get tall quickly and fall over unless you cluster planted them and keep them trimmed.

The peppers IF you use low, cool growing air temps and don't over feed them so they grow slowly remain in the 4-6" tall range should do ok. If not they will need to be transplanted.

The tomatoes will be the main problem I think. They grow so fast so even 6 week old plants will have long outgrown the cells and be root bound. They will likely need to be transplanted at about 3 weeks depending on the growing conditions.

Melons - it all depends on how far in advance you start them. 2 weeks, fine but not much longer.

The Biodomes work ok for germination if you don't keep them too wet and are ok for very short term growth but they aren't intended for any long term growth.

YEMV.

Dave


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RE: How long can seedlings stay in my park Biodome

Ditto what Dave said.

Plants do much better when transplanted young. I transplant after the first or second set of true leaves appear.

If you push it and leave your plants in the sponges too long they probably will not die, but they will take longer to bounce back after you transplant them.

Keriann~


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RE: How long can seedlings stay in my park Biodome

Thanks! It looks like I will have more transplanting to do than I anticipated, but hopefully the plants will pay off. I'll just plan based on number of true leaves, escpecially since my tomaote crop is my favorite. Oh well, I still like the sturdiness and easy waterability of the biodomes. Luckily I've been saving containers for the transplants!


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RE: How long can seedlings stay in my park Biodome

Dave..when you transplant out of the sponges do you do anything special? I have read that sometimes the sponges prevent the roots from extending out. Should I try to remove some of the sponge or will I just do more harm? Have you ever used a seed start mix in the styrofoam flats (for the next time?) rather than getting more of the sponges?


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RE: How long can seedlings stay in my park Biodome

This is half the fun of it.

If gardening was black and white then we all would be bored.

Just remember to plant the maters deep, up to their seed leaves. You can use 16 oz cups if you are looking for container ides... they work well for some other bloggers.

My problem is room... I run out of room fast because I just keep picking up seeds and potting them up. Well a hundred count flat gets quite big when they are now 100 3" pots.

At least twice a week I am at HD picking up some more lights and fans... I do love seeing them grow

Spring fever has set in!

Keriann~


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still getting ideas for biodome transplants

That's my problem! This is my first year starting anything indoors, and ehm, well I may have gone a little overboard! I have 160 seeds going (some germinated, some not). Some of these are extra in case they don't all germinate, but I only have one room that is safe from my recently mobile 9 month old. I'm just trying to get as many ideas as possible so that I can try out a bunch of them and see what works best for me. I'm hoping to get most of my "oops" out at once...I never really have learned patience:)


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RE: How long can seedlings stay in my park Biodome

I would suggest in investing in transplanting supplies over germinating supplies such as the Bio Domes from Park Seed.

You can use one 1020 flat (less than one dollar) and sow over one hundred seeds. No dividers, just one big flat. Once they have one/two true leaves you can transplant them into 2-5" pots depending on the type of plant.

Save your $ on germinating and invest in a rack to hold the transplants, transplant containers, lights and fans.

My seedlings were only in their germination tray for 5-15 days and the next 60+ days they will be in their transplant containers. So many times people invest money in fancy starting kits and then scramble to keep them alive until they can get them outside.

Just my 2 cents from trying things over the years.

Keriann~


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lessons learned:)

I think I'm figuring that out! MOst of what I spent so far was using a Park gift certificate that I got for Christmas..It seemed a waste to use it buying seeds since I could get them so much cheaper elsewhere, and the marketing that claimed that you could keep them in the biodomes until transplant time...well a sucker is born everyday:)


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RE: How long can seedlings stay in my park Biodome

Dave..when you transplant out of the sponges do you do anything special? I have read that sometimes the sponges prevent the roots from extending out. Should I try to remove some of the sponge or will I just do more harm? Have you ever used a seed start mix in the styrofoam flats (for the next time?) rather than getting more of the sponges?

You transplant the sponge and all and plant it deep so that it is totally surrounded and covered with firmly packed new growing mix. Otherwise it wicks water away.

The problem with trying to trim off any of the sponge is you can't always see what else you might be trimming off - like roots. ;) With tomatoes I transplant them up to just below the top set of true leaves. I bury the cotyledons and all - just as you would plant them in the garden. That means deep containers. We use 6" deep nursery pots but the 16 oz plastic cups Keri mentioned work well for many - just punch several drain holes around the outside edge of the bottom. A soldering iron or woodburner iron works well for making the drain holes.

And yes there is no reason why you can't use the cell tray filled with seed starting mix in the future. Wet it well, wring it out, and then pack the cells with it.

Dave


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