Friday, March 4, 2011

Make Your Own Seedling Irrigator

Most gardeners who start their own transplants from seeds, recommend watering from the bottom of the plant; to do this you would fill the tray, that the seed container is in, with water. If your like me you don't set every single container in sealed trays. Today I used a a 128 cell seed tray that I got saved from my time working in a greenhouse.
Nurseries start their plants from seed and some plants are pre-grown and purchased from a corporate greenhouse*. I have a few of the trays that came from the corporate greenhouse and I love them. The cells are approximately the size of a quarter and are perfect for slow growing plants like tomatoes and peppers.
Now back to watering. To make your own seedling irrigator you will need:
  • A thin plastic bottle(the soft sides make it easy to squeeze)
  • Same screw-top from bottle
  • Marker
  • One thumbtack
These bottles(Great Value brand) are perfect for this project. I love drinking a certain variety of water that comes from a town nearby and Great Value bottles it; I have so many of these bottles that and they are great for different water irrigation projects (more in the Spring.) What a great way to recycle and help get plants off to a great start.

Mark one or more dots in a circular pattern with a marker, to imitate a miniature sprinkler head.

Pierce the dots with a sharp thumbtack.

Fill the bottle up with water and twist the top back on tightly. If you add anything other than water, such as diluted fertilizer, make sure to write some symbol or description of what is inside the bottle; so that you don't cross contaminate chemicals with anything that does not need fertilizer or whatever else you have in the bottle.

Now test your seedling irrigator: squeeze the water out or prop it upside down against the soil and let it become a drip irrigator. Above is a tomato plant that was first watered with one of my homemade waterer's, notice how sturdy it looks.

When it is empty just take off the top and force some air into the bottle, making sure to pop out any major dents in the plastic.

Keep one of these for whenever you plant seeds and you can't go wrong.
*Sometime next week I will be visiting a corporate greenhouse that is massive. I will take pictures and show you where flowers, that you buy from the nursery or co-op, realy start at.

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