Julie Reed wrote:I had no idea you can transplant corn! I might try that, since our season is too short for corn unless it’s in a greenhouse, and greenhouse space is too precious to waste on a corn crop.
Kathy Vargo wrote:I tried using this TP tube method ands collected them all winter. I did not have enough to do all my starts, so I also used my regular peat pots and plastic along side them. I kept them in a perma tray to keep them moist and under the same conditions as all my other starts. Almost nothing grew in the TP pots and sprouted much slower. The same seed in other pots came out fine. All I could conclude was that something was added to the card board that did this. Sorry I don't remember the brand we were using, but I'd do a test run before you put all your hopes in one method.
Jenny Wright wrote: Corn doesn't like it's roots to be disturbed and my growing season is cool and short.
Jenny Wright wrote:This can be A LOT simpler.
Step #1- Get a tray and tubes and damp soil mix
Step#2- Put your hand over one end of the tube (leave both ends open- no cutting or folding) and scoop it through the dirt, gently piacking it in.
Step#3- Set it in the tray and repeat with all the tubes. Steps 2-3 take about 10 seconds or less per tube.
Step#4- Water the tubes. The dirt will settle a little.
Step#5- Place seed on top of dirt and sprinkle soil on top to the depth required by the seed. And gently water the top.
When you fold the bottoms in, the cardboard is too thick to grow through soon enough so you have to unfold the bottom before planting out. By the time you are ready to plant out, with the bottom left open, the roots are right there and ready to go.
This method is best for plants that send down deep roots and don't like transplanting. I use it for sweet corn because I can have 200 narrow toilet paper tubes squished into a few trays under my grow lights and get my sweet corn started and transplanted with minimal disturbance of the roots. Most containers that are deep enough for corn, are unnecessarily wide which limits my shelf space. It also works for peas and beans. Not great for tomatoes, peppers and stuff like that.
It is also not great for things you are going to keep in pots for a while. I only keep the seeds growing in them for 2-3 weeks.
Yes, they do dry out fast and yes you get some interesting fungus growth on the outside but this has never injured my seeds. I water them from the bottom which helps keep the seeds from getting diseases.
I consider this method a halfway point between regular pots and soil blocking.
Brody Ekberg wrote:
I tried this for the first time last year and was amazed at how quickly and how much mold grew on the tubes. I folded the bottom of some and left others as is.
You mentioned bottom watering. Do you do that from the start, or do you top water until the seed germinates and starts putting roots down? I top watered everything the whole time. All of my brassicas died from what looked to be damping off and im not sure if the mold could have contributed to that or what.
Jenny Wright wrote:
At the very beginning I get everything well soaked but after that I water from the bottom. I also wait until the outer tubes start looking dry. The ones in the outside of the tray dry out first. This is usually every other day
I wonder if people have more problems than me because maybe their trays are deeper than mine. I use lunch room trays like the kind you get at a cafeteria so they are very shallow, maybe 1/2" deep. So I can't put too much water in them.
I also mainly use TP tubes for big seeds like corn and beans. Things that germinate quickly and grow fast and don't need to be kept very damp. I also have grown wild flower seeds and herbs in them with varying success.
I have a horrible time starting brassicas inside no matter what method I use. My house is kept pretty warm and the room I have my seeds in is even warmer and damp from the grow lights and moist dirt. I don't like planting straight into the garden without some backup seedlings in pots because my bunny population is voracious so last year I came up with the solution to start my brassicas up on my porch outside in the cold. It worked pretty well except for me forgetting to water them but I had more than enough seedlings to fill my garden that I ended up planting extra kale and broccoli in random spots in the yard.