Best place to purchase seed starting supplies??

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by LuckyGRanch, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. LuckyGRanch

    LuckyGRanch Well-Known Member

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    Hello Everyone -

    I'm usually over on the goat board when I visit but, I hope you won't mind me popping in here. I have one of the brownest thumbs but, every year I have to try and, I think I'm improving...

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of a place to purchase flats, peat pots, etc to start seeds. I'm thinking wholesale or very inexpensive here. :D

    Thanks,

    Beth
     
  2. desertdreamer

    desertdreamer Well-Known Member

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  3. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

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    Check with one of your local small green houses. They may let you have what you want for free. We have a small green house owner next to our feed store, and the owner lets' me get anything I need at no cost. Mainly flats and pots.
     
  4. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Flats: use the lids off the boxes that office paper comes in. Slip the lid into a plastic garbage bag to catch water draining out the bottom of the pots.

    Grocery stores also give away boxes that canned goods are packaged in. These are smaller and have low sides. Slip them into a plastic shopping bag, and you're good to go.

    In a pinch, you can always get full-sized boxes and cut the sides down. This actually works pretty well if you want to cover the flat with plastic to keep in the humidity and enhance germination. (I like to put my flats inside a clear plastic garbage bag and seal the end. Break bamboo skewers in half and poke them strategically in some of the pots to keep the plastic from resting on the tops of the pots.

    Pots: for starting individual seeds (for instance, tomatoes) I buy 3-ounce plastic bathroom drinking cups and poke a hole or slit in the bottom for drainage. (I am so cheap that I wash these and reuse them from year to year! :D ) (Use bleach in the rinse water to sterilize them.)

    When the plants outgrow the cups, I transplant into tin cans (use a hammer and large nail to punch holes in the bottom for drainage).

    Some seeds (for instance, foxgloves) are best started en masse, then 'pricked out' or transplanted into separate containers when they develop their first pair of 'true' leaves (as opposed to the cotyledons or 'seed leaves'). Any wide, fairly shallow container works well for this ... Cool Whip tubs, 4" pots from commercial greenhouses, cut-down milk jugs, etc. Just remember to poke some holes in the bottom for drainage.

    Oh, here's one more tip: when setting out seedlings, I skip the 'hardening off' process, and simply slap a milk jug, with its bottom cut off, over each plant. Mound up dirt around the sides, and/or run a dowel or stick through the top and into the soil, to hold it in place. Leave this 'mini greenhouse' in place until you see new leaves developing.

    Hope this helps! :)
     
  5. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A couple of years ago we got a case of standard flats and the 6 cell inserts from Mellingers for a very reasonable cost...heard they were going out of business..hope not true. My dH made about 25 flats out of old barnwood scraps that are still going strong 10 years later...be sure and drill enough holes in the bottom for drainage. We save yogurt cups all winter,cottage cheese cartons, and quickie mart huge styrofoam cups that people throw away daily in the trash at work...I start my dalhia roots in these and move up the tomato plants...we have customers who want big 'mater plants although we prefer the smaller and think they do better when transplanted out. Ask around to friends or co-workers--you'd be surprized how many have a few flats that they got some bedding plants in and they will gladly give them to you. I always scrub them good with bleach water and sun dry jsut in case. DEE
     
  6. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    Are there any tomato or pepper growers in your area? I got 6 foam hydroponic flats just for asking. They throw them out when they are done. Funny thing is the farm I got them from flooded and ALL those foam flats floated over to our place. Had all we wanted then.
     
  7. andalusianchik

    andalusianchik Member

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    I have HORRIBLE luck with peat here in humid virginia. I buy 25 lb. bales of sterilized seed starting mixture from southern states for aobut $ 20.00. That is a LOT of plants. Bought this funny little potmaker (its a wooden thing) advertised in most seed catalogs that makes pots out of newspaper. Then use a little spaghnum moss on top to prevent damping off. Then stick a little sandwich bag on top for a micro greenhouse. Works great for farmer market volume. And about as cheap as it gets. Or use plug trays... I can get a 72 tray for about $ 1.50 at my hardware store, use the mixture and moss and slip it into a clear leaf bag or trash bag. Started a couple thousand flower, tomato, and herb last year with this method.

    Give it a try.
     
  8. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    I loved the idea behind ParkSeed's growing forms....just add dirt "plugs" each year. However, they are EXPENSIVE to start with......So.....we bought several sheets of 2" thick styrafoam, drilled holes all the way through (use the attachment for door locks.....and fill that up each season with new "dirt". At the end of the season, rinse with bleach water and store for next year. They are sturdy....only one has died, that the guy delivering cow manure ran over with his truck :D
     
  9. JanaKaye

    JanaKaye Active Member

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  10. JanaKaye

    JanaKaye Active Member

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  11. LuckyGRanch

    LuckyGRanch Well-Known Member

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    You guys are so awesome! I've been busy with a litter of puppies and haven't had a chance to peek back since I posted! We found out that my Dad has just lost his job of 38 years so, the frugal ideas will be put to really good use this year!

    Anyone have any encouraging words for Mom & Dad? - he had worked there since he was 17! Mom hasn't worked since the week she found out she was preggo with me over 35 years ago. So...sad! (The company went bankrupt.)

    If anyone wants to see our puppies...peek at LuckyGRanch.com. I've been keeping a puppy diary there. They are so darn cute - however MUCH more work than I anticipated and they're just 3 weeks old! Lol.

    Thanks again <everyone>!

    Beth
     
  12. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Another supplier that I just learned about this week is Charley's Greenhouse and Garden. http://www.charleysgreenhouse.com

    I've found the same items a little cheaper at FarmTek, but I haven't seen their shipping rates so that I can compare the two companies.
     
  13. rkintn

    rkintn mean people suck

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    I had my kids try and make these while I was burning them a couple of cds...very easy to make and actually kinda cute! can't wait to try them out!
     
  14. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Farm Tek is a great place to deal with....they send you a bill instead of requiring a cc and are really fast with their deliveries; plus the folks you talk to are well informed on their products. DEE
     
  15. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I saw a great idea in Organic Gardening this month (I'm pretty sure that's were I saw it). Use egg shells as "peat pots". Fill them with potting soil/compost/whatever and plant your seeds. Leaving the shells in the egg crate gives you the option of moving them from sunny window to sunny window. When the seedlings are ready to plant, gently crush the shell before placing in the ground.

    I'm trying the egg shells this year.