Transplant trays. (plug flats)
We currently use and recommend 40 and 200 cell plug flats, available through Garden City Plastics, Victoria, Australia. Trays cost around $5 each in small bulk quantities and last about ten years.
The 40 cell flats (35 x 95mm) are the perfect size for 4-6 week transplants of salad and brassica (kales, asian greens, broccoli, cauli, etc) seedlings used in intensive microfarming. A large tapered hole is in the base aiding greatly to removal with minimal root stress.
The 200 cell flats are perfect for onion sets and other alliums as they are easier to lift out rather than push out.
We use and recommend Dramm wands and 1000 hole roses for watering flat trays for good germination and root development of transplants, the Dramm has a great even flow, guaranteeing plant root growth regularity in the flat tray cells.
Use with newly seeded beds.
We water our freshly seeded beds as needed with the Dramm to ensure the best germination. After the seedlings have a small single root they can be drip line watered
The wands are not suitable with lower pressure systems. suburban pressure will suffice.
Dramm wands and rosettes are a horticulture industry standard for gently maintaining moisture levels to transplant stock.
We sourced our heat bed from Adlo propagating beds based in Monbulk, Victoria.
They are a great company to deal with, their product is locally made and their technical support is solid.
Our electric heat bed, (we use 1 x4.8m x 1.2m) cost about $1200 and is thermostatically controlled (our other heat beds are solar passive), We use it to keep base temperature above 16C for late winter germination and development of our indeterminate hot house tomatoes, started in larger pots for less root shock, before planting into the ground (not hydroponic) as we are carbon/soil focused.
Note of operational caution: The thermostat is controlled by a wire probe that sits either in or under a pot, the heat pad will heat up until the wire registers that temperature,Therefore be careful where you place it otherwise you will use a lot of power unnecessarily and could cook the roots. Answer Place the wire in the soil of a pot at the required root zone level and don’t place it in a pot near the edge of the heat bed.
It is also perfect for propagating many cuttings, such as rare native plants or small fruits on mass
For accurate and cost effective seeding of plug trays and flats. The vibro-hand seeder works especially well with small brassica seed can be used in conjunction with systems like the Paperpot Transplanter System
Available from ActiveVista https://www.activevista.com.au/product/vibro-hand-seeder/
Automated misting system.
The misting system we use is called an 'Electronic Leaf' It comprises a piece of stainless steel gauze counter weighted that lowers when wet and raises when dry, this is connected to a 12 volt transformed valve. Come summertime the unit is priceless, ours cost use $350 complete and operates fine after twelve years constant use.
We purchased ours from HALS Tasmania
Bulk seed raising mix.
(Tasmania) HALS Seagreens seed raising (potting) mix is a certified organic input. HALS Tasmania . There are many other suppliers of bulk amounts Australia wide.