Sprouting

[germination]
Sprout farm overview

Sprouting equipment

I'll attempt to briefly describe the equipment I use here:

I use standard seed trays. These have drainage holes in the bottom. They are then placed inside standard gravel trays which act to catch and retain excess moisture.

Needs

Providing young seedlings with the best environment for germination is not trivial - and getting everything right helps provide good yields throughout the year.

Fortunately, many sprouts require rather similar conditions for germination - moisture, warmth, light, ventilation, nutrients, a growing medium - and a container.

[germination]
Germination

Containers

I use standard seed trays, gravel trays and seed tray inserts.

More details are available here.

Growing medium

I use soil as a growing medium.

One of the main problems with soil is that is can be messy.

I may experiment with hydroponic media at some stage. However soil's convenience and availability seem likely to make it hard to beat.

Chemicals

So far I have not found it necessary to use fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, anti-fungal agents or disinfectants.

I have experimented with using a kelp-based fertiliser - but there are currently appear to be no clear benefits to doing so.

Water

Sprout watering is done mainly using an automated "micro irrigation" system.

More details are available here.

Heat

[propagators]
Heated propagators

Heat helps seeds many seeds to germinate more rapidly.

I supply heat by using electrical propagation units. These are connected to the mains electricity supply.

They are simple 12V units with no thermostat. Each exactly fits one of my standard seed trays.

Unfortunately, the combination of heat, an enclosed environment, and low ventilation can encourage moulds and bacterial growth - so these units are only used during the germinition phase.

The covers on the units are incompatible with my misting system. If I'm away they are removed. However currently I prefer to leave them on - and them water manually - if my schedule permits.

Covered trays have reduced watering needs - since there is no established root system to suck out existing moisture - and losses through convection and evaporation are minimized.

Light

My sprout farm is positioned on shelving placed on an indoor window ledge.

The sun provides all needed light.

Go back to Tim's sprout farm.


Tim Tyler | tim@tt1.org | http://sprouting.org/