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Easy Transfer Of Seedlings And Rootings


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Easy Transfer Of Seedlings And Rootings - seeding with strip still up both sidesThe majority of seedlings and cuttings I start indoors are in homemade paper pots. The advantages of these pots are that they are free and you can plant the whole pot, paper and all.

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Even so, I do find many occasions to reuse cell packs that once held bedding plants at garden centers. I've reused these cell packs for years. I have seen them go from sturdy and lasting 2-3 years, to extremely flimsy and so thin it's hard to get the original plants from the cells without tearing both the cell pack and the plant roots.

Not to be outdone, I still use the cell packs, even if I have to nest 2 or 3 together. Usually, my plants have such a mass of healthy roots, it's hard to get them from the cell pack without tearing many of the roots that stick to the side walls of the cell pack.

I have come up with a solution to this problem. I insert strips of material into the cells before filling them with soil. When it comes time to transfer the plants from the cell pack to the garden, the plants and all the roots are easily removed from the pack with just a gentle tug on both ends of the strip.

It takes a bit of time to cut these strips, but I save more time and aggravation by using them. There's no mess from having to knock the plant from the pack.

The material I used here is a sheet foam that would not be available to most of you. I had it on hand and it lasts about 5 years, so I used it. I have used various other materials. Rather than tell you what they are, I hope to hear suggestions from you as to what you think would make good strips. I'm always looking for something different to try.

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Easy Transfer Of Seedlings And Rootings - cell packs with strips of foam sheeting
 

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January 28, 20170 found this helpful

Looks and sounds like a good idea as you are right about the stability of the cell packs. I used to pick these up at our local recycle spot but most are just thrown away now.

I'll have to think about what material I have on hand that will be suitable (and not rot in a few days).

As always, Thanks for a useful suggestion.

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Anonymous
January 31, 20171 found this helpful

What a great idea. I think interfacing left over from sewing projects would work nicely.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
February 2, 20170 found this helpful

Would you believe I worked in the garment industry for 10 years and I don't know the composition of interfacing. If it's of nylon, it may work very well. Which brings an idea to mind. You could use strips cut from landscape fabric.

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It would have to be the nylon and not the plastic type. I'm digging up the nylon type that has been in the ground for 20 years. It's as strong as ever. Thanks for putting my noggin to work!

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
February 10, 20170 found this helpful

Would you believe I worked in the garment industry for 10 years and I don't know the composition of interfacing. If it's of nylon, it may work very well. Which brings an idea to mind. You could use strips cut from landscape fabric. It would have to be the nylon and not the plastic type. I'm digging up the nylon type that has been in the ground for 20 years. It's as strong as ever. Thanks for putting my noggin to work!

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March 8, 20170 found this helpful

Used fabric softner sheets, single sheets of toilet tissue?

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Anonymous
March 8, 20170 found this helpful

Good old coffee filters

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February 6, 20180 found this helpful

If you have nothing on hand, you can get a sheet at a second hand store for a couple of dollars.

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February 20, 20200 found this helpful

Just use strips of newspaper and plant those. The fabric and foam materials could be reused year after year, of course.

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February 20, 20220 found this helpful

Strips of aluminum foil should work well. Most quilters out there would gladly use some scrap fabric strips, as cotton fabric would rot away during the growing season, but should work just fine for seed starting, AND they would get rid of some very small scraps from an ever-growing stash. Cut strips from pet food bags, cereal boxes, cracker boxes, and the like. If your paper pots don't last long enough for seed starting, how about using a cylinder of thin cardboard like cereal boxes??? I'm sure others will have even more ideas.

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