Capillary Bed Set Up
I am an energetic starter of things and I am learning to be a sustained keeper 'goinger' and finisher! But it is a steep learning curve! So when I discovered this simple trick I knew my seedling game was on the up and it was!
So I get excited plant a million seeds and then after a week just as they are starting to germinate I accidently forget to water them and sadly there is no coming back from seeds germinating and then drying out....
Now enter clever Capillary Bed System! This is a container filled with fine pumice and leveled on top, this is then filled with water and your seedling trays (wooden ones not so good for this, I use recycled plastic ones) are placed on top of this leveled pumice layer. they soak up water as and when they need it, so they don't dry out and it also reduces the "dampening off' disease caused from top watering! win win. I hand water into the top of my capillary bed with the mister setting on my hose but i have seen it seen it set up on a ball cock self filling system from a tap too. also excellent for cuttings as they love to be damp all the time.
Here are some pics of mine, made out of an old outdoor table with a frame made on top, lined with plastic and then filled with pumice as I wanted a big set up in my glass house but you can do it in anything that will fit your seedling tray and is water tight. You can get the pumice from a landscape supplier or in bags from you garden store. My previous set up was a base on old fruit bins and the using 2 garden cloche frames covered in soft clear plastic I turned it into a wee tunnel house. all these set ups work really well , it just depends on how many seedling you want to raise! (note to self.. one then has to prick them ou ass they get bigger and have somewhere to grow them on!)