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Author Topic: Propagator  (Read 5352 times)

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Offline CrankyGremlin

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Propagator
« on: July 31, 2008, 08:39:38 AM »
Hi all!

I'm very new here and I have become very interested in growing.  :love:

I have noticed around the forum people taking alot about propagators and what i would like to know is how would I acquire one? Anyone know where I can buy one (I'm in South Africa (Johannesburg))? Maybe how to make an efficient one?

Any help on this please!

Thanks in advance.  :clap:

Offline Wayne

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 11:13:47 AM »
I am not exactly sure which kind of propagator you are looking at having. Is it the kind to propagate cuttings or seeds?

I have seen heated propagators at the garden centres, but they are rather pricey. Also, one of the garden magazines have a propagator advertised in the back pages.

Apparently seeds and cuttings benefit from bottom heat.
I have been toying with the idea of getting those heating pads that they use with reptiles. I have seen them at the pet shops in my area. I would like to put that under a seed tray and see what the results would be. I am just not sure if it is too hot for the seedlings.
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Offline abby

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 12:09:48 PM »

I use large plastic boxes with lids and seedling containers inside. These sit in my spare bedroom on an electric blanket. That is how I germinate my hippeastrum seeds in middle of winter when I can acquire seeds from US and Europe where it is their summer. I also do my cuttings like that too. 25C is ideal for plant germination. The electric blanket has thermostat on it.

I have read about commercial propagators but have no actual experience with one. Sorry I am unable to help you in that regard

Wayne if you are using a reptile heat pad without a thermostat you can control the heat with a varying layer of sand until you reach the desired temperature.
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Re: Propagator
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 12:09:48 PM »
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Offline Wayne

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 12:16:17 PM »
Great ideas Abby. Thanks!
Wayne Strydom
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Offline CrankyGremlin

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 12:49:36 PM »
Hi Wayne,

Thanks for your input! To be honest, I thought a propagator for seeds and cuttings were the same thing! I would be looking for a heated propagator for seedlings. You mentioned you've seen them at garden centres...which ones may I ask? And what is the average price?

Hi Abby,

This is a great idea! Thank you ;) May I ask where you have seen those heating pads for reptiles? I have looked at quite a few pet shops but I cannot locate one?

Offline Wayne

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2008, 13:45:05 PM »
I live out on the east rand, so I have seen them at Flora Farm and for a standard seedling tray size, you are looking at about R300 or so...

I think I may have seen these at Lifestyle Garden centre in Randburg(?)

The reptile pads I have seen at The La Grange bird park also in Boksburg, and at other pet shops which specialise in reptiles and other crawlies...
Wayne Strydom
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Offline abby

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 15:29:19 PM »

You will find some information at this website regarding a popular propagator in US www.ezclone.com but as to its availability your way I have no idea.I suppose you could always import it but check on your
electrical wattage
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Offline Ernst

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 19:34:33 PM »
I made a seed propagator from:

I used pollystyrene sheets (ceiling board offcuts), taped with packing tape to form a box (mine is 600 x 2000 x 400mm high. The lid is from the same material, lying loosly on top.

I used an old electric blacket (double with seperate controls that can be cut in two.) I used one half at the bottom.
 
I then placed an old piece of Novilon floor covering on top with the sides folded up to keep water away from the blanket.

I had a temperature controller from my working days, the probe inserted through a side so that the tip is inside the box. I set the temperature at 21 deg Celcius.

I found that it switches on at about 17h00 and off at about 09h00.

You can also use a fish tank thermostat, just make sure that it can handle the current, otherwise use a small relais.
I have seen people using 60W incandescent lights in a propagator (wooden, polystyrene might melt) but then it is not bottom heat, which is best.

Hope this gets your mind going!
Regards,

Ernst &  Kobie

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

Offline abby

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2008, 00:24:56 AM »

That is absolutely brilliant Ernst  :congrats: Great thinking there.
Did you run any tests to compare propagation times with and without the propagator?
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Re: Propagator
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2008, 00:24:56 AM »
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Offline Ernst

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2008, 16:40:30 PM »
Abby,

I built the propagator mainly to germinate Clivia seed. The objective is to start germination earlier and hopefully have the plants flower a season earlier.
Last season's plants are already bigger than the previous year's. I also have the seedlings under Ultraviolet light to extend the daylight hours. It is all still experimental.

Regards,

Ernst &  Kobie

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

Offline Wayne

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Re: Propagator
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2008, 13:48:55 PM »
Here is a pic of one of those mats for reptile cages that I mentioned. And as you can see, it didn't break the bank....
It does not give off the highest temperatures, but I am guessing it's going to be just great for what I want it...

Wayne Strydom
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Re: Propagator
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2008, 13:48:55 PM »
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