Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Punching Plugs - IT'S SPRING!

In this edition of the blog, I am focusing on our transplanting activity.  In the old days, we would sow seeds in a flat.  The seeds would be broadcast in the flat and allowed to germinate. When it was time for transplanting, we would have to take a chunk of seedlings and soil and gently untangle the roots.  Each seedling would have to then be hand dibbled into the pot or cell tray.  Dibbling is punching a hole in soil to allow the roots to enter the soil undamaged.

Back in the early 1990's we transitioned from broadcasting seeds to placing the seed in individual cells.  We have special seed sowing machines that allows us to move efficiently with this process.  Germinating plug seedlings helped speed up the transplanting process, but nothing has sped up the process more than our Punch-n-Grow, transplanter.

The transplanter punches the seedling plug through the bottom of the cell.  The cell bottom has an "X" cut that allows the small plant to move through.  Underneath the plug tray is bedding plant flat.  Our flats have 6-six packed trays.  In other words, we punch 36 plants with each stroke of the Punch n Grow transplanter.  The pictures will show you better than I can explain in words.

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