Special tools of the trade

Over the years we have begun groOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwing more and more seedlings in the greenhouse.It gives us a nice jump on the season and allows us to provide a greater diversity of produce from the get go in Spring. If we did all this by hand it would be a rather daunting task to crank out the quantities of seedlings we need.

Here’s a picture of some of the tools we use in the greenhouse to help speed up the seeding process. Notice the board with the dowel pegs sticking out of it. This is called a dibble board [leave it to the Brits to name such a thing] it is used to establish the holes in the soil mix in which the seeds will be placed. Every time we switch to a different size of seed flat we need to use a different dibble board. So we have standardized the process as much as possible. This special tool keeps us from having to poke individual holes in the soil mix with your finger-big time savings! The other box -like tool is our wonderful vacuum seeder. A hose connects the suction box to a shop vac. The seeder has exchangeable plates that have specific hole sizes punched in each one. The idea is to use just the right plate size so  that the seeds will not get stuck in the holes when the suction is turned on. A seed will be held to the outside of each hole when the vacuum is turned on and will release when the device is turned upside down over top the seed flat and the vacuum is then turned off. Each seed falls into a hole that was created with the dibble board. A number of different plates are needed for the device since seeds vary so much in size and shape. Each plate costs more then $100.00.  Yikes- and we have to have how many plates?  Not exactly cheep but what a brilliant time saver and definitely money well spent!