Sowing Method & Growing Schedule

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Sowing Method :

- Sowing in plug trays. 200 or 288 holes per tray.

- Sowing media - moist peat moss.

- Seed should be sown in trays with a loose, sterile, well draining media.

- Spray the sowing media after sowing with a Fungicide to prevent diseases.

We recommend sowing seeds into a 200 or 288 plug tray. Generally, the deeper the plug cell, the more air space there is in the media. This will improve drainage, leaching of salts and aeration promoting more roots and root hairs.

 

Sowing Steps

1. Before filling the plug tray and sowing seeds, squeeze the sowing media in your hand, open the hand and the squeezed media will maintain its form. The media color will look darker following squeezing. This will indicate sufficient media moisture. (Find level in Media Moisture Measurement)

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2. Place media into the tray.

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3. Make a 0.5 cm. deep hole. 

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4. Place seeds into the holes (1 seed per hole). 

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5. Cover the seed with media. (Be careful not to cover the seeds with too much media, as this may slow germination.)

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6. Spray a Fungicide to prevent Damping off (Pythium spp) disease. 

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Marigold Plug Germination Stage

Growth Stage

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Visual At the end of stage 1, the radicel will have emerged and the cotyledons will be starting to unfurl. At the end of stage 2, the roots will be 1-2 inches long. The cotyledons will have expanded fully. At the end of stage 3, roots should be 3-4 inches long, the seedlings should be 1-2 inches tall and the first two true leaves should be present. At the end of stage 4, the roots should hold the plug media together and you should be able to pull the plug and media out of the tray in one unit.
Moisture Sow seed on a media having a medium moisture content. Seeds should be covered with a layer of sowing media to maintain moisture levels. (Level 4) Alternate between moisture level 4 and 2 to avoid disease. Refer to Stage 2. Refer to Stage 2.
Growing Environment Keep under 70% plastic shade net. No shading required. Refer to Stage 2. Refer to Stage 2.
Lighting Light is not necessary for germination.

Full sun light.

Refer to Stage 2. Refer to Stage 2.

Media Temperature Media pH : 5.8-6.0

Temp. 68-86 °F Temp. 68-86 °F Temp. 68-86 °F Temp. 68-86 °F
 Visual No fertilizer is required for germination.  Begin feeding at 50-75 ppm. Nitrogen with a Calcium nitrate based fertilizer.  Feed 75-100 ppm. of Calcium nitrate mix.  Refer to Stage 3.
 Visual  EC not more than 0.5  0.5-0.75  0.75-1.0  Refer to Stage 3.

 

  

Media Moisture Measurement

We can measure the moisture content of media used for sowing and growing plants by dividing the moisture content into 5 levels :

1. Dry (Level 1) - Squeeze the media by hand, open the hand and the media will break into pieces. The media will have very light color.

2. Medium (level 2) - Squeeze the media by hand, open the hand and the media will maintain its form. The media will have light color.

3. Moist (Level 3) - Squeeze the media by hand and small drops of water will drip out from between the fingers. Open the hand and the media will maintain its form. The media will look darker.

4. Wet (Level 4) - Squeeze the media by hand and water will flow out between fingers. Open the hand and the media will maintain its form. The media will have a deep, dark color.

5. Saturated (Level 5) – Squeeze the media by hand. Water will gush out from between the fingers. Open the hand and the squeezed media will maintain its form. Media has the deepest darkest color.

Growth Regulator for Plug production (GR):

1. Control by Physical Methods

1.1 Limit Water: Low moisture levels lead to slow plant growth and more compact habit. Alternate moisture level 2 with level 4.

1.2 Limit Nutrition: The Nutrients which have the most effect on the size of seedings are Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P). Nitrogen should be used in the Nitrate form as Calcium or Potassium Nitrate Avoid Ammonium forms such as Urea (46-0-0). A suitable Ratio of N:P:K plug/seedling production is 6:1:7.

1.3 Air Ventilation: Increase air movement inside the greenhouse with fans to strengthen the plant stems.

1.4 Brushing: Brush plants with plastic poles or sheets, 25-35 cycles per time once a day. Brushing is very effective on young plants. This method will help increase stem strength and stress tolerance and improve landscape and field establishment.

1.5 Temperature: Plants growing at a temperature, cooler in the day than in the night, are often shorter than plant growing at warmer temperatures in the day than the night (DIF = Day temp – Night temp). Air temperature is rapidly dropped before sunrise to provide a partial negative DIF response.

1.6 Lighting: High light levels help keep plant height shorter. Marigolds should experience high light levels (3,000 – 3,500 foot candles) during stage 1. Be careful not to use too much lighting because the leaves may bleach out or burn.

 

2. Control by Chemicals

Bonzi 0.4%: A Bonzi 0.4% active ingredient (AI) can be made from Paclobutrazol 10% AI by diluting 1 gm. with 6.60 Gallons of water.

After sowing - Spray surface of media with Bonzi 2.00 Gallons of water before covering seed.

After germination (Stage 1) - Dip the plug tray into a solution of 1.5-2.0 ppm of Bonzi per 0.26 Gallons of water.

 

 

 

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