If you grow seedlings in batches and harvest produce in batches, you might be familiar with the frustration of harvesting differently sized plants. This can screw up your production estimates and cause problems with deliveries, planting schedules, and more. Typical seedling benches can also be messy and time-consuming since you have to move every individual flat of seedlings to plant.
Since we've grown seedlings a couple of different ways here at Bright Agrotech, we thought we'd introduce you to something that can help with the problem of germination variation.
Today Dr. Nate discusses propagation chambers; why they’re useful, why you should think about using them, and how they and make you more money.
What is a propagation chamber?
A propagation chamber is a cabinet with shelves, a water bath, and a heating element. The chamber is closed off to create a closed environment, and the inside of the chamber is kept warm (70-75 degrees) and humid.
In propagation chambers, germination rates tend to be a little bit better than if we just planted seeds and raised them on a bench. Also, because the environment is so intense and consistent, seeds will germinate at the same time. Where on a seedling bench one seed may germinate on day one, and another might germinate on day seven, (which makes a big difference when it comes to harvesting time) in a propagation chamber you get less variation. We've noticed that almost all of our seeds germinate within a day of each other when grown in a propagation chamber.
As soon as the seeds germinate, the seed flats are moved to a seedling system where they receive more light and nutrition. Eventually they are planted in the system where they will grow to maturity.
Most propagation chambers have wheels attached, making them easy to move, which can be a great labor saver for indoor growers.
At Bright Agrotech we use propagation chambers to complement our large-scale indoor growing systems. You can buy propagation chambers or build your own.
Propagation chambers can be a great investment for indoor growers. The convenience of wheels, the consistency in germination, and the improved germination rates often save commercial growers time and money when seed starting.