Uberpropagator

For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents.
Forum rules
For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents only.

Please respect all forum members opinions and if you can't make a civil reply, don't reply!
User avatar
Conrad
BCSS Member
Posts: 118
Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Branch: None
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

Uberpropagator

Post by Conrad » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:25 pm

I thought some may be interested to see my new arrangement for seedling starting, I call it the uberpropagator! Its not beautiful but is hidden in the spare room.

Made from 12mm ply, x3 levels each with x4 36w t8 flourescent tubes. The residual heat keeps seeds generally between 25 and 32 at the moment, so I will need to add a couple of little extractor fans to keep things cool once the weather warms up. Each drawer comes out all the way to inspect seedlings. These days I find regularly picking out any fungused seedlings and spraying with chinosol is worth doing so need access to them all. Working well so far and better than the spreading mess that preceded it.
20210401_191504.jpg
20210401_191641.jpg
User avatar
Pattock
BCSS Member
Posts: 431
Joined: 07 Nov 2020
Branch: MANCHESTER
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by Pattock » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:40 pm

Timers or on for 24 hours?
Asclepiomaniac. Armchair ethnobotanist.
Occasional, eclectic blogger:
http://pattheplants.blogspot.com/
edds
BCSS Member
Posts: 1374
Joined: 09 Dec 2019
Branch: None
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by edds » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:40 pm

Great set up Conrad! That looks amazing. Now where do you grow them all on? I've got to build a new greenhouse for what I grow on a single small propagator!!!
Ed

BCSS member 53038
User avatar
Conrad
BCSS Member
Posts: 118
Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Branch: None
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by Conrad » Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:20 pm

Thanks guys, the lights are generally on about an 16:8 day night cycle.

Everything us eventually moved into the polytunnel, I have a 16 x 36ft and have just put up a 16 x 48ft one too. Both with gas heating.
20210315_161014.jpg
User avatar
fero
BCSS Member
Posts: 216
Joined: 12 Sep 2015
Branch: None
Country: GB

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by fero » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:12 pm

Really like that, I've plans to build one similar one-day. Would you consider installing a fan to even out temps.
Happy growing
User avatar
Conrad
BCSS Member
Posts: 118
Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Branch: None
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by Conrad » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:26 pm

Hi Fero, thanks, I can recommend it, really packs the seedlings in. Yes I will put a 120mm fan in on each level toward the back, I wired them up to a mains 12v adapter this evening and will cut some holes and fix them in place over the next couple of weeks, no hurry now as its a bit chilly outside!
User avatar
Pattock
BCSS Member
Posts: 431
Joined: 07 Nov 2020
Branch: MANCHESTER
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by Pattock » Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:55 pm

Are you planning on the fans pushing air in or pulling air out?
Asclepiomaniac. Armchair ethnobotanist.
Occasional, eclectic blogger:
http://pattheplants.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Conrad
BCSS Member
Posts: 118
Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Branch: None
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by Conrad » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:09 am

I'll have the fans pilling air out of the back of the box, which is the warmest bit, the idea being there should then be a passive flow of cooler air in through the front.
User avatar
Pattock
BCSS Member
Posts: 431
Joined: 07 Nov 2020
Branch: MANCHESTER
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by Pattock » Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:55 pm

Conrad wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:09 am
I'll have the fans pilling air out of the back of the box, which is the warmest bit, the idea being there should then be a passive flow of cooler air in through the front.
Personally, I would have them pushing in. Is there a fourth wall not shown in the photo? The turbulence when the air flow hits the front wall will help mix up the air more effectively before it is then forced out of the openings.

If you don't have a fourth wall, the air will just be dragged in from the centre and the corners will still get hot. In that case I would put the fans at the narrow end and have them blowing across the length of the shelf.

I have a filter before my fans to slow down the dust. They still need the blades washing once a year to restore efficiency but it is not as bad. I use the stainless steel spare filters from cafetières. A piece of loosely-woven cloth is just as good. They filter just needs to be brushed down every now and then.
Asclepiomaniac. Armchair ethnobotanist.
Occasional, eclectic blogger:
http://pattheplants.blogspot.com/
User avatar
ralphrmartin
BCSS Member
Posts: 4609
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: None
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Pwllheli
Contact:

Re: Uberpropagator

Post by ralphrmartin » Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:12 pm

A few comments, not aimed at the original poster, but just general observations:

(1) Many people seem obsessed with using artificial lighting. I just use daylight for my propagator (although I dont stack shelves), and my seedlings do just fine. Why use extra energy and equipment when sunlight will do a perfectly good job?

(2) Fans also seem pretty much unnecessary. I don't use them, and keep the humidity up. I've measured the temperature at over 63 C (!!) inside my propagator, and the seedlings carried on just fine (well, they survived, even if it wasn't optimal).

(3) I have a soil heating cable, and after reading Terry Smale's advice about how succulent CAM metabolism is geared up to lower nighttime temperatures, it is now on a timeswitch so it is off at night. While purely subjective, it does seem my seedlings grow quicker than when having the heating cable on 24 hours a day. It's also cheaper (apart from the cost of the timeswitch, < £10).
Ralph Martin
https://www.rrm.me.uk/Cacti/cacti.html
Members visiting the Llyn Peninsula are welcome to visit my collection.

Swaps and sales at https://www.rrm.me.uk/Cacti/forsale.php

My Field Number Database is at http://www.fieldnos.bcss.org.uk
Post Reply