It is time for Baker Heritage Farms to finally start farming.
While we had already ordered some planting equipment, we still needed to order seed beds for our transplants and some other equipment and supplies. The following equipment and supplies have now been ordered:
Speedling Transplant Tray - 128 Cell: These trays are made of reusable polystyrene and have individualized pyramid shaped cells which virtually eliminate transplant shock. Advantages include: undamaged roots (plants and all the soil pop out cleanly); no tearing or entangled roots; no spreading of root pests or diseases; a better root system (when the bottom of the tray is exposed to air, the taproot is air pruned promoting the growth of feeder roots that are directed downward instead of spiraling around the cell, enabling the plant to begin growing immediately after transplanting); and reduced damping off (due to excellent drainage).
As we will be seeding 220 tomato plants and 1,650 pepper plants (one full plot), we needed to order 15 of these trays. This increased our shipping costs substantially, but at least we received a quantity discount from the vendor. We could have ordered a 200 cell tray, however, the size of the cells was not adequate.
Power Organics Mycorrhizal Root Booster: This was recommended by Kerr Center. Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi which create symbiotic relationships with plants, creating a stronger and healthier plant.
Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil: Another recommendation from Kerr Center. This soil is nutrient rich, pH balanced, ready-to-use mix. It is a balanced mix of composted forest humus, bat guano, fish, crab, and shrimp meal, and earthworm castings. It has larger size perlite for better aeration, light texture for better drainage, promotes nutrient uptake by plants, and has enough nutrients to sustain a plant for 6 months.
Soil Test Thermometer: While we do not always get to pick the best time to plant, a soil test thermometer will increase the chances of successful growth of your crops. The Taylor dial thermometer we ordered has a 5" probe and reads from 20 degrees F to 180 degrees F. If you monitor your soil for optimum germination temperatures at the correct planting depth, you can help avoid harmful diseases like pythium (damping off) which thrives on seeds planted in the wrong temperature environment.
We ordered all of these supplies from Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (www.groworganic.com), who we have used in the past.
The total cost (excluding shipping, which was a substantial cost) was approximately $226.00. Most of this cost was in the seeding trays. Smaller, back yard farmers, will be able to get by with only a few of the trays.
Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms