Introduction: Quick and Cheap Propagator!
Me again, just putting together a few photos I have of my propagator I built this summer and of some of the plants that have been grown in it!
This super simple fish tank conversion really helps with growing exotic plants(or anything that doesn't survive Scottish weather) quickly without costing too much and it can be set up in a bedroom where it can be observed constantly.
Altogether I already had most of the parts for this sitting in my garage so it was pretty cheap. I only had to buy the seeding tray and seeds :)
Tuesday 18th December 2012: Featured and on the front page. A huge thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read about my first successful botanic adventure!
Step 1: Materials:
For this propagator I used:
1 Medium sized fish tank
1 Old water heater from ^fish tank^ (it was spare since the indicator light was broken)
2 bricks with holes in them
Step 2: Set Up
First, clean out the fish tank or else the water goes all nasty after a few weeks, and place it at a window for some light.
Place the water heater through the holes in the bricks, giving it more surface area than lying on the bottom of the tank, and lower the heating unit into the tank.
Fill the tank with water until it is just reaching above the bricks, any more may be absorbed by the holes in the seed tray and water log the tray.
plug the heater in and let it heat the water. With the thermometer in the water I think I got it to about 36°C when the air temp was 30°C
Step 3: Sow the Seeds
Place the seed tray in and let the soil heat up a bit before sowing the seeds.
Sow the seeds as you would normally and place the tray on top of the bricks. Place the thermometer on the soil, this will then give a readout of the air temp inside the propagator.
Top this off with the lid of the fish tank and leave to germinate.
Keep checking the thermometer through the glass to see if the water heater needs adjusted.
Step 4: Let Nature Take It's Course!
After a few weeks I got two little sprouts from my bamboo seeds. Only two out of twenty five seeds grew, unfortunately only one plant has survived.
When the first green shoots are about 3-5cm high then it is safe to take the lid off and let more sunlight into the setup.
After re-potting the bamboo shoots I then stuck in a strawberry plant which did ok but I went on holiday and it died (not too fussed it was one out of a million runners from the garden)
Whilst the strawberry plant was in the propagator I added a few orange seeds I had soaked in water for a few days. These sprouted after a while and eventually got re-potted into old herb containers.
Step 5: Products:
Here's just a few photos of how much those tiny little plants have grown over the last 4-6 months:
Step 6: New Projects
To continue the success of my fish tank propagator, I purchased a bag of Flax seeds (linseed) from a local-ish health food store and tried to grow them. Much to my surprise they have sprouted after around a week or so in a small plastic container. Next to them in the photo I am drying out some cherry pits to hopefully grow a mini cherry tree. I don't care if it never produces fruit/ the fruit produced is nothing like the original, I just want to be able to grow the plant and say "I grew that!" I'll keep you updated as things develop. The second photo shows the flax after a few months of growth and the third shows some of my apple trees and pumpkin seeds.
Step 7: The Resurrection
After almost a year, I have dug out the fish tank and a heater and something to prop up a container. This time I'm trying to grow papyrus and after just over a week of waiting, I have a sprout!
Step 8: Need Some Opinions...
Hey guys, with my papyrus growing so well in this setup I'm wondering should I put up more pictures of its progress or should I make a new instructable on growing papyrus?