Managing the Environment for the Production of Quality Plugs
The essence of plug production is in the ability to control the environment. For plug production to be cost effective maximum outputs must be achieved for each square metre of available greenhouse space. The provision of optimal conditions must be the aim throughout the production process, which can take between 3 and 12 weeks depending upon species grown.
Seed Storage. The process begins by using the highest quality seed which has been stored in a dry conditioned atmosphere between 12 to 15C and 35% to 40% RH. Seed will tolerate fluctuations in temperature, but viability and vigour are greatly reduced with fluctuations in RH, particularly if levels increase.
Sowing. Sowing is done mechanically on either drum or needle seeders depending upon the shape of the seed. Accuracy is the key, not speed, so the control of dust, wind, temperature and light in the sowing area is important. Seeders must always be kept clean and well maintained.
Germination. The highest percent germination
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