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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 12-30-2006, 02:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default propagator ideas/design help needed

Hi All

I am ready to plant my seeds in my new propagator but I just can't get the temperature up high enough.

I have an old fish tank 900 L x 300 D x 450 H (thats 36" x 12" x 18" in old fashioned measures!) I have put it on a foil backed polystyrene insulated sheet on a bench in my greenhouse.

in the bottom is sand in which is my brand new heated cable 6.0m (50W) I am going to plant in these grow cube thingys (root riot they're called) I have a digital stat with a probe sensor and 2 gro-light tubes (old ones from the fish tank). I just cant get the temp in the planting medium up above 22/23C (72/75F)

I am trying to get 27/35 (80/95F) daytime and then by using a timer turn it off and let the temp drift down to hopefully 13/16 (55/60F) nightime, so I have the alternating temp regime which I read I will need.

My seeds are soaking in primer and I need to get them in. Any ideas from anyone on how to get the temperature up?? How is everyone else getting up to 'tropical' propagation temperatures??

any ideas welcome.

Kev - Salisbury UK (zone 8b) and peeing with rain today as usual !!
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: propagator ideas/design help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by 51st state View Post
Hi All

I am ready to plant my seeds in my new propagator but I just can't get the temperature up high enough.

I have an old fish tank 900 L x 300 D x 450 H (thats 36" x 12" x 18" in old fashioned measures!) I have put it on a foil backed polystyrene insulated sheet on a bench in my greenhouse.

in the bottom is sand in which is my brand new heated cable 6.0m (50W) I am going to plant in these grow cube thingys (root riot they're called) I have a digital stat with a probe sensor and 2 gro-light tubes (old ones from the fish tank). I just cant get the temp in the planting medium up above 22/23C (72/75F)

I am trying to get 27/35 (80/95F) daytime and then by using a timer turn it off and let the temp drift down to hopefully 13/16 (55/60F) nightime, so I have the alternating temp regime which I read I will need.

My seeds are soaking in primer and I need to get them in. Any ideas from anyone on how to get the temperature up?? How is everyone else getting up to 'tropical' propagation temperatures??

any ideas welcome.

Kev - Salisbury UK (zone 8b) and peeing with rain today as usual !!

How about adding some insulation on the sides as well ?
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: propagator ideas/design help needed

sounds like a plan, I'll try some bubble wrap and if the temp starts to come up a bit I'll go and get some of the foil backed polystyrene. I'll report back on the results.
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: propagator ideas/design help needed

My goodness 51 state, are you trying to start a plantation?!

You probably saw my earlier post on germinating seeds.

Not necessarly the best method or design, but it certainly does the job for me and takes little space. I have hundreds of plants under growth-lights as we speak. A reptile heat-mat under the boxes with seeds does the job. When you see roots on the seeds, simply transplant them one by one. To get the low temps, simply put this in your bedroom, keeping the window open. And put the heat-mat on a timer. 10 hrs on and 14 off.

Erlend
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: propagator ideas/design help needed

yea thanks i saw it...if i can't get the temperatures up tomorrow I'll go buy a reptile mat.

a plantation ..yes probably.... the neighbours will freak especially if i can get the balbisiana and the itinerans gigantea going.

its just as well they havent seen the redwoods in the back yard!!!
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: propagator ideas/design help needed

Kev,

I think your setup sounds interesting. We are in the middle of winter now, but the sun gets stronger every day. Pretty soon the conditions in your setup may become ideal.
The reason I think this, is that here in Norway, even in bad summers, many musa-seeds seem to germinate very easily outside or in a greenhouse. In Bergen, mid july, we can have 30 degrees C or 12 degrees C. Very variable. So I am not sure if the max-temperatures of 30 + are crucial for germination.

If you try Musa Sikkimensis for example, I am convinced these temperature fluctuations may be ideal. Even if it takes 2 or 3 months, this will somewhat replicate natural spring conditions in the himalayan habitat and you will almost certainly get higher max temperatures eventually. Musa balbisiana should be easy too.

Best of luck
Erlend
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: propagator ideas/design help needed

Hi Erland

I was over in the Kullu valley in northern india a couple of years ago where I saw bananas (presumably sikkimensis) growing on the valley sides down near the river. I have been looking at the weather stats for Darjeeling and Gangtok to get an idea of the climate where these species are native.

I was also looking at this study http://www.ipgri.cgiar.org/Publicati...ns/52/ch34.htm

which suggests that one of the keys is the amplitude of the day/night variation. I'll post a couple of photos of my setup shortly. I've wrapped the tank in bubblewrap this morning and am now getting 27/28C. I just need to check that the night temp is OK.

I'll let you know

Kev
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