I am looking for the best deal on seed starting supplies. I will be starting seeds indoors and maybe some out in a greenhouse soon and I need a good bulk supplier. The various prices from different sources is confusing. I need things like flats and differant size cell packs. Does anyone have a great online source?
I am eliminating plastic seed trays by using soil blockers. They are a bit pricey to purchase, but I believe that they will pay for themselves in a short time as I won't be buying plastic seed trays, and the soil blockers will last forever. I did purchase peat last year to make the soil block mix, but starting next year I'll have my own leaf mould, compost and soil to use, so there won't be any purchased inputs except perhaps some rock dust.
I started all my plants in soil blocks last year, and once you get the rhythm of it, it doesn't take long to do up a few hundred blocks. Once the plants have filled the blocks with roots, they are very easy to handle, and I believe that I'll be able to sell plant starts in these soil blocks, without using cell packs. I'll be sure to do up a thread about how well that works out this year.
But I really found the soil blocks to be a wonderful thing. So easy to make, so much faster to plant, much healthier root systems, and we made the flats that they sit on out of scrap wood.
I use a lot of 16 or 20 oz plastic "solo" cups. I take several at a time stacked together and drill drain holes in the bottom to suit my needs. Works like a charm. I also wind up getting some trays and containers at local nurseries/greenhouses toward the end of the season. For them it is usually less expensive to buy new instead of paying someone to wash used containers. They pile them up and they are free for the taking. The Alaska botanical gardens in Anchorage also hosts a recycle day where folks can bring in their old pots, trays etc for recycling. You can drop off or go through and collect containers. Nice way to find new to you stuff. I've got several really large pots that would've cost $20 each if purchased for free that way.
I use the solo cups also. I wash like at least 75 percent of what I use in a light bleach mix and resume also. The nursery around here want like 5 dollars for a tray. They are selling to hobbyists I suppose.
Some great tips here, I may just scrounge around a bit more before buying anything as I have some on hand and still have time.
Joseph: I just water them. At first I use the 'fine mist' setting on my wand watering thingy, but after a few days they are strong enough for regular watering. Eventually, when I have a dedicated space for growing seedings outside, I'll have a system where they are watered from the bottom - sort of like flood irrigation.
Have you tried this place? Without knowing some more specifics, it's kind of hard to help. A google search for "nursery flats wholesale" produced quite a few sources to choose from. And a cross check against the Amazon listing suggests that greenhouse megastore is lower cost than the amazon source.