Root Trainers-unique propagating trays

Fava beans in Root Trainer

I started using ‘Deep Root trainers’ last year for my fava beans and other bean crops that need deep cells or for plants that don’t want the roots disturbed when planting. The cool thing about them is that the cells are 5 inches deep and shaped like a clamshell, with two sides that open up like a book.  There are 8 sections total that fit snugly in a tray to hold them upright that comes with the kit. They are great as they have grooves that keep the roots growing straight instead of circling in the cell and strangling the plant. They also air prune when they hit the bottom of the cell.  No need to transplant into another pot, just plant them out in the garden. You just put seed starting soil in each cell, pat it down and put the seeds in. The only drawback is the plastic clamshells are very fragile and must be handled super carefully to keep from cracking but knowing that, I am careful and have them for three years so far. You can get them through Amazon. Get the 5″ deep ones, NOT the 3″ ones.

Pictured above are fava beans in their cells, 6 are already planted in the ground. Just carefully open the clamshell and slide them out into your hole in the ground with no root disturbance for those sensitive plants that hate to be transplanted.

Craupadine beets started in Root Trainer

I also used root trainers with a hard to germinate french variety of beet called ‘Craupadine’. It is probably the oldest beet in existence. I have not had much luck with germination when planting these seeds directly in the ground so I decided to try them in the rootrrainers this year and have much better germination although still spotty. I thought being a root vegetable, they probably would not like to have that main root disturbed. I think they will do well. I won’t wait till the plants are too big.  I am planting them outside after the first true leaves (cotyledon leaves) come out. So far 27 have germinated which is more than I have ever grown at one time.  They are ready for transplant above. I am so excited as these are the sweetest beets I’ve ever eaten. The french farmer markets cook them over a smokey fire in foil and serve them still warm.

10 comments on “Root Trainers-unique propagating trays

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Germinating beans and beets and planting them as seedlings really seems like a lot of extra work that could potentiallby be damaging. I am glad that we have a longer season for them here. We just sow the seed directly.

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    • I do plant most bean, corn, zukes and squash seeds directly in the soil but after May 15th when all danger of frost is past. But for hard to germinate seeds where the germination rate is low, it’s a good tool to have available, like those Craupadine beets. All other beet seeds can be sown directly in the soil except this one. This week we have 3 days below freezing, the coldest nite forecasted to be 24°. There goes the fruit tree blossoms. bummer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh cuss! Several people have said the same about the fruit trees getting frosted. Although rare, it happens here too, if winter is very warm and we get a late freeze. It does not ruin all the fruit, but gets some of it.
        Since I happen to have your attention, what do you think of the old ‘Detroit’ dark red beet? It is still my favorite, but my neighbor says it is boring. BORING!?

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      • Detroit Red Beet is a wonderful beet!

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Ha! Thank you for saying so! It is still my favorite for pickling. I think that those with mile flavor taste more like the pickling spices than beets.

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      • tonytomeo says:

        I already got lectured about not being impressed with the ‘Cherokee Purple’ tomato, so you can be honest.

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      • Well…It is one of the standards for purple/black tomatoes. I find them easy to grow, very prolific, have better disease resistance and I actually like the purple/black tomatoes (there are many others in this family I like as well) that are better than most tomatoes but I’m biased. I think it’s because they tend to be more intense in their flavor. I don’t mind the color at all as the inside is a beautiful maroon/red color but I understand if you grew up on only red tomatoes than they are foreign to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        We had a few various tomatoes, but almost all of my favorites are red. I do not think that the orange or yellow cherry tomatoes are all that good. The only one that I like more than the red counterparts is Green Zebra. I do not know much about it, and I do not like what it looks like, but I do happen to like it!

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      • Green Zebra is a good tomato. Very intense flavor. I like it too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Intense? I suppose so. Yes, it was . . . tangy? I do not know what I liked about it. I do not like those that are too rich, but it seemed fruitier.

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