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Arabidopsis Planting Procedure

  • All planting devices as well as the soil are stored by the planting bench in the growth chamber room on the east side of the farm.

  • There are many different inserts to choose from but all flats start with a no hole 1020 tray.  This is used to hold the irrigation water.  Before using, hold the flat up to the light to double check that there are no holes.  A small puncture can cause the flat to leak and reduce the irrigation volume.  If you see a hole, discard the flat and replace.

  •  Into this goes another 1020 tray but this one has holes in it.  This provides rigidity as well as a buffer between the water and some air.  They are black and nest nicely together.  Into these go an insert. We use an 8, 24, 32 or a 48 pot insert. Whichever one you choose must have a corner pot removed to facilitate sub irrigation.  After the soil is filled and the seed planted, a dome covers everything and it is set out.

  •  The soil is located next to the planting bench.  It is a good idea to use gloves and a dust mask when filling your flats.  After removing the corner, use it to keep the soil from filling up the slot and then remove it when watering.  Do not overfill the inserts but some settling will occur after the soil is wet so try to be consistent with the level.

  • Once the planting devices have been chosen and filled with soil, it is very important to flush the soil with at least 5 liters of water before the seed is planted.  Leave off the no hole flat to increase the drainage while you do this.  This will activate the insecticide and fertilizer that has been incorporated into the soil mix.

  •  A red border label is then stuck on the front with your name and date of planting.  A plastic stake with any other family or experiment numbers on it can then be added to the soil.  This will help me keep track of the progress and harvest schedule.

  • The domes are removed 3 to 7 days after planting depending on where they are growing.  The first sub irrigation is usually a week to ten days after planting.  The Uplands staff does all irrigation at the farm.

  • All flats must be harvested from wherever they are grown by 16 weeks after planting.  At 12 weeks, you will be notified of their condition and at which time you can schedule when they will be ready to be harvested. If at 16 weeks no action has been taken, I will discard the flat.

  • After the harvest is complete, the soil is dumped into a gray recycle bin and the tubes, plant parts and inserts are all put into a RMW box.  The stakes are separated and placed in the red sharps containers.

  • The 1020 flats, both holed and no holed, and the domes are stacked by the wash station to be bleached and recycled into production.