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Saturday Project

Silver Spring, MD

I spent the day putting grid on two shelves of my stands. It was a big job, but I am very happy with it. I was able to fit many more plants per shelf and I'm sure caring for them will be much easier. The wicks pass through the grid into the large wells (trays) I tried to find the thread about grids but couldn't. Everything is as clean as a whistle. And my dishwasher is filled with glad storage containers.

I also bought some fish emulsion to give the leaves a little pep. The bottle says to use it about once a month. Keyring, is it you that uses it? How often do you add it to your water and how much do you add? I also tried to find that sticky but couldn't. Two for two. That's sad. I must be getting old or tired.

Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

I use it when I have it . I always bought it from Gardens Alive. It really gave my babies a boost !
I trans-planted a few trays of plants today ! and some watering.

Silver Spring, MD

They really are like babies, aren't they. Need something all the time. And we love giving and doing.

Northern California, CA(Zone 9a)

Nanna do take some photos if you have time! I'd love to see your grid set up. I looked at them today at the home improvement store and considered putting mine on a wicking program over time.

When a friend watched mine while I was in FL. they got some water on their leaves and are discolored now. The wicking part would allow me to vacation without having to trouble anyone too much.

Silver Spring, MD

I would have posted pictures with the thread but the lights have turned off on the stands. I will post pictures tomorrow, Monday at the latest. I was really surprised how many plants can fit on the shelf that is not divided by trays. It also looks clean and neat. It wasn't hard to do, just time consuming. Had to move everything, wash the trays, clean up the wicks, and arrange plants so they didn't touch.

One shelf took a little more time because I had to cut the grid lengthwise. I think you will like the difference. Keeping the wells filled will be so much easier.

Northern California, CA(Zone 9a)

no hurry sweetiepie, when you can. THANKS

I use the grid laying across my bathtub when I neem my plants inside. Then I lay the AV's on their side to drip dry so they drops of moisture don't sit in the crown.

It is a pain to cut, isn't it?! I also use it as a buffer between my heating mats and my perlite trays - just in case! i've cooked plants before (my very first AV leaf to sprout ears, may it rest in peace!)

DC metro, VA(Zone 7b)

hiya.

I use fish emulsion when I have it and when I can stand the smell (even the odorless smells) - so mostly in summer. I use it at a little less than what bottles say for a spray-strength solution.

How often do I spray? As often as twice a month, but it's probably more like 3 times a year.

I probably use it to water the plants about once per pot - after repotting. I use it on my container plants outside too.

DC metro, VA(Zone 7b)

by the way, if you decide you like foliar fertilizing (ie, spraying fertilizer onto the leaves), then consider adding a spreader (like coco wet or some other sticker/spreader - usually in the hydroponics section). It makes a big difference.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Nifty project!

Where did you find shelf-sized wells (trays)? I've been thinking about switching over to grids with wicks or capillary matting on a couple of shelves, but I hadn't thought about trying to find a tray big enough to fill the whole shelf (I was thinking of putting grids into my standard 1020 flats).

I have to mess with some grid for my aquarium soon anyway... need to switch from glass top to grid for (hopefully) less heat in summer... I'm thinking the easy to cut it will be with my Dremel rotary tool. ?

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

The most recent fish emulsion I bought is Fertilome- the best thing I can say about the smell is that it's gone w/ the next watering. I use it on outside plants, I don't think I could not deal w/ the smell inside- and I believe that my entire family would move out...hey I will have to keep that in mind when I need a weekend alone- LOL!

Silver Spring, MD

Let's start with the grid. I bought it at HD and it is almost the length of the shelves. Perfect width for my 4 light shelve. The cutting is a pain for the smaller shelf. The trays came with the shelf. They sit on the frame and the grid sits on top.

The fish emulsion I bought is Alaska Fish Fertilizer by OMRI 5-1-1 All purpose deodorized. The smell is there where you open the bottle and full strength. Called for1 tsp per quart per foot of plant height. I put about 1/2 tsp in a gallon of water with fertilizer and thrive. The bottle didn't say anything about being foliar. The smell was pretty much gone by this morning or my nose is old and not working any more.

I thought it would be good for the corn as well. Bill loves to grow corn. We have a 15 by 15 area in the back especially for corn.

I have to run. Got a very busy day. I will post pictures this evening or Monday and do a better job answering question.

Silver Spring, MD

I'm waiting for Bill to get out of the shower. Here are the pictures of the grids.

Small grid about 15" X 48"

Thumbnail by nannanavarro
Silver Spring, MD

Sorry, a little dark. You can see how many plants will now fit on the shelf without touching.

Thumbnail by nannanavarro
Silver Spring, MD

Larger stand is 24" X 52+"

Thumbnail by nannanavarro
Silver Spring, MD

Close up of the larger stand shelf.

Thumbnail by nannanavarro
Silver Spring, MD

Jill, do you see "Gypsy"? She is blooming again and still has a chimira look.


Edited to say the clothes pins are helping keep the leaves go where I want them to go. Some say its works others say it doesn't matter. I think it helps. Keeps the leaves evenly distributed.

This message was edited Mar 19, 2006 8:17 AM

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

I like that Nanna - how much was it at HD - I've been eyeing the humdity trays from http://www.charleysgreenhouse.com/index.cfm?page=_productdetails&productid=8652&cid1=179&cid2=291&cid3=-99 , but I think your's would be easier to customize to size.

That looks fabulous! I've been wondering what I'd do when we go on vacation. My mom comes by to check on things for us, but she's not a plant person, so I'd feel better if I had my plants on a self-care regime by then, but this would be easy for Mom to fill the trays for me, anyway. Thanks for such a great idea! Love the pictures of the plants! You sure do grow 'em pretty!

Silver Spring, MD

OK, Here's the skinny. My nose is broken. Bill says the room smells "dank". Oh, dear!

The HD cost was $10.00 per 2' X 4' sheet. Very light weight. It's in the lighting department. It's actually ceiling grid for light fixtures.

I also bought a humidity dome at out local nursury for $5.00. I'm using it for newly set leaves. During the winter we have no humidity in the house because of the heating and I really want these leaves to have a good start.

Thumbnail by nannanavarro
Silver Spring, MD

Jill, you can see the trays in the humidity dome picture. See how they set on the frame of the stand. The grid just sits on top of the trays and gives added space for more violets.

"MORE VIOLETS" (Who said that?)

DC metro, VA(Zone 7b)

what did you use to cut the grid?

Northern California, CA(Zone 9a)

Gee Whiz Nanna your plants are beautiful! I love the set up. I think I'm going to try it for my next plant shelf. Already have the shelf which is storing junk right now. Stuff I'll never miss.

Thanks for the photos!!!!
(Key, I used good ol sissors and it worked fine but it's tedious and little bits of plastic flew all over. The dremel sounds like a good idea. They seem to snap pretty easy with sissors thoug.)

Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

WOW Aweseom ! Lot's of work Nanna looks terrfic. You pour the water in . How often do they need to be cleaned out ? That's a nice high dome too.

Missouri City, TX(Zone 9a)

Nanna that is an excellent setup and wow your plants do look great!

Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

Nanna
Your picture at Mar 19, 2006
8:12 AM
Larger stand is 24" X 52+"
Way back in the right up high with the pretty pinks flowers and great varigation ? What is this plants name please ? Beautiful !

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

For some reason, I had this silly idea that the grid had to fit down *inside* each tray so that only a large tray would work -- doh! Thanks for the "worth a thousand words" photo... my trays aren't quite as sturdy as yours, so I may get some permanest trays before I try putting grid across them.

Your plants look fabulous! And I did spot Gypsy right off the bat! Mine is getting more buds... we'll see what kind of bloom I get this time. Oh, and the leaf that I put down? I just potted up some babies from it... 3 have foliage the same color as the mother plant, and 1 has foliage that's a much lighter green (not yellowing, just a medium rather than a dark green color). Should be interesting to see what happens with them!

Lilburn, GA

Critter, what is permanest tray? I am also looking for strong trays as mine are the weak black ones from HD. thank you.

Silver Spring, MD

Allison, the pink bloom with variegation is Ma's Debutante. I love that plant. It grows itself. Don't do anything but love it and water/feed it. I'm not sure how often I will need to clean up, change water, etc. Some of the little wells would go two weeks others only two days before algae began building up. I am hoping that a good cleaning once each month will do it. Now, hoped for and actuality are 87 different things.

So far I am pretty happy with the set up. Glad that it sparked some discussion and gave idea to many of you.

I think Jill meant permanent trays.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Here's the description at Park Seeds, http://www.parkseed.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?storeId=10101&catalogId=10101&langId=-1&mainPage=prod2working&ItemId=6116&PrevMainPage=advsearchresults&scChannel=Seed%20Starting%20AS&SearchText=p10.v31&OfferCode=S1H

Edited to add, no I meant Permanest, or Perma-Nest trays. I've been using those flimsy black trays too, but think it may be time to invest in some of the ones that will last for years... When the black ones get a little hole, they're actually still very useful for putting under groups of pots or wintersown containers on my deck, as I can fill the tray with water and it will slowly drain out (eg, the pots all soak up as much as they want but aren't still sitting in water hours later). However, I now have a good sized stack of ones marked "DRIPS!"

This message was edited Mar 19, 2006 4:26 PM

Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

Heh where is Jesse hope she see's these pictures ! Don't you think this would help out with someone travling ?
Also with humidity ?

Silver Spring, MD

Yes I do, Allison.

Jill those are the trays that I have. They came with my units. They are sturdy and clean easily.

Lilburn, GA

thank you Critter!

Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

Nanna did you say you bought your trays at HD with the
grid ?

Abilene, TX

I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!! So cool!!!! Your plants are wonderful - so well cared for!!!!!!!!!!!!

Silver Spring, MD

No, Allison. The trays come with the light stands. Only the grids were at HD

Silver Spring, MD

edited because message was sent twice.

This message was edited Mar 19, 2006 8:06 PM

Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

Oh Ok Thanks. Where did you get your stands with the trays ? Sorry if I asked this before ?

Silver Spring, MD

That's OK. I got them at a local nursery called Behnkis. That's not how you spell it. But it is pretty close. They have wonderful plants and just added a tropical plant center. Tons of beautiful tropical flowers. That's where I got the strep and the plants for my terrarium. I also buy avs there. I will try to find the name of the stand and post it tomorrow.

Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

Wow you bought those nice sntads with fitting tays at a locla sotre ! And pretty plants too ! Wish a store like this was near me :))

Northern California, CA(Zone 9a)

Nanna is yours like this? http://us.st11.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/I/gardenshop_1882_23724

photo from this site http://dansgardenshop.com/16trayligcar.html

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