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Silas_Sancona

One Cheap Hack: ..Extra space on a budget

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Silas_Sancona

Yep, i'm cheap..  What can i say :mrlooney:

Having a bunch of Scarlet and Mealy Cap Sage, and some other easy, non- woody things to start this year, was looking for an easy way to create as much space for starting plugs ( to be transplanted around the yard / into bigger pots later ) w/ out having to spend much, if any extra for pots.. let alone using something everyone probably has laying around the house..

No doubt this probably isn't anything new, but thought i'd share anyway for anyone looking to start a bunch of annual or easier perennial -type plants using pots you probably have, and saving some $$. 

Dilemma: Lots of seed to start, don't want to just spread the seed out over the entire surface of the pots..  Make it a little tougher to separate later/ risks more transplant shock to the plants.  What to do to create easier to transplant " plugs "  ...Don't want to use up all my smaller squares, Don't want to buy more either right now..

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Solution:  Cut up cardboard ( have plenty of around the house am ) into partitions that separate the space in each pot into four holes / " plugs "..  Instantly go from 8 pots per tray, to 32 " pots " pert tray..  Easy peezy..

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A few filled w soil..
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That said, obviously the cardboard will break down as it gets wet, but it should hold up long enough to make it easier to break the root balls apart once roots fill the soil in each plug. 

Will work on deeper square pots as well.. though i do need to cut new partitions since these are a little short for these pots.  Going to test the " idea " on a couple 1 gals for the heck of it.

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Could also use reusable / more durable corrugated plastic instead of cardboard to create the partitions as well..  Might buy a sheet or two to play around with..

Will update w/ results/ thoughts once some seedlings are up.. 


Who knew being a cheap hack was so easy..:D




 

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oasis371

That's a terrific idea!  Especially for starting new seeds/seedlings.

Spent some time this AM, transplanting 15 seed-planted windmill palms into individual cups, but your idea saves space.

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Silas_Sancona
5 hours ago, oasis371 said:

That's a terrific idea!  Especially for starting new seeds/seedlings.

Spent some time this AM, transplanting 15 seed-planted windmill palms into individual cups, but your idea saves space.

Can't say it wouldn't work, but might use square pots ( really any pot would work ) that are taller than 6" for palm seeds.. these i'm using, for the herbaceous stuff,  are like 3 or 4" tall..  Would worry they might be too short to accommodate even seedling root growth.. 

That said, hadn't crossed my mind until later but this set up could be perfect for getting a bunch of smaller cacti seedlings / offsets i have to separate and plant up established, before transplanting to larger individual pots in a much smaller area.  could see this being a great set up for starting easy cuttings too, esp. indoors or in a greenhouse.

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Scott W

Brilliant!  Thanks for sharing, as I'm about to start germinating the spring garden plants in the greenhouse.

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spike

or even just use larger waxy leaves like avocado/magnolia, they seem to be pretty decay resistant and also stand up better in water than cardboard. I have a habit of sometimes just sticking a leaf in a pot as a label (wouldn't do this in wet weather)

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PalmsandLiszt

This is a nice idea. However, I think for palms (and anything else with a taproot) you'll probably find the root has no difficulty at all growing through wet cardboard, so you might still end up with some tangled roots. If you were to make the dividers (continuing to be cheap) from the quite rigid but thin plastic that is used for all manner of packaging (e.g. ice cream tubs, etc.), it would stand up a lot better (and probably be re-usable).

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JLM

Just did this with circular pots. It looks strange but what works works, right?

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Merlyn

@Silas_Sancona if you find that the cardboard breaks down too fast, you can buy "corrugated plastic" also.  A 4x8 sheet is $30 at Home Depot, clearly it is way more expensive than recycling old boxes.  It's mostly for signs and things, but I use it for dividers in bigger boxes or bins, etc. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Coroplast-48-in-x-96-in-x-0-157-in-White-Corrugated-Plastic-Sheet-CP4896S/205351385

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Silas_Sancona
11 minutes ago, Merlyn said:

@Silas_Sancona if you find that the cardboard breaks down too fast, you can buy "corrugated plastic" also.  A 4x8 sheet is $30 at Home Depot, clearly it is way more expensive than recycling old boxes.  It's mostly for signs and things, but I use it for dividers in bigger boxes or bins, etc. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Coroplast-48-in-x-96-in-x-0-157-in-White-Corrugated-Plastic-Sheet-CP4896S/205351385

Think i mentioned that as an go - to option if the cardboard doesn't work.. had seen it sold in  ..something like a 5 or 10? pack at Office Depot for like $17 or $20?/ pack.. ( don't recall what the size per piece was though )  anyway,  cardboard is holding up pretty well so far though.  Also cut up some thinner, but sturdier looking " chip? " board  ( what places like Costco sell bulk cold cereal in  ) That stuff seems to work pretty good as well so far.

 

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Merlyn
4 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Think i mentioned that as an go - to option if the cardboard doesn't work..

Yeah, I see that now.  Sometimes I read too fast and miss things!  :D

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Silas_Sancona
2 minutes ago, Merlyn said:

Yeah, I see that now.  Sometimes I read too fast and miss things!  :D

:greenthumb:  No worries..

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Silas_Sancona

While not much to look at atm, First signs of life in the " trial " pots..  While the top on some is a bit frayed, overall, Cardboard inserts continue to hold up well..  Might actually be helping to keep a touch more moisture in this soil mix a little longer ..for now at least..

Seedlings are Salvia coccinea ( Tropical Sage ) < Pot #1 >,   and Dracopsis ( ** Formally Ratibida ** ) amplexicaulis < Pot #2 >, the early flowering " Annual " version of " Mexican Hats, Ratibida columnifera.

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After living in KS, i'm a sucker for Coneflowers / some other interesting plains natives.. Provide great mid- late summer / fall color ( Not that there's a lack of any here anyway ). Curious to see how a select few from the S. central / southern plains do here. 

Tropical Sage gets planted everywhere it will survive this year for the Bees / Hummingbirds / Butterflies.. Particularly " Tropical " Sulphur sp. which are highly attracted to red flowers ( Have a goal of luring in the rarer sp. that sometimes stray north from Mexico in the summer/ fall )   Is also a highly favored nectar source for Queens / Pipevine Swallowtails, as are many other Salvia sp..

Lots of other stuff waiting to pop  to come..

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