This is the neatest forum!!

krystyna1937August 26, 2007

Hello everyone!

I've been browsing all the threads here this morning. I've come across a lot of very good advice, information and tips. It's clear that I've landed happily among experts, enthusiasts and other interesting bright people who share their knowledge cheerfully. I'm especially delighted and impressed by all the creative ways people use "found objects" around the house instead of rushing out to buy the latest thing on the market. Towit: I bought my first 3 avs less than a month ago and immediately got them three $10 self-watering 4.5" pots. They don't even look all that good. So now I'm investigating cups, jars, glass cheese domes, even wine glasses.

I'm really having fun now.


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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

You know, those self-watering pots look so nice but I have never grown a plant well in one. I'm not sure why. But if yours are doing well, keep on using them.

I know that plants can not get oxygen in those self watering pots. This may be one factor why I have never been successful with them.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 12:59PM
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My current favorite solution for my minis are the 3 oz dixie cups on top of yoplait yogurt cups.

I have some of the yogurt cups washed and set aside that I'm going to spray paint nicely, and the dixie cups sit right inside them, perfect for my wicking set up.

I found this tip somewhere else on an email list, and I've loved it!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 1:44PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

bubbledragon, that's awesome! But are you referring to paper dixie cups? Or is there a different kind that's available? Don't the paper ones fall apart pretty quickly?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 2:54PM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

I've found several found objects to help me in my quest for saving money. I love the Oyama pots, but after buying a couple dozen, the price is too much for me to use for many plants. The first one money saver is using baby food jars for wicking. I use the 4 oz ones for the 3 oz plastic dixie cups. They fit in there nicely and hold a good amount of water. The little baby food jars (2.5 oz) hold a medicine cup for minis perfectly. When they get some algea, I just wash them out in the sink. I don't have a baby, so I placed a request on our freecycle site and found ladies with more than enough to get me started! For free!

The second thing I found was the plastic cake container from Costco that holds the All American Chocolate cake. We have these darn cakes at work all the time (arrgh! that is probably why my rearend is so wide!). The dome is made of study plastic and makes a perfect dome for newly planted plants, leaves or just isolating some of the new plants I might get. I can fit quite a few mini/semi under each dome.

The third thing I just started using today is narrow champagne flutes. These hold the 3 oz dixie cup and I'm able to elevate the plants above the others and can put more plants per square food of shelf. I've been finding them at thrift stores for about .50 cents and I've been lucky to find some pretty ones for that price, too.

I carry a dixie cup and medicine cup in my purse, so that when I'm out and about, I can fit them in the tops of found items and see if they will work. You'd be surprised at the novelty items you can use, it is just unlimited!


    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 4:48PM
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The Champagne flutes idea is downright classy. I'll try that very soon!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 9:15PM
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Plastic dixie or solo cups, 3 ounces are perfect for mini AVs. I buy them by the bag at the super market, and it seems it's what Elaine uses, too. There seem to be two styles, I can't determine where you find which - there's a nubbly solid white kind and a semi-clear kind. I actually prefer the semi clear kind, even though it's harder to see what you've written on the side, because you can see how well the roots are growing.

There's a 6 oz (I think it's 6) size clear solo cup I use for standards that seems to work if they don't get too too large. It's kind of a "cocktail" size cup, if that helps. (If you're on the lookout for something nice to slip these into... they sit well in the empty ceramic candle jar of target's Method brand candles, and I like the way those look. Mason jars, too.)

I drill holes in the bottom with a dremel mini-mite intended for pumpkin-carving. Some people melt holes with soldering irons or hot nails - but I can't bring myself to release those toxins into my lungs or the atmosphere.

I also went to sam's club and bought a case of 2 oz condiment cups for setting leaves with - they're shorter and squatter. I wish I could find a good source of medicine cups/1 oz cups without ordering online - that'd be perfect for wee wee babies. (As you can tell, I mostly do the minis, space you know.)

I really like the yogurt cup idea because 1.) that plastic isn't recyclable. 2.) That container shape isn't otherwise easily reusable and 3.) The wide base makes it harder to knock the plant over when it's on my windowsill, etc.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 9:39AM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

bubbledragon, I had to laugh when you said you just couldn't melt holes in your cups because of the fumes. I thought I was the only one that the fumes made sick! I use my regular Mikita drill and bit to put holes in mine. I get the 3 oz Dixie cups at Wallyworld and I like the semi clear ones too, so I can see if the soil is holding too much water.

As for a source of the 1 oz/medicine cups, I've been getting mine from my mom, who has been spending some time in a rehabilitation hospital after breaking her leg. I'm not suggesting you put someone in the hospital ;), but maybe you could stop by one and see if they would save some for you. She gets three a day with her meds, so that does add up. However, everytime she gets a good supply, someone manages to throw them out before I can get them! Darn tidy nurses! They really are just perfect for the minis and some semi-minis too, especially when you just plant them out from a leaf. Maybe I'll have her stash away all of them and I can use them to trade for something?


    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 8:55PM
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That yoplait yougart cup might have been my idea. I did post that here. they look good spray painted. I trimmed off the top edge (not too much) so the solo cup fit in better. I also discovered that small plastic flower pots are even better because they arent' as tall/high as the 3oz solo cups and that leaves more room for water in the yoplait.

If the violets are not doing well in the self watering, pots, try mixing more perlite in the soil mix. Also if they seem to stay too wet, keep the water level lower and let them dry out some between watering. I have some do well in them and other plants hate them. Some people just put the potted plant into the top instead of planting it and lift it out, add water and set the plant back in. That would be okay with just a couple plants. But when you get more and more, you need better methods.

Welcome and good luck with your growing. Any questions, always ask. tish

I also recently found that those round plastic cups that fruit comes in (Del Monte, for example) for kids lunches, etc is a good size for semi-minis or small violets and they fit right nice in the regular sized yogurt cups. I paint those too.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 9:25PM
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A source for medicine dispenser cups is your local pharmacy. I went to the Rx in my local grocery store, and they charged a buck for 100 cups.

A 2 oz. cup is also a great size, and my favorite for starting most leaves and suckers. I bought them on e-bay, and they are not the squatty condiment cups, but as tall as wide. One free source is any place that uses a Kuerig coffeemaker. The coffee comes in the 2 ounce cup and drops into a trash receptacle after brewing. You do need to clean out the coffee and the filter, but it smells awfully good and the price is right.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 12:57AM
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