Retrofitting bins to hold over many divisions(or tubers)

arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)May 5, 2006

I am a 'mass-production' oriented gardener.For me, that means that when I do a task, like dividing plants, I like to do a lot of it at the same time.So last month,when I found myself dividing, for an upcoming plant swap and for our own gardens, I devised this method for retrofitting a LARGE bin that could hold-over/grow-on many divisions at once.

We have a number of red BJ's rectangular bins (they come w/lids)approx.24"W x 32"L X 8"D?) that we had bought in the past for winter-holding cannas,dahlias,etc. in peat moss. I realized that if I drilled some small holes in those same bins,they could serve double duty- both in the winter AND during the growing season. the holes would provide drainage for holding large numbers of divisions in the growing season, and, because they were small, would not allow much, if any, peat moss to pass through during the winter tuber-hold-overs.

SO, I used a portable rechargable drill and drilled into the bin SIDES, about 1/2-1" above the bin bottom, a line of 3 holes (they are about 1/8"/1/4" diameter): one at each end and one in the middle- of each side.IT CAN NOW RAIN ALL IT WANTS (as it has done these last 2 days in the greater Boston area)and my wet-peat moss -or- potting- soil divisions will not drown.

We were easily able to peel off the offensive 'BJ'S' labels from these bin sides. A plus with this system is that the bins can be stacked, criss-cross-like, still allowing light in, if you temporarily need to save space .With the same idea in mind, but for smaller bins, I use what are called in the trade- 'Fish bins',rectangular white semi-opaque bins approx. 17"L x 12"W X 5"d . I have a catering business, so I get my fish delivered in these, but you can often buy them cheaply from fish-store vendors who always have way more than they need.

We no longer have stacks of round plant pots(we recycle them at the dump or give them away). Of course i still use SOME round plastic plant pots, but for me,the rectangular bins are just much more efficient for most things: carrying and filling, holding over/storing, transporting. They are also great for sturdily , efficiently and cleanly holding many nursery plant pots. I take empty bins like these on nursery-buying trips, leaving the newly-purchased plants in them for efficient storage.(Sure beats those flimsy plastic basket-weave-like plant trays)! And when i'm ready to plant those new nursery plants, or held-over divisions, these plant-filled bins are light weight and easy to carry out into the garden. Hope some of you find these ideas helpful.

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