I've grabbed a tiger by the tail. Okay. A large kitten. Sight unseen I bid $100 for a pile of used nursery pots from the City of Edmonton. This is a windfall for me, as I have a manual (my pot filler is a shovel) container based tree farm.
I've picked up the first load -- about 2000 #1, 1500 #2, and 300 #5s. You can just barely tell that I've started. I'll be pulling a load a week from now until Christmas.
The pile is mostly disorganized: Stacks with anywhere from 2 to 30 similar size pots, all jumbled.
I can use the pots. But I want to know if anyone has tips on efficiently handling this many pots.
Example: I have a 24" wide dolly with 8" tires. With this I can move 3 stacks of #2's at a time. A bungie cord is faster than the strap to keep them on the dolly.
Example. A 5 foot stack is optimum. Longer than that are either too droopy for small pots, or too heavy for large pots.
Example. Handle stacks open end down. The rim is a better grip than the bottom, and is more stable if you stack vertically.
Example. Have a 1/2" x 2' chunk of sucker rod handy when sorting. If pots jam, run this through the drain holes of the bottom pot, and step on it, while lifting on the top pot.
Example: Use broken pots as trash containers as you work through the pile.
Example: Clear your self a sorting area.
Example: Don't try to sort into too many categories at a time. People differ, but I find that I can't sort more than about 5 categories, without having to stop and think too much. So when dealing with #2's I sort into heavy rim listo, thin rim listo, Polytainer, Kord, and everything else.
(Polytainer rots my socks. 2A, 2B... 2G and certain combinations don't stack well together.)
Example: Pay close attention to the rim, and the lines on the inside of the rim. With practice you can separate pots on the basis of this pattern.
Example: Storage: Sink pairs of fence posts. In the pair, they should be about 3-4 feet apart. Pairs are about 12 feet apart. Stacks of pots are laid down against a pair. Once you have about 5 layers down, start building up. Wedge the last stack at the bottom -- otherwise the stack collapses ones it's about 3 layers high. Tin cans, one end stomped flat make quick wedges. Don't let the top row get out of reach either vertically or horizontally. I don't stack more than shoulder high. This puts the top row, about 2.5 feet in from the bottom row, which I can just manage.
Who else has tips?