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Plant Stands

Posted by raven_ladybug (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 27, 09 at 7:18

Good morning everyone,
I have been looking into getting a large plant stand. The prices of what I have found for sale on the web thus far made me wince... 7-9 hundred for one stand...
My husband and I are fairly handy, so I was thinking we might be able to build something. I would like it to be about 4' long and 24" deep, or so... I was wondering what others here use, or have built for themselves. Lowe's carries 4' double light fixtures that should work well, but I'm not sure what to make the unit itself out of. I would love to know what all of you use.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving,
Raven


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Plant Stands

Hi, Raven,

I like the steel shelving units from Costco. They have wheels, and I like being able to pull it out from the wall to get at plants in the back. If spacing for standards, you will actually only use 4 shelves. If you bought a second unit, you could actually end up with 3 units of 4 shelves each. That may be more than you need.

Lowes and Home Depot also have metal shelving units in a smaller version.

I also have hung wire shelving on the wall, but any shelving would work. I've seen four foot shelves at most DIY stores. Hang a light under each shelf, and you are all set.

One thing to keep in mind is the availablilty and size of light fixtures. 48" seems to be the easiest to find with a plug, and 24" or 36" fixtures are out there but costly to buy and so are the lamps.

There is no written rule that it has to be a stand, shelves work just fine. Be sure to factor in distances between shelves and allow for the lights.

The one advantage of the more expensive plant stands you see on the web is their adjustability. A Flora-Cart, oh yeah, now we are talking heaven.....

Barbara


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RE: Plant Stands

Raven I bought the zip up greenhouse below with free shipping.
I live in a cold area so violets will appreciate the zip enclosure this winter. In summer it can be removed and folded and stored till winter again. I wired the single light fixtures to the shelves. I use the aquarium and plant bulbs. I buy at the dollar stores the aluminum cookie sheets to set the violets on so no dripping on violets below.
Another thing you can use are baker's racks. They are priced in all different price ranges.
I do have 2 of the metal big 3 shelf roll carts. My husband brought them home from work to me. He of course asked if he could have them. They were done with them and just going to crush them! But there was nothing wrong with them. I keep 1 in my laundry room and 1 on my front porch.
Go to Wal Mart site and do a search for metal shelf unit. They have a bunch to choose from and shipping into the store is free if you go pick it up yourself.
I hope this helps you with some ideas.,,,Debbie

Here is a link that might be useful: Zip Enclosure 4 shelf Greenhouse


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RE: Plant Stands

Thank you for your suggestion's everyone!I have ordered a stand through Costco. 6' tall,5' wide, and 2' deep. I think we can easily attach the 4' light fixtures we got from Lowe's to the wire shelves. I am planning on two double fixtures per shelf. Thank you for mentioning wheels Barbara, I had forgotten about those and will like having them on it for cleaning purposes.

On a side note... I found a no pest strip at Lowe's called Hot Shot no pest strip. Is this a good brand to use for the preventative container treatment for bugs, or is there a better brand I should look for?

Have a wonderful day,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

Now that ought to hold a violet or 2!!!,,,Debbie


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RE: Plant Stands

That sounds wonderful! But what I want to know is where are you going to put it???

We have a storm cellar that is pretty much used for storage. DH wants to add light fixtures to a somewhat smaller shelf....hmmmm maybe I can find a bigger one :-)

My concern is that it will be cooler in there, but I have MANY plants/leaves in zip locks - isolation, humidity, being gone longer than they will survive, etc. I'm thinking the bagged plants could be down in the storm cellar and the others upstairs. I do have to get them off the dining room table (oh yeah, and the floor).

Great shelf Raven!! Like the good outdoors, you can reach the "bed" from both sides!

Mary


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RE: Plant Stands

Debbie, Well one must plan ahead... (grins) Though it will look awfully bare for a while.

Mary I have an old table in the extra bedroom that I have been thinking about taking to the dump for a long time. I have my current violets on it now. Of course I had thought it would give me more room when I got rid of the table.. not so now...
(chuckles) I see no need to move your violets off the dinning room table, you still have a couch and coffee table to eat at don't you?

Have a wonderful day,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

The 'Hot-Shot' brand is the one carried by Lowes. That is the only place I caan routinely find them, and is what I use.

Barbara


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RE: Plant Stands

Raven, That plant stand will fill up much faster than you think. So far as the table in your extra bedroom, how lucky you are that it's there. Unless of course you decide to replace the table with another plant stand.

Good night to all,
Mary


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RE: Plant Stands

Goodness Raven, you don't do anything half way do you? LOL

Did I read correctly that you're plannin on
2 "double" lights per shelf?

does that mean 4 bulbs per shelf in a 24" shelf depth?

I'm not sure you need that much bulb/light?

I'm not an expert on lighting so someone else who has more experience needs to weigh in before Raven goes and spends anymore $$$ on lights when she could be spending that on plants :D

Dora


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RE: Plant Stands

Dora, Yes that is what I had planed, as all of the ones I was looking at on the web had 4 bulbs per shelf. Am I going to have the poor plants begging for mercy... and sun glasses? I am using two double fixtures over my old table now. One cool, and one warm light per fixture. Is this overkill? I only have one fixture over my quarantine shelf in the dining room and the couple left there seem to be reaching to me. All fixtures are 4', 40 watt.

Have a wonderful day,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

What is the distance between the center of one bulb and the center of the other one? (how far apart are the lights?)

Dora


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RE: Plant Stands

Barbara, Thank you for the information on Hot Shot.

Dora, Center bulb to center bulb they are 2 1/2". Two bulbs to a unit. Then I can space each unit however far apart I need to over the 24" deep shelf.

Have a wonderful day,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

Raven you are moving to quickly, I'm afraid that your husband and son will do an intervention soon Lol. You go girl! Linda in NJ


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RE: Plant Stands

I think that might be too much light but someone (who knows more about this) needs to pipe in.

If the 4 bulbs were evenly spaced...then that might be different. I'm outta my league here with the lighting but I remember attending a program about lighting and I remember them cautioning against that kind of placement.

I fear I have complicated things for you and that was not my intention.

Dora


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RE: Plant Stands

I would recommend instead of buying 4 12T tubes - 1 2 tube fixture for T8 tubes - and getting daylight type tubes. They are 34wt, and give more light.

Irina


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RE: Plant Stands

Hmm... It sounds like I need to rethink my plan. Perhaps I should try one unit per shelf and see how that works first. I have two of these units over about the same area on my table now. How long do you think it would take for me to start seeing damage to the plants from to much light? Also, what would I look for?
Thank you for taking time out of your days to answer this newbies questions.
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

Hi Raven, I came across this check it out I think it will help you with the lighting. www.avsc.ca/light4avs.pdf It also describes too much light on the Av's,what u will notice. Good Luck, Linda in NJ


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RE: Plant Stands

That is an excellent article, thank you for the link Linda. As for my husband doing an intervention... Not yet (chuckles) I don't have that many yet. At this point I think he is just glad they are not another Shih Tu. I rescured one about 4 years ago and fell in love.. We now have 4 of them. Luckily he fell in love with them too. He cuddles and coos to them every bit as much as I do. This is a man who never wanted one of "those small yippy type dogs"... Our son is old enough to have moved out of the house, so the dogs are our "kids" now.

Have a wonderful day,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

Raven -
I used to have plant stands with 2 40-watt T12 tubes over some shelves and 4 40-watt T12 tubes over other shelves. I liked the 4-tube fixtures. Some violets and other gessies really appreciated the extra light. Also, I could hang the lights higher over the plants, which looks better in my opinion. Most AVs don't really *need* that much light; they grew fine on the 2-tube shelves.

However - I think Irina's suggestion is the perfect solution. T12 tubes are out of date now. The thing to get is a 2-tube, 48" long T8 fixture. The T8 fluorescent tubes that fit in this fixture are skinnier than T12 tubes, but they give more light. So, with two T8 tubes per shelf, you will have more light than with two T12 tubes. The great part is that two T8s will use 64 watts of electricity per shelf. Four T12s that you are talking about will use 160 watts per 48" shelf.


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RE: Plant Stands

Hi Raven, Hope the article helped out a bit. We have 8 yes I said 8 mini dachshunds and they are our kids now too. My youngest is away at school and the older 2 are out on their own. Smiles, Linda in NJ


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RE: Plant Stands

My husband brought home T12 fixtures. He said, "They were practically giving them away compared to the T8 ones." (chuckles) That man just tickles me sometimes. Sense I don't really know what I am doing yet, I will try these rather then argue the point.

Linda, 8! How wonderful. We were in the vets the other day and she asked how many we had now. I said "Just 4." My husband said, "Well it takes 4 of these to equal one decent sized dog... Your's must be smaller then these who are about 10 pounds... so it must take 8 of them to equal one decent sized regular dog... I always wanted a mini Dachshund. Are they short hared or the long haired ones?

Have a wonderful day,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

Raven -

I would return them (t12) back. Happens with my hubby all the time - cost driven decisions, purchases from the clearance rack...

But - it is still cheaper to put 1 t8 fixture than 2 T12s, especially with electric costs taken in account.

Irina


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RE: Plant Stands

My T8 bulbs have last over TWICE as long as the other bulbs. That's another cost factor to figure.

Dora


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RE: Plant Stands

Hey there Raven, My doxies are a mixture 4 Black and Tans, 3 Dapples and 1 Dapple with longhair.I would say if I put them all together they would make a good police size German shepard.Lol

How is your new plant stand coming along? Figure out the light situation?
I received 2 of my orders from Ebay on Thursday total of 31 plants,some were in bloom,some budding,all are very nice.I think I got good deals but then I haven't ordered from any places like the Violet Barn to see what size plant they send for the money? I repotted them all up yesterday and roots all looked great too.I am now figuring out my lighting and will be going to Lowes later to make purchase. Well I hope I keep all these newbies Happy ! Also the 50 cent plants I got on clearance at Lowes 2 weeks ago almost(Wow time flies) are all looking good so we will just have to wait and see what colors they are. Happy Growing, Linda in NJ


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RE: Plant Stands

Hello everyone,
We just got back from the store. The T12s went back and now we have T8s. The stand arrived and is sitting in a VERY heavy box on the front porch. Now to actually make room for it in the back room...

Linda, 31 new babies! How wonderful. I don't know how the size compares to what others send, but I am guessing that mine form the Violet Barn were medium sized? The couple of standard violets were definitely small, but the minis were well established.

Have a wonderful day,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

Well, I was reading through the forums different posts in the av forum and I got an idea. I went out to the garage and remembered there was a 25 gallon fish tank out there with a complete light system. Had the hubby check the bulb(My eyes are terrible) and what do you know it had a t8 bulb in it that everyone had talked about using. Sooo I had him bring the tank and light system in and I cleaned it all up and now filling it up with my 31 mini and semi's I just got. I put it on the bottom of my plant stand in the sunroom.Now I just need to find a tray to fit in it so I can water them from the bottom,guess I will go out tomorrow on a search. Anyone have any ideas about a tray?
Happy growing, Linda in NJ


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RE: Plant Stands

"Now I just need to find a tray to fit in it so I can water them from the bottom,guess I will go out tomorrow on a search. Anyone have any ideas about a tray? "

What are the dimensions of the tank bottom on the inside?

Barbara


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RE: Plant Stands

One t-8 tube may not be enough light. Above discussion was about a minimum of 2 tubes per shelf, which is what I think most people use. Will the aquarium also get some daylight?

I have plants in aquariums, but I have never found a tray to fit the bottom. I use a piece of acrylic blanket cut to fit the bottom. This makes a nice "capillary mat." My plants are in little pots standing on the mat. They also have wicks in the pot, which I think improves contact with the mat. Plus, I can take them out if I want and put them on individual waterers. I water the whole aquarium by pouring water on the mat.

QC


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RE: Plant Stands

Very interesting article about violets and light needs. Thanks Linda for posting that.
My question is on a smaller scale than most. I had bought a Grow Light, by Lights of America at Walmart. Last night it got so cold here that I put my small tray of about 12 violets on top of my computer tower. That kept the temp at 70 or so.
Now I have put the 24 inch single grow light over them. The row of plants is about 10 inches wide. Most are very small so have them directly under, tallest leaf 5 1/2 inches from bulb. The 3 larger plants are about 5 inches tall so have set them off a bit to the side. Their closest leave are maybe 4 inches from bulb and the farthest leaf about 9 inches from bulb.
Do you think this is a workable plan? Would much appreciate any advice.


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RE: Pl ant St ands

I have a nice little wire stand that has 4 shelves about 12 inches apart (spacing could be changed if needed), the shelves are 10 inches deep and 24 inches wide. Do you think that I if I got a few more of the 24 inch grow lights and put one single bulb for each shelf that would be ok? Or, do you think I should put two singles for each shelf or try and find a 24 inch two bulb fixture? Don't think I have ever seen them.
Again, wondering how far out from the bulb a plant can be to benefit from it.
Thanks
Sherry


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RE: Plant Stands

The usual setup for AVs is 2 tubes per shelf. Tops of standard AV plants need to be within 12" of the tubes. Minis often need to be closer than 12" to the tubes. I've never tried just one tube per shelf, but I've never seen it recommended.
QC


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RE: Plant Stands

Sherry I have a 4 tier wire shelf set up and have a single plant aquarium bulb light fixture for each of the shelves. So 4 total. The bulbs and fixtures came from WalMart.
Lights should be 12 inches from standard size AV's and for the mini's 6-8 inches.
I have buds and blooms and this set up is working for me in cold Oklahoma. Only difference is my shelf unit has a zip vinyl cover that encloses the whole shelving unit.
I do buy those aluminum cookie sheets from the Dollar Store and set 2 per shelf to set the violets on. This way no water drips on the ones on the lower shelves.,,,,Debbie


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RE: Plant Stands

Good morning everyone,
We found that my stand had taken quite a bit of abuse during shipping and several of the plastic sleeves pieces used to hold the shelves up had been broken. Fortunately I had already planned on using only 4 of the five shelves anyway, to allow plenty of space for lights and such, and there were enough left unbroken to put it together. It went together fairly easily and, I think, looks great. I love the fact that shelves can be adjusted in 1' increments. That will come in really handy as I figure out my lighting and growing needs. I can see myself breaking more of those plastic sleeves when fiddling with the shelves one day though, so I went online to look for the manufacturer to see if I could by backup pieces. I found the sleeves and I also found they had shelf liners made of polypropylene. Perfect, as I had been thinking about what I might use so that I don't dump water and such on lower shelves. So I ordered some of those as well. These shelves are by Seville classics if anyone else is interested. With the large wheels, the whole unit rolls easily around to get behind or under. My light fixtures easily hook up under the wire shelves. It looks very empty at the moment, with my small collection of plants, but I am sure that will change. (grins)

Sherry, I did see a 2 bulb, 24' T12 light fixture sold through Amazon when I was looking. Just in case you decide to go that route.

Have a wonderful day everyone,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands... whoops

Sigh... I should have more coffee in the morning before I try and type. That should have been 1 inch increments and a 24 inch light unit.
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

Debbie, how many inches on each side of the single bulb do you have the violets? If a person had a 10 to 12 inch width shelf you wouldn't be able to place the violets on the outer edges of the shelf, or would you?
Sherry


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RE: Plant St ands

Raven, I looked on Amazon but didn't as yet find a 2 bulb 24" fluorescent fixture. Looked on Ebay and saw a single, 24" fixture for $18.88. It looks just like the one I got for $9 or so at Walmart. Will keep looking. Thanks for info.
Sherry


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RE: Plant Stands

Sherry, I checked to see if they still had what I thought I saw... It is a Hydrofarm 2-foot hanging shop light, white. $28.99 I read in one of the reviews that it takes 2, 24 inch bulbs, T12 type, 20 watt. Seems a bit pricy to me, but many called it cheep for a 2 foot one. Even on other sites. Some also said it was a bit flimsy too, so I don't know.. I just thought I would pass it along.

Have a wonderful day,
Raven


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RE: Plant Stands

Thanks Raven, I did find the 24, 2 bulb lights you mentioned. I think they look pretty good. One thing I would really like to know, is if there is a benefit to having a two light fluorescent and maybe that would provide some sort of reflective value with the fixture. Some lights do advertise that. Or, if using two single lights spaced a distance apart would be just as good. Or, maybe a person would need only one bulb per 10 to 12 inch shelf.
Wondering if anyone would have advice on that.
Sherry


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RE: Plant Stands

Sherry I have below put a link to the stand I am using with a 24 inch single bulb fixture in the center of each shelf. The plant/aquarium bulbs I am using came from WalMart as did the fixtures. The shelves are 19 deep by 24 width. I am getting blooms and buds all over the shelves. Not just directly under the bulbs.
I did take off the cover over the bulbs that diffused the light. It's bare bulb now on each shelf.
I have my lights on 10-12 hrs. a day.
I hope this helps you with your questions.,,,Debbie

PS: I'm so excited because yesterday I saw 'mouse ears' in a few of the cups of leaves I've been rooting!! These leaves were put down right around Halloween.

Here is a link that might be useful: Debbie's plant stand


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RE: Plant Stands

Thanks Debbie for the info and the link to your stand. I like the stand. On your 19" deep shelves how close to the edge do you put the violets, in other words how far from the center light do you put them?
I did get my one 1 tube fluorescent fixture with tube included at Walmart last week. Bet it is the same as your. Got the Grow light and it was under $10.00.
I am excited for you, getting mouse ears. It doesn't seem like it has taken very long, does it. The violets must like what you are doing.
Sherry


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RE: Plant Stands

Sherry I fill the shelves with as many AV's as I can get on the shelf without the leaves touching each other. I utilize all the space I can.
My collection is fairly new so the plants on the most part are relatively small with some nice 4 inch pot size mixed in. When all the standards mature I'm in trouble. haha. I'll need yet another shelving unit then!,,,Debbie


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RE: Plant Stands,,,


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RE: Plant Stands

Hi Everyone, How's everyones lighting configurations coming along? Debbie,your stand and lighting is just great! I love the enclosed stand,must keep them nice and toasty.Do you have a thermometer to check the temp or pretty much you don't worry about it? As to my situation with my aquariun,the one light situation seems to be working fine,all seem happy and healthy and growing nicely.The light is over about 40 small plants and seems to be doing the trick,although I do wonder if I had another light would it improve them even more? Hmmm!The aqurium is in my sunroom and is on the bottom shelf of my one plant stand and it does get the light coming in the windows also so that is maybe enough? My tank measures 12 inches by 30 inches. Debbie,I see that your shelves are 19 by 27 and you say one light bulb is doing the trick(lots of buds and blooms) so maybe I just will leave it the way it is.I see that the stand also gets the light coming in from the window also,right? BTW did you receive your plants? How were they?What u had expected I hope! Happy Growing, Linda In NJ


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RE: Plant Stands

I'm reviewing this old post....To grow standards, I need to keep them 12" away from the light. So, figure the light hangs down and inch and the plant is 5" from the tray. Do, is 18" a good spacing for the shelves? I'm going to build one under the basement steps (now that I've cleared 90 years worth of clutter out of the basement and have the space....) and I'm not sure how far apart to put the shelves. This should be fun. :)


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RE: Plant Stands

Not enough. Your standards with their pots can take more than 6 inches, plus you need to save some space for the trays too. And do not forget that the shoplights will take height too. Probably will be a great spot for minis and semi-minis. Whe you get the shoplights - get t8s and if you get the single strips - they take less height than shoplights.

Irina


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RE: Plant Stands

Thank you, Irina. Still going back and forth between a stand or just building shelves. I like the idea of a stand because then I can move the shelves around and I have a carpenter friend who would build to my specs. I'll have tons of space. Hubby just agreed that I can have ten feet of wall! Wow. I could probably have a whole farm there! Still in production but I'll surely post pictures of the WIP!


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RE: Plant Stands

That sounds wonderful! But what I want to know is where are you going to put it

Here is a link that might be useful: petty


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