joedes3
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Grow Boxes

Has anyone ever used the plastic deck material to build a grow box? It comes in 8ft or longer and I think it is 5 inches wide.

Yes, I know it is more expensive but it should last forever.
Joe DeSisto

joedes3
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Joe DeSisto

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Joe,

No I have never used this material, not even for its intended purpose. I have made grow boxes of conventional 1X material though and can get several years out of them. I once found some damaged milk crates and cut them down to about three inches and they are working out really well. They are probably a similar material as you are proposing.

I say go for it if cost is not an issue. Even if they cost more the longevity should make up for it. You might even incorporate feet or perhaps handles on two sides if you are ambitious. Please post some pictures when you are done.

Norm

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djlen
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I have to second Norm's idea regarding the milk crates. I am in the process of re-potting my trees in their training pots, many of which are in old mild crates. Today I re-potted two pots, each containing groves of Japanese Larch, one batch coming out of a porcelain pot and going into a cut down milk crate and the other batch coming out of one milk crate and going into another one and the difference in root development between the solid bottom of the porcelain and the wide open milk crate is just unbelievable.
Whatever you use, try to find containers with as much open bottoms as possible. The soil's being able to breathe makes a huge difference in top and especially root growth.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
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Marsman
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Len & Norm,

I'm intrigued with the milk crate idea. I'm picking up 4 [url=https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Scotts%20Pines/9afe1f02.jpg]Scots pines[/url] very soon from a local tree farm and want to put them in good growing containers. What did you put in the bottom and sides of the milk crates to keep the soil in? (I'm assuming hardware cloth.)

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djlen
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Window screening. I bought a large roll of plastic screening, cut it to size with a box cutting knife and staple it across the bottom.
Those crates have plenty of support for the screening and I find them to be re-usable when one is careful removing the tree(s) during re-potting. There are some crates that have the solid sides that go up to about 4". Those can be used for Yamadori that have yet to be root trained.
Most of them are about 2" or so in height.
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Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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joedes3
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What about wintering plants? Do you have to protect the plants differently?
Joe DeSisto

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djlen
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That really depends on the plant and how hardy it is. I have several groves and single Japanese Larch that go on the ground, mulched in with leaves. Some of the other hardy stuff can be Wintered the same way.
I also have a cold frame for some of the evergreens that I feel need some protection, and a warm but unheated shed (against the house) and an unheated garage, so I have many options. I don't think there is much difference between enclosed bottoms and open once the plants go dormant. They can either tolerate the cold or they cannot.
Here in So. Jersey the temp. rarely gets much below 10° and rarely stays in the teens for extended periods of time.
So in short I'd say that I use the normal amount of caution/common sense for over-wintering the open bottoms that I use for the others.
Basically, if you soak your substrate just before a hard freeze you're looking for trouble no matter what the make up of your pot.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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Marsman,

As Len mentions, some milk crates have solid sides about three inches up before changing to an open design. I do use hardware cloth in the bottom. Here is a picture of some of the various things I have used for growing stuff out.

[url=https://img411.imageshack.us/i/potsui8.jpg/][img]https://img411.imageshack.us/img411/1989/potsui8.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Norm

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I have several milk crates around the house, so I made some grow boxes.

[img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Grow%20Boxes/ebec82fc.jpg[/img]
[url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Grow%20Boxes/?action=view&current=62cbc53c.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Grow%20Boxes/th_62cbc53c.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Grow%20Boxes/?action=view&current=f38f5cd6.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Grow%20Boxes/th_f38f5cd6.jpg[/img][/url]
[img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Grow%20Boxes/fc1b6281.jpg[/img]

Have to be careful with them. Even though I used the shortest staples, they do leave sharp ends that stick through the plastic on the milk crates.

When I went to dig up the trees, they had grown too large for the boxes I made. In fact, they were too large to safely dig up. But, the nursery owner brought me over to some smaller Scots pines and let me have two of them. Once I clean them up a bit, I'll post up some pictures.

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djlen
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Those will work nicely for you.
I cut mine down to the level of the solid sides. That gives me anywhere from 2" to 4" of height which is adequate for me.
I found that the 'lattuce' looking tops that you left were brutal on my hands and arms and the side ventilation was really over-kill for my purposes. The open bottoms alone will produce rootage like you won't believe. Good luck with them!! :wink:
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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froggy
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And there i was thinking bonsai wouldn't use much space...

This just tells me one thing: I need more room :P
;)

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djlen
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froggy, as you are probably finding out.......IT'S ADDICTIVE!!!!!
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
_________
How To Post A Picture

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froggy
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LOL, REALLY? :shock:

never had a clue (except wanting to get rid of my lettuces to make room for trees)
;)

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