I acquired another used flora cart this summer - yippee for me (I mean, yippee for the plants!) I was beginning to burst at the seams, so I was thrilled with the opportunity to pick up another one. It’s a little different than the older ones I have, so I decided to use it for propagating leaves and for plants that have been stripped down and restarted. Why? Well, this new stand has 4 shelves, and while they aren’t fixed shelves, there isn’t a lot of flexibility to adjust them further apart. The lights are a little closer than my plants have historically enjoyed. So, I didn’t want to put mature plants on there that are accustomed to their current lighting. Even the few restarts that I’ve put on the new stand are having a bit of a time adjusting. Time will tell if I’ll need to remove one of the shelves to give myself more space to work with.
As far as the plants go, this has been a rough summer, because the main stem of several plants have suddenly began to rot at the soil line. The problem unfortunately has several causes that I’m trying to work on. My watering practices and water temperature are the most likely culprits, mainly because I tend to bottom-water in the evening hours (that’s when I have most time,) but when the lights go out and the temperature dips, I think the plants are staying too damp and cool. I’ve adjusted some of the timers to stay on longer into the evening, which may give the plants a little longer to use their water before lights go out.
Add to that the possibility that my soil may need more perlite now that my environment has changed. I’ve noticed humidity is typically higher in the basement. I do hate to change things when they’ve worked well for so many years. However, we must be diligent and flexible when it is called for, also. I plan to add a little more perlite to some of my soil mix to see if it may help the problem. Also, I’m switching to individual wicking reservoirs for several plants now, and I’m confident that constant watering will eliminate some of the rot problems I’ve been seeing. It’s a work in progress!
Here I’ll share with you a few pictures of the plant room. It, too, is a work in progress, and it will likely get rearranged slightly when the electricity is added. Lately I’ve been limited in how I can arrange the stands because of where my outlets are located. That will change, so I should be able to play with placement a bit more in the near future. In my dreams, I have one whole wall in the back that is a solid counter surface with a nice deep double sink so that I can have a convenient place to refill my water containers and wash trays, pots, etc. Right now, I am just working with what I have, and I’m always keeping my eyes open for someone’s discards to modify/customize my space. That’s it for now, friends! Good growing!