Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday morning Sheba and/or Nina picture

In the basement. The photo is somewhat misleading, because it implies that the shelves on the right side of the photo are just as full of plants as the shelves on the left: in actuality, about 1/2 of the space on the right shelves is still empty, because I don't have it lit yet. But soon.


CelticRose said...

Nice photo. :)

Glad to see you survived the storms.

nycguy said...

How do you avoid having water from one shelf drip onto the light fixture for the shelf below? I'm struggling with this myself at the moment.

Kenneth Moore said...

I thought you were going to say it was misleading because Sheba was behaving herself and not nomming on plants. But I'm glad to learn it's because you'll be expanding your growing space. 'cause you'll be getting a few new things in a little while.

Kenneth Moore said...

Also--just say nycguy's comment. I'm curious, too--I mean, shelf-length tray liners sound great, but they're not exactly easy to come by (I haven't ever seen any?).

mr_subjunctive said...


* The vast majority of plants have saucers under them. All of the individual pots do, and a small percentage of the flats have additional non-draining flats under them.
* Some of the shelves have pieces of flat acrylic on top of them. The smaller pots had a tendency to fall over when on the wires alone, so I originally put the acrylic down in order to create a more level surface, but it also works to catch drips. It's also handy near heat vents, as it's a way to have plants near the vents but have the hot dry air deflected.
* I'm not doing it at the moment, as far as I can remember, but in the past I have sometimes put plants in saucers on the back of the light fixtures, so most water that dripped from above would wind up in another pot instead of on the fixture.
* That leaves just the flats without trays under them, and those I pretty much just try to shake off before I put them back in place.
* Some water drops fall onto the fixtures anyway. For the most part, these slide harmlessly off the metal (there aren't actually that many holes in the top of your average shop light, and those that are, aren't very big).

I have had a fair number of lights stop working on one side or the other. (Once, both sides stopped working.) These were almost all shop lights of the same model, purchased at the same time, and they went pretty shortly after purchase, so it's possible that they're more susceptible to water drips, but it's also possible that they were just shittily-manufactured fixtures. (They were all very cheap, and manufactured in China. Don't buy the cheapest model of shop lights from Lowe's.)

houseplantguru said...

That is the cleanest plant room I've ever seen! Very nice! I've had problems with the cheap light fixtures also. I live in a 1966 house(good year) and I've lived her 14 years. I've brought up shop lights from the basement to use on my plant stand. Still going strong and have replaced the cheap lights from either Lowe's or Home Depot once or twice in the 3-4 years I've had the light stand. I'm not sure the lights are from 1966, but they look like it. Anyway, they are at least 15 years old. It's ridiculous how cheap the new ones are. Have you switched to the T-8's yet?

mr_subjunctive said...


Well, um, four things:

1) That's the basement, not the plant room (the plant room has a concrete floor, and is very, very full), though I suppose an argument could be made that once you have a certain number of plants in a room, whatever its designated purpose, it becomes a plant room automatically. (The basement presently has 471; the plant room 281, though the ones in the plant room are larger, on average -- a lot of the basement is for flats of cuttings I'm trying to start.)

2) I may have removed a bit of dirt with the clone tool after uploading the photo to the computer. So it's somewhat less clean than the photo makes it look.

3) Haven't switched to T-8s, mostly because my whole setup is structured around T-12s. It's bad enough having to have a case of T-12s around without needing to have a case of T-8s on hand too. Though we do have a line of T-8s in the middle of the kitchen / living room, and now that I think about it, there are also a few under-cabinet fixtures here and there that also take T-8s. We just cross our fingers and hope that those bulbs don't burn out.

4) Not too long ago, we found a shop light in a consignment store that looked like it was from the 60s or 70s, still in its original box. They were asking $5 for it (1/2 the price of a cheap new one; 1/3 the price of a good new one), so I bought it, and we set it up in the basement. It's not functionally different, as far as I can tell, but it weighs like 800 pounds / 363 kg.[1] I guess materials have changed in the last 50 years.


[1] Exaggerated for comic effect; realistically more like 20-25 lb. / 9-11 kg. Which is still a lot for a shop light.