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 DIY grow box

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Walker87
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PostSubject: DIY grow box   Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:38 pm

Evening folks!

Thought I would share my most recent endeavour, built the following in a few hours.
It still has a few modifications to go but I will have to do those at a later stage.
If anyone is interested in what I used and how it was built let me know.
Would also like to hear any tips or suggestions you might have.



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Hellonasty
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:51 pm

Good job Smile

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rickyscactus

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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:39 pm

Nice work Walker!!!

If you could get some heat mats for underneath your seed trays that would help, especially around winter time, the more warmth the better.
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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:46 pm

Thanks HN.

Ricky, I have 1 heating cable in there ATM but will definitely need to invest in something more substantial, at this stage I am thinking an electric blanket will work well and will be much much cheaper than filling the area with proper grow pads. Most of the news ones are water proof some are even machine washable!
Pretty sure I will need another light as well, the box turned out bigger than I had planned.
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rickyscactus

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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:04 pm

The bigger the better!!!

I know reptile mats are cheaper than propagation pads.

I would be careful by chance if you use an electric blanket, the temperature may be too hot and difficult to maintain a good growing temperature for seedlings, but with good testing it could be ok.

Another light would help fill the space you have.

Good luck!!!
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Navajoa
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:56 pm

Don't think I'd trust an electric blanket to be stable and might also be an issue with all the moisture around - be careful!

Think you might end up needing to lower you lights to avoid your seedlings etiloating - they require just about as much light as you can give them when it's artificial light. You might also want to lower the roof otherwise you're expending energy heating all that air for nothing.

Good luck with it, always great to see people having a go!
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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:17 pm

Thanks for the feedback.
Lowering the roof isn't an option at this stage but it can be flipped and have 2 shelves installed which may happen in the near future, I hadn't really considered it being too high but definitely a good point.
I purchased another two 2ft lights which are going in today so that should help with light.
I decided against the electric blanket, far too risky.
Purchased a mini oil heater which I think will work better.
Will post some pics tonight!
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:56 pm

Just a suggestion for getting the light closer to your plants. Put to hooks in the roof and suspend the light with some small chain or string. That way you can adjust it to what ever height you want.

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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:56 pm

Thanks sneaky, that's a great idea.
I installed 2 additional fluros today so I'm hoping that helps, also added an oil heater which is a gentle heat and they hold heat for a long time which should help with the temp spiking.

Here is a photo with the mods.
The new tubes are 6400k will purchase some 5000k soon but think they'll suffice for now.
Thank you for the feedback guys, really appreciate it.

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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:59 am

Quick update,
Nothing new with the seedling but as we all know they don't do anything quickly.
The pereskopsis though are looking much happier since being moved, they've greened up a lot since being moved from the cold into the grow box. Hoping in the next few weeks they will send out some shoots so I can get my grafting stock ready for September.
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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:36 am

Quick update,
I used sneaky's advise and suspended the lights from string, had to install another beam but that was easy done, the lights can now be easily lowered or heightened. I have dropped them down so they are a few inches from the seedlings and removed the top light (it's a t8 fitting and rather dull compared the t5) a few of the seedlings were slightly etiolated but not so extreme that they won't bounce back. Hopefully they respond well to the increased light levels, might still purchase another 2 fittings to really give them some bright light.
Also purchased a thermometer to track temps, it's a pretty dodgy thermometer but it gives a rough idea. Night temps drop to around 8 degrees and the highest temp I've recorded so far is 25 degrees.
That will probably increase with the lights being lowered but guess that's a pretty good range for the little guys.
I have the whole day to track temps today and will check the temp every 30 minutes to see if the temp is consistent or if there are any spikes.
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:22 am

Good job walker. The best thing about indoor growing is you can pick and choose dormancy. At the moment I have hundreds of late planted seedlings that have gone dormant. Unfortunately some of them may not come out of it for a very long time.

Oh well my mistake for planting so late.

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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:30 am

That will certainly be a test of patience!
I get impatient with mine and they are actively growing, think I would go crazy if they were dormant.
Most of the seedling look really healthy except for some T.peruvians a couple of them look very dodgy, not really sure what's happened to them but the sides are all limp and shrivelled.
I dropped a tray of pachycereus pringlei yesterday and they coped a real beating I've tried to put them back together but they are not looking too good, very disappointed as they have been growing for about 3 months now and were looking really healthy. I might graft the beaten up ones and hope they take. Only have 4 of them one of which has 3 seedling leaves? But it hasn't done a thing in months, just sits there with its 3 little leaves, the others have spines.
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Cereoid

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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:07 pm

If the seedling doesn't grow spines for a really long time then it might not have a growing tip. You'll know if that's the case if the hypocotyl and cotyledons get really swollen instead of having a shoot come out from the apical bud. I had a Hylocereus seedling do that and after about two years it never grew and it just got fatter and uglier. It's still around and despite not making any primary shoot growth it looks like it has an active vascular cambium and might even have an active cork cambium. It's really sad looking.
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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:13 pm

Think that might very well be the case with this pachycereus, the other seedlings have spines and are growing out of their baby leaves, this one just sits there. Can't bring myself to dispose of it though, might just keep it as a freak lol.
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Cereoid

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PostSubject: Re: DIY grow box   Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:51 pm

I'd keep it, at least until separating time. It might just not be growing at the moment. Just make sure it didn't get any pathogens from the ground when it fell.
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