Modifying flats

Jane McGary
Sat, 09 Oct 2010 09:11:30 PDT
Sometimes one may want to line a nursery flat to prevent loss of soil 
from, e.g., band pots, or to prevent water from draining too fast. In 
the past I used sheets of microfoam to do this, but it's flat and 
blocks drainage from the bottom of pots (though not from the side 
holes). This morning I wanted some shallow containers to hold 
cleaning supplies in a cabinet under the sink, and my eye fell on 
some of the heavy-duty 18-inch-wide flats commonly used in this area, 
made by the Anderson company. When I brought them into the kitchen, I 
noticed some rolls of shelf liner I'd just bought -- Con-tact Premium 
Shelf Liner, a heavy plastic, flexible, non-adhesive product with a 
ridged surface. It's exactly the same width as the interior of the 
flats, and the ridges are high enough to allow air and water movement 
under pots, but it would retain some humidity, especially if fitted 
so it goes a little up the long sides of the flats. Having settled 
the silver polish and Windex in their modified flats, which can 
easily be slid out for access to the pipes and so on, I'm now going 
to fix some up in case I need to bring seedling flats into the garage 
during winter, and for similar uses. I expect this product would last 
for years, though perhaps not if exposed to strong sunlight.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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