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Lettuce Rafts- Simple Hydroponics

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 @ 10:31

lettuce rafts

Lettuce rafts (Deep Water Culture) are perhaps the simplest most economical way to grow small herbs and plants in an aquarium or water container that is at least one foot deep. Essentially small plants such as herbs, spinach, basil, cilantro are placed in the lettuce raft and placed on top of the water source. You can grow your seedlings in a growing medium. One example would be the Hydroton balls. They are placed around the seedling to help support them in the lettuce raft.  The water source is nutrient filled to feed the floating plants. Some examples of nutrients is, GH Flora Series. It consists of Flora Grow, Flora Micro and Flora Bloom. It's important that the roots of the plants are long enough to reach the water right after you plant them in your lettuce raft. You will also want to keep the pH of the water in the proper range which is 5.5 to 6.5. Of course, 6.0 if ideal!  The reason the pH is so important is because the plants cannot assimilate the nutrients well if the pH is off. 

The water must be aeriated so that the nutrients and the water itself do not become stagnant. One option for an aeriator is called an Air Stone. This stone is hooked up to a small single-outlet air pump which is outside the reservoir. Some people like to place the air pump higher than the reservoir so that the nutrients don't back up into it.

If you are excited to see plants grow right away, consider choosing plants that have a short growing cycle.  Lettuce and other leafy greens are great for a start.  For your kitchen you may want to have herbs at your fingertips! Just place your lettuce raft system in a sunny window. Some types of plants may require an additional light source such as a T5 compact fluorescent grow light.  Other fun plants to consider growing are hot peppers, endives, watercress, basil and dill.  What you don't want to grow are heavy bulky plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or sweet peppers.

A little hint for success is to cover any glass aquarium sides with thick paper or cardboard. This will block out the light and help prevent algae. When you want to show off the roots to your visitors, simply remove the paper for all to see.

Most of all have fun and happy growing!

Tags: hydroponics, lettuce raft

Make a Haunted House with Black Plastic Sheeting

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 @ 09:31

Designing a haunted house is achievable in almost any location in your home. In case you would like to break from Trick or Treating, why not develop a haunted house at your house? With the help of some fire retardant black plastic sheeting, you can build multiple rooms that are creepy, dark and scary! Of course those lucky folks who have a basements to work with- all the better!  Use illumination and music to manufacture a terrifying surroundings.

Many different house hold accessories can be put to good use to make a spooky design. These things can work with nearly any budget. Old articles of clothes as well as materials, or perhaps previous bottles as well as canisters may be recycled as well as employed to create a spooky home-crafted interest. Continue scouring magazines and get ideas to help make your own haunted household.

black plastic fire retardant

Fire retardant black plastic sheeting plus a garage or carport, can transform that space into a wonderful haunted room. Just give it a creepy name, and have a blast! Positioning Halloween props, creepy sound effects, and giant spiders crawling up the wall will have the little ones screaming. Put up fake tombstones as well as a great inflatable haunted household entrance for the wow factor!

Most likely you will need something to hold up your black fire retardant plastic sheeting.  This is where fire retardant tape comes in.  It is so important to use a many fire retardant items in your haunted house, just in case it should come in contact with an open flame.  Fire retardant plastic will not add to the fire. It will melt or extinquish when the flame hits it.

If you want to suspend some creepy things from the ceiling, consider using fire retardant red stripe strapping.  It's much stronger than most twine, and will not be a fuel source should a fire break out.  We know it's unlikely that your haunted house will have a fire- but it's better to be safe than sorry.  If you are building a haunted house for the general public- say at a school, church, or a warehouse- check with your local fire marshal.  They may require fire retardant plastic sheeting, along with the documentation to prove it meets the fire codes.  Click here if you would like to view fire retardant plastic sheeting and tape for use in your haunted house adventure!

Tags: black plastic, fire retardant black plastic for haunted houses, Red Stripe strapping

Plastic Sheeting and Wine- Do they Go Together?

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 @ 01:38

What does flexible plastic sheeting and wine have in common?  If you are a vineyard trying to conserve water, plastic sheeting can play a big role in your effort.  One of our customers, Pahlmeyer Waters Ranch Vineyard came up with the brilliant idea to take our scrim reinforced plastic sheeting and place the tarps between the rows and connected them under the vines, insuring there weren't any gaps.  When the rains came, the water ran down the plastic right into their silt pond as planned.  This plan worked like a charm saving water while allowing the vines to grow.

 

plastic sheeting for water reclamation

Tags: plastic sheeting, water conservation