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By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#133908
Hey Everybody,

Last year I picked up a large pot for some lily bulbs. Well, they never came up. The pot was dark, so I've been under the assumption that they died of heat stroke. I've decided to turn it into a VFT planter. When I went to empty the media, etc out of it....guess what I found? Yep, 7 sprouting bulbs. Well, they have a new home in a bed, and I am moving forward on the VFT planter.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the pot before I got moving too far, but the first pic below will show you it's original color. I had drilled a small hole in the bottom for drainage, so now I needed to plug that up. I also managed to "pop" a manufacturing plug while try to get all of the old media out, so I had to plug that up too:

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While that was drying I went to work on the reservoir. Simple milk jug and a hole saw:

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Popped a hole in the top:

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Checked the fill-pipe fit:

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Drilled some holes in the fill-pipe on both sides:

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Drilled a number of small holes in the milk jug:

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The reservoir is ready to go:

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Broke out the spray paint:

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Gave it a good coating all-around:

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Just another glimpse inside to see the former color:

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Added some sand to the bottom for drainage, and the reservoir:

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Mixed up some Eco Earth and sand--66/33:

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Filled it up with that mix:

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Now, that was all of the Eco Earth that I have. More importantly, I want to let the paint cure before I finish filling it up with media. I am planning on finishing it up with Procoir and sand--66/33, but I am going to check the pine needle stash, so the top portion of the media may change. I like to top-off with sand, so that is part of the plan.

I'll get it completed this weekend, and now I have to see about ordering plants from Matt and Steve! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Naja002 on Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By Steve_D
Location: 
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#133927
Dionae wrote:Naja youre just full of ingenuity.
I agree. I love seeing and reading about your projects! :D
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#134177
Dionae wrote:Naja youre just full of ingenuity.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyqaa6BX7HY[/youtube]


J/King! J/King! Sorry, couldn't resist! Image


Steve_D wrote:
Dionae wrote:Naja youre just full of ingenuity.
I agree. I love seeing and reading about your projects! :D
Image



Dubstep13 wrote:wow i cant wait to see the finished results

Well, hang on for just a few. I've made arrangements with Matt for the plants, and I expect to have this ready when they arrive. Image




Ok, just a partial update. I'm going to have to finish this update probably tomorrow, but here's what I have for now:

Something has been nagging at me, and I know I need to get this sorted and completed now...not later. Basically, from my limited experience with the planter bog, I believe, that my more common issue is going to be with rain acculmulation....not so much dry-spells. The planter has the reservoir for dry-spells, but it really needs a controllable drain. I wanted something that was as least intrusive as possible...and that could hopefully serve a dual purpose. So, this is what I have done...so far:


First, of course, I figured out what I was going to do, how I was going to do it and why. Then I started digging around in my plumbing parts to see what I had to work with. :mrgreen: Well, I had all of the stuff that I needed, so I went to work.

Got out the correct spade bit and drilled a hole:

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Got the pvc parts cut and fitted:

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Put a good layer of sealant around the inside and outside of the hole for a cheap DIY bulkhead:

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Then glued the pvc together through the hole. I only put pvc glue on the rim of the pipe and deep inside the elbow, because I don't want it interfering with the sealant...and the water pressure will be extremely low...even if the pot was full to the rim:

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The biggest problem I have is that I did not press and hold the pvc together long enough, so it expanded slightly....meaning that even though it should seal...the working "hold" is going to be on the sealant...not the pvc "clamp". Might turn into a bit of a nightmare, but we'll see.... :roll:


Cleaned up the sealant...inside and out:

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Next I drilled a smaller hole up top:

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And, then put the other half of the drain together:

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Basically, the threaded fitting and tube screw into the outside elbow. The other end of the tube goes into the hole up top. When it is placed in the top hole it will allow the pot to fill up completely. However, when I want to drain the planter....I just drop the tube down and allow it to gravity drain. The translucent tube, when placed in the top hole, also serves a dual purpose of a water level indicator. Image So, in theory, I should be able to just glance at the tube and get an idea of what's going on inside.


I'll add a few more pictures tomorrow after that sealant gets a chance to cure well. My basic plan is to try to "lock" the inside elbow in order to try to take/keep any "working" pressure off of the sealant.
Last edited by Naja002 on Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#134186
Well, I had something else that I needed to get done, so let me go ahead and add another update.

First, by the time I was done with the shade hut below, the sealant was basically cured enough for me to go ahead and "finish" the drain setup. So, this is what it looks like....I will cut the tube to length later:

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I dug out some river pebbles to act as a rough "filter". I'll get them set well and pile sand on top of them and wet it all down:

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One thing that I needed to get done was simply to build a shade hut for this pot. The one that I documented in my planter bog thread is actually working very well....soooo, I'll just copy it for this planter.

Originally, I was going to drill little holes into the top of the planter and just attach the craft lattice with small screws, but I decided not to do that. I picked up these dowels the other day to use as moisture indicators, and decided to use a few for this. Since they were not long enough...I needed to make them long enough:

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Then I fit and twist-tied the craft lattice:

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Cut out some cross-hairs and inserted the dowels:

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Top-view:

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Attached a "permanent" top:

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So, this hut will just slide on and off with little fuss. Again, I don't know what the sun-tolerance of the craft lattice is, but at minimum it only needs to last a month or so. Hopefully it will still be useable after that.


Let the sealant finish curing, deal with the rocks and sand, fill it back up with media, make the rest of the media, cut the tubing....and I think it will be ready! Image
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By iBaman
Posts:  304
Joined:  Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:57 pm
#134190
whoa. You never cease to amaze me with your cool projects...
iBaman liked this
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#134277
iBaman wrote:whoa. You never cease to amaze me with your cool projects...
Thanx, Amanda! I enjoy tinkering around with stuff, and sharing is half the fun! Image




Time for another update...

Got the Planter and some other stuff out, so I could go to work on it. The drain seal is sealed well, and it is actually very solid...so life should be good with it.

I placed the rocks, added more sand and put the reservoir back in. I piled sand a bit higher over the rocks and elbow:

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Then I poured about 1/2 gal of RODI into the reservoir in order to let it seep out:

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Things were going well, until I discovered a minor issue:

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Apparently, I cracked another drain plug for drainage back when I first set this up for lily bulbs. Well, it won't be hard to fix. Once the media soaks up the water I can put some sealant on it and let it dry. It'll work! Image


So, moving forward...


I remixed the Eco Earth and sand that I dump out and put it back into the pot. I decided to add some wicks...just for the heck of it. Not sure that they will do any good, but as tall as this pot is...they might help. So, I got out my hemostats and some twine:

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Cut some wicks (8) and got them in place:

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Then went and scrounged up some pine needles et al:

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I broke up the pine cones and branches, but didn't bother to cut the needles. Mixed it up with Procior and sand for a top layer of Procoir/Sand/Pine = ~45/30/25:

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Added some of it to the pot. Then, instead of cutting the wicks, I just laid them inside and covered them with more of the Procoir mix:

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Then I started on the sand top-dressing:

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Got it filled up:

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And, soaked it down well with RODI:

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I've put 2 gals of RODI into the reservoir, and sprayed the sand down with another ~1/3 gal. Right now, I'm just going to let it soak that up, so I can fix the small leak at the bottom. However, the water indicator works just fine. At one point the water was about 3" below the top of the pot, but as the media soaked it up...it lowered in a visual way. Here's a couple of pix:

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By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#134567
Just a quick update.

Moved the original soak station and placed the Planter there as a temporary location. Not sure yet where I'm going to put it, but currently it will receive sun all day.

Added another 2 gals of RODI and then sprayed the sand top-dressing down....so, ~4.5 gals of RODI so far. The water level indicator works beautifully. Image

And, the leak at the bottom sealed up just fine. So, it looks like all systems are: GO!
Last edited by Naja002 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
By swat007j
Posts:  478
Joined:  Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:31 am
#134582
i wonder what will happen next :P keep up the good work
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#135238
swat007j wrote:i wonder what will happen next :P keep up the good work
Here ya go:

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I received the plants from Matt on Friday. I let them sit until yesterday (Saturday), then it was time to move forward on this. So, I got out the plants: Red and Green Seed-Grown:

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I started with the Green:

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Did a little bit of grading by size:

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Then the Red:

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Grading:

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By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#135239
Then I went to work planting them all. 64 total...which was exactly enough (Thanx, Matt! Image):

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Got everything wet down and settled:

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And, eventually the shade hut put on:

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This thing has already seen it's first torrential rain/thunder/lightening storm(s). The shade hut stayed on without issue. I redid the height-support for it with 4 vertical dowels. The hump of the sand was not condusive to the X-setup that I showed previously.

Rain had filled it up before I started, so I used the drain...which worked well. Then it filled it up again late yesterday, last night and this morning. So, I let it sit full until about noon today...then drained 2-3 inches out of it. Starting to think maybe I live in a rain forest! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Naja002 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#135240
Well, the small triangular space does have a purpose. I've thought about turning this planter VFT for months now. Finally got up off my butt and started on it. However, unbeknownst to me at the time, the day that I started this...a friend of mine died. I found out later that day. He was 39, wife and 2 kids. One of the few genuinely good people to ever walk this planet. His wife just found him on the floor. Still not sure exactly what happened. Probably a heart attack that will probably be a pulmonary embolism. Anyway, he worked his full-time job, plus overtime, and even cut grass on the side to help make ends meet/provide a little more for his family.

So, I've decided to dedicate the planter to Sherman:

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R.I.P. Sherman. Image
By PeatMoss
Posts:  392
Joined:  Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:01 pm
#135244
Sorry to hear about your friend.

Very interesting project you have, should look wonderful once it grows in.

BTW, do you actually keep Acrochordus? If you do, I must demand you post some pics!
User avatar
By Matt
Location: 
Posts:  22523
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#135245
So sorry to hear about your friend naja. My thoughts are with his family...

The planter looks good. Those "rangy" flytraps that were densely packed into pots should fill in and grow nicely this year for you in that wonderful planter. I look forward to seeing updates throughout the year. I love all of your projects and the great photos you take as they progress :)
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