How To Use Your Indoor Potting Station
So, you've just received your Plantfolio in the mail, unboxed it and now you're ready to do some transplanting or repotting. You might be wondering... what's the best way to use this contraption?
And that's a fair enough question. As a houseplant enthusiast you've probably developed your own methods for taking care of your plants indoors. In fact, before launching Plantfolio, I was really curious to see how people tackle the same challenges I was trying to solve. I polled several different houseplant enthusiast groups I belong to on Facebook, asking how people keep their houses or apartments clean despite the messy nature of plant care. As you can imagine people had a lot to say. Here are a few ways people described their approaches to plant care:
- Water your plants in the bathtub (yes more common than you might expect)
- Cut open open trash bags and cover your countertops to repot
- Spread out newspapers on the floor and try to keep everything on the papers
- Use a kiddie pool (this might work for some in houses, but unless you're living in massive apartment, this may not work for most
- Water over the sink as much as possible in the sink
- Don't use anything and just know that you're going to have to vacuum and mop afterwards
Clearly, everyone has their own method but if you've purchased a Plantfolio, then you're looking for a simpler, cleaner way to care for your plants.
Key Considerations to be successful with your new potting station:
I look at successful indoor plant care like this: if I can do it simply, efficiently, and without a big mess then that's a success - assuming I don't kill any plants in the process of course...
Plantfolio helps satisfy all three of these criteria, and it can adapt depending on your plant care tasks. Here are four helpful questions to consider when you're getting ready for your plant care tasks.
- What am I trying to achieve right now? Pruning? Repotting? Watering? Propagating?
- Are more than a couple cups of water involved?
- Is new or old soil being moved into or out of bags or pots?
- Where is the best place to setup?
Answering the first question will help you answer the next three questions.
If the answer to question 1 is all of the above or if there is a significant amount of water involved, you should setup the potting station over your kitchen sink. If not, then you can use a table or countertop.
If you're repotting and soil is being transferred between bags, pots and the trash can, then make sure you've got everything close to hand. For example, bring the potting soil bag and the trashcan right next to where you're working so you're keeping the biggest contributor to a mess within your contained workspace.
Setting Up Your Indoor Potting Station
Once you know what you're doing, where you're working and have all of the supplies you need close to hand it's time to think about your Plantfolio configuration.
Does it make sense to keep both trays in the frame? Or do you want one half of the potting station to become the wet side, and the other side the dry soil side? If you take one tray out, you now have an extra covering for your countertop to place an extra pot or bag of soil on.
You also want to think about where to place your side walls. The sidewalls can serve a number of purposes. They can be useful for holding tools. They're great for leaning taller unpotted plants against while transplanting. But they're probably best for reducing the splashback of water and dirt. Depending on what you're using the sidewalls for, you may want them side by side at the back, or covering one of the corners. You may not want any sidewalls at all! Just remember, you can add, more and remove entirely throughout the process.
Cleaning Up & Stowing Your Indoor Potting Station
Once your plant is watered, propagated, potted or whatever else you might be doing, it's time to clean up. Here are a few tips to reduce mess and keep cleanup simple.
- The trays are silicone. So If you have dry soil in them, they're easy to roll up into a funnel and dump back into the soil bag or the trash. If the dirt is wet, they wash off easily.
- You will likely have a bit of dirt or debris on the wooden frame itself. Keep a brush nearby so you can brush it right into the silicone trays before removing them.
- If everything is drenched, give the wooden frame and the trays a quick wipe down.
- If you have tools you use regularly, just leave them right in the elastic tool loops in the sidewalls when you stow them.
That's it for now. I hope this was helpful information for beginner plantfolio users. If you discover any useful tips of your own please do share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org