Most of you would have frowned while reading the title. After I posted a question to identify a pot I own, I thought it was time to counterbalance and throw in some information to contribute to this forum.
This post is dedicated to home-made humidity trays. Last winter I borrowed some booklets from the president of our local club. A couple of them were magazines from the French bonsai society. In one of them I found a very interesting article. The author visited a hobbyist in Japan who had a developed a system to water his cuttings and seedlings. It was titled "Arrosage sans arroser" which is roughly translated into providing water without watering. I already juggled with the idea to start takings cuttings and develop material myself from the bottom up. At the same time, my interest in companion plants started rising as well. I decided to take the idea to my dad, who would be able to develop the system I read about in the magazine. What follows are some photos of my setup.
This is the base of the system. The box is made from plastic. Beneath the iron screen, there is a cloth that stays damp. The iron screen makes it so that the plants have an even surface to stand on. It also allows me to clean the boxes out pretty easily, since it sits loose. The idea of this system is based on the idea of communicating vessels.
This tube is attached to the box. At this moment we have to rearrange it, since we moved to setup to another place. But I think the idea is clear. A tube full of water fills the box for about 3/4. I haven't yet addressed the advantages of this system. What this allows me is to keep plants (and little trees) moisturised throughout a long and hot day while I am away. Moreover, it creates a "microclimate" because the cloth beneath the iron screen stays damp all the time. I can water newly established plants and cuttings without disturbing the soil too much. Last but not least, I can also feed my companion plants efficient by adding some fish emulsion in the tube. The plants get time to soak up the water, instead of just running through and quickly back out. I must say that I am very happy with this setup, even though it might not seem that spectacular.
And a small little plant that just started flowering
If there are any questions, feel free to ask! (I hope this was somewhat informative)