Hairbrained winter upgrade?

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Not to quote an overused phrase, but winter is coming. I don't have a good south facing window available so I have to use supplemental lighting each winter. The last two I have gotten through with cheap 45w LED panels which kept my stuff barely in stasis.

IMG_20190228_172012.jpg

I have a new idea though. I invested in a 4' T5 ballast with 4 bulbs. It covers the length of my table. Hopefully that will result in actual growth over the winter and not just stasis. I also decided I wanted to try to push my tropicals into air roots. I had some that I encouraged with straws on my scheffelera, but I am wondering if I overwinter my trees in a humid environment if it won't encourage aerial roots - and if I get them to meet the soil they can just grow and thicken when I put them out for summer.

Thus, I repurposed some totes and a PC fan and this thing was born.

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My phones camera auto dims when I try to get pics, rest assured it's frikkin bright in this room now. This humidity box is two totes hinged together with some reflective foil tape, an adjustable speed PC fan and 4"vent.

MVIMG_20191010_210700.jpg

With the fan set to low, I can barely feel air moving out the vent on the other side. My plan is to put a humidity tray or two in here with some wire risers to get the trees as close to the light as possible. Hopefully, I will get a warm and humid environment to encourage aerial roots but have enough air moving that mold and fungus stay out.

Or I may trash the whole thing and just put my trees on the table like a normal person. I'll update later in the winter with any results/progress.
 

Warpig

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Do both? Put some in the box and some on the table! I would be vary interested in knowing if the box helped in growing aerial roots.
 

just.wing.it

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I think the air you will be pulling into the box will be relatively dry.

Maybe a test is in order....

Place the humidity tray in the box with a tree or 2 and place a digital psychrometer inside as well.

Check the RH% (relative humidity).
Compare it to outside the box.

The tool can be expensive.....if you know any HVAC/R guys, they probably have one.
 

amatbrewer

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Check the RH% (relative humidity).
Compare it to outside the box.

The tool can be expensive.....if you know any HVAC/R guys, they probably have one.
I have used this for a couple of years, with the remote inside the inclosure to monitor the temp/humidity of my indoor setup. Inexpensive and available in big box stores and Amazon.
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I was thinking about the dry air pulling in. My plan is to put the fan on a separate timer, maybe have it run 5-10 minutes every couple of hours while the light is on and stay off when its off. I have a combo thermometer/humidity meter I will put in there - just gotta find it! :)
 

just.wing.it

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I was thinking about the dry air pulling in. My plan is to put the fan on a separate timer, maybe have it run 5-10 minutes every couple of hours while the light is on and stay off when its off. I have a combo thermometer/humidity meter I will put in there - just gotta find it! :)
Set up a humidifier right behind the fan, it'll constantly pull in the water vapor.
 
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Set up a humidifier right behind the fan, it'll constantly pull in the water vapor.
I was thinking about one of these.

https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-reptile-fogger-terrarium/dp/154856?utm_id=303383085&msclkid=a9d31c4b0c11173a120641eb91801a23&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping-Product Targets-Consumables-SSP&utm_term=4584963489034573&utm_content=All Products

However, before I drop much more money on this I do want to see how the trees do for a couple weeks. May be enough that they're just enclosed. I had a ton of aerial roots start when I just put a plastic dome over a schefflera last year - I just didn't have enough light for it to keep growing them out I think.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I used some left over rubbers to dampen the sound on the PC fans I use. A new fan doesn't make much noise, but the box is going to act like a sound amplifier at some point and it's going to make you crazy.
Humidity in these kind of settings are a hit or miss, not much in between. Microclimates are notoriously hard to regulate, and the fact that I have two working micro-environments was more a game of luck than anything else. It took me five years to get it right.
 
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Fortunately, I have an entire bedroom of the house just dedicated to bass stuff and bonsai, so the noise shouldn't be an issue. I have to keep the door shut in there when I have trees in for the winter anyway because of this fat bastard.

IMG_20190220_190349.jpg
 

River's Edge

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I have had some success with this set up. I use it primarily for cutting propogation out of season or for more difficult cuttings. ( experimental fun)
The basic frame is constructed of wood, enclosed with clear vapour barrier plastic. Front piece is a flap! Houses a 2 by 4 heat mat with controller! Old computer fan mounted up high inside! Placed on top LED light units. Two daylight spectrum ( one each side) . Center unit is growth spectrum! Home Depot purchases!
Current cuttings include variety of quince, prunus ume, white pine, azalea, seiju elm and copper beech.
Perhaps something like this may work! I open the unit for 15 minutes per day and operate the fan on a timer for 10 minutes twice per day. The heat mat retains a bottom heat in the neighborhood of 72-74 degree's F.
I mist the plants with OSOYOUNG's famous hydrogen peroxide once or twice a day as the opportunity presents itself!
Typically the plants dry off from the misting fairly quickly but humidity level remain high and watering is infrequent. ( every third or fourth day).
 

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