|Plant Propagation Bench for Seedlings and Cuttings|
The propagation bench is made of mostly pressure treated lumber to resist moisture damage. The plants won't make direct contact with the wood so there are no concerns there. Newer pressure treated lumber is much safer than the older stuff anyway (no more arsenic in the pressure treating process). The bench is essentially a raised bed on wheels! The bed portion has a layer of plastic to prevent water spills from running everywhere, 1" of styrofoam insulation (recycled gift packaging from Christmas), and a heat sink layer of ceramic tile that should help the heat mat maintain more balanced heat level. You could easily convert this idea into an actual raised bed on wheels by making the bed portion deeper and adding a drainage system.
The bench is extremely heavy so wheels were necessary. Simple 2" locking caster wheels are doing the job. If I planned to take it into the yard I would need wheels more suited to yard work, but I don't plan on using it anywhere but the garage.
I need to enclose the propagation chamber next with clear plastic doors. Plexiglass is easy to find at the home improvement stores which is probably what I'll end up using. I also want to add a small fan to blow on the seedlings. Keeping the air moving is important to prevent fungal diseases like damping off and can actually help make stronger plants. The seedlings get used while young to a breeze and grow stronger to resist it.
When not in use for seedlings the heat mat can also be used for propagating cuttings. I can't wait to test that out!
Tomorrow I'll resume the Seed Starting 101 Posts with the Dirt on Soil!