I'm starting a commercial, mostly raft system, in Minnesota. I took the Friendly training last spring, and I thought I had written down where they bought their 2" net pots at a great price, but I can't find that particular note. =(
The cheapest price I've found is either here in the Aquaponics Store, or buying by the case at my local hydroponic store. Those prices are both about $0.20
In a video on youtube, Tim comments that his 2" net pots cost $0.04. Did he mis-speak in that video? (It was a video about taro in AP, taken by a student).
Also, where are people buying their rafts in bulk? The local big box hardware store?
The other thing I'm having difficulty with is finding form stakes that are long enough to support my trough walls in soft soil.
after doing net pots on my first round --I am trying out just rockwool in smaller holes to see if their is a big difference-the cost is about 4 cents a plant with rockwool. the cocofiber baskets worked great and are reusable a couple of times in a 3" net--they grew fantastic joi choi in 30 days. checkout the photos on facebook luvandpeas aquaponics.
The Friendlies wrote, "You can get the net pots at greenhouse and nursery supply stores. What we use are "Poppelmann" 2" net pots WITH a rim. We accidentally got the Poppelmanns without the rim once; we noticed when they slid right through the holes in the rafts and went underwater!" -- don't know if that was what you were talking about, but . . . .
I have the micro-system from the Friendlies (very well-written manual!), but I haven't gotten anything built yet -- still thinking and planning . . .
Yup, those are the pots I'm looking for. LIke I said, the cheapest I can find them is $0.20.
Dave, I've seen setups that use rock wool, and I think it has possibilities, but rock wool irritates my skin, so it's not for me.
And if you took the training, you could just write them and ask -- of course, if they get theirs from someplace other than the US, the shipping might be more expensive -- but it would be worth a try (I'd ask, but I've already been bugging them about other things, so . . . . although they're terrific people and probably wouldn't mind answe...
In fact, please post any good ideas here, because I'm going to need them too! I just haven't gotten that far yet . . . .
I paid $109.96 (including shipping) for 2000 pots from Hort Americas in Texas..469-532-2383
I did get the wrong ones, as they refer to them as "net pots" but I believe the poppleman manufacturer refers to the type that have the rim as "slit pots"..this caused a bit of confusion. I eventually got them to work, as we jsut heated up a metal pipe and burned holes the size needed so they wouldn't slip through. I did use a drill for the addional holes and used a slightly maller hole saw but it was much messier and we had to drill twice (once on each side) as the drill bit wouldn't go through one side only..huge pain.
Hi karen, I purchased 2 inch 'slit' pots and they do work out to aprox 4 cents each. As Sylvia already mentioned...don't buy the 'net' pots, get the 'slit' pots. The slit pots will fit into a hole made by a 2 inch hole saw...the net pots will go through.
I also bought the 1" x 1" 'horti-cubes' at the same site. They don't need to be pre-treated like rockwool cubes do ( to bring the PH down)
I use the white expanded foam. There is a manufacture not too far from me. I special order it. It's 3 pound virgin foam, no fire proofing or bug chemicals....And I think it's stronger then the dow blue board.
As to drilling the holes....I used a longer drill bit in the hole saw, so the bit penetrates the other side of the foam without the hole saw going all the way through. This way, I know where to drill when I flip the foam over.
I find it is easier to remove the the foam plug from the bit by doing this, because the plug is sticking out far enough that I can grab it and remove it from the hole saw. If you were to drill all the way through the foam, then it's a real pain to remove the plug from the hole saw.
YES, drilling foam can be messy....it's the only time that it 'snows' in FL :-)
try galvanized fence material for stakes. use chop saw to cut many in short time. only measure first and the place something like a box to make a jig so you can just cut one after the other after the other ad infinitum. do not angle the edge or when you pound into ground the dirt will eventually pack causing it to drive in at angle. buy the straps to attach to wood in bulk contractors box. this can then be used as suppport tube to slide the "top rail" slightly smaller diameter into for vertical system(nft) above the trough. the beauty of building your own system is that you can tailor any way that works towards what you desire to achieve.
do it once. do it right. the cheapest way in the short term can end up costing more in the long term and take more time "upgrading" lol