What's new

Questions about wading pools as water trays

Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
1,496
Location
Oregon
I've heard that some people will use wading pools as plant trays for larger collections. I'm getting to the point where I'd like to consolidate my plants into one, but I have a couple questions.

  • What's the best way to control the water level when it rains a lot? Even short pools are taller than most CP pots.
  • I understand people these are generally lined with black plastic to prevent UV damage. Wouldn't this heat the water up too much during the summer or is it not a problem with a larger amount of water?

Any information would be very helpful.
 

SubRosa

BS Bulldozer
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
1,484
The easiest way to control the water level is to drill a hole at the desired level. I don't have issues with excess heat here in SE PA, but in hotter areas I suppose it could pose an issue.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
973
Location
Athens, GA
1) A magic hole, large enough so that it doesn't clog with large soil particles
2) Black plastic is optional--adding fresh water moderates the temperature, particularly for me since I'm on a well.
 

SubRosa

BS Bulldozer
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
1,484
1) A magic hole, large enough so that it doesn't clog with large soil particles
2) Black plastic is optional--adding fresh water moderates the temperature, particularly for me since I'm on a well.

I use a 1" hole saw. If that isn't large enough you should probably be mining the stuff instead if trying to grow plants in it!
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
973
Location
Athens, GA
I use a 1" hole saw. If that isn't large enough you should probably be mining the stuff instead if trying to grow plants in it!

Thing is, I used to just cut a slit with scissors. The peat/perlite splashes out, floats, and then forms a mat that plugged the slits up. It's the aggregation that gets to be.... aggravating!
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
1,496
Location
Oregon
I just thought of one more question. If I have one of these only half full, would it be advisable to cover up the rest to try to cut down on evaporation?

I stopped by a pet store today that according to their website had some pools in stock (for bathing dogs) only to be told that they only carry those during the summer. I suppose I'll have to keep looking. I need more space so I can repot Sarracenia into larger pots, as I am out of smaller water trays.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,940
Those inexpensive plastic wading pools don't typically show up in stores until June or July. I use those extensively for my Sarracenia and they work very well. Poke a hole at least 1/4" in diameter at the height where you want the maximum water level to be. A large diameter nail (or other metal instrument) can be heated in a flame to punch a hole. Be sure to use pliers to hold it, of course, to avoid burning yourself.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
973
Location
Athens, GA
I raid the kiddie pool clearance of all big box stores, hardware stores, and drug stores in my area in the fall. Yard sales will also turn them up from time to time.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
95
Location
SF Bay Area
In case it may help, my local walmart is still full of Christmas goodies in the clearance section including quite big (24") wreath storage boxes that easily turn into 2 pools (cover + bottom)

I also got an ornament case on sale which is perfect for square 3.5" pots. You can fit 4x5 pots with 4 different lanes to have variable water levels. And if you keep the cover it's a nice germination setup too.
 

DJ57

I am a CPaholic...
Supporter
Moderator
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Messages
1,758
Location
Near Portland, Oregon
Thanks everyone. I hope I can find one before June since I need the space for repotting.

I can bring you an unused medium-sized one (40"?) to get you by if you are going to be at the meet on Saturday, you can return it to me or replace it when they start coming back out in stores this summer :-D Let me know if you are planning on being at the meet.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
1,496
Location
Oregon
I can bring you an unused medium-sized one (40"?) to get you by if you are going to be at the meet on Saturday, you can return it to me or replace it when they start coming back out in stores this summer :-D Let me know if you are planning on being at the meet.

Thank you for the offer but I don't think that will fit in my car. 36" is about the limit for my trunk. I will be there tomorrow though!
 

CorneliusSchrute

A leuco by any other name would still be as glutto
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
534
Location
Dexter, MO
Fred's insight is worth examining further, too. I made display boxes out of dimensional lumber and them lined them with plastic. You know, for aesthetics. Turns out kiddie pools are rather fugly. Making boxes was probably more hassle than you are looking for though.

Instead, think like Fred and use any sort of large, shallow vessel. Storage totes designed to slide under beds work well and can be had for a five bucks or so at WalMart and the like. Or I have also used big plastic mortar mixing tubs. These are similarly priced and are available at every big box home store.

71m7l5bg9OL._SX522_.jpg


Be creative enough and you won't even have to line anything with poly. Good luck, chap!
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
1,496
Location
Oregon
I am certainly keeping an eye out for alternatives. I swung by Walmart today and didn't find anything in their clearance isle, and nothing short enough in their storage section. The mortar tub is a good idea though, I didn't think to look for something like that.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
973
Location
Athens, GA
This probably sounds super dorktastic, but I hate the sloping sides of those mortar tubs. IMO they make suitable minibogs but just suck at space-efficiently holding containers.
 

DJ57

I am a CPaholic...
Supporter
Moderator
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Messages
1,758
Location
Near Portland, Oregon
I can bring you an unused medium-sized one (40"?) to get you by if you are going to be at the meet on Saturday, you can return it to me or replace it when they start coming back out in stores this summer :-D Let me know if you are planning on being at the meet.

Okay, see you tomorrow!
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
1,496
Location
Oregon
Well I found a temporary solution. Turns out these 39L under-bed storage tubs are the perfect size for 10 gallon nursery pots.

4ygeRUZ.jpg
 
Top