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"Mailing" plants

Someone raised the issue of mailing plants.   Here's what Neil Frank and I
have learned over the past 2-3 years (more than you wanted to know):

1.  Clean plants carefully free of all dead material before shipping.
Otherwise, it rots and turns slimy and is harder than heck to get rid of
later when the plant is more fragile.

2.  Pack plants in only a tiny bit of water, in a plastic bag which is
"flattened".   Imagine placing a soaking wet plant in a plastic bag,
placing same flat on a table, then placing a full daily newspaper gently on
same to drive out air.  Now remove the paper and pack the bag into a carton.

3.  Fill the inner carton pretty full of bags.  So if you are only sending
one small bag, use a very small inner carton.

4.  Depends on service used:

   a.  USPS  Use priority mail (2-5 days).  Ship on Monday.  Pack inner
carton in an outer carton that provides some insulation inbetween.  Use
peanuts for packing material (insulation).  Bubble wrap will also do.
Anything that is light and free.

   b.  FedEx  Use two-day air.  Ship on Monday or Tuesday.   Ship the inner
carton without an outer carton because FedEx charges dimensional weight
(means you pay for at least 1.3# for each gallon of volume, regardless of
weight if weight is less)  If climate is adverse (mid-Summer or cold of
winter or bad storm at one end or the other) consider one day service.
Check the rates.

There is a clear optimization between less insulation and one day service
vs. more insulation and two day service.   I myself prefer the faster
service if the costs are close to each other. 

Feel free to ask any questions that come to mind.

Dave Gomberg, San Francisco            mailto:gomberg at wcf_com
FormMaestro                              <http://www.wcf.com>