Friday, January 20, 2023

Seed Starting - Think Vertical!

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” - Kurt Vonnegut

Seed starting shelve station, succinctly standing.

What's one to do when one lives in a normal house and does not possess a surely luxurious greenhouse, which would make all this vegetable growing nonsense much easier?

Get creative of course!  You don't need no stinking greenhouse to be successful, although you may dream about greenhouses nightly.  In normal houses, space is almost always an issue.  But that's okay, just hop on the creative train and make do with what you have.  All that's really needed is some sort of shelving, a corner of a room or a wall, and some grow lights.

Hundreds if not thousands of seeds can be started in a ridiculously small space when you decide to go vertical.  This wire shelving unit is a great starting point.  They're easy to put together quickly and are freestanding.  When putting them together, space the shelves out by about 16 inches.

Then just obtain some full spectrum, low powered, LED grow lights.  Secure two to the bottom of each shelf with zip ties.  Plug the LED grow lights into a power strip that is connected to a timer and nobody will ever even need to think about turning on or off the lights, it just happens automatically!

Suddenly you have your very own freestanding, vertical, seed starting unit that can easily hold hundreds of seeds!

Don't have room for a freestanding unit?  Then just attach planks of wood to a wall and use that.  There's a limitless amount of ways to get creative here.

The 16 inches of shelving space is close enough for the small seedlings to get light and allows them to get pretty big before they start bumping into the lights.  Sure, it's probably best for them to be closer to the light when they're small and that could be accomplished by putting something under the seed starting trays to boost them higher or by having the lights on an adjustable pulley system that you can raise and lower as you please.  That all takes a lot of work though and quite frankly, who has time for that?  Keeping things simple is much better all around on so many levels.

Don't make things more complicated than they need to be.  Do what'll work and just do that.

Those grow lights only use 42 watts each which is a very low energy usage, as far as grow lights go.  The vegetables seem just as happy under them as they do underneath the more powerful grow lights so go with what's going to cost you less.  Plus since they don't use as much energy so if and when the plants start bumping into the lights, they won't get burned.  But the lights still put out a little bit of heat, which is enough to keep your pepper seeds warm to get started.  Which is just another advantage to going vertical, capture and use that little bit of heat in the seed trays.

For all you visual learners out there to whom these words are nothing short of meaningless, here's a handy dandy video showing you exactly how to put this together.

Have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment