This is my 3rd year gardening and each year we tweak and change our process. We keep the stuff that is working and we dump the stuff that is not. Most things just get adjusted however.
This year I wanted to grow my green babies on shelves. It is more efficient for the space I currently have. Later when we have a tunnel and a grow house, I will change it up again, but for this year I wanted to add shelves to our process of starting plants.
I found one that I adored in a catalog. The unit was a great size, the lights raised up and down and they had those fantastic T5 HO bulbs – bright but not hot. I showed it to hubby with much excitement and he was supportive, but then saw the price. 🙂 He promised me he could make me just as fabulous a shelf for much less. Since hubby is an ultimate handy man, I had confidence in this promise. So the project began!
A shelf from Sam’s, lights from Home Depot, some rope, pulleys and a timer was what we used.
Hubby attached two strip lights (that hold two bulbs) to some wood. We have then a set of two strips for each shelf.
Eyes were attached so the rope could be threaded.
On the cart itself he attached an anchor to wrap the rope around to steady the lights after being raised and lowered. The anchor is attached with some plumbers strap he had.
Then for some fancy tying. Hubby is a sailor and those knots come in handy. I cannot mimic these but they work GREAT!
There are pulleys on each end that the ropes come up through so that everything moves together.
We can raise and lower and then the tie to the anchor to hold it all in place.
We threaded all the electrical cords down the side so that they are not ever in the way.
I got to planting some starters. Oh I love playing outside on my planting cart!
I also got trays that water from the bottom this year. They have mats in them and you fill the bottom of the unit. The mat works in capillary action and waters from the bottom. I also got domes to try out. So far I love them.
My grow shelves can have heat mats and that was great for starting my green babies.
They are loving life!
So far success! I love my shelf and my hubby for putting it together for me. I also love these bottom water trays. They are perfect in this situation. No drips and they do not need watered often. After these babies were at it for about 2 weeks, I added fish emulsion to the water. That did not smell great in the basement, but my green babies loved it. We all sacrifice for our babies right?
What is your process for starting plants? Have you started? Some of these (the brassicas) are about ready for the ground here!