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Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

March 3, 2009

seed starter is up...FINALLY!!

Well between an unplanned trip to California, Master Gardener courses and two kids doing science fair projects, I never had a chance to get around to finally finishing the seed starter that I got started with a ways back... sorry for taking so long to update you.

Tonight I finally got around to bringing it down into the basement where I'll have it set up until I'm done getting starts going; probably until mid May at least. I'm going to just put up a bunch of pictures (since that's really the best way to explain it don't you think?) and explaining myself as I go.
The main requirement for this project, outside of the obvious functionality of the starter, was that I could disassemble and store it with relative ease in a minimum amount of space. Above it the framework of the starter minus the lights. The trays are roughly two feet wide by 4 feet long, and the long boards that make up the legs are just shy of six feet long. They leg board are "L" shaped and nest inside each other.
Here they are all laid out just before A~ and I assembled it. The process is simple, attach the bottom shelf loosely to all four legs and then move your way up. It's a two person job, but in a pinch a single person could do it.
This is the set up that the whole shi-bang is held together with. It's a 2 1/2 inch long carriage bold with a washer, lock washer and wing nut for easy hand assembly.
This is a view from the top of one of the legs so that you can see how the legs and the shelves attach. Below is a picture of the shelf from the inside.
I lined the bottoms of the two shelves that will hold plants with plastic sheeting because I didn't want to accidentally spill water over the sides and have it drip out the bottom onto either the flooring or the fluorescent lamps. And speaking of which, these are the brand/s of lamps that I am using. One gives a high number of lumens but is heavy on the red spectrum of light (kitchen and bath) while the other will fill the gaps in the blue spectrum.
Mind you, they're not professional bulbs or anything, but hey...they do put out a good bit of light! I have two lamps per shelf for a total of four. Each shelf can hold 192 individual plants or 48 plastic four packs. Total I'll be able to have up to 384 plants started at one time. Woohoo!!
And last but by no means least...here it is, my starter. I only have one shelf loaded so far, but I'll be able to get my cabbages and broccoli started to supplement what I direct sow into the ground soon. The bottom shelf will have the later season stuff like tomatoes, peppers eggplants and such. then I'll spread them out amongst the two shelves as they get bigger.

Spring is here!! I don't care what the weather man tells me. When I start seeds and I can turn my soil like I did today...Springs here!! Time to get growing!

Hope all your seeds are sprouting well. till tomorrow.
P~

14 comments:

Eric said...

I was getting all excited to start seeds indoors, then we got 4 inches of snow which is unusual (but no unheard-of) around here. Psychologically it set me back so I have to convince myself that even though it's freezing and icy outside, spring is coming...soon...right?

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous. I LOVE your design. I've got mine on wire shelving and I truly need more lights. But at least I'm gardening. Winter is hard on me.

ChicagoMike said...

Hey P~,

That looks great!

You have raised an issue for me to consider though, and I am curious what you think. I only have plans to start about 130 starts while planning for around 350 sq ft of (planned) available space. about one plant per 3 sq ft, roughly. You on the other had are starting 400 plants, what is your square footage for planting? Worried I have under planned.

I will direct sow a lot as well, but...

Kory said...

that looks fantastic! I notice you use divided flats, just a preference or is there something I should know (other than they are absolutely necessary for curcurbits)

ilex said...

That is a beautiful seed station! Hats off to you.

Your advice was much needed, more than you can possibly know. I'm not much of a capitalist, what with my being a socialist and all :/, but it certainly gives me a lot of ideas. You're my favorite Republican, P.

Steph said...

Great photos!

Sandy said...

That is one awesome looking contraption!

Eva said...

What a great job! It looks great, nicer than some of my furniture! =)

Laux said...

Every time I come to your blog you give me new ideas!

Anonymous said...

great job!!tp

Rosengeranium said...

Looks great! I should assemble my own seed starter but for now a sunny window will have to do - am tangled up in way to many projects right now.

Sue said...

Jealousy, jealousy!
I have plans for a seed starting shelf. Just have to get on the ball......

Jandra said...

Thats great! Definitely something for next spring. I can use an off-the-shelf shelf system (they are often available for very little money) and adapt it. Minimum investment in time and money, maximum results. Perhaps I shouldn't wait until next spring...
Jandra (The Netherlands)

Chiot's Run said...

I was just thinking the other day as I looked at my lettuce seedlings all lined up behind my couch under grow lights, "You know you're a gardener when your living room decor consists of grow lights, black seedling flats and water cans."