"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Starting Seeds

Last year my indoor seed starting was an epic fail. I figured I could just pop some seeds into those little dirt plug starters, put them by the window and water occasionally.


By the time it was warm enough to plant them outside, the ones that had actually germinated and grown were about one inch tall. I think every one of them died in the garden of one cause or another. We had to buy all of our starts, or just put the seeds directly into the garden putting them very behind in an already ridiculously short growing season.

So I committed to do better this year. Start the seeds earlier, give them adequate light, heat, water, and wind (via fan). And hopefully I'll have better luck this year than last.

I'm a little proud of my growing station project. I accomplished it all in a week, holding a fussy baby, and multi-tasking all the other things I do every day. Last weekend I purchased all the necessities:

rubbermaid tote, long and narrow
plastic flower pots with removable bottoms
biodegradable flower pots (the kind you leave the plant in when transplanting)
two overhead shop lights, 48" long
warm and cool light bulbs for the shop lights. (for full spectrum light)
Heat lamp and bulb
Miracle Grow potting soil with fertilizer
straws for labeling
rope and chain assembly for lights
automatic timer for lights
eye hook screws for attaching lighting to the ceiling
power strip and extension cord to plug everything in (already had this)
I think that's all.

Surprisingly, it didn't cost that much. The lights were the most expensive, about $15 each. Far less than it costs to buy all my starts. We have a huge garden if you remember. 40 feet by 60 feet.

This morning I finally got around to putting the light assembly together. I got this idea from a you tube video click HERE if you want to watch. It was so easy too.

Here's my potting soil mixed with water. I just loaded up all the pots slightly heaping with soil.

Ellorie helped plant all the seeds. She did a great job. We planted several varieties of tomatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, crookneck squash, a few kinds of pumpkins, jalapenos, peppers, cabbage, eggplant, cucumbers, and cantaloupe. We'll probably plant some more a bit later.

Here is my "growing station". Complete with full spectrum lights, heating light, timer, and once the plants are grown up a bit I'll add a fan for wind resistance. Heaven knows any plant that is going in our garden will need wind resistance.

The scrawny looking plant you can see there is some basil I planted a while ago. I'm hoping I can save it. It needs serious help as you can see. The tub is so the plants can be watered from the bottom.

You can see the different colors of lights here for the full spectrum. and the heat light there in the corner. The fluorescents don't put off much heat, and my basement is a bit chilly, so this will warm it up a bit.

I'm getting excited for spring. Now no more snow, please!


Patrecia said...

Tell Mason we loved his program. Kendra had to watch it twice and is still not satisfied. She was dancing along.

Melissa said...

Wow! I was feeling pretty good about my efforts yesterday until now. Full spectrum light? Of course! Why didn't I think of that?
I am excited to see the updates in a couple weeks!!

Debbie Murdock said...

I know what you mean about wind resistant plants. We have the same problem. I think 60% of our green beans snapped the first year. We found a better brand the next year but boy it's a learning experience. Good luck with the garden.

The Wendt Wagon said...

You put my garden to shame, and the sad thing is, it doesn;t take much talent to grow things in Sunny CA, and I still kill plants. Oh well, I am learning. I do like the watering system. That in my BIG problem.

Marie said...