Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

Will these shelves make a difference?

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Will these shelves make a difference?
I love starting seeds.
I love being Mother Nature’s helping hand in growing plants that will provide food for my family in the upcoming year.
I love experimenting.

But - I have to say that I haven’t been very successful at growing luscious, healthy seedlings for the garden.

But, I’m a gardener now, so it’s time to up my game and invest in a good seed-starting set-up. Maybe that will make the difference. 

The back story

I have limited space in my house that has enough sunlight to start plants. 
  • Limited light
  • Limited shelves 
  • Unlimited desire!

In the past, I have supplemented the lighting with some, well, cheap lighting systems. My budget has dictated the lighting systems that I’ve used. 

2023 shelving

This year, I prioritized my seed-starting area. And, although I can’t afford the best set-up, it’s definitely an approvement from my before. 

I purchased:
  • a heavy duty 4-shelf unit that is 4’ long and 24” deep. 
  • (3) 4’ LED double-light fixtures, that are “daylight” colour and 4000 lumens. 

I also have invested in a small hydroponic system, which has been giving us lettuce for the past month and I just “planted” a couple dwarf tomato seeds. Maybe I will be snacking on some fresh cherry tomatoes in a couple of months.

My other investment is in vertical gardening. I am now the proud owner of 3 GreenStalk vertical gardens.
(FYI: I can get you an$10 discount, with a $75+ order, if you are interested - affiliate link)

Back to the shelving
This morning, Rick and I worked up a sweat, and, once we tossed aside the written instructions to put the shelves together, we manage to create a wonderful space for my 2023 seeds.



  • The shelving is located at a south-facing wall/ door. 
  • There is a heat register almost underneath it, which should help. Maybe
  • There is a mirror (which I had taken off the wall and now I can’t get it to hang straight) but it is fine and, I think, it will direct some sunlight onto the plants in the afternoons. Maybe. 
  • The bottom shelf - experiment #1. I put two GreenStalk tiers on the bottom shelf. (They are sitting in kids’ snow saucers to catch soil and water. I think it is brilliant.) My goal is to plant perennial herbs in this GreenStalk and I’m wondering if I can give the bottom tow tiers a headstart. We will see. (See below for more information) 
  • The next two shelves (we have to lower the second one), will be for seed trays. I have self-watering trays from Lee Valley. I bought them last year and really loved them. Hopefully they will work well again. 
  • The top shelf, which won’t have lighting, will be for .. probably nothing as it is too hard to access for this 5’ frame. 
  • The bottom three shelves will have the lighting systems. I need to buy some chains that will allow me to raise and lower the lights according to the plant needs. 
And there we have it -  2023, I’m ready! 

GreenStalk Experiment begins

One of the perennial herbs that I want to grow in the GreenStalk is chives.

A few days ago, I planted some seeds in a little cup and put it on the tray of my hydroponics system. Once it germinates, I think the hydroponic lights will work wonderfully to help the seedling get a good start.

Once it takes off, I can transplant it into the GreenStalk. 

I’m still waiting for my perennials seed order to arrive. I will use this same method for 9 other plants. 

And, that’s it …. The beginning of my 2023 garden!

Step 1: shelving and lighting ✔️

What are your thoughts? What would you change? What haven’t I considered? 

- Debbie

a simpler life