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.
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.
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.
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?