With my garden always expanding and with plans to more than triple the current size, I needed to find a more sustainable and more inexpensive way to get seedlings. I have never started seeds indoors before, but I figured I’d give it a try! I did a lot of research on how others set up their indoor greenhouses. I wanted it in my basement, but it gets so cold down there that it would not work for the baby plants. So I decided to turn our spare bedroom into an indoor “greenhouse.”
With all my research, I knew that I’d need an area large enough for over 200 seedlings. They would need lights, air flow, and space for heating pads. I needed shelves that would allow for lights on hooks where the lights could be raised and lowered as the plants grow.
I found the shelf I wanted for this. It was highly rated by past purchasers and was rated for a lot of weight per shelf. I liked that the shelves were wood and that they could hold the light hooks easily. I needed a really large shelving unit, so the one I picked is 7 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and 2 feet in width. That meant that each shelf was 8 square feet, and that gave me four shelves. I did not use the top one, because I did not want to hang lights from the ceiling. So I am using the top shelf for storage.
I wanted to protect my wood floors from the metal feet of the shelves and from water so I laid down some old blankets under the unit.
I found shop lights that were in a pack of ten and were four feet long. The lights came with chains and hooks for hanging. Normally these lights would go in a basement or garage, but they will work great in this new purpose. I needed the chains so that the light can by raised as the seedlings grow. I liked that the lights could been strung together, which meant that there would be less plugs in the power strip.
Since seedlings need so much water, I didn’t want the wood shelves getting damaged and wet. I found dog crate tray inserts would make a great addition to the setup. The trays fit on the shelves and would keep the water off the shelving.
I added a few heating mats from those select seedlings that really need that extra heat. Then I plugged everything into a power strip. That way I could turn everything off and one with one switch and keep all the plug organized.
I purchased seedling pots of 3 inches, 4 inches, and 5 inches. I use have older pots that I have saved from having purchased seedlings in the past. These will sit inside the dog crate trays in big seed arrays. I also got a pump sprayer for watering the seeds and seedlings.
In order to even be able to start this, I needed to know how many seedlings I would need. So I did lots of math and preplanning for the 2022 gardens. I would highly recommend planning and prep to see how much space you will need or want.
In early 2022, I will update you on the seedling process and share how I started them. I also will share my recipe for making your own growing soil. Stay tuned!