Susan W
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Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Light stand suggestions

I'll throw out a few ideas. No one has ever commented on my simple seed starting set-up, but I'll repeat briefly anyway. I do seed start 12 months/year. From about July on is for the next season, spare a few kitchen herbs. Total starts in the hundreds. Lost track weeks ago! Loss from no germination to losing seedlings up there. I am growing a mess of stuff most aren't, so much is trial and error on my part.

I utilize a couple of rooms in the house that have good windows for natural light, and add some electric lighting. No heat mats. The seedlings sprout (hopefully) and when up with some true leaves go to 4" pots. Depending on temps, may stay in for awhile or go out. April through Oct is easy for being outside, and plants happier.

There are now 4 mini greenhouses along the deck south face so have shelter from wind, and with deep eaves, from rain and frost. Those shelves are too hot in the summer months, and I lost some plants this season having them there too long. In the winter watch the temps. Some plants don't do well below 50 (such as tomatoes, basil), and some can take 30 if sheltered, some strong perennials 20.

As you are mainly planting for yourself, do your homework and make lists. These lists will change by the day of course! Figure what you need to start early, say Jan, then Feb, March etc. Your quick and easy annuals (marigolds, zinnias etc) can be 1st April or later. Our frost is mid April, as I am sure yours is. Don't let the pretty March and early April days fool you, as you will have frost, and could be a doozie! Have the starts out as much as possible, but be ready to pull in!

Perhaps you have an area in the house with windows E, S, or W that you could use, a few seeds starts at a time as you work through your list.
Have fun!
Susan

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Light stand suggestions

I've got a plant stand/greenhouse (yes, outdoors) that is made from a converted shelving unit that originally held animal cages in a research facility. My shelves aren't adjustable and I don't have lights on them but I do have a way of keeping your unit warm. If you use one of those metal industrial shelf units you will need to finish the shelves with a marine or outdoor type finish (paint, polyurethane, etc). Then get some magnets and a couple cheap clear shower curtains. Wrap the shower curtains around the sides of the unit and hold in place with magnets. You'll need 2 curtains but if you use florescent lights the heat from the ballasts should be enough to keep the unit warmer than the rest of the garage. Make sure you have just a small overlap in the front so you have easier access. Seed starting heat mats would also add some heat. Shop the Christmas or Halloween clearance sales for light timers. I picked up some good 2 outlet timers for half price a couple years ago.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Light stand suggestions

Butterfly lady - I have done that before. My old place I had a mini greenhouse on the deck for when the seedlings were first coming outside. I made it from metal shelving unit just wrapped with clear plastic sheets. I wrapped it around the unit, then glued velcro strips down the front edges, so that I could open and close it.

So yes, I guess I could do something like that for in the garage. I would have a couple heat mats for the seed starting so that should add some heat. I hadn't thought about it, because the point of the one on the deck was trapping solar energy and there's none of that in my garage.

SFlorida - I would love LED, but it is pretty prohibitively expensive. I'd really like to have 8' of lighting (until the recent move, I had 16'), wide enough to cover a 20" tray. And it isn't standardized enough yet. Trying to start looking at them is very confusing. Different combinations of volts and watts and wavelengths. Some of the ads/ listings show you the whole spectrum of what it puts out and some give you zero information. And price ranges for LED grow lights for things that superficially look pretty similar, from $800 to $29 .... I have no idea what I would be buying. So there's this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-225-Blue-Re ... 0572709124 12V 225 Blue Red Mix LED Grow Light Panel Hydroponic Indoor Gardening Plant Lamp for $29. It doesn't say it anywhere in the ad, but by careful research it seems that this one has to be plugged into a ballast (not included) and then can't just be plugged in, needs an adapter (not included). Even so the $29 doesn't make sense. What else is wrong with it? I just would be too lost even trying to buy one. I can go to the store and buy a standard T-5 fluro tube and shop light fixture for cheap and know what I am getting.

Susan, thanks so much for the suggestions. I have only east or west windows in my house and none real well suited. Window sill growing for seed starting has never worked very well for me. Not enough light intensity or consistency and everything grows towards the windows. For larger plants, I may try to set up at least one window like this:

Image
https://jnafau.com/wp-content/uploads/20 ... Window.jpg

transparent shelves across the windows. But even if I get that done, I still want some seed starting set up.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

SFloridaGardener
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Re: Light stand suggestions

I got myour LED light from Amazon for $40 and it covers the 2x3 area well at the height I have it. Could probably cover more if I raised it. The foil wrapping really helps reflect the light inward.
Erligpowht 45W LED Red Blue Indoor Garden Plant Grow Light Hanging Light https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S2DPYQM/re ... lwbF40EKZX

Here is a video of mphgardener and his set up with fluorescent lights...



Also make sure you have a fan set up to blow air on the seedlings. Mine were really weak and didn't do well when I moved them outdoors because the stem was very thin. Once I added a breeze they got a lot stronger.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Light stand suggestions

I love those clear shelves! I've got a couple south facing windows those would look wonderful in.

thefuriousone
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Re: Light stand suggestions

I like the 2nd idea, the first one is just a stand, shop lights are great and relatively in expensive and perfect for the first stages of growth. I personally started with reflectors and CFLs which would also work great for seedlings. As far as a stand goes I would suggest wire shelving lots of places to attach lights :D

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Light stand suggestions

So I was posting a reply in the current greenhouse thread: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 50&t=65788

I suggested this instead:

Image

and then I went :idea:) :idea:) :idea: :idea: forehead slap (we need an emoji for that!)

isn't that the answer to my seed starting problem? I could have one of these in my garage. Hang lights from two of the shelves. Put heat mats on it. With the enclosure to hold in some of the heat from the heat mats, the garage would probably only have to be heated enough to keep it from freezing. That one is 27 inches wide, which is enough for 2 foot fluoros, but only 18" deep. Poor planning - not quite enough for a 10x20 tray to go across it.

With a lot of looking around, I finally found this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Early-Start-Shelf ... B000AMP9D6

something like $25 more to get those extra 2" of shelf depth, but there it is: 40" W x 20" deep.

Get two, put one on the deck for when plants start coming out and one in the garage with lights for seed starting....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Susan W
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Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Light stand suggestions

Like this? This was in March. I have 4 total.
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Have fun!
Susan

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Light stand suggestions

Yes, but I would want one for indoors and hang lights from the shelves. The idea is finding some way to start seeds under lights in my unheated or not very heated garage.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Light stand suggestions

I used to have one of those shelves but it fell apart after a year. IMO, not very sturdy and the plastic cover degrades very quickly. And the size is a little small for the cheapie shop light fixtures. Wire shelving would work very well. Just put a sheet of plywood over the top and another over the bottom shelf. Use zip ties or small size chain to attach the lights to the underside of the shelves. A heat mat on the bottom should be enough to keep the whole thing warm even when the lights are off if you have it all wrapped up.

The only plants you might have problems with would be peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. They will take cooler temps after sprouting but keep the temp no cooler than about 50*F. The cooler temp will help keep the plants from getting leggy.

No need to heat the whole garage, just the area you use for seed starting. The set-up would have to be placed close to an outlet, not in the middle of the room.

imafan26
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Re: Light stand suggestions

I use these for storage in my garage. I don't need to start seeds.

https://www.costco.com/TRINITY-EcoStorag ... 43963.html

My mom got them for me for my birthday. I have two of them against my garage wall. Unfortunately being the packrat that I am, they are full and I still have stuff overflowing. The price has gone up since I got mine. But they carry a lot of weight. the good thing about them is that they are on wheels and they can be stacked together like the rolling bookshelves at the library to save space, but will be easy to move because they have wheels. My carts do have wheel locks. The back of the shelf does have a lip and that has been very helpful for keeping things from falling off the back of the shelf.

This is a similar cart with one less tier but the height is the same so there should be more space between the shelves.
https://www.costco.com/TRINITY-4-Tier-Wi ... 22433.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.



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