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IndyGerdener
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Garage grow shelf ideas?

So, I live in Indiana. It has been like 7 degrees within the past week. I am wanting to build a grow shelf in my garage. The garage is insulated, but non heated.

I was thinking about a 4'x8' table up off the ground insulated underneath. A halogen shop light above, and sides framed and wrapped in thermal reflective emergency blankets.

I may place a shelf or two above the main table with another light under them to provide the seedlings with warmth from below.

Any thoughts on this set up? Any plans on something set-up like it? I do not have much money to spend on this, and need to do it on the cheap. I have saved alot of seeds from last year, and am ready to try to start them and sell them if possible. I have Trinidads, and Ghost peppers that should be my hot plants to sell. I believe now is the time to start this process.

Any help will be great!!

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rainbowgardener
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As long as it isn't freezing, the most important heat is the soil temperature. You can keep that up with heat mats under the trays the pots are in. If you did that plus a space heater in the garage --- if you had one with a thermostat you could have the thermostat set to 40 or 45 degrees -- you wouldn't need all the halogen. The halogen lights are expensive to buy and power consuming to run. You could use regular fluorescent tubes instead.

If there was a way to partition off the grow area from the rest of the garage, turn it in to a little separate room/closet, it would reduce the space heating cost.
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IndyGerdener
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Yes i was planning on using the emergency blanket to make it a seperate area. I was also thinking of using some foam board insulation as well. This should keep the heat in as well as reflect the light to every surface on the plant.

In reading i believe garage floursent bulbs are the way to go. If i get a space heater and kept it set on 85 and placed it under the main table. Insulated that space, and left it on, that should heat up the whole surface area below the seed beds. Will this work?

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I would make whats called a sweat chamber where the area lets say 3 wideby 5 long and 6 feet high insulated on 3 sides. I woulds get a clear shower curtain at Wal mart for the front facing any light coming into the garage. I would place a 15 gallon aquarium at the bottom with a small aquarium 100 watt submerciable heater that keeps the water at 70.. Its cheap to run at only 100 watts if you want more moisture keep the aquarium open or just check the humidity and keep it at about 60 %. lots of options that you will create on your own!
+++The heat will rise and maintain a constaint moist heat. The aquarium heater has is own thermastat! the clear shower curtain is a thick clear plastic thet can be put on a rod like a shower and used as the door that you can see through! The lights will also add to the heat! Should work wihout heating the garage! the shower curtain I got at the dollar store for $6 they sell a inclosed heat chamber at lows for i think $39 with shelves but I woulds make my own cheaper!
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Bobberman
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Safety is the best way to go so watch what you use. No heating blankets!. the aquarium is safe and you can add a few fish and use some o the aquarium water to add to the plants natural fertilizer! The aquarium heater is only about $15 at wal mart! and you can use anything for the water storage even a plastic $5 box that you can by anywhere but i prefer a $20 aquarium 15 or 20 gallon aquarium! I have my aquarium heater on a timer so it only comes on every other hour! Since mine is in the greenhouse I only have the aquarium heater come on at night since the day temp is much warmer!
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IndyGerdener
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I think there is confusion of the emergency blanket and what it really is. All an emergency blanket is is a heat and cold reflecting material. It is like really reflective alunimum foil that wont tear easily. I believe it is the same stuff forest fire fighters use if there is a burn over

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rainbowgardener
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And heating pads are very safe. I have two that I run 24/7 for several months each year. I have used them like this for more than a decade and they are still doing fine.

I still think if you just put your trays on heat pads you would need less of all the other stuff. And putting your space heater on 85 is way over-kill. If the soil is warm, the air just needs to be above freezing, like the 40-45 I mentioned.

The heat pads are cheap and running them I think will be more economical than running a space heater on 85.
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my first reaction was a 4x8 flat top is going to be very difficult to "reach into" unless it is sitting in the middle of the room where you can access it from all sides.

draping (just about) anything "around" the table to make a smaller environment for heating will work. whether any specific heater is going to be enough / too much / works / fails is really hard to guess - but as has been mentioned, bottom heat works very well for germinating stuff, and maintaining 85'F inside the "tent" is way too hot.

providing the strongest lighting you can will be very important - especially "indoors" with no natural light.

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IndyGerdener
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Dillbert wrote:my first reaction was a 4x8 flat top is going to be very difficult to "reach into" unless it is sitting in the middle of the room where you can access it from all sides.
Never thought about it, but that makes sense. Maybe I will make it a little narrower, but same set-up.

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Consider the shower clear thick plastic as the front door its 5 feet wide and 6 foot high and can be put on a rod just like a shower. I have three of them hooked together in my sweat chamber that is about 12 feet long and it works and I can see all my plants without opening any doors! it holds heat great & is cheap to make. i could not believe how thick the clear plastic was for $6!
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IndyGerdener
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I will have pictures up tonight, but I used a heavy duty metal shelf system. I constructed 2 separate 16" X 36" X 72" shelves and bolted them together so I have a box 32" x 36" x 72". I have the first shelf about 3' off the ground. This space will house the space heater. The front rack has no shelves until the top. the back has a shelf halfway up. I wrapped the top section in the emergency blankets. I turned on the heater and had a steady 80 degrees in the grow space. 45 degree temp in the garage. I need to figure out what setting to have the heater set at to maintain the 80 degrees and not overheat. I just need lights now!!!

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rainbowgardener
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80 degrees is too much for most plants and will cause your soil to dry out faster with that much heat running all the time. Can you dial it down a notch? 75 would be about perfect for things that need heat.
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IndyGerdener
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I thought I read somewhere that the germination for peppers does better at 80-85. I was going to turn it down after I had them germinated.

Dillbert
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>>at 80-85

you are correct - but that does refer to the soil temp.
which is why a lot of people use heating mats - or "germination boxes"

once germinated they do not require that temperature.
once had a very nice greenhouse - kept it "cool" - but I constructed a separate box with thermostatically controlled heat and developed a scheme of 'which seeds to sprout together' based on their optimum germination temp.

too much temp / fertilizer / etc after germination generally results in tall spindly "overly forced growth" plants that may not do so well once set out.

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IndyGerdener
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so what intensity of light should work the best? as far as a number...

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IndyGerdener
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I have ordered 4 - 2' fluorescent lights with a 2700k and a 6500k bulb in each. I think 3 will fit well, and I should have a spare. it was a 4 pak so I had to get the extra!!


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Maintaining 79-80 degrees and have a starter set of seeds, just a few beans and peas, until I can confirm to myself that there will be no problem with heat fluctuations. :lol: :lol:

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IndyGerdener
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My wife told me it looks like a satellite!! and all the research I am doing on grow lights, grow rooms, a shipping live plants will get the FBI after me... haha :lol: :lol:

She may have a point... :shock: :shock:

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