Tonight I finally got around to bringing my newly designed and built seed starter down into the basement where I'll have it set up until I'm done getting starts going; probably until mid May at least. I'm going to just put up a bunch of pictures (since that's really the best way to explain it don't you think?) and explain myself as I go.
The main requirement for this project, outside of the obvious functionality of the starter, was that I could disassemble and store it with relative ease in a minimum amount of space. Above is the framework of the starter minus the lights. The trays are roughly two feet wide by 4 feet long, and the long boards that make up the legs are just shy of six feet long. The leg boards are "L" shaped and nest inside each other.
Here they are all laid out just before my wife and I assembled it. The process is simple, attach the bottom shelf loosely to all four legs and then move your way up. It's a two person job, but in a pinch a single person could do it.
This is the set up that the whole shi-bang is held together with. It's a 2 1/2 inch long carriage bolt with a washer, lock washer and wing nut for easy hand assembly.
This is a view from the top of one of the legs so that you can see how the legs and the shelves attach. Below is a picture of the shelf from the inside.
I lined the bottoms of the two shelves that will hold plants with plastic sheeting because I didn't want to accidentally spill water over the sides and have it drip out the bottom onto either the flooring or the fluorescent lamps.
And speaking of which, these are the brand/s of lamps that I am using. One gives a high number of lumens but is heavy on the red spectrum of light (kitchen and bath) while the other will fill the gaps in the blue spectrum.
Mind you, they're not professional bulbs or anything, but hey...they do put out a good bit of light! I have two lamps per shelf for a total of four. Each shelf can hold 192 individual plants or 48 plastic four packs. Total I'll be able to have up to 384 plants started at one time. Woo hoo!!
And last but by no means least...here it is; my starter. I only have one shelf loaded so far, but I'll be able to get my cabbages and broccoli started to supplement what I direct sow into the ground soon. The bottom shelf will have the later season stuff like tomatoes, peppers eggplants and such. Then I'll spread them out amongst the two shelves as they get bigger.
Spring is here!! I don't care what the weather man tells me. When I start seeds and I can turn my soil like I did today...spring’s here!! Time to get growing!
Hope all your seeds are sprouting well.