Starting Seeds Indoors – How I do it by Modifying a Simple Basement Storage Shelf

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"Seed Starting 01 |"Starting seeds indoors is a great way to get a head start on gardening for the spring (or anytime, for that matter).  And it is the way I choose to start my garden each spring. 

We do have cats in the home though, and I needed to find a safe way to do this. 

We have no windowsills with sun exposure sufficient enough for sprouting, and to leave them out on a counter would (1) not provide enough light for them grow, and (2) not last long enough to reach a size to be transplanted into the outdoor garden. My cats would surely see to that!

So, what to do?  I have an unfinished basement that is mostly used for storage.  My son and I built several simple storage shelves to hold totes several years ago.

A few years back I decided that I needed a place to sprout seeds and be able to somewhat control the temp.  So, I enclosed 1 of the shelves on a storage unit, putting 2 swing-down, hinged doors on the front, and encasing the back and sides with a thin mylar space blanket, for reflection.  On the underside roof of that shelf I placed shop lights, angled so that every square inch of the shelf below was bathed in light. 

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So now, each year, the lights are turned on, the front doors closed, and seeds are started.  The temp averages between 65 and 75 degrees with the doors closed. At least 20-30 degrees above the rest of the basement.

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Once the seedlings are strong enough to be transplanted, I harden them outside and then plant them in the outdoor garden.

Visit Some of my Favorite Things page, for many of the items I used in this project.

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