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Starting Plants 06

plant stand

Doesn't look very good or fancy, but it sure worked very well. Due to not getting my small starter greenhouse fixed yet, I had to figure out something else for this year. I have a big old farm house with several extra bedrooms up stairs. This is the smallest room. We got one of our carts that we use at the markets up the stairs and into the bedroom. It has 5 shelves that I draped to the floor with 4 mil plastic. I also put plastic on the floor under everything to try to keep things dry. I didn't have the lights there at first.


This shows the small "milk house" or utility heater I put on the bottom shelf. Under the bottom shelf is a pan of water for humidity. The whole unit is about 4 ft x 2 ft x 5 ft high. The heater has a high and low setting and a thermostat switch. I have it on low with the thermostat set about 2/3 up. I want to keep the temperature in the 90*-100* range on the top shelf when the plastic is closed.


This shows the plants about a week after they germinated. These are mostly peppers. I figured this method would work for tomatoes, but I wasn't sure it would be good enough for the peppers as peppers can be a pain to germinate at times. Most of the time I'm happy when I get peppers to germinate in 7 - 10 days. I had some sprouting in 5 days here and some tomatoes in 3 days, tho most peppers took about 7 and the tomatoes 5.


As my house has rather small widows, even tho the window behind the cart is a south window, they don't get enough light. I added the utility lights after things were up a few days. I'm using just plain compact fluorescent twist bulbs, not special grow lights. I'm using the 150 watt equivalent It does seem to have kept most of the plants from getting all leggy. I have the lights on a timer that has them on about 18 hours a day. The only problem I'm having is keeping the sprouted packs from drying out. I spritz everything at least once a day with a hand spray bottle. As I have one of my greenhouses cleaned up and the heater running now, I will be moving some of the flats out there in a day or 2 so I can start transplanting them to larger individual pots.

This doesn't look good, but sure worked great and is simple enough for anyone to do something similar.

Last edited 4/2/06
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