Lights, Soil, …Grow Some Seeds!
This year I am learning the skill of seed-starting inside… Yikes!
You may be able to tell that I’m just a little nervous about it. I’m afraid that my plants will all die on me… I’m afraid of putting all of this work into preparing for the seeds, sowing the seeds, babying the seeds, and then…. FAILING! Nevertheless, I am still going to try. I encourage you to try along with me!
However, before we begin to plant anything, we need to build a shelf and attach some lights so that our little seedlings have the correct amount of light to grow. So today, I’m going to show you how we built our shelf to start our seeds.
Can we build it? Yes we can! ….umm, sorry. Can you tell what my kids have been watching lately?
Now, we did have a slight set-back at first. There’s was a bit of miscommunication between myself and my husband on how this shelf was going to look. It appeared like we were on the same page, until I realized much too late that this shelf was a lot deeper than I had anticipated.
My husband, being the great guy that he is, took a saw to it and cut it in half! Don’t worry, you won’t have to do that – I’ll be giving you the tutorial with the updated dimensions.
Our Materials (includes affiliate links):
- Two (2) Plywood Boards (we used OSB Plywood boards that were about 3/4″ thick) 52 inches long and 24 inches wide each (These will be our shelf and top piece)
- Two (2) more Plywood Boards 44 inches long and 24 inches wide each. (These will be the sides of our shelf – side pieces)
- 2″x4″s cut into six (6) pieces, each 24 inches long (These will be our braces and supports)
- Wood Screws (1 1/2 inches long)
- (2) 4′ shop lights with cords
- (2) natural light bulbs
- (2) hot light bulbs
- (4) screw hooks
- S-hooks (make sure they fit in the chain links)
- (4) chains each 28 inches long (So we can move our lights up as our plants grow)
- Light Timer
Let’s Get Building!
Starting with the first side piece, we measured 3/4″ (the thickness of our plywood) down from the top of the plywood, marked that spot, and drew a line along the width of the plywood where we made the mark.
Next, we placed the top of the 2″x4″ (lengthwise) at the line we just drew, leaving that 3/4″ headspace and screwed it in place. Just remember to screw from the outside in – the plywood is on the outside and the 2″x4″ is on the inside.
Then we measured 12 inches up from the bottom, marked it, and drew our line along the width of the plywood where we made the mark. Once again, we placed the top of the 2″x4″ (lengthwise) at the line we just drew, and screwed it to the plywood.
We repeated this process for the other side piece.
Laying the side pieces on their sides, you want to line up the top piece on the 2″x4″ supports at the top of the side pieces – just like we did for the shelf part. Then just screw them in!
…but we’re not done yet.
It is now time to add the shelf! With the side pieces down on their sides, we lined up the shelf so that it lays on the 2″ sides of the 2″x4″s and screwed it in. Well done! It now looks like a shelf!
Since the shelf was a little wobbly, we decided to add in a couple of braces. We cut the corners of our last two 2″x4″ pieces at an angle, and screwed them in at the back of the shelf – one for each side.
Next we added our shop lights.
We decided to place our lights 5 inches in from the front/back of the shelf. So we measured 5 inches in from the front, then 5 inches in from the back. Then we lined up our holes on our shop lights so our chains would hang straight. Once we had marked where those holes would line up, we screwed in our hooks.
Next, all we had to do was attach the chains to the S-hooks and hang up our shop lights!
We have one warm fluorescent light and one cold fluorescent light in each shop light.
Our shelf ended up on a table in our laundry room so monkey boy doesn’t dump our plants. It works out really nicely because it creates a little storage area for our school supplies!
Now we can start our seeds! We’ll use the timer to extend the “daylight”
Are you as excited to start Spring projects as I am? Feel free to share in the comments!