Grow lights in the basement!

Grow lights in the basement!

I organized the basement propagation center this weekend — it’s fabulous! I took one of the five-shelf utility units from Patrick’s storage unit, bought some cheap shop lights and grow-light tubes, and I now have four shelves set up with lights. Last year, I bought a couple of heat mats to help with germination, since it’s cool in my basement, and I have them set up on another short utility shelf unit. It’s like a real potting bench down there — space to store flats and cells, space for the bucket of potting mix, space to start seeds. It’s organized and sweet and I’m so thrilled to be planting things again.

So Saturday I started six varieties of tomatoes (plus two yellow cherry tomatoes for my friend Wendy, because her kids liked them so much last summer), and a flat of peppers — three cells each of six kinds of tomatoes. Oh, and Italian eggplant — which needed some help from the wall-o-waters last year, but I got a bunch of nice eggplants late in the summer.

Tomorrow a nice woman is coming with a dumptruck load of compost — twice as much as I ordered last year — so I’ll be able to continue filling the raised beds, and there should be enough for the flower beds as well. I’m going to try planting spinach and some greens right away — there’s actually some spinach that overwintered! I guess next year I’ll try to get serious about fall planting; this fall I wasn’t exactly on the ball, but mostly it just never occurred to me that things would survive being frozen.

I feel very Martha about my little basement shelves with their organized places to put things, and I’m looking forward to walking down there in the morning and seeing flat after flat of hopeful little seedlings.

4 thoughts on “Grow lights in the basement!

  1. Again, your words are whapping me with the urge to turn over some soil! Must survey the possibilities tomorrow — make plans; procure decent topsoil/compost. My father had an actual factual little greenhouse when I was growing up near Boston. Winter was his favorite time to “putter” out there, and by Spring he had so many little plantlets ready to set out it was almost like an annual miracle. I’ve no excuse to have let that genetic predisposition lie fallow for so long. Thanks for the ongoing nudges, Charlotte!

  2. Your basement sounds wonderful: so good to have a little growth going on. I’m a firm believer in house=self, so perhaps you’ll get something good and nourishing germinating in your subconscious too…

    Btw, since this is the first time I’ve been brave enough to leave a comment, I’d like to let you know that I’m a big fan of LivingSmall. Thank you for writing.

  3. I, too am inspired by your new set-up, and itching to get things growing! We finally got our seeds ordered. . .a little behind the ball, and now of course it’s snowing so no way to start working on the garden this weekend. . . We’re going to plant mostly stuff that can be direct seeded due to weekend gardening constraints, although in contrast to your neat potting bench you can picture my tomatoes starting on a windowsill in an apartment in Harlem! Hey, if you can make it here, as they say!

  4. Sounds fantastic Charlotte! I have a great set-up and my plants (started at work) are thriving there – unfortunatly, I don’t think we’ll be buying the 1K + greenhouse I’m using for home use anytime soon – we do have some reptile lights, so I may have to make something similar to yours next growing season. Oh, and you reminded me of yellow cherry tomatoes- darn it! I DID plant spinach early this spring – now I’m panicking as the snow comes down on the seeds today, but I’m holding out hope….

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