I’m giddy with excitement about the possibility of having my own homegrown herbs and veggies this year; I’ve had tomatos, basil, and cucumbers in the past, but I’ve never started them myself from seed. After building the gardening table in the basement, I thought that setting up shop on the built-in lower shelf would be ideal, so that’s where I started.
A little tip I learned years ago is that you can make your own little seed pots.
Tip #1: You can save up a few cardboard egg packages.
Tip #2: You can also employ some empty paper towel rolls (and toilet paper rolls too) filled with potting soil. The cardboard holds moisture really well, creating a nice environment for the seeds. Sure, it only saves you a few dollars depending on how much you’re actually planning to grow yourself, but it works pretty well at no extra cost if you’re willing to snatch every paper towel roll you have to replace in the office. It adds up, believe me.
Cut into smaller (1″-3″) lengths, I organized the tubes to fit into some plastic containers; I divided it out so that I had one unique container, or strip of egg packaging, for each seed variety, just to keep it simple + straightforward. And God forbid my zucchini and peas touch.
After the seeds were planted, I labeled each container with the seed packaging so I could quickly identify what was growin’.
Sure, I sure had good intentions by expecting that I’d be able to install my new grow lights in the basement gardening table to start some veggies from seed this spring, but I decided quickly that it was way. too. cold. Really, it was 13 degrees the other day, and the lights just weren’t emitting enough warmth. I read a little about some warming mats that I could have installed to warm the seeds from beneath, but at this point I didn’t want to spend extra money and opted for a Plan B.
It was Pete’s idea to keep the seeds in the kitchen; there’s that handy center island that I started to rehab in the fall, and it conveniently had some built-in structure beneath the surface that we could rest the seedlings on. I laid a few boards (leftovers from what I used to make that dining room mirror frame) and set up shop on that impromptu surface.
I moved the seed labels to the outside of the plastic containers to avoid being misted and soaked during the daily watering.
The lights clip neatly onto the side of the table and can cast a nice glow over the seeds. Yes, I have to string the cords to one of the available outlets on the wall since the table doesn’t have electric running through it, and yes that’s annoying. And also yes, I have knocked into these lights 40 times in two days. Grow little seeds, grow.
The other houseplants have somehow been drawn to the light. I keep the blinds closed for the most part to keep the heat retained and the cold out, so they were probably craving photosynthesis. Two shelves built into the side of the table came in handy.
More to come as they grow. They won’t be in my kitchen forever, that’s for sure; the sunroom on the side of the house acts like a nice greenhouse once the weather improves, and the basement will be warmer again soon too.