Start Seeds Indoors
Start seeds indoors.
Turn your basement into a greenhouse.
Learn how to build your own greenhouse in your basement.
It's fun, easy and economical.
Turning Your Basement in to Your Own Private Greenhouse
Not when you have a greenhouse in your basement!
How to Start Seeds Indoors in your Basement Greenhouse
- Make your self a nice hot cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate
Turn on your computer and start dreaming as you check out the hundreds of different seeds your can get for your flower and vegetable gardens.
My favorite seed companies include
After ordering your seeds, it's time to work on your basement greenhouse.
- Setting up Shelves and Lights
Decide where in your basement you would like to have your greenhouse. I chose the furnace room. After cleaning and reorganizing the area, I assembled the shelves and placed them around the space.
Once the shelves were in place I installed the lights.
When buying the shop lights make sure they have a plug (this way there is no wiring).
To install the lights to each shelf, you will need chain and "S" hooks.
When buying the florescent bulbs, buy both warm and cool bulbs. Use one cool and one warm bulb in each light fixture.
Use surge protector bars to plug in lights. The lights need to be set on a timer. Once the seeds germinate, they will need between 14-16 hours of light.
When using heated germinating pads, plug them into a separate surge protector and plug directly into a outlet. The heating pads need to by on 24/7 until seeds germinate.
You are one step closer to start seeds indoors
- Make Planting Calendar
Determine the last frost free date for your area. If you are not sure of the date for your area, you can contact your local garden center or look up your city and state for its last fost free date.
Knowing your frost free date is extremely important, as it determines when you start seeds. If you plant too early, the result can be tall, overgrown, poor quality seedlings.
Once you know your last frost free date, organize your seed packets by the number of weeks seeds are to be sowed before the last frost. This information should be on the back of the seed envelope. If that information is not listed, go to the internet and look up "when to plant ____ indoors"
Once all your seed packets are organized by the number of weeks to sow before the last frost, it's time to make your plant calendar of when to start seeds indoors.
Using your last frost free date, count backwards the weeks. Then write the date to plant on the seed packet and on the calendar.
- Preparing Containers
Make sure all containers are clean.
If previously used, wash with mild soap and hot water then rinse with a solution of 9 parts water and 1 part bleach.
Make sure all containers that will be used for sowing seeds have drainage holes in the bottom of them.
Fill containers, with drainage holes, 3/4 full with seed starting potting mix.
Place filled containers in another container with no drainage holes such as a flat tray.
To make removing seedlings from trays easier, cut one inch strip of plastic from grocery store plastic bags and lay on the botton of each planting cell before you add soil.
Other containers you can use to start seeds indoors include bottoms of water bottles, egg cartons and toilet paper rolls.
- Planting Seeds
Place prepared container flat on table and saturate soil with warm water.
Allow soil to absorb water, then tip tray to remove excess water.
Use a pencil to make slight indentation in soil to place seed.
Most seeds are very tiny. Use a paper plate or stiff piece of white paper to empty seed package on.
Use a tweezer to carefully pick up one seed and place in soil indentation you made. Continue until all seeds are planted.
Be sure to label all seed cells with the name of the seed and the date planted.
If directions on seed package requires seeds to be covered, either cover seed with soil mixture or use perlite.
Use a spray bottle to lightly mist all seed cells.
Cover seed flat with either a clear seed flat or you can use plastic wrap.
Place seed tray on heat pad and wait for germination. Check daily for moisture level.
Once seeds germinate, remove plastic cover.
Some seeds require light to germinate, others do not. Be sure to check seed package so you know when to turn lights on.
Lights should be approximately 2 -3 inches above seedlings.
Use chains on lights to adjust lights as seedlings grow.
Growing your own seeds brings a smile to your face.
Now you can garden during winter months and save money too.
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