In my December 9, 2013 post I mentioned my seed starting stand with grow lights that my son-in-law put together for me and promised to write about it.
The stand sits in my basement at a location where I have access on all sides which I like (initially I was going to place it against a wall but changed my mind). Would have loved to locate it in the kitchen or the utility room as this would make tending to the plants much easier, but there is no extra space in those 2 areas so basement it is. Should line the shelves so spills will not land on top of the lights’ hood. Any spill on top of the hood would be a challenge to clean up not to mention the fact that cleaning is a job I do not do well.
Unit measures 72 inches x 16 inches x 36 inches
4 shelves (counting the top shelf)
3 sets of lights
T5 Grow Lights
Each set of lights can be individually controlled by the on (-)/off (o) switch (upper right).
Grow Lights’ Plugs (left) & Timer
The whole system is on a 7-day digital program timer set for 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
Each set of grow lights has its own plug and can be controlled individually.
Currently I am using only one shelf and one set of lights but pretty soon when seeds starting are in full swing all the shelves will be used.
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Lights are hung under the shelves with adjustable ratchet hangers
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Lettuce, scallions and seedlings that I am experimenting with under the lights are growing very well and I am pleased. Every 5 – 6 days I harvest 4 ounces of lettuce (the outer leaves only), combined with other ingredients I get 2 – 3 servings.
Front: Leaf Lettuce
Back row, left to right: Spinach, Arugula & Baby Bok Choy Seedlings and Scallion
Received a package of rustic/wild arugula from Dave (ourhappyacre). Thank you Dave. Started some of the seeds in a pot. Will place under light as soon as they germinate. I will then have 2 different varieties of arugulas to make comparison.
Made a salad with the lettuce. It was so fresh oil and vinegar was all that was needed plus salt and pepper to taste. As you can see there is no quantity given in the recipe below and there is no need for any, just toss in what you like and what is available.
Lettuce Salad with Avocado, Persimmons, Pomegranate & Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) Sprouts
♦ Chicory (radicchio) from fridge (harvest late Oct, 2013 and still in good condition)
♦ Fuyu persimmon
♦ Pomegranate seeds
♦ Chickpeas sprouts (from freezer), thawed (see NOTE)
♦ Apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to taste
♦ Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut lettuce and chicory (radicchio) into desired-sized pieces
2. Peel avocado and persimmon. Cut into bite-sized cubes.
3. In a salad bowl, combine lettuce, chicory (radicchio), avocado, persimmon, pomegranate and chickpeas sprouts
4. Dress lightly with apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy. (Or use dressing of choice.)
NOTE: Add lots of chickpeas sprouts and this salad becomes a meal. Click on chickpeas sprouts link (above) for growing instructions.
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