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Thread: Indoor Growing Set-ups

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Posts
    217

    Indoor Growing Set-ups

    I have posted here to reach the most people. I am asking for pictures here as well as verbiage. I know there are some scattered around in the archives. Some I was looking for were on a now discontinued site. There are enough new folks lurking about, that I think it would be useful to bring them up again.

    I am setting up a portion of my basement for plant starts, and perhaps in the future, wintering over plants. Rebecca, I know you have perfected the basement greenhouse. I'd like to see the pictures of your current set up. I know others have something similar.

    I am also interested in greenhouse set ups for the same purpose.

    I am finishing up some needlework for Christmas, then getting down to business with the garden, daylilies, cuttings, greenhouses, etc. I want to hit the ground running come March and make 2006 my year to shine!! I would hope for the same for all of you.

    Thank you
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Central Indiana Zone 5a
    Posts
    4,917
    Blog Entries
    8
    Sandi,

    What I have, basically, in the basement are the wire restaurant racks with shop lights suspended (by chains) over the shelves. I think one shelf might have a sheet of heavy mil plastic taped in place over the shelf, but for the most part they are left open. In another area the lights are simply hung from the floor joists and cross supports, nothing fancy there. I also have one of the restaurant racks upstairs in my office.

    The shelfs on the racks I have are two feet (24-inches) deep and hold 3 double tube shop lights and hold one cool-white and one warm-white tube in each fixture. For starting seeds you'll want to keep the lights no more than 2-inches above the pots or tips of the foliage.

    I also have the silver Mylar "survival" blankets across the back of these racks to reflect light back onto the plants. All of the lights are plugged into power strips w/circuit breakers in case of over load.

    For the more or less mature plants I still try to keep the fixtures just a couple of inches above the foliage of the tallest plants, which sometimes means raising the smaller plants up on inverted pots to keep them closer to the lights.

    This fall I taped the silver Mylar to the walls in one area to reflect more light onto the plants and this has seemed to be of benefit.

    Some areas have on one fixture, although they could use at least one more, especially over the larger hibiscus seedlings and my big, mature hibiscus plants.

    This is not a finished basement, all of the "ceiling" is open floor joists and the floor is bare concrete. The walls on one side and the back are concrete blocks that are painted white and there is a plywood "wall" that separates the basement into two halves (this is an old, old house that was converted into a duplex). The walls do not meet the floor joists and there is a good foot of open space between the top of the wall and the floor above, and there's a significant amount of crawl space beyond the walls.

    When I moved in here I was able to get the landlord to add an additional ceiling light at the far end and an outlet in the center of the (now) "garden room". All of the lights are plugged into surge protector power strips and/or heavy duty (appliance type) extension cords (that also plug into the surge protectors before finally reaching one of two receptacles - one one the wall by the washer/dryer and the other in the ceiling. It's an electricians nightmare actually!

    I was having a bit of a problem with the water hoses to the washer and had the plumber come to fix it and was going to attach a "Y" connector at that time to make watering the plants easier. Well, he not only fixed the faucet to the washer but tapped into the cold water line and installed a faucet there to attach my coiled hose to to water the plants. That has been such a time and energy saver for me. No more dragging the aquarium hoses down to the basement to water the plants!

    I'll have to take new pictures of the rack for you as I no longer have those images on the hard drive and the ones I did find are only thumbprints and too small to see anything! So check back!


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Posts
    217
    Rebecca--thanks for the complete answer!! I had remembered seeing some pix, but couln't find them. You paint a lovely word picture that is almost as good. That was pretty much what I thought I would do. I suppose the sports blankets are available year round.

    Next year, I will have a greenhouse with rabbits and chickens (8 btu's/# body weight!) which will be nice. I'll still need some of the basement for seed starting and some more tender plants (Brugs).

    Today might be a challenge for even the animals to warm. Woke up to 6 degrees!! My rhodie which acts as an indicator of the cold, and is the first thing I look at as I am pouring my coffee, was "hugging itself" right down next to the stems. Poor thing. Br-r-r-r.
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

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