Monday, March 16, 2009

Seed Starting Light Frame

Last week my husband surprised me by making a frame for a florescent light to allow me to start seeds. It turned out that hanging in the basement was an unused florescent light fixture. There was also plenty of scrap wood.
He used the jigsaw to cut out a pattern that allows the light to be raised and lowered above the seed starting surface.
Our only purchases were the piece of composite board to sit on the framing to form the surface for the seed starting trays which we spray painted black and a longer extension cord. He rigged up a timer to attach to the top of the light so that we can set when it come on and off. After using it for a few days we found that the light's ballast was overheating and shutting it off after about 8 hours. So he drilled holes in the metal of the light fixture and rigged up three computer cooling fans to a cell phone charger cord to blow the air away from the light ballast and down onto the seedlings.
With such a neat set up, I decided I could attempt to start my own peppers. So we bought package that includes Anaheim, Ancho, Long Slim Red Cayenne, Jalapeno M & Hungarian Wax. I also bought a package of Roma tomatoes so that I can start all my own tomatoes. I took a peek at the pepper seeds today, trying to tell if I could distinguish the different kinds. There seemed to be three kinds that looked different and a large pile that looked alike. The package says equal varieties of each type and there were definitely not that many seeds in the three piles I made. So we'll plant seeds that look different and be surprised by what variety of peppers we get. The starting of tomatoes and peppers will have to wait until next month.

7 comments:

Dan said...

Wow, that is one nice grow light. It will be great to have the notches and not have to tinker with chains.

Marcia said...

Is the light of Matt's design or did he find plans for it?
It looks very professional - even nicer than what you could buy.

W. Dan said...

It's ingenious, Matt. Nice woodworking, too!

Dennis said...

I love the adjustment notches! The only problem I found with my light contraption was when I started growing lots of plants.....I needed wider light coverage. So I had to come up with something that would hold 3 or 4 shop lights wide.


http://theconservativegardener.blogspot.com/

The Cheap Vegetable Gardener said...

Awesome design

Emily said...

Thanks for all the positive feedback. I'm passing it on to my husband since he did such a good job.

The Holmes Crew said...

Now that is a GREAT IDEA! I might have to "accidently" leave this page open on my husband's computer to see if he gets inspired!