Saturday, March 5, 2011

Expanding the Seed Starting Area

Spring arrived early last year and I began planting out some cold hearty crops under protection in early April.

Spring 2010 Square Foot Garden Under Protection

This was perfect timing because the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants were due to be sowed and space under the lights was tight.

Since things are already getting crowded under the lights and it is doubtful that Spring will be early again, I decided to increase my seed starting area.

Previously, I used two 24-inch wide shelving units on the workbench. Side by side they accommodate 4-foot shop lights and two seed flats on each shelf.

2010 Seed Starting Area

I decided to expand the shelving by moving the units to the floor and adding two more shelving units on top.

New Shelving Units

This will double my seed starting area and give me more working space on the workbench:

Updated Seed Starting Area with Room to Grow!


  1. Look at you! I love how even though it's been added to - it's still very compact. I love it!

  2. Beautiful! I do wish I had room in the house for a nice shelf unit like that. I worry that it's too cold out in the shed, but maybe that just makes the plants grow stronger. Hmm, there is a wall in Mr. Granny's hideaway, that has a big book case at the moment. Maybe it could be relocated and I could take over that wall! It's a thought for next year ;-)

  3. Looks Good! It seems like we never have enough room for all the seedlings. I have double my area as well this year. Hopefully it will be enough!

  4. I love the new setup, I want one too!

  5. I am always trying to find more room under the lights! Never seems to be enough. I really like your adjusted set up - lots more room and still very attractive.

  6. EG: Thanks! I did have a bit of a complication when I had to figure out how to widdle down the plastic feet of one unit so that they fit into the support pipes of the bottom unit. But it worked out.

    Granny: The seed starting area is in the basement (our oil tank is behind the new shelves). We keep the basement really cool during the winter. Not sure if it is as cold as your shed.

    Robin: With the size of your new garden plot, I am sure you are going to need to grow more seedlings this year. Last year, I had to remove a shelf to give more room to the tomatoes and peppers when they were potted up. Things were really tight then. Hopefully, I’ll have enough space this year.

    Meemsnyc: The wire shelves are really handy. The chains of the shop lights hang from the shelves above and you can adjust the shelves to any level. If I was starting from scratch instead of building onto my existing shelves, I would have picked up this unit instead: 74"H x 48"W x 18"D Steel Freestanding Shelving Unit.
    It was only $70 at my Lowes. The small shelves I used were $20 each.

  7. Nice setup. I just hope mine is big enough this year. I may have to do some winter sowing to fit everything in.

  8. Liisa: Thanks! This should provide enough room.

    Laura (KitsapFG): I just know I would have not had enough room this year especially after potting up tomatoes and peppers. I actually have more room on the workbench now to spread out a bit.

    Daphne: I love your setup. It must be difficult to judge everything for the first year with a new garden.

  9. Great new setup! I bought a unit like that but my wife stole it for organizing the play room in the garage. I can't afford more lights anyway.

    I also threw up my hoop covers over my nearly ready to harvest lettuce seedlings that I planted out yesterday. Didn't check on them today but I'm hopeful. Hope yours does great too!

  10. Sinfonian: I love the wire shelving units and I probably should have purchased the large one to begin with. I need to pick up two more shop lights this weekend.