Set Up a Germination Station | Living the Country Life
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Set Up a Germination Station

Create a mobile shelf for starting seeds and winter plants indoors.
  • Benefits of a Seed-Starting Shelf

    This shelving set-up creates the perfect space for starting seeds indoors, helping you save money on plants and practice a little gardening before the ground thaws outdoor. With heating pads for germination, lights, and proper watering techniques, you'll have a sure-fire way to get a jump start on the planting season.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 2, 2017
  • Photography by Jacob Fox

    Germination Station Materials

    ›› 48x72x18-inch five-tier chrome-finish shelving unit

    ›› 4—4-inch industrial casters

    ›› Seed-starting soilless mix

    ›› Seed-starting trays and domes

    ›› Seeds

    ›› King-size heating pad

    ›› 4—40-watt fluorescent bulbs (2 warm; 2 cool white)

    ›› Electrical timer

    ›› 2—48-inch shop light fixtures

    ›› Cell packs

    ›› Waterproof trays

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 2, 2017
  • Photography by Jacob Fox

    Step 1: Set-Up Shelving

    Following the manufacturer’s instructions, assemble the shelving in the area where you will use it, such as a basement or other heated room. 

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 2, 2017
  • Photography by Jacob Fox

    Step 2: Plant Seeds

    Fill the seed-starting tray with the soilless “seed-starting” mix; plant seeds. Cover with the clear plastic dome to retain moisture. A heating pad, turned to a low setting, placed under the seed-starting tray creates gentle bottom heat that speeds sprouting of seeds.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 2, 2017
  • Photography by Jacob Fox

    Step 3: Lighting

    Prepare both light fixtures and suspend from the bottom of two shelves. Add full-spectrum, grow-light bulbs to the fixtures to mimic sunlight. For a less-pricey alternative to grow-light bulbs, use 40-watt fluorescent tubes, combining one cool white and one warm bulb to provide a full spectrum of light. Adjust the fixture chains so the lights hang 3–4 inches above the seedlings. As the seedlings grow, raise the lights to maintain the same gap between the lights and plants. Use a timer to turn the lights on and off and to ensure that seedlings receive 14–16 hours of light daily.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 2, 2017
  • photography by Jacob Fox

    Step 4: Watering

    Line each shelf or seed-starting flat with a watertight tray to prevent moisture from dripping onto the floor and getting onto the heating pad. Water seeds and seedlings from the bottom to promote healthy plants and to keep the seed-starting mix damp but not wet.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 2, 2017

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