Friday, February 18, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane - Starting Seeds

The weather has been gorgeous here this week, and I have the gardening itch bad. The outside garden itself is too wet to till. I am waiting patiently (sort of.) My gardening activities now are limited to clean up outside and starting seeds indoors. We start our seed in our bath tub. Below is a post from February 2009 explaining how we set it up. We have since added more lights and reflective blankets to use the sides of the tubs too. You may note that it is now 2011, and the bathroom still hasn't been remodeled. There are always too many farm projects to get done to worry about the house. Besides it is working out great to start my spring seeds, and it is a great conversation starter when someone, especially someone who knows this story,  comes to visit and notices the glow from my bathroom. 

When we bought this house, the master bathroom needed quite a bit of TLC. We made some repairs, and started on a remodel. House projects are not top priority around here. They are superseded by farm and garden projects. The bath remodel went slowly. After being here for a summer, we realized that what would really be best for that space was a major re-haul involving removing the garden tub, expanding the laundry room, and creating a breezeway to a garage the currently does not exist.

Needless to say, that project has not even approached the top of the to do list yet. In the meantime, we are left with a very ugly bath room, and a garden tub that we do not use. I thought the tub would be the perfect place to start some seeds. 

It was space we weren't using. It is an out of the way part of the house, and messes from the dirt and watering could simply be washed down the drain. Keeping in mind some tips learned from Phelan's Box and from the recent tutorial at Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op, we set out to turn the tub into a seed starter. 

Using a gift card, we picked up two fluorescent shop lights and some ceiling hooks. Tim put the hooks in the ceiling. Then he attached the lights using twine. The lights were hung very low, and will be adjusted upwards as the plants grow. We used twine because it was freely available to us. If you have to buy something, chains may be a little easier to work with. 

Next, we wanted to use something reflective on the bathtub sides, to help the plants get all the light they can. What you see in the photo is a solar blanket. This is an item that we once used on back packing trips. They aren't expensive, and this particular blanket, although still very reflective, was pretty much shot for use in backpacking. I cut the blanket in half so the bottom of the tub would not be covered and water could still drain.

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