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My new basement greenhouse

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My new basement greenhouse

Post  mtottle on 2/8/2013, 6:39 pm

It's finally time to start getting the 'pre-spring' seeds going! Last year I started my seeds on a south facing windowsill, with ehh results. They were leggy as all hell and not many of them survived transplant. So this year I decided it was time to go big or go home.. Very Happy Very Happy





A bunch of this stuff is actually salvaged. The only stuff I bought were the 8 shoplite fixtures ($12 each at Home Depot), a case of cool white bulbs, a case of warm white bulbs, a roll of black plastic (to wall off the corner of the basement to retain heat and humidity), and some flexible ducting.
The wood I had laying around, it had twisted up so it was no good for house building anymore, and I have a ton of electrical stuff.. The MH floodlights I had actually garbage picked from a place I worked years ago.. All told I have less than $200 invested..


Each shelf has four shoplites. Their chains are screwed to a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe which is friction-fitted through holes in the shelves.. To raise/lower the lights, simply crank the pipes.. The ballasts in the lights actually make a perfect heat source for germinating the picky nightshades



Since I have a ton of houseplants, my need for the furnace humidifier has been nil this winter.. So I re-routed the output into the greenhouse.. Basically whenever the furnace runs, the greenhouse gets heated and humidified.. I also have a small fan on the floor to keep the air circulating

Basically I got everything potted up last week, and I already have success!

I have onions, several varieties of tomatoes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli up (as well as a salad mix, but that's just because I am tired of waiting for fresh salad.. Very Happy).. Peppers and eggplant are still being stubborn, but that's nothing new.. The Black Krims I just got potted the other day, that's why they're not up yet.. I can't wait to get everything into the ground, this will be my first year growing 100% from seed. I don't intend to buy ANY transplants this year.







These are my houseplant babies.. I have about a bazillion spider plants all over the house.. I love them for their air-cleaning qualities and they make great gifts too.. Very Happy Very Happy

I cut cut old soda bottles like this so I don't have to pay for hanging baskets for things I'll be giving away... Simply drill a hole in the cap, tie a string loop, and voila: hanging basket. This is three spider plants, a pothos cutting, a variegated creeping fig cutting, and a variegated ivy cutting..



Last edited by mtottle on 2/8/2013, 6:54 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  snibb on 2/8/2013, 6:43 pm

Mt-pretty darn cool. Great set-up.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/8/2013, 7:08 pm

Very nifty, mtottle! You did a lot of work that looks like it's going to pay off handsomely. Ahh, the freedom of all seed growing and no purchases. I'm hoping to be there this year, too. But if SFG is anything like perennial gardening, I always end up seeing something at the nursery.... Rolling Eyes

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  quiltbea on 2/8/2013, 8:12 pm

Very good. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/8/2013, 8:47 pm

Wow! That's a great setup. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  GWN on 2/9/2013, 10:42 am

WOW what a great greenhouse.
I am curious what the plastic round containers are I think the 4 th picture down.
Looks like your seedlings like them.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  mtottle on 2/9/2013, 11:20 am

Thanks everyone, glad you approve!

GWN - those are actually water catchers for hanging baskets. I bought a load of them after last season, because Dollar General had them for 90% off - they only cost me 15c apiece.. I figured they'd be good for the onions, I had read somewhere that planting them a large shallow container like that and then just breaking them off in clumps of 3-4 when transplanting was much more efficient use of starter space than trying to do individual cups. I used sets last year but most of them bolted, and what didn't rot in the ground couldn't be stored, so thats another reason I want to start everything from seed.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  GWN on 2/9/2013, 11:36 am

I love the old brick wall in your basement too.
I grow everything from seed as well, and the success seems to be the timing.
For me I am just sitting on my hands watching southerners seedlings grow.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  Triciasgarden on 2/9/2013, 7:22 pm

Oh wow, that is an amazing setup mtottle! I was just thinking yesterday of starting seedings in my south facing basement window. Now I know not to!

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  plantoid on 2/9/2013, 8:01 pm

Nice set up Mt, keep the pictures coming so we can all see how it pans out.

Also please let us know if you see any problems arising from your set up as it progresses or if you'd have done anything different and why .

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  mtottle on 2/9/2013, 10:29 pm

Will do, plantoid! Wink

Tricia, I'm sure once the seedlings are established a bit they can be moved to the windowsill if you want, but for me, starting from seed with only the sun through the window - and since they were in my living room they got some artificial light well into the night, they were reaching badly despite being turned daily. Their new home is completely walled off with black plastic, so they only get their light from the timer, regardless if I am down there working.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  TN_GARDENER on 2/10/2013, 9:42 am

That's a lot nicer than the couple of cardboard boxes and tote boxes i have laying in the floor of my dining room. Smile

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  mtottle on 3/20/2013, 12:20 am

Sorry guys, I've been busy with work and neglecting the forums.. I will have some pics tomorrow.. You will be absolutely amazed at how far along everything is.. It's actually kinda scary that the toms and peppers still have a few weeks before they can go outside.. They grew so fast they reached into the MH lights and got a bit of sunburn.

Several of the peppers have flowers already, and several of the toms have the beginnings of flower bracts. I might have tomatoes and peppers before I even get them outside! LOL!! Shocked

I have added an oscillating fan to give them some exercise and I have begun allowing them to wilt a little before watering to help with the hardening off. Other than that, this has been a seriously productive project!

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  mtottle on 3/20/2013, 8:09 pm

As promised.. I am considering getting the Black Krims tested for steroids.. Very Happy They were planted two weeks behind everything else, and now they are towering over the rest of the toms!






The unmarked one is eggplant..


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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  Pollinator on 3/21/2013, 10:55 am

Nice setup, Matt. It's a tribute to your ingenuity to use waste products to save money. And what's not to love about Black Krims?




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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  mtottle on 3/21/2013, 12:05 pm

@Pollinator wrote:Nice setup, Matt. It's a tribute to your ingenuity to use waste products to save money. And what's not to love about Black Krims?




LOL I had my first experience with the Black Krims last year.. I got one seedling from the local greenhouse to try, and when it started fruiting it was love at first bite.. Very Happy Very Happy I got just enough to make a small batch of sauce with them, and it was to DIE for.. So this year I have 20 plants and I intend to make GALLONS of Black Krim sauce to sustain me through the winter.. Smile

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Whoa nice!

Post  R&R 1011 on 3/21/2013, 12:10 pm

@mtottle wrote:As promised.. I am considering getting the Black Krims tested for steroids.. Very Happy They were planted two weeks behind everything else, and now they are towering over the rest of the toms!






The unmarked one is eggplant..


I'd say your setup is perfect. Great job! Amazing how big everything got in 1.5 months.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/21/2013, 12:57 pm

Wow! This is just fabulous! Well done.

I don't know Black Krims but "love at first bite" makes it sound like something I will have to look for.

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Re: My new basement greenhouse

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