We at Dancing Sheltie Farms would like to first state that this station is not for starting hundreds of seedlings. As you will later see when we discuss our planting schedule, the vast majority of our crops are direct sown. Additionally, our seed starting trays are much more modular than the ones that are sold in stores at 8″ by 10″ (designed to handle about 20 seedlings each). If you need a system to handle a project larger than 80 or so seedlings, you will wish to use a different design. Wit that said, we now return to the original post . . .
One of the goals here at Dancing Sheltie Farms is to keep costs down so that we are not spending more money than we would save. So when you see one of our designs and your first thought is “man that is cheap” we thank you! The below seed starting station cost about $50 total. That may sound like a lot when we just said we want to keep things cheap, but that is including a two light bulb shop light. Without further ado, here it is:
It is a pretty simple design that incorporates a 27″ by 48″ area for seed starting trays (wait until you see how we are doing those!) and a frame to hang the shop light from. The material list is simple too:
A few dozen screws of various lengths (some should be at least 2 1/2 inches while others should be at least 3 inches)
A 27″ by 48″ piece of plywood or OSB. We used a scrap piece that would have been too small to do much else with. In a pinch you could use anything firm enough to support the weight of the trays.
A shop light. We found an affordable (there is a link below) one on Amazon.com.
According to our research, when seedlings first start they do not necessarily need the full spectrum of light. Keep in mind that when starting indoors the eventual goal is to get them outside, and there should only be a brief window when they need some form of light but it is too cold for them to start going outside during the day. For a longer term solution, you will need to get a different type of lighting system.
Well let us know what you think! If later on our idea inspires you, please let us know!