My Grow Show

I am very happy with the results of my DIY lighting system to start seeds this year. Everything that I planted, has sprouted (with the exception of some Poblano pepper seeds that were kicking around my garden tool box for a few years). The onions, sweet onions, leeks, shallots, and scallions are looking vibrant and getting more than 4″ tall.  Cilantro, Parsley, Basil, Multi-Colored Cauliflower, Savoy Cabbage, ButterCrunch lettuce and some Gypsy peppers are all getting their second and third set of leaves.

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This week my order arrived from West Coast Seeds! Yeah!  Of course, now I have many more seeds to get started under the lights. There’s a fresh package of Poblano peppers, Broccoli, Red Cabbage, Rainbow Swiss Chard, many varieties of Kale, Red Onions, Jalapeno peppers, Romaine lettuce and the list goes on!  Before I get these going under the lights, I need a warm, bright place to move the seedlings that I have already started.


Our house faces south in the backyard (my number one requirement when purchasing this place) so the exterior wall, below my kitchen window, is warm and bright. I didn’t have a lot of extra time yesterday, but it only took a few minutes to put four 2′ long legs on this pallet. Once the pallet became a table, I cut two 50″ long pieces of 2×4 with 45 degree angles on each end. With screws, I attached the angled 2×4 to the pallet but just leaned it up against the house because I did not want to puncture our siding. A piece of vapour-barrier grade plastic, a few staples and poof! I was in business.

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After these pictures were taken, I flattened a few cardboard boxes to lay under the flats of seedlings. The cardboard base will help to keep the cold frame warmer, while the seedlings climatize to life outdoors. I have erected this cold frame near a water and power source. When the temperatures dip low, I will add a trouble-light, with an incandescent bulb, under the plastic, to keep the space warm.

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This cold frame is now filled with 4 growing flats of seedlings and has room for at least 4 more flats. I’ve got more seeds potted up and tucked in under my indoor lighting systems. Once they are thriving, I will start warmer weather seeds like tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes and melons. I’ve got a feeling that 2016 is going to be my most productive gardening season ever 🙂