Please see our growboxes-you'll love them!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Homesteader, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. Homesteader

    Homesteader Well-Known Member

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    Finally got pictures posted of how we do our seedlings - these growboxes are wonderful. Please go to http://community.webshots.com/user/homesteadernv and see the album called growboxes.

    These work so well for us, the best method we've ever tried. Humidity stays just right. Cats stay out!! - we turn the light on during the night, which keeps the seedlings warm and toasty during the colder winter nights, and turn it off during the day.

    We use four total - the living room is covered but it's so nice to have the little plants around. Once the cool season ones are out and in the ground, the warm season seeds go in.

    The white of the styrofoam helps to reflect the light inside the box. To water you do have to lift the light up and sit it on the ground (kind of a pain after a while) but oh well. You can do this with the light on by the way.

    Enjoy - if you have questions just post them here - I'll answer!!
     
  2. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    I'll show my husband

    can you give me typical start dates for things like tomatoes, onions etc?
     

  3. Homesteader

    Homesteader Well-Known Member

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    You would start those four to six weeks before whatever date you want to plant them. With tomatoes remember you'll have to pot them up (we use 16 oz. Dixie cups with a hole drilled in the bottom) and you'll need to harden them off for a week. That means put them outside in the sun for say an hour the first day, then back into protective surroundings, then two or three hours the next day, etc., until they're out all day. This allows them to toughen up gradually so they won't keel over dead from the shock of going from a warm wind-free environment to the real world! :)
     
  4. oakhillhubbards

    oakhillhubbards Well-Known Member

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    Very nice. I *do* have a few questions....

    1) Do you think these would work in a basement that is about 55*F? We'd have to leave the light on all the time, but that is possible.

    2) Is there the possibility of melting the styrofoam? Since the light fixture sits on the box, I mean.

    3) You really ought to send this in to MotherEarth News or something....ever thought of that?

    Thanks for the pix. Pix always help a visual learner like me.

    J
     
  5. Jicama

    Jicama Active Member

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    Great pictures!
    Two questions:
    1. What kind of lights are those (and where do you get them)?
    2. How much does running those lights increase your electric? (Does it make much of a difference?)
    Thanks
     
  6. Homesteader

    Homesteader Well-Known Member

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    Yes they would work in a basement that's 55 degrees. I think for warm season plants (cukes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.) you would want to keep the lights on 24 hours though to keep the heat up and you may want to pre-germinate pepper seeds in moist paper towels slipped into baggies, set in a warm place til they germinate. Then, carefully place them into your peat pellets or soil or whatever you're using to start your seeds.

    In our case the brackets at the end of the shop light is what really rests on the styrofoam, the end part that the bulbs actually attach to. We have never had any melting. Remember, these flourescent bulbs or grow bulbs don't get hot.

    They are typical shop lights and if memory serves they were purchased at Home Depot many years ago.

    I could not tell you what the increase in electricity is, although I'm sure some great math wiz on this board could tell you how to calculate it. I feel that whatever the cost is, it's offset by the food produced. We produce (for freezing, canning and fresh eating) an entire years' worth of vegetables. Of course not all of them are started inside, such as corn, carrots, etc. But a great deal of it is. And don't forget flowers and herbs!!

    In addition, we have no windowsills here and a cat that would wreak havoc if we had seedlings out in the open.

    I had thought about sending pics and an article in to Countryside but just haven't got around to it!! I'm sure glad you all are enjoying seeing them. DH made them and they are such a wonderful help. Even people like myself with zero building skills can make these! We've used them for three growing seasons now and they are fabulous.

    Some other thoughts - our lights are 4 footers, but you can also make boxes to fit 2 footers if you need less seedlings, or if 2 footers would fit your room better. Also, you can use a watering can with a real long spout to add water. I'm going to do that this year instead of lifting off the lights every day or so.
     
  7. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    How COOL!!!! I'll have to see if DH got rid of all that board style styrofoam he had in the shed... I'd love to try these!!!

    And I second the opinion - you should send in an article!

    Sue
     
  8. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    USA
    Electric Cost:

    A 4-foot light bulb is rated at 40 watts. Two bulbs in a shop-light is 80 watts. Add the inefficiency that the ballast adds, and you're up to maybe a total of 100 watts.

    Now we need to figure how many kilowatts this is. A kilowatt is 1000 watts, so this is 1/10 of a kilowatt.

    Now, if you had this light on for 24 hours, you'd be using 2.4 kilowatt-hours.

    Assuming your electric is 15 cents a kilowatt-hour, running one shop-light for 24 hours will cost you 36 cents. Round up to 50 cents for good measure.

    John