Head Start

I had mentioned in a previous post that I had a “secret weapon” for my garden this year – I built a seed starting station in my basement. It’s a pair of fluorescent tubes in a simple fixture, suspended over a wire shelf by a set of chains that I can draw up or lower down so I keep the light just above the sun-thirsty baby leaves.

I worked out the math: because I’m running the lights on a timer, only at night, I only use something like $2.80 a month in electricity – a bargain considering the cost of plants at a garden centre. I might make one improvement next year – a warming pad or something to keep the seeds toasty. It gets cold overnight in the early spring and germination happens way faster with some direct heat.


I grew up surrounded by farmer’s greenhouses, so I’ve got green tech deep in my subconscious. I’d like to explore building some greenhouse boxes outside for early spring planting. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for spare windows on kijiji.


One thought on “Head Start

  1. Nice! What are you growing this year?

    I tend to plant too many seeds – partly because I’m never sure that they will all come up and partly because I have “help” in the form of small children…

    I have a capillary watering mat from Lee Valley which compensates for my inability otherwise to keep stuff watered and we just stick everything over our radiators to keep them warm – the handy part of living in a hundred year old house!

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