Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mini greenhouse

I like the stackable shelves, they allow me to do several flats of seedlings at the same time. The biggest drawback I have on the shelves is they are not adjustable. The plastic tubes are a specific length and you cannot adjust them without cutting the tubes.

So I studied the shelves and found a way to make them adjustable. I cannot say this is true on all shelves but on the sets I have purchased, where the tubes pop into the corner of the shelves is an opening. So the tubes actually rest on a thin lip of plastic.

Looking at this, if the tubes were narrower, you could move the shelves up and down. So I thought what could I use for the tubes. I love hardware or home improvement stores, and in my wandering, I came across white PVC pipes. They are stiff enough to make not only shelving but I have seen complete greenhouses made from them. They would work well for my shelving.

I had to do some adjustments though as the opening in the corners was not large enough to accomodate the pipe I purchased. So you might want to measure before you buy, but if you don't and you do as I did, there is an easy fix. You can grind out the plastic to fit the size of your pipe with either a file or a drill bit.

Then I had to find a way to make them adjustable. Most shelving units today have little wooden or metal pegs that hold the shelves, so I wanted something similar. I have purchased wooden skewers from the dollar store for many uses but they have come in really handy for this. I measured out increments on each of the pipes I used and then drilled holes with a bit just larger than my skewers. Now I had an adjustable shelf system.

Now I had to find a way to light it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Growing space

An issue I have come across in my gardening is space to start my seeds inside. While they are germinating they don't take up much space. Once they are put into a growing medium they need a lot more room. I see a lot of talk of basements or spare rooms. I don't have either of those. I have 1 large window in my dining room.

When working with the basic trays you can buy at almost any store come spring, I usually need several when starting my garden. These trays or flats measure 10-1/2" x 20-7/8" and are not very strong, so they need support. So I had to find an economical way to have these in my dining room.

The answer I found was the stackable plastic shelving units. They consist of 4 or 5 plastic shelves supported by plastic tubing. I like the ones that have are not solid shelves but are more of a mesh type, they allow more air circulation.

After I found these, I did some modification to improve them for my gardening purposes, but I will continue with that tomorrow.