I may have mentioned in a previous post about the portable greenhouse that I am using to start my seeds. I have it set up in the basement with a grow light that is on a timer set to be on for 16 hours a day. I also have a seed starter mat that a friend of mine loaned me to warm things up a bit. You can get the greenhouse and the mat at Amazon.com and grow lights are available through the web on a variety of sites. Most of them hang over the plants and are raised as the plants grow. But since the greenhouse has several shelves and putting it on top would mean the plants on the lower shelves would be in shadow, I mounted mine vertically behind the greenhouse on the back of a desk made from plywood that I built a while ago.
I have many things coming up now. Every month there are new things to be planted and it is exciting – at least to me – when they come up. I am careful to keep a log of what I have planted and when they sprout so I know which seeds are good. There are templates one can print off at a craft site I found that has all kinds of things for keeping track of your garden items. I have printed off a whole lot and put them into a three-ring binder in which I also put in the receipts I got when ordering seeds and plants, along with pictures of the garden at different stages during the growing season. This way I can tell what is working and what is not. Believe me, this is not a totally new thing – most of the garden “how-to” articles suggest this.
If you are doing seeds, this is one way to do it if you don’t have a sunny window to put them in. I do, but don’t really have the space for the amount of seeds that I am starting. In addition, and probably most importantly, I have three hungry cats who would munch on the plants if I didn’t watch them like a hawk. This method works very well so far and I am looking forward to the time that I can transplant all these ‘babies” out into the garden.