Posts Tagged ‘southern exposure’

Starting Seeds Indoors – The Ladder to Success

Monday, March 30th, 2015
Folding Ladder With Boards for Shelves

Folding Ladder With Boards for Shelves

I like to start my own seeds. I rarely buy started vegetables. Starting your own seed saves lots of money and it gives you access to far more variety than you can find by buying plants started by others. And if you have a larger garden, buying plants quickly becomes cost prohibitive.

My seed starting ritual has evolved to a fairly consistent pattern. I try to start my onions in mid to late January. Tomatoes, eggplants, and most brassicas have a March 15th target (which I rarely achieve) and everything else that needs a head start indoors gets into flats as I get to them in April and early May.

South Facing Sunroom

South Facing Sunroom

I don’t have a greenhouse or high hoop house. Either of those would make seed starting easier, but I do have a southern exposure glass-walled sunroom. We added this room almost immediately after moving into our Wisconsin home and it has been the best thing for my seed starting.

A folding ladder has been my flat shelf for many years. This particular brand is Krause, but there are many out there. It folds into numerous configurations. Set up as in the picture, it makes shelves easily with just the addition of some boards laid across the rungs. I lay some plastic sheeting on the floor to catch any drips from watering.

Judy only just tolerates this set up. She doesn’t love it because we have to rearrange the furniture in the sunroom and move all our house plants. And when I water the plants with fish fertilizer that really tests her limits, but she knows that this is the beginning of our good home grown food supply so she lets me do it year after year.

Flats on the Ladder

Flats on the Ladder

A real advantage to this set up comes when I have to start hardening off the seedlings. I just open up a patio door and move the flats to a picnic table set up just outside. The flats are easy to move in and out of the house.

While I would welcome a green house or even a tall hoop house, this system has served me very well for many years and unlike either of those options, it is at almost no extra cost.