in LATE Februrary, all you can do, besides swear at the ditch rat for getting it all wrong, is hope and plan for Spring. Spring that you know will come, you just don't know when.
It's rather difficult to do when your garden, which you should be filling with grand heaps of compost is under this...
Yes, that's the path that Doc has been keeping open for us with the snowblower between the coop, barn, and workshop. The garden is under all of that, and it's not a fluffy drift. Most of it you can walk on top of, until you can't. Which is why we've had to make a cut in it. Walking on top of it hauling 8 gallons of water is fine, until you hit a soft pocket and the drift eats you for breakfast.
We are still in the deep freeze, which we shouldn't be, but the temps should start warming up into the 30s. That's still 20 degrees colder than we should be, but I'll take it.
It does hinder the garden work that should be going on this time of year. But to keep on the gardening track I came up with a project. Inspired by a post on the Old World Garden blog where she builds racks for seed starting. She also sells the plans for them for those less hands on.
So where could I create this safe space for my seeds? Previously I was sprouting seeds in the kitchen. But the light source from the windows was too high and caused the plants to get leggy before their time. I have plenty of room in the unfinished warm area of the basement, but really didn't relish having moisture laden seed racks down there in a part of the house that has no moisture issues.
In front of Doc's car space in the garage is this odd little nook. It forms the ceiling of the staircase below and I suppose was meant to be an awesome area for little used storage. Although without shelving, it became a seasonal dumping ground that never got cleaned or emptied. With the 18 inch step up, it also wasn't very convenient. (Had I built the house, I would have enclosed it and put a door on that back wall and made it a walk in pantry for the kitchen.)
I was then able to get great measurements and take care of the hardest part, the planning and the list making to pull it all together.
I already had a potting table that I was using for cooking in the outdoor brick oven, so I made sure it made it in the room. I figured out the best placement for shelves and made my list of supplies needed. Then I was off and running.
|Behr Tidal Blue in SemiGloss|
Then came a scrap piece of vinyl flooring in a nice slate stone print. It was that or looking like a wood plank floor. Since it's a potting room, and one of my favorite movies is Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, it had to be the slate.
I put back the trim after installing the floor and set to work building the shelves from 2x4s.
Several trips up and down the 18 inch step later, I decided I needed to build a step. I used a pair of cinder blocks with a piece of plywood attached with construction adhesive and topped with another scrap of vinyl. That made the work easier.
Plywood was secured to the frame tops and then covered in more scrap vinyl and rubber matting.
I capped the end of the shelving unit with an opaque roofing panel to block the winds and cool drafts when Doc open his door, and also a curtain across the front on a rod for the same purpose.
The lights are full spectrum LED lights on a timer. They are adjustable in height from the seedlings. I also had room for a Blue/Red LED grow light on the potting table. This one is for lettuce, the lights are color adjustable for seedlings, and the plant stages.
I am hoping to not only get seedlings started for the garden, but also perennial and self seeding annual seedlings for the pollinator beds. I invested in a potting cube maker and am looking forward to seeing how they compare and stand up to use as compared to using commercial soil and plastic starter cells.
I also walked into a clearance sale at the local big box store. They were discontinuing colors from last year's pots, so I took full advantage of that. The long trays are extremely heavy duty plastic liners for window boxes. I guess they no longer sell the boxes that they go into, or people just didn't want to spend 9$ on a tray. But I'll spend less than 2$ for a home for rows of cherry seeds.
The large planters will start asparagus, and the squares are saddle belly planters for over bricks or railing. Those I will fill with lettuce for the deck and maybe flowers for market.
Hopefully, in another week or so, we'll get everything going.