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There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Seed starting station.. - Page 2 Toplef10Seed starting station.. - Page 2 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Seed starting station.. - Page 2 I22gcj10Seed starting station.. - Page 2 14dhcg10

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Seed starting station..

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Post  cautery 3/1/2011, 10:18 am

Heh, heh... yep, a "proper" solar system is a big investment, but remember, you can currently get a 50% tax credit on the ENTIRE installed cost (no limit) via the Fed... And the credit can carry forward for 5 or 7 years (not sure which).

My List... Thanks... It's always longer than I have time/funds to complete, but that's why you set priorities...

Water, Food, electricity, etc, etc... Wink

@madnicmom wrote:I would LOVE to get solar panels on my house also but it too is a nice upfront investment that I don't have at the moment. Best of Luck with your "list"
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Post  NHGardener 3/1/2011, 10:59 am

50% credit is federal, no state involved? I wonder if the states have their own rebates on top of that.

I hope to hear updates on how your system works, photos included. Really interesting stuff, but way off the beaten path for a lot of us.
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Post  madnicmom 3/1/2011, 11:20 am

google property tax abatement in your state. the City of Cincinnati has one ( of coarse I don't live in Cincy Grrr!!) , it's like getting a low interest loan for 5 yrs and the payments are added to your property tax.
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Post  NHGardener 3/1/2011, 1:58 pm

madnicmom, I think I remember reading where those loans that get tacked onto your property tax get real interesting when the property sells or is foreclosed on. affraid
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Post  madnicmom 3/1/2011, 4:42 pm

oh, I'm sure it would get interesting and the rate of foreclosures . wow! is all I can say.
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Post  middlemamma 3/2/2011, 12:40 am

Cautery...thank you for answering my Mylar question.

I have a little 40 dollar 4 shelf greenhouse (Walmart type) that I have by a window in my kitchen. I was asking hubby about the Mylar and he says...I have a couple of the Mylar blankets in the first aid kit, they are like 99 cents in the camping section at Wal-mart.

So tonight I took the plastic off the little greenhouse and lined it with Mylar blankets and then put the plastic back! WOW....bright light batman!

Thanks for sharing, we would have never thought of this...I would have had the aluminum foil out LOL!

Maybe I will invest in the thicker stuff when my father in law is done building my LED panels. Very Happy

Jen
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Post  Furbalsmom 3/2/2011, 4:06 am

Jen, your husband is a wonder. I would never have thought of those (really inexpensive) emergency blankets. What a great idea!
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Post  NHGardener 3/2/2011, 7:01 am

Middlemamma, I never even knew Walmart sold the indoor greenhouse things. I'll have to look on their website. That sounds like a great idea.
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Post  cautery 3/2/2011, 8:11 am

Yep, Mylar emergency blankets work great... same stuff really. Good idea for a small space... I bought the roll because it was cheaper per square foot and easier to use/store...

The Mylar/bubble/Mylar insulation works great, too. I plan to use it under the heat mats once I finish switching over to the metal shelf panels to help hold the heat in.

If your garage/grow area isn't climate controlled, you could also use the mylar/bubble stuff in lieu of the film to add a little more heat retention.

I plan to add a front curtain to my shelf so that there are reflectors on all 4 sides... Plus, I think making it fully "enclosed" will allow me to control humidity and temp more easily (maintain consistency).
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Post  elliephant 3/2/2011, 8:52 am

In searching around for mulching ideas for my area I came across the idea of using mylar for sheet mulching in hot areas. Anyone else heard of/tried that?

ETA: What I read suggested that the reflected light from mylar will NOT add warmth...off to Google some more now to try to figure out which is right.
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Post  cautery 3/2/2011, 9:16 am

@elliephant wrote:In searching around for mulching ideas for my area I came across the idea of using mylar for sheet mulching in hot areas. Anyone else heard of/tried that?

ETA: What I read suggested that the reflected light from mylar will NOT add warmth...off to Google some more now to try to figure out which is right.

Heat transfer to the plant generally happens through conduction, and is greatly increased when that conduction is done via the soil... and is greatly enhanced by having a significant percentage of water in the soil (SH of water is 1.0).

Using Mylar to stop the heat source (sun) from warming the soil via radiation and thence to the plant via conduction through the soil should dramatically reduce the heat transfer.

Additionally, the impermeable layer of Mylar will reduce the moisture loss in the growing medium, by 1) reducing the evap rate, and 2) by providing a relatively cooler surface to encourage condensation on the under-side.

The mulching effect of the Mylar may be (marginally? significantly?) increased by providing an air-gap between the film and the growing medium (thus reducing conductivity losses).

Bottom Line and beyond the pseudo-scientific gobbledy-gook.... Yes, using Mylar should help in hot, low humidity environs... Wink
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Post  Odd Duck 3/2/2011, 11:12 am

Mylar is also supposed to help prevent spider mites and aphids since it reflects light up under the leaves and those pests don't like that.
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Post  elliephant 3/2/2011, 11:53 am

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I like what I'm hearing! Definitely going to try it on a couple of beds. We do have some humidity, though, but I'm willing to do some experimenting to see if it still works. Aphids were a major problem on my peppers and I've got a 3x3 bed of all peppers out front that would be a good one to try it on.
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Post  camprn 3/11/2011, 2:45 pm

Hey BBG How's the grow station working?
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Post  ashort 12/24/2011, 11:08 am

I want to make as stand for a shop light style grow light out of pvc - does anyone have plans for one or maybe have run across a site with plans... looking for a 4 footer....
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Post  boffer 12/24/2011, 11:11 am

I don't think there's anything that hasn't been made out of PVC.

Here's a good start

http://www.pvcplans.com/
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Post  RoOsTeR 12/24/2011, 11:15 am

I did a very elementary, quick one. I used pvc pipe and abs fittings just for a tighter fit so I wouldn't have to glue. I can take a couple of quick piktors if you like. I could even give you the measurements I used if you like.

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Post  camprn 12/24/2011, 11:21 am

Here is a thread from last year about Grow Light Stands. rendeer

Another plan



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Post  staf74 12/24/2011, 11:36 am

I've used these before for indoor seed starting. Lowes sells them cheap. I add a high lumens but low 42 wattage compact fluorescent (be careful not to drop : mercury) and it is very cheap to run. I had three side by side. The reflector does a great job and perfect for a smaller set-up.

Seed starting station.. - Page 2 Reflec10

The clamp is sturdy and will attach to virtually anything because the base of the light has a swivel directing the light in any direction you want. This might save you framing with a custom set-up or allow you an simpler and cheaper frame to build as the clamp lamps give you much more versatility. Certainly build what you wish but just sharing my experience as I did use the straight shop lights but my set-up was harder to manage as the plants got bigger. Also, the tube bulbs were nowhere near as strong as the reflectors and the seedlings grew leggy even with the light relatively close to the tips. The clamp lights allowed me to easily adjust and adapt as the plants grew.
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Post  boffer 12/24/2011, 11:53 am

I like the idea; especially for small amounts of different types of seedlings.

Would you give a ballpark number for 'high lumens' please? There's a lot of options out there.
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Post  plantoid 12/24/2011, 12:21 pm

At my small holding I mounted two foot long striplights containing a fish tanks gro - lite lamp & set them in inverted gutter profiles called an "Ogee profile "

Here is a picture of it .

The gutter is white UPVC and mounted on a 1/2 x 4 x 48 inch long plank .
For my grow lights I simply hung a four cornered strung version off a nail on a roof truss and made loops in the suspending cord so I could put the light at difffering heights as the plant grew.

The lumems per foot as usually shown on the tube lamp .


The picture is just to show the Ogee profile as this light is fixed in my garage.
Seed starting station.. - Page 2 Growlights001
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Post  camprn 12/24/2011, 12:23 pm

A few links to other grow light stands
link one

link two

link three

link four

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Post  staf74 12/24/2011, 12:48 pm

Boffer - Anything over 2000 lumens is pretty good going for a single bulb. They are self-ballasted too which is nice. I have one which is 2833 lumens and still only runs 42 watts. Again, lowes or any hardware store should carry them. I run a cool white and a warm white for a balanced spectrum but you really don't have to worry too much about spectrum if you are just starting seedlings.

http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/lights.shtml

These grow bulbs all fit nicely into the clamp light but again, regular CF bulbs are fine IMO for seed starting. All CF don't run hot so you can go closer to plants.

On the above site, you can get a 125W CF bulb emitting a balanced spectrum PLUS 8500 lumens but it needs a socket adaptor ($10) and the bulb is $45. A great bulb but it all depends on your set-up and how big you want to go. More $$ bulb = more Lumens = more $$ to operate. The reflector puts virtually all the light directly at the plant which is obviously where you want it.


Last edited by staf74 on 12/24/2011, 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  staf74 12/24/2011, 12:49 pm

Nice links Camp !!!

Solid and easy designs
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Post  camprn 12/24/2011, 1:17 pm


____________________________

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