The new grow rack, lined up with its brothers, ready to go to work. The carpentry’s real rough, but it’s sturdy and tried-and-true functional. The addition of 3″ casters has created an unexpected PLUS: when the racks are rolled together, the overall light from the fluorescents spills across the shelves, giving a little more to the plants on the outer edges of the trays. This is good! There is a fairly big difference in early seedling growth from being even a couple of inches further from the lights. (Before, moving the racks around was a pain, and you need to get at both sides quite regularly for watering, rotating trays, generally checking things out. Yay for wheels!) In the end, most things even out, but you take every edge you can get and…they do add up!
The materials for building a new grow rack just arrived. With this one, there’ll be three in all. It’s a bit a of milestone. I’ve used just two racks, built from ridiculously warped wood, to start literally thousands of seedlings over the last four years. Adding one more means a huge jump in production capacity. Well, 50% more, to be exact… Here we have wood, wheels (casters are a new addition this year for all racks), chain and dowels for hanging the lights. Cut up, screw together, add fluorescents…dead easy! And needed in the next few days when seed starting begins in earnest.
Checking in with the early lettuce. The seedlings are developing their first true leaves. Fluorescent lighting is inexpensive and does the trick, but it still bothers me how seedlings stretch and strain toward the available light, when what they really want is the Sun.