Seed starting racks – Tray for seedlings

Seed starting racks – Tray for seedlings

You can buy a rack to put your plant trays on. You can buy any shelf that will fit or a special one made for seedlings. I made my rack out of wood. I also wanted a stand I could use for starting seeds and growing plants throughout the winter months. I made it out of 2×4’s. There are three shelves. A center shelf that is fifteen inches high. The top shelf is twenty-two inches, and the bottom is twenty-two inches. I can take the bottom shelf off and use the floor for the bigger plants on the bottom.

The rack is four feet wide and two feet deep. I can use 10 x 20 trays to hold the seedling containers front to back. I also have some portable plastic racks that I can set on the main stand to get the plants closer to the lights.

Here is my growing rack. It was easy to make and was not expensive. Suppose you don’t want to build a rack. This one will work well for a good inside seed garden.


I have tried different grow lights. These are the ones that I found work best for the best price. These lights are also good. Both works equally well. Both options are much less expensive than many other ones available. I use both sets of these lights all the time. Another great thing about both sets is they are LED lights and use much less power than any other type of grow lights.

Plant food

This is what I used to feed my plants. This is organic, with no chemicals. I have planted fish guts and bones next to my tomatoes in years past, making the plants grow like crazy. It has a bit of a smell, but it works great.

Hardening off plants

When you are ready to harden off the plants, pick a stretch of weather that will not have any frost or too hot for several days. You want to gradually expose them to the outside for sun, weather, and wind.

On the first day, you want to give them a couple of hours in the shade and light wind. The next few days subject them to some sun and a long time outside to acclimate them.

I bought a small greenhouse, you can see it in the supplies section, to make this easier. The reason is my seeding, and the growing place is in my basement, and it’s not convenient to move many trays of plants in and out of the house, especially on workdays. What I do is I have the greenhouse set up on my patio that faces the east. I put the plants in the greenhouse on shelves that I put in it. They get some morning sun, and I open the windows for a couple of hours the first day, then longer each day after. They get some wind but are mainly protected during the day. I then close all the windows at night and open them up again in the morning. Doing it this way, I can leave them outside through the whole hardening-off process. Some plants, like peas, you can plant sooner in the spring. Put those out first.

Another thing that I can use to protect my new plants is a giant sheet of plastic greenhouse sheeting that I can put over my entire garden beds if the weather gets cold. My last frost date is May 15. That is an average. We sometimes get a day of frost or two after that. Here is my garden.

The sheet of plastic is twenty-five by thirty feet. It will go from the ground, across the entire garden, and to the bottom on the other side. It is a pain to put it on, but it is easier than trying to find sheets and other things to cover my plants if needed. It also doesn’t lay on the plants, so it can’t damage them. I also use this in the fall if I want to extend my growing season. Sometimes I can get several weeks of extra growing time.