Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Welcome to The Homestead Village!

Welcome to The Homestead Village! 

Homesteading is a journey, an adventure, and an ever-evolving quest to make our homesteads more beautiful, run more efficiently, and be the haven that we've dreamed of creating for ourselves and our families. 

Whether your homestead is deep in the country or in an urban setting, you'll find helpful articles here!

So hit that "follow" button to follow our blog and come along for the ride!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Affordable Seed Starting Setup

Affordable Seed Starting Setup

Okay. $908 for a four-shelf "plant growth cart"? Saw it on Amazon. Yes, it has the lights attached, it's conveniently on rollers, and it's ready to use. But $908?

After spending way too long searching for a seed starting setup that wouldn't completely break the bank, I decided that it was worth the time to put one together myself, and I'm really glad I did.

My Homemade Multi-Sowing Setup

Although my setup wasn't exactly cheap, it was much less than those ready-to-use ones.  After spending right under $200, I have a seed starting setup that has more seed sowing room, has lasted years and it was pretty easy to put together.

Shelving perfect for a Seed Starting Setup
Click to View

I started with a large plastic shelf like the one above.  It turned out to be the perfect size.   It has four shelves holding three standard seed trays per shelf.  That's room for 12 trays of seed sowing!

At Home Depot, you can pick these up for $40 to $55.

The lights I attached are basic, cheap - and I mean the cheapest -- shop lights I could find.  I know some people have the opinion that you have to use Agrobrite or LED specialty grow lights to grow healthy seedlings indoors, but I very  much disagree!  

I have been growing seeds indoors for over 15 years and never had a problem with growing my seeds into healthy gardening plants.  As long as you keep the lights very close to your seedlings, any shop light will work great.

Not to mention the fact that those specialty lights can cost from $50 apiece!

I attached three for each shelf, but there are wider lights you can buy which would fit two of them per shelf.   I got them on sale for $9 apiece.  So for all the lights it was about $120.

I've attached the lights with zip ties as pictured.

The only real disadvantage I see in my setup is that the lights are attached to the shelves and cannot  easily be moved up and down as the seedlings grow taller.

And since it's paramount that seedlings stay within an inch of the lights, and since the lights don't move, I must move the trays up or down manually.  I don't find that a big deal.  Some people might.

I just use some big thick Styrofoam blocks under the trays to raise them to the lights.  If you look closely above in the full setup picture, you can see them.  You could use pieces of wood, extra trays upside down, you get the idea.

Seed Nursery Trays
Seed Trays
Click to View

So for under $200, I have plenty of space to grow indoors what I need for my upcoming planting seasons.

And if you're not familiar with the benefits of multi sowing your seeds, you're really missing out!

Looking at the above picture of one of my seed trays, it's easy to imagine just how many seedlings you can get in 12 trays under one seed-starting setup like mine.

Here's our article on the advantages of multi-sowing seeds.    Multi Sow Your Seedings and Save Growing Space


So what are you waiting for?  If you haven't started to grow your own food, build a seed starting setup and start now! 

Seed Starting Trays
Click to View

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Save Room Under Grow Lights - MultiSow Seeds!


Tray full of multi-sown seedlings
Tray of Multi-Sown Seedlings

Save Room Under Grow Lights!

Multi-Sow Seeds!

What's multi-sowing and why should you be doing it?

Multi-sowing refers to sowing several seeds, usually four to ten seeds depending on what you're growing, in the same seed-starting cell and allowing them to mature into small clumps. Then, rather than thinning them or planting them out one plant per space,  the entire clump is planted together.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Common Reasons Why Hypertufa Cracks

Why Hypertufa Projects Crack

This article presumes that you are familiar with the basics of making projects with hypertufa.  If you aren’t familiar with the process, or just need a refresher, you may want to first go to our Hypertufa 101 article by clicking here.

Epsom Salt For Your Veggie Garden


It's Organic and Economical!

Growing healthy, juicy vegetables is as much an art as it is a science. One of the most effective yet economical ways to ensure that you grow great vegetables, whether potted or in the vegetable garden, is to use Epsom Salt.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Give Your Onion Seedlings a Haircut!


Give Your Onion Seedlings a Haircut!

If there's one crop that I love to grow indoors from seed, it's onions.  Of course you can buy sets from your local hardware store or nursery, but there are usually only a few varieties available. 

So not only do I have a larger selection of onion types to choose from if I buy the seeds online and grow them myself, but I can start them earlier indoors and give them plenty of time to grow before they get planted out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Winter Sow Your Vegetable Seeds!


Winter Sow Your Vegetable Seeds!

If you're looking for a fast and efficient way of germinating your vegetable seeds, give winter sowing a try.  

Sow your vegetable seeds in a container like a milk jug and place the containers outside for the winter months.  Mother Nature will germinate those seeds at just the right time.  

 First off, if you are unfamiliar with the basics of winter sowing, you may want to start with the Winter Sowing 101 article, then come back for the vegetable sowing specifics.

Welcome to The Homestead Village!

Welcome to The Homestead Village!  Homesteading is a journey, an adventure, and an ever-evolving quest to make our homesteads more beautiful...