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Re: OT: was Rick Tasco's lighting comment

Donald Mosser wrote:

> What kind of light stands do you use.  I would like to set up an      > indoor light shelf system, but all of the stands I have seen in       > catalogs are a little pricey in the hundreds of dollars range (and    > they really aren't very attractive).  I just want a place to start    > iris seeds and grow some African Violets.  Any suggestions or anyone  > know where I could get some good plans to build my own shelf?  I have > been thinking of something made with thick PVC pipe, but no way is my > wife going to let me put PVC in the dining room next to her china     > cabinet. :)

Funny you should mention "next to her china cabinet" because I have my
grow lights hanging in FRONT of our china cabinet, which is a built-in
unit separating our kitchen & dining room! The counter of this cabinet,
a pass-thru, is a mostly useless junk-collector anyway so I commandeered
it as a seed-starting shelf -- the lights are hung on chains from the
ceiling, the large-link chains seen with swag lamps (anybody have those
any more??) which makes it simple to adjust them up & down with hooks.
It's a 10-minute task to take the lights (standard shop-light fixtures)
down & stash them in the shed when they're not needed -- tho my husband
points out I failed to do so even once in 1997...

There are certainly more elegant solutions but our house is tiny & this
works fine for now. I can get 5 standard seed flats under the lights on
the counter, which is extra tall but then so am & this makes watering &
checking on seedlings easier on the back. We also have a small
greenhouse window over the kitchen sink but it both fries & freezes many
plants -- I stuff it full of sturdy houseplants most of the year but in
a pinch can rig extra protection in for seedlings when they've outgrown
the other space but aren't quite ready for hardening off.

As for plans for building free-standing grow units, I've seen one or two
in gardening mags, will have to ponder just where these were. Depends on
space available as well as just what you have in mind for usage -- I can
just about guarantee that however big you make it originally you will
wish it held more within a matter of months.

Marte in the mtns	Zone 4/Sunset 1  Colorado -- where the expected
snowstorm passed thru this pm on it's way north & east, leaving only
frost-bedecked conifers & cold temps behind.

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