What Should I Do?

Building a Cattle Panel Pallet Greenhouse

9' x 12.5' DIY greenhouse for under $300
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 5:43 PM

As any experienced gardener will tell you, having a greenhouse can be an invaluable tool in the food-growing toolbox.  Having a greenhouse at one's disposal opens up many different growing possibilities and can be a huge season extender in areas where the number of good growing days is limited.  Greenhouses make it easier to get new seedlings started and help to protect plants from spring and fall frosts.  They are a wonderful addition to any resilient garden space. But they can be expensive to put in, and there are many things to consider before getting one set up. Check out the WSID articles on Selecting a Greenhouse and Winter Gardening to get a better idea of the styles and options available.

We put a lot of thought and planning into the design and construction of our DIY greenhouse.  With cost being one of the number-one constraints for this project, we did a lot of web surfing and idea gathering. Our research gave us inspiration for materials, styles, and what the end result should be.  We found projects that people had built for under $50.  At that price, we could build three or four and still be under budget.  But we didn't think they would last more that one season or that we would find our greenhouse plastic in the next county after a spring storm.  Then there were far fancier and much more well-built ones, but our experiences with major construction and the added cost kept us from these higher-end designs.  So we used what we had on hand... » Read more

What Should I Do?

four-shelf indoor growing station

DIY Indoor Seed Starting Station

An inexpensive setup for maximum seed starts
Saturday, February 16, 2013, 10:01 PM

Starting seeds indoors is an excellent way to get a jump start on the gardening season so you can save money on the various foods you plant.  Starting seedlings is a highly rewarding and enjoyable endeavor.  We have been using the following growing system for many years now, and year after year it continuously produces reliable and excellent results.  The components for this system are readily available at most hardware stores and can be sized to your specific needs and growing space. 

The three main considerations when starting seeds indoors are: » Read more

What Should I Do?

Redwood Seedling Box

Building and Using Seedling Flats

Sustainable seed starting boxes for your garden and harvest
Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 3:03 PM

With Spring just around the corner, it is time to start getting prepared for planting your resilient garden.  December and January have been spent looking through seed catalogs and placing orders for the new crops you want to try.  Maybe you acquired some fun new varieties from a seed exchange or neighbor.  Visions of a great garden harvest are clear in your mind.  But how do you help to ensure that your seeds will become vibrant plants?  In this article we will build a traditional seedling flat/box that allows for easy starting of seedlings and creates a sustainable, long-lasting container that can meet many of your garden needs.  

Advantages of using wooden seedling boxes:

  • Soil temperature is maintained better than plastic pots
  • Durable and will last for many seasons with proper care
  • Multiple varieties of plants can be planted in a single box
  • Very efficient use of space in the beginning of the season (Start a lot of plants in a very small space; less area to water, heat, and light)
  • Once the seed starting season is over, can be used for carrying in the harvest or displaying at local sellers' market
Daily Prep

Photo: Greg Holdsworth

DIY Heat Mat Speeds Seed Starting

Rope lights + scrap wood = low cost seedling heat mat
Monday, January 7, 2013, 8:45 PM

A great weekend project to get a jump on seed starting and prepping for spring garden planting.