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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Phelan's Box

A few of you asked about our seed box. The box is one of our tools as well as a repurposed item, (and to make Stephanie happy, it is made from scratch) Surprisingly enough, it is a relatively inexpensive item to make. Here is the run down.
prepping the seedling box

You will need;
We have very little money into this box, most of the things acquired where given to us, or we had laying about.
3 1/2 sheets of plywood
We had 4 sheets of 3/8 plywood 6 feet tall given to us (one reason for the shape of the box) 1 for the front, 1 for the back and 1/2 for each side, and 1/2 for the top.

2x4s in the corners and across the top

You can use a variety of light sources or heat mats with low light water bed heater, just keep the air moving so you don't turn your box into an oven. We run 400 watts in ours using a grow light

1x material

reclaimed door hinges, screwshinges

A reclaimed squirrel cage squirrel cageand dryer vent, and metal coffee can help vent out the heat so we don't scorch our plants. A small fan (was an osculating fan, but won't osculate anymore) that can be turned on to regulate any heating issues, and keeps the carbon dioxide levels up by exchange old air for new. The height helps with temp regulations as well.

Mylar or anything reflective is used on the walls and the doors (glossy white house paint works, and is the cheapest of all the materials that could be used unless you have stuff laying about that you could use). The reflective stuff is used for light refraction, keeps the light bouncing around the box, maximizing your lumins.


Drip trays are need for any condensation or over watering.

What to do:

Split one sheet of plywood in 1/2 for the doors. door the 1/2 sheet of plywood for the top. This gets you the basic box. In one side cut a hole that you metal coffee can can sit in. vent with coffee canMount the squirrel cage in the opposite corner, attaching the dryer vent to the cage and to the coffee can. Mount the fan on the same side but different corner of your coffee can.fan

Then use 1x material for the door seem over lap and the hinge mountings on the doors. Attach the doors. Use your reflective material either before you put it together (as in the paint) or after (as in the Mylar). Hang the lamp.

We also use two reclaimed floor vents that have been placed on the bottom sides (either side) to help with air circulation.


Dimensions of our box is 6 foot by 4 feet wide 34 inches deep. and hidden behind our bedroom door (so don't give me that, I don't have the room). Using the egg cartons we have 264 seedlings, if we used the seedling flats, we could have close to 500 seedlings in our available space (egg cartons were readily available at this time).

1st day seeds

You can scale the box way down, we just used what we had instead of chopping everything up. 4x2x4 can be accomplished with 2 sheets a plywood, doing seed flats. (they are about 1ft wide 2 ft long)

You can do this in the corner of your garage, just make sure the temperature is regulated, between 80-90 f

Picture 319

6 comments:

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

That's exciting. Looks good. You are good at thinking ahead. I am just trying to think about tommorrow.

lisa said...

Great idea! I love the detailed instructions, although I missed he word "cage" and thought you used a "squirrel dryer"...wondering what on earth THAT is! Ha...sounds like a "bird-feeder's revenge" device! ;-)

Stephanie said...

That is really cool! I've been trying to figure out how to use our garden tub (that never gets used for bathing)for a place to start seeds. This gives me some ideas.

Stephanie said...

I really like this Im showing it to Bill :)

Phelan said...

Tim, we made this box a few years ago, don't know how much thinking ahead we really did.

Lisa, ha! Squirrwl dryer. Too bad we don't have any here (squirrels that is)

Stephanie, stay tuned for the garden tub adventer we are having.

Stephanie, let me know if you do it and how it works out for you.

Kate said...

Ha! "Osculate" means kiss. Your fan used to kiss, but doesn't anymore. Quelle domage! I love typos like this one. (Oscillate if you wanted to edit.)

Nice post too, btw. Thanks!

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